Vintage Gibson B 45/12 12 String – USA 1969

by Gibson

$2,995.00 20270

The Gibson B-45-12 model guitars were created in 1961 as a response to the boom in acoustic bands of the 1960s and discontinued in 1979 during one of Gibson's ownership changes. It’s not a small, cheap version of the Gibson J series - it’s an x-braced jumbo body reinforced for the stress of 12 strings, and has a fancier headstock design than the J-45 or J-50.

As with many of Gibson’s models, there are variations in the specs over the 18 years of production, but the bottom line remained the same - it was and is a big guitar designed to hold its own and more against the banjo and fiddle players of the world. This wonderful veteran of the bluegrass and folk wars is ready to fight the good fight once again.

The general description in The Blue Book of Acoustic Guitars of the 1969 B-45-12 indicates a solid spruce top, mahogany back/sides/neck, 12/20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, and a rosewood bridge. The blackface peghead has a pearl-inlaid logo with pearl triangles; the original Kluson Deluxe six-per-side nickel tuners still work well.

2” nut width, 24.75” scale. 

The serial number indicates manufacture at Gibson’s Kalamazoo plant in 1969.

The mahogany back, sides, and neck are in good structural condition for a 50-year-old guitar; the frets are in good shape; the headstock is clean, and the binding is near perfect. Most importantly, there is no rise in the top behind the bridge which is often common with 12 stringers. This one has Gibson’s “improved” bridge system with trapeze-type tailpiece to reduce tension on the top.

This guitar presents in great condition. Naturally it has some typical finish checking expected on a guitar this old.  There are a few very minor dents & bumps, but overall this one is an elegant sunburst beauty. It appears to have no changes, modifications or repairs that we can see.

The action is comfortably set up at a hair less than 3/32” at the 12th fret— very fast and comfortable for a vintage 12-string. And of course what really matters is the wood, which has seasoned and opened up over five decades of making music. This is a large-bodied dreadnought guitar, easier to handle than a 17-inch jumbo, but with good resonance and a nice balanced sound.

And this mis an acoustic guitar - ie no pickup on this one.

One of the most iconic 12 string models of all time, the B45-12 was the guitar of choice for so many players – from Leo Kottke and Gordon Lightfoot to Keith Richards, and Jimmy Page. They are great sounding guitars with the best in vintage 12 string tone and looks. 

Comes in a high quality fitted case in good condition. It may not be original to this guitar but it is from the era and fits like a glove.


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