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NGD: SJ


j45nick

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It's no secret I've been looking for a nice vintage SJ. But a good late-40's or early 50's SJ--what I want--means big money right now, which I can't justify in view of my rather profligate guitar-buying habit.

 

I haven't given up on finding that vintage beauty, but this friendly gal, named Houston, showed up on the doorstep last night. (She was humming a little Stephen Stills ditty that includes the line ".....if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with...")

 

Now, we all know Gibson has the wonderful habit of mixing and matching features in their vintage re-issues, and this guitar is no exception. She has some standard features, and some unusual ones too, several of which are fairly obvious in this picture. She also has one characteristic that really threw me--not visible in this picture--and I'll put it out there for comment later, as I value the opinions of people here.

 

OK, so it's obviously an SJ re-issue, but which one?

 

SJ2.jpg

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Very nice. Might this guitar feel really comfortable next to a pair of red shoes, and does it sport a couple of amulets ?

 

 

Well, she now lives in a house filled with talismans, and a pair or two of red shoes, but that's not the key to her identity.

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Hey Nick, congrats! This guitar looks like a dead ringer for my Fullers Banner/ Rosewood SJ re-issue I let go a while back. Right down to the fire stripe pick guard I put on it. Pretty wild!

Enjoy!

 

 

Close, but no seegar....

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It's no secret I've been looking for a nice vintage SJ. But a good late-40's or early 50's SJ--what I want--means big money right now, which I can't justify in view of my rather profligate guitar-buying habit.

 

I haven't given up on finding that vintage beauty, but this friendly gal, named Houston, showed up on the doorstep last night. (She was humming a little Stephen Stills ditty that includes the line ".....if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with...")

 

Now, we all know Gibson has the wonderful habit of mixing and matching features in their vintage re-issues, and this guitar is no exception. She has some standard features, and some unusual ones too, several of which are fairly obvious in this picture. She also has one characteristic that really threw me--not visible in this picture--and I'll put it out there for comment later, as I value the opinions of people here.

 

OK, so it's obviously an SJ re-issue, but which one?

 

SJ2.jpg

 

It's a 1942/43 reissue from Fuller's I bet !!!

 

 

 

 

JC

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It's a 1942/43 reissue from Fuller's I bet !!!

 

JC

 

Well, both JC and Rob (Jannusguy) are way too sharp. This is one of the Fuller's re-issues, in this case the 1943 'hog model, rather than the 1942 rosewood model that Rob had. Never mind that a 1943 SJ wouldn't have a bound fretboard.

 

That particular one was shipped in mid-January, 2007. Fuller's has done several runs of these in the past, and apparently has another in the works. I talked to Jeremy Fuller about it to try to sort out the characteristics, as they are different from any of the current SJ models.

 

To start, it's an adi top, with the standard 30's scalloped bracing. This one actually has some very nice quilting which is impossible to photograph. The firestripe pickguard is obvious (although I'm tempted to put it in its proper location, Jeremy). The belly-down bridge is like that on the Woody, and was in fact used on some of the early SJ's.

 

The back has the narrow inlaid centerline strip of dark wood, like the Aaron Lewis, and like a lot of vintage SJ's I've looked at.

 

What's different is the neck. This has the "Luthier's Choice" neck, which Fuller has used on most, but not all of these. The nut width is a full 1.78", or 45mm. Likewise, the pin spacing at the bridge is 2 3/16" rather than the more standard 2 1/8". It has a white heel cap, unlike current SJ models. And, it has a 19-fret board, so that the entire inner rosette is exposed--except for the part covered by the pickguard. (aaarrgh!)

 

What threw me is that it has a screwed-in strap pin in the tail block, rather than a drilled tailblock with a tapered pin (like a big bridge pin). I haven't seen that on a slope J, although I do have it on my Gibson electrics. I'm tempted to have this bored and reamed for a proper strap pin.

 

The neck feels like the deck of an aircraft carrier, but I'm concentrating on fingerpicking now, so this should be good. My L-OO Legend also has a wide board, although only 1.75" at the nut.

 

In any case, she fits right in with the rest of the herd, and is making herself at home.

 

And, oh yeah! She sounds just like a slope hog should!

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Well, both JC and Rob (Jannusguy) are way too sharp. This is one of te Fuller's re-issues, in this case the 1943 hog model, rather than the 1942 rosewood model that Rob had. Never mind that a 1943 SJ wouldn't have a bound fretboard.

 

That particular one was shipped in mid-January, 2007. Fuller's has done several runs of these in the past, and apparently has another in the works. I talked to Jeremy Fuller about it to try to sort out the characteristics, as they are different from any of the current SJ models.

 

To start, it's an adi top, with the standard 30's scalloped bracing. This one actually has some very nice quilting which is impossible to photograph. The firestripe pickguard is obvious (although I'm tempted to put it in its proper location, Jeremy). The belly-down bridge is like that on the Woody, and was in fact used on some of the early SJ's.

 

The back has the narrow inlaid centerline strip of dark wood, like the Aaron Lewis, and like a lot of vintage SJ's I've looked at.

 

What's diferent is the neck. This has the "Luthier's Choice" neck, which Fuller has used on most, but not all of these. The nut width is a full 1.78", or 45mm. Likewise, the pin spacing at the brdige is 2 3/16" rather than the more standard 2 1/8". It has a white heel cap, unlike current SJ models. And, it has a 19-fret board, so that the entire inner rosette is exposed--except for the part covered by the pickguard. (aaarrgh!)

 

What threw me is that it has a screwed-in strap pin in the tail block, rather than a drilled tailblock with a tapered pin (like a big bridge pin). I haven't seen that on a slope J, although I do have it on my Gibson electrics. I'm tempted to have this bored and reamed for a proper strap pin.

 

The neck feels like the deck of an aircraft carrier, but I'm concentrating on fingerpicking now, so this should be good. My L-OO Legend also has a wide board, although only 1.75" at the nut.

 

In any case, she fits right in wiht the rest of the herd, and is making herself at home.

 

And, oh yeah! She sounds just like a slope hog should!

 

Nick ,

 

enjoy it's a real beauty =D.

 

 

 

 

JC

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Regarding the cockeyed p'guard, (what's wrong with those knuckleheads) consider peeling it and throwing it right in the fireplace. This is sooo sharp looking, but the firestripe repros look a little cheesy if you've seen enough authentic vintage ones.

 

Jealous again...have a ball, don't neglect the L00. Oh yeah, or the family.

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Yeah, just showed up on your doorstep last night! That's what I'm gonna tell my wife the next time I buy a Gibson. Like a stray kitten ..... gee honey it "just showed up" on the back deck and I couldn't just let her stay out there in the cold. Looks great Nick, enjoy! It's obvious that ya got it bad. Your wife had better get her new kitchen fast or y'all be using slope hogs for counter tops.

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A good riddle on a Saturday nite. I'm a bit embarrassed I didn't see the down-belly bridge before the second glance on this beautifully balanced and well-kept Southern J.

 

How does it sound compared to the old 45, which - as I remember it - is a late 1940's original, when it comes bracing-dna.

Your turn to go through intense A/B'ing. A highly entertaining, sometimes dizzying game.

 

 

Fine picture btw. Not until now I see the right scale of the things. But as we know, , , , scales differ from time to time.

 

 

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I don't know anymore what to call you: J45Nick, L7Nick, or what? SJNick?

 

Or L-OONick, or ES335Nick, etc.

 

Actually, I'll stick with J-45Nick. Jackson, the '48-'50 J-45 I've owned since 1966, is still the queen bee. And she let's everybody know it!

 

thewholething.jpg

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A good riddle on a Saturday nite. I'm a bit embarrassed I didn't see the down-belly bridge before the second glance on this beautifully balanced and well-kept Southern J.

 

How does it sound compared to the old 45, which - as I remember it - is a late 1940's original, when it comes bracing-dna.

Your turn to go through intense A/B'ing. A highly entertaining, sometimes dizzying game.

 

 

Fine picture btw. Not until now I see the right scale of the things. But as we know, , , , scales differ from time to time.

 

The old J-45 and the new SJ sound more alike than different. This sort of confirms my gut feeling the the guitars coming out of Bozeman in recent years are very, very good. This is only my second Bozeman guitar, the other being the L-OO Legend, which is a sweet little thing.

 

Both the top bracing and the back bracing are a bit different from each other, at least in the bracing cross-section and the scalloping. The bracing layout appears to be the same, but until I re-string the SJ and get to do the old "open wide" trick, I can't be sure.

 

One is an all-hide guitar with a sitka top (J-45), the other is primarily a tite-bond guitar with an adi top. I haven't changed the strings on the new one, although the strings appear to be quite new. I suspect they are D'Addario PB lights (12's), as there were two new sets of these in the accessory compartment. The J-45 has month-old Sunbeams (medium) on it, so it is hard to know how much of the difference is strings.

 

The J-45 also has Colosi bone pins, while the SJ has the original plastic. Both are bone nut and saddle. The SJ will get Colosified right away, as do all my pin-bridge guitars.

 

The SJ action is set a hair higher than the J-45 right now, but it was shipped with no string tension, so I'm going to let it settle in for a couple of days.

 

In any case, you can tell which is which with your eyes closed, but I'm surprised how well opened the SJ is for a six-year-old guitar. It appears to be a great fingerpicker. Very different sound from the L-OO. Not better. Different.

 

The SJ is no closet queen. She has a few small scratches, bumps, and bruises. But don't we all!

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NIck ,

 

 

how does the SJ compare to your 48 J 45 ?

are there any similar tones ?

 

 

JC

 

JC, there are a lot of similarities, but until I put the same strings on them, and Colosify the SJ with bone pins, it's hard to make a comparison. Of course, they play completely differently. It is really easy to use my left thumb to fret bass notes on the low E with the J-45, with its narrow neck. I can barely get my left hand around the wide neck of the SJ to do that, but I suspect I'll get used to it.

 

I think the SJ sounds great. It's just a bit harder to play in some ways because of the wide nut, and right now, the slightly higher action. I also have Sunbeams on the J-45, and those are remarkably flexible strings. The Sunbeams are really starting to grow on me.

 

I'm going to San Francisco on business for a couple of weeks, so I won't get them set up the same until I get back. Hope to be at Ol' Fred's for SANSJAM next Saturday, along with Danvillrob and other regulars here. No Gibson on that trip: just the new carbon fiber Composite Acoustics.

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Big congrats Nick, an SJ is one of gods prettiest creations, yours looks stunning.

 

Would love to hear how she sounds, especially compared to my AL SJ, as both are sporting 'vintage' bracing and features. Have to say that while my HB TV is the glamour queen, constantly seeking attention in the stable, the SJ is still top dog and an air of authority.

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Don'tcha' love it Nick? You just get a new guitar and you have to go away. I like those Sunbeams too, but when I find a good deal the Thomastik Spectrums go on. Real nice strings that don't have that initial brightness of new strings, and stay consistent sounding for a good six months on my J45. It's almost hard to tell when they lose their mojo. Hey, here's a thought. Why don't you ship that git up to me and I'll break it in? I'll pay shipping both ways.

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