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blindboygrunt

going to look at a j45

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hi folks , am going tomorrow to meet a guy selling a j45 . both of us are driving an meeting on the road halfway . tell me as many things i need to make sure of when i get the guitar in my hands

cheers guys

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hi folks , am going tomorrow to meet a guy selling a j45 . both of us are driving an meeting on the road halfway . tell me as many things i need to make sure of when i get the guitar in my hands

cheers guys

 

Are we talking a vintage guitar, or a "newer" (say, post 1990) instrument?

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Things to look for that stick out besides the tone/sound:

 

1) Saddle height/Action too low of a saddle and high action = Neck Reset

2) Cracks/Splits

3) Buzzing - may need some fret work or if you are lucky truss rod adjustment

 

Any of the above may or may not be deal breakers for you, however if present should at least be considered in the price, because they will cost you to fix.

 

Hope the deal goes smooth for you, J45's are a players best friend.

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In addition to the above:

1)Sight along the top of the board with your eye at the level of the top, looking towards the headstock, to look for twisting, straightness, and to evaluate the amount of neck relief;

 

2)Play scales completely up the neck to look for buzzing frets;

 

3)Inspect for fret wear and divots in the fretboard (most common in first position chord locations);

 

4)Sight along and across top to look for sunken areas around soundhole or significant bulges behind bridge (note that a "flat top" like the J-45 doe NOT have a flat top or a flat back. Viewed in profile--looking down across the top as if you were holding the guitar to play it--there should be smooth arc from the end of the fretboard to the tail end of the top. If you put a straightedge along the top longitudinally, it would have a "crown" at the bridge of just over 1/8". There should be a similar crown transversely. The bottom should have a similar, but more pronounced crown. In all cases, the crown and/or arc should be smooth, with no obvious points of inflection;

 

5)Check for general wear. On a guitar of this age, a few dings and pick marks are to be expected, but the guitar should be generally clean, with a finish showing no obvious checking. Finish checking on a relatively new guitar (to me this means one less than 15-20 years old) could mean it has been improperly stored in an unstable temperature/humidity environment, which can cause structural problems as well as cosmetic ones;

 

6) confirm the year of manufacture using the serial number.

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Take an inspection mirror, and a small flashlight. Look at the bridge plate. Had one where the string holes misssed the plate...oops. Look around while your in there. Check neck angle, take a shop scale...see where it falls, cross the top of the frets.... relitive to the bridge deck. These two things look at where big money might be spent.

 

Good luck

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thanks guys , mirror is one i would never had thought of . i have been playing quite a few years so i'm not a complete novice , but am taking note of all these comments , just wanna b sure i dont get too excited at the sight of it and miss something really obvious !!

appreciate all ure advice

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hi folks , am going tomorrow to meet a guy selling a j45 . both of us are driving an meeting on the road halfway . tell me as many things i need to make sure of when i get the guitar in my hands

cheers guys

 

OH?

 

 

I guess by now we should know if you have been knocked on the head at the crossroad and all your money taken......

 

I'm sure if you watch the news, movies or read books, meeting some stranger halfway with your cash in hand does not sound that good an idea.

The things we do for guitars!

 

The cops will have something to think about when they find the inspection mirror.

 

 

BluesKing777.

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thanks bluesking , very reassuring :-s

i'll pick a public place to meet and if there are no pics up here by this time tomorrow then you all know i am lying in some ditch

 

 

There you go - meet him at McDonalds or somewhere you choose.

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Lots of good advice here. In addition to all this sound advice, I'd recommend that you take a tuner with you. When I go to audition guitars I always take my little clip-on tuner and make sure it's bang-on in tune.

 

I know of more than one guitar shop who tune their acoustics a semitone flat to give a first impression of a 'big' sound, this is first-class hucksterism! Always be on your guard for stuff like this. A tuner is a valuable weapon in your guitar shopping arsenal.

 

On top of everything else, there are two things you must never be without when trying a new guitar-you were born with one on each side of your head.

 

It's easy to get carried away with finding a physically perfect guitar with not a single scratch, ding or buzz, but if the thing sounds like a pile of horse apples, it's worthless.

 

Personally, I'd prefer a guitar that sounds brilliant, but has dings, lacquer checking and needs a setup, to one that is showroom-perfect but sounds dull.

 

There are few better things on this planet than a really good J45. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that this is one!

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Taking a tuner is good advice

 

I do it when I go to buy a new guitar in my poicket so when the sales guy goes away I can check harmonics and individual notes up the neck. A guitar is always compromise where these things are concerned so you do not always get perfection tuning wise, but helps you spot problems.

 

My tuner is a chromatic one.

 

And another major one, get someone else to play it for you, guitars always sound different in the players position so you must listen to it from another perspective.

 

I know these comments are late, but thought I would add as part of this thread

 

Madman Greg

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OH?

 

 

I guess by now we should know if you have been knocked on the head at the crossroad and all your money taken......

 

I'm sure if you watch the news, movies or read books, meeting some stranger halfway with your cash in hand does not sound that good an idea.

The things we do for guitars!

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

I'm not going to give you all the details, but I took a large quantity of cash out into the boondocks of southern California last weekend to inspect a guitar with the intention of buying. Once I saw the seller (Shaved head, waist-length Billy Gibbons grey beard, somewhat eccentric mannerisms, and other disturbing details I won't share), I almost put in a call to my office to tell them where I was so that they could call the police if I did not return in an hour. I did not buy the guitar, and got out of there fairly quickly when it became apparent we weren't going to come to terms.

 

Be careful out there, folks.!

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Don't know if I'm late out, but let me add that you need an non-stressed place to examine and play the guitar. I tried a 60's Southern J. last year - the seller wouldn't let me home as he had a serious collection there (a bit paranoid what do I know).

So we met at a station and then drove down a quiet road with 1-family-houses and gardens where he opened the case. There I sat on the backseat with no real space around playing Angie and boogie. Him listening behind the wheel. Pretty surrealistic – even for and old travelling juggler like me. . .

 

 

Had to pass -

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I've found it's helpful to meet in a public venue like a Starbucks if you know what you're

looking for and just want to do the deal in a public place.

 

But, to help compare, it helps to have your regular player with you as a reference. What really works out nice is to meet at a Guitar Center. Call ahead, speak with the Acoustics manager, & tell him you'd like to compare your guitar with one of their J-45's, preferably used. That puts you in the (hopefully quiet, if you're early enough) high end acoustic room, with some slope-shouldered guitars for comparison. Good luck, enjoy the hunt.

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didnt get killed , came home 100% alive with a nice j45 in the back seat

:-D

happy man , thankyou all for your advice and help

 

Congratulations! That makes this a special day in anybody's book. Hard to beat a good J-45.

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thanks bluesking , in spite of your morbid imaginings of what was gonna happen to me on the road to dublin

can't do picture cos i'm using phone to type at minute , its 11.35 pm . i will show off tomorrow , i'm sure you've all seen a j45 historic by now though :-)

 

btw.... anyone know how many historic j45's they made ? just during 2005 was it or do they still make them ?

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