Guitar Makeover: Custom Upgrades to a New Gibson J45

In the second installment of our Guitar Makeover series, master guitar technician Phil Glodek at Chicago Music Exchange walks us through the process of customizing a brand-new Gibson J-45.


Down here in CME repair, it's not uncommon for us to perform mods and upgrades upon purchase of a brand new axe, per a customer's request. This brand spankin' new Gibson J45 is a perfect example.

The customer wanted his guitar fitted with a handcrafted bone nut, bone saddle, new tuners, bone bridge pins, and pickup system right out of the starting gate; so I cleaned off my bench, and began the dirty work.

All bone nuts and saddles are honed in from raw bone blank to fit each guitar perfectly. We polish them up from 120 grit to 12,000 grit by hand to produce a marble-like finish.

Mods like these not only enhance the sound and playability of a guitar, but they also give the instrument that handcrafted character unique to this dying art.

The Nut

The Saddle

The Tuners

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