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 obviously 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 late 1969 B-45-12 indicates a solid spruce top, mahogany back/sides/neck, 12/20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, and a reverse belly 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. While variations in the specs were frequent, and the unreliability of Gibson’s serial numbers as dating indicators is notorious, the date suggested by the serial number (806550?) could be 1969. There is also a “2” barely visible below the serial number, but I have no idea what the flaw perceived 50 years ago might have been--if any. Regardless, this is one great old guitar.

Due to some hard traveling, some of its components may not be “original” after 51-odd years; the bridge, for example, has clearly been re-set or replaced. The entire guitar has lotsa finish cracking or crazing “to let the sound out, as my old luthier says.” 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 slightly chipped, but the binding is near perfect. Most obviously, there are six repaired cracks in the top, ranging from 1” to 6;” all are old and not very artistic repairs, but all are stable: think “mojo.” There is a slight rise in the top behind the bridge—inevitable in these guitars—but my luthier re-glued the braces and feels there will be no problem for years to come (as with most vintage 12-strings, I would recommend light or even silk-and-steel strings to reduce the pressure a bit). There are of course some dings and bruises barely visible in the pictures as well.

However, the really really good news is that the action is now comfortably set up at a hair less than 3/32” at the 12th fret—unbelievably 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 terrific resonance and a big sound which will overwhelm the rather muddy sound of most modern jumbos. And of course the sound is terrific!

So: this is your chance to own a great-sounding Gibson 12-string guitar with tons of character and jam cred with a few scars to prove its experience. It’s not a museum piece, but it’s a great player’s guitar, embodying everything that the name Gibson has stood for over the last century or so.

The vintage hard shell case is probably not original, but the guitar fits perfectly despite the longer 12-string headstock. If it actually dates from 1966, it’s in remarkably good shape. The hardware works (except one of the four latches is missing a catch), and the exterior has only a few minor dings and bruises. At any rate, this vintage case offers this classic instrument excellent protection.

Buyer pays a flat rate of $55 for insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. Payment by Paypal is preferred; cashiers checks are acceptable, but checks must clear before the guitar will be shipped.

I have tried to be perfectly clear and accurate in describing this vintage instrument, so its return will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before offering to purchase it.

Good luck!



Online Only
8:31 PM
24/7 by e-mail: I'm old; I don't sleep much.

Payments by Paypal, cashier’s checks, money orders, or personal checks are acceptable, but all payments must clear my bank before the guitar will be shipped. I will CONSIDER reasonable offers, even including installment payments and trade-ins, but generally since I already attempt to price my guitars very competitively, unusual deals must be unusually sweet.

From henceforth [that's how retired English teachers talk], insurance and shipping to the lower 48 states is $55 due to constantly rising shipping costs unless a specific listing says otherwise; shipping costs elsewhere will be negotiated as necessary. I have sold guitars to Russia, Japan, Australia, and over 50 other countries, as well as almost every state in the USA. Since some of my guitars travel thousands of miles, I take care to use lots of packing materials, protect the neck inside the case, and of course de-tune the strings.

I make every effort to describe and illustrate each guitar and case with scrupulous accuracy. However, many of my instruments are well-played vintage items which are many years old, and I am not a luthier. One should assume that any guitar will require some set-up to satisfy your personal requirements, and that not every flaw or ding will be seen/recognized/described in the listing. Thus the return of an instrument will not be accepted unless it can be shown that it was egregiously misrepresented in this listing. Please read the listing carefully, check out the pictures, and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy.