11/11/2016

1993 Gibson J-30 Dreadnought Guitar





I'd never played a J-30 before, but it struck me right off the bat as a "Hummingbird in J-45 clothing" -- which it is. It's spruce over mahogany with a square-shouldered body and the customary 24 3/4" Gibson scale length. As such it sounds like a J-45... but with a bass that's just ever-so-slightly tighter. This is not at all like the "sometimes awful, sometimes excellent" square-shouldered Gibsons of the 70s -- thankee Gods -- and boasts plenty of power and an easy, 50s vintage-inspired feel to the cut of the neck.

I worked on this one for a customer and it got a bridge reglue, fret level/dress, and a good setup. Action is dialed-in at 1/16" DGBE and 3/32" EA and it's strung-up and happy with a set of mediums on it. What's nice about this guitar is it gets some of that D-18 flatpicker's-delight vibe but has the distinct separated mids that you only get with "the Gibson" sound. I think you can hear in the soundclip that I'm enjoying crosspicking a bunch on it!


This one was made in Gibson's Bozeman, Montana factory, and sports an extra "VS" on the model name to describe that vintage sunburst look.



Rosewood board, jumbo frets, pearl dots, and a 12" radius...



I love the 50s-style pickguard.






These Kluson-style tuners lock to the headstock like any other modern sealed (Grover Rotomatic-style) tuner, but are essentially the same as old Klusons internally.




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