Gibson Advanced Jumbo - Like 'em?

Nickcha

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
697
I've just bought a Gibson Advanced Jumbo, and as is the case w/ all new acquisitions, I really love this guitar. But aside from the novelty & newness, there are reasons why I like it above other acoustics I've owned (Martins, Larivees, Bourgeois, Guilds, etc).

Although I play Strats 95% of the time, I've always loved acoustics. When I play them live I use a good mic (not onboard electronics). So I've always looked for a really BIG sounding guitar that held the bottom together w/o getting flabby, had nice sweet articulate mids, and strong rounded high end. From the first chord, the AJ just barked loudly w/o the notes collapsing together. It seemed perfect for stage use, if you want a really nice sounding acoustic that's also loud (although I haven't used it live, yet). The AJ is essentially a J-45 design that was modified in 1936 with some special bracing, etc. Here's an interesting article on the Advanced Jumbo: http://player.gibson.com/oct02/aj.html

I presently have it in the hands of my tech, who is replacing the nut and saddle with fossilized Walrus tusq and installing petrified Ox Bone string pins. I chose these material upgrades just to goose the top end a bit, and I'm looking fwd to hearing how it turns out.

So, is anyone else familiar with these guitars, and what do you think of them?
 

Dave Yeats

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
91
I have a '95 AJ with a natural top:



One thing you may have noticed is that (unlike a J-45) the AJ uses the longer "Fender" scale length rather than the shorter "Gibson" scale. I think the longer scale serves to drive the top a little harder and get more volume. My AJ is also very loud, which has helped me play it more gently and has a lot of room for dynamics. In comparison, the AJ is much louder than the Guild Jumbo I used to own.

As with a lot of companies, Gibson acoustics can be good or bad. I recently played a southern jumbo which sounded choked.

If you can, ask your luthier to put in a compensated saddle for correct intonation. If he doesn't know how to make one, find someone who does. It makes all the difference to me in a good sounding acoustic.
 

Stubee

Member
Messages
184
+1 Dave's note. I've got a 2003, it is my favorite flattop ever, and I went thru a bunch. Not all the AJ reissues are great, but if you find the right one, it's really something. I, too, like the volume and dynamic possibilities; it is really a very versatile flattop. It does have a lot of bass, which can be an issue in some mic situations, but I don't mic mine much anyway. I switched to a slightly softer & different composition flatpick when I got this puppy; I didn't need the heavy stuff I was using before.

I've posted this before: I played two "real" AJ's, both c. '36 if I remember, but in any case they were incredible. It is impossible to really say, of course, but from playing those and the reissues, I think the best RI's are approaching what a new "real" one woulda been.

Guitars are very personal things. Glad I found mine.
 

DucRyder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,396
I have a '95 AJ with a natural top:



One thing you may have noticed is that (unlike a J-45) the AJ uses the longer "Fender" scale length rather than the shorter "Gibson" scale. I think the longer scale serves to drive the top a little harder and get more volume. My AJ is also very loud, which has helped me play it more gently and has a lot of room for dynamics. In comparison, the AJ is much louder than the Guild Jumbo I used to own.

As with a lot of companies, Gibson acoustics can be good or bad. I recently played a southern jumbo which sounded choked.

If you can, ask your luthier to put in a compensated saddle for correct intonation. If he doesn't know how to make one, find someone who does. It makes all the difference to me in a good sounding acoustic.
I just recieved a 1995 Natural top today and I was curious about about the differences. The label on mine says "Vintage AJ" The neck is a 2 piece with a stripe or sandwich in a soft "V" shape. the bridge looks very braz. with the webbing. The back looks really nice as well, I'll post some pics soon. Oh yeah... sounds great! very balanced and big!
 

Dotneck

Member
Messages
2,774
I just bought one last week. I've looked at them for years and the price was marked down which provided motivation. I wasn't sure if I should get it 'cause I usually like smaller bodied flat tops but I wanted to try a dread.

Sounded okay in the music room...so I took it home and put on new strings and it just came alive. The sound jumped out. so I'm happy so far....
 

Ogre

Member
Messages
4,642
When you find a good one, they are hard to beat. I think of them as a longer scale J45(which I love) with a bit more drive and depth. l
 

Dotneck

Member
Messages
2,774
They are no longer on Gisnob's web site. I wonder if they have dropped the model from their lineup?
 

DucRyder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,396
I checked your pics... Nice back wood too! Love the Burst as well. Looks like you got a good un. That saddle is very nicely done!
 

Dotneck

Member
Messages
2,774
Nice upgrades on the AJ...I'll probably do mine in a similar manner. Your string pins are purty!

How's it sound through the marshall?

:eek:
 

ssimon64

Member
Messages
368
I got one, found it at the guitar shop. As soon as I played it I knew. It had to be mine. I've had it for about a year and a half and it just keeps sounding better. Beautiful wood everywhere. Great guitars at a decent price.

I could use some oversized bridge pins. And I was thinking about getting a compensated saddle and also adjusting the action just a hair because the D string can buzz a little bit on the lower frets if you play it real hard. But 99.9999999 percent of the time it's a non issue, so I dunno, I've kept it totally stock and I'm really happy with it. Probably the best guitar purchase I've ever made.
 

chaz

Member
Messages
1,556
Got a good deal on a Custom Shop AJ with an Adirondack top. Very happy with it! Just wish I could afford a J200 to go with it. :)
 

Nickcha

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
697
Nice upgrades on the AJ...I'll probably do mine in a similar manner. Your string pins are purty!

How's it sound through the marshall?

:eek:


GregBoyd.com/ is where I bought the materials to upgrade my AJ - walrus tusq saddle and nut blanks, ox bone pins, etc. They really kicked the top end up significantly.
 

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,874
I think the AJ is, along with a sunburst Southerner Jumbo, the coolest guitar ever!
I prefer the sound on an old J-45 (say '65 or earlier), or a new Collings CJ. Still, the AJ is no slouch, and broken in, it'll sound great. Interestingly, my new Collings acoustic guitars beat everything, BUT I find that my old J-45 makes the right sound for the track more often. Laden with character!! The 60's J-45 will never be as loud as an AJ (i don't know why), so you probably have exactly what you need.
BTW, if you are ever rich, Julius Borges, Roy McAlsister, and Jim Merrill (as well as SCGC) make modern versions of Gibsons that have ALL the mojo of an old one (unlike Collings which sound crisper and more Martin than Gibson).
Enjoy! Play it a lot!!
 

bazooka47

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
862
I have owned two AJs- a 2001 'production' model that is KILLER, and a Custom Shop Brazilian. It was so difficult to distinguish between the two sonically, that I sold the Brazilian and bought a vintage J-45. I kept the IR AJ. They also look as good as they sound:





I love AJs, but I agree you should try as many as possible for that "good" one. Actually, that philosophy could be applied to most models of Gibson
guitars.
 




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