Gibson J-45 Progressive Acoustic Guitar

Gibson AMI | (03) 8696 4600 | www.gibsonami.com | RRP: $5399

Quite possibly Gibson’s most famous acoustic guitar, the J-45 has been played by luminaries such as Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly and Woody Guthrie. A competitor to the early Martin dreadnaughts, the J-45 became a favourite amongst country, folk and rock players alike. With Gibson pushing some of their technological boundaries over the last few years, they’ve invigorated their 2016 J-45 (also adding the ‘Progressive’ moniker to the name) - let’s see what’s under the hood.

PROGRESSIVE

A dreadnaught styled guitar, the J-45 is easily recognisable thanks to those classic sloped shoulders. A combination of Sitka spruce for the top and mahogany for the back and neck, this J-45 is nished in Gibson’s new ‘Autumn Burst’ finish. Rich and red-ish brown around the edges, the Autumn Burst lightens to a nice amber tone near the bridge with a tortoise guard adding some vintage vibes. Those classic parallelogram inlays are still a mainstay, and at first glance the whole package looks quite the standard J-45. Delve a little deeper however and you’ll find where the Progressive-ness comes from. Vintage looking tuning keys are actually a part of Gibson’s G Force Tuning System, which are mechanical tuners that give you quick access to a range of standard and alternate tunings at the press of the button. At the other end of the fretboard you’ll find a Tune-O-Matic styled bridge with titanium saddles that allows for string height adjustments and quicker intonation adjustments.

 

TECHNOLO G

Add in the newer slightly wider yet skinny neck profile and L.R Baggs Lyric system and you’ve got quite a bit of innovation in this particular J-45. For those not aware, the ‘Lyric’ is an internal microphone that is mounted to the underside of the bridge plate. There’s a jack endpin and then a volume control, which you’ll find just inside the soundhole and that’s it. L.R Baggs are very quick to point out that this isn’t a pickup, it’s a microphone which then equates to the sound of a mic’d guitar. I’ve heard several in action and they do sound good to my ears.

 

ACOUSTIC

Marketed as a ‘handmade guitar for the contemporary progressive acoustic player’, the J-45 does have a few bells and whistles. When it comes down to the nitty gritty though it is still a fine acoustic in the sloped shoulder Gibson tradition – woody and warm with a nice thick tone that isn’t ‘plinky’ or super bright. I’m sure with age (as many of those vintage J-45’s are now) they’ll develop and open into an even sweeter tone. Those wanting a vintage J-45 might not be completely fulfilled but if you’re looking for this style and sound with some extra features, you’re getting a modern take on a classic guitar. 

 

For more info on Gibson guitars, visit www.gibsonami.com.

Hits and Misses

tick-for-review.png

Classic looks with a twist

LR Baggs Lyric is a nice inclusion as standard

cross-for-review.png

2016 innovations may not suit everyone

Comments