Epiphone J-45?

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kgbAttack
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Epiphone J-45?

Post by kgbAttack » Tue Jan 19, 2021 2:57 am

Hi all,

I've owned a Seagull S6 for several years now but as it sits in the case largely unused, due to its excessive (for me) neck/nut width, I decided it's time to part ways and get a guitar that I can play without getting immediately too tired.

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I am not an acoustic player at all but I do enjoy playing a nice acoustic and I personally like the sound of the S6. I would totally buy a Gibson J-45, but I honestly think it's just too much money for what I can do with it.

I got pretty excited about the Epiphone J-45, though. The price point is what I am willing to pay. I used to own a cheap Epiphone acoustic and it wasn't half bad. Nut width is sensibly smaller than my current S6 (46mm vs. 43, I think even smaller than the J-45 according to Thomann) - unfortunately though shops are still closed here so it won't be possible for me to go try a bunch of guitars for a few more weeks (or months, who knows).

Has anyone tried one first-hand? Or has recommendations for other brands/models I should be considering?

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by MrFingers » Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:16 am

I have, and the J200.

Extremely well made and well sounding (but a Gibson does sound more "open"). In that price point, they are the best option for Gibson-esque models at the moment, as they outclass the Sigma & Recording King guitars (which are good guitars in their own right).

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by kgbAttack » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:35 am

Ok great, thank you! I've seen a bunch of Sigmas online but I've never tried, or even heard any of them. This helps narrowing down what models to consider when I'll be able to try a few.

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by MKR » Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:57 am

i'm a fan of mid level epiphones. The real cheap stuff is a bit rudimentary and feels pretty cheap, but anything in that 2nd level of pricing and higher feels quite nice.

I had one of those j-45's for a second. I bought it online a while back online without playing it. Got a red one, but i ultimately returned it because i found it visually underwhelming (was hoping some grain would show through the finish, but it just looked like solid red paint). I ended up exchanging it for an Epiphone j-160E which is awesome. I love that guitar.

The one thing i would add to this topic is that these Epiphone acoustics need a more extensive set up. the nut and bridge usually require attention. I think i have always had to sand/file down the bridge saddles on these to get the action at a good level.

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by MrFingers » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:25 am

MKR wrote:
Tue Jan 19, 2021 7:57 am

I had one of those j-45's for a second.
There is now a new series, the "inspired by Gibson", which is all solid wood. A huge step-up from the previous generation (that you owned). It's the "inspired-by" series that I played.

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by MKR » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:36 am

MrFingers wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:25 am
There is now a new series, the "inspired by Gibson", which is all solid wood. A huge step-up from the previous generation (that you owned). It's the "inspired-by" series that I played.
oh ok. Then I am sure it`s going to be awesome. I haven't noticed that series (or that model) show up in Canada. IMO Epiphone is great at making affordable acoustics.

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by seenoevil II » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:49 am

Guild has a very similar line of all solids made in China that include a black to brown sunburst, slope shouldered dreadnought that clocks in at a lower price. Might be worth a look.

https://guildguitars.com/g/ds-240-memoir-2/

Edit: whoops that guild is solid top only. They have an all solid in the "40" model line, but it's much less J45- like and more like s guild d40. Still comparable price wise though. https://guildguitars.com/g/westerly-d-140-nat/

Also in that range is the Yamaha CIM all- solid FG guitar. It's more D-18-esque, but if there's a company that I'd order from blind, it's yamaha.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail ... g3-natural

But this epiphone series is so new, I don't know that anyone has any extensive experience with them. From the head to head demos I've heard against gibsons, the whole "inspired by" range sounds a little boxy and mid focused. Almost like they're over braced or have too thick woods. Acoustics are very difficult. People will tell you that they order them blind all the time with no problems, but after a strong bout of acoustic GAS earlier in lock down, I personally realized that you really just have to try them in person first. My advice would be to sit tight. Maybe play that godin for longer to get your hands to adjust.
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:32 am

I’m also quite interested in the Epi. I don’t suppose anyone has a comparison of that and the Gibson G-45 Studio? In the UK, the Gibbo is about £200 more, which seems pretty good for a US solid wood acoustic with hard case
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:02 am

So, the G-45 Studio has walnut back and sides (which is great), it has a 16" radius on there (like what Martin has), I believe has a slimmer body than the typical Gibson Jumbo depth, and the G-45 Studio has a neck made of utile, which I think is a synthetic wood.

Doesn't mean it's a bad guitar, but that's what it is.
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by jakeisjake » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:22 am

I played a bunch of the new Epiphones in a local shop. I thought they were all pretty good. The EJ-200 did not compare to my (Gibson) J-100...but, I don't think it should. It was a fine instrument for the price...and, if I had to replace this guitar, I would not hesitate to get one.

I did try the EJ-45 and compared to the G-45 they had in the shop and it compared VERY favorably to it. In fact, I liked the Epiphone more than I liked the Gibson.

Of course, I only played each for 10 or 15 minutes in the shop...so, I know it doesn't mean much.
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by Bradley-Jazz » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:28 pm

Yeah, I saw the Gibson as a slightly different kind beast (by the way, utile seems to be real wood and a sapele relative https://www.trada.co.uk/wood-species/utile/), though interesting to know how they compared in sound and feel.

Thanks for the info - I’ll have to try them both out whenever we can do that again.
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by kgbAttack » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:00 am

Thanks guys,

Good to know. I was checking the other models recommended here and although the Guild looks really nice I doubt it will be easy to find here and furthermore the nut is bigger than on the Gibsons. I'm a small guy and the main issue with my Seagull was that it was too big for me and I got fatigue while playing it almost immediately.

So I am thinking, a slimmer studio-sized body might be a better fit for me, except that I really like how mahogany sounds compared to walnut. Any chance there's a studio out there that uses mahogany instead of walnut?

The Yamaha Red Label FG3 sounds really interesting too - the specs match the J-45 and if it's comfortable to play I might be really tempted.

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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:17 am

Bradley-Jazz wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:28 pm
Yeah, I saw the Gibson as a slightly different kind beast (by the way, utile seems to be real wood and a sapele relative https://www.trada.co.uk/wood-species/utile/), though interesting to know how they compared in sound and feel.

Thanks for letting me know... I am not very familiar with utile. There's a lot of synthetic fingerboards out there these days, I played one on a Hagstrom electric just this weekend. It played great. I'm not at all concerned with non-traditional fingerboards, they've all been great that I've seen. I'm sure utile is just fine
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by Larry Mal » Tue Jan 26, 2021 7:25 am

kgbAttack wrote:
Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:00 am
Thanks guys,

Good to know. I was checking the other models recommended here and although the Guild looks really nice I doubt it will be easy to find here and furthermore the nut is bigger than on the Gibsons. I'm a small guy and the main issue with my Seagull was that it was too big for me and I got fatigue while playing it almost immediately.

So I am thinking, a slimmer studio-sized body might be a better fit for me, except that I really like how mahogany sounds compared to walnut. Any chance there's a studio out there that uses mahogany instead of walnut?

The Yamaha Red Label FG3 sounds really interesting too - the specs match the J-45 and if it's comfortable to play I might be really tempted.
I guess I have to ask if you ever got your Seagull a good setup? The reason I ask is because I used to have a Seagull six string and a 12 string also, and I found them very hard to play. The reason is because when I was younger I didn't know anything about setting up an acoustic guitar and I thought that the guitar was what it was and that was it. They were probably fine guitars.

You aren't wrong, though, Seagulls do have wide necks on there, 1.8" compared to the Guild 1.75" and Gibsons at 1.725" (nominally, they almost always aren't that). I don't offhand know what Epiphones are supposed to be but I'd guess that they correspond to Gibsons.

The new Inspired By Gibson line looks pretty good.

I was going to suggest, though, that rather than look for another dreadnaught/jumbo shape guitar but only with the body slightly slimmer, you might be better served with a different form factor all around.

I had the idea to suggest a Guild M40, I played one of those the other day and it was a tremendous guitar at a great value (the one I played was lightly used).

I kind of forget your budget, though, but regardless there are a lot of guitars in other form factors than the dreadnaught, and I'd encourage you to take a look into them. You might be better served by a 00 sized body type, I certainly like them, and they actually are better than dreadnaught guitars in some ways (like recording sometimes).
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Re: Epiphone J-45?

Post by kgbAttack » Tue Jan 26, 2021 9:35 am

Thanks, Larry, that helps. I am so used to looking at dreadnoughts that 00 body shapes seem a bit weird, but notably I've never played one so I will try to resist the urge to buy anything online without trying it first. The Guild M40 is a bit above my price range ($1,000, give or take) but I'll keep it in my watch list in case one comes up used.

As for the Seagull, certainly I do not know how to set them up - but I did bring it to a shop to have it setup professionally a couple months or so ago, and while the lower action relieved me from a sense of anxiety (I thought the guitar needed a neck reset!) it did not really make a difference in playability, I was still feeling it. Anyway as of yesterday the guitar is sold, so the quest for a new one has officially begun.

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