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1952 Gibson J-45 Vintage Slope Shoulder Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1952 Gibson J-45, professionally maintained and in perfect working order. Benefitting from a fresh neck reset, new hand-carved and compensated bone saddle and a professional refret with vintage-spec fretwire, this J-45 has a broad, powerful, relaxed tone, indicative of a top that’s been worked-in to perfection.

With the traditional tonewood complement of a solid spruce top and Honduran mahogany back and sides, this J-45 has exquisite projection and excellent string-to-string clarity. The bass register is rich and rumbling, staying well-defined and delivering a sweet growl when you dig in hard with a flatpick. Trebles are sparkling and airy, and this J-45 has more high treble than most. The midrange is balanced and not woofy in the slightest, keeping complex chords and vigorous strumming very clear. The guitar is extremely dynamic and sensitive to pick attack, responsive to a variety of playing styles, with a warm, bell-like tone when fingerpicked. The guitar is featherweight at 4lbs, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar with fresh 12-53 bronze strings, offering comfortable action and accurate intonation.

The one-piece Honduran mahogany neck has a round, substantial "baseball bat" C-shaped profile carve with generous shoulder and ideal heft, measuring .895" deep at the 1st fret and .975" at the 9th. The Brazilian rosewood fretboard has been professionally refretted with nigh flawless vintage-spec slender “banjo” fretwire, and the Brazilian board shows light finger wear on the treble side from frets 1-3. The neck is straight, and the guitar plays cleanly up the 24 3/4" scale with a responsive, optimally adjusted truss rod. The original nylon nut is intact measuring a full 1 11/16" in width. The headstock features a clean original Gibson silkscreen logo, with an additional vintage waterslide decal on the back from Matt Umanov Guitars, fitted with a set of modern Kluson Deluxe single line tuning machines that perfectly match the footprint of the originals and have excellent tuning stability.

The neck has been professionally reset, meeting the body at an ideal angle, and the original Brazilian rosewood bridge sits flush with the top, fitted with a new carved and compensated bone saddle. All of the original braces are intact and stable, and the original tortoise pickguard sits flat on the top. Visible on the heel block, the original Z-prefix factory order number is present.

The top and sides are crack-free, and the guitar exhibits various repaired back cracks (the bass-side repairs are cleaner and more slight than the treble-side repairs), cleated and glued as necessary for optimal structural integrity, with one new piece of mahogany on the treble-side lower bout edge on the back, and some finish touchup in this area to match the original Walnut nitro gloss on the rest of the back. The cracks themselves have some light finish touchup, along with a cleanly doweled strap button hole on the treble side of the heel. Cosmetic wear includes prominent lacquer checking across the body, with particularly tight spiderweb checking on top, light buckle rash on the upper bout on the back. and various dings, scuffs, and signs of honest use on the body as a whole. The neck profile shows palm wear through the nitro gloss central to the profile carve behind frets 1-8.

This soulful and professionally maintained golden age Gibson J-45 boasts all the necessary service due a guitar of this vintage and calibre, with a professional neck reset, carved and compensated saddle, and professional refret.

A vintage Gibson black tolex chipboard case with red plush interior is included. This case is in great shape with a silver Gibson silkscreen on the exterior, original handle, and functional latches.