Gibson J-45 50s Faded, J-35 30s Faded and Hummingbird Faded review

A trio of Gibson dreadnoughts with faded satin nitro finishes, vintage appointments and modern-day electronics. Serious players or mere novelty acts? Let the auditions begin…

Gibson Faded 50s J-45
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

If you dig the faded aesthetics, these are classic examples of Gibson’s acoustic craft, with a big sound and looks to match.


  • +

    The J-45 has heritage, history and full of character.

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    Growling, husky basses.

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    Likewise the Hummingbird, which also has sweet trebles.

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    J-35 has good, balanced sound and historic appointments.


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    The faded thing isn’t going to appeal to everyone.

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    Slightly sharp fret ends on the J-35's treble side.

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Following on from Gibson’s Faded ’50s and ’60s Les Pauls and the ’61 SG, it’s now the turn of these three dreadnoughts to step into the spotlight. And Gibson’s choice of models to sign up to its faded finish regime is an interesting one. 

Basically, the whole idea sees guitars receiving a thin coat of nitrocellulose over bleached out bodies, as if you’ve reduced the colour saturation in some photo processing software.

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.