The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

❌SOLD❌ Gibson J-45 Slope Shoulder Dreadnought, 1949


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The Gibson J-45 Slope Shoulder Dreadnought is one of the classic American guitars, built for the working or aspiring musician. It’s not fancy, but delivers exactly what it needs to. Warm and full sounding, this model has long been a favourite for singer-songwriters. The round upper bouts or shoulders differentiate the design from Martin’s square-shoulder ‘D’line, though the first incarnations of that model also had round shoulders.

First introduced in 1942 as a replacement for the 1936 to 1942 J-35 model, the Gibson J-45 slope shoulder dreadnought was quickly adopted as an inexpensive but high quality guitar. It was based on a proven pairing of Spruce top (originally Adirondack, and later Sitka) with Central American Mahogany for the sides, back, neck, body blocks and linings. The bridge and unbound fingerboard are Rosewood, and until the late 1960’s that generally meant Brazilian Rosewood.

Seen here is a Gibson J-45 slope shoulder dreadnought built in 1949 at the historic Parsons Street plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan, now home to Heritage guitars. The back of the head shows a “Made in USA” stamp, which identifies it as having been built for export, in this case to Canada, for its original sale. The Gibson logo on the front of the head is the block-style decal, which appeared in 1948, replacing the ‘Script’ and wartime ‘Banner’ logos.

This wonderful guitar has just been serviced at The Twelfth Fret Repair Shop, receiving a refret, new compensated saddle matching the 10 inch fingerboard radius, installed period strip-mount tuners – from the late 1940s but not original to this guitar – and a full setup. It plays very well and has the sound that these guitars were built to deliver – rich, full and warm, with deep bottom end, high end sparkle and lots in between.

Wear is as expected on a 71 year old guitar, but structurally it’s very solid. The finish is original and shows natural and expected lacquer checking, and is worn on contact areas on the back and neck. The top has pick wear at the soundhole and below the pickguard. There do not appear to be any cracks, repaired or otherwise.

With the refret and setup, this guitar is ready to go for many more years.

The original case is long gone, and would likely have been a fiber or ‘faux gator’ cardboard model; in its place is an excellent creme-coloured Hiscox lightweight flight case


Price: $6,500.00 CAD
  • Model: J-45
  • Year: 1949
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 2265 34
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 10/02/2020

  • This instrument has been sold
  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.18lbs 1.9kg
  • Scale Length: 24.75in 628.6mm
  • Nut Width: 1.67in 42.5mm
Gibson Website

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