2/12/2015

1968 Gibson J-50 Dreadnought Guitar




Despite sharing the same model name (J-50) as 1967's version, this '68 J-50 is a markedly different beast. Gone are the iconic "slope shoulders" and Gibsonesque 24 3/4" scale length that made the J-45 and J-50 such perfect folk, blues, and rockabilly guitars. In their place are features borrowed from Martins: a long 25 3/8" scale and square shoulders that give this a much more typical dreadnought feel and sound.

It feels roughly like playing a D-18 but with a more Gibson-y neck shape and that brings this guitar almost into Guild territory except for that inescapable Gibson "ka-thuck" sound when you strum your chords. Yes, that's a good thing! It means that this offers a slightly different flavor from your standard cookie-cutter squared-off dreadnought sound.

This came in for a quick setup via a jam group regular and I think his fingers will be happier with it playing as fast as it can. The frets still need to be leveled/dressed, but that can wait for now.



This guitar is more or less original but does have a replacement (oversize) bridge and newer tuners and truss rod cover.





The original bridge would've had an adjustable saddle which I, honestly, miss on this alteration. Still, there's nothing wrong with the standard bridge type... most folks prefer it! I added string ramps and adjusted the saddle during setup to coax a bit more tone out of it.






Spruce over 'hog... can't get much more classic than that.

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