I've always had a fascination with vintage guitars that have lived hard lives. While many people dream of acquiring a perfectly clean example, I live for finding one with a story. One that has scars and looks like it's seen some things. One that was used in a smokey bar, or saw heavy use on some stage in some barn somewhere. These are the ones that sound the best, and still have songs left in them.
Last month, we wrapped up an extensive structural rebuild on a 1965 J-45 that was the cleanest example we have ever seen. Also last month, a 1974 J-45 came in that was likely the most trashed example I have ever seen. This one was BEAT! We all discussed how we wanted to put our hands on one that was right in the middle...one that was cared for, but also played hard. One that was used as a tool and lived outside its case, but was clearly someone's #1 for a long time.
Image how surprised we were when this well-worn but well-maintained 1967 J-45 walked through our doors 3 weeks ago. It's the perfect combination of "all original" and "played to death". It has scars that it received from the years it spent on the road riding shotgun for a truck driver. We can look at the play-wear on the body, the neck, and the frets and tell exactly what type of music and which chords the owner played the most and how hard and often he played them. That much authentic character, mojo, love, vibe, and soul is hard to fake and makes for a fantastic vintage guitar.
The tuners are original, but one gear and one screw have been replaced. The truss rod works in both directions, and the fretwear on the original frets is minimal. The neck is securely attached to the body and shows no signs of ever being removed. There are no cracks in the top, back, or sides. We have thoroughly inspected the guitar with a blacklight and a boresecope and found no signs of previous repair and no structural issues. The bridge is slightly lifting as they all do, but on bolt-on-bridge guitars, this matters much less than on a traditional glued-on bridge. The original wooden saddle has been replaced with a TUSQ version and it made a difference! The original wood saddle is included. Otherwise, the guitar is completely original. The pickguard doesn't appear to have ever been removed and shows no signs of lifting or repair. Freshly setup, cleaned, and restrung, this one is ready to be played.