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Acoustic Country/Americana guitar: Gibson J45 OR?????

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by PastorJay, Apr 9, 2021.

  1. Big Twang Theory

    Big Twang Theory TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I agree with Dan that Dave Rawlins style archtop sounds amazing for Americana. Epiphone makes a new version of his Olympic archtop that is pretty affordable. The acoustic pickup in it is pretty much garbage, but put a mic on it and it sounds fantastic. Archtop is a very niche sound, so definitely not for everyone.

    Another suggestion is maybe a 000 style Martin. My 000-18 is far less boomy than my D-18. Really sweet and smooth sound. And with the shorter scale, it'll be loads easier to play. And if another Martin isn't in your budget, I'd recommend a Blueridge. Basically Martin knock-off from China, but really well built. Solid wood options with pre-war style bracing. I have one as a travel/camping guitar, honestly gives my pricier guitars a run for their money.
     
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  2. SRBMusic

    SRBMusic TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I’m not gonna focus on the three-guitar blend problem, but rather the old hands playing stiff guitar aspect. I recently did this with my SJN, which is a bit shorter scale than a Martin, instead of buying a new (to me) short scale guitar. Sacrilege? Capo at the first fret and tune down a half step. All the tone and a lot easier to play. Saved me the cash for a new decent acoustic, which will never sound like my Gibson anyway.
     
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  3. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    Wow. I did not know that Fender made a close copy of the N.L. I'll have to look into that.Thanks.
     
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  4. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    An interesting pursuit. The J45 will add some warmth to the mix, also a mahogany top dread might be your solution. Smaller bodies will voice differently in the mix, but might be too different for what you are looking for.
     
  5. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have a J45. I like the unplugged sound but have a L.R. Baggs Anthem pickup in it. I love the short scale and slim taper neck. It's, to me, a comfortable guitar to play.
     
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  6. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Capo the 5th and play D G A rather than G C D
     
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  7. El Marin

    El Marin Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Fender PM-2 too, all solid, chuncky C neck (glorious), good preamp and a hardcase
     
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  8. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    For what it's worth, I have an ancient J-45 and L-1. They both have a similar voice, though the J-45 is the louder guitar when flatpicking and the L-1 is the louder of the two when fingerpicking. If you were fingerpicking, you could go the vintage L-1 route, as it's small, loud when fingerpicked, and has a good warm voice that would be different from the Martin dreads. It's fine flatpicked, but not quite as fine as the J-45 in that regard. So the J-45 could give another voice as well.

    One thing I disagree with is the comment on the lows of a J-45. Mine at least has a really strong thumpy low end. I occasionally jam with some cajun musicians, and my J-45 gets treated as a combination guitar and bass there with their fiddles and accordions.
     
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  9. jfgesquire

    jfgesquire Tele-Afflicted

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    It's only a 4" depth.

    I do own a player '47 J-45 to compare and this has that "Gibson" voice. A real shocker with that Fender name on the headstock.

    It hangs on my wall next to my bed, I play it all the time.

    _20140314_230123.jpg

    20210410_094428.jpg
     
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  10. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, yeah, Americana suggests an American guitar. And Taylor and Larrivee are both post-Americana, so that doesn't really fit the image, even though they're popular.

    So the usual suspects are Martin (which you've nixed), Guild (my favorite), and Gibson.

    Then there are the harder-to-come-by relics, like Grammer, Kalamazoo, and Mossman. And, of course, pre-Gibson Epiphones, a la Dave Rawlings.

    Or you could get something like a Blueridge and call your music Chinana.

    Let us know what you end up with!
     
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  11. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Or get a mandolin!
     
  12. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Si Kahn likes archtops, and he's strictly a folkie. I have a couple of buddies who play 'em and like 'em for country, rock, and blues. Why not? A good guitar is a good guitar.

    You need to know:

    - carved tops cost more than plywood and sound better.
    - F-holes are loud.
    - If you wiggle the tailpiece you can get a boingy sound.
     
  13. oatsoda

    oatsoda Tele-Holic

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    I bought a PM2 for my dad when his old D28 started to feel like too much. He’s 80 and plays it all the time, pretty sweet.

    BUT how about going to a parlour sized steel body biscuit resonator guitar. Might add an awesome element to your sound, and won’t be hard to move over to. Shave the biscuit a hair and bring the action back down to Earth
     
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  14. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Well, yeah, you could bring a mandolin, or a dulcimer, or an octave pedal, or a balloon full of helium for when it's your turn to sing. Or you could just bring a $15 capo ;)

    Seriously, IMO the easiest way to revoice in an overcrowded field of Martin dreads is just to capo up to the 5th or 7th and transpose. Adds some sparkle. Arpeggiate to taste. Sounds lovely
     
  15. Dano-caster

    Dano-caster Tele-Meister

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    Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 3.26.01 PM.png There is always these things...
     
  16. Oldsmobum

    Oldsmobum Tele-Holic

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    Beat me to it! Totally agree- I was just looking at demo videos of old harmony and Kay arch tops on YouTube about an hour ago. Very distinct and in my opinion necessary sound for what OP wants to do.

    Beaten again, and also agree. Both the mahogany and the shorter scale will add a different flavor and might be “easier” to play. Definite “cowboy guitar” vibe.

    I have been stalking my local music stores for an example to try. For the $220 price it is very tempting!
     
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  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Bigger acoustics set off my Tennis elbow ligament too. Especially if they are too thick bodied.
    The Gibson LG-2 is just a killer guitar, feather light and big tone for a medium/small guitar. My '51 amazes me sometime.
    Easier to play than the flat Martin fretboard too.

    Other easy to play for less $ are the Guilds built in Hoboken or Westerly Rhode Island. (not the new Westerly Reissues built overseas) To me they are the easiest playing often like electrics in your hands.
     
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  18. Lefty Addams

    Lefty Addams Tele-Afflicted

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    Just go j-45, i know i would ...
     
  19. lathoto

    lathoto Tele-Meister

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    A 000-18 is a great guitar. Sounds like you three should be taking turns playing bass. I have the Martin bass and it is irreplaceable.
     
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  20. RowdyHoo

    RowdyHoo Tele-Meister

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    The D-18's mahogany sides and back give it a lot more balance and less thump (low end) than the D-28. I have a buddy that runs a studio and he tells me the D-18 is one of the best-balanced guitars for studio work. One of the few that he can simply put a mic on and record with very minimal additive/subtractive EQ.
     
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