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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / J-45 design flaw!

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kegger

where the coeds are

Nov 18th, 2003 07:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

When I had the action lowered on my '98 j-45, the guy (John Thurston in Catonsville) specifically wanted to know beforehand if I used the pickup, and afterwards if the amplified balance was fine. Apparently, it's a tricky job even for the best luthiers. John Thurston did an excellent job.

I've been to other highly trained and very busy luthiers who have messed up guitars of mine. Just because they work on violins doesn't mean they didn't mess up.

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 18th, 2003 08:14 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Whatever.

Sertsa

NE Ohio

Nov 18th, 2003 09:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr,
As a sidenote, did you happen to notice the Heritage J-45 copy in the store? (EM Shorts lists it on their Website). I didn't know Heritage made acoustics, and it seems interesting. It doesn't look like they update the used inventory on the site, though.

Stratlanta
Contributing Member
*

RALEIGH, N.C.

Voted Most Likely to Underachieve!
Nov 18th, 2003 09:20 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr - if you are still checking in......
The reputation of EM Shorts is pretty impeccable. Congrats on a great guitar and getting it set up the way you like it.
EW

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 19th, 2003 05:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sertsa
No, I haven't looked at ant Heritage J-45's but I can swing by there this weekend and give them a look.

Stratlanta,
I know. But you can't convince some people that 99% of the shops/repair staff in the US are not out to screw them. I've been treated right by EM Shorts for many years. Long before they did internet business.

Stratlanta
Contributing Member
*

RALEIGH, N.C.

Voted Most Likely to Underachieve!
Nov 19th, 2003 09:07 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr - true.
BTW, i worked in a small guitar store for a while with a really good reputation for acoustics... the only guitar that the luthier there ever offered to buy from a customer was an older J45.... and he hated Gibsons!

Sertsa

NE Ohio

Nov 19th, 2003 01:51 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawkr: It sounds like a fairly dinged up used one--it doesn't look like Heritage makes acoustics anymore--but they have some great prices listed on the used stuff. Was just curious.

It'd be nice if I could find a shop like that around here. But no luck so far.

degs

canada

Nov 19th, 2003 10:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I"m a little confused here too,I don"t see how sanding the bottom of the wooden bridge which holds the saddle can altar the break angle.Isn"t it the height of the saddle above the top of the bridge that determines break angle. And taking the bridge off to taper it on a fairly new guitar Iwouldn't be too happy about that .

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 20th, 2003 05:12 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You are not thinking clearly. If you lower the wooden bridge, don't you lower the point at which the string attaches to the bridge at the pegs. Then, if you raise the saddle to compensate for lowering the bridge, is the angle not increased?

You also didn't read the entire thread. Martin, Larrivee and most top builders "taper" their wooden bridges. This allows them to acheive a lower action while maintaining a good break angle. Gibson even tapers bridges but not on the J-45 and a couple other models. It cuts costs & setup time by not tapering the bridge.

I wanted a lower action. Sanding down the saddle got the action right but the high E wouldn't come through when amplified due to the shallower break angle. The luthier removed and sanded the bridge, installed a new saddle and adjusted it to the same height as before. Presto. Action is lowered, pickup picks up, guitar plays beautifully and sounds great. You can't see any of the modifications. Why wouldn't I be happy?

infidel2000

Lock up your

middle-aged single moms
Nov 20th, 2003 12:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Gibson even tapers bridges but not on the J-45 and a couple other models. It cuts costs & setup time by not tapering the bridge."

As a long time Gibson fan I have to say something now. First of all the break angle/string pressure on the saddle has nothing to do with the volume of your pickup. Tune a string up or down a step or two and it changes the pressure on the saddle orders of magnitude more than any reasonable break angle change, especially a barely perceptible one, yet it doesn't affect the volume of your pickup.

Second, nothing designed into a 1940's guitar had anything to do with pressure pickups. Nobody had dreamed of them yet.

I have seen what might be the taper you speak of, on an L-00 Blues King reissue. The treble side of the bridge is lower by maybe 1/16". This gives a taller saddle on the treble side, to give a brighter sound to the treble. I have never seen this on any other guitar, including the very highly regarded Collings version of the L-00, the C-10.

I don't know what they did with your guitar, but I suspect the thing that fixed it finally was getting the saddle bottom, or bottom of the saddle trench, flat or else replacing a broken pickup element.

It wouldn't cost Gibson any more or any less to cut a bridge any shape they wanted. Knock on some other guitar for awhile. Maybe Martin :-)

I'm glad you're pleased with your guitar - one thing I've learned is that in music the thing that works for you is the right thing, and nothing else matters.



jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

I'll take care of that later......
Nov 21st, 2003 04:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Knock on some other guitar for awhile."

I'm not knocking on Gibson. I own 3 Gibson guitars. Look at my profile.

Stratlanta
Contributing Member
*

RALEIGH, N.C.

Voted Most Likely to Underachieve!
Nov 21st, 2003 09:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

jhawker - it's threads like this that force me to take occasional FDP breaks!!! Enjoy your guitar and ignore the "experts".... 8^)
(this response meant as support for you BTW!!)

jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

Guitars & Labradors!!!
Nov 21st, 2003 11:11 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thank you Stratlanta. And the guitar was & is great. I love the short scale and the round shoulders tone. It's alot easier on my old fingers now!

RandyfromDE

Audubon PA

Nov 22nd, 2003 11:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

To the gentleman who own J-45's (sorry for this hijack, but it seemed silly to start a new thread!)

What guage strings do you use? I bought one last week, I guess it had mediums on it. It seemed real hard to get a sound out, you really needed to work. I put a set of lights on like I use on my other guitars and man, what a sound! Very full, almost rowdy!



jhawkr
Contributing Member
******

Wichita, Kansas

Guitars & Labradors!!!
Nov 22nd, 2003 04:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I used Gibson OEM 12's. I'll probably switch to Martin 80/20's or Phosphor/Bronze. The 12's suit me though. I have a set of 11's that I might try but with my action nice & low I might get some fret buzz. As it stands, mine is perfectly set up for 12's. Congrats on your J-45. They sure are sweet sounding guitars!

RandyfromDE

Audubon PA

Nov 22nd, 2003 11:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, I've had the J-45RW for about a week now, it's definitely THE guitar I reach for. Such a full tone, great for my solo performing.

I use Martin Marquis lights on all my guitars, .012-.052 I believe.

Rosshead

USA

Ross
Oct 8th, 2017 09:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My 2016 j 45 has the same exact issue, the first luthier I brought it to wouldn't even lower my saddle cause he new about the problem but didn't tell me, he just tightened the truss rod some said it couldn't be lowered and sent me on my way, the next luthier lowered my saddle and couldn't figure out why my high e string was half the volume of my other strings, he thought it might be a defective transducer, so now I'm gonna send it to your place,
I'll get a different pickup though, I don't want them taking off my bridge, if that's what they really do, that's kind of crazy, I'll just get the lyric pickup,
I do think my high e is slightly quieter acoustically as well
It wasn't until I lowered the saddle. Gibson is really awful with this sort of thing, I've heard other people mention it in videos on YouTube, every j45 is basically defective if you lower the saddle at all, except for the few with exceptional neck angles that don't require a lower saddle to play amazing...otherwise you can tell its supposed to be an awesome guitar, but as of right now my dads j 15 is a lot better.

Rosshead

USA

Ross
Oct 8th, 2017 09:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I forgot to mention, plug your guitar into garage band or something similar and check the input volume of each string, on mine you can clearly see the high e is registering on the green volume meter thing about half what the other strings are. I'm sure when I get this figured out I'll have one of the best guitars in the fricken world though

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 9th, 2017 01:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A 14 year old thread necro!

jhawkr
Contributing Member
**********
**********
******

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Oct 9th, 2017 03:52 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow! I had forgotten the issue after 14 years! Don't pay any attention to those who tell you what you saw and heard wasn't what you saw and heard! ;o) My J-45 is still playing great and I've even gone to Martin FX 11-47's since with no mechanical issue. Still sounds rich and full and in fact, after aging 14 years, sounds even better! I still trust EM Shorts with all my luthier needs.


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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / J-45 design flaw!




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