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Anybody here have any experience with Gibson's Johhny A. model?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by HeeHaw, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    This is one impressive looking guitar. I hear it has a 25.5" scale, so it may sound a tad different, but that could be a good thing.:RoCkIn
     
  2. Just1more

    Just1more Supporting Member

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    One of the best guitars I have owned, which include 50's/60's strats & teles, early 60's SG's, 335's.
    Plus lots of current boutique guitars.
    I would be the last guy to buy a recent production Gibson, but the quality on mine is great. Definitely worth checking out.
     
  3. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    Yes, I do. Johnny A model is really nice guitar.
    Hollow body & 25.5 for brightness.

    Now Gibson has more simple version of original (expensive one)
    which less inlay, less gold....

    I played most of his collection. Johnny got so many!


    Tomo
     
  4. mtndog

    mtndog Gold Supporting Member

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    I have one and am very pleased. I did a review some time back. Here is a cut and paste from it:

    From February 2005 -

    I have not done any previous gear reviews, and don’t consider myself any type of authority. I am like most of the folks here at the Gear Page, a player who knows what works or doesn’t work for me. So in that spirit I’ll share as much factual information ( as opposed to only pure opinion) as I can about my new Gibson Johnny A.

    I have #117, “Sunset Glow” finish, with the stop tail. I do not care for Bigsbys myself, but it is a feature on most of the Johnny A’s.

    A visit to the Gibson site will tell you this guitar has a completely hollow body--with a solid, AAA maple top and what they call a “tonally carved” back and sides. The back and rims are carved from a single block of mahogany. The CS 336 is also made this way. The design has a contoured outer surface but a flat inner back. This was done to help with feedback, and while I don’t know if that is actually the reason why, it doesn’t have any serious feedback issues. I was curious about this aspect of construction. It does make for a thicker back than top. There is a block under the bridge area that is part of the single piece of mahogany. It has an overall good resonance acoustically.

    The body size is smaller than a 335 – which was one of the strong appeals for me. It is definitely more comfortable to play than my previously owned 335.

    The neck is wonderful for my hand size, but this is an area where each of us probably has our strongest preferences. It is one piece mahogany. Gibson calls it a custom neck profile which doesn’t help you if you can’t hold one. I have a couple of other guitars which I pulled out to compare – my only other Gibson - a '68 Les Paul Custom : the Johnny A has a much slimmer profile; a PRS Custom 24 – I am not well versed in all the Wide-Fat-Thin PRS terms, so that I don’t know which neck my PRS has, but I would say that the Johnny A is pretty much the same carve as my PRS. It is almost as thin as a Strat neck. It is 1 11/16” at the nut, and has a 251/2" sale.

    I had read reviews, as you probably have, where the owners mentioned that the nut was cut too tight, resulting in strings sticking and then releasing when the Bigsby was used or notes bent. I thought this must be more of an isolated thing, but sure enough it seems to be the case with most, if not all these instruments. You would think that word would filter back to the folks in the custom shop. The cure in my case was found in a product from GHS called GraphitAll. It is a lubricant that is used sparingly in the slots and does the trick. I found it at my local music store.

    Someone on another thread asked about the pick-ups. This is also an area where we all have different tastes and demands. It comes with ’57 Classic humbuckers , typical Gibson 2 volume,2 tone wiring. I am good with them so far, but will need to play out more under a wider range of conditions to see if they give up the goods I am after. It is a warm sounding guitar if you want it to be, but not overly so. I won’t really go more in this direction as it is in the arena of opinion, and YMMV, etc.

    Fit and finish are very nice. I bought it from a dealer across the country ( I am in Alaska), who had pictures online, so I had a look at on that level. I was more than pleased when I actually saw it in person, as it is a beautiful guitar. I like the signature that someone here has – “You don’t play the paint” – and I agree it is not the driving force to get a guitar, but it is an added nice feeling when it does happen to be beautiful.

    Hopefully this will give you a little more perspective if you are interested in one of these models. I was concerned buying without trying, but the dealer offered a 48 hour approval, so I was willing to risk the shipping costs if it wasn’t for me. I am pleased to have it.


    Here is a photo:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    I love that guitar!:eek: :cool:

    Thanks for posting that man!
     
  6. JoeYello

    JoeYello Member

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    I absolutely love mine. Can play anything with it. You can play surprisingly loud and rock out with it and not get feedback. The neck has a perfect feel and the frets are well dressed. Here's Johnny............

    [​IMG]
     
  7. HeyMrTeleMan

    HeyMrTeleMan Colonel of Truth Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeh, I don't like gold on guitars, but I really like the Johnny A.
    I've been waiting/hoping for a chrome one. What's the model
    number? I don't see it on the Gibson website. Do you know how
    much it costs?

    Thanks!

    Blind Lemon Pledge
     
  8. Gary F.

    Gary F. Member

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    Yep, I've got an early one with Bigsby. Although I'm mostly a strat guy, the JA is by far the most tonally versatile Gibson I've played to date. And Classic 57's really work in this guitar. Nice D neck, too. I lent mine to Phil Jacoby about a month ago; your post reminded me it's time to get it back!

    Gary
     
  9. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    I spent a few minutes with a Johnny A. at the Gibson store at the Opry Mills mall in Nashville.

    I loved it. If I was in the market for another hollow body it would be high on my list. I thought it was a really sweet guitar.

    :)
     
  10. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Funny coincidence ...I just got a screamin deal on a lightly used one just like that from Phil!!:D
     
  11. Tomo

    Tomo Member

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    I don't know the model number. Chrome hardware, no binding.
    Johnny told me about the price... but it's not on market yet?
    I played a few production models at Johnny's house.

    Hope those will come out soon.


    Tomo
     
  12. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    I wish I had one, but... $$$

    The one I've played astounded me with its clarity and ability to twang! I've never experienced that from a humbucker-fitted guitar before. As a player with single-coil and 25.5"-scale tendencies (Strat/Tele/p-90), I was surprised at how instantly enamored I was with this guitar.

    Having seen three of Johnny A's performances, I've gotta admit that he plays it better than me ;)

    - T
     
  13. kingsleyd

    kingsleyd Frikkin genyus Gold Supporting Member

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  14. Tone Disciple

    Tone Disciple Gold Supporting Member

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    A couple of good places to get more insight and info are:

    Johnny A says in this issue that he was going for the sound of a Gibson 295 in a better scale format when he worked with Gibson to design his signature model. Why was Gibson interested? He was lead guitar player with Peter Wolf at the time.
     
  15. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    Only experience I have is sitting about eight feet away from him for a concert at Ram's Head, watching him wail the living hell out of it. What a great player, and a very, very cool instrument. I was primed to acquire one, then I saw what they were sellin' for.....:eek:

    One day...

    Peace,
    jb
     
  16. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    I absolutely love your guitar in black. I've experienced a bit of flame/quilt maple fatigue and I find that black and gold guitars are very attractive especially the decked out Gibsons like the LP Custom and your Johnny A. I haven't seen this as a colour option.
     
  17. gregc

    gregc Member

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    I had a very early one (#75) and in a weak moment sold it. I loved that guitar....
    A couple months later I had another. I still have it. I won't let it go a 2nd time. That body/neck with the 25.5 scale and the Classic 57's is a magic combo; clean to mean, snarl, twang, clarity, it's all in there.

    gregc
     
  18. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    I've tried a couple and couldn't bond with the neck shape....kind of a flat back, unusual shape. Other than that personal quibble, they are great guitars and of course Johnny covers an incredible amount of sonic territory with them. The last time I saw him, I did notice a significant difference in tone between two guitars he used. He must have noticed it also because he immediately went back to the first guitar and stayed with it the rest of the night.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. teleking36

    teleking36 Supporting Member

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    I have been completely drawn in by the CS-356 and Johnny A. since reading/hearing about them a couple of years ago. I had the pleasure of finally finding a CS-356 to play, at the Music Zoo in NY. I live in Boston and it's almost impossible to find a CS Gibson of this caliber in any store in Massachusetts, nevermind in Boston.

    I fell in love with this guitar within the first 5 minutes of playing it. I've never really been a Gibson guy either, mostly Teles, but more recently I've been lusting after the 356 or Johnny A, and a Historic '61 SG. The SG is another story for another day, but MAN, these CS hollowbodies are fantastic!
     
  20. JoeYello

    JoeYello Member

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    It is the only "Pure" jet black one on the registry. The finish is very thin. When you look at it from an angle you can see the flame under the black finish. The dealer told me the top probably had some mineral streaks and Johnny A did not want those tops used for his signature model. I guess Gibson listened. I had a CS336 prior to the Johnny and I found the neck to be slightly to thin for my liking, although it sounded very good. My local music store has a 356 with a bigsby that is beautiful.
     

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