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1945 Gibson J-45 Banner Logo Wartime Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1945 Gibson "Banner Logo" J-45 Wartime dreadnought, complete with the original hardshell case. Boasting the original gloss nitro lacquer Sunburst finish, maple bridge plate, and a professional neck reset and refret, this J-45 is extremely original and optimally playable, with a solid spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides. As one of sparingly few Gibson acoustics produced during the Second World War, this guitar is notable for many reasons, and one prominent one is that it retains solid mahogany for the back and sides (as maple was substituted and dyed in many instances during the wartime years, yielding a markedly different tonal result).

A guitar that can sound both delicate and powerful simultaneously, there’s a burly growl and punch when you really dig in with a flatpick, and a surprising amount of top end sparkle which lends itself to fingerpicking. Authoritative and dry, the faintest strum yields ample volume and bloom, and the sheer dynamic range of the guitar is quite astounding. Each string rings out very evenly with a clarity typically reserved for rosewood and rarely heard in solid mahogany. There’s a pillowy warmth when strumming in front of the soundhole and a sinewy snap with a sweet, full quality picking close to the bridge. This J-45 lives up to the reputation of the Banner-era instruments, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with 12-53 strings and comfortable action

The mahogany neck offers baseball bat+ chunk with a substantial C-shaped profile carve. It’s as massive a neck as you'll find on any Gibson, and the size of the neck is in large part responsible for the impressive tonal response of the guitar, measuring .935" deep at the 1st fret and 1.015" at the 10th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard has been refretted with flawless Dunlop 6230 slender fretwire, and the guitar plays easily up the 24 3/4" scale. There is wear into the rosewood primarily on the treble side of the board from frets 1-2, extending more lightly until fret 6. A brand new carved bone nut measures 1 3/4" in width, and the headstock face retains the original script Gibson logo and banner. The original open-gear strip tuning machines are intact and still function as intended.

The neck has been professionally reset, meeting the body at an ideal angle. A new rosewood bridge has been installed, matching the footprint of the original and sitting flush with the top on all edges, fitted with a tall, carved and compensated bone saddle. The original maple bridge plate has been retained, while the bridge pins and endpin are modern, and a strap button has been added to the neck heel. The original tortoise teardrop pickguard is intact and sits flush with the top on all edges.

The original Sunburst gloss nitro lacquer finish is extremely bold with excellent color retention, showing no signs of touchup save for a sliver of finish on the leading edge of the bridge. There is a professionally addressed and cleated top crack adjacent to the center seam, and a smaller stabilized split under the pickguard edge between the B and High E strings. There are a few repaired side cracks as well, all cleanly addressed and cleated as needed to ensure optimal tonal resonance and reliability. Additional cosmetic wear includes lacquer checking throughout, pick scuffing across the soundhole, and various minor marks consistent with careful use.

The original black tolex hardshell case with green felt interior is included. The case is quite rough yet retains its stock latches and the original taped over handle.