Gibson J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1946-7)

Gibson  J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1946-7)
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Item # 11363
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Gibson J-45 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1946-7), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back and sides, spruce top; mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

This J-45 has seen some ups and downs over the last 75+ years; we don't know everywhere it's been, but it has some stories behind it and still has a lot left to tell. It shows some typical wear and a noticeable repair to the sides and end block but remains a solid playing, great sounding guitar.

Gibson's slope-shouldered Jumbo guitars have been very popular since their 1930s introduction with folk, blues, and pop players, and it's usually easy to see why. This is a just-post WWII J-45 returns to the traditional specs of the model with a spruce top over mahogany back and sides and a rosewood fingerboard on the one-piece mahogany neck. During the war there was much variation in all these specs, but by 1946 Gibson had enough material back in stock to built them "properly".

This J-45 has a nice chunky round neck profile, somewhat slimmed from the wartime "Louisville slugger" specs but still with a substantial feel. The Gibson truss rod is installed, returned after a wartime absence due to restrictions on the use of steel. Other typical period features include the small rectangular rosewood bridge, tortoise celluloid pickguard and a dark shaded sunburst on the spruce top. The headstock still carries flat plate wartime-pattern riveted strip tuners and is adorned on the face with the gold Gibson script logo but no banner.

Like most of these 1940s Gibson jumbo guitars this is a spectacular-sounding instrument, with a big ringing tone that carries a lot of warmth. It shows a certain amount of wear and tear but remains in fine playing shape. We always love the J-45s from this period; they really exemplify the best of Gibson's "workingman's jumbo" with no frills but plenty of tonal muscle. This may not be the prettiest of these we have had but is a superbly comfortable guitar that feels at home right away in pretty much any playing style.
Overall length is 40 1/2 in. (102.9 cm.), 16 1/8 in. (41 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 7/8 in. (12.4 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 7/8 in. (632 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This guitar is a well-played and worn-in 75+ year old original that wears its battle scars proudly. It suffered a traumatic incident leaving a long crack through the endpin area extending almost to the waist on either side. This has been solidly sealed but not finished over so is plainly visible. There is another short tight crack just above the endpin that is very tightly sealed. Apart from this the guitar is amazingly crack free, even the top which does not even have the usual, top-edge-of-the-pickguard grain split.

There is finish checking and play wear pretty over much of the guitar but no alterations. The top has several areas picked into the wood above and below the soundhole rim and below the pickguard, as well as some deeper dings and scrapes. The back and sides also show checking and some scattered fairly heavy wear, while the back of the neck has not been worn heavily through the lacquer but does have a number of small dings and dents.

The neck has been neatly reset; the original frets have been re-crowned with a bit of subsequent wear but playability is still excellent. The original bridge is intact with the top worn down a bit and a reshaped saddle. Internally the original small bridgeplate is fully intact an in excellent shape, the bridge retaining screws are still in place. The rear legs of the main X may have been lightly scalloped long ago; everything else looks undisturbed. The top is still very solid and the guitar sounds excellent with a deeper tome than some but plenty of punch. In an era of artificially "relic-ed" instruments here's a genuine a relic , sounding great and ready to keep going for another century. Very Good Condition.