I just "stole" this at a garage sale for $250 including the hardshell case. It is a 1980 model. The guitar's hardware (tuners, frets) were badly tarnished and the wood finish was very dirty and smudged. It also came with some dead bugs inside.
After cleaning this thing up and re-stringing it, it is a beautiful guitar that sounds great. Big, booming low end, intonation is excellent, octave are right on, fingers easily, nice neck.
I plan on lowering then string action (I do this to brand new Martins too though) and installing an internal transducer. Besides that, this guitar really isn't lacking in any area.
Very Gibson-like, super quality, fit and finish is great. Even though this guitar had been neglected for 5-6 years, it cleaned up suberbly. Stays in tune very well (once you have stretched the new strings).
I was in the market for another Martin when I found this and couldn't be happier with this find. I have Gibson electrics but this is the first Gibson acoustic I've owned and I'm very impressed. The sound quality, excellent fit and finish combined with the price I paid ($250) make me give this a 5. This guitar would be a good buy at $800.
The Gibson J-50 was made in the USA and is not an electric - acoustic so it doesn't have a pick up or any control knobs. To me, its fine that it is just acoustic as I use it for recording only, as it is one of the best sounding guitars on the planet for recording, in my opinion.
This guitar is extremely fluid and easy to play. It is easy to play anywhere on the neck and feels fluid overall. It is the perfect shape and weight, which adds to its overall feel and ease of use. The body is big which adds to its full sound - this is one of the fullest sounding acoustic guitars I have ever used. To get a good tone, all you have to do is pick it up and play!
For recording, I think the sound of the Gibson J-50 is just about as good as it gets. I always get a good sound when I record with this and it never ceases to amaze me how good this really sounds. I use it for all types of music - rock, pop, and folk as it sounds good in just about any setting. I love the sound of this guitar as it has a full body sound with a full mid sound and transparent high end.
I've been using a 1967 Gibson J-50 for about a year and have found it to be one of the best sounding guitars when recoding. While it sounds good live too, for some reason it is real easy to get a great acoustic guitar sound with this when recording. While these are no longer made, if you can get your hands on one I would definitley consider checking it out. The J-50s rich tone makes it easy to love and has its good reputation for a good reason.