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on November 25, 2010
I find the J-45 the perfect mid-point between the brass and boom of a hardcore dreadnought and the sweeter, more balanced tone of smaller-bodied guitars. My first good acoustic was a Martin HD-28LSV and while it was an incredible bluegrass guitar in every way, it wasn't very well suited for other styles. You could change the strings, change your pick and play it differently but it would still have that unmistakable boom and bark with not much midrange. I now own a 2005 J-45 Historic Collection and it is essentially identical to the True Vintage apart from the later-era logo. It can do bluegrass, country, folk, jazz, blues, Irish tunes, rock, pop, choro and anything else you can throw at it with ease. It does have an unmistakable quality to the sound but that doesn't get in the way of your input and I think that is the key to what makes it such a versatile "workhorse" instrument.

After having played so many dead Gibsons over the years, mainly post-1994 models, I'd all but sworn off getting a newer one but I managed to find a good one. Playing as many examples as possible is standard practice in the classical guitar world but it seems to be either less of a priority or completely unknown to the casual steel string player. This is definitely the key to finding and acquiring a good one. I've bought a few guitars sight-unseen on seven day approval but I couldn't imagine buying one without it, which I've met many that have. If you want a guitar, that is okay but if you want an instrument, you have to find one that you can really speak with.

The thing that got me into slope-shoulder guitars in the first place was a sublime Dana Bourgeois Slope D that I tried out ten years ago. That guitar has always stuck in my mind and while the J-45 may not be quite as refined in sound and construction as the Bourgeois, at this point, I actually prefer its slightly more raw character. I don't think you can go wrong with any J-45 but certainly the True Vintage comes as close as you can get to the iconic pre-war classic without mortgaging your house. Five stars.
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on January 25, 2014
Don't review much, but...
I bought my Gibson J-45 True Vintage after quite a bit of research, and listening to a few. On a number of different sites, I've seen reviews by Mr. Geeze complaining about the misplacement of the pick guard. Apparently the pick guard was attached to his guitar when he got it. I bought a new guitar, and the pick guard came separately, to give the new owner the option of going without it. I opted to use it -- it's a simple piece of peel-off self-stick plastic. I placed mine (not to be big-headed about it) perfectly, which is pretty easy -- about like applying a postage stamp. I think somebody, not at Gibson, applied his pick guard poorly, and Gibson shouldn't be blamed. The guitar sounds fine.
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on February 12, 2013
The finest guitar I own. As advertised uses all the old techniques and materials that made the original such a peach.

I was looking for a J-45 standard but all I could find was the acoustic/electric version, which i hated. This was a bit of a step up in quality......and price, but i regret nothing about the purchase.

Now......Gibson makes lots of guitars (all beautiful, and nice) but j-200 and the like seemed to me to be too busy being beautiful and not paying the needed attention to sounding great. The J-45 standard caught my ear after trying all the other gibsons in a guitar center back in Michigan. I didn't have the cash at the time to get it, but I always remembered how wonderful the sound was ( I also remembered how bad (comparitively speaking) the acoustic/electric version's sound was).

If you've got the cash and can get your mitts on this, you've got all the acoustic you will ever need. My favorite of the Gibson line. (You don't have to be fancy to be excellent. This six string's got soul!)
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on October 27, 2015
very good sound!
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on January 25, 2015
While the J-45 "True Vintage" is a lovely guitar I would like to make this observation. THE GUITAR IS NOT TRUE VINTAGE! It is a simulation of a vintage guitar. I would say that if you want to get closer to a vintage J-45 you should buy the J-45 Standard which will become vintage naturally as it ages, and not have things like fake yellowed binding and simulated-aged finish. How can a BRAND NEW guitar be VINTAGE, let alone TRUE VINTAGE? This is a misleading and insulting oxymoron.
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on December 26, 2012
My wife bought me the J-45 True Vintage for Christmas. Using steel fingerpicks, it sounded better than anything else at Guitar Center. I've never played a guitar that sounded this good across all ranges of volume and pitch. Remarkably lightweight with a very heavy case.
Now for the bad stuff. When I opened the case on Christmas, I noticed that the pick guard is placed asymmetrically, covering up part of the rosette. Since seeing this, I've learned that this is true for all J-45 TVs being made now. You can even see it in the pictures if you look closely. I have 7 other guitars, none even approaching the price of this one, and none of them have anything this sloppy. My $600 Epiphone Masterbilt is perfect. Even my $200 Dean has no glaring flaws. Of course, they don't sound nearly as good. but visual esthetics are also important.
I have to wonder why the pick guard was placed this way, when it obviously looks bad. The original J-45 after which this guitar is patterned has the pick guard appropriately placed, not obscuring part of the rosette. Seeing the shoddy workmanship on such a visible and easy to get right thing makes me question the workmanship in the parts that can't be seen.
I called the company, hoping they might admit the flaw and tell me to take it to Guitar Center and have them place the pick guard properly at their expense. The person on the other end was defensive and argumentative, stating that despite the fact that many others had complained about the same thing, Gibson had decided to continue to mount the pick guards sloppily (not his word) over part of the rosette, and this was not a workmanship issue but simply one of esthetics (there's that word again). The "Guaranteed" sticker in the middle of the sound hole apparently only covers shoddy workmanship not approved by management. Apparently if management approves of the sloppy workmanship, it must be good.
Along the same lines, although not as obvious, the edges of the frets protrude a little too much, making it feel like a $69 guitar. I'll fix both of these flaws myself, making it look and feel more like the Martin I should have gotten.
It's "Guaranteed" I won't buy another Gibson.
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