Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by papa_hotel_delta » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:14 am

I don't have a flat-top at the moment and I suddenly have an urge.

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:59 am

I do have a 2014 J-45, and by coincidence I was playing another Bozeman J-45 from the early 90s the other day in a store.

I preferred my J-45, and they were fairly different. The early 90s one felt a little heavier and not as responsive.

But yeah, I have a J-45, a J-35, a J-15 and a J-29 all from 2014-2019 and they are tremendous guitars (I like the form factor).

The guitars are excellent, I always rip out the electronics fairly quickly as I replace the Tusq saddle with a real bone one at the same time as part of setup. I guess that's my only objection. Not all guitars change a lot when I pull the under saddle pickup out, but my J-45 really came alive when I did that. The overall volume increased considerably and the high end of the guitar opened up quite a lot as well.


If you care about the electronics, Gibson has stepped the quality of them up over the years, some are better than others, and while I forget the details you can kind of tell because the better ones have a tone knob and the earlier ones just a volume.

I have a lot of Bozeman Gibsons, and my opinion is that these guitars are excellent and that modern Gibson is as good as anything.

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I had a 2010 Martin 000-18 that I traded for my J-45, I found the 000-18 to sound dull and I have never regretted this trade. I have my J-45 labelled for my son, since it was made the year he was born, and when he's old enough I'll give it to him.
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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by countertext » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:18 am

I have a Bozeman J-45 from the early ‘00s, pulled the pickup out when I got it. I love it, sounds big and beautiful. It has bellied a tiny bit over the years, but not enough to require intervention.

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by papa_hotel_delta » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:41 am

I never considered a Gibson acoustic until I saw Steve Earle a couple times in some small venues. This was before he switched to Martins (and possibly several wives ago). I know there are several versions, Mahogany, Rosewood and even some Maple, and those maple ones knock me out visually.

There has to be a little DNA shared between the current Gibson round shoulder J's and those Beatles era J-160e?

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by papa_hotel_delta » Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:46 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:59 am
I had a 2010 Martin 000-18 that I traded for my J-45, I found the 000-18 to sound dull and I have never regretted this trade.
Interesting, a 000-28 would be my second choice, my last flat top was a 000-28 clone that was anything but dull, and my J-45 curiousity is fueled a little by a hunt for sweet low end.

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by pocaloc » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:01 am

I love my "50's reissue" J-45 which I think is a 2014 model. It didn't come with a pickup. It's an amazing guitar and I think very high quality. I agree that the Bozeman era guitars are well done for the most part.

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:01 am

I have Gibson acoustics that are maple (thanks Maggie!), mahogany, bubinga, rosewood and walnut. All of them are great guitars. All the woods have pretty distinct characteristics to them, except I can't really tell what bubinga brings to the equation since I don't have a comparable instrument with any other wood.

Regarding your question, my understanding is that the Gibson J160e guitars that the Beatles played were laminate instruments, so they will be different from the ones Gibson makes now. I think when Gibson reissued the J160 that they used all solid wood , and frankly those reissues are probably better acoustic guitars than the original ones were.

Bear in mind that I'm no expert on the permutations of that model, though.

Also, I'm no expert in vintage Gibson acoustics, I really like the Bozeman ones a lot. But, I have played some vintage Gibsons, and they are pretty different things than the modern ones. Gibson has a characteristic sound to their guitars, but the modern guitars sound more- well, "modern" and the vintage ones have an even more pronounced thump and dryness to them from what I can tell.

Neither is better or worse in my opinion.

A J-45 is a stone to the bone classic, though. If one were to only have one guitar then the J-45 would be an excellent choice. It does everything you want it to, records great, sounds great, very inspiring.
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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:05 am

papa_hotel_delta wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 9:46 am
Larry Mal wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 5:59 am
I had a 2010 Martin 000-18 that I traded for my J-45, I found the 000-18 to sound dull and I have never regretted this trade.
Interesting, a 000-28 would be my second choice, my last flat top was a 000-28 clone that was anything but dull, and my J-45 curiousity is fueled a little by a hunt for sweet low end.
Well, if it would have occurred to me to take the under saddle pickup out of the 000-18, I probably would have liked it more.

But, Martin recently did their "re-imagining" of their models, and part of that was going to thinner and scalloped bracing. My 000-18 was a previous model that had the thicker, straight bracing, and while that's not really "wrong" or "worse" I came to find that it's not what I prefer, at least in that case. Gibson always uses scalloped bracing, and that's part of the reason I feel a little more comfortable with them.

I had a Martin that had the re-imagined bracing, though, and that guitar sounded incredible.

And yeah, the low end on Gibsons is great, if you are used to the Martin low end it's different, though. Not as booming or overwhelming... it won't kill the banjo, to use a phrase.
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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by rbrcbr » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:31 am

I've had a J-45 True Vintage for...almost a year now? Wild. Killer guitar. I was actively looking for one of these, or the J-45 Vintage because I'd heard so much that Gibson's QC was super inconsistent. I also really dug the banner logo and if I remember correctly, these have the Advanced Jumbo style scalloped bracing? I lucked out on the GC site and got it used for $1800 (?) plus tax because the pickguard was falling off :D I had played a good number of J-45s in stores just to get a feel and I got lucky with this one. It's surprisingly loud for a J-45, plays super nicely and the fit and finish are perfect. My only complaint is it tends to have this sort of "overdriven" quality to it acoustically when I dig in. It may just be because this one has that bracing, or maybe it's all J-45s? Most the ones I'd played were fairly quiet so it's hard to gauge. I really love this guitar though, and it's certainly taken over the #1 spot from my Martin 000-15m. Love that thumpy Gibson tone.

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:44 am

Great guitar. I looked up the specs, and see that the True Vintage has the Adirondack spruce on it. I had always been told that Adirondack would stay clear and clean all the way through the dynamic range, and not get "overdriven" like you say. I only own one guitar with Adirondack (a Guild D-40 Bluegrass Jubilee) and I have not found that to be the case, either.

I'm going to bet that your True Vintage sounds louder than other J-45s because it doesn't have the under saddle pickup under there. Fuck, I hate those things. My J-45 Standard opened right up when I pulled that out, not only in terms of tone, but also overall volume.

I did not find out anything about the bracing, but if it does have the advanced bracing that can also change the sound quite a bit.
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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by rbrcbr » Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:28 pm

Larry Mal wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:44 am
Great guitar. I looked up the specs, and see that the True Vintage has the Adirondack spruce on it. I had always been told that Adirondack would stay clear and clean all the way through the dynamic range, and not get "overdriven" like you say. I only own one guitar with Adirondack (a Guild D-40 Bluegrass Jubilee) and I have not found that to be the case, either.

I'm going to bet that your True Vintage sounds louder than other J-45s because it doesn't have the under saddle pickup under there. Fuck, I hate those things. My J-45 Standard opened right up when I pulled that out, not only in terms of tone, but also overall volume.

I did not find out anything about the bracing, but if it does have the advanced bracing that can also change the sound quite a bit.
Funny you mention the Adirondack spruce thing - hadn’t even considered that being a factor. Mine is actually a Sitka spruce model from 2007, label doesn’t say true vintage either - it’s from the very beginning of that series, a year before they decided to go with adirondack spruce. Interesting that that may be the thing that makes the difference regarding it overdriving or not. Because mine is from the first run, it doesn’t have hide glue either, unfortunately. Still a killer guitar, just not quite spec’d out like the rest of the series..

I’ll have to look for the info but I think it is scalloped bracing done in the same way you’d find it on an advanced jumbo. Supposedly that bracing is the reason advanced jumbos are so loud. I called Gibson to date the guitar and get more info on it and that may have been where I heard that.

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Re: Anyone own-play a post 2000 J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:35 pm

rbrcbr wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 4:28 pm


I’ll have to look for the info but I think it is scalloped bracing done in the same way you’d find it on an advanced jumbo. Supposedly that bracing is the reason advanced jumbos are so loud. I called Gibson to date the guitar and get more info on it and that may have been where I heard that.
Ah, OK. Well, if it makes you feel any better, I don't feel that Adirondack is any better than Sitka, and I really, really doubt that hide glue is any different from any other glue.

I own three guitars with Gibsons advanced bracing, none of them are Advanced Jumbos, though. I have a J-60, which is an Advanced Jumbo put into a slightly larger square shoulder dreadnaught shape, and I have one of the later run J-35 and a J-29.

They are all loud guitars, I'd have to say that they do seem louder than the other guitars to a degree.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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