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J-45 TV Ltd


jchabalk

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I've had my pre-TV J45-TV LTD for about 3-4 years now and since i got it the pick-guard has bugged me. So after this recent set of discussions about pickguard placement i decided to remove it. Last night was the night and it came off nice and clean.

 

There was no shadow left per se but there's a slight imprint in the finish where the pickguard used to be that you can see if the light reflects just right. I think this is due to the way the nitro ages and the pickguard covers the nitro underneath it preventing it from aging at the same rate as the rest of the guitar.

 

I'm not too worried about scratching the top of the guitar as my strumming style always has sparred the top of my guitars. I'd like to get another pickguard though. Any recommendations on shape and material?

 

I know the 42 legend guitar uses a fire stripe which i always have liked. and the shape of the AJ/J35 guard (don't know if they're identical or just similar).

 

Like a lot of the J45-TVs mine's got a pretty dark burst. Post picks if you have any good ones? I'll do the same, i've been looking around.

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I've had my pre-TV J45-TV LTD for about 3-4 years now and since i got it the pick-guard has bugged me. So after this recent set of discussions about pickguard placement i decided to remove it. Last night was the night and it came off nice and clean.

 

There was no shadow left per se but there's a slight imprint in the finish where the pickguard used to be that you can see if the light reflects just right. I think this is due to the way the nitro ages and the pickguard covers the nitro underneath it preventing it from aging at the same rate as the rest of the guitar.

 

I'm not too worried about scratching the top of the guitar as my strumming style always has sparred the top of my guitars. I'd like to get another pickguard though. Any recommendations on shape and material?

 

I know the 42 legend guitar uses a fire stripe which i always have liked. and the shape of the AJ/J35 guard (don't know if they're identical or just similar).

 

Like a lot of the J45-TVs mine's got a pretty dark burst. Post picks if you have any good ones? I'll do the same, i've been looking around.

Ahhh...heaven! Leave it off and leave the guitar out in a daylight lit room so the top begins to fade. Naked tops are beeeutiful to me!

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Say NO to plastic!

 

Actually, my feeling about this comes from trying to restore a '37 L00 that I should get up right now and shoot myself for selling, but that's another story. There were, and maybe are now, some originals available at high cost. F'get that. Gibson told me they wouldn't sell me a firestripe (which still look cheesy to me) off the Blues King assembly line as they only had one guard per top. (bullshit) Didn't want a Stewmac or other p'guard seller product. During the time I pondered all this, it began to occur to me how beautiful it was without one. Like you, I don't get mental with my strumming or picking, so I realized I didn't need the angst and grew more happy having the clean top. Plastic and glue have to slow the soundboard down a bit as well, though probably more theoretical than noticeable. One thing I'd caution though...what does scratch up the area whether you flat or fingerpick is your right hand pinky nail, even the ring fingernail can bite into the lacquer, so keep'em short. You can always decide later on, but in the meantime you have a unique looking flattop.

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I believe that if you do some searching both here on this forum and over at the UMGF, you'll find a number of sources for pickguards, some of which are very nice looking. If I find something before yourself or others here, I'll try to post up the info.

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Plastic and glue have to slow the soundboard down a bit as well, though probably more theoretical than noticeable.

 

The part of the top that comes into play the most on a guitar is that below the soundhole so a pickguard and glue are not going to muffle top vibration a whole lot unless you go crazy and slap on some thick humongous contraption. I have removed pickguards from and added them to guitars and never heard enough difference to notice. A pickguard just ain't gonna rob a guitar of its thunder.

 

I would call a place like Terrapin guitars and see what they can do for you. Great pickguards and service at a nice price.

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I didn't take any pictures last night before i removed it cause the light was really wasn't nearly ideal to make a decent picture. Here are a couple I had from right after i got it a few years ago. (the light for these was also not right)

 

j45tv-1-2.jpg

 

j45tv-1.jpg

 

 

Here are a couple of pictures from this afternoon - after i removed the pickguard. Better light for these (it's not as reddish as it appears in the top pix, that was the camera doing that several years ago):

 

In this first one you can see the way the light reflect differently where the pickguard used to be. The digital camera enhanced this more than my eye does. It i get the light just right i can make out just little bits of it in my eye, but with the camera you can see the whole thing:

j45tv-2486.jpg

 

This is what it looks like whenever i look at it now:

j45tv-2487.jpg

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I'd suggest you ask Gibson to tell you which product would safely dissolve whatever residue is left on there. There are some smarter luthier types on here than I, so you may want to ask, or look on the net for a good solvent to get that slight bit off. Even if you decide to reglue something on, you'd need it clean.

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i followed the instruction someone else posted a couple of weeks ago (sorry, i can't remember who had mentioned this).

 

I slacked the strings a little bit (just for the heck of it) then heated the pick-guard very slightly with a hairdryer and used a piece of dental floss to get under the tip of the guard (right up by the high-e string). From there i just peeled it back slowly applying a little bit of heat every once in a while (it didn't take much).

 

I think the most important thing was to take it slowly. The heat weakens the adhesive enough that it comes off pretty clean.

 

After i was done I made sure it was back to room temp then used a cotton ball with some lighter fluid on it to get the remaining adhesive off the top. It also came up easily. Then I hit the top with some virtuoso polish to clean it all up, brought it up to pitch and that's what it looks like in the pictures.

 

It was really good advice from the OP on the guard removal.

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i followed the instruction someone else posted a couple of weeks ago (sorry, i can't remember who had mentioned this).

 

I slacked the strings a little bit (just for the heck of it) then heated the pick-guard very slightly with a hairdryer and used a piece of dental floss to get under the tip of the guard (right up by the high-e string). From there i just peeled it back slowly applying a little bit of heat every once in a while (it didn't take much).

 

I think the most important thing was to take it slowly. The heat weakens the adhesive enough that it comes off pretty clean.

 

After i was done I made sure it was back to room temp then used a cotton ball with some lighter fluid on it to get the remaining adhesive off the top. It also came up easily. Then I hit the top with some virtuoso polish to clean it all up, brought it up to pitch and that's what it looks like in the pictures.

 

It was really good advice from the OP on the guard removal.

 

Why not use the same pickguard like the fellow did in that other thread?

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I didn't take any pictures last night before i removed it cause the light was really wasn't nearly ideal to make a decent picture. Here are a couple I had from right after i got it a few years ago. (the light for these was also not right)

 

j45tv-1-2.jpg

 

j45tv-1.jpg

 

 

Here are a couple of pictures from this afternoon - after i removed the pickguard. Better light for these (it's not as reddish as it appears in the top pix, that was the camera doing that several years ago):

 

In this first one you can see the way the light reflect differently where the pickguard used to be. The digital camera enhanced this more than my eye does. It i get the light just right i can make out just little bits of it in my eye, but with the camera you can see the whole thing:

j45tv-2486.jpg

 

This is what it looks like whenever i look at it now:

j45tv-2487.jpg

 

 

Looking at these pictures, something struck me as really wrong. It took awhile, but I finally figured it out. On the modern J-45, the rosette ring is not continuous across the end of the fretboard. It dead-ends at the side of the fretboard. This for some reason seems less noticeable when the pickguard is on, but once it's off, it sticks out like a sore thumb to my eye, and seems to be a modern innovation. Whether it was a 19-fret board or a 20-fret board, a single-ring rosette or a double-ring rosette, at least one of the rosette rings was continuous through 360 degreees on "vintage" J-45's.

 

On a modern Gibson, you have to go to the J-45 Legend to get this.

 

Is this another Gibson WTF moment, like the pickguard placement?

 

Comments welcome.

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Hey jchabalk,

 

That was me that tore into my J-45 pickguard a few weeks ago. If you're thinking about going with a firestripe type guard, these are by far the most attractive that I've seen (unfortunately it sounds like the guy doing these is taking a bit of a sabbatical from production at this point):

 

Firestripe Pickguards

 

For those who are more ambitious, you can go it alone (I had not seen this article until today):

 

Stewmac - do it yourself

 

As mentioned above, I've also heard that Terrapin is a fantastic option:

 

Terrapin Guitars

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Is this another Gibson WTF moment, like the pickguard placement?

 

Comments welcome.

 

This has been the case for many decades now and definitely predates the Bozeman era. I believe the current configuration first came into being sometime during the later half of the 60's.

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Yeah...I'm going back to my earlier premise on the 'You Guys R Nuts' discussion. Another example of why the old wood is the good wood.

 

As far as I'm concerned, the proof is in the pudding. Myself and many others here have posted up clips of new/newer GIbson that sound mighty fine, even in all of the compressed glory of the lo-res mp3 format.

 

I dig it when anyone shares their music here. But I would definitely love to hear your guitars, seeing how you find most of us nuts & all that ;). Please do share.

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As far as I'm concerned, the proof is in the pudding. Myself and many others here have posted up clips of new/newer GIbson that sound mighty fine, even in all of the compressed glory of the lo-res mp3 format.

 

I dig it when anyone shares their music here. But I would definitely love to hear your guitars, seeing how you find most of us nuts & all that ;). Please do share.

Ha...good challenge. I'd love to put up a vintage clip, but I made the comment more as a funny turnaround on the grumblings about the new geetar. I'm stuck in the deadzone of dial-up internet here in the sticks, so I can barely watch vids much less send 'em.

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Not guitars but http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_preferences_among_new_and_old_violins . Basically showed professional violin players were biased towards old instruments more because of their historical importance than any particular magic built into them. This is not to say old instruments can't be incredible and some very famous violinists argue that the longevity of new violins is far worse compared to the old etc and challenge the validity of the study on other grounds. But its interesting food for thought (though obviously this is still dealing with preferences different builds can be better and the thousand other points that can be made about something so subjective).

 

As for the pick guard I think of it like a beautiful woman in socks. You can like or dislike the socks but either way that's all she's wearing, beautiful guitar mate.

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Ha...good challenge. I'd love to put up a vintage clip, but I made the comment more as a funny turnaround on the grumblings about the new geetar. I'm stuck in the deadzone of dial-up internet here in the sticks, so I can barely watch vids much less send 'em.

 

There is a certain beautiful irony at play there. A vintage guitar fanatic with nothing more than dial-up access — too perfect.

 

Honestly, if you you ever do gain access to greater bandwidth, please do post up. While there used to be a lot more readily available (at least at anything near my price range), I still love checking out vintage Gibons whenever I get the chance. Good stuff.

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