#1
Hi, i'm on the market for an acoustic guitar. I'm looking for a slope shoulder dreadnought and the tone i'm reaching for is the Gibson j-50 / j-45, aiming for James Taylor's sound.
The thing is, that the Gibson is a bit above my budget (my budget is around 2000$). I tried lots of Martins, and realized that they're out of the game for me, their sound is not as warm and rounded as the j-45, its just not Martin's style.
The closest i could get is the Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500R, this guitar is just 699$ but i couldn't find anything else in my budget, any opinions on it? Maybe you guys know of some guitars i'm missing?

Thank you
#3
I'd be surprised if you couldn't get a J-45 in your price range. Call a few shops that carry Gibsons and ask for their best price on a J-45 as well as their return policy. Google "best prices on Gibson Acoustics" or something and see what shops typically deal on Gibsons and call them. Even if you can't get one in your budget it might be worth waiting until you can. Just know that GC will typically not budge on price until you come to them with another stores offer. (Some shops will though). I say ask about the return policy because if you can't play it first, you're going to want to be protected from duds. Also, with whatever shops you find, do some research on them before buying to make sure they're going to take care of you.
#4
^ I've seen new J-45s as low as $1600 at Guitar center...

Gear:
Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
#5
what about those old j-50s from ebay? really love their sound and kinda orangy wood looks, way better then that pale new j-45 (the satin finish). but is it a recipe for trouble? i mean, buying a 30 years or more guitar w/o hearing it?
#6
what about a blueridge bg-140? my husband is a real j-45 fan - he has an older model and has played many. he felt that the laminated bluerdige version - the bg-40 - had some of the j-45 growl (as he calls it) and tone. in fact, he was pretty excited about it. the bg-140 is the all solid version.

http://www.playbetterbluegrass.com/blueridge_bg140_4803_prd1.htm
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#7
Quote by patticake
what about a blueridge bg-140? my husband is a real j-45 fan - he has an older model and has played many. he felt that the laminated bluerdige version - the bg-40 - had some of the j-45 growl (as he calls it) and tone. in fact, he was pretty excited about it. the bg-140 is the all solid version.

http://www.playbetterbluegrass.com/blueridge_bg140_4803_prd1.htm

ok i heard some samples, yeh i can understand what your husband means.. if only they had it in natural finish, i'm not a fan of the sunbursts.
anyway, thanks very much for the tip! i wouldn't have stumbled into it. keep 'em comin..
#8
I have an Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500M. I put a L.R. Baggs element in it (same pickup as the J-45) and I think it sounds 90% as good as a J-45 at only 30% of the price.

That being said if you have $2000 to spend I'd say you could find a used J-45 for way less than that or you could do Sweetwater.com and choose the three payments option on a new one. That way you could get it now and have three months to come up with the $399 difference.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RS4SANNH
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Last edited by 1500 meanstreak at May 4, 2011,
#9
Quote by 1500 meanstreak
I have an Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-500M. I put a L.R. Baggs element in it (same pickup as the J-45) and I think it sounds 90% as good as a J-45 at only 30% of the price.

That being said if you have $2000 to spend I'd say you could find a used J-45 for way less than that or you could do Sweetwater.com and choose the three payments option on a new one. That way you could get it now and have three months to come up with the difference.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RS4SANNH


by the way if you do decide to buy from Sweetwater let me know the sales guy I buy from is awesome and if i refer you I could hopefully get a discount on the Fender acoustasonic amp I need to buy!
Check out "thelastplaceyoulook" on YouTube, iTunes and [url="http://facebook.com/thelastplaceyoulook
"]Facebook
Last edited by 1500 meanstreak at May 4, 2011,
#10
Quote by patticake
what about a blueridge bg-140? my husband is a real j-45 fan - he has an older model and has played many. he felt that the laminated bluerdige version - the bg-40 - had some of the j-45 growl (as he calls it) and tone. in fact, he was pretty excited about it. the bg-140 is the all solid version.

http://www.playbetterbluegrass.com/blueridge_bg140_4803_prd1.htm


I concur. The BG140 or BG160 is probably what you want. Can usually find a used on for reasonable.
#11
Although the Blueridge slope-shoulders certainly look the part, I personally feel that the tone they give off is much more Martin-esque than a Gibson one. As far as Blueridges go, I've only played the dreadnought all solid wood models and the slope shoulder ones with laminated sides, but they all sounded like they were trying to emulate Martins to me. I feel that the Masterbilt series gets closer to the Gibson tone than Blueridge does (although play a few of them, only one that I played felt and sounded really great to me, while others were just meh).

Epiphone also offers a made in Japan Epiphone Elitist Texan which are really nice. Not sure how much they are, but they are really nice guitars. Nothing like your typical Epiphone acoustic. These things are the real deal.

Guilds are worth checking out too. The tone of my brother's old Guild reminds me somewhat of a 1962 Epiphone Texan I've played a couple of times (which was very Gibson sounding and one of the best acoustics I've ever played). Very balanced, WOODY, and warm.

Now for a Gibson tone, for $2000 I would definitely get a used j-45, preferably an older one, or a an old j-50 on ebay for about $1000. New j-45's I've played in stores are also pretty good too, nothing wrong with them.

All in all though, if you want the Gibson tone, get a Gibson. Don't get something cheaper that you feel may be close, because in the long run you will most likely end up wanting to get a Gibson eventually anyway if you really want one. No point in compromising if you have the money and are willing to spend it.
Gear:
'50s National Archtop
Squier Classic Vibe '60s Tele
Squier Affinity Strat
Gibson Melody Maker
Vox AC-15
50s Stella Parlor Acoustic

MOAR FIRST ACT
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Last edited by ilikeguitar90 at May 22, 2011,
#12
Quote by ilikeguitar90
Although the Blueridge slope-shoulders certainly look the part, I personally feel that the tone they give off is much more Martin-esque than a Gibson one. As far as Blueridges go, I've only played the dreadnought all solid wood models and the slope shoulder ones with laminated sides, but they all sounded like they were trying to emulate Martins to me. I feel that the Masterbilt series gets closer to the Gibson tone than Blueridge does (although play a few of them, only one that I played felt and sounded really great to me, while others were just meh).

I like the tone of Guilds too. The tone of my brother's old Guild reminds me somewhat of a 1962 Epiphone Texan I've played a couple of times (which was very Gibson sounding and one of the best acoustics I've ever played). Very balanced, WOODY, and warm.

Now for a Gibson tone, for $2000 I would definitely get a used j-45, preferably an older one, or a an old j-50 on ebay for about $1000. New j-45's I've played in stores are also pretty good too, nothing wrong with them.

All in all though, if you want the Gibson tone, get a Gibson. Don't get something cheaper that you feel may be close, because in the long run you will most likely end up wanting to get a Gibson eventually anyway if you really want one. No point in compromising if you have the money and are willing to spend it.


Thanks, i decided i'm getting a Gibson j-50, there are lots of vintage ones in a good shape on ebay, but honestly, i haven't got the guts to get a vintage one w/o playing it first. But i found a 200x J-50 modern classic for 1600$, gonna get it i think..
Last edited by moonlander at May 22, 2011,