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Gibson Advanced Jumbo


kleinman

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I've got an AJ a few months ago and it has quickly become my favorite guitar. As a matter of fact I'm typing this from college and the only guitar I brought with me here was my AJ. None of the others were good enough. [biggrin]

 

 

Well that and I didn't feel like hauling my amp around. [biggrin]

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I always thought of myself as a Martin man, currently holding on to a D-28 custom and an OM21. I also have a Taylor jumbo (515 Ltd.) and a Webber 00/Grand Concert. Used to have a late 60's Guild D-35 (stolen) and a Morgan Concert. About a year ago I picked up a beautiful used 2007 AJ from Elderly, and since then, the Gibson is the only guitar that never spends time in its case. I really appreciate all of my acoustics, but there is just something special about the AJ. Fingerpicked its sound is dynamic and sweet. Flatpicked it knows how to get loud and boisterous. The scalloped, forward-shifted braces make the guitar extremely responsive. It still has that wonderful Gibson thump, but the long scale gives a little more shimmer to the classic tone. And the AJ is definately the easiest guitar to play that I have ever encountered, and the neck profile is perfect for my hand. To top it off, I don't think any major manufacturer puts out a sunburst that is as beautiful as Gibson's. My AJ sounds best to me with either the John Pearse Tru-mediums, or the Martin Med-lights (12.5 - 55.5) both in 80/20 bronze. If this guitar has a downside, I haven't found it yet.

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Very interesting, Scott. I just got an AJ today (Adi/Madi) and it sounds like it needs some phosphor bronze strings or at least some ebony bridge pins. Is your AJ sitka topped or Adi? I think THAT's the main contributing variable to this AJ's "chimey-ness".

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Very interesting, Scott. I just got an AJ today (Adi/Madi) and it sounds like it needs some phosphor bronze strings or at least some ebony bridge pins. Is your AJ sitka topped or Adi? I think THAT's the main contributing variable to this AJ's "chimey-ness".

 

My AJ is the standard sitka/rosewood model, but the top is very close grained with a lot of silking. I've always been quite interested in the adi/madi version and I'll bet your's sounds great. Is your's brand new? With regard to strings, I have run phosphor bronze on mine and it sounds really good that way too. I actually noticed more impact on tone coming from string gauge, rather than 80/20 vs. phosphor. Gibson strings the AJ with light gauge, but I prefer a little more oomph. I contacted Gibson about string gauge, and their kind-of funny reply was: "We recommend light gauge strings. We recommend no more than medium gauge strings". So, I split the difference with the Martin med-lights and/or the John Pearse Tru-mediums. Both of these string sets fall tension-wise right between traditional light and medium sets. In my mind, these "in-between" sets have enough tension to drive the AJ's top, without too much tension which I have found to choke the AJ's scalloped bracing. Enjoy that new beauty!

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I put a set of John Pearse Phosphor Bronze New Mediums (13, 17, 24, 32, 42, 55) on my AJ for its last string change some time back and I've been enjoying them a lot — real nice match for the AJ.

 

I really dig the AJ in general, but I can understand how it might not be to everyone's taste. This model to the ears of some can be quite loud and rather brash at times. But to others that equates to a lively, punchy and responsive experience. All in all I find it to be a really fun guitar.

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I have had mine for almost four years now. I had pretty much decided on a D-28, but didn't pull the trigger till I could find an AJ to try. It's loud ,great for fingerpicking and the burst is beautiful . I use light gauge strings on it and they don't seem to diminish the volume too much, at least to my ears. Solid choice, I can't say enough good things about them. Rosewood !

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Had my AJ 'standard' for pushing 9 years and a good AJ is a great guitar. No negatives here. Played EJ17s on mine the full time until a recent go with EXP16s for gigging.

 

Had many good dreads, mostly vintage stuff & the AJRI is one of my favorite guitars.

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I've had three - 2 standards, one Luthier's Choice w/Adirondack and Madagascar RW, which is the one I currently own. All were/are loud, well balanced guitars, good intonation up the neck, etc. I played all three a lot, for years each was my main axe for flatpicking, etc.

 

The only negative I can think of at all is that the dark sunburst can get pretty hot playing outside on a sunny day w/no shade.

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Pull that trigger man. If it is in good shape you can't go wrong. I have a '92 that has been my main guitar since '94. It has matured beautifully and is well balanced. Yesterday, as I played, I was reminded of the sustain and the nuiance that all others don't have. You've already read that it is loud. The only quality neg I've had is a need to replace the trussrod .... an expensive option since I bought it used and it was not covered by warranty. But that's just my bad luck ... but check out those issues. Gibson repair did a great job. In my case, the only neg in tone is it can be too bright of a few songs ... lacks the warmth of a J45 for instance.

 

Pull the trigger ... buy it!

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Can we assume you've played it and got one with it? If so, kindly disregard my two cents. I personally rate the model line on about 7.5 of the swiss army guitar continuum, because it's a bit much in the bass and overtones for fingerstyle, not quite enough ring for folk (it barks). But for sheer power and balance, its hard to beat. Kind of like a Les Paul with P90s 'stead of 'buckers. Rambler

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