1948 Gibson J-45 Slope Dreadnought Guitar

This killer old J-45 is in pretty darn good shape. It has some wear around the soundhole but it's not cracked-up or abused. There's a battery box at the neckblock so I can't read the factory order number in full but it starts with a 1 as the first number so that places this around '48 as it's probably a 1xxx FON. The owner thought it was a '50 or '51 so I think this is all "good enough for government work" dating.

Tonewise, it's big, airy, woody, and full -- just like you'd want one of these to be. The owner uses mediums on it and it's got a good, forward, carrying sound. Per the usual, it's solid spruce over solid mahogany with a mahogany neck and rosewood board and bridge. The scale length, interestingly, worked-out to 24 7/8" on this particular guitar.

It was in a for a neck reset and new saddle but Jose also leveled and dressed the frets while I did the other work. The reset work was nice and smooth but the saddle and bridge work was slightly trickier. It came with a very low saddle sitting in the original thin-depth-slot and sitting over an undersaddle pickup element. The pickup needed to stay in the guitar for gigs but it was not going to be a successful setup post-reset with a taller saddle installed (as the taller saddle would flop over).

My solution was to dig the saddle slot out and down and then set the undersaddle element's top where the bottom of the saddle slot used to be. This let me fit a full-size, faux-through-saddle with good height on it that's also not tilting forward. It's a fussy job but it works so much better. If the undersaddle element needs to be removed at a later time, it also means that whatever saddle that goes in next can be made as a drop-in-style for easy action adjustment via shims.