Gibson J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar , c. 1943

Gibson  J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar ,  c. 1943
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Item # 9053
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Gibson J-45 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar, c. 1943, made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 2329-4, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and top; laminated maple neck, 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 combination of a mahogany back and sides with a sunburst-finished mahogany top (instead of the normal spruce) and a 3-piece laminated maple neck.

Another concession to wartime specs is the use of a maple insert under the fingerboard instead of the standard adjustable truss rod, 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 Gibson Factory Order Number (FON) 2329-4 on the heelblock identifies this guitar as a 1943-4 model, based on recent research. The features are typical of other guitars known to have been built in this period, but the combination of a mahogany top with the maple neck is still fairly rare. This is a great-sounding guitar with a huge tone despite, or more likely because of, its unusual combination of woods.
Overall length is 41 in. (104.1 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 3/4 in. (629 mm.). Width of nut is 1 3/4 in. (44 mm.).

This guitar is fairly well-worn but in excellent-playing condition. The back of the neck is the most heavily worn-in, with a lot of dings and dents and several spots worn down to the wood. The rest of the finish has checking, dings, and scuffs but no large areas of pickwear or loss. There are repaired grain splits on the top and back (one each) but no large areas of damage or repair. The original bridge and bridgeplate are intact. The guitar has had an expert refret and is a very fine player with a powerful sound. Very Good + Condition.