Gibson J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1943)

Gibson  J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1943)
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Item # 9043
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Gibson J-45 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1943), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 2848-3 (FON), sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, maple back and sides, spruce top,maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, black tolex hard shell case.

This "Banner" Gibson J-45 -- so called for the decal on the headstock reading "Only a Gibson Is Good Enough" was built during the middle of the Second World War when the company's output was severely limited. In this period the specifications of individual instruments often vary greatly from the published standards. The widely variant wartime features were dictated by the materials available; this particular guitar has the very unusual combination of a laminated maple back, sides, and neck with a sunburst-finished spruce top.

This guitar does feature the standard adjustable Gibson truss rod, often not used at this time as metal was severely rationed. The tuners are the slim flat-plate riveted Klusons of the period, specifically designed to use the minimum of metal possible. The neck is slimmer than many wartime guitars with a medium-chunky "C" profile and quite comfortable. The Gibson Factory Order Number (FON) 2848-3 on the heelblock identifies this as a 1943-4 model, based on recent research. The features are specific to this period, but the spruce top with the maple body and truss-rod maple neck is a fairly rare combination, with a major affect on the guitar's sonic character. This is a great-sounding instrument, in some ways more akin to the later postwar maple J-200s than a typical mahogany J-45 with a huge tone.
Overall length is 40 3/16 in. (102.1 cm.), 16 1/16 in. (40.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm.) in depth at side, taken at the end block. Scale length is 24 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 13/16 in. (46 mm.).

This guitar shows a decent amount of play wear but remains in nicely original condition. There are small dings, dents, and scrapes overall. The top shows some pick wear through the finish around the pickguard and an additional long random scrape under the fingerboard on the treble side. The neck has a couple of dings behind the first and second frets and the finish is worn by the fingerboard in the same areas. The light maple neck shows this wear more vividly than a darker mahogany would.

The bridge and very small maple bridgeplate are intact and unaltered; the bridge has a rounder profile to the top than most but does not appear reshaped. There is one grain crack to the top, off the back edge behind the treble side of the bridge. This is well-repaired and cleated. The frets are good with a bit of wear in the lower positions and a couple of small divots in the fingerboard. The guitar does not appear to have ever had a neck reset or need it in the forseeable future, and is a fantastic player with a supremely powerful punchy tone. Very Good + Condition.