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Dave F

1952 Gibson flat top

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I was looking at this and did and some research.

Besides the obvious bridge, pickguard and tuners which the seller spells out I see one other unexplainable thing.

When I look at photos of that era, the neck looks like a SJ but the body with the single ring around the sound hole looks like a J45.

I did not see any SJ with a single ring nor any J45 with the inlaids shown.

Take a look and tell me what you think.

I'm thinking about switching to vintage Gibsons and I'm doing my homework.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/140902051950?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1426.l2649

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It's also a 20-fret board, which didn't come along until 1955.

 

I would say this is a 1952 J-45 that has been Grovered, had the ABR/Dove bridge added, the odd pseudo-Dove pickguard added, and had the fretboard replaced with a Dove-style 20-fret board.

 

If I were a betting man, I would say all these changes--or most of them--were made at the same time, by the same person.

 

I plead guilty to having blinged-out my '48-'50 J-45 back in the 1960's in a somwhat similar (but more tasteful [biggrin] ) manner, so I know these things happen, as appalling as they may seem today. My avatar is the headstock of that old J-45, which I still own.

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Yes, this is the typical modified crossover – not that the combo is often seen, but the story could easily be : The owner really liked the sound of the original J-45 and at the same time loved some Dove specs that he found opportunity to add. We can guess and speculate, but of course nothing is known – could be out of necessity also.

j45nick shows a fine Sherlock by noticing the number of frets – if the neck or fretboard is a replacement, it's Southern Jumbo as mentioned by the seller. Same look as Doves, but with the shorter scale length, which is right for the model - and this seems to have, correct if wrong.

 

The guitar is on a shelf of its own, but some people don't mind as long as the instrument sounds good. This could very well sound terrific.

I would difinitely be aware of inner modifications too - we are close to freak identity here.

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What puzzles me is the position of the bridge. It looks as if the strings leave the saddle closer to the sound hole than when it was original.

(Not really sure - depends on the angle, I'm probably wrong).

 

But how about the third last pic – does it show some heel-wood over the binding ?

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What puzzles me is the position of the bridge. It looks as if the strings leave the saddle closer to the sound hole than when it was original.

(Not really sure - depends on the angle, I'm probably wrong).

 

But how about the third last pic – does it show some heel-wood over the binding ?

 

It does look like something doesn't line up with that heel

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Im no expert, but Gibson looks like its in the wrong place ( the n is all the way to the top of the headstock )

and the sunburst looks a little shady

I would pass on this one

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I think the guitar is just too mangled to bother with. It would cost too much to bring it back to some semblance of its former self, when you consider the cost of a late-model J-45 TV. At best, this is a 1952 J-45 that has almost been butchered beyond recognition.

 

Without a first-hand inspection, you have no idea what else has been modified, nor do you have any idea what it sounds like. This is not the right guitar for anyone who is jsut starting to get into the vintage market, unless it goes for something like the current bid price.

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The top binding also says J-45 and not SJ.

 

If you know your way around Gibsons though a quick look under the hood with a mirror should tell you whether it is a 1952 or 1955 guitar.

 

But if I had a chance to poke around iside the thing and make sure there is nothing funky going on with the bridge plate or something I might lay out $550 or so on a guitar like this.

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But how about the third last pic – does it show some heel-wood over the binding ?

 

 

That's a really good catch. There are just too many odd things going on with this guitar. The pictures are terrible, which doesn't make things simpler. The Z prefix (if legit) says 1952, and the single-ring rosette says J-45. Whence came the fretboard (whatever the scale may be) and the other odd features is pretty academic. The 'burst is a little odd, but at various points in time, 'bursts have been very hard-edged and shaped like this, so that may well be legit.

 

Anyone buying this is taking a huge chance. I'm betting the price pushes to $1500 or more before it sells, which is too much for a guitar with so many unanswered questions.

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I agree with everyone. I thought I might go for it if it stayed around the 5 to 6 hundred range but it's already going up.

I emailed the seller with some questions and he's playing dumb.

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As you can see from some of the responses here, once you bought it you would have to love it because it is gonna be hard to move along without reverting to specs that people in the Gibson Forum would agree to, but you can never say never in this world because someone may look at it and go "Yeeeeeeeeeeesssss", that is the geetar I have been waiting for my whole life....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Come on BK(trip7)......You always said that the "Barf Guitar"..!..... was the ONE you had been waiting for.......[scared]

 

Hee Hee!

 

The barf is a fave - truly wonderful 59 LG3 for the other customers watching, and now smells of Sandalwood oil every time I take it out of the case (tipped half a dozen drops at a $100 a drop - Sandalwood is extinct almost).

 

May save the rest of the little bottle if the guitar needs another dose, or perhaps spread it around some of the other smelly Martins and things........

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Anyone buying this is taking a huge chance. I'm betting the price pushes to $1500 or more before it sells, which is too much for a guitar with so many unanswered questions.

 

Great job, Nick! I think we have the makings for an internet game, spanning the forums. Many pundits, but few sticking their necks out & risking a guess as to the sale price.

 

... That is, unless YOU bought it!

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I can't believe it went for $1550

 

 

What did I tell ya? You jes gotta listen to your ol' Uncle Nick. He won't steer you wrong.

 

Seriously, I see misleadingly-identified guitars like this selling for way too much money on ebay all the time. You really have to know what you're looking at when you buy a guitar like this, or any guitar, on ebay.

 

I've bought some very nice guitars at good prices on ebay, but most of them--not all--have been newer guitars, which are considerably less risky than trying to buy vintage this way. Vintage guitars really need a first-hand inspection unless the listing contains a lot of thoughtful high-resolution photos, or the price is right and you are willing to take a chance.

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