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J200 strap button opinion


gunslmb

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This is just me, but on an acoustic or AE, I'd say about any "storebought" would do the job - but probably should have the felt washer too. Also, installation should be done beginning with a drill to create the hole for the screw or bad consequences are possible - in fact, probable. To me the proper installation is more important than location, and that less important than which decent quality "storebought" you might purchase.

 

m

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I think you guys are more worried about looks than I.

 

I'd say good quality and probably best "silver" if that's the rest of the guitar and "gold" ditto. OTOH, especially with an AE endpin jack, I'd say it's not all that relevant compared to proper installation.

 

Been playing over 50 years and never had anybody hit me with, "gee, your strap button looks horrid." Although I have had folks watch me struggling with my endpin jack and strap and agree, "Stinks, doesn't it," about the difficulty of making the doggone things work with the average strap even after messing with the things.

 

Also, back in the day, a lotta folks actually preferred using the little shoelace to tie an pure acoustic from the endpin to the area just above the nut. One reason, I think, is that it seemed to "carry" more easily neck-down at fiddling contests and such events. Needless to say one hadda be a little careful if the connection to the endpin might be a little weak or if it were to be jostled much. Then again, one usually kept one's hand on the guitar in case it let loose.

 

m

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That sounds close enough for folk music, f'r sure.

 

Best of luck getting the front pin in.

 

Funny thing to me is how I really don't recall anybody with a neck/body pin back in my reeeeally old days of the early '60s. Seems that's almost a later development none of the folkie/grassers cared to do at the time. Or... maybe just now where I was.

 

m

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Looking for some advice as too which strap button I should put on my 1989 J200. I really like position number 5 that seems to be what everybody recommends, but what button would be best?

 

I'm not certain what "position number five" is but of the dozen or so acoustics I own there are only two without "strap buttons" on the neck heel. One is a '97 SJ-200 and the other is my '11 HD-28V. The reason they don't have heel buttons is because I'm not brave enough to drill holes in either guitar myself. I always meant to have one put on the SJ-200 but never got around to it. I'm not certain about the Gibson but with the Martin unless a Martin authorized repair shop installs it (@$75- A local repair guy said $15 for the Gibson plus a couple of bucks for the button)) the warranty is voided so consequently both guitars currently have Martin black leather headstock wrap around straps. I think I prefer the strap attached that way so no big deal. The end pin on the Gibson is a gold Dunlop strap lock button and on the Martin it's been upgraded to an FWI end pin (and nut, bridge pins and saddle). The Gibson is an easier proposition because the screw goes straight in at the heel. On the Martin it has to go in at an angle. StewMac has pretty nice strap pins in various wood species and ivoroid for around $5-$6 http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Strap_Buttons/StewMac_Guitar_Strap_Button.html http://www.stewmac.com/Hardware_and_Parts/Strap_Buttons/StewMac_Guitar_Strap_Button.html#details

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Quote: "Looking for some advice"

 

 

 

 

The SJ-200 is my favorite Steel Strung Acoustic Guitar.

 

I am also very particular about Strap Buttons and have around 50 different types and finishes in stock available all the time, both Metal and Wood so hopefully have something to write that will be helpful.

 

 

About Position.

 

I favour Position 4 in the centre of the Heel on SJ 200's and Jazz Guitars with a similar Neck Heel Profile.

 

For sure, the Total Symmetry appeals visually from a Design Atheistic , but if you carefully (without scratching the finish) place the flat of the Strap button in all different available positions around the Heel, you will find that there is a naturally Flattest Point on the Heel, which is clearly identifiable as the most Complimentary and Solid Point of all available in this type of Neck Heel. To me, that is the best place for a Flat Backed Strap Button on this Instrument.

 

 

Check for Internal Metal

 

I suppose here I should write that I have extremely strong magnetic devices indeed for detecting hidden Bolts and Truss Rods before doing any drilling on Neck Heels. Apart from the fact that the SJ-200 has a Glued on Neck, if you properly locate the above mentioned Flattest Position, it is a clear point from the Hidden Internal Metal perspective. Always Check for this, even if you know there is none, and even if the Manufacturer tells you where any metal is. Don't believe them, Check for Yourself.

 

 

Visual Appearance

 

Although the Cosmetic Appearance of the Strap Button is important and should properly compliment the other Hardware fitted to the Guitar, like End Pin Strap Button and Tuners, and you might think that the ideal Compliment is a Gibson Strap Button, and though it's not bad, its not best as far as the excellent recent production of the SJ-200 goes. Getting the different parts to look Factory Finished is a big part of the deal for me.

 

 

Screw Type and General Quality

 

You also should take into account both the Size and Quality of the Screw that accompanies the Strap Button. When all these factors are taken into account, how ideally correct it appears along with the other Hardware, how well it will hold the Strap, along with the width, length and quality of the Supplied Screw, the best I have found is the Brass Planet Waves Strap Button to go with the Gibson Gold Hardware. It also compliments the current production Gold Jack Socket End Pin very well, to me it the best of all available.

 

That is out of about 50 Quality Alternatives, by Name Brands including Strap Buttons Finished in Gold. By the way, not all Gold Finishes are the same in colour and appearance and the Gibson Strap Button itself is also Brass, like the Planets Waves, so nothing at all is being lost there in Material as Brass is Best and will wear best over time, rather than a Gold Plated Product. The Screw with the Planets Waves is High Quality, Perfect in size with consistency along its entire length, whereas the Gibson Screw is Huge and Tapers severely and should require a Tapered Drill, if fitted correctly.

 

 

Drilling Alignment

 

By the way, the Violin Maker who advises me on certain matters, and is well used to working with Maple, tells me NOT to drill a Pilot Hole when working specifically with that wood. Apparently it can lead to unforeseen complications and unwanted splintering of the remaining Wood on the Second Hole. Just Drill the Hole Once to the Correct Size.

 

This means Checking and Re-checking before you Drill, and getting the Guitar and the Drill Perfectly Positioned and Stable before you Drill. I have a High Quality Schroder Hand Drill that looks like a German Sub Machine Gun, and a Special Gearbox that facilitates extremely slow and steady Drilling, and I use High Quality Drill Bits of the correct size, after comparing the Drill Bits direct against the Strap Button Screw.

 

Align the Drilling Position into the wood with the Strap Button itself included and get every aspect of that "Perfectly Ideal" visualising angles before you Drill.

 

 

Tapering with a Counter Sink

 

After you Drill the Hole, use a Counter Sink very gently to Taper back the Nitro Cellulose Finish, to prevent Lifting of the Finish when fitting the Screw.

 

 

Leather Washers are Forever.

 

I use Thick Leather Washers of a Correct size to nicely Fit the Planet Waves Strap Button on SJ-200's that neatly and Snugly absorb natural curvature in the Wooden Heel. I buy these from Quality Bicycle Suppliers as they are made to fit between Mudguards and Frame to prevent vibrations and are a beautiful addition to making a perfect looking Strap Button, Exude Quality.

 

 

The Right Size Tool

 

This might seem a bit basic, but its very important, use the correct Type and Size of Screw Driver for the Screw, and a Tool of Good Quality that won't slip, wear or spoil the Screw.

 

 

Check and Re-check before you do anything.

 

 

Slow and Steady is best.

 

 

 

 

There is nothing to Stop you using a Strap fitted to the Headstock and that may be the Best Solution for you so be open to that thought.

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Anthony... Yeah, I've seen that one. I know this'll sound horrid, but it seems just one more thing for an old man to lose.

 

As for acceptance of the Hummingbird as in around '60-65... In the circles where I was, it was seen as almost some sort of magic wand to make a good folkie better. Most of the other "high end players" had Martins. Seldom saw a Gibson. Then again, "country music" was kinda a bad word even while the "high end players" were doing bluegrass and Carter Family material.

 

Ah, youth.

 

m

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An additional point.

 

Do thread the Strap Button and the Washer onto the Screw. (Gibson Strap Buttons are not supplied with any Washers at all).

 

Then compare the Complete Assembly directly alongside the Drill Bit you have chosen to use and allowing for a modicum of compression to the Leather Washer (or Felt if that is what you are using), clearly mark with Bright Coloured Tape on the Drill Bit, the Depth to which you will need to Drill into the Heel of the Guitars Neck. You will appreciate that especially as you will be Drilling into a Neck/Body Joint, only going as deep you really need to is very important indeed.

 

 

 

The Fishman Pickup System currently fitted to the Standard SJ-200 Model.

 

Whose Rear Strap Button/Jacksocket is fairly ubiquitous on Gibson Models and often Retro Fitted, has distinct Square Edged features to its Design.

 

This is quite different to Gibson Strap Buttons that have Rounded Edges, Fender, Gotoh and Stew Mack that have Conical Edges, the Multitude of Mushroom Edged Strap Buttons that abound, and the proprietary Schaller and Grover Security System Buttons.

 

The salient point is, the Planet Waves Strap Button has the similar Square Edged features that echo the Design of the Fishman Strap Button/Jacksocket at the Lower Bout End, only the Space behind the Squared Edge is more accommodating and perfect in Security for a Strap. In point of fact, I actually prefer the Security of this Strap Button over both the Schaller and the Grover Specialised Systems, both of which I have available in all available Finishes.

 

Its Security, Simplicity and Flexibility are also recognised by certain C F Martin Enthusiasts with big 'Working Collections' who have Embraced this Design, usually fitting a Black Button on Martins, but under the Lower side of the Neck Heel. To a Collector of Guitar Straps, being able to use any Strap one wishes is an Additional Improvement over a more Complex and Expensive Security System. But the Fundamental Issue is that in Colour and especially Looks, the Brass Planet Waves far better echoes the distinct Design of the Fishman Product used in Current Production.

 

 

 

I have a couple of the Strapkeeper Products but don't actually use them.

 

The way I make the Straps ideally fit (Not too Easy to get on and off the Button, and Not too Hard either) the SJ-200 Fishman Strap Button/Jacksocket, is with a Tool that Jewellers use to measure the Gauge of Rings to get a perfect fit for a Finger.

 

This Conical Tool of Quality is used to actively create the ideal Security and Fit for each of the Leather Strap Button Holes at either end of the Strap and thus place no wear on the Guitar Strap Button and fitting itself during that process. The Strap Hole is already made to fit ideally, with a Measureable Gauge that is Totally Accurate ensuring a perfect fit between Strap and Strap Button, and properly allowing a modicum for future "Wear In" of the Leather.

 

This Tool has been an especial benefit to me where the Fishman Strap Button/Jacksocket with its narrow Strap accommodation allowance has been concerned and ensures a Secure, Unproblematical fit.

 

Have a Great Weekend!

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