1968 Gibson J-45 (pawnshop find)

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Texsunburst59, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    I found this j-45 today at a pawnshop and ALMOST bought it,but there were issues that kept me from it.

    1) I didn't know the value of the guitar in its present condition even with my smart phone

    2) It has multiple cracks on the back of the body that go through the wood. I could see the crack lines on the inside of the guitar. You could not move the back to separate the wood though.

    3)original tuners have been replaced

    4) guitar doesn't come with the original case

    I made them an offer and they gave me their walk away price. I did walk out because I felt it was TOO high for the year and condition of the guitar.

    I hope I didn't make a mistake. I could not find enough info on these to really know what a good offer would have been.

    I know there are acoustic guitar experts on here, and I'd like to know what the guitar is worth based on these pics at the shop.Thanks in advance

    Here are the pics.

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  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Cant help much if you dont give us the price.
     
  3. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    I was hoping to hear what most would have offered based on the info to see if I was out of line,
     
  4. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

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    I'd be interested at $600ish, maybe.
     
  5. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    Yea, that's about right. I've got a buyer in San Antonio who I find guitars for. I sent him pics, and he said he wouldn't go more that $500-600 for it.

    He said all the cracks on the back were a deal breaker for him.
     
  6. 56Tweed

    56Tweed Sub-Octave Member Silver Supporting Member

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    A few things to consider. It will never be a collector piece, and those issues are not minor. Best case they can be stabilized and the guitar will last another 30 years. Worst case it is a decorative wall hanger when those issues make it unstable.

    I would personally be willing to pay more than $600, but not much more. Certainly less than $750.

    So what were they asking?
     
  7. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    They wouldn't take any less than $1300. I told them that was way too much. They think they have J-45 Advanced Jumbo because inside the guitar are the letters ADJ on the other side of J-45.

    I found out that means adjustable bridge.
     
  8. GA20T

    GA20T Member

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    If any of you guys ever see a pre-'70 J45 that looks like that for less than $800, shoot me a pm & I'll seriously consider it. Not calling you guys out, but that would easily go for $1400 locally, over and over and, potentially, a good bit more.

    Given what they go for here, I'd pay $900-$1100 knowing I'd be looking at:

    - replacing those bs tuners
    - possible cleating
    - fill & re-route adjustable bridge, install new fixed bone saddle
    - fret dress
    - investing in a proper-fitting case (?)

    All assuming:

    - it sounds great
    - the top is flat
    - neck pitch/action is good
    - does not require a complete re-fret

    I don't buy guitars as collectors pieces/investments, so I figure +/- $1500 all-in is a fair price for a keeper acoustic, which a '68 J45 could certainly be.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    they're probably gonna get at least close to that eventually, assuming the neck and neck set are OK, and especially if it has that sound.

    the back cracks wouldn't be so hard to fix, the bulls**t keys can be replaced with something closer to original, and the original case would have been a chipboard POS anyway.
     
  10. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    The ONLY reason they were asking the $1300 is because they were basing it on the assumption that it was a J-45 Advanced Jumbo. They said they looked it up and that's what it should go for.

    What would you offer Walter?
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    like you figured out, "ADJ" stands for that stupid adjustable saddle, not "Advanced Jumbo".

    still, with original (even if beat up) finish, no top cracks, and assuming a good neck, neck angle and if it has the sound, there's a lot of new $1300 guitars i'd trade away for that gibson in a heartbeat.
     
  12. frquent flyer

    frquent flyer Member

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    Too many cracks for moi.
     
  13. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going back and advise them that the $1300 they're asking is based on the premise that the guitar is an Advanced Jumbo, which it isn't.

    I'm hoping I can get them down to at least $900. We'll see.
     
  14. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    You would be missing one of the main issues with the guitar - a laminate bridge plate large enough to qualify as a piece of furniture. These are as much the problem as the added weight of the ADJ bridges. If you want to get the best the guitar has to give, that bridge plate needs to be replaced with a standard maple one when the bridge is either replaced or modified.

    Martin guys learned this one when the company went from the maple bridge plate to the larger rosewood plate in the late 1960s.
     
  15. swa

    swa Member

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    I think 1300 is too high, maybe 900 if you wanted to keep it and play it. I'd jump on it at 700 or so, but to flip I'd wait and see if they lower the price eventually. I'd think with a little work it would be a sweet guitar.
     
  16. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    Could be a great player, personally I thin it looks awesome. But I agree with others, I wouldn't jump on it unless it was 600 or less, just knowing it needs tuners, some crack repairs and a potential neck reset.
     
  17. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    I went back earlier this afternoon and offered them $800 out the door. I tried my best haggling and reasoning with the manager.

    I pointed out ALL the faults and possible costs of repairing the guitar,and how it could possibly cost between $500-$700.

    He walked away to go call some higher up and came back and said the lowest they take right now would be $1080 out the door.

    I shook the guys hand and said thanks, and walked out.

    I'll check back periodically and see if they'll move on the price. If it gets sold, it wont bother me. I really played it this time,and to be honest, it really didn't impress me tonally one bit.

    It could be because it's not set up properly and because the strings are not new.

    The MAIN reason I want it, is because it's a 60's guitar. I don't have a 60's guitar in my collection,and it would be nice to have one.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  18. EricPeterson

    EricPeterson Member

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    ^^^ sounds like a good plan, that said, if it is not moving you tonally it might not have "it", some old guitars are just old. :)
     
  19. zombywoof

    zombywoof Member

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    The only reason to buy a guitar built in a certain decade is because there is something about those guitars that sets them apart from those that came before and those that came after. If you know the answer to that than it is a good plan.
     
  20. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    Then I say forget it!

    I firmly believe acoustic guitars that have "it" tonally will have it no matter how bad the strings or setup.

    If the Angels didn't sing when you strummed it, this isn't your guitar.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

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