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How Many Of You Think GIbson Did A Good Job With The True Vintage Series


JuanCarlosVejar

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My 2010 Sunburst SJ-200 "True Vintage" is the best-sounding Gibson acoustic guitar I've ever owned or played... (and that's compared to a lot of guitars, over a lot of years).

 

Every Gibson "True Vintage" acoustic I've ever auditioned was a great guitar, and a cut above the norm, even by the classic standards of our friends in Bozeman.

 

On the strength of the "True Vintage" models I encountered, I also bought the (non-electrified) "Jackson Browne Signature Model 1" and had the Gibson Custom Shop build me a Vintage Sunburst "J-200 Junior". Those two acoustic guitars are both killer also, but I have yet to find anything that can match my "SJ-200 True Vintage" (and that includes my two Martin "D-45s"....) so I guess I'm sold.

 

Considering that I've owned Gibsons since 1966, and that I spent from 1995 to 2009 without a single Gibson acoustic in my admittedly excessive guitar collection, my current line-up of their acoustics, all purchased since 2009, might be seen as an advised endorsement of the great instruments currently coming out of Bozeman.

 

The "True Vintage" Series brought me back as a believer, thanks Ren, thanks Gibson.

Jack6849

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i've played J45 TVs, SJ-200TVs and Hummingbird TVs and I agree, i think they're the cream of the crop.

 

I'm kind of scared that i'll run across a J185TV actually because if i do i think it'll be coming home with me.

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Most reviewers agree the TV series guitars are good-sounding guitars, myself included. They incorporate the AJ style bracing, somewhat lighter build (IMO), no electronics, features like upgraded woods, inlays, bindings, special cases, etc. That said, J-45's traditionally did not have AJ bracing. Some of the other features, headstock logos and so on are also a mishmash of traditional stuff. Marketing, I assume, came up with the 'true vintage' moniker. The fact is these are not particularly traditional guitars, ie they are not 'truly vintage' reproductions. They are a combination of mainly traditional features from here and there in the Gibson line that make good-sounding guitars. The line is, in effect, a 'best of Gibson' sort of thing.

 

If I remember right, the first TV models had a regular gloss finish. Later they incorporated the aged finish which originated in the Legend Line. So the features are sort of a grab-bag of goodies from here and there, old and back-to-the-future new.

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Most reviewers agree the TV series guitars are good-sounding guitars, myself included. They incorporate the AJ style bracing, somewhat lighter build (IMO), no electronics, features like upgraded woods, inlays, bindings, special cases, etc. That said, J-45's traditionally did not have AJ bracing. Some of the other features, headstock logos and so on are also a mishmash of traditional stuff. Marketing, I assume, came up with the 'true vintage' moniker. The fact is these are not particularly traditional guitars, ie they are not 'truly vintage' reproductions. They are a combination of mainly traditional features from here and there in the Gibson line that make good-sounding guitars. The line is, in effect, a 'best of Gibson' sort of thing.

 

If I remember right, the first TV models had a regular gloss finish. Later they incorporated the aged finish which originated in the Legend Line. So the features are sort of a grab-bag of goodies from here and there, old and back-to-the-future new.

 

Wow I guess I took a load of crap then . I actually believed when Gibson said it was the closest thing to going back in time ...

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Wow I guess I took a load of crap then . I actually believed when Gibson said it was the closest thing to going back in time ...

 

Don't take the marketing too seriously. The hype doesn't matter. They are great guitars.

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The fact is these are not particularly traditional guitars, ie they are not 'truly vintage' reproductions. They are a combination of mainly traditional features from here and there in the Gibson line that make good-sounding guitars. The line is, in effect, a 'best of Gibson' sort of thing.

 

 

Jerry K Has hit the nail on the head. There never was a vintage J-45 built with the combination of features incorporated in the J 45 TV. It's a little from here, a little from there. Were do you start? The script logo and banner headstock would mean the years between 1942 and 1945 or '46. The 20-fret board didn't come in until the mid 1950s. That pickguard position is purely a modern innovation, presumably to stop heavy pickers from chewing up the soundhole.

The belly-up bridge would mean post-1948 and pre-adj.

 

And those are just the things you can see from the front. Is it a tapered headstock, for example, which would go with the banner and script, and which went out in about 1953, just before the larger pickguard came in?

 

The J-45 that appears (at least from the front) to be a "true vintage" model, incorporating a consistent set of features from a specific point in time,

is the 1942 J-45 Legend. Right materials (more or less), right bridge and pickguard, hide glue, 19-fret board, etc. Don't know about that top bracing layout, however.

 

Of course "true vintage" means different things to different people. At the end of the day, it's all about how it sounds when you play it.

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For any line with a 'vintage' moniker in it, they can easily add a few hundred, plus the features such as the script logo etc... all features which can easily explain up-charge.

 

Like with any manufacturer a lot of the differences are in bling & that particular collection of the features at the time. To be fair, it would be hard to do a line of truly vintage guitars as there was little to no standardisation then, so they'd be looking at recreating one from a really good genuine vintage sample, but typically these will/would command even more by being a sig model with the right artist.

 

I think it's nothing more than a name and a collection of features that are popular within the guitar market at the moment, what I would say is that one or two reports of a dud here and there seem to be the only criticism, it's almost like they are universally loved as a 'line'. As such it would be silly to mess with what's working, thinner bracing and lighter all round build tend to shorten the lifespan of the instrument if it's not being cared for so perhaps in 10-15 years there might be some complaints, perhaps not. However it's nice to see a line of product which seems to really hit the spot with the buyers out there.

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I'm still trying to figure out why they changed the True Vintage to "New Vintage". I got an SJ that's New Vintage and it's quite a nice guitar.

 

I think Wildwood Guitars did/does specials runs and calls them "New Vintage". By chance, is that where you bought yours?

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For me, if 1) I like the sound, 2) playability works for me, 3)looks nice to me - i don't care if it has an 'authentic' combination of features or accurately reproduces a specific, vintage year and model. Purists will throw up their hands and for them they have the Legend series, which attempts to reproduce a specific vintage example very accurately.

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Purists will throw up their hands and for them they have the Legend series, which attempts to reproduce a specific vintage example very accurately.

 

 

And at an astonishing cost in the case of the 1942 J-45 Legend....

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With the exception of one rogue J-45TV all the other true vintage models Ive played were outstanding. Although given the choice I would generally prefer a real true vintage Gibson specimen. Meaning at least 40 years played in, as in my book you just cant recreate that great woody tone of a decades played in top.

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And at an astonishing cost in the case of the 1942 J-45 Legend....

 

After you do some price negotiation it's not really that bad. Some will say you can buy a vintage one for the same price. No quarrel with that. New, old - they're different. Depends on what you are looking for. Several of the Legend models I have played were awesome.

 

The TV models are excellent. I am shopping for a J-200 TV.

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Like other contributors to this thread, I agree that the "True Vintage" name might not reflect an accurate accounting of what Gibson builds into the specs of the guitars in this series. I liked Jerry K's description of these guitars as having features that reflect the "best of Gibson".

 

When I play my SJ-200 "True Vintage", it really feels like a Gibson, but a Gibson built with the company's traditional mastery of making classic acoustic guitars, AND with the additional benefit of years of experience enhanced by today's optimal materials and workmanship. The people currently in Bozeman really seem to understand how to deliver the Gibson acoustic guitar that players have always known was possible.

 

In my case, I compare my current SJ-200 "True Vintage" to a number of J-200s that I've owned over the years, including a beautifully minty 1959 J-200 that I bought from George Gruhn, back when that guitar was only about twenty years old.

 

Truth is... my 2010 SJ-200 "True Vintage" sounds even better than that classic...

 

So, while the name "True Vintage" may be literally inaccurate, the fact that these guitars carry on the tradition of excellence that has made Gibson a favorite of so many players over the years is undeniable. When I play my SJ-200 "True Vintage" I can feel the history that today's Gibson builders in Montana are obviously trying to honor in their work. They have recaptured a standard of excellence that I had thought was gone forever.

 

In my opinion, Gibson acoustics are back with a vengeance. Their best guitars of today MAY be their best guitars of all time, and, for me, the "True Vintage" Series guitars are among the classics currently at the top of that list. I think they represent the classic "Vintage Gibson Guitars of Tomorrow"...

 

Jack6849

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Nicely said Jack !

 

Like other contributors to this thread, I agree that the "True Vintage" name might not reflect an accurate accounting of what Gibson builds into the specs of the guitars in this series. I liked Jerry K's description of these guitars as having features that reflect the "best of Gibson".

 

When I play my SJ-200 "True Vintage", it really feels like a Gibson, but a Gibson built with the company's traditional mastery of making classic acoustic guitars, AND with the additional benefit of years of experience enhanced by today's optimal materials and workmanship. The people currently in Bozeman really seem to understand how to deliver the Gibson acoustic guitar that players have always known was possible.

 

In my case, I compare my current SJ-200 "True Vintage" to a number of J-200s that I've owned over the years, including a beautifully minty 1959 J-200 that I bought from George Gruhn, back when that guitar was only about twenty years old.

 

Truth is... my 2010 SJ-200 "True Vintage" sounds even better than that classic...

 

So, while the name "True Vintage" may be literally inaccurate, the fact that these guitars carry on the tradition of excellence that has made Gibson a favorite of so many players over the years is undeniable. When I play my SJ-200 "True Vintage" I can feel the history that today's Gibson builders in Montana are obviously trying to honor in their work. They have recaptured a standard of excellence that I had thought was gone forever.

 

In my opinion, Gibson acoustics are back with a vengeance. Their best guitars today MAY be their best guitars of all time, and, for me, the "True Vintage" Series guitars are among the classics currently at the top of that list. I think they represent the "Vintage Gibson Guitars of Tomorrow"...

 

Jack6849

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Let me add my enthusiastic raise for the True Vintage models. I call 'em like I see 'em and I haven't loved every Gibson I've encountered. The several TV's I've played and the one I bought are really nice guitars. My 2010 SJ-200 TV continues to impress me. Most of my other guitars are from boutique builders; one other is handmade by a single luthier. They're all very nice guitars. My two factory guitars are a Guild F-512 and the Gibson SJ-200 TV. The Gibson isn't quite as immaculate as the boutique or handmade guitars (or the Guild, for that matter) but it's got loads of tone and it feels really great. It's gotten the most play time since it arrived back about 4 months ago. There's always a honeymoon during which a new guitar is top dog but this is more than that. It's a really satisfying guitar that I genuinely enjoy playing. It was born for the blues and is an extremely expressive guitar in that genre (and others, too, no doubt).

 

I've played other nice Gibsons but I think the TVs that I've played have been more consistently high quality guitars. I'm not sure what part of the feature set that makes a TV a TV is responsible, but there's something really good happening in Bozeman these days, and it goes by the name of True Vintage.

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At the risk of being branded the heretical one [scared] , I would have to throw in just a wee word of caution and dissonance here. -->I would *generally agree* that the TV series or TV versions of various iconic guitar models are ones that I would expect to be superior sonically over their non-TV cousins, BUT, "it ain't necessarily so".

 

Some examples of the venerable TV models may in fact not sound quite as good as a reg'lar ol' "standard" version of the same guitar. Build for build, the odds are against that happening, but I have encountered that situation occasionally.

 

Fred

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At the risk of being branded the heretical one [scared] , I would have to throw in just a wee word of caution and dissonance here. -->I would *generally agree* that the TV series or TV versions of various iconic guitar models are ones that I would expect to be superior sonically over their non-TV cousins, BUT, "it ain't necessarily so".

 

Some examples of the venerable TV models may in fact not sound quite as good as a reg'lar ol' "standard" version of the same guitar. Build for build, the odds are against that happening, but I have encountered that situation occasionally.

 

Fred

 

Fred I agree man , It's not the rule that the TV's have to sound great , but there is a great chance that it will sound nice . but It's not a "Has To Sound Good Kinda Thing" . Mine is left handed and It sat at Fuller's Vintage guitar for alot of time . I always kept and eye on it returning to the site to see if it was still there , and it never went home with anyone. I guess It didn't have a good setup . But I bought it unseen and unplayed online .But Fuller's set it up for me

and I still love the sound .I've heard really great SJ 200 (Tv's and vintage) on youtube and this guitar really holds up with anyone I've heard on youtube.

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