The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson J-50 ADJ Steel String Natural, 1965


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Introduced in 1947 as an postwar upgrade to the venerable J-45, the Gibson J-50 was essentially the same guitar with a natural finish top and from 1956, an adjustable saddle became available. The center strip received a ‘J-50 ADJ BRIDGE’ stamp. The J-45 itself was launched in 1942. Early into WW2, wartime materiel shortages forced a change from Adirondack Spruce, used in aircraft production, to Sitka.

This 1965 Gibson J-50 ADJ is in overall good, original condition plays very nicely and has a great, warm and rich sound. Over time it developed, and had repaired, the characteristic top crack from having the pickguard glued to the top rather than the finish. This runs along the inner edge of the pickguard towards the bridge. The top center seam also opened slightly and this too was repaired.

As is typical of mid to late 1960’s models, the neck is fairly narrow, this one being about 1.66 inches at the nut; modern nut widths are in the 1.75 range. The hardware is original, including the strip-mounted, dual-line Kluson Deluxe tuners with creme plastic buttons. A non-original brown Japanese hard shell case is included.

In 1956, both the Gibson J-50 ADJ (for ‘Adjustable Bridge’) and the J-45 ADJ appeared, with a Ceramic adjustable bridge saddle as an option. The saddle was adjusted using special bolts on each end, threaded into inserts installed in the top before the bridge was glued on.

In 1961, the adjustable saddle became standard. For 1963 only, the Rosewood bridge itself was replaced with a plastic part, swiftly discontinued. Both Ceramic and Rosewood saddles were used for these bridges over the years, and the adjustable bridge idea was discontinued in later 1970; both models shifted to square-shoulder (Martin-style) bodies in 1969. Both the J-45 and J-50 models were discontinued in 1982, with the J-45 re-appearing with its original round-shoulder body in 1984. The J-50 has made appearances in the catalog from time to time.

As with a number of other models, the Gibson J-50 ADJ used a Spruce top paired with Mahogany for the sides, back and neck. The fingerboard and bridge were Rosewood – except for 1963 when the bridge was plastic – and until late 1968 into 1969 Central American Rosewood was used, gradually replaced with Indian Rosewood as existing stocks were used up.

Price: $4,999.99 CAD
  • Model: J-50 ADJ
  • Year: 1965
  • Finish Natural
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 85374, built around 1965 at Kalamazoo Michigan
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 07/05/2024

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITES documentation
  • Including Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.29lbs 1.95kg
  • Scale Length: 24.6in 625mm
  • Nut Width: 1.658in 42.11mm
Gibson Website

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