NGD: Finally a decent gig-worthy not-so-J45, affordable J-45 Slope Shoulder dread!

mimmo

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Thank you so much good sir. I’m still in honeymoon phase but I cant believe how much guitar I have for the money.

I am in a big GAS moment for a J45 and your guitar doesn't help me at all!
I am jonesing with the idea of getting both the Gibson and the Sigma version, your guitar is capable of some very sweet tones.
 

dreamingtele

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I am in a big GAS moment for a J45 and your guitar doesn't help me at all!
I am jonesing with the idea of getting both the Gibson and the Sigma version, your guitar is capable of some very sweet tones.

Here it is with Martin Retro Monels, it sounds nice. I’m on a string journey at the moment and I’m trying to find the right one that sounds like the sound in my head. Hahahagahaha



To compare with the Martin SP Phospor Bronze;




And here it is with Martin Retro Monels after 5 days and one weekend gig.. it definitely broke in and kinda sounds dull and very fundamental,







To give you an update, I went back to the store to demo the all solid version Sigma again, and it’s still sounding a bit harsh to my ears. My laminate b&s model still sounds warmer and has more low end, and still very close to the Gibson I’ve tried against it.

However, with that in mind, I also demo’ed the Eastman E20SS in the store. Unfrotunately it’s still the reigning king (to me at least) of affordable J-45 copy in the store. For half the price of the Gibson J-45, it actually sounds better, fuller, louder. Build quality, fit, feel and finish is better than the Gibson. Hahahah.
 
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ndcaster

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Vintage Selmer-Maccaferri guitars have laminated backs and sides. There is nothing sub-standard about that whatsoever, so rest easy.

It's great that you used your ears. Congrats on a beautiful guitar!
 

dreamingtele

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Vintage Selmer-Maccaferri guitars have laminated backs and sides. There is nothing sub-standard about that whatsoever, so rest easy.

It's great that you used your ears. Congrats on a beautiful guitar!

Thank you so much for this. Given all the years of playing electric guitars, I actually am on unfamiliar ground with acoustic guitars and did my best to just compare it against the real deal. Lol.. You dont know how anxious I was.. i was already at the counter with the all-solid Sigma version because you know, all-solid, it should be better.

But I changed my mind in the last minute and asked for the laminate b&s model as it sounded better to my ears at least. So i can safely say, I trusted my ears and was able to confirm when I came back to the store that the all-solid still didnt sound as nice. Well, it still sounded good, but not close to the Gibson I was comparing it to.
 

mimmo

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Here it is with Martin Retro Monels, it sounds nice. I’m on a string journey at the moment and I’m trying to find the right one that sounds like the sound in my head. Hahahagahaha



To compare with the Martin SP Phospor Bronze;




And here it is with Martin Retro Monels after 5 days and one weekend gig.. it definitely broke in and kinda sounds dull and very fundamental,







To give you an update, I went back to the store to demo the all solid version Sigma again, and it’s still sounding a bit harsh to my ears. My laminate b&s model still sounds warmer and has more low end, and still very close to the Gibson I’ve tried against it.

However, with that in mind, I also demo’ed the Eastman E20SS in the store. Unfrotunately it’s still the reigning king (to me at least) of affordable J-45 copy in the store. For half the price of the Gibson J-45, it actually sounds better, fuller, louder. Build quality, fit, feel and finish is better than the Gibson. Hahahah.


You're not helping me, you know?
I really like what I hear in the last video, the settled in strings make me hear the highs exactly how I like them. Once more, a very sweet sounding guitar, I'm very happy for you.

I have been debating the Eastman guitars with myself, I know that they are high quality guitars etc. BUT this time (usually I am not this kind of guy) I really want to have that name on the headstock.

I know that Gibson guitars can be hit or miss, but I will be obliged to buy sight unseen, hoping to get a good one. Lead time for the real deal would be between several months and one year, can you imagine? I have been told by the biggest retailer around here they that will get just one (ONE!!) J45 original 50s in sunburst this year and that the next one will be delivered in January 2022. How crazy is that? I have asked other shops and got the very same answer.
In other words I have no choice, because as they get the guitar it is already sold.
 

dreamingtele

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You're not helping me, you know?
I really like what I hear in the last video, the settled in strings make me hear the highs exactly how I like them. Once more, a very sweet sounding guitar, I'm very happy for you.

I have been debating the Eastman guitars with myself, I know that they are high quality guitars etc. BUT this time (usually I am not this kind of guy) I really want to have that name on the headstock.

I know that Gibson guitars can be hit or miss, but I will be obliged to buy sight unseen, hoping to get a good one. Lead time for the real deal would be between several months and one year, can you imagine? I have been told by the biggest retailer around here they that will get just one (ONE!!) J45 original 50s in sunburst this year and that the next one will be delivered in January 2022. How crazy is that? I have asked other shops and got the very same answer.
In other words I have no choice, because as they get the guitar it is already sold.

I get you. Hey, if I have the money, Id definitely turn Australia upside down to get a J-45 that sounds amazing. And I feel you on the name on the headstock. One of My dream guitars is an ES-330, and I want the real deal Gibson ES-330 and thats what I bought. Hehehehe an ES-295 is the top no.1 dream guitar but I will never be able
To afford a real Gibson model. Vintage or even reissue so i’m okay with the Peerless Epiphone. Hehehe

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr

I’m not saying the J-45 I tried is bad, I’m just saying the Eastman sounded better. If my Sigma I have is actually the closest sounding to the Gibson J-45 among the three choices I had, then you have an idea on how the Gibson sounded.

Here in Australia, theres quite a few J-45’s around. Standard, 50’s and 60’s model. This store I bought from have a standard and the 60’s. I tried both of course but the 60’s sounded better than the standard so thats what I chose to compare the entry level models i have allotted budget for. Hehe.
 

dreamingtele

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A very well documented search and purchase :) Congrats man! Enjoy!

You are too kind sir. Thank you.

I aim to produce really good quality content and information for people who are looking to buy or interested on the same gears I’m buying/bought.

Sort of a public service, but I also enjoy doing it and writing about it. Hehe
 

mimmo

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I get you. Hey, if I have the money, Id definitely turn Australia upside down to get a J-45 that sounds amazing. And I feel you on the name on the headstock. One of My dream guitars is an ES-330, and I want the real deal Gibson ES-330 and thats what I bought. Hehehehe an ES-295 is the top no.1 dream guitar but I will never be able
To afford a real Gibson model. Vintage or even reissue so i’m okay with the Peerless Epiphone. Hehehe

Untitled by D Y, on Flickr

I’m not saying the J-45 I tried is bad, I’m just saying the Eastman sounded better. If my Sigma I have is actually the closest sounding to the Gibson J-45 among the three choices I had, then you have an idea on how the Gibson sounded.

Here in Australia, theres quite a few J-45’s around. Standard, 50’s and 60’s model. This store I bought from have a standard and the 60’s. I tried both of course but the 60’s sounded better than the standard so thats what I chose to compare the entry level models i have allotted budget for. Hehe.

Thanks for the detailed answer.
I think that you have great taste guitar wise, I remember your teles (that you don't own anymore) and I drool each time I see your epiphone and your 330: these guitars are simply stunning just to look at. I could stare at them simply enjoying their timeless beauty.

RE the Gibson J-45. You are lucky if you have several J-45s to try around you, as I told you my only bet is to order one and buy hoping that everything goes well. As ALL the shops told me, Gibson is the less organized among the biggest company, they are really struggling trying to satisfy the market demand.
That's why they told me that they sell literally all the J-45s before pulling them out of the carton! Crazy, just crazy.
I am in the process to sell the second guitar I put on sale (the first one sold really quickly!) and I will be able to place my order.
After that, I can only cross my fingers.

Ps I have also checked your guitar around here and could not find it either! Everyone plays guitar at this moment!
 

Boreas

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Thank you so much for this. Given all the years of playing electric guitars, I actually am on unfamiliar ground with acoustic guitars and did my best to just compare it against the real deal. Lol.. You dont know how anxious I was.. i was already at the counter with the all-solid Sigma version because you know, all-solid, it should be better.

But I changed my mind in the last minute and asked for the laminate b&s model as it sounded better to my ears at least. So i can safely say, I trusted my ears and was able to confirm when I came back to the store that the all-solid still didnt sound as nice. Well, it still sounded good, but not close to the Gibson I was comparing it to.
Glad you hooked up! I doubt you will regret the laminate choice. Very stable construction and you have to really TRY to crack them. Do you know if it is High Pressure Laminate or plywood? You will also be happy with the Richlite fretboard.

But I believe a reason you settled on the tone of this one was the thin bridge. I have always preferred the tone of the thin bridge vs. the belly bridges. To me, they are more responsive. On some tops they may have a tendency to flub out under heavy attack, but it really depends on the top, plate, and bracing.

It will sound better every time you play it! Play the crap out of it!!
 

CX Hunter

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Schweet. I’ve only had the same old D44 Guild I bought back in ‘79 for all these years, and then about a year ago - I bought a discounted J45 with finish defects (looked and looked and looked and never could find said defects) off of Sweetwater, and knew right away, it was a keeper. Lowered the action considerably and it just sounds better and better. Anyhoo… enjoy.
 

ndcaster

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Here it is with Martin Retro Monels, it sounds nice. I’m on a string journey at the moment and I’m trying to find the right one that sounds like the sound in my head. Hahahagahaha



To compare with the Martin SP Phospor Bronze;




And here it is with Martin Retro Monels after 5 days and one weekend gig.. it definitely broke in and kinda sounds dull and very fundamental,







To give you an update, I went back to the store to demo the all solid version Sigma again, and it’s still sounding a bit harsh to my ears. My laminate b&s model still sounds warmer and has more low end, and still very close to the Gibson I’ve tried against it.

However, with that in mind, I also demo’ed the Eastman E20SS in the store. Unfrotunately it’s still the reigning king (to me at least) of affordable J-45 copy in the store. For half the price of the Gibson J-45, it actually sounds better, fuller, louder. Build quality, fit, feel and finish is better than the Gibson. Hahahah.

the broken-in Monels sound most like a vintage Gibson

the Martin strings make it sound like ... a Martin

you're close. I played a bunch of vintage J-50s a few years ago, and their sound varied

there was one (an early 50s) that got away -- I just didn't have the 3k in hand -- and it was the thing itself, despite having been repaired: deep, rich, round, and woody
 

dreamingtele

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Glad you hooked up! I doubt you will regret the laminate choice. Very stable construction and you have to really TRY to crack them. Do you know if it is High Pressure Laminate or plywood? You will also be happy with the Richlite fretboard.

But I believe a reason you settled on the tone of this one was the thin bridge. I have always preferred the tone of the thin bridge vs. the belly bridges. To me, they are more responsive. On some tops they may have a tendency to flub out under heavy attack, but it really depends on the top, plate, and bracing.

It will sound better every time you play it! Play the crap out of it!!

Hi sir!

I actually have no idea if its HPL or ply construction. Whatever it is, it boggles my mind a bit as it doesnt respond like a laminate guitar would. Its probably the least laminate sounding acoustic guitar ive heard (i never HAD a high end all solid wood acoustic) so theres that.

And yes, the Micarta/Richlite fretboard/bridge doesnt really bother me at all. It looks good and looks stable. The neck is actually pretty dead straight and hasnt moved at all on the switch from stock 12’s to 13’s! It has very minimal relief which i actually like and do with my electric guitars!

On the Thin vs Belly, I actually just learned about it now! Lol. I made some quick readings and lots of conflicting ideas, but relates more to the structural stability of the top. While I dont know how this is braced and all, but the top wood is actually pretty thin. I’m not worried now on the belly-ing issue some acoustics have as it’s fairly new but I’m not sure how it will hold up overtime with 13’s. That would remain to be seen over the years - if I still have it or have gone upgrading to a higher end model. What are your thoughts about the thin bridge you mentioned? Really curious about this one!

On the attack, this is what drew me to the all solid model. That one has a solid adirondack top, which from experience, can give me tons of headroom and volume. But ive said before that, that said guitar wasnt giving me the warm tone I’m looking for. This one has Sitka and seems to hold up well to my playing. I’m pretty heavy handed player and in the band that I use this guitar with, i need to play hard and strum consistently as i’m the one holding the rhythm together. I havent noticed any flubbing out yet, but given the top is thin, i can feel the whole guitar vibrate especially if I palm mute. Lol. I dont think I’ll be able to distinguish what flubbing out means what sound it makes, can you describe how to tell if my top is flubbing out?

And yessir, believe me, this guitar gets beat, hard, more than my electric guitars!
 

dreamingtele

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Schweet. I’ve only had the same old D44 Guild I bought back in ‘79 for all these years, and then about a year ago - I bought a discounted J45 with finish defects (looked and looked and looked and never could find said defects) off of Sweetwater, and knew right away, it was a keeper. Lowered the action considerably and it just sounds better and better. Anyhoo… enjoy.

Thanks sir!!

Man, id love to own a J45 standard! Hopefully when I really invest into acoustic. I’m just mainly on electric guitars in our band! Hehe
 

dreamingtele

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the broken-in Monels sound most like a vintage Gibson

the Martin strings make it sound like ... a Martin

you're close. I played a bunch of vintage J-50s a few years ago, and their sound varied

there was one (an early 50s) that got away -- I just didn't have the 3k in hand -- and it was the thing itself, despite having been repaired: deep, rich, round, and woody

Thank you for the observation sir!

Although I never had a Martin, id probably agree that maybe Martins dont suit this guitar well. Hehehe.

I’m still unsure at the moment if Id keep using Monels on this one or try coated strings next. And of course since it’s a J-45, i want it to sound close to a Gibson J-45 and not a Martin dread! Hehehe.

Any advice on what to try next? This is my first forray into acoustics and honestly I feel like a fish out of water.
 

Boreas

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Hi sir!

I actually have no idea if its HPL or ply construction. Whatever it is, it boggles my mind a bit as it doesnt respond like a laminate guitar would. Its probably the least laminate sounding acoustic guitar ive heard (i never HAD a high end all solid wood acoustic) so theres that.

And yes, the Micarta/Richlite fretboard/bridge doesnt really bother me at all. It looks good and looks stable. The neck is actually pretty dead straight and hasnt moved at all on the switch from stock 12’s to 13’s! It has very minimal relief which i actually like and do with my electric guitars!

On the Thin vs Belly, I actually just learned about it now! Lol. I made some quick readings and lots of conflicting ideas, but relates more to the structural stability of the top. While I dont know how this is braced and all, but the top wood is actually pretty thin. I’m not worried now on the belly-ing issue some acoustics have as it’s fairly new but I’m not sure how it will hold up overtime with 13’s. That would remain to be seen over the years - if I still have it or have gone upgrading to a higher end model. What are your thoughts about the thin bridge you mentioned? Really curious about this one!

On the attack, this is what drew me to the all solid model. That one has a solid adirondack top, which from experience, can give me tons of headroom and volume. But ive said before that, that said guitar wasnt giving me the warm tone I’m looking for. This one has Sitka and seems to hold up well to my playing. I’m pretty heavy handed player and in the band that I use this guitar with, i need to play hard and strum consistently as i’m the one holding the rhythm together. I havent noticed any flubbing out yet, but given the top is thin, i can feel the whole guitar vibrate especially if I palm mute. Lol. I dont think I’ll be able to distinguish what flubbing out means what sound it makes, can you describe how to tell if my top is flubbing out?

And yessir, believe me, this guitar gets beat, hard, more than my electric guitars!
Flubbing out in an acoustic is basically when you keep increasing attack, and the tone starts to go wonky or unpleasant. In other words, it is essentially distortion which usually isn't a good thing in acoustics. I think the wider bridge helps control those nastier overtones a little better - but perhaps at the expense of responsiveness at normal volume levels. But again, it isn't just the bridge, it is the sum of all parts - bridge/saddle/plate/top/bracing. Many people feel the bridge PLATE has more to do than the bridge itself.

My 96 Gibson (Montana) J-45 Banner has the belly-up bridge, and I can play that about at hard as a D-18. I feel it is actually bassier, but may not get as loud overall. But part of that is the shorter scale length. I don't play loud, so it isn't much of an issue.
 

dreamingtele

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Flubbing out in an acoustic is basically when you keep increasing attack, and the tone starts to go wonky or unpleasant. In other words, it is essentially distortion which usually isn't a good thing in acoustics. I think the wider bridge helps control those nastier overtones a little better - but perhaps at the expense of responsiveness at normal volume levels. But again, it isn't just the bridge, it is the sum of all parts - bridge/saddle/plate/top/bracing. Many people feel the bridge PLATE has more to do than the bridge itself.

My 96 Gibson (Montana) J-45 Banner has the belly-up bridge, and I can play that about at hard as a D-18. I feel it is actually bassier, but may not get as loud overall. But part of that is the shorter scale length. I don't play loud, so it isn't much of an issue.

Thanks so much for explaining!! I really
Know nothing about this! Hahaha.

I dont think I play THAT hard as I’m amplified, but I think I know what you mean and I’m going to test how much my guitar can take
 

Boreas

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Thanks so much for explaining!! I really
Know nothing about this! Hahaha.

I dont think I play THAT hard as I’m amplified, but I think I know what you mean and I’m going to test how much my guitar can take
You will know it when you are overplaying. To me, it starts sounding less like wood and more like metal.
 




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