In a back-catalogue packed full of iconic designs, the Gibson J-45 Standard still stands apart as one of the brand’s most iconic and enduring- high praise indeed when you consider the innovations that Kalamazoo’s finest have bestowed upon the world. It is, according to Gibson, the most popular acoustic guitar model it produces, and it has been in production since 1942. Part of the (back then) new round-shouldered jumbo line of flat-top acoustics, it quickly gained the nickname of ‘The Workhorse’. Spend some time with a J-45, and you’ll appreciate why. Put simply, it’s capable of coping with anything you throw at it, and does so with ease. It also has the kind of understated but beautiful aesthetics that pull at the heartstrings in a way that only something from the natural world could…
As you might expect from a brand with Gibson’s long and illustrious heritage, it knows plenty about great wood. On this modern incarnation of the J-45, there is ample demonstration of its knowledge and experience. The top is constructed from ‘AA’ grade, solid Sitka spruce. This is a premium grade and type of the popular top tonewood. Providing lively dynamic response, with sweet upper frequencies, and chiming fundamental harmonics, with bell-like clarity, spruce is tonewood that also gets better in tone as it ages.
The back and sides are constructed from pattern-grade Honduras mahogany. This high-grade of mahogany is visually very striking with dramatic figuring. Tonally, it brings incredibly rich and warm tone with definition, power and great projection.
Both woods are dried, and treated to bring out their best tonal qualities, and brought together in the J-45. Inside the body, the guitar is treated to Gibson’s radiused, hand-scalloped bracing. The arrangement of tall-thin braces for the back, and scalloped tall-thin bracing on the top ensures resonant dynamic response, with a central focus to aid projection. The result is tone that has a natural, even-toned balance, but the expansive, open high frequencies that are seldom heard on any guitar.
The neck is also made from mahogany, shaped to a SlimTaper profile and joined to the body via a dovetail joint. A rosewood fingerboard completes the understated look, whilst adding a warm, ‘dark’ element to the overall tone. Rolled edges ensure an even more comfortable playing experience.
The body and neck are bound, with multi-ply binding on the top of the guitar body, and single-ply binding on the rear of the body and the fingerboard. A 3-ply rosette and brown tortoiseshell pick guard add to the beautifully pared-down look.
Hardware and electronics
The J-45 Standard is equipped with more, high quality and reliable touches elsewhere on the guitar. The headstock is fitted with six Grover Rotomatic tuning machines. These provide an accurate tuning ratio of 14:1, with an nickel outer housing providing protection from dirt and other external elements.
An L.R. Baggs Element pickup is also fitted to the guitar. This simple, premium quality pickup is an active, under-saddle transducer design. With an in-built pre-amp and controls that are mounted discretely inside the sound hole, the Element translates the subtle nuances of the acoustic tones into an equally stunning amplified tone.
The Gibson J-45 Standard is a timeless classic within guitar-design. With tone that is astonishingly balanced, open and airy, yet suitable for all manner of playing styles, build and materials that of truly premium quality, and a playing experience that has few peers, it’s easy to see why so many reach for this particular ‘horse’, no matter the kind of musical ‘work’ to be done…
Manufacturer Gibson Model J-45 Electro Acoustic Guitar Top Material Solid Spruce Back & Side Material Flamed/Quilted Maple Neck Material Mahogany Fingerboard Material Rosewood Body Shape Dreadnought Colour Natural Pickups L.R. Baggs Element Guitar Size Full Number of Strings 6 Included Accessories Premium Hardcase Special Electronics L.R. Baggs Element Tuners Grover Rotomatic Pickguard Tortoise Bracing Hand Scalloped Bracing Unique Features Mother of Pearl Gibson peghead Logo Mother of Pearl dot inlays AAA-grade Sitka spruce AAA-grade Eastern curly maple
- Customer Reviews
- Sounds perfect
its not got a lot of frills, but I can see why its Gibson's best selling acoustic and nicknamed the 'workhorse'
- Cant put it down!
- Sounds as good as she looks.
As soon as I had my hand on the neck something felt right, the guitar nestled into my body like - well - let's say an old friend. And then the sound - I'm used to hearing class guitars from the 'wrong' side and I immediately knew that this was good. My friends now tell me it's much better than that. I can't say she stays in tune - no guitar does - but keeping her in tune with a combination of the tone quality and the magical machine heads just seems easy. Playing her is simply a joy.
She's been to a couple of folk nights now and other players simply wanted to touch her because she's so beautiful. Guitarists - what can you do with them, eh?
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