Hi all, well I am having a weird experience with a guitar, sounds crazy but, I purchased a 09 J45 Gibson from a guy a while back because it was a case queen and looked mint, didn’t sound that great but at the low price I figured take a chance, worse case I could resell it.
Well, I fooled with it a bit and realized after really looking close and taking the valley out of the neck, i don’t think it had ever been touched from the factory, that the string spacing was off, really close like a 64th of an inch from the fret bevel on the first string. I would do a pull off and it would literally pull off the bottom of the neck.
It still was stock and had the black nut that Gibson used on the J45 and at close examination I could see someone had cut the slots deeper and when i took out the horrendous neck relief the strings layer on the frets! And the guitar had no sustain or ring to it.
Well I decided to take a chance and put a few more bucks into it and took it to a Luthier and custom guitar builder in Springfield Or. named Rick Kneale. He has a real good reputation and builds beautiful custom electrics and acoustics. He took a look and agreed someone had butchered the nut and it needed set up and a new saddle as well.
Rick had it for a couple of weeks and I picked it up yesterday. New bone nut, new bone saddle and set up done. Played it briefly while I was there and it felt good so home I went. I did notice right away in the shop how it sustained and rang out, sounded great.
Now I have played it a few hours and I gotta say this guitar is amazing! Sustain forever, intonation is dead on, and the tone is just perfect, but most of all, Ease of Play is nothing short of fantastic. When he set the new nut the action at the first position is so good it’s almost like an electric, combined with the short scale, Wow! I am having to spend a great deal of time just getting used to the feel. He set the string spacing at equal distance and not a buzz to be found. At the 12th fret top it is exactly 3/32" , just the best setup I’ve ever had on a guitar.
Now my D18 plays great but in comparison not as well I must say. I love the tone of my 18 and will never part with it but am considering taking it in as well.
This Gibson for the first hour or so was actually too easy to play. It felt like a Jazz arch top. Now I am really starting to dig it. It reduced the stress on my left hand by at least 50%, I realize the short scale is less tension to start with, but I can play this guitar for hours and no stress whatsoever. So as you can tell I’m stoked about this one. Plus it is electric has the Baggs in it.
It is just amazing to me the 150.00 I put into this could make a dead poor sounding and lousy playing guitar into this. I am very glad I did not decide to dump it. On top of the guitar the guy gave me a new Tone Right and humidity gauge and strings etc. so it more than made up for the setup work.
Anyway I am one happy picker right now, have always wanted a J45 but it took a while to get the right one…
If anyone is interested Rick Kneale is online…Jerry