1965 Gibson USA J-45 ADJ Cherry Sunburst

The Blue Book Says:

– slope shouldered body, spruce top, round soundhole, tortoiseshell pickguard, three-stripe bound body/rosette, mahogany back/sides/neck, 14/19 (pre-war) or 14/20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, rosewood bridge with black pins, three-per-side nickel tuners with pearl buttons, available in Sunburst finish, mfg. 1942-1985.
During WWII, Gibson used whatever materials were handy. A mahogany top J-45 will bring about 15% less than above values, but a mahogany back with rosewood or maple sides will bring 15% higher values. Add 25% for maple back/sides. Add a significant premium for rosewood back and sides (rare). Add 10-20% for Red or Black finish.
This model was originally offered with a single stripe body binding. The banner peghead inlay was offered from 1942 to 1945. In 1942, multi-ply body binding was offered; In 1943, one stripe body binding replaced multi-ply body binding. In 1950, upper belly on bridge, three-stripe body binding replaced original part/design. In 1955, redesigned pickguard replaced original part/design. In 1956, adjustable bridge became an option. The fixed bridge was discontinued in late 1961. In 1962, Cherry Sunburst finish was offered. In 1968, belly under bridge replaced previous part/design. In 1969, redesigned body/pickguard replaced previous part/design. In 1971, non-adjustable saddle became standard. In 1975, redesigned pickguard, four-stripe top purfling, tortoise body binding replaced previous part/design. In 1981, three-stripe top purfling replaced previous part/design.


I say:

What a beauty.

This guitar has certainly been well used, and bears some fairly significant marks as a result.

The headstock is entire, original tuners, one or two little scrapes, but nothing significant.  The rosewood neck arrived with a significant mark where the lacquer had reacted with a pad on a guitar stand – I had this corrected as I felt if made playing at the “dusty end” unmanageable. – as you can see from the pictures,  the work has been successful, but in the interests of honesty I have to mention it.   The rosewood fingerboard has become super smooth with play wear, and shows signs of wear in the open chord positions.  The frets likewise show some signs of wear, but nothing that makes it unplayable.

The rear and sides of the guitar are made from what I think is Mahogany – lacquered in a beautiful translucent cherry.  The back has a couple of marks that are quite significant, but not through to the lacquer, or structurally worrying.

The Spruce front of the guitar is in beautiful condition apart from the 4 dents that I’ve detailed in the photographs.  from the pattern of them it appears that they’ve all happened at the same time.

The guitar has it’s original adjustable bridge.

As shown in the pictures the guitar has its original semi hard case, and even some of the original “hang tags.”

Sonically the guitar is just stunning – crystalline highs with a full and rewarding bass.  Great fun.