Museum: Gibson Guitars

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c.1963 Gibson J-45

Serial # 356198. Something of an enigmatic guitar, this J-45 shows features from 1962/3 as well as 1966. Perhaps it was a floor-sweep model, or (more likely, in our opinion) it went back to the factory in '66 for repairs. It's a mystery.

Regardless of when it was built and the history it lived, it's a great sounding guitar - with all the thump and warmth we associate with the early 1960's adjustable bridge J-45s. It plays easily thanks to set-up work done in our shop, and is all around a really wonderful instrument.

The guitar features a lightly braced spruce top with faded cherry sunburst finish, original thin pickguard, and original bridge. The bridgeplate is 3-ply maple with 1965/6 dimensions. The neck has a steeper (pre 1964) headstock angle but a small later 1960's 1-9/16" nut width and Indian rosewood fingerboard. The guitar's finish is certainly old, but it's hard to say if it's original as it seems to be quite a bit thinner than most mid 1960's finishes. The back has two repaired cracks, and the top is completely crack-free. The bridge's adjustable insert has been removed, the gap filled with rosewood, and a bone drop-in saddle installed. Bone nut; largely unworn frets.

All told, it's a great looking, great sounding, and easy playing J-45. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for quite easily in tone, feel, and vibe.

With original hardshell case

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