J-45's...love em' or leave em?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by GeetarGoul, Dec 21, 2005.


  1. GeetarGoul

    GeetarGoul Member

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    I currently have a newer D-28 and was thinking a mahogany Gibson might be in my future. I like the used prices and the stock pickup.

    Please share yer thoughts on the old and new ones.... :RoCkIn
     
  2. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    I love my '68 J-45...

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Gazza

    Gazza Member

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    I haven't played a new or used Bozeman J-45 that I thought was worthy of the money they command. I did own a J-45 rosewood for awhile that was real nice but eventually traded it for a Martin, I don't miss it one bit.
     
  4. jimfog

    jimfog Senior Member

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    Love how they sound.......punchy, direct, to the point.

    Unfortunately, I've never met one, new or vintage, where the intonation was decent, due to the short scale.

    Bummer.......

    -jim
     
  5. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

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    I have a 1948 J50 that is the best sounding steel string I've ever played. It gets used in the studio all the time. We also have a very fine collings d2h--but the j50 gets chosen almost everytime.
     
  6. THROBAK

    THROBAK Gold Supporting Member

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    I love my 60's J-45 and J-50's. Completely different sound than a D-28. If you buy a vintage don't be put off by one with the adjustable bridge. They get a bad wrap but I think the adjustable bridges sound great also. I have one of the newer Montana J-45's it is nice but the vintage ones sound better. Of the newer J-45's I actually like my Epiphone Elitist J-45E the best. They are now discontinued but I bought mine off Ebay for $711.00 in like new condition. There was a new one on Ebay just last week. The newer J-45's don't have jumbo frets like the 60's J-45's and they are braced completely differently now also. If you want a new Gibson slope shoulder I would buy the advanced jumbo before the J-45.
     
  7. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I'll take an early 50s J-45 any day over any Martin Dread...
     
  8. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    J45s vary a lot. It would be a good idea to play several and pick the best. They have a unique and charming sound. They are not "big" souding guitars like a good Martin. They are also not receptive to being played hard. That is, they don't give up the goods when you dig in. My fave Gibson acoustic is the Advanced Jumbo. It has the longer scale, bigger sound, but still retains the classic Gibson voice.
     
  9. mcdyas

    mcdyas Member

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    Gibson Montana has been turning out good work, but sound can vary from one to the other of the same model. I love my J45 RW. Check out the J-150 Rosewood before you decide.
     
  10. ricoh

    ricoh Member

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    I have a 1960 J-45.......It had been well played before I got it. It has a absolutely remarkable tone. It is lightweight but needs new frets. Still sounds awesome. A good Gibson flattop is a thing of wonder!!!!
    Recently I sampled 2 new J-45's, a new Advanced Jumbo and 2 new hummingbird's. First was the AJ. Sounded vey open and smooth with a nice high end as well. Next was the 1st HB. It sounded ok....then a hummingbird -w- gold HW. Wow......$2000.00 new and although I don't need another guitar the wheeels were turning!!!! I then played the J=45's
    Very dull and dead sounding. Of course that was IMO only and those guitars. The other thing to keep in mind .....if you play them in the acoustic guitar room at a big box retail store as I did {GC}...then all those other guitars string's are vibrating slightly as well. Happy hunting!!!
     
  11. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009 Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a newish J45 and I think it's a great box. Chords chug along like an old freight train and it's a sweete acoustic guitar for smokey blues. Nowhere as articulate or strident as a Martin D28 or D18, which can be a damn good thing. I think the new ones are nice. My J45 needed a new saddle, a few frets filed and a truss tweak, so expect to curse if patronize your local internet dealer. But after that they settle in just fine.

    :AOK
     
  12. Buffalosix

    Buffalosix Member

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    I'm a big fan of the Bozeman Gibsons, and own two of them. Both initially required serious setup work (fret and saddle work), but it was well worth it in the end.

    Neither of the ones I have now are mahoganys, though I had a mahog J-160E for a while, which had a fantastic unamplified sound. I still have a J-45 Rosewood, which is a great guitar - very even sound across the spectrum, but with the trademark Gibson thump in the bass. I also have a J-100 XTRA which is maple, and also has the classic Gibson trademark sound.
     
  13. Chris Rice

    Chris Rice Member

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    I did a cleaning/setup on a mid-60's J-50 that was wonderful. It had had the bridge rebuilt (using brass!!) with individual string saddles. Very strange.

    EDITED: To correct my J-45/J-50 mixup.:eek:
     
  14. sears

    sears Member

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    I love my 1998 J-45. I put a thread in soundclips featuring it. The strings are month-old Pyramid 12s with lots of performances on them.

    As far as intonation, you have to get used to it. It intonates differently than a Martin and you have to train your hands to get those sweet thirds.
     
  15. glendrix

    glendrix Member

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    Hey I recognize you. I'm friends with your bass and drummer. Didn't know you were on here, shoulda guessed with your board though. I gotta check you guys out one of these days.

    Back on topic, I love J-45's new or used...
     
  16. µ¿ z3®ø™

    µ¿ z3®ø™ Member

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    those tryna compare gibsons to martins are of the apples and oranges variety.
    if U're a singer/songwriter and finding that the martin's are too loud for Ur voice might find the perfect companion w/ a J45 or some other gibson flat top. they sometimes sound very odd on their own but many times compliment a voice in a very flattering way.
    love my collings D2H but will never surrender my early bozeman SJ200 (perhaps built by collings?) because it dovetails w/ my voice PERFECTLY.
     
  17. colinm

    colinm Member

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    My father purchased his 1963 J-50 back when he was in college in the late 60's. It has been around the block and had a bit of work done to it... the adjustable bridge is gone and neck has been reset. It still is one of my favorite sounding acoustics. It does excel in any one particular area... volume, bass, treble, clarity, etc, but it does them all very well. I always thought of it as a very balanced guitar.
     
  18. antojado

    antojado Member

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    I've never played an actual J-45, but I've played guitars by other builders based on that style and I really like it. I currently own a Bourgeois Slope d that I got a good deal on. I really love the sound. It's a lot different than a Martin style dread like the D-28.
     
  19. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    Just for the record, Bill Collings never built guitars for Gibson.
     
  20. yryrky

    yryrky Member

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    There are only two things in life I've GOT to have-- my '41 J35 and a library card. The J35 is the predecessor to the 45, and to my estimation, about the same guitar. I travel to play other 35's, and mine is the worst one I've played-- light, beautiful, well-balanced, with a feathery beautifully voiced sound that just works from the blues out. The others have all had bigger profile-necks, and wouldn't really work for me, which leads me to wonder about the much-speculated neck-mass=tone equation. I've rarely played a old cared-for 45 that didn't make me happy, and the best one I've ever played was actually a 50 that Mike's Music in Cincinnati had several years ago. I've played quite a few Bozeman guitars and they've all stunk except for one 50 that really kind of smoked. And my favorite all time quote on the subject goes something like this-- the quickest way to get in a fight with Doc Watson is to suggest that the D18 is a better guitar than the J35 (and Doc's one of the few guys around that I might be able to duke out)!
     

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