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PeteGalaxie

Gibson Advanced Jumbo Historic Collection?

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I'm on the hunt for a used Gibson AJ. I've been offered an AJ Historic Collection (2006?) with a K&K mini installed. I'm not familiar with the "Historic Collection". What can you tell me about them? How do they compare with the more recent AJs? Any opinions of a fair price for one in "mint condition"? Any info would be great.

 

Thanks!

Pete

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It's an AJ. Mo more, no less. Prices vary, but bursts tend to net more than nat'l tops. They can be found in the 14-1600 range, sometimes for less, depending on how eager the owner is to depart from it. They tend to go up for re-sale a lot, not sure why , but I;m guessing its mostly (A disappointed Martin D28 fans who want more more low end rumble and (B disappointed J45 fans who dont like the long scale and the deeper bass.

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It's and AJ. Mo more, no less. Prices vary, but bursts tend to net more than nat'l tops. They can be found in the 14-16 range, sometimes for less, depending on how eager the owner is to depart from it. They tend to go up for re-sale a lot, not sure why , but I;m guessing its mostly (A disappointed Martin D28 fans who want more more low end rumble and (B disappointed J45 fans who dont like the long scale and the deeper bass.

 

 

That hasn't been true around here at all. I live in the Nashville Tn area and it is VERY rare to see a used AJ for sale. I got mine used 9 months ago and haven't seen another one for sale since. But different area and different people. It makes a difference I suppose.

 

Op.... Yea it's just a plain AJ. Gibson is all over the place about that sorta thing. Some are reissues, some historic collection, ect. A marketing thing I suppose. Mine is a 2010 and it just says Advanced Jumbo on the label. They are pretty close to the original 1937 model no matter what you call them minus the Brazilian rosewood. Somebody once said something about making a AJ true vintage like the J45TV....but the AJ is already about as true vintage as it gets.

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For me the AJ is a fantastic discovery. I just posted about my recently acquired 75th anniversary edition, which is by no means a reissue (different woods and bridge / saddle combination). But it's great guitar and to my ears it has a warm, focused and mellow tone in a loud package. Some of the adjectives I used seem to be contradictory but they really aren't. The sound of the guitar is amazing.

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They are pretty close to the original 1937 model no matter what you call them minus the Brazilian rosewood.

 

As far as I am aware, the originals in the 1930s were made with Indian Rosewood, not Brazilian.

 

My AJ is great! I had wanted one for a long time. Then one day four years ago I walked into Guitar Center and they were blowing them out for $1500! They had three of them. I played all three and chose the best one. I even had a $50 off coupon, so got it for $1450! I still love the guitar!

 

I agree with the above post that the "Historic Collection" is just a marketing thing and the guitar is probably no different than any other AJ.

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As far as I am aware, the originals in the 1930s were made with Indian Rosewood, not Brazilian.

 

My AJ is great! I had wanted one for a long time. Then one day four years ago I walked into Guitar Center and they were blowing them out for $1500! They had three of them. I played all three and chose the best one. I even had a $50 off coupon, so got it for $1450! I still love the guitar!

 

I agree with the above post that the "Historic Collection" is just a marketing thing and the guitar is probably no different than any other AJ.

 

 

No sir the originals were Brazilian rosewood, just like the D28. Gibson only made roughly 300 AJ then and was the first rosewood dread for them. The OJ ( original jumbo) was mahogony

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It makes sense that AJs would do well in Nashville. They record well. Less boom and overtones than an HD28v. Loud, cler and punchy. Its a good sound, Still, they show up for sale on ebay and other forums with some frequency, and often at a price point lower than a J45. Maybe at the end of the day, folks in the market for a RW dread want the boom=?.

 

ps the vintage models were def Brazilian fwiw.

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No sir the originals were Brazilian rosewood, just like the D28. Gibson only made roughly 300 AJ then and was the first rosewood dread for them. The OJ ( original jumbo) was mahogony

 

Though some of the originals from the 1930's were Brazilian, it has been documented that the majority of them were indeed Indian rosewood.

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Though some of the originals from the 1930's were Brazilian, it has been documented that the majority of them were indeed Indian rosewood.

 

Documented where? What is the source? For a forum to be useful to people it makes sense for you to back up any opinion with the research rather than pontificating. I have handled no less than four original AJs and unless IR once came in orange, they were all Brazilian.

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Documented where? What is the source? For a forum to be useful to people it makes sense for you to back up any opinion with the research rather than pontificating. I have handled no less than four original AJs and unless IR once came in orange, they were all Brazilian.

 

Ballcorner no need for the rude reply jerk !

I was just repeating what I've read many times on other forums. George Gruhn for one has mentioned this.

Now for an example. Go to the UMGF and use the advanced search function. In the search bar type in, rosewood banner SJ.

Make sure you put a check next to the vintage section. On the second page of that thread Willi Henkes of BH guitars talks about AJ's and the use of Brazilian and Indian rosewood. Ren Ferguson has a quote in there as well.

Apparently Gibson didn't use Brazilian after 1936.

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I know this thread has gotten off topic, and appologies to the OP, but...

 

I am currently on a business trip and thus can't check my copy of Gibson's Fabulous Flat Tops, but perhaps there is a reference in there that someone can look at regarding the use of Indian vs. Brazilian rosewood on the original AJs.

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I know this thread has gotten off topic, and appologies to the OP, but...

 

I am currently on a business trip and thus can't check my copy of Gibson's Fabulous Flat Tops, but perhaps there is a reference in there that someone can look at regarding the use of Indian vs. Brazilian rosewood on the original AJs.

 

This is discussed on page 48 of Fabulous Flat-Tops. The authors note the controversy over the wood species, but seem to come down reasonably firmly on the side of Brazilian for these 300 1936-1939 AJ's, although they recognize it is different in color and grain from the Brazilian used by Martin in this period.

 

Gibson obviously had access to Brazilian, and used plenty of it for fretboards and bridges.

 

I had the good fortune to examine a pre-war D-45 last week, which is undergoing significant conservation work. The wood in that guitar pretty much epitomized the pre-war Martin Brazilian we are familiar with, being plain-sawn rather than quarter-sawn, and having a warm brown, almost reddish hue, as opposed to the "cooler" brown of most Indian rosewood we see. A lot of the color, of course depends on the fillers and/or stain used before the clear finish is applied.

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This is discussed on page 48 of Fabulous Flat-Tops. The authors note the controversy over the wood species, but seem to come down reasonably firmly on the side of Brazilian for these 300 1936-1939 AJ's, although they recognize it is different in color and grain from the Brazilian used by Martin in this period.

That discussion in FFT predates Willi's lab results. Technically speaking, what the lab established was that the nice, straight-grained, quartersawn, "mystery" rosewood seen on most rosewood Gibsons in the mid-thru-late-'30s-on-into-the-early-'40s that many thought was either Brazilian or Amazonian is Indian. But Gibson also used some flatsawn rosewood -- the '42 SJ-200 at Elderly is an example -- that looks quite different and some still think is Brazilian. It would be nice to get a sliver of that stuff into the lab for analysis, but I guess we'll have to wait until someone who owns one and wants to settle the issue needs a neck reset. Anyway, I think it's fair to say that a sizable majority of the pre-War production AJs (and SJ-200s) are Indian, but whether the number of Brazilian is 0 or somewhat larger is still TBD.

 

-- Bob R

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Hi folks, Been following this subject for many years and am still not convinced either way. If'n you are determined enough in any subject, whatsoever, you can always find or buy someone to agree with you. To say that the majority of AJ Gibsons are built with so called indian rosewood?? without checking all of them, all built over 72 years ago, at least, is a totally asinine. How many folks are left can say "I was around then". I have read "Gibson's Fabulous Flattops" many, many times, and have to say, much written has to be taken with "a grain of salt". Come on now, JMHO, why did it take someone from outside the USA to convince you that as Americans, we apparently don't know what we are talking about, when it comes to our great products. Martin 1940D28 PS I'm a big time Gibson lover!

 

I don't know why it took a non-American to do that, but it is notable that it is your countrymen (including Gibson's own marketing department) who repeatedly allude to 'pre-war' J45s. Given that said model first shipped in 1942, and given the date of Pearl Harbor, such a beast can only be mythical. Why does it take a European to get your historical dates right?

 

Pre-war roundshoulder

 

I don't believe that Willi Henkes would be determined specifically to prove that the rosewood on (truly) pre-war AJs had Indian provenance. Rather, I think that he would be determined to uncover the provenance whatever it may be. His work in conjunction with John Thomas strikes me as meticulous in its scientific attention to detail and forensic in its methodology. I do agree that science can be skewed by preconception and by financial interests, but I don't perceive any multinational pharmaceutical conglomerates funding Willi's efforts.

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I don't know why it took a non-American to do that, but it is notable that it is your countrymen (including Gibson's own marketing department) who repeatedly allude to 'pre-war' J45s. Given that said model first shipped in 1942, and given the date of Pearl Harbor, such a beast can only be mythical. Why does it take a European to get your historical dates right?

 

 

Many Americans have a short memory when it comes to the history of wars.

 

Of course, there WERE pre-war round-shoulder rosewood jumbos by Gibson. They just happened to be long-scale AJ's, not short-scale J-45's. Maybe that's what has Gibson marketing confused.

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Come on now, JMHO, why did it take someone from outside the USA to convince you that as Americans, we apparently don't know what we are talking about, when it comes to our great products.

I fail to see what how country of residence of the person who went to the trouble and expense of collecting a sample of the wood in question, having the cellular structure analyzed by a world renown lab specializing in wood species identification, and making the lab report public is relevant to the credibility of the result. That opinions based on lab results are better founded than those based on visual identification (even visual identification by Americans) and a cartoon in an advertising brochure (even a cartoon drawn by an American in a brochure published in America) shouldn't really be in question.

 

-- Bob R

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Here it is 2017 coming to a close. I think those who have worked to discover what rosewood the pre-war Gibsons were made of -- the SJ200 and Advanced Jumbo, are constructed with a back and sides of Indian Rosewood. The bridges and fret boards on the AJs were Brazilian but not the body. Ask George Gruhn. And FWIW, I have a 2015 AJ Luthier's Choice made with hide glue. It is a stupendous guitar. I had two Brazilian '03s. This one is far better.

 

 

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Edited by Streetglide

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Rambler is bang on with this. AJs are great, but aren’t a J45 or D28, which a lot of people seem to expect them to be, hence the turnover of used ones.

 

They’re entirely their own beast, and a really unique instrument. I owned a 2002 Historic Collection (basically just a catch-all term Gibson used for a while for models that weren’t newly/recently released...an HC is indeed a standard Indian Rosewood AJ) for a while and really enjoyed it. I’m not a Rosewood guy really though so moved it on after a bit. I’ve hankered after a Maple AJ for years though...wonderful guitars.

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Rambler wrote: "Less boom and overtones than an HD28v. Loud, clear and punchy. Its a good sound..."

Yep. Completely agree. Had a Martin HD-28V and AJ side by side in my collection every day for many months. The Martin left (and it was a great guitar) but the AJ stayed. OK, it's a little unique in that it is a 12 fret to the neck, Adirondack over Indian rosewood but it sounds (and records) wonderfully.

 

Oh, and I also have a great J-45 and a Hummingbird Vintage at home for comparison and agree they are also very different beasts tonally and 'vibe' wise. Both worth their place alongside the AJ.

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I am a Rosewood guy.

 

I guess now I'm a Walnut guy as well.

 

I’m definitely a Walnut guy! Loved the tone of the J15 I owned. Had the sweet overtones of Rosewood with the chime of Maple, but was very much its own thing...wish I still owned that guitar.

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