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Who Knew This 85 Year Old Design Was So DIVERSE?! The Gibson SJ-200

Adam Leaver: June 23, 2023
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Guitar Village here and today we’re checking out the many faces of the Gibson j200 so the Gibson self-proclaimed King of the flat tops is a 17 inch wide body it was originally released around 1938 nowadays we see the j200 as being kind of more of a maple back and sides guitar but back then it was definitely Rosewood it wasn’t until the 40s that they went over to Maple so this guitar really was built as a competition to models like Martin’s D28 and some of the players that have used these guitars over the years are incredible I mean you’ve got like Bruce Springsteen you’ve got Elvis Presley Noel Gallagher and many many more and for me this is really a Songwriter’s guitar it’s got this big warm full sound especially when you have Rosewood back and sides on it and it just it’s so well suited to using a flat pick with so let’s take a look at some of the models we’ve got here today

the model I’m holding here this is a Gibson j200 standard now Gibson aren’t currently producing the j200 standard so this is a lovely pre-owned one we’ve got in at the moment for me the standard is the one that all other j200 should be measured by and I think it’s the kind of the quintessential j200 that most people will think of with the maple back and sides now that being said if you check out the back of this guitar the maple on this really really is beautiful it really pops out loads and loads of fearing on there and when you look back at the top again you can see actually it’s a lot darker on the top than it is on the sides as well that’s where a lot of the the sunlight’s been absorbed checking out the back of the neck too that is super flamey lovely gold Grover tuners on there as well foreign

this model is the j200 studio Rosewood now as the name Studio suggests just like on their Les Paul models this is a slightly dressed down version from the standard j200 crucially though this has got Rosewood back and sides which give it a lot more of a mellow sound and slightly more bass response too

so we’ve jumped Brands now we’re looking at an epiphone inspired by Gibson j200 now this really is as close as you can kind of get to the Gibson j200 standard made in the USA but from the Epiphone Factory it’s a really classy looking guitar it’s got some really vintage appointments there it’s almost got like a Vos finish like they do on the Gibson Custom Shop models it’s got these uh lovely lovely stock green tuners on there the classics that everyone seems to love on the old Gibsons and it sounds great too

so we’re going back over into the Gibson camp now and we’re checking out this modern g200 EC so as I said this is a modern guitar it’s got a completely different neck profile very playable it’s got a slimmed down body Walnut back and sides and it’s also got the sound hole on the side as well as the one on the front so the player can enjoy the tone too

for good measure we’re going to throw in one more Epiphone model this is the j200 EC studio in Black now this has kind of got some of the appointments of the Gibson USA standard one but it’s also got a cutaway as well which is really usable great pickup on the side and it’s ideal for any of those who are on a bit of a budget but want to get the j200 sound

the last one and the one that’s been sitting in this case the whole time is this gorgeous 1967 j200 this guitar being a late 60s model has a slim and up width it also has an adjustable Bridge as well not something that you see on a lot of Gibsons these days well none of the Acoustics anyway it’s got a super slim neck as well as it being narrow it’s got these lovely gold Grovers on there and it’s got a completely different sound to all the other j200s we’ve been playing it’s super scooped in the mid-range now when you look at some of the detailing on it it’s got gorgeous lacquer checking you can see where the kind of the paints actually faded out in places there’s some cracks on the pick guard you know it’s got this gorgeous maple on the back of there which I just think really sets this guitar off and has just tons of Mojo and vibe

j200 for me it was great being able to go through some of these guitars that we’ve got in the shop right now and just play them have a listen to each one check each one out as well I mean especially old guitars like this 1967 j200 I mean this thing has got so much Mojo about it just all the little marks and dents where you can see it’s been played over the years and the tone of it has a really really interesting kind of scoop mid-range tone but with tons of bass and treble on there so you get this really big kind of Woofy sound almost the j200 standard I played first for me is the quintessential j200 tone with andal look really with the maple back and sides the lovely mustache bridge and it really spots on if you want something a bit more modern the g200 was a great option with the Walnut back inside slightly Slimmer body it is a little bit more comfortable to sit with for extended periods so well worth checking that out the two cheaper epiphones which by the way were excellent I thought the black one was really really loud um the inspired by Gibson range really Nails the look with that kind of Vos finish they do on there and if you want to get something that’s kind of similar to the original j200 from the late 30s the studio Rosewood has that big warm sound that you expect from one of those old guitars I would definitely recommend coming down to the shop and trying a few of these out as well if you can and if you can’t check them out on our website all the links will be in the description below as well thanks for watching


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