Museum: Gibson Guitars

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1948 Gibson J-45

FON 1018-32. Here's a crack-free, local J-45 that's in great condition. What's especially interesting about this guitar is its belly-down factory original bridge. The J-45's bridge changed from a small rectangle to the belly up bridge we're all familiar with sometime around 1948 or 1949, so we wonder if Gibson actually specified the standard belly bridge on this model for a very short while, or if the company was just using whatever parts were at hand in the fabrication of this guitar. Another example of this 'use it up 'til it's gone' attitude are the body's kerfed poplar linings -- leftover components from Gibson's wartime manufacturing.

Did we mention that it's a great sounding post-war J-45 as well? The basses are open and expressive, trebles are very round and earthy, and the guitar is as big and loud as they come. Notes ring with just the right amount of definition, woody resonance and decay.

Scalloped-braced spruce top with perfect arch; mahogany back and sides. A few braces were cleanly reglued by our shop a few years back; the guitar's aged bone saddle is recent, and the tuning machines are not original. There were previously Schaller tuners on the headstock that have since been removed. Evidence remains from the washers on the headstock front, and the filled screw-holes on the rear. Newer Henkes and Blazer bridge pins; original nut has never been removed, and the truss-rod has never been adjusted!

Original frets play well, with light wear in the first position, and the guitar has been recently set up in our shop. Modern neck feel, 1-11/16" wide at the nut, round carve.

With period Gibson hardshell case



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