Recent 60s Reissue Gibson Slopes with adj saddles.
These are my Gibson purchases of late. The J-45 is from 2023 and the J-50 is from 2020.My initial impression after having the 50 for mere days is that there is very little difference in tone compared with the red 45. They are both home run examples to my ears, and testament to the fact that Gibson is building very consistent guitars nowadays.

I’ve always hear non flattering commentary about Gibsons with adjustable saddles. Then I played one and it was over.

For what it’s worth these were each bought used for less than the price of a new E20ss. 

I wanted to post this here, because I did first try an E10ss/v. The Gibsons have more bass, and more range. The Eastman sounded a little too trebly for my liking, with not enough bass. Anyways, different folks, different ears, no knock on Eastman, but it’s good to know there Are choices out there.

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Thanks Sal for the post. I have owned the '50's version of both of these. I shied away from the adjustable saddle version due to reading too much. I agree with you on the quality of the two I had - very well made and finished without any QC issue. I wish I would have kept the J-50 one.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. John Lennon

Current stable - prone to frequent changes
Thanks for replying Tom.

I actually kept the J50, and I gifted the J45 wine red to my old high school band mate. It’s just cemented us as brothers, ha!

they sound so close in tone. I’m not sure I could pick one over the other blindfolded anyways. The J50 will stay original and unmolested. I toyed gigging with it using a Baggs M1, but can’t bring myself to do it.  Smile

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That J-50 looks great.  Glad you found one you love!
The J-50 looks great, the M1 looks appropriate with the guitar in case you do play it out again. I use the M1 with my Yamaha fg750s and it blends in really well.
Sal when you have time could you give a review of your new Epiphone banner J 45 and compare it to the E10ss, I am curious because of the red spruce tops on both guitars?
Thanks Sal, I appreciate your input.

Duke, thanks man.

i can tell you what i think re the 2023 E10ss/v vs the 2024 Epiphone 1942 J45 Banner. I had not posted that because while I feel answering someone’s question on a forum is a great place for an honest answer, perhaps starting a thread on an Eastman forum saying “hey guys, I like this better than an Eastman” might be poor form?

short answer… the Epi is warmer, better bass, a little more woody sounding, with a great pickup. The finish is duller and more flat/ matte. The Eastman is brighter, thinner sounding, lighter, with no pickup. I don’t think the type of spruce top means much on the Epi. With a torrified red spruce top I’d have expected it to be more brash and bright. It isn’t. The decal on the headstock is cheap looking. The tuners are just ok. Otherwise a winner. It is a great gigging guitar that looks the part and has a nice warm sound. The neck is very round, like the Gibson 60s j50 with the 11/16 nut- very similar. It is less expensive than the Eastman, but that wasn’t really an issue for me. i gigged the Epi last weekend, and I will again tomorrow. I love it for gigging. It does not sound as open as my J50 though. And that’s ok. Part of me still want to permanently install the M1 in the Gibson, but I’d kind of like to leave it pristine?

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Thanks for that Sal. And thank you for posting an honest assessment of the Epi 1942 Banner J45 in comparison with the Eastman E10ss/v. The day this forum becomes a mere shrine to Eastman rather than a discerning, irreverant site containing sharp guitar critiques of all brands is the day things start to get boring. So thanks again Sal. On an aesthetic point, it's pity the Epi 1942 Banner doesn't have a batwing pickguard like the cheaper Epi Inspired by Gibson J-45. And I worry I would find the 1942 banner's slight(?) 'V' neck profile uncomfortable. Having said that the Asian made Epi 1942 Banner looks like a great guitar - with Guitarist magazine (July 2024 Issue 512) giving it a 10/10 rating. I believe the keen competition from cheaper, but quality Asian guitars over tha last 20 years has given the traditional US majors a kick up the backside, to everyones benefit.
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''Bad company done got me here …'' - Rev Gary Davis
Thanks Sal,
I read this on my lunch hour earlier in the day, really nice comparison.
I am really glad for you that the neck is similar to your j-50, a nice round neck. Makes it easy to switch while going out to a performance.
Epiphone has made a real nice guitar here, good for them. I am interested in playing one at the one Gibson/Epiphone dealer in town.
Have a great weekend Sal and enjoy the Epiphone Banner.

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Thanks guys for reading my drivel. I think I will always be a Gibson slope guy, no matter how often I have visited Nazareth.

and for a weird reason I always enjoy trying to find a J45 copy that stands out. I hope this list is exhaustive, but since 2010 I have tried:

Eastman E10ss
Eastman E20ss
Eastman E10ss/v (twice)
Eastman E1ss
Taylor AD17
Taylor AD27
Taylor 117E
Taylor 327
Gibson G-45 With sound port
Epiphone 1942 J45 Banner

i believe I like the Epiphone best. It has the closest tone to a J45 in my opinion.

the others are just really nice guitars. I think the Taylor 327 is a fantastic guitar on its own merit. Same with the older Eastman nitro slopes. The G-45 is also a neat guitar, but it sounds most like a Taylor to me, and is finished a tad too rough.
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