Other Guitars

My Gibson Acoustic Trilogy part Two : Banner Custom


Here is one that you don't see the likes of every day. The sound hole label says : Style - Banner Custom , House of Guitars and its signed by a Ren Ferguson . It is one of several Guitars made for The House of Guitars 45th anniversary in 2009. It is like a Rosewood J-45 - I think. Rosewood body , 1 piece mahogany neck. No fretboard binding and inlays in the style of the AJ -45. The scale length is 24 3/4 . The spruse top has very tight grain. Its feather light , almost to the point of feeling a little fragile in good way. Its a very nice Guitar . Projects light touches ,so a more mellow type of playing suits it well.


Ulike the Dove , This one never sees a rowdy environment . Pampered and played at home . Though 10 years old , the new - is still not smelled up ! How this one came to me. Once again I was at the HOG. This time only to look (of course) , Having had a AJ45 , wich Turned out to be a big disappointment ( bad neck/body sett, could not lower the strings ,without shaving the bridge base) , It just didn't work for me, I gave this one a try for just for the heck of it. Its sounded fantastic . And the price was not bad either. Probably because of my past experience with the AJ - and I wasn't looking to buy anything -I didn't walk out of the store with it , I flew back home -alone. But as soon as I landed ,I was on the phone -Send me that Guitar !


A rosewood J45 would be a dream guitar, IMO.



A fancier appointed 45 than normal.

I'm diggin it!


House of Guitars in Rochester NY?? Man... that brings back memories. I went to college in Rochester in the 80s, and although it was prior to my being afflicted with vintage guitar disease, they happened to have a massive collection of vinyl and I would spend hours combing through the stacks! The HOG was also notorious for some of the lowest budget TV commercials ever!


A rosewood J45 would be a dream guitar, IMO.


– Konrad

i had a Blueridge BG-160, which is precisely that. OMG what a wonderful guitar! of all the instruments i had to sell off in 2012-13 i miss that one most.

the Banner is lovely. what a beautiful and unusual sunburst!


Your Gibson chronicle has me drooling, Archtopisking! I'm very fond of Gibson acoustic guitars (and electric guitars). The Gibson acoustic guitars can have a wonderfully rich sound, that draws me like a moth to a flame. This one's a beauty, thanks for sharing.


That truly is a beauty. Same woods as my J29, which is like a rosewood back and sides J45 (but w/ vintage 1930's AJ bracing). Does your AJ 45 have the vintage 30's AJ bracing or the standard J45 scalloped X bracing? The striping/figuring of the rosewood on these Gibsons is really striking. Here's the back of my J29, your AJ 45's plainer cousin:


It hasn't been mentioned yet so for those that aren't aware, this 'banner' guitar - named for the banner on the headstock - is a replica of the wonderful acoustics Gibson made during the war in Kalamazoo using gals as almost the exclusive labor force. Their heartwarming story is told in the book Kalamazoo Gals. It's a wonderful read.....treat yourself!


Love the Advanced Jumbo style markers.


what's an 'AJ45'? A shorter scale AJ?


I guess so - that's the only real difference I can see.


WB - I got it wrong , called the Advanced Jumbo for a - AJ45 - But its the AJ I was thinking of , 25.5" scale. Gretschadelphia I haven't looked at the bracing , and I don't know the the difference between scalloped and vintage bracing ?? Please explain . I ´ll take a look when I get home, and tell you what I see.


Nothing wrong with a Gibson slope shoulder. A good one is a wonder to behold . . . and it looks like you got yourself a good 'un!


I'm not particularly well versed to any extent on acoustic guitar construction or bracing. I do know that one of the features that my J29 has is Vintage 1930's bracing, which is apparently lighter than the modern bracing with some differences in spacing and geometry. This video does a good job of explaining the differences. Link


Here's something interesting that I got off the Acoustic Guitar Forum. It is referring to a limited edition run of 12 AJ45's made for Sweetwater that also may apply to archtopisking's AJ45:

Gibson Acoustic Sweetwater Custom Shop Rosewood AJ-45 Features: Limited run of 12 instruments; Sweetwater Exclusive; Natural finish; Hand Selected wood by Master Luthier Ren Ferguson; Red Adirondack Spruce Top; AAA Indian Rosewood Back & Sides; 1930's AJ Top Bracing; Ebony Fingerboard & Bridge; Red Abalone inlays; Vintage open back gold tuners Looking at these spec's, the AJ45 appears to be more of a 24.75" scale version of an AJ than a rosewood back/sides J45. The bottom line is, the AJ45 is one hell of a fantastic acoustic guitar.


It may actually be that there are no bad slopers - but this one is an exceptional example of the breed, worthy of exhibition at any county fair. Blue-ribbon stuff!


Like with most Gibsons, the classic designs are exceptional along with generally decent to top notch materials.....the failure comes in the execution w/ bad QC. I understand that even the best guitars (especially acoustics) most times need a good set-up to play and sound their best (Martins are a good example) but issues like a bad neck set, should never get past QC and allowed out of the factory. It's nice to see that Gibson is upping their game with the Montana acoustics. It appears that archtopisking has pulled the golden ticket with three Gibsons and my 2016 J29 is exceptional. I recently tried out a few new Gibson electrics at my local Sam Ash and even the lower end models were pretty decent off the rack......but there was one SG that had a bad neck set that should never have left the factory. It doesn't take a master luthier to tell that there is a problem when the bridge is bottomed out and the action is still high that there is a significant problem. I understand it's much easier for Fender (they can just throw a shim into the neck pocket). Hopefully the new management can start cleaning that kind of thing up.

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