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  #1  
Old 06-09-2008, 09:52 PM
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Will Kirk Will Kirk is offline
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Default So I want a J-45

Should I save up for a vintage one? Or are the reissues just as good if not better?
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2008, 11:17 PM
Birch Birch is offline
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It kind of depends on what era vintage you're speaking of...and what new model you're considering. Wartime J45s are the cats pajamas. Most of those post war, up to 1955, are also lightly braced and built, and can have the penultimate Gibson tonality. Then, after that, things get a little murkier, but its all pretty good, until you get to the mid-later 60s....where Gibson really tipped the scales, from tone, to minimizing their warranty liabilities. You can find good ones from the 60s, but they're less common.

The newer True Vintage J45 that I tried was a better J45 than any I've played from the 60s and later, pre-Montana. The 1994 model I had (an exceptional sounding, and extremely lightweight guitar) compared very favorably to the better 1950s era models I've played----but it wasn't quite as robust as some of the wartime models, and early post-war models I've encountered.

So, to sum it up, I think that a good example of a True Vintage or Custom J45 from Montana, might just hold its own with a significant percentage of what is available in the vintage market, except the wartime and post wartime models, up until past 1954 or so.

I like a lot of the Montana J45s and J35s I've played----and the one I owned was really something special. They're out there, you've just got to find the right one.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:16 AM
MikeB_18 MikeB_18 is offline
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I played a True Vintage a few weeks back when I bought my Bourgeois and it was a fantastic guitar. The fretboard looked an awful lot like Brazilian as well, not that it makes a big difference but it was cool to see it.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:54 AM
rodders rodders is offline
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I have owned 2 re-issue J-45's and they are superb. Of all the guitars you can buy from just about any half decent guitar shop - I would say it is the best - that is in my opinion. They are excellent strumming and picking guitars - they aren't too fussy about what you do with them and they have tonnes of character. The best (for the money) mass produced american acoustic there has been.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:59 AM
Lefty Guy Lefty Guy is offline
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I bought a new J45 back in 2006. It was made in 2005 & is a lefty. I bought it simply because it blew me a way when I sat & tried it in the store. Fabulous tone & easy to play, a great all-round guitar IMHO. Can't see that I need to fork out thousands for a real vintage one.

As you can imagine, lefty Gibson J45s are extremely rare here in the UK, but if you can, my advice would be try as many as you can as they can be inconsistent. But if you get a goodun' then it will be a keeper.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:14 AM
rockinrebel rockinrebel is offline
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Default 2006 J-45

I have a 2006 J-45 (before the True Vintage) and love it. Rich, warm tone and excellent sustain. If the TV's are even better they must be great.
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:45 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Kirk View Post
Should I save up for a vintage one? Or are the reissues just as good if not better?
Play a LOT of them, new and vintage. In my search (which I eventually abandoned in favor of a Martin D-35) I played more than a dozen each of J-45 and AJ's, and found they varied quite considerably in build quality, tone, and playability.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:07 AM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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my wife has a 2007. it was the best guitar we have heard in a while, just walked into GC one day and couldnt go home without it. and it had incredibly dead strings on it, yet the magical warm tone was unmistakable. she will never want another guitar. me on the other hand, well.....

it is short scale though, and i tend to feel a bit cramped if i play it for too long. i prefer the standard scale of my hummingbird, but wow is this J-45 bassy. huge low end, and very sweet....it puts bass players out of work.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:18 AM
hepkat63 hepkat63 is offline
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A few years ago I had an "Early" J-45 in custom color (black) This guitar had incredible tone and played really well. The neck took some getting used to. I regret selling it every time I see a post regarding J-45's. I keep trying to talk the fellow who bought it from me into letting me buy her back.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:21 AM
aaronmarkson aaronmarkson is offline
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I have a True Vintage J-45, and I love it. It is a great sounding guitar. J-45's are hit or miss to me, I have played some really great sounding ones, and others that just don't do it. My recommendation would be to play before you pay when it comes to these. If you can, try and find a true vintage model to try out as well as the standard.

The actual vintage J-45's are great too, but you will pay a premium for one in good condition.

It's all about finding the right one. I found the right one for me after playing 7 or 8 of them.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:38 AM
Mr. Bill Mr. Bill is offline
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No need to go vintage. Shop around and try 'em out. Lots of good product coming out of Bozeman these days.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:40 AM
lofapco lofapco is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Bill View Post
No need to go vintage. Shop around and try 'em out. Lots of good product coming out of Bozeman these days.
+1 on that comment!
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:16 AM
twotone twotone is offline
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I understand you completely - I did so last year.

I bought a Bozeman Montana 1998 "Early J-45" in superb condition at a good price. itīs twotone (hence my name) sunburst, the most beautiful sunburst like only gibson does, off-white binding, and Kluson tulips, which I like much better than white plastic tuners or the cheap chrome half moons. the neck is quite fat which is good for me (big hands). I am so happy that I own this guitar, itīs still like the first day I had it. I made quite a step forward since having this instrument I believe. It makes you want to play if you know what I mean.
I sing and play guitar, fingers only. itīs not made for heavy strumming or lead playing with a pick, I suppose. If some friend does this with this guitar, I usually donīt like it. I never use a pick. If I have to play in a big room or on a big stage, I use a Blueridge BR 40 dreadnought instead (which has a b-band system).

BTW, I use round core strings on the Gibson (12-54 Newtone MC PBs, or Pyramid acoustic bronze). they are nice for finger playing.

good luck finding it,
twotone
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2008, 10:47 AM
woodruff woodruff is offline
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Default before you buy new.....!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will Kirk View Post
Should I save up for a vintage one? Or are the reissues just as good if not better?
how bout this:

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...d.php?t=127754


i bet it is sweet!
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  #15  
Old 06-10-2008, 10:51 AM
Birch Birch is offline
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A point that needs to be mentioned, and has already been alluded to, is the very questionable, if not outright abysmal condition of so many "vintage" guitars. And I'm not speaking of originality issues, but of structural and functional integrity issues. Some of these wrecks are priced beyond what any reasonable person would spend, as dealers respond to the niche frenzy to acquire a vintage instrument.

I've played vintage guitars at reputable dealers, which were just plain screwed over---- obviously mistreated, barely functional, and with many badly done repairs----and which were priced beyond anything that reflected the state they were in.
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