2020 Gibson Custom Shop Historic 1942 Banner J-45

Gibson’s Historic 1942 Banner J-45 is a modern recreation of one of the company’s most venerated models. The J-45 was introduced in 1942 and remains – some eighty years on – Gibson’s most popular flat top model.

The Montana-built ’42 Banner J-45 features a thermally aged (aka torrefied) red spruce top and scalloped red spruce braces, hot hide glue top construction, a 1940’s sunburst thin nitro lacquer VOS finish, mahogany back and sides, and vintage inspired appointments.

With a full C carve, 1-23/32 nut width and a 1st fret depth of .904”, the neck isn’t Banner-era “baseball bat” large in feel, but is definitely more of a handful than Gibson’s 50s J-45. In the hand, it feels like post-war J-45 neck, with a touch more room to move.

This example is in excellent condition and is well set up. It has been upgraded with a K&K Pure pickup, bone bridge pins, and a strap-button in the neck heel, but is otherwise original with near-new looks. The frets show light wear, but there is no playwear on the body or neck finish to speak of. We have it strung with 12-53 strings and have set the action at our shop standard 5-6 64ths.

A beautiful sounding guitar with plenty of warmth, a bit of sparkle, and a touch of J-45 thump, this 1942 Banner J-45 is at home being strummed or fingerpicked and offers the sweetness and character a J-45 has long been famous for.

With original hardshell case