Hey folks! I've been to this forum countless times to read but finally had to join and become part of some of these discussions.
I'm inquiring about Gibson AJs. I recently sold one but I thiiink circumstances have me in the market for another one now. Awesome! I've noticed some differences in the ones from 2002-2004, (then the historic collection in '05 is kind of a bridge year,) and the ones from 2006-present.
Some of these are pretty minor differences. The orange sticker is slightly different, the tuners are gotohs in the older ones and grovers now. And the nut and saddle are bone (i believe) in the older ones and plastic now.
There are also some more significant differences I've noticed too. First off, Im almost positive that the one i sold, which was an '03, still had the two small bolts holding the bridge to the top in addition to the glue. I took a couple snaps inside the soundhole of a 2010 and a 2012 model at guitar center, and they are no longer bolted on, just glued.
Also, the '03 had a maple bridge plate and the newer ones appeared to be rosewood bridgeplates
Finally, the burst..The older ones have a larger black section on the perimeter then bursts into a nice orange color in the middle. All the newer ones have a much smaller black perimeter and a MUCH more yellow color in the middle. Judging by the difference in the black sections, I'd say it's not the burst just aging and looking different. I think they were sprayed that way.
I know I'm getting really picky here, but these things matter to me for sure...Im just looking for you folks' thoughts on this stuff, and confirmation that I'm on the right page with the differences between these model years. None of these are things that can be clarified by the specs gibson gives. If I end up buying another one of these things, I want to know I'm on the right side of the fence and get the best example i can