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  1. I've seen this on some other examples of new Gibson acoustics. In my opinion, that's just a stupid idea, a poor location for a strap button. I agree with Eminor7, if installed it should go on the treble side of the neck heel, more or less at location #5. Fred
  2. This was a Custom Shop order: Back:
  3. I have a J-200 Elite, and a standard SJ-200. They are difficult to compare, since the standard is sitka/maple and the Elite is red spruce/koa. They're both very nice and good at what they do, both loud and both articulate but they have different sounds. Fred
  4. Hi Fred, seems I have tracked you down while researching what age a certain J-185 Vintage acoustic is that a certain music shop has for sale on behalf (which i played this morning)... They have a Larrivee from you too, so that was a slam dunk private eye conclusion... :-)
    From the serial number I have deduced it (the J-185) was #36 made on the 26th Jan. 2007, is this correct? Sorry to hear that you have trouble playing these days... I notice the back doesn't look like flame maple, it's like the wood was cut almost parallel to the grain rather than across the grain like tops are made. Do you know what wood the back and sides are please?
    Anyway I was looking for a used J-45 but I think your guitar might be a better choice, depending on what we can negotiate... Thanks for your reply, Mick


  5. Your guitar is a J-200Jr that was labelled "J-200M" probably because they hadn't settled on the "J-200Jr" name yet. Officially, the J-200Jr was introduced in possibly late 1991 but more like 1992. They are 16" across the lower bout, so they basically take the J-185 body, put on a maple neck, and dress it up with J-200 appointments like the bridge and the fretboard inlays. They did not have fretboard binding in the original run, which was mostly 1992-96 or so, with the odd little run put out after that. Yours has the white oval label which was used through 1993. The J-200M -- for "Mini" -- is a smaller guitar, measuring around 15" across the lower bout. That one was introduced in the 2000s, and has gone through several iterations over the years. But it is different from what you have. This is my '07 J-200Jr: Hope that helps. Fred
  6. Looks like my '01 too. Madagascar rosewood bridge and fingerboard. It was featured prominently in the ads of the day, showing a nice natural finish SJ-200 with the streaky fingerboard. Mine did not have a pickup in it either. Fred
  7. Don't rely on the serial numbers from that period too heavily. As mentioned, some of those got recycled, and the '66 and '69 SNs notoriously double-used. I spent about a week or so trying to sort out an ES-355 with one of those doubled-up SNs, a few years ago, and eventually as able to get it sorted as a '66. Read up on that aspect a bit more. Fred
  8. It's actually illegal to date a J-50 in most states. Except maybe Alabama and Alaska...... 🙂 Sorry -- someone had to say it! Based on the features and the serial number your guitar comes up as either a '66 or a '69. The transition from round-shouldered to square-shouldered is not necessarily all that clear either. I think all will agree a '70s-era J-45/50 has square-shoulders, but some '68s show up with square and some '69s with round. Here's a round '68 at Gary's https://www.gbase.com/gear/gibson-j-50-1968-2 Here's a square somewhere else: Here's a '67 at Gary's: Your bridge looks a bit more like the later '60s to me than the mid-'60s. Don't forget -- the other "dreadnaught" stablemates in the Gibson line, the SJ and CW, had been square-shouldered since the earlier '60s. Mixing of parts is/was not uncommon in manufacturing of guitars. My inclination is to say '67, but I would not be too dogmatic on that. Fred
  9. Goodness sakes.... A truss rod cover. The TRCs with the wide white border are what was used on the SJ-200s in the 1950s. That's why they have the wide borders on them. I suppose that's why Gibson equipped this "1957 SJ-200" with the wide-white-border TRC. Poorly executed, yes, but the correct look. Below is an example from 1952 Fred 4
  10. Congratulations, Bruce -- I'm glad that you've finally obtained the guitar we've all been reading about in your posts here and on AGF for so long! It looks like a beautiful guitar! Fred
  11. Wow, that is a beauty, Bruce! Fred
  12. Yeah, I've been wondering about this change too, moving from a 12" to a "more comfortable" 16" radius. The rounder geometry of the fingerboard was ALWAYS one of the things I loved about Gibsons; to me they felt so comfortable, like an old pair of jeans. Much as I love Larrivee guitars, for example, one of the things I never could really get was the flat fingerboard. Jean came from a classical player's background and so tended to go for the flatter f-board design element, while Gibson had the tighter 12-ish inch radius. Fred
  13. Just for reference' sake, Jeff, many of the mid-'90s Gospels that I have seen (and I did own a '94 for a while), were not dark-stained at all: they had the (very pleasing!) virtually natural finish mahogany neck, back and sides. So, that, as an anecdotal thing..... 🙂 Fred
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