2/16/2014

c.1964 Gibson J-50 ADJ Slope Dreadnought Guitar


A customer of mine stopped by to pick up one of his other guitars and brought this along for a quick "check-up" while he was here. A truss adjustment and saddle adjustment later and this thing was in perfect health. This is one of the cleaner J-50s I've seen and it's just in fantastic shape. It sounds the business, too and has the slightly wider (1 11/16") nut rather than the thinner nut width that I tend to associate with Gibsons from the 60s. I'm pretty jealous, obviously. I love me them Gibson slope-shouldered guitars.



Solid spruce over solid mahogany with a mahogany neck. The bridge and board are rosewood and this has an adjustable saddle which is actually ebony rather than the ceramic or plastic types I see more often on old Gibs. There are a lot of folks who are snobby about adjustable saddles on these old J-50s and J-45s but, ya know, they're just so practical and I think some of the airy/woody plunk that I associate with these guitars gets a bit lost when you swap them out for a big chunk of bone or similar.

And... up here in Vermont... when winter comes and the top sinks (due to dryness) and you get light buzzing on the frets you can either spend 3 minutes lightly adjusting the saddle up and the truss a hair tighter or looser or with a regular setup you can detune, pull the pins, pull the saddle, cut a shim (or new, second saddle) to fit, and then put it all back together again. I know which I'd prefer over the long haul.



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