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Gibson question

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GUEST,Cumbrian 21 Dec 04 - 11:35 AM
GUEST,Peter 21 Dec 04 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,Cumbrian 19 Dec 04 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,Cumbrian 19 Dec 04 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Peter 19 Dec 04 - 09:43 AM
Pete Jennings 16 Dec 04 - 11:18 AM
Hand-Pulled Boy 16 Dec 04 - 10:45 AM
GUEST 15 Dec 04 - 10:35 AM
Cluin 14 Dec 04 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Cumbrian 14 Dec 04 - 06:06 PM
Once Famous 14 Dec 04 - 05:16 PM
GUEST 14 Dec 04 - 04:57 PM
Deskjet 14 Dec 04 - 04:33 PM
Hand-Pulled Boy 14 Dec 04 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,ELMIRAS 13 Dec 04 - 10:22 PM
GUEST, 26 Sep 04 - 11:44 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 24 Oct 03 - 02:45 AM
Willie-O 23 Oct 03 - 08:17 AM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 22 Oct 03 - 04:31 PM
Amos 22 Oct 03 - 07:32 AM
nickp 22 Oct 03 - 04:58 AM
Kaleea 22 Oct 03 - 04:56 AM
Cluin 22 Oct 03 - 03:00 AM
Amos 04 Sep 03 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,Glen Reid 04 Sep 03 - 05:24 PM
GUEST 04 Sep 03 - 05:05 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 03 Sep 03 - 07:38 PM
Cluin 03 Sep 03 - 07:35 PM
Cluin 03 Sep 03 - 07:19 PM
Deskjet 03 Sep 03 - 06:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Cumbrian
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 11:35 AM

Hi Peter,

I'm with you all the way as far as Larrivee goes. I have owned an OM10 for the last few years which was for a long time my main stage guitar. Apart from being very well made and looking fantastic, it sounds very good indeed.
I know what you mean about some in store set up's, the Martins you tried being a key example. The official line on the factory set up tends to be that they leave them set fairly high to account for all styles, assuming that it is easier to lower an action than to raise it, unfortunately, this also has the effect of putting off some potential customers on account of initial playbilty issues. This issue of initial factoey set up has probably being a huge factor in the success of larger output companies like Taylor and Larrivee, who do a great job of presenting their guitars with an fairly low action and excellent playbilty straight out of the box.
Whether Martin give more attention to this factor on different models within the range, I am not sure, but while I had to do quite a bit of work to get a good set up on my D28 and D41, I have an 00028VS and an 00028EC ( both from the vintage range ) which were beautifully set up right from the factory.
It would be true to say that there has never been a better choice of great guitars at all price points and from a vast number of makers, than we have at the moment.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 21 Dec 04 - 10:51 AM

Hi Cumbrian,

no, I do not think I know everything about guitars,..........
By the way, English is not my mother tongue (I am from Europe), but I`ll try to be as accurate as I can explaining shorter scale - less sustain thing I was talking about in my previous post. I was referring to a simple physics matter, longer scale have some advantages as you can get richer sound in harmonic term, or should I say more complex harmonics, you know what I mean, and sustain is certainly better. Simply, strung wires 2 and 3 feet long and you`ll figure it out.

Don`t get me wrong, I am not saying that your J 45 is a bad guitar just because it has a shorter scale. I fully agree with you that   quality of tone, sustain,.......depends on overall craftsmanship. I am not saying that every single guitar with shorter scale is inferior to one with longer scale, some O or OO body style guitar would probably sound better with short scale due to the fact that it has smaller body length and with 25 and something inch scale the bridge will be placed near the end of the sound board which is certainly not good. But if we are talking about big guitars (body length, depth, lower bout,...) as your J 45 certainly is, shorter scale is probably not a plus. Why do you think it is? It`s hard to say whether any other J 45 with 25,4 (or 25,3 .....25,5.....whatever) inch scale would sound better because there is no two identical guitars.

Also, having said that Gibson made many not so good guitars in its history doesn`t mean that it`s not a good guitar company. I`ve done lots of research on the internet and many respectable luthiers would say that adjustable saddle is not a good thing on a flat top guitar as Gibson did in the middle of `60. Ladder bracing is something that was rejected log time ago as it was much inferior pattern to X bracing, correct me if I am wrong but I don`t know anybody in recent guitar history who made ladder braced flat top guitars especially with adjustable saddle. I mentioned that in my previous post just because some people buy guitars because of its headstock logo.
Let me tell you my story from March this year when I was in Miami, Florida. I was going to buy a Martin , 15 or 16 model as my budget was up to US $ 1000 . I had never played Martin before and I did some research on the internet before I decided to buy it. But I was quite shocked when I entered Sam Ash Music store and tried a couple of new D-15 and one D-16, was very badly surprised with those D-15`s , very basic guitar, bad action, tone wasn`t exceptional for $ 740 guitar (case included). Not to mention that the seller explained to me that all of Martins get to their store set up like that. I didn`t expect from a respectable guitar company like Martin certainly is to do such a poor job regarding guitar set up. Wood grain on the top had some flaws, it looked very strange. Because my hand was in such pian after playing the guitar for 30 seconds I asked the guy to set up the guitar for me and he just told me that I had to have it set up to a professional lutherie. Hey, come on, if Martin didn`t do the set up properly a dealer should do that, somebody surely does! Paying another $ 50 or so for a professional set up over $ 740 for that kind of guitar is just to much! That D-16 ( $ 950, case included) was a dead guitar, much worse that both of those D-15`s.
The next day I ended up with a gorgeous 2 year old, almost in mint condition, OHSC included, Larrivee OM-05 which cost $ 950 . I didn`t know much about Larrivee guitars at that momnet of purchasing, almost nothing, but my point is that headstock logo means nothing to me as long as a guitar is worth the money I pay for it, and of course I like it!   

No doubt Martin,..... Gibson produce wonderful guitars but I just think that you could find the same quality/sounding, lesser known guitars for less $$$ .
People do buy vintage Gibson (ladder braced , adjustable saddles, even second guitars) on Ebay for lots of $$$ just because it is vintage and it has Gibson headstock logo.

Cumbrian, I hope your J 45 is a nice guitar , so enjoy every second playing it!


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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Cumbrian
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 06:09 PM

Sorry Peter,

I cut myself in mid sentence.

I have plenty of guitars of both traditionally accepted scale lengths and in the end it all comes down to the guitar in question. For one particular example, I use a Fylde 30th Anniversary model ( Englemann spruce /rosewood ), which being very lightly built and due to the contributory factor of the Englemann top ( this being, at it's best more immediatetly responsive for certain styles ), has more sustain, tone and headroom than any guitar I have had the pleasure to play in the last 30 or so years, and it's short scale.

Generalisations are very hard to make when it comes to something so dependant upon organic material like wood and the way a slight change in one tolerance can affect the whole performance of a particular instrument.

Maybe that's why I still love playing after all these years, there is always something new to be surprised by instrument after instrument.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Cumbrian
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 05:51 PM


While you seem like a knowledgable chap ,your opinion on scale length needs to take some account of the particular instrument concerned particularly in terms of construction and set up.


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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Peter
Date: 19 Dec 04 - 09:43 AM


I bet your new J 45 is nice instrument but I wouldn`t say that 24 3/4 inch scale is a plus , shorter scale - less sustain, that`s a fact! The only benefit from the shorter scale that I can remember right now it`s easer to play because of lesser tension of the strings.

Gibson made so many not so good acoustics in its history especially ones with adjustible saddles, horrible thing, it kills the tone! Also student guitars like LG 0, LG 1 (ledder braced) are overpriced today, you can buy much better axe for the money. For example, I saw so many LG 0/1 selling on Ebay for US $ 700 , too much, get a used great Larrivee OM/L/D-03 for less money, or D-05 for just a little more $$$ ........


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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 11:18 AM

I remember reading somewhere that the sustain on the (open?) 3rd string (G) was the key to a good Gibson. Is this true? Any other pointers (or threads!) to look out for?

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 16 Dec 04 - 10:45 AM

I agree with Guest. Lowdens are built in Ireland plus there are many top quality builders in the UK using the best european and scandinavian timbers. Another advantage is not having to pay the huge import duties added onto US guitars. Why did I ever want a Gibson?

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
Date: 15 Dec 04 - 10:35 AM

No question that gibsons and martins are good guitars but many other guitars have now caught up and offer equal if not better quality in some cases. In monetary   terms other makes offer the same if not better all-round quality cheaper. Why pay more it doesn't make sense. A few years ago you would have paid more money to obtain better quality and rightly so, but nowadays it is not required. The market is awash with some excellent quality guitars we are very lucky with the choices, we don't have to be tied with the gibsons and martins anymore.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Cluin
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 06:36 PM

Lots of respected musicians in the U.S., Canada, and other coutries outside the U.K. playing Lowdens. Excellent guitars; I've heard a couple up close. Don Ross plays one.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Cumbrian
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 06:06 PM

Amongst the current collection of guitars I own is a newish J45 and it is fantastic. It is the standard mahogany version, possessing a lovely dry, but sustaining tone, with a great low end thump.
Already having 25+ very good instruments, of which a few are in constant use, I was not shopping for another guitar when this one caught me unawares. I was actually checking out some new Avalons on behalf of a friend when I happened to pick up this sunburst J45 while waiting for some figures on the Avalon deal. Half an hour later ,I was heading out of the store with the J45. To be honest, I am not easily bowled over by many guitars these days regardless of maker or the price tag, but guitars like the J45 I picked up that day are too rare to miss.
A few more plus points for the J45 ( for me anyway )are the 24 3/4 scale length, very light weight/nice balance on the strap, very comfortable neck profile and the 44mm nut which makes it a good all rounder for fingerstyle and flatpick work. Oh yes, it also has a Fishman matrix pick up factory installed, which while not the world's greatest is very useable ( I did need to do some sadddle work to deal with some minor string to string imbalance ).
I have heard people talking about variable quality regarding Montana Gibsons, I can't comment as I seemed to strike lucky first time with this one.
By the way Martin Gibson, try to checkout a Lowden or two sometime, preferably a big O series body, these are miles away from the traditional Martin sound ( alot more overtones as opposed to the fundamental), but they are tonally incredible as well as being beautifully built. I have an O25 ( cedar/rosewood ) and an 032 ( spruce/rosewood ) the latter being potentially the loudest cathedral of a guitar I have ever played.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 05:16 PM

You are getting more for your money with Martin or Gibson. comparing takamine or Yamaha nato and balsa wood is no comparison.

gibson doesn't make a "cheap" model for a reason. they don't use cheap materials and they are made in a country where their is pride in workmanship and the worker is not geting 50 cents an hour. the same holds true for Martins.

If you want a board to serve shushi on, by all means a Yamaha or probably most Takamine's will serve your purpose just fine. I reserve judgement on a Lowden because there is nothing (as in haven't played or even seen one) to compare it to. they are a non-factor in the US.

We've been down this road before. I'm ready to go down it again.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 04:57 PM

Gibsons and Martins have had there day, the older models are OK but there are many other makes on the market now that equal them. Takamine, Yamaha, Lowden to name but a few are all making very good acoustic guitars, the sound looks build and finish are excellent and price wise far more competitive. Why pay more when you are not getting more for your money.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Deskjet
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 04:33 PM

As I started this thread I suppose I should chime in here.
Since 3-9-03 I bought a new Advanced Jumbo - I broke every rule in the book and ordered it through ebay over the net(Although the silking of the top in the photo did catch my eye) USA to Ireland - no way back there!
Luck was on my side and I'm very happy with it. Save for a dodgy adhesive on the pickguard I'd say the finish was grand(ended up buying a new guard from Gibson).There does seem to be a fairly broad consensus that there has been an improvement in quality control at Gibson over the past number of years.Playability was fine too.
The AJ doesn't have the sophistication of a Lowden, but it sure has it's place in my collection. As I can be heavy-handed on the strumming I welcome the "headroom" the AJ affords, and it's fret-spacing allows for easier tune-picking (e.g. playing a reel). As for sound, it's earthy and good to my ear.
As for rosewood or mahogany, I can only speak regarding Lowden O series. To my ear the rosewood gives greater bass, and all-round warmth. I prefer rosewood to mahogany. I presume there should be some comparison to identical Gibson models.

Good luck in your search.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Hand-Pulled Boy
Date: 14 Dec 04 - 03:23 PM

What do the brand new J45's sound like? Also mahogany or rosewood body? Gibsons have a poor reputation on finish, is this true? So many questions but it's difficult for me to find a local dealer to make comparisons.

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Subject: DR7
Date: 13 Dec 04 - 10:22 PM


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Subject: RE: Gibson question
Date: 10 Oct 04 - 04:19 AM

can you help me find machine heads for a Tama 105 series accoustic in silver i am in the middle of restoring one to accompany the Lords voice by the grace of God amen

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,
Date: 26 Sep 04 - 11:44 PM

I have gibson b-25 N,from the ser. no. I think it was made in 1963 or 64 ser. no.208718. Well anyway my father bought it for me in 1972 and i let my oldest brother use it for a while and his son got up in the middle of the night and step right on the top,busted it up pretty good i was wondering about how much it would cost to get a new top put on.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
Date: 24 Oct 03 - 02:45 AM

Send it to Paul Geremia who lives in my hometown. Paul loves working with guitars, especially Gibsons. He'll restore it and send it back and I assure you that you won't be overcharged. If you are interested, send me a PM and I'l;l forward Paul's adress.

Jody Gibsn.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 08:17 AM

I played a real funky 1957 LG2 recently--what a great little box! It had taken a lot of abuse, many repaired cracks in the back. When I picked it up, it begged me to buy it, take it to a stage in some dim smoky juke joint, and play "Freight Train". It would'a made that redneck crowd stop and listen!

Alas, I had to decline as I did not have $1750 on my person that day...

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:31 PM


I also love old Gibsons. I have a '69 J45 which went to the square shoulder style, and I love it's versatility and playability.

I also own a 1962 LG3 I bought new in 1963 at age 13 and have played it regularly for 40 years. It is a wonderful fingerpicking guitar and has a top that is the most "opened up" of anything I have ever played. I also have a 1964 LG0. Did you know the LG series actually stood for "little guitar?"

Gibsons are so unique and have such a warm tone and their own distinct personality.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Amos
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 07:32 AM

Yeah -- you're right. Sigh. Apologies for snapping. Sounds like a beaut.


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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: nickp
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:58 AM

Oooh! seriously nice!!! I can see why the Glen's Gibson awaits time...

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Kaleea
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 04:56 AM

I have a old 1964 Gibson J45 I got when I was still just a kid. & yes, it's the rosewood model which is just like Elvis WORE in the movies. It has a beautiful tone & terrific low, low, low action--just what a short woman with short hands & "fangers" would need for "fangerpickin'." The body is what was then considered "Western" or, not the small body of the classical style guitar, but a big body to accomodate the bigger sound needed by the singing cowboys of the olden days. (i.e., Roy, Gene, etc.)
    At the time it came out, the old J45 was about the biggest newly "standard" body size & style from the major companies. The shoulders were smaller than the rest of the body. Years ago, when Cowboys or whomever were singing in small bars with no amplification or playing Rhythm in a good ol' Country Band or Western Swing band--still quite popular in the 50's & turn of the 60's, & in some parts of the USA the Western Swing bands never stopped playing & still do. As the desire for more volume in an acoustic guitar increased, the bigger "jumbo" body was made with the shoulders & rest of body the same width or thereabouts, & various brands had better Treble for lead, or more bass for Rhythm, etc. The jumbos seem to be quite popular now--6 & 12 string & the acoustic bass guitar, especially, and some have a deeper body. The difference is not just cosmetic.
    While my old J45 is somewhat worn with a few scratches on the back from the big belt buckles I wore with my old hip-hugger jeans, & the face is checked (small lines, cracks in finish not the wood, all over it after being in the baggage compartments from when I first went jetting off way back in 1976 to the other side of the planet to play music & of course many more appeared after subsequent trips hither & yonder. Sort of a Gibson trait.), but it is still a great playing, good sounding old guitar. I also have the sunburst finish which I did not like at first, but it grew on me. The pickguard is not the small size, & I have the tortise shell looking type which is NOT so scratched up after all this time since I prefer to be a fanger-picker & not use the flatpick unless it is needed.
   Lots of the various jumbos made these days have the big looks-like-a-big-handlebar-moustache bridge. Some folks I know in the Guitar industry joke (or not ?) that it sends a subconscious message to men: "see this big macho handlebar moustache?--It's a guy thing! This is a Man's Guitar, so buy me & you'll be macho, too!" I wonder what men think it says to women? My old J45 has the not-such-a-good-experiment adjustable bridge made of rosewood--not bone or plastic-- which does soak up alot of the good vibrations so that it is not a loud guitar, but great for accompanying one's self while singing with fingerpicking arpeggios etc.--which turned out to be just my style--& of course, rhythm guitar.
    Many folks liked the J-45 in the 60's for "Folk Music" & rock too, since the Beatles played a similar model. Lots of folks confused my model with the Hummingbird--even though there is no Hummingbird/curling vine on the pickguard. (go figure)
    Any of you fellers out there who were in the Army may have gone to the Rec. Services bldg. on Post & played the guitars there. The Army bought tons of the J45's for just that purpose & sent them all over the States & overseas, too. Years ago, I saw lots of them which looked like mine.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Cluin
Date: 22 Oct 03 - 03:00 AM

Glen is pretty busy building new instruments in his own style for other musicians who have ordered them from him, Amos. I bet it's lack of time that keeps him from that project more than anything.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 06:00 PM

It isn't going to get any better hanging there, is it? And it isn't making music, the main purpose of its existence. You're not restoring it, you're not playing it, all from regret for the past? Send it over here, mate. I'll take it off your worried mind and pay the postage to boot.

If not, then stand up and face the damn thing and do what needs doing!


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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: GUEST,Glen Reid
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:24 PM

When I was about 15, a family friend gave me his old 1948 Gibson J45 (southern Jumbo).
Being young and foolish I done some things to it that today relegate it to my "wall of shame", but thats another story.
I have never seen another Gibson quite like this one, in that it had a sunburst finish(about an inch thick), with a reverse belly bridge, a small martin style pickguard and double paralellogram position markers.
Unlike others I have seen of this vintage (re: the one seen in a lot of old Hank Williams photo,s), mine had the old style Gibson script on the headstock, which was just a silk screen application.
I keep wanting to restore it to its former self, but so far there it hangs, as a contant reminder of my youthfull follies.
Cheers, Glen

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 05:05 PM

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 07:38 PM

Like Cluin said, the differences are mainly cosmetic, but the most obvious difference is the bridge. All J-45 permutations have the "reverse belly" bridge that looks like a Martin bridge turned around backwards. The AJ has a narrower rectangular bridge.

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Cluin
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 07:35 PM

Oh, and the Advanced Jumbo had/has a smaller rectangular bridge, while the J-45 has one of those upside-down (belly up) Martin-like bridges.

Also, the J-45 has a 24 3/4 inch scale length, opposed to the 25 1/2 inch scale length on the Advaced Jumbo (though the AJ had the shorter "Gibson" scale length originally when it came out).

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Subject: RE: Gibson question
From: Cluin
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 07:19 PM

Not much. The AJ was essentially an earlier model round-shoulder jumbo which was with a rosewood back & sides while the J-45 had mahogany back & sides. But the rosewood would make them essentially the same. Just different binding and fingerboard inlays... cosmetic stuff. Dimensions are the same.

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Subject: Gibson question
From: Deskjet
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 06:25 PM

Could anyone please tell me the difference between an Advanced Jumbo and a J45 Rosewood?

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