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lblack

Planning to buy a J45

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I stopped in my local Gibson 5-star dealer last week to buy a couple of accessories. Then I walked into the room where the acoustic guitars are on display. I stopped in front of the Gibson display when I came across the J45 models. Then I made the mistake of asking to try out a J45! Now I am starting my savings and planning to buy a J45!

Now I would like some input from the forum members. I see J45 Standard, J45 Custom, and the True Vintage J45. It was the True Vintage J45 that I first tried in the store. They also had a J50 which seems to be out of production, but it looked good to me too. I am a new learner for guitar, having studied for about 6 months, so my skills are not advanced. But I certainly think the J45 would be a good choice for me as I tend to blues / country, etc. Not into bluegrass to any extent. The store also had many other acoustic models (Dove, Humingbird, Songwriter series). I do need to consider those too -- but I keep coming back to the J45 and I don't really know why except it just caught my attention!

Any comments on the different J45 models would be appreciated and beneficial to my planning. I am struggling with the True Vintage J45 as it caught my attention, but of course it is more $$$.

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I'll have my J45 for one year as of July 5th. Got it at GC's 4th of July sale. I went up there specifically to buy a Gibson CJ165. A J45 was not even on my radar scope at the time. They brought the J45 to the floor while I was there. They tuned it and I reached for it to play. Primarily because it was brand new and I just wanted to play it. Soon as I played it I think I knew...lol...It was instantaneous. I wanted that guitar. I played it for a while and took it home. No regrets. It's as easy-to-play as any guitar I've ever owned and/or paid extra money to have professionaly setup. It came that way straight from Gibson. I'll still get a CJ165, but am definitly glad I have the J45. The way things happened that day, I suspect it was just meant to be that I bought a J45.................Also, in all sincerity, I would not get wrapped-up in any kind of thinking that says you should only use certain kinds of guitars for certain kinds of music. Some guitars, due to their volumn, tone, physical appearance, etc. may be better suited for a particular genre of music/songs than others, but your J45, etc. can play pretty-much whatever you want to play on it......I hope you get the guitar you need....... [thumbup] .........BTW, a sweet guitar like a Gibson will make you want to play it. It's easier to make yourself practice on an instrument you can bond with.

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Well I'm no authority on J45's - but everything I've read seems to suggest that the True Vintage series is the line that rings near and dear to most peoples hearts. I understand the TV to most always sound good, no matter which one you pick up. Versus the other models which can be hit and miss from one unit to the next. You can pick up one and it will sound great, and pick up the next one right beside it, and it will be so-so.

 

And I think the TV line is more to the exact specifications of the original build, way back when they first started making 45's. May be a little off on that observation, but think the big diff is the TV's always sound good, no matter which one you pick up. My .02c worth. [biggrin]

 

very true......and if you look, you can find used ones and save alot of money

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I would have to say that any guitar that keeps you coming back to it for unexplained reasons is usually a good choice. As long as those reasons are genuine and haven't been influenced by something you may have read or heard.

 

I just bought my J-45 the same way. I didn't have a TV to compare but it was between a Martin, Taylor and a Larivee(made in Vancouver so not sure if they are even known anywhere else).

So they were all really quite different guitars.

 

In fact I was trying to not buy the J-45 because I didn't like how the salesman was pushing it on me and that usually turns me off a sale. But I couldn't leave that guitar alone. I kept going back to it and loving how it sounded compared to the others. That is the one I bought.

I have no regrets and I love playing it.

 

I still want a Martin though,, lol.

 

Sometime you just gotta go with your gut.

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Very first decent guitar I ever owned was a J45. I agree with MissouriPicker. You can pretty much play any genre on the J45. But another thing

my HummingBird is my go to acoustic. I no longer have the J-45, made a bone headed mistake when I went into the navy and gave it away.

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The TV line does seem to be the most widely appreciated here, and there are some nice recordings posted which indicate why. There certainly is an impression of good consistency in the line, but there are several comparative reviews which found in favour of a Standard model over a TV. Depends what you like, really. Definitely worth trying as many slopeshoulders as you can manage. Despite certain broad similarities between models of a given design, Gibson acoustics are very much individuals. If the one you tried really spoke to you, then that is probably the individual guitar you want. If the process of saving makes it unlikely that you'll get that particular 45 TV, at least you have a yardstick by which to judge others. There is plenty of variation in what we want from our Gibson slopeshoulders, so the main thing is that you have a clear idea of what you like to hear from them. The TV is, however, not really that true to the way that J45s were built originally in the WWII period. It has the banner and scroll headstock of that era, but its neck is much slimmer than vintage examples, and one of its big selling points is the forward-positioned or 'advanced' X-bracing which supposedly gives it a more open tone from the off than it would otherwise have (i.e. without ageing and being played in). Such bracing was not the norm in the original generation of J45s, apparently. That said, the TV has an adirondack spruce top, which many consider very desirable. So it sits on one side in terms of construction (materials and bracing), while the 45 Standard, J50 where available, Woody Guthrie Southern Jumbo and standard Southern Jumbo where available sit on the other (non-advanced bracing, sitka spruce top). Those models are essentially the same thing dressed up differently. The Aaron Lewis Southern Jumbo and Southern Jumbo TV will give you a halfway house, as they combine advanced bracing with a sitka top, I believe. While saving, try as many as possible, as many times as possible. I didn't and couldn't given my location, but got lucky with an online purchase. You have a 5-star dealer locally, so you can and should. If the TV you tried sells before you can buy, then be patient because you will surely find another that gets you the same feeling, just not necessarily straight away. If you want really true to original spec, then you will need to save for longer and buy a J45 Legend.

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After having Taylor acoustics for near 15 years, I decided I wanted something with more mojo than I was getting. Only Martin I ever played that I liked (when I was the one playing it) was a D45 I played years ago. I gave Gibson a try and after J45's, CJ 165's and others- I really liked the Songwriter Dlx. Studio EC. I had it for 2 years. Great guitar but I figured long scale wasn't working for me. I played a few J185's, TV's and Standards. I liked them a lot but didn't love them. Since I was in the store and they had them, I tried some J45's. I played Standard and a couple of TV's. One of the TV's was really nice but I love the deep bottom of rosewood. They had a J45 Custom. I was in love. A short scale AJ. Alas, I didn't buy it and it sold the next day. I got in touch with Bailey Bros. That is probably the 5 Star dealer you're talking about. Keith had a Custom which I bought. I think it's better than the one I tried and didn't get. Didn't have any intention to get a J45 but I'm happy I did.

 

If you like the idea of a TV try it but play others too as you never know which one is going to pick you. Good luck and have fun.

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I have owned a lot of j45s I currently have a special one coming. I have played good j45 standards and I own a wm45 which to my ear was better than any j45 standard I had anyway. I also own a tv and would highly recommend it. I put a pick up in mine and of all the guitars I have hummingbird sj200 etc... This one is the best. You can buy a used one for 2000-2200 I'd e looking there.

Best of luck to ya!

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The J-45 Standard is one of the best deals available in a professional grade guitar. There are tons of variations; check a few out before you buy. You can't go wrong with this model.

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The J-45 Standard is one of the best deals available in a professional grade guitar. There are tons of variations; check a few out before you buy. You can't go wrong with this model.

 

My experience is every J-45 I've tried is different even in the same models as well as in different originating years. Each has its own sound, vibe, feel. Its really a matter of which you find that you feel is the one for you.

 

Speaking of J-45's, last weekend someone showed up at the jam I host with an authentic J-45 banner headstock one from the 40s. I could not believe the sound that one had!

 

Personally, I have a J-45 Custom Shop 1964 Reissue...purchased from Fullers in Houston. Great guitar and as with all J-45s, its own unique sound and feel.

 

Just my two cents on the subject.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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Purchased my 2004 j45 rosewood from EM shorts (Wichita Band)... via ebay... most do not recommend buying a guitar without playing it but these guys really set it up well. And I saved a significant chuck of $... I can't speak for the other j45 models but I won't be parting with mine, it's a keeper.

 

th_GibsonJ45Rosewood.jpg

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I prefer the aesthetics of the True Vintage J-45 and in my limited experience I think I like the sound a little more -- probably the bracing. That said, I've played a number of very good standard models as well. I think the J-45 Custom is rosewood, which isn't the traditional J-45 tonewood. If you're going for rosewood, I like the Advanced Jumbo.

 

If it were me, I'd save a little and get the True Vintage. Or if money's tight, I'd find an older standard model with the gold block Gibson logo, button tuners, and orange label.

 

Let us know what you end up with and good luck!

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I prefer the aesthetics of the True Vintage J-45 and in my limited experience I think I like the sound a little more -- probably the bracing. That said, I've played a number of very good standard models as well. I think the J-45 Custom is rosewood, which isn't the traditional J-45 tonewood. If you're going for rosewood, I like the Advanced Jumbo.

 

If it were me, I'd save a little and get the True Vintage. Or if money's tight, I'd find an older standard model with the gold block Gibson logo, button tuners, and orange label.

 

Let us know what you end up with and good luck!

 

I think that that generation of older ones (early to mid 2000s) have a 1 11/16 nut width though. Some prefer, some not. Again, a matter of personal taste. If you want the Banner aesthetics, the Woody Guthrie SJ has them for less outlay than a TV45. It also has a pickup ready fitted. Doesn't have the same bracing though. Another one to try, in any case. I love mine, and it sounds great to me when it's on top form, though I'm puzzling over my latest recording of it. Not true to my experience of the guitar, or to the other recordings I've made. Welcome to Gibson Acoustics. There is variation even in a single instrument, according to the weather and how much you've been playing it.

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J-45 True Vintage, its really, really worth saving the extra money. It will be with you for life.

 

This guy, he knows what he's talking about [thumbup] [thumbup]

 

Best overall sounding guitar I've owned. Not to boomy, not to trebley, not to loud (great with male vocals) and a stunner in the looks department. If you can get a pre 2012 one even better, the few I've seen recently have sitka tops and two piece bridges (and almost certainly 2 piece finger boards). Mine has an aid top and is flawlessly put together!

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If you've been playing for just 6 months, your "ear" will not be as refined as some hear....here. No offense, but the differences between two J45s may be too subtle (read irrelevant) for you to worry about at this point. And, it could be a difference in strings or set up. You are fortunate to be able to afford a guitar like this just starting out. I agree with the earlier suggestion - that you consider a used J45 for now and see which way your acquired taste takes you in a couple of years. G'luck.

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Wow! Thank you all for your comments. There are 18 replies already!

I detect a passion for the J45 by owners. I am more convinced that I want to be a J45 owner now. I plan to visit my local store more often, until one 'grabs me' and my budget catches up msp_smile.gif

More background on me, on my 61st birthday, I decided that I needed to learn something new so I picked up a cheap guitar starter pack. That was about 6 months ago. I bought the Gibson Learn & Master Guitar package for home study and I find I really like the guitar. I am making progress in learning, albeit somewhat slowly. I abandoned that starter guitar package (sold it for cheap to a pawn shop) and now I have three guitars -- two Epiphone (hollow body, semi-hollow body) electrics, and one Gibson Les Paul Studio (60's Tribute). Now I am really wanting a top of the line acoustic, and the J45 just spoke to me and now here I am in my planning to purchase.

 

Thank you all! It may be a week, or it may be 3 months, before I acquire my new guitar. I will return here often to check on additional feedback, and when I do get my guitar I will post a picture here!

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I have never tried a TV but want to, they get so many accolades. I can't imagine a better guitar than my J-45 standard. And I recently made a thread here about putting Martin SP PB Lifespan .12 to .54 strings and it is a DRAMATIC improvement. And I liked it before. Now, it is incredible.

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I guess I have never planned that far ahead when it comes to guitars. But just having sold off two I do got me some cash sitting in the "guitar fund."

 

Asking opinions of Gibson freaks about which Gibson they recommend probably ain't gonna help ya much. If we all had the same tastes, Gibson might end up going back to offering just a J-45. Just take your time and play as many as you can. You will know the one when you get it in your hands.

 

The advice about buying used though is solid. It will save you money from the get go and down the road if you decide to part with it as you will not take near as much of a bath on it as you will on a new guitar.

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OK, the J45 TV is now mine! I went back to Bailey Brothers Music and it was still there. After playing the J45 True Vintage and then comparing to other guitars, I kept going back to the J45 TV.

 

Thanks again for all responses to my topic.

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Congrats on the J45. As you likely already kind of know, all the praise and build-up regarding this guitar is well-earned and deserved. Typical of Gibson guitars, your's has it's own personality and virtues. Sounds like you got the guitar you needed. That's far more important than getting a guitar you want. Have a blast with it, and get us some pics and audio/video clips......... [thumbup]

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I've owned some very nice 45's over the past few years - Historic Collection, Modern Classic, a Rosewood version and a couple of WM45's. However, my 45TV has the most favored status. The others were all great Guitars (sold them) but the TV has extra in tone, volume and vibe. Love the VOS finish and the extra womp from the Red Spruce top. Can't go wrong with this one.

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