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1942? Gibson Banner J-45


Soundboard: Red Spruce
Back/Sides: Honduran Mahogany
Neck: Honduran Mahogany
Fretboard: Brazilian Rosewood
Bridge: Brazilian Rosewood
Bracewood: Spruce


Body Style: SJ
Bracing: Prewar Gibson
Neck Profile: Full Round
Headstock: Traditional Gibson
Cutaway: None
Scale Length: 24 3/4"
Frets to Body: 14
Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Width at Bridge: 2 1/4"
Body Depth: 4 7/8"


Inlay: Dot
Headplate: Ebonized
Tuners: Non-original
Binding: W/B/W
Backstrip: Ebony
Rosette: Line
Purfling: Line
Pickguard: Tortoise style
Nut: Bone
Saddle: Bone
Bridge Pins: Plastic
Electronics: None
Truss Rod: Adjustable
Case: Non-original hard



Wartime "banner" Gibsons have been soaring in popularity (and price) for some time now as the unique vintage Gibson sound is appreciated in many styles of music, from old-time to rock & roll. The J-45 is quite possibly the most recognizable acoustic guitar ever made, with its rounded shoulders and unmistakable sunburst. This approximately 1942 banner J-45 has the tone you're looking for and original finish with just enough issues to bring the price down well below $5000. It's a very light, resonant, lively instrument with some of the fattest, roundest mids I've ever heard. There are multiple stable cracks in the dark-stained mahogany back and one small crack on the top, with characteristic Gibson lacquer crazing throughout. At some point in the past, a repairperson installed a huge Brazilian rosewood bridgeplate and replaced the bridge with an oversized copy held on by two screws. Three small holes above the endpin and a triangle-shaped area of wear show where a trapeze-style tailpiece once resided. The round neck shows plenty of wear but is comfortably thinner than the notorious "basell bat" neck profiles of this error, likely because of the adjustable truss rod. Frets appear to be original and have been filed down very low, though the guitar still plays comfortably with no buzzing. The non-original three-on-a-plate tuners work fine but one tuner shaft is bent. Of special interest to the collector-types is this guitar's FON of 7119H and its unique features. Generally, adjustable truss rods are only found on 1945 and later Gibsons...however the red spruce top, bevelled mahogany neck block, and FON place this guitar in a 1942 batch of other unique Gibsons such as J-50 prototype natural-topped J-45s. Vintage Gibson tone, a special FON with a history, unmistakable J-45 aesthetics, original finish, and an affordable price for a collectible guitar you can play out with without worrying about - what more could you ask for?!

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