This is a vintage 1968 Gibson J-45 flat top acoustic guitar. This particular example, serial number 600162, is in nice all original condition and features a rare and highly attractive Cherry Red finish! Aside from a single crack on the back, this slope-shouldered J-45 is structurally intact and retains the original (sans logo) white pick guard. During a short period between 1966 and 1969, Gibson produced batches of both Cherry and Black J-50 and B-25 model acoustic guitars. Unfortunately this short 3-year span coincided with the era notorious for 1 9/16″ nut widths, so while these acoustics look incredible, they aren’t necessarily Gibson’s most coveted.
Serial Number: 600162
Nut Width: 1 9/16″
As mentioned, this particular ’68 Gibson Cherry Red J-45/J-50 is in all original condition. It has not been broken nor repaired, and has not been modified in any manner. Even the commonly replaced bridge pins and strap pin are original, and this guitar is void of the bothersome after-market added heal strap pin which so many now sport. The top is perfectly flat with the bridge precisely in place. The neck joint is also perfectly intact, and the action is incredibly low with room for the saddle to be either raised or lowered.
The overall cosmetic condition is good, with the guitar exhibiting average playing wear. Since the Cherry Red finish on the top was applied over Spruce, it appears to have faded and become much lighter than the finish on the back and sides. The guitar retains the original double-line Kluson Deluxe tuning machines with era-appropriate chrome ferrules.
With a surprisingly balanced and robust output, the guitar sounds much better than many made during the late-’60s. It’s a slightly lighter build, or perhaps a more dry example, which results in a more breathy clarity. It features a slim taper neck profile, so it’s a comfortable shape in all positions. This guitar also has factory large frets, which renders playing a veritable ease.