Gibson J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1951)

Gibson  J-45 Flat Top Acoustic Guitar  (1951)
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Item # 9745
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Gibson J-45 Model Flat Top Acoustic Guitar (1951), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 7455-32, sunburst top, dark back and sides finish, mahogany back, sides and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, black hard shell case.

Gibson's slope-shouldered Jumbo guitars have been very popular since their introduction with folk, blues, and pop players, and as always picking this one up it's easy to see why. This 1951 J-45 is somewhat worn in with one noticeable top repair but remains a superb player with a comfortable round-backed neck, chunky but somewhat sleeker than the chunky wartime spec that continued into the late 1940s. These early 1950s Gibson Jumbos are generally great-sounding instruments, with a big, warm sound that can still cut through the mix when pushed.

This example shows a few repairs, but remains nicely original and in fine-playing shape. It has a very dark and stately sunburst finish, with a deeper red center than most. The typical period features include the "top belly" style rosewood bridge, small tortoise celluloid pickguard, triple bound top and single bound back. The headstock is fitted with Kluson Deluxe strip tuners, with a gold "modern" Gibson script logo on the face.

We always love J-45s from this period. Whether near mint or heavily worn, they are classics in both looks and sound. This model really exemplifies the best of Gibson's "workingman's Jumbo" with no frills but plenty of splendid tone. This example is an excellent player despite its battle scars with a big, rich, but still well-defined sound.
Overall length is 40 3/4 in. (103.5 cm.), 16 1/4 in. (41.3 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 11/16 in. (43 mm.).

Overall this is a great playing and sounding 70+ year old example of this 1950s Gibson stalwart. While it shows less heavy wear than many from this era it does have a few repairs, solidly executed but visible. The finish remains original with no notable overspray, there is moderate checking overall and a number of dings, dents and scratches but less pick scarring than most. The bottom lip of the soundhole is the most affected.

The most visible repair is to three long top scratches and cracks on the bass side over the waist; these are solidly sealed but quite visible. This actually looks much worse than it is; much of the apparent old damage is not visible from the inside, with no cleats added and much of the apparently cracked area not appearing to have extended fully through the spruce. The end of the brace in this area has been visibly reglued; the splits were not perfectly lined up when sealed so can be felt but the area is completely solid.

There are also five repaired cracks, the bass side of the back on either side of the waist. There was no added finish here either bit some polish out and a few internal cleats. The top has a bit of typical bellying behind the bridge but is completely solid Internally the rearmost tone bar under the top has been replaced, it has been carefully scalloped to match its original neighbor. \

The rosewood bridge and small maple bridge plate remain original; the bridge looks to have been lowered somewhat long ago and has a newer bone saddle. The neck has been neatly reset, the original frets show minimal wear and playability is excellent. Considering the repair work this is not the cleanest old J-45 we have seen but still nicely original for its seven decades on the planet and a great gigger, playing perfectly with that classic Gibson sound in spades. Overall Very Good + Condition.