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hi all

 

i am considering a Gibson SJ-200 Maple

to maximize my resources, i am considering the used market

i played a new one at the LGS, and it sounded great!

however, i own Martins and a Taylor, so the sound from the Gibson

is so different.

 

 

for some reason, Martin and Taylors are very numerous on the used market, not so

for Gibson acoustics ( I am in the SF BayArea)

 

As each guitar is so different, as i recall when i was looking for my first Taylor,

i must have played at least 6-8 of the same model, and they all sounded different to me,

and i got confused, so i just bought a new one.

 

i like to play fingerstyle folk music of the 60s and 70s, and am looking for the mellower sound

of the Gibson.

 

any advice is appreciated regarding certain years and configurations

 

 

z

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I owned an '95 SJ200, which was a powerhouse. I sing a lot of folk, and country as well... Actually I'm all over the place with what I play. Have to be honest though, an SJ200 is not the first Gibson that comes to mind when I think of fingerpicking and light strumming. I bought mine because I was Enamoured with The Looks of The King, but I moved it along because the smaller mellowed sound to me comes from a hog backed Hummingbird. Frankly when I think of SJ200s now I think of Chris Isaak and Dwight Yoakham. Muted country blues with that low E.

As to eras... I think you will hear that you should stay away form the '70s Gibbys, and either go pre 63 or with modern Bozemons. But of course, that's a generalization. Hopefully Jannus guy pipes in. He owned, or still owns and is selling, a Western Classic, and I think he has experience with the big guns. Hopefully Eminor and J45nick and the others chime in with more.

Do you details on a specific guitar you want to ask about?

 

 

 

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IMHO anything Gibson maple has a nice mellow sound. The J200 is a bit larger and you'll get more volume. As Sal mentioned the Hummingbird although traditionally mahogany is an excellent mellow sounding strumming guitar. I personally would not use it for lead finger picking style playing. I would suggest you try to find a used J185. They are normally maple. Same shape but a bit smaller than a J200. It has a short scale instead of the J200 long scale. Are usually a little less money than a j200. Excellent for picking and strumming with plenty of volume.

Good Luck

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Zcart - I would certainly support using an SJ200 as a fingerpicker. Yes, it'll sound different than what the recorded 1960s versions of Peter Paul and Mary sounded like. But, P&P didn't play Gibsons either. If you put some lighter strings on it, it will work. They actually have great range - they can sound like a John Phillip Sousa band if you go at it like those who prefer it as a big, loud strummer. But, they can be nice and clear and articulate when finger picked. Never have to worry about muddy-ness. Just because conventional wisdom says to pick a short necked hog, doesn't mean that would give you what you want. G'Luck.

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I will chime in here: Be aware that there are basically two bridge configurations - a 2 Ribbon Bridge and a 4 Ribbon bridge. In my humble opinion, the 2 ribbon bridge gives bit more adjustbility to the action, and more easily retains a decent break angle. The 4 ribbon that I owned had a wonderful maple chime to the tone, but when I tried to lower he action to my style with a shorter saddle, it lost much of its punch. Here's the 4 ribbon bridge - note the distance from the saddle to the bridge pins.

j20026_zpsb8ea5a10.jpg

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Z - I have an SJ-200 maple 4 ribbon bridge via Music Villa. I only finger pick and it works fine, but (as mentioned) it is not the first model folks think of for that style of play. Several years back, I took a mail order chance with some real assistance from folks here on the forum and back when custom orders were accepted. by Gibson. I owned a J-150 already so I was familiar with the instrument size and maple tone. I hope though, you can get to play the guitar you are looking for first as there is no substitute for having the one you buy in your hands. Let me know, if I can answer any questions. Good hunting.

 

Steve

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Z - I have an SJ-200 maple 4 ribbon bridge via Music Villa. I only finger pick and it works fine, but (as mentioned) it is not the first model folks think of for that style of play. Several years back, I took a mail order chance with some real assistance from folks here on the forum and back when custom orders were accepted. by Gibson. I owned a J-150 already so I was familiar with the instrument size and maple tone. I hope though, you can get to play the guitar you are looking for first as there is no substitute for having the one you buy in your hands. Let me know, if I can answer any questions. Good hunting.

 

Steve

 

hi all

 

thanks to all for the great information and comments

sharing your experiences is really helpful to me

 

i did play a new J-185 custom at the LGS, sounded really great, but i think that the SJ-200 or J-200

might suit me better, as i think i need more low end the maple brightness really accentuates the mids and highs imho

as i have only rosewood and mahogany guitars, this maple sound seems to provide the different sound that

i am looing for

at the LGS, they had a consigned Taylor 612ce, sounded really great as well. if they drop the price

perhaps it might wander home with me

 

z

 

guess that i will have to start looking, and wait for the right instument to show up

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It might be worth your time to expand the search and include Guild jumbos.

 

I've owned four Gibson jumbos (still have two) & love them, but Guilds are also really nice. Their maple jumbos have an arched & laminated back (sides are solid). Based on my '94 JF-30, the tone can be as full, rich, and resonant as Gibson's jumbos. I also have an all maple bodied Guild G-37 dread from '76, and it's tonal characteristics are quite similar.

 

Best of luck in your search.

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... but i think that the SJ-200 or J-200

might suit me better...

 

 

I don't think you can go wrong with a Gibson maple. Just my personal experience, the sound from that tone wood seems to be more consistent across the various models than some of the other tone woods.

 

In maple acoustic Gibson's I have a J200, J185, J180 and LC Century and like them all.

 

In J200's I have maple, rosewood and koa. I think the maple stands out as a distinct sound.

 

Have fun shopping!

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Folks either seem to love or hate the J-200. The only J-200 I have a lot of experience with is one built in 1960 which has been in the house for what seems to be forever. As it has a very different style of top bracing though I cannot really compare it to the modern versions. But in general, the J-200 has been described as the Grand Piano of guitars. Very full sounding. I would also agree that they are more on the mellow side. But if you are an old upright barrelhouse piano kind of guy they may not work for you.

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I have a Gibson SJ200M in Quilted maple. This is a smaller bodied version of the SJ200 and much more comfortable to play. It''s on of a limited run of 50 only Worldwide but would seem ideal for what you want. It has a really mellow sound and the Baggs Electrics are really good. No harsh piezo sounds and the battery lasts for ages. They may be hard to come by though.

 

I'm actually offering mine for sale on EBay, not because I don't love it just because I am frightened to put a mark on it! I also bought an Epiphone Masterbilt guitar which sounds fabulous and really suits me so that will do for me and someone else might enjoy the Gibson SJ200 M Quilt. It's a lovely piece of wood and the inlays are really nice.

 

I hankered after a Gibson J200 for years then when I tried one found it to be just a bit too big to be comfortable. The Epiphone version is well worth a look, very affordable and gets rave reviews.

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I have a Gibson SJ200M in Quilted maple. This is a smaller bodied version of the SJ200 and much more comfortable to play. It''s on of a limited run of 50 only Worldwide but would seem ideal for what you want. It has a really mellow sound and the Baggs Electrics are really good. No harsh piezo sounds and the battery lasts for ages. They may be hard to come by though.

 

I'm actually offering mine for sale on EBay, not because I don't love it just because I am frightened to put a mark on it! I also bought an Epiphone Masterbilt guitar which sounds fabulous and really suits me so that will do for me and someone else might enjoy the Gibson SJ200 M Quilt. It's a lovely piece of wood and the inlays are really nice.

 

I hankered after a Gibson J200 for years then when I tried one found it to be just a bit too big to be comfortable. The Epiphone version is well worth a look, very affordable and gets rave reviews.

 

 

hi ab

 

do you have a link to your J200?

thanks

z

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hi all

 

this weekend i did play the new Gbison SJ-200 sunburst figured maple at the local GC

it was the standard model, not the elite or studio

it really sounded great.

the guitar must have been there for a while, or played a lot

as it had been handled a bit

 

i will probably go back, and play it again to see if i really like it

 

z

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