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Gibson is a popular and collectible guitar brand. It remains one of the only guitar manufacturers to produce its instruments exclusively in the United States. Sinceall Gibson acoustic guitars have been made in Bozeman, Mont.


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Help my date my j45

Search forums. Log in. Change style. Close Menu. Home Forums Instruments Acoustic Instruments. Help my date my J Thread starter Start date Oct 25, Messages Hi guys, I just bought a vintage refin J But not quite sure what year it is Messages 4, If you are asking if it is an original Banner I cannot give you a definitive answer as I would never call myself an expert. The 19 frets and logo do look right for a Banner. But there is only so much you can tell from photos. There should be an FON and batch on the neck block.

If not, it would date your guitar to as that is the only year I know of that you ran across Banner Js without FONs. Gibsons built in and also routinely do not have FONS. The top, of course, is spruce. While Gibson did make Banners and others with maple bodies, they never built one with a maple top although I have seen a few that sported tops made of more than two pieces and even mahogany tops.

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I do not have a good enough eye to determine whether the top is Red Spruce or Sitka. Red spruce was getting tougher and tougher to get towards the end of the War resulting in both Gibson and Martin switching over to Sitka. So you will find Js built in that have one or the other. If it is a banner, the tuners are replacements. Gibson did not start using these enclosed tuners until around The bridge is, as you note, a replacement.

How to determine the age of a gibson j

The belly down bridge was being used on SJs starting in but I have never run across a belly up bridge. The rosette also does not look correct for a Banner. While Gibson Js did have an outer ring as far as I know they were not three ply like that on your guitar. That on yours looks like what was on a s J Your reference to the slimmer neck would also seem to describe a guitar built in that decade. How wide is the nut? A post Gibson, however, also had 20 frets.

Gibson guitar serial s: what can they tell you?

So the neck could have been shaved down. I guess it is possible you have a shaved down Banner neck transplanted on a later body. You might look for are other features such as the tapered hetock and stiffened fabric or wood side stays. The place to go ask though would be the UMGF. There are guys there who know Banners a whole lot better than me.

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Here is the logo on my J if you want something to compare yours to. Here is my guitar before restoration. Again, for comparison note the grain of the Red Spruce top. Last edited: Oct 25, Another thought.

How to verify authentic gibson serial s

You might get a mirror and look inside at the bracing. Gibsons built from into had scalloped bracing. Those built starting sometime in had non-scalloped bracing. Thing is though that particularly with Gibsons built before no two were identical. Different hands using different tools with a part being considered done when it looked "close enough. Remember these guitars were built by ladies - the Kalamazoo Gals - who were brought in to replace those who were in the Service and whose training generally consisted of being told to watch the person next to them.

Whomever put the top together on my '42 accidentally flip flopped one of the book matched top pieces. I know a guy who has a '43 SJ where the X brace is 1 inch off center. But no guitar speaks more eloquently to a specific place and time than a Gibson Banner. Those of us with Banners tend to feel it is more like we have been entrusted with them rather than own them. Anyway on bracing here is that which is in my ' On my guitar the X brace looks more like a long taper with a slight uptick at the ends.

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Looks like they were carved with a dull pen knife. Gibson apparently did not feel it was worth while having one of their skilled workers do a final sanding. Others, however, will have an X brace that more resembles a ridge with a scallop in the center of the brace between two peaks.

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Also note the side supports. Messages 2, I have never seen that many pieces of fabric glued to brace ts. Normally you just see it at the center of the X. They seem to be attached to every brace t in your guitar. So I am guessing someone has been in there doing some repairs. I gather the main question is - is your guitar a modified Banner or a Franken-Gibson. I honestly cannot answer it. Your guitar appears to have a mish-mosh of features and will really require someone with far more knowledge than I have to narrow the date down.

One of the problems is that the refinish would have covered the footprint of whatever bridge and pickguard had been on the guitar.

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This would jibe with the tuners although without photos I cannot accurately date them. These though could have been salvaged from the original guitar and reused. The absence of side supports would also suggest an early s date as these disappeared on the J between and I really cannot make a call on the bracing although the tone bars below the bridge do not appear to have been scalloped.

Gibson started using un-scalloped bracing in But I am simply not knowledgeable enough about Gibson bracing to say anything definitive. The neck is a whole other ballgame.

Then there is, of course, the Banner. If it is not a later addition, it is almost as if the neck from a Banner was shaved down based on your slimmer description and grafted onto a later body. Messages 9, I do seem to recall some variation on the degree of scalloping on banners, though -- and not all of the braces of my L-0 are especially scalloped.

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They're all fairly tall and thin, though, like yours. Yours surely has a lot of fabric reinforcements, which seems odd. The rosette initially made me think retop, but it's actually a close match to a post SJ -- and both the SJ and J got upper belly bridges like this with the long slot c.

The complication, though, is that the banner logo is generally agree to have been gone by ' If I had to take a guess, I'd suspect that you've got a postwar banner that was originally built with an SJ top, and which subsequently had some bracing repairs and a new bridge installed in the early '50s. Others will know better, though. Last edited: Oct 26, Good points, zombywoof — and thanks for the correction about the timeline of the banner and script logos.