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About ellis

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  1. Thanks for taking the time to offer the details of your J200. Crazy to see the next guitar on the line from mine 60 years later! The ToM bridge was commercially available in 61, so your design is consistent and accurate to the reference period it went back to the factory for work. What is interesting, is the bracing for yours....and where the plug is. This is very different from mine, as the bracing in mine appears not to have the cross brace. I suspect this was added to yours during the 61 work to strengthen the new bridge. I agree that converting to a regular saddle makes sense... and will likely improve tonal quality overall. From a value standpoint, the ToM guitars are less desirable anyway. My guitar is 100% original and looks like it was kept in a closet for 50 years. Even the case is near perfect. I couldn't believe it when I saw it, as it simply appeared to be too clean for its age. Surprisingly, it sounds amazing. A little tight with the maple, but overall, quite beautiful resonance despite the ToM bridge. It actually sounds better than the 61s with the conventional bridge configuration. That said, I just cant bring self to change it at all given how original it is....I have never seen another one like it, as most of them (like yours) were 'upgraded' to the newest design. One other interesting point.... your neck stamp (W 3189 6)actually references a 55. Mine (V 4839 12)references a 56. The 4 digits represent the batch and the last digits represent the sequence within the batch. Great to connect with you! I'm in Raleigh NC
  2. Wow! Very interesting. So yours shows the conventional ToM set up with the Pearl inlays. What is the neck stamp#? So does the neck stamp reflect a 1956?
  3. very cool to see the guitar made right after mine! So do you not have the ToM bridge??
  4. Outstanding! Thank you and very much appreciated. I believe this has solved the mystery.
  5. Buc, Very interesting! Thank you for the insight. I am aware of the book, but do not have a copy. Curious if you could attach a photo?
  6. This guitar does not have the 'tone killing' cross brace typically found in the 61s and later. Everything is consistent with 1956 construction. The guitar has a bright and booming presence. One of the nicest playing J200s I have heard. George Gruhn has personally inspected this guitar and certifies that it is a 1956 instrument.
  7. Best pictures I could get. The hardware used to affix the bridge is consistent with original installation.
  8. Interesting. I have heard the same of Gibson in the late 50s. With a relatively small production run of each model (I think around 320 J200s in 1956, virtually every guitar was 'prototype' of some sort. I have also heard that post war production used parts from various years to create a complete instrument.
  9. Outstanding. Thanks for the welcome
  10. Looking for assistance regarding a recent purchase. I have (or believe that I have) a 1956 Gibson J200. Both the label and the neck stamp confirm the date to be a middle production run of a 1956. The guitar appears to be accurate and original at every detail, including the Lufton case..... One catch, the guitar has a Tune O Matic bridge and that was not commercially available until 61!! Even the Tune O Matic is very different from anything else I have ever seen, as the moustache is open versus the typical 'closed' Tune O matic with pearl inlays. Also, the bridge pins are set at the back of the bridge versus centered between pearl inlays strips. Initially, I suspected that the ToM was added later, but the open moustache bridge appears to be the original bridge, yet specifically constructed to fit the ToM hardware. A couple of points to support this.... first, there are 2 additional dot inlays at each end of the swirl of the bridge. There is not 1 example I can find on any other j200 that has these added dot inlays. Second, the open swirl design has a shorter leg than your typical 56 bridge. The shorter leg (pointing towards the ToM adjustment screw) is shorter specifically to accommodate the positioning of the adjustment screw. This all suggests that the ToM and moustache bridge are all original and not simply a modification to the original bridge. I Know Gibson spent much time trying to figure out how to secure the ToM bridge throughout its unfortunate history .....different positions, different bracing, etc...so perhaps this is an early prototype in their evolution process...I have found no other bridge configuration like this after looking at 100s of other J200s. curious for any other feedback or ideas. Beau
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