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What do you think this is


jdd707

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Yeah, that's my instinct also. Might be worth a look .... yeah the value of a war era banner might be 3.5 - 10K but I'll bet this one needs a neck reset and fret replacement. Probably get more into the price of making it a good playable guitar than it's value will be.

 

Thanks guys

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A little more information. Talked to the guy and he says SN ... or I guess FON .... is E143. That would perhaps make it a 1939 but then there is the banner ... and the striped pickguard. Could the pickguard be from '39? With Gibson, who knows.

 

I'm going to check it out tomorrow so I'll take pictures. More later.

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Huh guys - Gibson did not offer the J-45 in 1939. E indicates 1941 as the build year which if correct would also rule out a J-45. I also don't think the batch number matches up with that year but am not positive on that. If legit it could be something like a 1942 put together with an earlier neck or something.

 

Maybe it is just me but I get awful suspicious when a seller claims total ignorance. You can find out the model (or at least the fact Gibson did not make a J-24), the year made and get a ballpark figure as to value by spending just a few minutes doing some looking. I would want to have somebody who really knows their way around old Gibsons to check it out before I would lay out my hard earned scratch.

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Yeah older banner J-45 but agree with ZW: suspicious in my book. There just aren't that many laying old Gibons around anymore that owners know nothing about, but there are scams every minute.

 

Check it out but don't think I'd want to send the guy my phone #. Makes no sense right there.

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But if it is legit it would still be worth some pretty good money. I just checked and although the J-45 did not go into regular production yet, there were a handful made in 1941 (which matches up with the E prefix). To lay eyes on one of those or any firestripe pickguard J-45 would be something never mind being able to snag one. It is just that the odds of running across one are so darn miniscule you have to be skeptical. Add to that what appears to be an evasive seller and I would want that guitar checked out by Gruhn or somebody before I would consider buying it.

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another forum member here checked it out. He said it was totally messed up... refin, changed bridge, badly needs a neck reset............... and the owner disclosed nothing. even in person. also tried to make stuff up to make it seem right.

 

 

Thanks guys for the advice. Y'all probably saved me an afternoon trip .... time that is better spent with my current Gibbies in hand rather than a worn out and over priced one.

 

I talked to the guy again this morning and he was even more evasive than yesterday. At times it was obvious that he was a long time player and knew something about guitars, but when specific issues about this guitar came up, he spouted b.s. Claimed that it didn't need a neck reset, which is almost impossible for a 70 year old guitar. He never indicated that he'd take a low ball price to make it worth putting any money into. So, on to the next chase.

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If it was me I would still go look at it to see if I could determine whether it was an original firestrip scratchplate J-45. Not an easy thing to do but I would think it is worth a shot. For me the only thing that makes something like this affordable is the fact it has been refinished, has some replaced parts, or needs some work. The guitar will never be a collector's piece that will fetch top dollar but with some time, work and money could end up being one heck of a rare and just great sounding player.

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If it was me I would still go look at it to see if I could determine whether it was an original firestrip scratchplate J-45. Not an easy thing to do but I would think it is worth a shot. For me the only thing that makes something like this affordable is the fact it has been refinished, has some replaced parts, or needs some work. The guitar will never be a collector's piece that will fetch top dollar but with some time, work and money could end up being one heck of a rare and just great sounding player.

 

A valid point Z ........ alas I can't get the guy to talk a price except to say "I was offered $3,500 for it two years ago on the "internet". And I wouldn't mind putting the work into it since there is an excellent Luthier in town and Nashville repair is only a 3 hour drive. Neck sets are to be expected on a 70 year old guitar along with other issues. But, two conditions would be important. First the initial purchase price would have to be pretty low in order to justify the money in bringing it back to great playability. Second, the guitar would have to be a great sounding player by nature. As we know, not all Gibsons (even banner Gibsons) meet that standard. It could be an interesting learning experience, however, and keep your advice in mind. Thanks for the input.

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I checked out this guitar Saturday morning. It needed a neck reset BAD. The seller claimed they "made them like that from the factory." I think he had heard some bluegrassers say they like "high action" but what they really like is a high saddle. Notice how there were no pictures of the back? There was overspray on the entire guitar and the back had been refinished entirely (and poorly- there was stain all over the binding).

 

What is interesting is that the FON does infer that it is from '41. The firestripe guard was (in my opinion) original and it also had a heal cap (which I though was cool!). Most of the braces were loose and the neck had been refretted poorly.

 

It was a really cool guitar but he wants 3k. It might be worth it to someone but it wasn't for me.

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I checked out this guitar Saturday morning. It needed a neck reset BAD. The seller claimed they "made them like that from the factory." I think he had heard some bluegrassers say they like "high action" but what they really like is a high saddle. Notice how there were no pictures of the back? There was overspray on the entire guitar and the back had been refinished entirely (and poorly- there was stain all over the binding).

 

What is interesting is that the FON does infer that it is from '41. The firestripe guard was (in my opinion) original and it also had a heal cap (which I though was cool!). Most of the braces were loose and the neck had been refretted poorly.

 

It was a really cool guitar but he wants 3k. It might be worth it to someone but it wasn't for me.

 

 

The seller just sounds to dodgy to me. As tempting as it might be, I'd pass.

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With a pending neck reset and cleanup of the back I think I'd wave $2,000 at him, all else being in decent order. I could redo the finish, or at least remove, and have my guy deal with the neck. Keep it as a player for under 3G. But I wouldn't set foot in Alabama if the guitar was free.

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I checked out this guitar Saturday morning. It needed a neck reset BAD. The seller claimed they "made them like that from the factory." I think he had heard some bluegrassers say they like "high action" but what they really like is a high saddle. Notice how there were no pictures of the back? There was overspray on the entire guitar and the back had been refinished entirely (and poorly- there was stain all over the binding).

 

What is interesting is that the FON does infer that it is from '41. The firestripe guard was (in my opinion) original and it also had a heal cap (which I though was cool!). Most of the braces were loose and the neck had been refretted poorly.

 

It was a really cool guitar but he wants 3k. It might be worth it to someone but it wasn't for me.

 

yeah, the guy was giving me the same story .... lot of b.s.

 

So you are really talking about a complete overhaul then ... how was the tone, could you tell?

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yeah, the guy was giving me the same story .... lot of b.s.

 

So you are really talking about a complete overhaul then ... how was the tone, could you tell?

 

 

 

I could tell a lot of top braces were loose and the top was bellied pretty bad. There was no saddle left. Even with these problems I could tell it had major potential. It had a slight hint of that rumbly americana-Gibson tone that I am looking for but it was subdued.

 

 

I think it would be a good restored player and I offered him what I thought was fair and he wasn't about to take it. He still wants 3k I guess. I might call him back in a week or two and see if he will talk closer to my price range.

 

 

 

disclaimer: I am not claiming pre-ownership of this guitar or that I should be the one buying it. If you want it, please go get it! I would love for you to get a good deal so I will not get in a bidding war with you guys for it.

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I could tell a lot of top braces were loose and the top was bellied pretty bad. There was no saddle left. Even with these problems I could tell it had major potential. It had a slight hint of that rumbly americana-Gibson tone that I am looking for but it was subdued.

 

 

I think it would be a good restored player and I offered him what I thought was fair and he wasn't about to take it. He still wants 3k I guess. I might call him back in a week or two and see if he will talk closer to my price range.

 

 

 

disclaimer: I am not claiming pre-ownership of this guitar or that I should be the one buying it. If you want it, please go get it! I would love for you to get a good deal so I will not get in a bidding war with you guys for it.

 

Thanks for the info TV. Like many folks here, I'd like to see this instrument rescued and improved, but it won't be by me. I think the guy just doesn't understand the poor condition that you have described or is just trying to b.s potential buyers. Good luck and let us know how it works out if you do make a lower offer.

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Thanks for the info TV. Like many folks here, I'd like to see this instrument rescued and improved, but it won't be by me. I think the guy just doesn't understand the poor condition that you have described or is just trying to b.s potential buyers. Good luck and let us know how it works out if you do make a lower offer.

 

No problem guys. I'll let you know if anything comes of it. I sort of doubt it though. I think someone online will give him a ridiculous price.

 

I was thinking back over the issue with the FON being from 1941 so I called John Thomas and asked him about it. He said that if it was indeed from 1941 then it would have the (older style) straight headstock sides instead of the tapered in headstock sides. I looked back at the picture of the headstock and it was tapered.

 

I forgot to look inside the body of the guitar while I was there to see if there were 2 or 3 tone bars. If there were three tone bars then this could be a '41 J-35 body on a post-'42 neck. That would be quite interesting...

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With a pending neck reset and cleanup of the back I think I'd wave $2,000 at him, all else being in decent order. I could redo the finish, or at least remove, and have my guy deal with the neck. Keep it as a player for under 3G. But I wouldn't set foot in Alabama if the guitar was free.

 

 

Explain that last sentence.........?

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Looks like the ad was taken down. I am trying to get back in touch with him to see if he sold it (and for how much).

 

 

Yeah, TV, I talked to him this morning. He says that he sold it for his asking price ($3,000) which is probably true. So for a repair price of about $2,000, someone will have a cool banner, stripped pickguard, J45 for about 5K. That is more than I was able to put into it BUT within the (reasonable) top range. So it looks like a win/win situation in the Gibby world with a banner perhaps being saved. I do think the guy was in need of the bucks to have to sale one he'd had that long.

 

 

Edit: I just saw the video of you and Bob Tedrow .... way cool ...lol ...

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With a pending neck reset and cleanup of the back I think I'd wave $2,000 at him, all else being in decent order. I could redo the finish, or at least remove, and have my guy deal with the neck. Keep it as a player for under 3G. But I wouldn't set foot in Alabama if the guitar was free.

 

 

Well,,, jedzep, I'm sorry you feel that way. I think you would find that the Heart of Dixie is much like upstate N.Y. with fine forest and fields, friendly people and a rich musical heritage. We have humidity (and rusty trailers) but you have snow. We hate snow here! [biggrin]

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Yeah, TV, I talked to him this morning. He says that he sold it for his asking price ($3,000) which is probably true. So for a repair price of about $2,000, someone will have a cool banner, stripped pickguard, J45 for about 5K. That is more than I was able to put into it BUT within the (reasonable) top range. So it looks like a win/win situation in the Gibby world with a banner perhaps being saved. I do think the guy was in need of the bucks to have to sale one he'd had that long.

 

 

Edit: I just saw the video of you and Bob Tedrow .... way cool ...lol ...

 

I take all my Gibsons to Jason to have them repaired. I always saw that didgeridoo on the wall and one time I picked it up and played it (I made my own out of bamboo and beeswax). He was playing a song at the time and it happened to be in the same key so he wanted to play together. It was fun.

 

The seller said that it was a guy from Gulf Shores....... guy from Gulf Shores are you out there??? Care to weigh in on the subject? Congrats on your new/old Gibby by the way!

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Yeah, Jason is the best! He found a problem with my AJ within 10 minutes that two other guys had worked with and not solved. Didn't charge me a cent and offered to do the work but suggested that I send it to Gibson/N'ville for the best result. Good folks a Homewood!

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