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Swap J45 for a D18

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by uriah1, Sep 1, 2020.

  1. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Thinking of swapping/trading one of my J45s for a well worn D18.
    This is a recent Gibby J45 with cutaway and I put in K&K and bone nuts/saddles

    Do you think this may be a fair swap. Looking at D18s there are a thousand versions
    of them with prices all over the place.

    Probably use a reliable store, since individuals are not bonded or insured., etc.

    Just looking for thoughts.

    tks
     
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  2. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It would be impossible to tell if it were a "fair swap" without more info on both guitars. But if you are talking about tone differences and playability, they are apples and oranges.

    If you don't have a good local shop with many choices, you could take a look at Elderly Instruments. I have had great luck with them over the years and the last I knew they take trades and sell on consignment. Probably many other online shops as well.
     
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  3. davenumber2

    davenumber2 Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like you have more than one J-45. I’d keep my favorite and trade the other. I think the value between a standard 45 and standard D-18 On the used market is about even.
     
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  4. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Ya, I do have another J45. Thanks.
     
  5. Lance Morgan

    Lance Morgan TDPRI Member

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    I have both. I wouldn’t swap either of them.

    Probably doesn’t help much to tell you that.

    I prefer my Taylor 610 over both. Try a Taylor.
     
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  6. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

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    If you have 2 J45s, it might be cool to have the D18. I would want to take the D18 for an inspection with a good tech, or luthier, just to make sure it is structurally sound, and won't need any major maintenance. A set up might be expected. But, any fret work, new bone bridge/saddle really adds up fast.
     
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  7. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Sell the J45 on Reverb, buy new D-18 for less then $2K...
     
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  8. DrPepper

    DrPepper Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Or keep the Gibson and buy a D-18.
     
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  9. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    J45 and D18 are very different guitars - both great in their own right. I don't know which era of Martin you are looking at but there are some big differences in guitars produced at different times. Pre war of course are the holy grail, expect to pay the price of a very nice car or a modest house. The first decade or so after the war are good guitars, the 70's and '80's are the low years of Martin quality and construction (I'll come back to that). After that you get into kind of a hodge podge with all the various reissues and - the GE's and Authentics and others. I personally kind of lost track of what is what but I have played both a GE and an A and they are great guitars.

    The '70's are the can of worms years. Martin started over building guitars, people say to avoid warranty calls (remember that Martin warranted their guitar for the life of the original owner). There were some real QC issues - saddle slots in the wrong place, heavy rosewood bridge plates instead of the small mahogany ones. During this time they still used the non adjustable truss rods (but the necks are remarkably stable with respect to relief).

    Like any old guitar, most Martins at 30 or so years of age need a neck reset. I have a '74 and a '80 and they have both had it done. It is straight forward but in my opinion should be done by an authorized repair person - I think that maintains the pedigree better than having the guy at the local music store do the reset (I am perfectly capable of resetting a dovetail neck but I paid to have it done on my Martins for this reason).

    Bryan Kimsey is kind of the authority on middle aged Martins, he has a very good article on what to look for

    http://www.bryankimsey.com/70s_D28/index.htm

    (actually that is golden for anyone looking at a used guitar).

    Bryan also has a good list of current prices for having typical work done - I would take that with me when evaluating a potential guitar and use it for negotiations. If a guitar needs a reset and new frets and maybe a few cracks repaired I would not necessarily reject it but I would certainly negotiate with the owner - he/she probably is very aware of what is wrong.

    My old D-18 is a wonderful guitar but I don't play it - I prefer smaller sizes (and my own) and I keep thinking I need to get off my rear and sell it. It is also going up steadily in value so that makes me just want to hold on. My humble advice is to decide each part of this deal independent of the other - sell the Gibson and shop for the Martin, don't think of it as a trade. Take your measuring tools and the Kimsey article when you evaluate Martins, realize that people have some inflated ideas of value because of what a few guitars have sold for. If you are shopping for a guitar from the 70's or 80's remember that are some things that can be done to improve the sound if you want to go that way. Have fun shopping

    Martins.jpg
     
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  10. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would consider a "reliable store" some place like Elderly or Gruhn's were they actually purchase the guitar from the PO and do whatever is needed to bring it up to whatever standard they are going to advertise it at. Something on consignment at the local music store, or for that matter, Reverb, is a crap shoot. I personally would never, ever buy a guitar that I hadn't held in my hands and played. I am capable of evaluating guitars and I'm pretty hard on my evaluations - if it needs a reset I know it and I know that will cost 5 or 600 dollars.

    Don't trust the store to do this for you. I was in a store recently and they had a nice little guild 12 string on the wall - I played it and commented to the clerk that once it had a reset and some fretwork it was going to be a nice guitar. She sort of cringed - she knew what it need....

    Remember one other thing that I mentioned above - Martins are (were) warranted to the original owners for the life of the guitar. Martin had been very good about this but reports are they are start to slip - BUT if you are looking at a privately owned guitar and it is the original owner and it does need some work suggest that they have it looked at and maybe do the work before you buy it.
     
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  11. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    I'd rather have one of each, than two J45s. No brainer.
     
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  12. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Holic

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    As someone who started out a Gibson guy and owned several J45's including a couple Standards, a J45TV and a J45V then switched to a D18 Standard, you really should own BOTH!

    I love my D18 and would say it is probably a bit more versatile and a better "all-arounder" if you also incorporate flat picking/Bluegrass into your playing, but if you're not a Bluegrass player you could probably be happy with just a J45. But both guitars are iconic classics for a reason and the difference in sound, shape, bracing pattern and scale length more than justify owning both. They also record very differently and sit in the mix differently if that's important to you.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
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  13. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Ya, that is what I was thinking.
     
  14. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I like the idea of having both a J-45 and D-18 to play. I like variety.

    Good luck on the search!
     
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  15. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

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    does scale matter? I like short scale acoustics.
     
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  16. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    Looking forward to hearing how this works out for you.
    I have a J-45 and am looking at adding a D-18 to the fold myself.
    Or an HD-28.
    I know, that’s a whole new conversation.
     
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  17. GGardner

    GGardner Friend of Leo's

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    Dark burst?
     
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  18. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Love them both. Want them both. Need them both.
     
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