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Re-posting: Help Identify My Gibson


madcow

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(Moving this over from the Welcome Forum)

 

Hi ...

 

I've wanted a Gibson acoustic ever since I played a beautiful sounding/playing J45 up in Arcata about 20 years ago. Should have bought it, cuz since then prices seem to have skyrocketed on older Gibson's ... but I finally picked one up.

 

Problem is, I'm not 100% sure what it is ... I mean, it plays and sounds great, so it doesn't matter all that much, but I wouldn't mind a more or less positive ID.

 

It looks just like a square shouldered early 70's J45, but it's got a split back and a Country Western style fretboard ... serial # is 960xxx, which according to the bluebook implies 1972 I think. But not sure what model.

 

Here are some pictures ...

 

http://www.sweetpickle.com/gibson/

 

if you look closely, it looks like maybe the bridge is a replacement? Maybe? Also, there seems to be some type of scrathced off letters on the plastic plate on the headstock, not sure if anyone will recognize that or maybe someone just painted their initials on it.

 

 

Thanks, looking forward to learning more and hanging out in the Gibson forum.

 

D

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Looks like a late 60s or more likely early 70s SJ.

 

And the bridge appears to have had the saddle slot filled and a new one routed in, possibly to address a poor original saddle placement (poor intonation), or to replace an adjustable bridge or a ceramic insert.

 

960287 serial number suggests 1968, which appears correct for that finish. The earlier SJ bursts were a bit redder, and later 60s ones more reddish-brown like that one.

 

Fred

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SJ, '68 or later based on the bridge. I'm not sure when they went to the teardrop guard on them as I've seen some from the 70s with teardrop guard and pointy guards too. That mess around the guard looks like pinstriping tape. That shadow around the bridge sure is mysterious. Who knows at this point? It may have been sanded flatter to make up for a low neck angle, it could be a replacement altogether with changing the ceramic sadle an afterthought altogether. The tuners are Gibson Deluxe as opposed to Kluson Deluxe, which tells me post '68 or so. It has "Made in USA" and a volute so that dates it 1970 or later. The burst on the top almost perfectly matches my '69 B45-12.

 

And Fred, you're right about the serial number being correct for '68 but it was also repeated from '70-'72.

 

If you held a gun to my head I'd call this a '71 or '72.

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I would guess early 70s Southern Jumbo, by the fretboard and headstock inlay, as well as the square shoulder body shape. ( Norlin era. )

The pick guard should be a black tear-drop.The Bridge is a replacement . The tuners and sunburst color of the top is the same as my 72, J45 Deluxe. Look inside and you should see the infamous double X top braces.

I have played my J45 since 1975, and really like its unique feel and sound. Not enough volume to be a BlueGrass monster, but a nice soft Oldtime or Folk Dred.

Dale.

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Thanks for all your help guys ... whatever it is, I'm happy with it. It plays like a dream, great action, and sounds really good, with a really nice even tone from high to low. Voice isn't drop dead killer, but is nice ... really even.

 

Are the Southern Jumbo and Country Western exactly the same? I haven't seen a C&W with a pickguard or bridge like this, so I assume those were changed out. Do both the J45 and SJ have the double x top braces?

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I'm no aficianado on vintage guitars and I'm the first to admit I don't get "mojo". But that is a beautiful old instrument. You can feel the years of pleasure it has given up and the promise of many years more. I could be converted.

 

As Shrimer points out, the saddle slot has been reworked. I wonder if the "shadow" around the bridge may have been caused at the same time through some careless sanding perhaps?

 

Either way if it plays and sounds half as good as it looks then you have a real gem there madcow.

 

Very jealous.

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Thanks for all your help guys ... whatever it is' date=' I'm happy with it. It plays like a dream, great action, and sounds really good, with a really nice even tone from high to low. Voice isn't drop dead killer, but is nice ... really even.

 

Are the Southern Jumbo and Country Western exactly the same? I haven't seen a C&W with a pickguard or bridge like this, so I assume those were changed out. Do both the J45 and SJ have the double x top braces?

 

[/quote']

 

Country Westerns are never sunburst. SJs *usually/almost always* are.

 

Fred

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Curious...

Did y'all notice that the bridge was an adjustable bridge? Someone plugged the wide adjust slot, then re-cut the bridge for a standard saddle.

 

Strange they would install a used bridge...?

 

By my cornfield reckoning, I don't think the 'new' saddle, if the apparent outline of the old bridge is in fact the location of a former bridge, puts the saddle in the correction location? =D>

 

Too, if the shadow we see is that of the 'old' bridge, that makes no sense as the area under the saddle would have no finish on it. =D>

 

Follow the line of the 'shadow'. On the treble side where the 's' curve ends, the 'shadow' takes an unusual detour, like someone tried to outline it but missed the curve, then back to the bottom of the belly. Did someone try to trace around it or rub too hard with something that scuffed it, giving the illusion of an 'old bridge shadow'. Maybe it was re-glued and the glue that squidged out was sloppily cleaned up?

 

My money is on this being the original saddle with a new RW insert... very nicely done, I might add.

 

Curiouser and curiouser.

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Country Westerns are never sunburst. SJs *usually/almost always* are.

 

Fred

 

Good eye Fred. I completely missed that. I'm almost certian the pickguard' date=' and bridge, are replacements. The bridge has been filled as well, so I'm guessing it was one of these:

Sorry it's not the best photo but...

 

some of these had ceramic, and some had rosewood inserts.

 

[img']http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/images/adjustablesaddle.jpg[/img]

 

SJBridgeConv.jpg

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