GIBSON B-45-12

  • Gibson B-45-12 (1961) - with trapeze tailpiece


Brand name: 


  • acoustic guitars

Series name: 

Dates of manufacture: 

1961 to 1979
1991 to 1992

Gibson introduced the B-45-12 model in 1961. This 12-string was both the first B-45 model guitar available and the first B series model. The Gibson B-45-12 had a mahogany body and neck, spruce top, rosewood fingerboard, and a cherry sunburst finish (or natural finish from 1963 onwards), and was made with "round" shoulders for the 1961 – 1962 model year and "square" shoulders until it was discontinued in 1979. Famous B-45-12 players include Gordon Lightfoot and Leo Kottke.

The 1961 Gibson catalog describes the B-45-12 as follows:

"B-45-12 TWELVE STRING  Twelve strings with their special tuning and reinforced tone provide a unique guitar sound favored by folk singers, effective in combos and solo. The first three double strings are tuned in unison: the last three in octaves. A traditional jumbo size instrument with fine resonance and response . . traditional Gibson tone, quality, and beautiful cherry sunburst finish.  

Features: Selected spruce top. Honduras mahogany back and rim with attractive ivoroid binding and purfling. Twelve-string, fast, low-action neck, one-piece mahogany with adjustable truss rod. Rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays. Special adjustable twelve-string bridge. Tortoiseshell finger rest. Nickel-plated enclosed machine heads. Attractive jumbo size and shape peghead.  16.25" wide. 21.25" long. 4.9" deep 24.75" scale. 20 frets. B-45-12 Cherry sunburst finish $239"

Gibson reissued the B-45-12 from 1991 to 1992 with rosewood sides and back.

Specifications (22)


Body back materialmahogany body back
Body sides materialmahogany body sides
Body styledreadnought-size body
Body top materialspruce body top
Pickguard materialtortoiseshell pickguard
Pickguard shapepickguard
Soundholeround soundhole


Body fretNeck joins body at 14th fret
Neck jointset neck
Number of frets20 fret
Peghead (headstock)black face headstock
Tuner layoutsix-per-side tuners


Bridgerectangular bridge, reverse belly bridge, rosewood bridge, strings-through bridge
Tailpiecetrapeze tailpiece


Fingerboard inlay materialpearl fingerboard inlay material
Fingerboard materialrosewood fingerboard
Fingerboard position markersdot fingerboard position markers


Finish colorsnatural finish, red finish, tobacco finish
Finish effectssunburst finish
Made inUSA
Number of strings12 strings
Scale length24.75 inches scale-length

Prices (3)

1961$239newguitar-listcatalog list price
1974$295goodJack Ver MerrisThis 1973 Gibson model B45-12 had been dropped to the floor, in June of '74 it was still on display, it had a tiny crack at the back of the neck mount to body, sounded a little "buzzy", and was for sale at discount at the "Honolulu Conservatory of Music" store, on South Division Ave, Grand Rapids, Michigan. I improved the sound with the lightest action strings i could find, and many years later in the mid 90's I had the neck damage repaired in Holland Michigan by Del's Music Center. btw- That very oddly named and misplaced, tiny little "Hawaiian" store was located just north of the railroad over-pass near the "south beltline" (28th Street), but was a popular guitar sales dealer for the nearby Kalamazoo Gibson Guitar manufacture location; i knew of it because my brother had taken guitar lessons there many years before, (He never did continue to play his lessons, and i was self-taught).
2017$1000goodDebThe guard has guitar strokes in it.

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