1943 Gibson J-45

This is a vintage 1943 Gibson J-45 acoustic flat top guitar. This incredibly rare variety was made during World War II, and subsequently features several unique transitional details specific to war era production, with the combination thereof making this perhaps the rarest incarnation of the J-45 model. This particular “Banner Model” J-45, factory order number 2374 46, is the only one I’ve seen to have a 1-piece Mahogany top. While Red Spruce, Adirondack and Mahogany (rare) were all used at random for J-45 tops during 1943, it is highly unusual to see a 1-piece top using any of the aforementioned woods. Furthermore, this acoustic does not have a metal truss rod, though it does have a Maple piece for reinforcement. Aside from the Brazilian rosewood fretboard and bridge, this guitar is entirely Mahogany: with a 1-piece Mahogany top, a 1-piece Mahogany neck, and Mahogany back and sides.

With tremendous tone and harmonically rich sound, this J-45 produces a far superior sound to those made thereafter. With lighter bracing and a less thick top, this ’43 J-45 harnesses a very sensitive and delicate transparency. Surely, when strummed it is loud and robust, but this guitar is quite different from a traditional Spruce top J-45. It is a little darker, but the lighter build quality allows the Mahogany to breath.

The neck is large, and the profile is a deep U-shape. With a nice intact neck angle, this guitar is playable and very enjoyable.

This uncirculated example was recently purchased from a long-time collector. It is exactly as he purchased this instrument over 30 years ago. The back crack was cleated and the pickguard drying crack had been glued. There are several other extraneous surface cracks that do not go through the top or side. By no means in perfect structural condition, this guitar is 100% all original with no modifications nor non-original parts.