| August 10, 2023 |

Which Gibson J-45 Acoustic Guitar is Right for You?

Hear Epiphone, Gibson USA, and Custom Shop J-45 models compared


There’s a reason why the Gibson J-45™ is considered the industry standard workhorse acoustic guitar. It possesses a certain tonal magic that your favorite artists and award-winning producers gravitate towards, and if you are a singer-songwriter or session player, a J-45 is a nearly essential purchase and almost certainly the right acoustic guitar for you. 

In the eight decades since its launch in 1942, the J-45 has featured on more hit records than almost any other guitar. Its mid-rich tonality, punch, and natural compression make it both a studio engineer’s dream and one of the most familiar sounds in the history of recorded music. 

To help you decide which J-45 model is right for you, the Gibson Gear Guide has produced two new comparison videos. The first is an official Gibson J-45 buyer’s guide in which Dinesh Lekhraj walks us through the various iterations of this iconic acoustic guitar currently available in the Gibson and Epiphone catalogs, helping you to understand the differences between the models and make the right decision when it comes to purchasing your new acoustic guitar, whether it’s your first, second, or tenth J-45. 

Dinesh demos an array of Epiphone options, including the Epiphone J-45 StudioEpiphone Inspired By Gibson J-45, and the Epiphone J-45 EC, comparing them to their close cousins in the Gibson catalog, including the Gibson G-45Gibson J-45 50sGibson J-45 Standard, and perhaps the holy grail—the high-end 1942 Banner J-45 from Gibson’s Acoustic Custom Shop. As if that wasn’t comprehensive enough, there’s even a blindfold test in which Dinesh plays through a selection of different J-45 guitars to quiz you on your listening skills!

The second Gibson Gear Guide video sees the J-45 compared to other Gibson acoustic models and body styles to illustrate the key differences between them and demonstrate how they compare sonically. Of course, when it comes to choosing your Gibson acoustic, there are no right or wrong answers—but certain aspects or design features may appeal to you.

Dinesh cycles through some of the most popular Gibson acoustic guitars, including the Gibson J-45 Standard, the Gibson G-Writer, the Gibson Hummingbird™, the Gibson SJ-200™, and the Gibson L-00, showcasing the unique signature sounds of each instrument. Watch now to find out which body styles are louder and have more projection, which model is the best choice for those who appreciate a tighter focus, and which Gibson acoustic is the best all-around choice for a singer-songwriter. Spoiler alert: it might just be a J-45…

Explore Gibson’s round-shoulder acoustic models and shop now.