Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Review & Prices

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Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Review
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  • From Gibson Custom's Modern Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Solid Rosewood back
  • Solid Rosewood sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: LR Baggs VTC (Preamp/Active)
  • Traditional belly up bridge
  • Acoustic Slim Taper Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Grover Rotomatic w/ kidney buttons tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Gibson Custom's Modern Collection series
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Solid Sitka Spruce top
  • Solid Rosewood back
  • Solid Rosewood sides
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: LR Baggs VTC (Preamp/Active)
  • Traditional belly up bridge
  • Acoustic Slim Taper Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • Grover Rotomatic w/ kidney buttons tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Verdict: is The Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood a Good Guitar?

Made in a country with top quality control, which means you should get a high-quality instrument made with good materials and excellent attention to detail. It's a guitar with good playability. It comes with excellent pickups with good sound and provides tons of sustain. It favors playing solos more than chords. In general, it's a guitar with great value that offers a lot for the cost. Overall, an excellent guitar.

Final Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 82
Sound 89
Build quality 87
Value for money 100
Overall Score 86
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Bone Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Electronics
  • Bone Saddle
  • Solid Top Wood
  • Solid Side Wood
  • Solid Back Wood
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

Gibson J-45 Custom Rosewood (2018 Model)
Gibson Custom Shop J 45 Deluxe
Gibson J45 Deluxe review and sound sample
Gibson J45 Deluxe demo by Mooloolaba Music
Gibson J-45 Custom • SN: 10338043

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Prices

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Is The Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Easy to Play?

The Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood meets 4 out of our 9 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.

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood
New Player Friendliness
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Wide nut
  • Soft Strings

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 Deluxe Rosewood's construction is balanced for most hand sizes.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Balance
Small hands

Scale Length

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 Deluxe Rosewood's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Scale Length Comparison
Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular 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.

Neck Profile

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Neck Profile
Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood's neck profile

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.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

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 Deluxe Rosewood has a 12" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

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 Deluxe Rosewood has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
U Neck Profile
1.725'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Nut Width
Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Nut Width

The Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood has a nut width of 43.8mm (1.725''). This size is found mostly on Baritone or 7+ strings guitars since they need the extra space on the fretboard. It gives your fingers the extra space you need to play without muting accidentally, but this also makes bar chords harder to perform, so bear in mind that Baritone guitars aren't for every playing style.

Frets

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.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Fret Size Comparison
Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

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 Deluxe Rosewood'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.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 90
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 90
Playability 82

Does the Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Sound Good? Tone Analysis

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.

Wood Used in the Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood

Spruce wood pattern used for guitar building
Spruce Top
Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.

Rosewood Back and Sides: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.

Mahogany 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.

Pickups

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.

Sound Score

Pickups 100
Sustain 95
Versatility 90
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 89

How well is the Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Built?

Where is the Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Made?

Knowing where the guitar 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 guitars 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 Deluxe Rosewood 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.

More guitars made in United States

Bridge

Traditional belly up: 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.

Nut Material

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 the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood 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.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 96
Features 90
Quality Control 75
Build Quality 87

Most Popular Comparisons With The Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood

Gibson Custom J-45 Deluxe Rosewood Specs

General
Brand: Gibson Custom
Year:
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Modern Collection
Colors: Natural Burst
Left-Handed Version: Yes
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Solid Sitka Spruce
Bridge: Traditional belly up
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Grover Rotomatic w/ kidney buttons
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Mother-of-pearl split diamond with brass border
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: Acoustic Slim Taper
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Bone
Nut Width: 43.8mm (1.725'')
Electronics
Switch: Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls:
Tone Controls:
Bridge Pickup: LR Baggs VTC (Preamp / Active)