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j45nick

"Early J-45" designation

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I see a 1999 J-45 listed on ebay that says "early J-45" on the label. It has the early 50's block logo, teardrop pickguard, 20-fret board, 1 3/4" nut, and Kluson single-rings.

 

Can someone tell me what this is? It's not a variant I'm familiar with.

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I've got an "Early J-45" that's a '98, and I've always kind of wondered about the distinction, too. I'll be interested in the replies.

 

Is it really a 1 3/4" nut?

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I think the "Early J-45" and its stablemate, the "Early 60s Hummingbird", were introduced back about 1996/7. Those designations lasted for not too long, IIRC.

 

I regard these names as reflecting Gibson Acoustic's attempts at recreating features of certain models of the hallowed days of yore.

 

After these models, there were "Historic" models, then "Authentic" models, then the "Legend" series (which encompasses two models only), and then the dizzying array of True Vintage and now New Vintage models.

 

Then there are the so-called "re-issues" which have appeared over the years too -- I see them all as attempts by Gibson to "get at" a combination of features or a particular set of features that define a model at some snapshot moment in the past, but with variable success. ("In my opinion".)

 

Hope that helps.

 

Fred

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Its all in the Name...

 

Not quite. The "EJs" (97-99) did have a 1 3/4 nut, full neck, light weight and no pup. The revamped Historic added a pup and put on some weight. The EJs and the 91-92 J45s may have been the best vintage-style slopes to come out of the shop before the TVs.

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Not quite. The "EJs" (97-99) did have a 1 3/4 nut, full neck, light weight and no pup. The revamped Historic added a pup and put on some weight. The EJs and the 91-92 J45s may have been the best vintage-style slopes to come out of the shop before the TVs.

 

you are right about the early J45s.. there just better.. when I touch and play a TV .. I do hear the tone of the early 90s J45s.. but with all the lingo of Model designations like TV or Early.. its a sales pitch.. If I want a early j45.. I think of a 40s or 50s.. even a TV... for the money.. a Vintage piece is where the Moneys are spent for me.. I can snag a early 90s j45 900 to 1200.. why spend more?

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Could you post pix of the label? I believe the "early" designation was Bozeman's first attempt at copying the exact specifications of a vintage J-45, but without the process of X-Raying an actual example, which they did later with the reissue & TV models. I believe they got the specs from George Gruhn.

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you are right about the early J45s.. there just better.. when I touch and play a TV .. I do hear the tone of the early 90s J45s.. but with all the lingo of Model designations like TV or Early.. its a sales pitch.. If I want a early j45.. I think of a 40s or 50s.. even a TV... for the money.. a Vintage piece is where the Moneys are spent for me.. I can snag a early 90s j45 900 to 1200.. why spend more?

 

lol, I've been watching that eBay listing since it came out too and have been wondering the same. glad i saw this post...i think i'll hang back and keep waiting for something else. but for 900-1200, can you point me in the direction to get one of those? :)

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Could you post pix of the label? I believe the "early" designation was Bozeman's first attempt at copying the exact specifications of a vintage J-45, but without the process of X-Raying an actual example, which they did later with the reissue & TV models. I believe they got the specs from George Gruhn.

I don't have a postable file showing the label, but it is a conventional orange label with a standard serial number. On the "model" line, the label simply says "Early J-45". The general specifications would seem to roughly correspond to those of a late 40's/early 50's model, except for the 20-fret board and 1 3/4" nut. I also suspect it does not have a tapered headstock profile, but you know how casually Gibson seems to throw J-45 features together without regard to any specific historical accuracy. Don't know about the bracing configuration, as it is not specified.

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I don't have a postable file showing the label, but it is a conventional orange label with a standard serial number. On the "model" line, the label simply says "Early J-45". The general specifications would seem to roughly correspond to those of a late 40's/early 50's model, except for the 20-fret board and 1 3/4" nut. I also suspect it does not have a tapered headstock profile, but you know how casually Gibson seems to throw J-45 features together without regard to any specific historical accuracy. Don't know about the bracing configuration, as it is not specified.

 

Have you looked inside the body with a mirror and flashlight? Just curious how many tone bars it has and if they are scalloped. Do the braces look like they are 1/4" thick x .55" high (if you can measure)?

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Have you looked inside the body with a mirror and flashlight? Just curious how many tone bars it has and if they are scalloped. Do the braces look like they are 1/4" thick x .55" high (if you can measure)?

It's a guitar for sale on ebay. I haven't yet figured out to reach through cyberspace to inspect inside the guitar with a mirror. But I'm trying....... [biggrin]

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Could you post pix of the label? I believe the "early" designation was Bozeman's first attempt at copying the exact specifications of a vintage J-45, but without the process of X-Raying an actual example, which they did later with the reissue & TV models. I believe they got the specs from George Gruhn.

This was a designation that was put on the guitar by the marketing dept. The dealers needed to have a reason to buy the next years models so Gibson changed the name of the instruments. Basically the same guitar different name. There was never a single guitar that was speced. Gibson never x-rayed any guitar and they never got any specs from George Gruhn.

Example of the different years of J-45

1990 and 1991 J-45

1992-93 PRO-Series J-45

1994-95 Western J-45

1997-98 Early J-45

1999-2000 J-45

2001-2002-2003 2004 J-45

2005- Historic J-45

2006-07 J-45

and the list goes on. You give Gibson too much credit for work they never did. They changed the name and a little cosmetic feature here and there. When they did make a change it was for all the wrong reasons. It was just plain silly to change the J-45 TV bracing to the advanced system. Gibson NEVER did that in the past and now they put it on a True Vintage guitar??? I don't think so.....Not True Vintage at all.

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I had a '97 Early J45. Yup, 1 3/4" nut, light as a FEATHER (I've never played a lighter dread), amazing player and it sounded sublime. The best post-'50s J45 I've ever played, it was exquisite.

 

I sold it to Sitric, a forumer, when I was in dire financial need...he bought it for his nephew or cousin as I recall, who loved it.

 

If you get the chance to lay your hands on an Early, I say go for it, they're unbefreakinglievable.

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Another Early J-45 owner...well did. I bought mine in 98 in London and sold it in 2006.

Another bad judgment call!

It did not however, have a 1 3/4. It was a nice guitar, but didn't quite live up to my 93 45s.

Still, I wish I still had it.You can never have too many J-45s.

One of the interesting things about it, in contrast to my 93s, was that the bridge,

apart from being glued had was bolted too. This is something I have seen on may Gibson s since.

The screw heads being hidden by a pearl dot.

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One of the interesting things about it, in contrast to my 93s, was that the bridge,

apart from being glued had was bolted too. This is something I have seen on may Gibson s since.

The screw heads being hidden by a pearl dot.

 

Ponty, that's been a pretty standard Gibson bridge installation detail for decades, and it makes a lot of sense, because it allows for precise bridge alignment without complicated jigs. Oh yeah, and it helps hold the bridge on if the glue joint fails.

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j45nick...sorry I snagged that guitar! After the listing ended with zero bids, I contacted the seller and got a deal. I'll be more than happy to give you guys some feedback on it when I get it!

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Hi. I just got what is essentially a NOS 1998 Early. Hang tags, looks like it's never been played. I believe a dealer put it away. Anyway, gorgeous, VERY lightweight, perfect fit and finish. Nice round neck. No electronics, no strap button on the neck. I thought it was going to be a 1 3/4" neck, but all I could squeeze out of it was 1 23/32, which is cool because that's such a Gibson standard. REALLY loud, and pretty bright as well. The case doesn't have much of that awesome sweetness that it imparts to my later Gibbys, so it just has a wonderful woody aroma. I'm still searching for more info on exactly what this was patterned on.

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A little more info on the "Early" . It was designed by Ren Ferguson (one of his first attempts at a reissue) Using molds from Kalamazoo J45s. 1 23/32 neck, and virtually identical in specs to a '52-'54 J45. From communications with owners and luthiers, it's held in high regard

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what is a Zombie Thread?

 

A thread from 2012 that had no new posts until yours, six years later, and then no further posts until yours after another year has passed. But I don't have a problem with that personally.

Edited by Boyd

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