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  1. #1

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    My desire to own a Gibson Johnny Smith doesn’t really go back too far. Yeah, I’ve dreamed about it, but I forced myself to be realistic. There was no way I could ever swing it so I protected myself by blocking out any desire to have one. Then I got a little older. Things changed a little bit. I joined the NutBag club and, well, here we are..
    Our own Steve Longobardi knew of my desire to own a Gibson Johnny Smith. So as he put it, he was keeping his eyes open for me. One day, he called and told me he bought one. He said it was the best Johnny he ever played, heard or seen. He has seen a few in his time..
    Every word that Steve spoke about the GJS made me happy for him but at the same time, a bubbling cauldron of jealousy was forming. One day, I was talking to Vinny and he said, “You know, Steve bought that Guitar for you”. So I confronted Steve and he said, “Yes, I did. I have a LeGrand that I love, an L5P, a D’A as well as a bunch of guitars from my favorite builder, Trenier.” He said,” so when you are ready let me know, its yours”. Well, after hearing that, I got ready as quickly as I could. With help from my boys, Marc, Vinny and Steve, we managed to pull this off.
    On the evening of 9/26, I drove out to Long Island NY with an envelope full of money. I met up with Steve. He took me to a room where the Guitar was. When he opened the case, the 1st thing I thought was there is no way a 40 year old Guitar can look this good. It’s a totally Original, Mint Condition 1976 Gibson Johnny Smith. There were a few imperfections. A small amount of green corrosion was present on the edge of the Johnny Smith pickup. The clear/gold volume knob has a green tinge inside of it. The Pickguard screws are corroding. There is the slightest amount of very light checking on the lower horn. There are 3 dings on the back. No big deal at all. Yeah, that’s it. On a 40 year old Guitar!
    The finish, as Steve put it, is 40 years of perfectly cured Nitrocellulose Lacquer. Its hard, and still maintains its “glow” and shine just as it did when it left the factory 40years ago. It is still very smooth to the touch. The neck is dead straight. All bindings are perfect. The pickguard is original and still has many years of outgassing left in it.. The illustrious Sealfast tuners are every bit as brand new as they were when they were placed onto the oversized headstock 40 years ago. They look new but they have a lot of play in them. Especially the A string. The tailpiece looks like its 4 days old. Just like the tuners and 90% of the pickup cover, No pitting, oxidization or tarnish. The gold plating is still 100% perfect. The Gibson “fretless” frets are original and all nibs are intact. I don’t think there is any playwear on the frets. Both E Strings hug the edges of the fingerboard all the way down tothe bridge saddle. The 5 piece neck is perfect and free of dings or playwear.
    As beautiful as the guitar is, it is plain. There is very little flame on the back and the neck. Some of the maple on the sides look like the maple found on silky pool cuesticks. The coloration is yellow bursting to black. The binding scraping could have been better. However, the simplicity is elegant. This is what an Elite level acoustic archtop is supposed to be.
    I will admit, it took some time to get comfortable with the Guitar. The strings were not where I expected them to be. The extremely low frets require more effort for my little hands to play. The wide string spacing makes the perfect 25” scale feel longer.In my 3rd day, with this Guitar, I have locked into it. Oh my god, it was worth the time and effort.
    The sound of this guitar is beyond anything I’ve ever heard. The guitar makes very complex sounds. When played with authority, a subtle sound follows the guitar sounds. Steve calls it natural reverb. But the notes you are playing are prominent and focused. The after effect is very faint, and doesn’t get in the way. The neck is pure perfection. Slightly wider than the Heritage Johnny Smith. Ever so slightly deeper. However, upper fret access on the Gibson is superior. Gibson necks seem have a varying radius (flatter on the lower frets and more curved in the higher frets) that makes playing in the upper register very easy.
    I am sure this story will evolve as time goes on. One thing I am happy to say for certain,this guitar did not disappoint me in the least. I got a barely broken in, 1976 Gibson Johnny Smith that will help make me a better player. This guitar is an Elite instrument. Once I get completely dialed into it, beautiful stuff will happen. Many times, players pick up an elite instruments and immediately say,“Ah, this is not for me..” Most of the time, high end stuff is high end stuff for a valid reason. Sometimes it takes patience to learn a guitar. When you apply yourself, the guitar should be an extension of what’s in your Heart, your Brain and your hands. This Guitar is no exception. It’s the epidemy of excellence.

    Some Videos




    Last edited by Max405; 10-01-2016 at 01:05 PM.

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  3. #2

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    Some pictures too..
    Gibson Johnny Smith (finally)-img_3179-jpgGibson Johnny Smith (finally)-img_3130-jpgGibson Johnny Smith (finally)-img_3169-jpgGibson Johnny Smith (finally)-img_3159-jpg

  4. #3

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    A heartfelt congrats to my brother from another mother. May this guitar be the one to inspire your musical journey, and may that journey be a long one!

  5. #4

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    Oh Joe,

    I am so pleased you got your Holy Grail. A Gibson Johnny Smith... You are such a great guy and always deserved to reach this point. Sometimes God makes us wait, it's gotta be on His Time, not ours. Well that Time came for you buddy...

    Always respected and admired you from the get go Joe. God Bless.

    What a great post to see you get your dream and hear to her you play...

    All the best


    Big

  6. #5

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    Congratulations Joe, you truly know how to make a guitar sing and that one sounds particularly good in your hands.
    Enjoy it in good health!

  7. #6

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    A big Yippee- Ki-O Congrats my friend and thank you to Steve for taking care of our boy.

  8. #7

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    Joe,
    I knew when I found this guitar - it was going to satisfy a long dream of yours. I had my eye on it for months and the seller is a great guy who aquired this jewel in an estate sale from the family of the original (deceased) owner- who cherished the guitar since he bought it. I was on the phone with the seller over 1 hour going over every square inch of this guitar, along with examining numerous photos. I knew I had found a winner.
    As you know, I was looking at several Johnny Smith's throughout the past few months for Jazznote, and nothing I examined really met my standards of excellence or value. Jazznote was also very particular and he was finally blessed with getting his beloved blonde from a western pa dealer- that I never did play......but through much correspondence with Jazznote, it met the checklist requirements.
    When I received the guitar and played it - I realized what a score this was - it blew everything away that I recently played - by FAR! I was so excited - because I knew ( you didnt yet) this was going to you......however long it took for you to aquire the funds. The greatest gift is giving ... and im so glad to be part of this excitement for you .......you deserve it.
    Your tone on these videos is extraordinary , and the missing link you have been searching for.

    Congrats - and many years of enjoyble playing !!




    Sent from my GT-N5110 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by QAman; 10-01-2016 at 02:13 PM.

  9. #8

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    Very nice, guitar and playing, congrats !

    and now keep this one !

  10. #9

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    That's a very classy looking JS. From an aesthetic standpoint, it's got all that you'd want. The burst was executed perfectly, a lot of center and a smaller rim with a nice transition. The spruce has nice character, too.

    Gibson didn't overdo the flaming back then. But the back is bookmatched spot on with the totally appropriate level of disciplined character.

    Frets tended to be lower back then. With flatwounds and a gentle touch, they'll outlive you.

    I'm glad you got your holy grail. But it begs the question: what's the point of living when all of your desires are in the review mirror, sir? I guess it's to get busy playing.

  11. #10

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    Hey yjoe,

    i'm really happy that you got this dream guitar of yours! You deserve it! Play it in good health for a long time to come.

    ... now I feel inspired to pick up one of my nice guitar and play something in your honour :-) (but I'll never be as good as you)

    Enjoy!
    cheers,
    Frank

  12. #11

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  13. #12

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    Joe i'm so happy for you! Congrats!

    As mine is also a 76 and i can detect many similarities in the sound and ease of movement on the fingerboard when i listen to and look at your beautiful playing i think we do have very similar instruments. Judging from your clips i think this is THE Johnny Smith sound!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    As beautiful as the guitar is, it is plain. There is very little flame on the back and the neck. Some of the maple on the sides look like the maple found on silky pool cuesticks.
    Gibson Johnny Smith (finally)-img_3159-jpg
    Joe, that "silk" means the maple was cut dead on the quarter. Flame on slab-cut maple is lovely but violin-style flame on quarter-sawn wood, like on your back there, is lovely and stable. As in, "40 years down and I didn't move, did I?" stable.

    The modern preference is for bold flame on slab-cut wood. What you have was tip-top. In 1976 -- heck, in 1796 -- that was The Shtuff and for the best reason.

    There's the chorus singing, "Ya did good, Joe!"

  15. #14

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    As always, Joe, it's a treat to see and hear you play. It's a treat to see these beautiful guitars (and Marc's and Mike's and 2b's, et al...), but it's what you bring that is so enjoyable to share. Thanks for that.

  16. #15

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    Dude we must be sharing Karma.

    on 9/26 I experienced the high-point of my career as a professor, opening a 1000 square foot Archaeology and Israel Studies Learning Lab at my school, with the President, Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, all the VPs and deans, and about 75 others present for the grand opening.

    The whole time, I honestly in the back of my mind kept thinking about you playing those fabulous Johnny Smith and Joe Pass solo guitar arrangements.

    Maybe it was the Herb Ellis guitar channeling your experience to me?

    Congratulations on acquiring lifetime musical partner. I no longer feel bad about buying your Herb Ellis! How can I feel sorry for a guy playing a GJS?

  17. #16

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    JD, JD, JD...you don't need a stinkin' rose! You da man!

    Beautiful Sunburst. Amazing condition for a 1976. In your neck of the woods that's significant, because '76 was the year of the Bicentennial...I was still stationed in Philly then, and saw it all! You're making some celebratory fireworks bro! Long time coming, and longer time worthy is what that is...good for you Joe, I could not be happier for you. I hope the GJS is everything you imagined it would be and more. She sure is beautiful!!! Mega CONGRATS!




  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    A heartfelt congrats to my brother from another mother. May this guitar be the one to inspire your musical journey, and may that journey be a long one!
    I couldn't have done it without you Marco. Thanks buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigMikeinNJ
    Oh Joe,

    I am so pleased you got your Holy Grail. A Gibson Johnny Smith... You are such a great guy and always deserved to reach this point. Sometimes God makes us wait, it's gotta be on His Time, not ours. Well that Time came for you buddy...
    Always respected and admired you from the get go Joe. God Bless.
    What a great post to see you get your dream and hear to her you play...
    All the best
    Big
    Huge respect and admiration right back at you Mikey. Thanks for being apart of the greatest place to hang out. You always keep it fresh and real. Thanks Buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinlander
    Congratulations Joe, you truly know how to make a guitar sing and that one sounds particularly good in your hands.
    Enjoy it in good health!
    Thanks Vinlander. Oh I will enjoy it for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    A big Yippee- Ki-O Congrats my friend and thank you to Steve for taking care of our boy.
    What can I say bro. And yes, Stevie did good. He really did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Longobardi
    Joe,
    I knew when I found this guitar - it was going to satisfy a long dream of yours. I had my eye on it for months and the seller is a great guy who aquired this jewel in an estate sale from the family of the original (deceased) owner- who cherished the guitar since he bought it. I was on the phone with the seller over 1 hour going over every square inch of this guitar, along with examining numerous photos. I knew I had found a winner.
    As you know, I was looking at several Johnny Smith's throughout the past few months for Jazznote, and nothing I examined really met my standards of excellence or value. Jazznote was also very particular and he was finally blessed with getting his beloved blonde from a western pa dealer- that I never did play......but through much correspondence with Jazznote, it met the checklist requirements.
    When I received the guitar and played it - I realized what a score this was - it blew everything away that I recently played - by FAR! I was so excited - because I knew ( you didnt yet) this was going to you......however long it took for you to aquire the funds. The greatest gift is giving ... and im so glad to be part of this excitement for you .......you deserve it.
    Your tone on these videos is extraordinary , and the missing link you have been searching for.

    Congrats - and many years of enjoyable playing !!
    Thanks Stevie. I definitely couldn't have done it with out you. You had the wear-with-all to pounce on the deal when it was available and you spent a lot of time and effort making sure it was right. You will always be responsible for me having the guitar I've always dreamed about. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by fws6
    Very nice, guitar and playing, congrats !
    and now keep this one !
    Thanks for saying what needs to be said. I promise, this one aint going anywhere. Thanks Buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass
    That's a very classy looking JS. From an aesthetic standpoint, it's got all that you'd want. The burst was executed perfectly, a lot of center and a smaller rim with a nice transition. The spruce has nice character, too.

    Gibson didn't overdo the flaming back then. But the back is bookmatched spot on with the totally appropriate level of disciplined character.

    Frets tended to be lower back then. With flatwounds and a gentle touch, they'll outlive you.

    I'm glad you got your holy grail. But it begs the question: what's the point of living when all of your desires are in the review mirror, sir? I guess it's to get busy playing.
    I am glad you like it MG. This has all your friends fingerprints all over it. They were masters. This guitar feels like nothing else.
    I will get better. I am working on Minor Detail by Joe Pass and that will be the next video to come. He plays the same thing over and over, in every possible different way!
    Thanks MG.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankLearns
    Hey Joe,

    i'm really happy that you got this dream guitar of yours! You deserve it! Play it in good health for a long time to come.

    ... now I feel inspired to pick up one of my nice guitar and play something in your honour :-) (but I'll never be as good as you)

    Enjoy!
    cheers,
    Frank
    Thank you Frank. I am going to work my butt off and try to live up to this guitar. Vinny pointed out that this is the guitar on the cover of his Autobiography. How cool is that!

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNote
    Joe i'm so happy for you! Congrats!

    As mine is also a 76 and i can detect many similarities in the sound and ease of movement on the fingerboard when i listen to and look at your beautiful playing i think we do have very similar instruments. Judging from your clips i think this is THE Johnny Smith sound!
    Thanks to Steve, we did really good. Life is good.
    These guitars are made to be played and cherished. We are very lucky. Thanks buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Joe, that "silk" means the maple was cut dead on the quarter. Flame on slab-cut maple is lovely but violin-style flame on quarter-sawn wood, like on your back there, is lovely and stable. As in, "40 years down and I didn't move, did I?" stable.

    The modern preference is for bold flame on slab-cut wood. What you have was tip-top. In 1976 -- heck, in 1796 -- that was The Shtuff and for the best reason.

    There's the chorus singing, "Ya did good, Joe!"
    I never would have known any of that, so thank you Sam! The back really does have a tremendously sold feel. Both sides are perfectly carved.
    That chorus is probably what I always in the guitar, acoustically. Its incredible. That's for sharing your vast knowledge. Thanks always Sam.

    Quote Originally Posted by aboutIt
    As always, Joe, it's a treat to see and hear you play. It's a treat to see these beautiful guitars (and Marc's and Mike's and 2b's, et al...), but it's what you bring that is so enjoyable to share. Thanks for that.
    That's a beautiful thing to say. I appreciate it. I want people to share my experience. Ive had a bunch of guitars that other people can hear before they buy them. That is one of my reasons for doing the videos. Plus, I love the challenge of it. Fighting off my nerves. Getting through a tough piece. Its one of my favorite things. Thanks buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    Dude we must be sharing Karma.

    on 9/26 I experienced the high-point of my career as a professor, opening a 1000 square foot Archaeology and Israel Studies Learning Lab at my school, with the President, Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, all the VPs and deans, and about 75 others present for the grand opening.

    The whole time, I honestly in the back of my mind kept thinking about you playing those fabulous Johnny Smith and Joe Pass solo guitar arrangements.

    Maybe it was the Herb Ellis guitar channeling your experience to me?

    Congratulations on acquiring lifetime musical partner. I no longer feel bad about buying your Herb Ellis! How can I feel sorry for a guy playing a GJS?
    Wow! You won bro! You work hard, your a smart guy and you deserve every ounce of your success. Now keep it up. People cant forget the past. Otherwise, what did they live for? Keep up the great work. Congratulations!
    Joe D.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    JD, JD, JD...you don't need a stinkin' rose! You da man!

    Beautiful Sunburst. Amazing condition for a 1976. In your neck of the woods that's significant, because '76 was the year of the Bicentennial...I was still stationed in Philly then, and saw it all! You're making some celebratory fireworks bro! Long time coming, and longer time worthy is what that is...good for you Joe, I could not be happier for you. I hope the GJS is everything you imagined it would be and more. She sure is beautiful!!! Mega CONGRATS!


    2b,
    I wish I had your talent as a photographer. You are always so supportive. When I was a nobody here, you and Patrick looked out for me. Thanks my man. My wife, Joey and I are going down to Trenton tonight for DeLorenzo's tomato pie.. I wish you were here.
    Thanks for everything.
    Joe D.

  20. #19

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    That looks like an absolutely amazing guitar!
    And also quite a cool story about how she came to you.

    Congratulations on an awesome NGD

  21. #20

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    JDN you have a gem, a JS not only in name but in SOUND, congratulations and thanks for the pics and the videos, well played. Take care of it.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    2b,
    I wish I had your talent as a photographer. You are always so supportive. When I was a nobody here, you and Patrick looked out for me. Thanks my man. My wife, Joey and I are going down to Trenton tonight for DeLorenzo's tomato pie.. I wish you were here.
    Thanks for everything.
    Joe D.
    Hey bro, how's that song go, 'you ain't nobody until somebody loves you'...that GJS loves your playin' man...tell Ms. Joey not to get jealous of Ms. 7-6...Hey, come on man, what's her name? 5 days goin' I know you've named her long before now!

    Whatever you do, don't pull a 2b, who as a new kid on the block came across a similar conditioned archtop in a '73 Super 400...mint as could be...and I got scared off after discovering the thinnest of top cracks, beneath the pick guard no less, that had been professionally repaired. I reluctantly sold that guitar knowing full well I'd never ever acquire another like it, much less for the price I acquired it...don't you dare sell this one - ever!

  23. #22

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    some beautiful playing on those vids joe D...classic jazz tone...but let's face it, you'd sound good on a silvertone!...what's most important is to have the guitars around that inspire you.... bring out the best in you (as they say)..this gjs seems to be doing so!

    & another wonderful forum deal besides..good stuff

    congrats & enjoy

    cheers

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Longways to Go
    That looks like an absolutely amazing guitar!
    And also quite a cool story about how she came to you.
    Congratulations on an awesome NGD
    thank you longways. It really was an awesome day.

    Quote Originally Posted by gcb
    JDN you have a gem, a JS not only in name but in SOUND, congratulations and thanks for the pics and the videos, well played. Take care of it.
    gcb, thanks a lot. The guitar is perfect. And you are welcome. It was my pleasure, totally.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    Hey bro, how's that song go, 'you ain't nobody until somebody loves you'...that GJS loves your playin' man...tell Ms. Joey not to get jealous of Ms. 7-6...Hey, come on man, what's her name? 5 days goin' I know you've named her long before now!

    Whatever you do, don't pull a 2b, who as a new kid on the block came across a similar conditioned archtop in a '73 Super 400...mint as could be...and I got scared off after discovering the thinnest of top cracks, beneath the pick guard no less, that had been professionally repaired. I reluctantly sold that guitar knowing full well I'd never ever acquire another like it, much less for the price I acquired it...don't you dare sell this one - ever!
    i am going to try and find out the name of the original owner, who did such a great job keeping it perfect all those years, and want to name it after him. He deserves it. Wouldn't it be cool if his name was Johnny?

    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    some beautiful playing on those vids joe D...classic jazz tone...but let's face it, you'd sound good on a silvertone!...what's most important is to have the guitars around that inspire you.... bring out the best in you (as they say)..this gjs seems to be doing so!

    & another wonderful forum deal besides..good stuff

    congrats & enjoy

    cheers
    neatomic, thank you buddy. As always the pleasure is all mine. Its responses like yours that make me want to do more.
    Thanks for always spreading your positive vibe around here.
    JD

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Sherry
    Joe, that "silk" means the maple was cut dead on the quarter. Flame on slab-cut maple is lovely but violin-style flame on quarter-sawn wood, like on your back there, is lovely and stable. As in, "40 years down and I didn't move, did I?" stable. The modern preference is for bold flame on slab-cut wood. What you have was tip-top. In 1976 -- heck, in 1796 -- that was The Shtuff and for the best reason.
    Sam: Interestingly enough, Gibson didn't use quartersawn maple on its carved-back guitars in any planned way until the very late 1960s. Some old Gibsons have it, some don't. When they started to use it as a matter of course, it was noticeably not figured on Byrdland, L-5 and Super 400 models. Even on guitars like the top-of-the-line Citation, some were built with figured quartersawn back plates*, and some had flatsawn back plates*). Slowly, over time, Gibson migrated entirely to figured, quartersawn maple and it appears that they have been using consistently highly-figured quartersawn backplates at least since the early 1990s.

    *In the Tsumura book section showing various Citations built between 1969 and 1984:
    - Citations #1, #7, #15, #20 and one w/no serial # are good examples of quartersawn maple
    - Citations #9, #13, #14, #20Abalonia are good examples of flatsawn maple

    Joe: Nice guitar!
    Last edited by Hammertone; 10-04-2016 at 04:43 PM.

  26. #25

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    Very nice Joe , is this really it now ? you can't top the GJS , The
    tone on your recordings is superb, congrats on the acquisition
    and if I may say, very kind of Steve to purchase it, and keep it
    on your behalf he is a real gent.



    Best, my friend

  27. #26

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    super nice playing Joe.

  28. #27

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    That's a wonderful guitar and above all a wonderful story of friendship. You guys are really cool. And one has to admit that, thanks to Steve, the right guitar has found the right new owner and caretaker. I bet the guitar is just as happy as is Joe. Congrats & enjoy!

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter
    That's a wonderful guitar and above all a wonderful story of friendship. You guys are really cool. And one has to admit that, thanks to Steve, the right guitar has found the right new owner and caretaker. I bet the guitar is just as happy as is Joe. Congrats & enjoy!
    Drifter, there are a lot of guys around here that would do that for one another.
    The guitar has a nice home now. It sits in A D'Angelico's old digs.. I will take care of it like Steve and the original owner did. Thanks buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk
    super nice playing Joe.
    pkirk, my man..thanks buddy.

    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    Very nice Joe , is this really it now ? you can't top the GJS , The
    tone on your recordings is superb, congrats on the acquisition
    and if I may say, very kind of Steve to purchase it, and keep it
    on your behalf he is a real gent.
    Best, my friend
    Thats almost it. Once I get another L5 then I'm gonna pull the fork out of Stringswinger and then stick it in myself..
    thanks Alan

    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    Joe: Nice guitar!
    thanks buddy.

  30. #29

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    I can guarantee that fork is going to get lost somewhere between CA. and N.J. and will take years to find.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    I can guarantee that fork is going to get lost somewhere between CA. and N.J. and will take years to find.
    I may have already misplaced it....

  32. #31

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    So JD, maybe not today, nor next week, nor the week after, but since you have both instruments in house, the natural question eventually becomes how do the two instruments differ?

    HJS and GJS. Not seeking a heritage vs. gibson debate, for they're completely different instruments build wise. But eventually it would be nice to hear your evaluation and/or comparisons, especially since you're on record with one that you've lived with for some time...no rush...maybe in a few more months...curious minds want to know your thoughts

  33. #32

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    Joe, this is just such an awesome story! A truly world-class instrument in the hands of a man who can bring out its wonderful breadth of tones in all their nuanced glory. And your renditions of the selections from the GAS masterfully demonstrate why these tunes are great in the first place.
    Congratulations to you, and kudos to Steve and Marc for their good offices in making this all happen. May you all continue to make the music we all enjoy so much in good health!

  34. #33

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    Joe, F'n perfection man! The sound is to die for! Congrats dude, my total dream machine for sure! I'm happy for you...really...

    Johnny Smith's Moonlight in Vermont is what caught my ear for jazz guitar in the first place. Mr. Smith is "IT" for me!!

  35. #34

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    I am a huge fan of significant friendship. I have a few friends I have worked hard to stay close to for 35+ years, and the fruit of those sorts of friendships is beyond calculation.

    You guys have given me a story to file under "seriously classy friendship behavior."

    Joe I am so happy for you to have that guitar. I know it's happy too. And I think Steve grabbing it for you is just sterling. I haven't heard such a thing in a long time.

    Setting the pace, guys. If we all on this forum emulated your behavior this would be the best place in the world short of heaven.

  36. #35

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    Joe,Glad you finally got your Holy Grail. Both you and the guitar are wonderful but,I must ask you. Is that a picture of you in the back ground frustrated at trying to finish Giant Steps? Luv ya, AG

  37. #36

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    That story and your playing made my day, beautiful!

    An acquisition like that can change your perspective on what's possible.

    All the best!

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    So JD, maybe not today, nor next week, nor the week after, but since you have both instruments in house, the natural question eventually becomes how do the two instruments differ?

    HJS and GJS. Not seeking a heritage vs. gibson debate, for they're completely different instruments build wise. But eventually it would be nice to hear your evaluation and/or comparisons, especially since you're on record with one that you've lived with for some time...no rush...maybe in a few more months...curious minds want to know your thoughts
    i am going to try. The problem with playing one after the other for me is string placement. It's hard for me get accustomed to different guitars. But I will try bro, for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by citizenk74
    Joe, this is just such an awesome story! A truly world-class instrument in the hands of a man who can bring out its wonderful breadth of tones in all their nuanced glory. And your renditions of the selections from the GAS masterfully demonstrate why these tunes are great in the first place.
    Congratulations to you, and kudos to Steve and Marc for their good offices in making this all happen. May you all continue to make the music we all enjoy so much in good health!
    thank you c74. The planets and some nice people lined up for me on this one. A lot of great things have happened for me on this sight. Stat tuned for more great stories! Thank you sir.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Olmstead
    Joe, F'n perfection man! The sound is to die for! Congrats dude, my total dream machine for sure! I'm happy for you...really...

    Johnny Smith's Moonlight in Vermont is what caught my ear for jazz guitar in the first place. Mr. Smith is "IT" for me!!
    Ken, playing Johnny stuff on a Johnny is surreal. Alot of sounds unique to his playing are locked only In that guitar.
    I love Johnny too! See him looking up at my name in my avatar? Now find that picture on like and he not looking up there. Vinny told me I need professional help. I agree .. thanks bro.

    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I am a huge fan of significant friendship. I have a few friends I have worked hard to stay close to for 35+ years, and the fruit of those sorts of friendships is beyond calculation.

    You guys have given me a story to file under "seriously classy friendship behavior."

    Joe I am so happy for you to have that guitar. I know it's happy too. And I think Steve grabbing it for you is just sterling. I haven't heard such a thing in a long time.

    Setting the pace, guys. If we all on this forum emulated your behavior this would be the best place in the world short of heaven.
    Lawson you make this place great. And I thank you for always being a good dude. And believe or not, I wish I still had the 165.. I'm glad you have it though..
    Quote Originally Posted by Archtop Guy
    Joe,Glad you finally got your Holy Grail. Both you and the guitar are wonderful but,I must ask you. Is that a picture of you in the back ground frustrated at trying to finish Giant Steps? Luv ya, AG
    Hah! Classic AG! Funny story.. I painted that picture of myself the night the NyRangers left Mike Richter in a game when they were up 7-0 to Edmonton Oilers. He sustained a concussion after he got hit in the head with puck. I was livid! That's expression that was on my face. I got my pens and my airbrush out and froze the moment in a self portrait.
    And, I am not going to learn rest of Giant Steps, no way. He couldn't remember how to play what he played on the record, you really think I could? Good catch. Thanks bro!
    Quote Originally Posted by vanschoyck
    That story and your playing made my day, beautiful!
    An acquisition like that can change your perspective on what's possible.
    All the best!
    that's great buddy. I am glad you liked it. Yes, life is great!
    JD

  39. #38

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    I'm going to predict that the only way he lets this one go is if he finds a 'better' JS.
    otherwise there's nowhere left to go.
    even w/all the other guitars coming and going I always knew he had the itch to own a GJS.
    itch scratched....
    HNGD Joe!

  40. #39

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    p.s. time for a new pickguard, you're getting corrosion on the edge of the pickup and upper frets.

  41. #40

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    Even without reading the back story, just listening to the video recordings you posted- this is your guitar. This one. Even with it new to your hands, you are fluid on it and the tone completely compliments what you play. Contratulations, bud!

  42. #41

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    "Contratulations?" What the hell is that? Jeez. Should have gone back and fixed it but it was funnier to leave it.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I'm going to predict that the only way he lets this one go is if he finds a 'better' JS.
    otherwise there's nowhere left to go.
    even w/all the other guitars coming and going I always knew he had the itch to own a GJS.
    itch scratched....
    HNGD Joe!
    wintermoon, I don't think I can find and then afford a better JS. It's unlikely that I'll find a better guitar period than this one, in this lifetime.
    You nailed it, I haven't scratched myself for almost a week now. I had faith in this guitar. It's all I hoped it would be.

    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    p.s. time for a new pickguard, you're getting corrosion on the edge of the pickup and upper frets.
    yes, this one did it's job and lived a long life. It's gonna have to be replaced at some point.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Even without reading the back story, just listening to the video recordings you posted- this is your guitar. This one. Even with it new to your hands, you are fluid on it and the tone completely compliments what you play. Contratulations, bud!
    Thanks my good man. I told Vinny and Steve that I found something in the setup that was messing me up. The pickguard is warped and it's contact pad was off the body by almost 1/4". When I placed my pinky down on the home position, the PG pushed downward. That was messing me up. I fixed it last night, after I recorded the videos. I wish I fixed it 1st. Now my runs are clean and my playing is more accurate. I'll do more videos and you will hear it.
    Thanks again.
    Joe D

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    i am going to try. The problem with playing one after the other for me is string placement. It's hard for me get accustomed to different guitars. But I will try bro, for sure.
    I'm guessing it's near pointless for the tops alone won't have been similarly carved. But it makes for interesting forum fodder as usual

    Congrats again JD!

  46. #45

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    Ok, for you guys, I did some comparisons..
    Well, they are both in display cabinets, hanging freely. FWIW, just strumming the open strings on each, revealed a surprise. The Heritage is a tad louder. The Gibson sounds bigger though. Like surround sound. Maybe because the Ti12 JS's are newer on the Gibson? But playing them is really where the difference lies. The Gibson is easier to play and it just does more after you play stuff. You put minimal effort into the Gibson and its character flows freely. I thought the Gibson would be more sterile. Actually, the Heritage is. Now don't get me wrong, the Heritage makes sounds no other guitar I've tried makes. The Heritage feels delicate compared to the Gibson. The GJS feels like an L5 and the HJS feels like a single pickup older 175. The Heritage feels like you can break it in your hands. The Gibson feels like you can kill somebody with it. The balance on both are excellent. As Vinny put it, the large headstock and the Sealfast tuners on the Gibson are balanced perfectly by the L5 style tailpiece. Played electrically, there is no contest, whatsoever. The Gibson sounds more powerful. The sound is superior in high and low and middle frequencies. The Heritage sounds great but is weak. I had the volume on 5 on the Gibson and it was cranking out glorious music. I plugged the Heritage in and turned up the volume all the way AND had to turn the volume up on the amp to get a comparable volume. The Heritage electronics are noisy and the Gibson is dead quiet.
    If Gibson popped there head out of there asses and put wooden pickguards on all these high end guitars like Heritage does, they wouldn't have 22 year old guitars that are deteriorating already. The fit and finish on the 1994 Heritage is superlative. The fit and finish on the 1976 Gibson is excellent but, I think they had Helen Keller scraping the bindings.. The HJS has Johnny Smith's signature on the label. The Gibson doesn't have any labels.
    The Heritage is a supreme value. Hovering around $4,000, I honestly don't think you could get better for that price. It's performance is outstanding and is bested only by the Gibson. The Gibson, however is almost double the price at around $7,000 and thankfully, it is clearly a better guitar. For me it would have sucked if I thought the Heritage was a better guitar. I love the look of this particular Heritage, even without the Rose that at least 4 of you lucky bastards have, and I don't. Now that own a Gibson JS, Probably the only way I would keep a Heritage JS, is if I had an 18" one with a Rose on the pickguard.. (oh, Mikey, did you hear that? How bout a little tradey poo?) Or this lovely HJS will be used to get my L5 that I covet, and then I will re-insert the fork into me head..
    JD

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    Ok, for you guys, I did some comparisons..
    Well, they are both in display cabinets, hanging freely. FWIW, just strumming the open strings on each, revealed a surprise. The Heritage is a tad louder. The Gibson sounds bigger though. Like surround sound. Maybe because the Ti12 JS's are newer on the Gibson? But playing them is really where the difference lies. The Gibson is easier to play and it just does more after you play stuff. You put minimal effort into the Gibson and its character flows freely. I thought the Gibson would be more sterile. Actually, the Heritage is. Now don't get me wrong, the Heritage makes sounds no other guitar I've tried makes. The Heritage feels delicate compared to the Gibson. The GJS feels like an L5 and the HJS feels like a single pickup older 175. The Heritage feels like you can break it in your hands. The Gibson feels like you can kill somebody with it. The balance on both are excellent. As Vinny put it, the large headstock and the Sealfast tuners on the Gibson are balanced perfectly by the L5 style tailpiece. Played electrically, there is no contest, whatsoever. The Gibson sounds more powerful. The sound is superior in high and low and middle frequencies. The Heritage sounds great but is weak. I had the volume on 5 on the Gibson and it was cranking out glorious music. I plugged the Heritage in and turned up the volume all the way AND had to turn the volume up on the amp to get a comparable volume. The Heritage electronics are noisy and the Gibson is dead quiet.
    If Gibson popped there head out of there asses and put wooden pickguards on all these high end guitars like Heritage does, they wouldn't have 22 year old guitars that are deteriorating already. The fit and finish on the 1994 Heritage is superlative. The fit and finish on the 1976 Gibson is excellent but, I think they had Helen Keller scraping the bindings.. The HJS has Johnny Smith's signature on the label. The Gibson doesn't have any labels.
    The Heritage is a supreme value. Hovering around $4,000, I honestly don't think you could get better for that price. It's performance is outstanding and is bested only by the Gibson. The Gibson, however is almost double the price at around $7,000 and thankfully, it is clearly a better guitar. For me it would have sucked if I thought the Heritage was a better guitar. I love the look of this particular Heritage, even without the Rose that at least 4 of you lucky bastards have, and I don't. Now that own a Gibson JS, Probably the only way I would keep a Heritage JS, is if I had an 18" one with a Rose on the pickguard.. (oh, Mikey, did you hear that? How bout a little tradey poo?) Or this lovely HJS will be used to get my L5 that I covet, and then I will re-insert the fork into me head..
    JD
    The Helen Keller line was politically "insensitive" but hilarious. All Gibson Hollowbodys come from the factory with labels, but some fall off over time. The fact that your GJS is missing the label is sad. You can get a repro label if you wish, but you will need a medium to get Johnny Smith to sign it....

  48. #47

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    I do believe your wife will get a hold of that fork and insert it into a different location when the new L5 arrives.
    Take it from one who knows. KY helps. Especially if it is a salad fork.

  49. #48

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    careful fellahs

    Gibson Johnny Smith (finally)-giant-fork-prop-03-jpg

    hah

    cheers

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    The Helen Keller line was politically "insensitive" but hilarious. All Gibson Hollowbodys come from the factory with labels, but some fall off over time. The fact that your GJS is missing the label is sad. You can get a repro label if you wish, but you will need a medium to get Johnny Smith to sign it....
    i heard some of the Norlins didn't have labels.
    Is that not true? Not that it matters. It's not gonna change anything.
    JD

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    i heard some of the Norlins didn't have labels.
    Is that not true? Not that it matters. It's not gonna change anything.
    JD

    AFAIK, all came with labels, even the high end archtops:

    https://www.archtop.com/ac_76L5C.html

    Sometimes they fall off and can be found inside the guitar...time for a mirror and a flashlight?