As evidenced from the wear around this soundhole, this guitar has been played. I am still trying to figure out what kind of playing style would make that! I don’t mind it though. The rest of the guitar is pretty clean when you consider what it has been through.
The elephant in the room has got to be the tone of this instrument so pardon my delay. It still has the lapping thump of a banner guitar. The highs are more rounded off and pleasant. Sometimes the highs can be shrill on a Spruce top but not with this one. There may be a slight decrease in volume from my Spruce banner but that could also be a variance from guitar to guitar. The lows are warm and comfortable but don’t overpower. The mids are equally warm and present.
I should also mention the girth of this neck. With a nut width of 1 7/8″ it can be quite a handful. It did take a couple of minutes to get used to even after playing my other banner J-45. Since this guitar did not receive a truss rod but a big v shaped Ebony inlay down the neck, Gibson made the neck with more girth in an attempt to give the it some stability. It seems to be working because the neck is dead straight. This was probably not the case before they did the refret. There is significant playing wear on the back of the neck so I’m not sure that it was because the neck was warped or because of the fret wear. Either way it is a joy to play now and I am glad to have it in my collection. When the maple banner gets back from the luthier I’ll have to complete banner J-45 line up.