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UPDATE !!! - 'LAST MINUTE' - Gibson J-200


Mariusz

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Hello again to all Gibson Friends, ;)

 

I'm sorry that I'm writing again on the same subject but since yesterday I have some second thoughts. I'm not familiar w/ acoustic Gibsons but you all are experts or know much much more as for the details. Namely, in the auction title and description salesman says in same time that it is a J-200 and SJ-200: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2008-Gibson-SJ-200-J-200-Flamed-Blonde-Factory-Pickup-Bozeman-Vintage-Tone-Woods-/251512697061?autorefresh=true&nma=true&si=WMV0I%252BijRdbbNGTE0errscpRpD0%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Since yesterday I search the entire internet and I'm trying to understand the difference. Visited hundred sites and I'm still not sure.

In some places I read that Gibson never used these symbols at the same time, but changed them in different years. I visited Gibson homepage and I found that is not true: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/Super-Jumbo.aspx

There are both J-200 and SJ-200 in different Prices. Therefore, I am a little confused, whether I bought J-200 or SJ-200 and which model of them.

Comparing the details, such as a bridge, it looks like it is SJ-200 Standard - not J-200 New Vintage which looks most similar (except the bridge) but is much more expensive.

Please help me identify what it is actually the model of my guitar and how is its price value as used. I wonder why the seller used at the same time a symbol of two different instruments. Is it possible that Gibson has changed these symbols since 2008?

But ok, let's say that this is the SJ-200 Standard and I bought it in very good condition and a bit cheaper than in the store.

My question is now, if this guitar that I won is exactly the same as brand new Gibson SJ-200 Standard 2014 or another (better or worse)? If so, where are the differences. I'd like just to know what I have. Thank you very much for answers and explanations ! ;)

 

Kind Regards

Mariusz

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You can relax- the seller used both J-200 and SJ-200 in the auction title so that his listing would show up in searches of each, which is a fairly common practice on eBay. Probably used SJ-200 in the description because many years ago that was the official model designation. Today many use the two variations interchangeably.

 

I'd be more interested to know if anyone else noticed anything unusual about the nut between 2nd & 3rd string (?).

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I'd be more interested to know if anyone else noticed anything unusual about the nut between 2nd & 3rd string (?).

 

You're amazing. I didn't noticed but it don't looks like broken. Strange shape of the nut looks like factory made, or am I wrong? Just wonder why. Never seen such before.

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You're amazing. . .

 

Hardly. It wouldn't be the first time I saw something in a photo that wasn't there at all. Here's another time; the old SJ that recently found it's way to my door: the fretboard looked dreadful in the seller's photo- but in person looked much better. A fairly straightforward refret and mild resurface of the fretboard to come:

 

 

My apologies if I caused any alarm; in either case, not a big deal.

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My question is now, if this guitar that I won is exactly the same as brand new Gibson SJ-200 Standard 2014 or another (better or worse)? If so, where are the differences. I'd like just to know what I have. Thank you very much for answers and explanations ! ;)

 

 

The only way to know that is to take two guitars and play them. While the differences between the two might be subtle one might have a bit different balance than the other or perhaps a tad slower note decay. Which is better is totally in the ears (and often the head) of the player.

 

Bottom line if you buy sight unseen you lay out your money and you take your chances.

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Marlusz, you have a very fine Fender collection. Oddly enough, guys who play Fenders (especially Teles) seem to gravitate toward Gibson for acoustics. You've just made a great start on your next collection, sir. The next thing you need is a slope-shouldered jumbo. The J-45 is the definitive example, but AJs, OJs, SJs and J-35s all have their charms. Unless you have a taste for the exotic and a healthy bank account; that would call for a Roy Smeck re-issue or Jackson Browne. Welcome.

 

P

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Folks ;)

 

Again thank you for your help. As promised, I'd like to inform, that I just got a Gibson J-200 ;)

It looks and sounds really great. I have only two small problems:

Truss rod cover plate on the head - lack of signature 'Standard' as in current production. Does it matter, means is this still Standard Modell? The second case signaled the seller in the listing: "..The pickguard is of a variety that was used for a while. It's a ".. No Scratch" Guard. Sometimes in the case, it will lift a tiny bit around the pointed edge from the face. All you do is just touch it and it goes back down and re-sticks itself down to the face of the instrument. I do not even think it's glued on, and does not need to be. If I were to keep it I would probably change it to a regular pickguard, but this does not Affect the playability whatsoever .. ' What would you do?

Sorry one more: I'd like to change the strings. What would you recommend for a J-200? Phosphor Bronze 10-...(?) What brand? D'Addario..?

Thanks alot!

 

Mariusz

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Hi Folks ;)

 

Again thank you for your help. As promised, I'd like to inform, that I just got a Gibson J-200 ;)

It looks and sounds really great. I have only two small problems:

Truss rod cover plate on the head - lack of signature 'Standard' as in current production. Does it matter, means is this still Standard Modell? The second case signaled the seller in the listing: "..The pickguard is of a variety that was used for a while. It's a ".. No Scratch" Guard. Sometimes in the case, it will lift a tiny bit around the pointed edge from the face. All you do is just touch it and it goes back down and re-sticks itself down to the face of the instrument. I do not even think it's glued on, and does not need to be. If I were to keep it I would probably change it to a regular pickguard, but this does not Affect the playability whatsoever .. ' What would you do?

Sorry one more: I'd like to change the strings. What would you recommend for a J-200? Phosphor Bronze 10-...(?) What brand? D'Addario..?

Thanks alot!

 

Mariusz

 

 

I just put elixir 12s on my j150 nano web I think. Sounds better than D'Addarios to me, and I've used D'Addario for years.

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I know there a lot of players that don't like Elixirs, but I just put a set of 12's Nano's on my SJ200 and think it sounds great. The guitar came with a set of D'Addario EJ16's on it and I thought they sounded very metallic. I know Elixirs are supposed to be bright sounding, but they sounded much more mellow than the D'Addarios.

 

I wouldn't worry about the trc, it's a Gibson, there were all different types of trc used. As far as the pickguard, I've heard of those stick-on guards before, but never on a SJ200. Are you saying that's the only guard on the guitar? Sounds a little wonky for any Gibson.

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I know there a lot of players that don't like Elixirs, but I just put a set of 12's Nano's on my SJ200 and think it sounds great. The guitar came with a set of D'Addario EJ16's on it and I thought they sounded very metallic. I know Elixirs are supposed to be bright sounding, but they sounded much more mellow than the D'Addarios.

 

I wouldn't worry about the trc, it's a Gibson, there were all different types of trc used. As far as the pickguard, I've heard of those stick-on guards before, but never on a SJ200. Are you saying that's the only guard on the guitar? Sounds a little wonky for any Gibson.

 

First I'll answer for the Pickquard: Please read the seller's add info on bottom the description. I have no reason not to believe what he wrote, but also don't have possibilities to check this or comparison with other J-200 guitars w/ celluloid pickquard. For me it sounds good. Only problem is, that sometimes it rises up at edges. But just a little touch to found again on right place. In any case, it certainly is not nor was it ever glued.

 

As for the strings - have no experiences w/ 6str. jumbo. I own 12str. Guild F-512 but its another story as for the sound.

For the strings gauge - same. I would have in same time two guitars to compare which string set suits me better. Usualy I'm playing w/ pick on acoustics and noticed, that the thicker are high (not wounded) strings the darker their sound is. Elixir has here nothing to do, because only 3-6 (4-6) are wounded and covered by gore-tex. And as statet by manufactury (Elixir or D'Addario) only reason for cover strings by nano layer is extend the life of. But 'give and take'... It's true, Gore-tex protects the strings against sweat and dirt but also suppresses natural, 'grand piano' sound of phosphor-bronze wound. Unfortunately, not-covered strings after 2 weeks lose their beautiful depth and sharpness and sounded like Elixir (or D'Addario EXP) means more flat.

BTW: Just curious how do you compare/rate these two brands w/ gore-tex ?

This is of course only my opinion, although many people agree with that.

Many Thanks!

Mariusz

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First I'll answer for the Pickquard: Please read the seller's add info on bottom the description. I have no reason not to believe what he wrote, but also don't have possibilities to check this or comparison with other J-200 guitars w/ celluloid pickquard.

 

Certainly not a celluloid pickguard. Guitar builders have not used celluloid for pickguards and binding in decades. It is flammable and expensive to make. The only country I know of that actually still produces it is Italy. I was lucky when having my Banner J-50 restored in that the repair guy had a small supply of NOS celluloid to make a new pickguard with.

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Certainly not a celluloid pickguard. Guitar builders have not used celluloid for pickguards and binding in decades. It is flammable and expensive to make. The only country I know of that actually still produces it is Italy. I was lucky when having my Banner J-50 restored in that the repair guy had a small supply of NOS celluloid to make a new pickguard with.

 

Thanks. You're right. I mean some kind of rigid plastic. I have no idea what it's called. PCV..? Although Fender in their electric guitars used celluloid (not only flamed/patterned) for a long time. Hopeing don't you mean that this is my pickquard some fake?

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No that just that it is made with some kind of injected molded plastic. Nothing wrong with it, just not quite as "romantic" as celluloid. The key with pickguards is thickness and if it has a pattern whether that pattern is embedded or engraved.

 

 

Of course, but believe that from a distance of 2m you willn't notice any difference (the pattern is exactly the same). What to celluloid also you're right - generally it comes to matching the resonance pickquard and body. However, I believe that it's rather a question of aesthetics. I don't think Gibson made ​​without any testing such a terrible error by producing a series of pickguards with rubber for his top guitars, which will partially suppresses sound of the body. I can't find any info what is used for produce guards at present.

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What you are describing is a removable or as Taylor calls them a reusable pickguard - not a "no scratch" pickuard (not even sure what that is). As far as I know Gibson has never used them other than on the Mark Series guitars back in the 1970s.

 

I do, however, recall reading or hearing about some new pickguard material Bozeman fleetingly tried out. It was sometimes described as rubbery in that it was very flexible and soft. I never heard any mention though of them being removable. It may be that this material did not take to the adhesive well or something. At any rate Gibson seems to have quickly abandoned the project.

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What you are describing is a removable or as Taylor calls them a reusable pickguard - not a "no scratch" pickuard (not even sure what that is). As far as I know Gibson has never used them other than on the Mark Series guitars back in the 1970s.

 

I do, however, recall reading or hearing about some new pickguard material Bozeman fleetingly tried out. It was sometimes described as rubbery in that it was very flexible and soft. I never heard any mention though of them being removable. It may be that this material did not take to the adhesive well or something. At any rate Gibson seems to have quickly abandoned the project.

 

Thank you for explanation. It seems to me that you're right. I checked it thoroughly again, means I tried to gently peel off the pickguard. And the more deeper into it, rather looks like substances used in thick adhesive tapes. And probably with the passage of time it has dried at the edges - why is raised.

I guess that the purpose of this idea was to create a plate more resistant to scratches. And indeed much more difficult to scratch it than plastic. But when they (Gibson) found that the influence of various factors (temperature, humidity, tension, vibration) plate peeling at the edges - abandoned project.

Anyway, this is not very onerous. And when it comes to sound - I compared with all available recordings and my J-200 in my opinion doesn't sound worse.

Again thanks to all for your advices and opinions ;)

 

Best Regards

Mariusz

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Sorry, I'm confused. My SJ200 has a very slight lift -1/16th of an inch - at one of the points of the pick guard. This is a 2004 guitar, prior to the TV, etc differentiation of types. The pickguard is engraved and painted on the surface. It has the flower or carnation line drawing in white, tan yellow, etc. as in the picture of yours in the EBay listing. I noticed the small lift when I first purchased my guitar (less than a year old from a person who only played it at church on Sundays and decided he wanted a Martin), it would stick when I held it down for a minute, but come undone soon after. I inserted a very thin piece of double sided tape, but that didn't help, so I've left it and don't notice it anymore. It's only the small tip if one of the points. A few years ago, Gibson developed a process to make these engraved/hand painted PGs with a clear surface coating so the artwork won't scratch off. The natural (S)J 200 shown In the EBay listing in excellent condition is a perfect example of that guitar. You should not worry about the small amount of lift, and completely ignore the uninformed sellers suggestion that the winner should replace the guard with something else. That guard is an iconic part if that model. Don't try peeling it off or you'll make it worse.

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