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  #1  
Old 11-09-2010, 10:08 PM
re-animator re-animator is offline
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Default worth the gamble for vintage gibson j40?

hi, long time reader, first time poster here.

I know pricing discussions are taboo here, but is there an exception for used guitars?? mods, if this isn't kosher please feel free to edit/delete.


anyway, i spy a 1970 gibson j40 on ebay.... i've been looking at gibson dreads because i play a combination of fingerstyle and heavy strumming and only can handle having one acoustic at this time (though i was leaning toward slope-shouldered geets). anyway, the guitar looks great, but the action is a little high (undisclosed reason) and the seller says there is a bulge behind the bridge (looks pretty slight). I had a similar problem with my old red label yamaha fg300 that i sold for playability concerns.


here's a link to the listing:
http://cgi.ebay.com/1970-gibson-j40-...#ht_2556wt_752

i understand of course if it's a screaming deal, someone on this site may well grab it before me.... but come on, be cool!

any knowledge you guys care to bestow?

Last edited by re-animator; 11-09-2010 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:13 PM
sfden1 sfden1 is offline
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Hi reanimator, and welcome. Yes, your violating the "no-price" discussion rules, so expect a mod to edit your post pretty quickly. And no, that's not a screamin deal.

The J-40 was made for about a dozen years, discontinued in 1982. It was made at the beginning of the dreaded "Norlin" years in Gibson history, probably the worst years for Gibson, in terms of quality, ever. It had double x cross bracing to help minimize warranty issues, which didn't exactly contribute to sound. It also had a pinless bridge, which some think also had a somewhat deleterious effect on tone.

It was a decent, inexpensive, guitar for it's day, but nothing stellar, and is not in high demand in the used market. If you get to try it and it sounds good to you, and it's in good condition, I'd say the seller's asking price would be at the high end of "about right". If it needs work, I'd take a pass.

Hope that helps.

D.
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:41 PM
mcsmyth9 mcsmyth9 is offline
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Greetings, There's almost no saddle, so at the very least it's going to need a neck reset. Add another $400.00 +/- . For that kind of money you could get a nice new guitar with no issues. Do yourself a favor and pass on it.
Regards, Brian
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:41 PM
re-animator re-animator is offline
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thanks for the info. i knew about the dark ages/norlin years with gibson, but i figured perhaps the design issues mirrored Fender when CBS took over in the mid 60s (and they still made good stuff for a few years before quality dropped off).
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:48 AM
sfden1 sfden1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by re-animator View Post
thanks for the info. i knew about the dark ages/norlin years with gibson, but i figured perhaps the design issues mirrored Fender when CBS took over in the mid 60s (and they still made good stuff for a few years before quality dropped off).
Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people out there who love their Norlin era Gibson's and swear they sound great. I haven't personally had that experience, but, given the right price, it makes them worth checking out if you can. I wouldn't recommend buying one off of ebay without a trial period though.
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Old 11-10-2010, 09:54 AM
arie arie is offline
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That's quite a buldge and top "ripple" for a guitar with double x bracing. The neck is sucking into the body too. It needs help. I'd pass on it myself (and I own one of the norlins too)
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:14 AM
Dotneck Dotneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by re-animator View Post
i understand of course if it's a screaming deal, someone on this site may well grab it before me.... but come on, be cool!

any knowledge you guys care to bestow?

Its been there at least a week so far...if it were a screamin' deal on a vintage gibson it would be gone by now...
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:16 AM
LiFeStArTs@40 LiFeStArTs@40 is offline
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For your needs, I can think of much better ways to spend $XXX.

Last edited by rlouie; 11-10-2010 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:36 AM
zombywoof zombywoof is offline
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There are a number of red flags regarding condition in the guitar description so you might end up having to spend some of your hard earned loot to make the guitar playable once you got it. Those pinless bridges also appear not to have held up well and can exhibit alot of wear so you would want to also check the bridge out before you purchase.

There is also another 1970 J-40 on eBay without the condition issues for just a couple of hundred more.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:43 AM
Ocelot Ocelot is offline
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I have a 1980 J-40. After thirty years of aging, it sounds really good (people comment on it all the time). And for less than a grand in exc+ condition I think these guitars are an under the radar bargain. But, that said, the one on ebay is a money pit.
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  #11  
Old 11-10-2010, 04:56 PM
re-animator re-animator is offline
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i see what you guys are saying. I'm looking more into imports in the similar price range (blueridge, recording king, etc.), but i'm also interested in jumbos so there is definitely still some stuff up in the air.
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