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New Jackson Browne Model A


sternfan

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First, the guitar porn (not the best of pics...Washington, D.C. hasn't seen the sun since 1972 it seems):

 

photo-1.jpg

 

I received this today from the good folks at Sweetwater (great deal on this one...matched the best I could find at the usual Gibson-discount outlets, even the one in Wichita). It came in at about 11 AM and stayed in its case til about 4-4:30. I've waited a year for this one so why not a few more hours to keep from crazing?

 

First, I noticed the Certificate of Authenticity and the instructions on how to use the Amulet system. Later for that - in fact, it will be an entirely separate review.

 

Next I noticed it came with light strings and was a bit disappointed that mediums didn't come with it, out of the box. Oh well, certainly will make it a bit more playable, I thought.

 

Tuned it up and started to play...

 

Tight...strong mids, too many overtones in the bass, crispy trebles. Knowing that it's brand new, never been played by anyone other than the people who tested it at Gibson and Sweetwater, that it has an Adirondack top and constructed with hide glue, I knew I just had to play it in.

 

The neck is everyone's concern (Oh How can I possibly play something at 1.8"?!!!). Well, it certainly doesn't feel beefy nor is it uncomfortable, as my 7 straight hours of playing can now attest. I, too, get concerned by those 1/16" variances between string spaces, but, really, this thing feels very comfortable in the left hand.

 

Right hand strumming is so very natural. Fingerpicking tunes is also a breeze given its spacing. Very well thought out for the player interested in laying down rhythm and simple leads.

 

Body size is another worry for the uninitiated. While it doesn't feel like my 45 nor my Bellezza Nera (think 000 28), it's certainly not uncomfortable nor 'huge' in my lap. I love the slope-shoulder shape and it fits this body size so well.

 

After about 30 minutes of playing this thing started to loosen up some and...WOW!!! The palate of tone is so wide...the mid-range is still dominant (hey, it IS a Gibson) but the bass is now much more articulate and the trebles blend seamlessly with the midrange. Such a beautiful sound from such simple playing. I get so much more out of this with a few notes than I do the 45 or the Clapton. It's not 'better,' per se, but it's certainly easy to coax beautiful sound from this thing.

 

Grand-piano it IS. I can now attest that this is quite easily the most impressive sounding guitar I've ever owned. It's not the 'greatest' playing (that would be the Bellezza), nor is it the most versatile (that would be the 45), but it is the greatest sounding guitar I've ever had. I'm just so smitten with how the tones just leap off the sound board and blend so well together. The sustain runs like a river and the trebles just sound so perfectly balanced...what a guitar.

 

The intonation is just perfect...even the famous "Wolf note" (G-note, A string) on a 12-fret guitar is not so wolf-y on this thing. I'm simply stunned at how well tuned it is up through it's harmonics.

 

I'll try to post a video of it tomorrow (or, more likely, the weekend). It's so impressive that I think video compression will not do it justice.

 

Anyway...well worth the money and angst in finding one!

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I really think the JB signature was a great idea on Gibson's part. Of course we know that JB plays a lot of converted 1930s Roy Smeck 12-fret Jumbos and the signature series was meant to emulate those guitars. It really is a nice looking guitar Congrats and enjoy it thoroughly.

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