The J-45 acoustic guitar, nicknamed “The Workhorse,” is Gibson’s best acoustic guitar of all time. The first J-45 was released in 1942. After more than a quarter of a century, we have seen a variety of iterations of this model. The J-45, along with the Martin D-28, is one of the most copied styles and sounds in the guitar realm. Both guitars have become the standard of sound in the whole acoustic industry around the world.
It was used in the classic sound of musicians and artists back in the day. Some notable artists who have used the Gibson J-45 include Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Bruce Springsteen, among many others. The first J-45 was sold for $45. To put that in perspective, the value of this guitar today is estimated at around $700. Unfortunately, this is not the case as the latest J-45 costs around $3,000.
Gibson J-45 Features
The newest iteration of the guitar is called the Gibson J-45 Standard. It has all the characteristics of the classic J-45, including the lauded full, balanced expression, warm bass, and outstanding projection. What is new with the 2019 J-25? Well, everything seems there except that is has a more terrific sound with incredible dynamic range, warm mids, and tight punchy bass.
The Gibson J-45 Standard is made of a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany sides and backs. The tonewoods are thermally aged and have multi-ply binding. Inside the body is a traditional hand-scalloped X-bracing. The guitar looks stunning in a deep sunburst design coated in a nitrocellulose finish.
The neck is made from mahogany and has a slim taper profile. It consists of a rosewood fingerboard with a standard set of 20 frets and a set of mother of pearl dot inlays. On top of those is a robust Tusq nut. The guitar also features a set of Grove Rotomatic tuners with kidney buttons and nickel tuning plate, a Tusq saddle and bridge pins, and a rosewood bridge.
The Gibson J-45 Standard is carefully crafted to deliver a unique sound that pleases all types of players across the board. This guitar has a warm, balanced tone and the ability to blend strummed chords and break through the mix when picked. The round-shouldered dreadnought gives a warm and full sound with plenty of high notes thanks to the solid spruce top and mahogany back and sides. When used for recording, the J-45 Standard blends with the singer without ever overwhelming the singer and the other instruments.
The Verdict: Should You Buy Gibson J-45 Standard?
To be quite honest, there is nothing to pick at the Gibson J-45 Standard. You get a signature Gibson sound and build that have set the industry standards. If there is one key takeaway here, it is that the Gibson J-45 Standard has better sound and much-improved build.
But then again, the Gibson J-45 Standard comes with a steep price tag. If you are willing to spare a couple thousand dollars, we highly recommend this guitar.