Gibson and Keb’ Mo’ join forces a third time for new “3.0” 12-Fret J-45 signature acoustic

Keb' Mo plays his Gibson signature acoustic guitar (left), Gibson's Keb’ Mo’ “3.0” 12-Fret J-45
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson has teamed up with Keb’ Mo’ once again to release the blues guitar veteran’s latest signature guitar, the “3.0” 12-Fret J-45.

Marking the third time the two have teamed up, the “3.0” acoustic guitar looks to be a particularly player-friendly creation, featuring a 12th fret neck joint that supposedly contributes to a “rounder, more full-bodied tone."

The 12th-fret neck joint also has the added bonus of comfortable playability and a more intimate playing experience, with the guitar only offering 19 frets in total. To put that into context, the standard J-45 has a 14th-fret neck joint and has 20 frets.

Other notable appointments on the “3.0” include a custom Keb’ Mo’ profile mahogany neck, which is topped with the 19-fret,12”-radius rosewood fingerboard, a bone nut and mother of pearl dot inlays. 

A compound Dovetail neck-to-body joint adjoins the neck to a body made from mahogany back and sides and a thermally aged Sitka spruce top, which in turn flashes a vintage sunburst finish without a pickguard.

Under the hood, traditional hand-scalloped Advanced X-Bracing works in tandem with an LR Baggs VTC preamp and under saddle pickup, which can be sculpted via soundhole-mounted volume and tone parameter wheels.

It’s also worth noting the Grover open-back tuners, Belly Down closed slot rosewood bridge and black plastic bridge pins, as well as the bone saddle, adjustable truss rod and multi-ply binding on the guitar's top.

For all intents and purposes, it looks to be a pretty well-spec’d J-45, with the added bonus of offering Keb’ Mo’s own personal tweaks, such as the custom neck profile.

The “3.0” joins Keb’ Mo’s incumbent signature acoustic guitars, most notably the Bluesmaster parlor guitar, which was in production from 2009 to 2016. That was made available in both Vintage Sunburst and Antique Natural colorways, so whether Gibson has a natural-finished version of the “3.0” up its sleeves, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Keb’ Mo’ “3.0” 12-Fret J-45 is available now for $4,299.

To find out more, head over to Gibson.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.