Jason here with another guitar blog. This week we take a look at a 1976 Gibson J45/50 that I let get away. Yes, for me, this was "The One That Got Away".
What an amazing guitar. I can't describe the sound but if I had to put it in words; the sound vibrated your chest and sounded so great it made you want to play constantly, inspired you to sing and write song
Gibson only made the J45/50 model one year in 1976 which was just a combination of the two model numbers on both the natural and the sunburst. Of course the J45 was the sunburst finish but all guitars shared the same J45/50 stamp on the back of the headstock.
The guitars from the 1970s generally get a bad wrap and this era from Gibson is known typically as the "Norlin Era". At the end of 1969, it was actually E.C.L. Industries, Inc. who took control of Gibson via CMI. Gibson remained under control of CMI until 1974, when it became a subsidiary of Norlin Industries. Some even extend the start of this "bad quality/tone killing" era to 1966 when Rendell assumed control of the company. The big difference was Gibson made a few design changes such as moving to a double x bracing on the top. The additional bracing was to cut down on warranty issues with the bellying of flat tops; however, the result was most of the guitar tops loosing their ability to vibrate. The general consensus is this was detrimental to the tone which is why this era of guitars is typically less desirable when compared to their round shouldered counterparts. The market pricing generally reflects this opinion. The good news not all guitars from this era were bad.
Gibson's quality has fluctuated throughout the years and there are gems to be found. Go to the nearest guitar store and play any guitar; a few of the same model if you don't believe me.
Now back to this exceptional guitar.
The guitar features a double bound solid mahogany back and sides with a solid spruce top in natural finish. It has a rosewood bridge with black bridge pins, a tortoise batwing style pickguard and a multi ring ivoroid rosette with two stripe ivoroid puddling. The neck is a 3 piece maple neck with white side dots and pearl dot inlays and a rosewood fingerboard. The nut width is 1 11/16 with a 24 3/4" scale length. It has a black headstock overlay with gold Gibson logo and deluxe Gibson tuners.
As of this post, the market value ranges from $900 for good player grade guitars up to $1500 for pristine models like this one. I hope you enjoyed this blog! Come back next week for a new post and another guitar!
Jason "Mississippi Son"