We made it through the move and now we’re back up and running. This dusty banner Gibson J-45 has just landed here at the shop. The banner era Gibson guitars (1942-1945) are regarded as some of the finest ever ever made for their fine construction, materials, and player friendly specifications. I purchased this guitar from the son of the original owner. He said that his dad played the guitar all his life but passed decades ago. It sat in a closet unplayed since that time.
Necessary repairs will include a neck reset, bridge replacement, braces reglued, and a refret. Amazingly, the guitar retains its original tuners, nut, pickguard, etc. I’ve taken the guitar to Jason Burns at Burnsrepair.com for the repair and am always impressed with his work. I can’t wait to see how he brings this one from forgotten relic to a coveted playable piece of history.
Are you having trouble establishing a date for your vintage Gibson J-45 guitar? I understand. It’s not always that easy. This one has no visible factory order number so it’s even more difficult. The banner was used from 1942-1945. This one has a truss rod, likely a Sitka Spruce top, and a one piece Maple neck (no laminate stripes). Since Sitka was first used in 1944 and truss rods reintroduced soon after that, I think this one dates to 1944 at the earliest. Since there is no FON evident, I think it’s even later than 1944 since that continued into 1946. However, I can’t account for the fact that the inlays are MOP instead of plastic pearloid. Do you have a more firm way to date this one? Leave a comment.