Mudcat Café message #2025134 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100767   Message #2025134
Posted By: dwditty
14-Apr-07 - 10:20 AM
Thread Name: Wanted: Gibson J-45 or J-50
Subject: RE: Wanted: Gibson J-45 or J-50
from the Mandolin Brothers site (

15-5386 Gibson (used, c. 1944-1945) J-45 "Banner," ISI-1720, in very good plus condition with newer hard shell case.
This guitar fulfills the dream of every player – to find a guitar that sounds as big as a bulldozer, which looks as if it rode the trails with the major cowboy actor-singers of the 1940s. We have found such an instrument and we present it to you with all the work that is required done – ready to ride the rodeo circuit for another 61 years.
This is an instrument that shows normal plus (more than merely normal, through the finish, over the river and into the wood) playing wear on the bass side of the 7 crème and black rings that surround the 4" diameter soundhole. For those who want more, it shows additional wear on the treble side at the orifice, and above and below the tortoise shell teardrop pickguard. This is the Gibson traditional slope-shouldered jumbo with the 11 5/8" upper bout, the lithe 10 5/8" waist and the 16" wide lower bout, whose top and back are bound in crème celluloid, whose top is wide-grained spruce and whose back and sides are dramatically grained mahogany under a dark brown original finish. It has newer unsigned Kluson style striped squareback tuners; it was the recipient of a prior neck reset. It has two long repaired side cracks and one shorter one on the upper bout of the treble rim, another small crack at the waist on the bass side and yet another on the back on the treble side. The guitar has at least a thousand dings, scratches and scrapes including on the back of its neck, around the headstock, on the top and the back and, well, yes, the sides. It has crazing lines, some light, some deep. There is a small separation of the soundhole rosette at the 2 o'clock position, and 7 mother of pearl dotmarkers in 6 positions. It is assumed that the guitar was refretted since the Brazilian rosewood fingerboard is free of all but the most minor pitting. The bridge was replaced by our repair staff and fitted with a proper height bone saddle.
The headstock (oh, that stately center-dip weathered headstock) is emblazoned with a gold decal "Gibson" prewar script logo and there under the famous "Only a Gibson is Good Enough" gold decal banner with the twin art deco lines placed vertically through the center. This slogan appeared on Gibson models only from 1942 to 1946. That it has the adjustable truss rod feature (thank goodness) means to us that it is not a '42 or '43 and is more likely a '44 or '45 example. When we received it, every brace on the top and the back was loose and all have been properly reglued. It once sounded, tapping the back, like the noises that come out of a sealed coffin after an illegal exhumation under the full moon. It required, as well, a new bridge to be made and installed, accompanied by a new bridge plate. It came in with a cheap imported flattop case and needed to receive a good quality (Geib style) hard shell case. This was expensive work but we did it and we're glad we did it, and you will be too. There is an added nickel-plated strap pin in the treble side of the neck heel. Though worn looking and repaired this is an extremely handsome, supremely powerful, full-frequencied instrument whose place in the annals of American fretted instrument history is more than just assured, it is certified in the Book of the Good Ones. $7,732 or, at our cash discount price, $7,500.