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aklafter
03-16-2007, 01:10 PM
I bought a nw Gibson J30 in 1991, manufatured in Montana. Can anyone tell me the following:

1) What is this guitar's reputation?

2) Is the J30 made anymore?

3) Is the gibson J45 the offspring of the J30?

4) Do or did any of you own a J30? What has your experience with it been?

I want so expand my collection, but I still love this guitar. I have been playing a bunch of Taylors and Breedloves, and I am not being wowed compared to my Gibson. Maybe something is wrong with my hearing.

Andrew

Jim Tozier
03-16-2007, 01:28 PM
I want so expand my collection, but I still love this guitar. I have been playing a bunch of Taylors and Breedloves, and I am not being wowed compared to my Gibson. Maybe something is wrong with my hearing.


Nah, nothing wrong with your hearing. Gibsons just have a different sound, and you may prefer that sound to the Taylors and Breedloves. I have a pair of Gibby jumbos at the moment (not sure I'll keep both... I was led to believe that the second one was mahogany rather than bubinga when I bought it), and I like them much better than the Taylor jumbos I've tried. Some of my friends think I'm crazy to choose a Gibson over all the other available options. But I like the way the sound. I like the looks, too.

As far as the J-30 goes, I can't offer any info. If you call Gibson's customer service, they may be able to help. They were extremely friendly and helpful when I called yesterday to see if they could confirm that the other J-100 I received was bubinga instead of mahogany.

aklafter
03-16-2007, 01:47 PM
I have actually remained ignorant about guitars for all these years, and I am just now starting to learn more. I am realizing that what I really need is a better setup for the action, and that my Gibson J30 is not bad at all.

I think that it may have been one of the first ones built in Montana, and I am wondering if they knew what they were doing right away. I don't see a J30 in the Gibson website now. The J45 looks very similar to it.

So I am wondering if anyone out that can tell me about their experiences with or knowledge of the J30

Randal_S
03-16-2007, 02:29 PM
I assume this is the one you're referring to:

http://vintage-guitars.blogspot.com/2005/12/gibson-j-30.html

If so, it appears to be a throwback to the square-shouldered J45s of the 70s, but probably without the oft-maligned "Double-X" bracing.

Whatever the case, these early Montana dreads seem like another of Gibson's forays into the realm of "well, who says we can't build it?" Meaning, sometimes Gibson tries things that are a little off-the-wall, blending parts and themes from their "standard" guitars (J45, Hummingbird, J200, etc) to create something totally new. Nothing wrong with that, but it's hard to keep up with their ever-changing specs and model lines.

Anyway, I'm thinking that there's absolutely nothing wrong with your J30... it sounds good to you and hasn't fallen apart or anything; that's gotta count for something. Probably nothing wrong with your hearing either... some people love their Taylors and Breedloves, but only a Gibson sounds like a Gibson. If your ears are trained to the Gibson sound (mine are as well), then that's all that matters.

rwnyc
03-16-2007, 04:49 PM
Sounds like a good guitar - worth a set-up to get it to where you want it to be. :D

BigRed51
03-16-2007, 08:42 PM
I bought a nw Gibson J30 in 1991, manufatured in Montana. Can anyone tell me the following:

1) What is this guitar's reputation?
2) Is the J30 made anymore?
3) Is the gibson J45 the offspring of the J30?
4) Do or did any of you own a J30? What has your experience with it been?

I want so expand my collection, but I still love this guitar. I have been playing a bunch of Taylors and Breedloves, and I am not being wowed compared to my Gibson. Maybe something is wrong with my hearing.


I think I can shed some light on some of your questions, even thuogh I have never played a J-30.

Reputation - It's a Montana Gibson. In my opinion, that makes it part of a family of very special guitars ... Gibson has a wider variety of sounds and styles than any manufacturer. The J-30 is a square shoulder dreadnought, so it is actually related more closely to the Hummingbird than the J-35 or J-45, but I believe it is a touch smaller than the Hummingbird.

Is it made any more? - No, it was discontinued in 1997.

Is the J-45 the offspring of the J-30? - Nope --- in fact, as I said above, it is really not related to the J-45 (except for a few years ... late 60's early 70s, I believe) when the J-45 was built with square shoulders, just to confuse us all. ... The J-30 was first built in 1985. In 1994, the Gibson centennial, it was renamed the J-30 Montana, and it was discontinued in 1997. The J-45 was first built in 1942, and replaced the J-35. They are (were) both round shoulder, short scale dreads, as was the original Gibson dread, the Jumbo Flattop. Their first long scale was the Advanced Jumbo, also a slope shoulder model, which came along a year or so after the Jumbo Flattop.

Big Eric
03-17-2007, 06:13 AM
J-30's are fine guitars. I've only seen a couple in 25 years of hanging around guitar stores. Like BigRed51 wrote, it's pretty close to a Hummingbird of the same period, without all the extra bling. Or the big pickguard.

If you like the sound, keep it. Probably could find another like it. But it might take a while.

pickingdad
03-17-2007, 09:02 PM
I just picked up a 90 J 30 last week. I was told it's basically a Hummingbid without the bling. All solid wood, Mahogany and spruce. Mine has rosewood pins, don't know it they were standard or not. It came with the original case. I'm digging it. Love the neck. Never saw any other ones other than the one I bought.

aklafter
03-17-2007, 09:06 PM
Thanks for all of this feedback. I think I have decided to get my Gibson J30 set up, and then buy a 12 string, and then look for a long time at six strings before I buy another. I will have to really love something more than my J30 before I spend 2-3 grand on something.

I have been told by people here to check out Taylor, Martin, Breedlove, and Larrivee and just see what I like the most. I'm not sure how discriminating my ear is.

MissouriPicker
03-17-2007, 10:08 PM
Good decision.

aklafter
03-18-2007, 08:56 AM
Last night, I found an interesting site with reviews by owners of the Gibson J30. The overall feedback has been that tone is absolutely gorgeous and everyone's favorite guitar, but that ther have been neck issues that need resetting, and that Gibson was difficult to deal with as far as standing by their warranty.

http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Guitar/product/Gibson/J-30/50/1

Andrew