Gibson Custom J-45 Custom Review & Prices
- From Gibson Custom's 2024 Custom Shop Modern Collection series
- Made in United States
- 6 strings
- 24.75"'' scale
- 12" Fretboard Radius
- Sitka Spruce top
- Mahogany top
- Mahogany back
- Mahogany sides
- Mahogany neck
- Ebony fretboard
- Bridge pickup: L.R. Baggs Session VTC (Preamp/Active)
- Traditional Belly Up, Ebony bridge
- Acoustic Slim Taper Set neck
- 20 Medium frets
- Grover Rotomatic tuners
- Compare Specs >
Our Scores and Tone Evaluation
- Heavy Metal
- Hard Rock
Gibson Custom J-45 Custom
- Made in United States
- Expensive Wood
- Bone Nut
- Top Brand Pickups
- Bone Saddle
- Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
- No Locking Tuners
- Laminated Top Wood
- Laminated Side Wood
- Laminated Back Wood
- No Compound Radius Fretboard
- No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
- No Strap Lock
Its average competitor's price is $3500, which means that the Gibson Custom J-45 Custom costs around 43% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.
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Not all instruments are created equally, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the one you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!
Neck speed (thickness)Vote
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Is it Easy to Play?
The Gibson Custom J-45 Custom meets 3 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.
New Player FriendlinessGibson Custom J-45 Custom
- Easy-to-use bridge
- Tall frets
- Comfortable neck
- Comfortable shape
- Comfortable fretboard
- Narrow nut
- Short scale
- Soft Strings
- Locking tuners
Hand Size Comfortability
After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Gibson Custom J-45 Custom's construction favors people with relatively small hands.
Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.
Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.
Here's the Gibson Custom J-45 Custom's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:
This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')
As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.
This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.
Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.
Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.
The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.
It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.
Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.
When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.
The Gibson Custom J-45 Custom has a 12" fingerboard radius.
Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:
This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.
Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Gibson Custom J-45 Custom has the same radius across the board.
Playability compared to main competitors
The Gibson Custom J-45 Custom has a nut width of 43.8mm (1.725''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.
It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.
Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.
The Gibson Custom J-45 Custom's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.
The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.
Mahogany Top, Back, Sides and Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.
Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.
This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: LR Baggs. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.
Build Quality Analysis
Country of Origin
Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.
The Gibson Custom J-45 Custom is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.
Traditional Belly Up, Ebony: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.
Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.
In this case, the Gibson Custom J-45 Custom has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.
Build Quality Score
All SpecsGibson Custom J-45 Custom
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