The J-45 is generally regarded as Gibson's most famous and widely used acoustic guitar model. Introduced in 1942 with a list price of $45, it was conceived as a replacement for the earlier J-35 model, which was an inexpensive, Great Depression-era flattop guitar. The J-45 initially varied only slightly from the discontinued J-35. Some of the changes were internal, such as strengthened bracing, while exterior changes included the new teardrop-shaped pickguard, and a headstock decal with the Gibson logo replacing the old stark white 'Gibson' silkscreen logo of the thirties, and the slogan "Only a Gibson Is Good Enough." The J-45 also had a more rounded, "baseball bat" style neck, as opposed to the "V" shape of the J-35 neck. Introduced during World War II, the J-45 standardized Gibson's approach to the dreadnought guitar. The J-45 produced by Gibson today is substantially similar to the 1942 model.
Since 1894, the name Gibson has signified both superlative quality and originality of design to generations of guitarists. From the company’s inception in the Kalamazoo, Michigan workshop of Orville Gibson, musicians have coveted Gibson instruments. Mr. Gibson fashioned those early guitars and mandolins with arched, carved tops, so truly unique that he was awarded a patent. Not only were his instruments beautiful, but they were louder and sturdier than other guitars of his time. Not surprisingly, demand became greater than Mr. Gibson could handle alone, so in 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. Ltd. was formed.
Since then, Gibson’s greatest challenge has been to surpass what they’ve already achieved. Beginning in 1946 with the powerful P-90 pickup and continuing soon after with the first three-pickup guitar, the ES-5, as well as the ES-175 with its totally original pointed cutaway bout, Gibson has kept up a rhythm of continual progress. Each passing year brought new advances such as the addition of the Les Paul solid-body models, the tune-o-matic bridge, the inception of semi-hollowbody electric guitars and the introduction of revolutionary body styles such as the now classic Flying V.
History speaks for itself. Scored of the world’s most respected guitarists, from Allman to Zappa, have been proud to use and recommend the Gibson brand.
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