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craigkim

Finding the right SJ-200

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I wanted to see if you guys can give me any advice regarding finding a nice Gibson SJ-200. I have been learning to play the guitar, bouncing between electric and acoustic, for a little over a year and I have been buying and trading guitars through most of that time. My goal is to find those guitars that I like well enough to hang onto and never want to trade. I have tried and traded 2 Strats (both elites) and 1 Telecaster Select.

 

I have a 2016 Gibson Hummingbird Vintage, a 2014 Les Paul RO in darkburst, and a 2017 Gibson Les Paul Standard HP in Blueberry burst. I am fairly certain I will never part with any of those three guitars. I also have a 2017 Fender Stratocaster Elite in 3 color and I don’t love love it, but like it enough that I haven’t traded it.

 

Anyhow, I wanted another nice acoustic, something different than my Hummingbird. My Hummingbird is very bassy and woody, very nice sound, but again I want something different, so I got a 2018 Martin HD-28. I like it, but I find that transitioning from the neck of the Martin back to any of my Gibsons just doesn’t feel natural. The necks on the Gibsons all feel relatively similar and I like that, so I decided to try another Gibson and became fascinated with the SJ-200.

 

Several weeks ago I started trying to find a new one and was shocked at not only how expensive they were, but also how rare they are. There are only 2 here in my area. One is a 2018 Standard at Guitar Center and the other is a used 1989. I don’t want to find a guitar I like and then have to pay Guitar Centers prices, so I haven’t looked at that one. The 1989 is at a local shop, but from the shop owners description it is a really bassy and deep one, plus it is one of those produced from “European Sycamore”.

 

I somewhat gave up on finding one new, so I hit the internet and in looking at pricing, realized I was going to be forking over a good deal of cash regardless, so I ended up buying a used Pete Townsend signed model. It was really about the same price as I would pay for the new standard at Guitar Center locally. It arrived a week or so back and although I liked the tone and the Pete Townsend signature was cool, it had more checking in the finish than I thought it would for being listed as mint. The worst checking had all been avoided in the listing photos. The tone was really nice. It wasn’t super bassy and loud. I would describe it more as bright and sweet with good range. Really easy to play. Balanced I guess without being overly strong in any area. I was also impressed with how manageable it felt as far as size and the way it felt to play seated. I loved the way way the neck felt. Very similar to my Humingbird and my R0. I really liked it, but it was a lump of cash, a little buzzy, and the checking , which I had not expected, made me decide to return it under the stores return policy.

 

I think that I want a maple back and sides to produce that tone characteristic which I like. Sounds like Sitka Spruce rather than Adirondack too. I don’t mind used, would prefer to save some money that way, and I don’t mind some checking or small blemishes, but I want to see the price reflect the condition. It also seems like I am hearing varied descriptions of SJ-200s. Some are described as relatively bassy and boomy, some as chimey and balanced (which I prefer), and some just as quiet with no real merit to their tone and no real point in their size at all.

 

So, what is the best way to find that guitar without spending several hundred in return shipping sending back guitars I don’t like? Any other advice is also appreciated.

Thanks

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Not an easy riddle for you. I'd have the same problem trying to find one locally. There's no Gibson dealers other than GC and I just don't like buying big items from them. They are sort of iffy with their customer support from the experiences I've read about.

 

The tone is really subjective, as everyone is going to expect and hear something differently. Nice option to have a place to try a handful before you buy, but that just doesn't see to be feasible with these. So I've come to the conclusion, you just go new, and lean on the return policy if it goes south for some reason.

 

I bought my SJ200 new in 2016, and I've not regretted a day of owning it. Agree that it was a lot of cash to lay down. I've been playing for 50 years, have a bunch of guitars in my possession, I've never dropped that much cash on a single guitar. But, I'm glad I was able to.

 

The only advice I can offer is, unless the pricing difference is HUGE, used verses new, if I had it to do all over again, I'd still go new. Point here is the warranty is not transferable on a used one, so you do loose warranty support from Gibson if it pops a brace, bridge lifts, and any one of the dozen things that could happen at some point. Now I am not saying that it will, but not having a warranty is something I'd consider given the cost used are not all that far to new.. usually in the mid 3k range. IMO, the money saved would be moot if something structural wound up happening that would be a warranty fix. Of course if it didn't, you'd surely come out on top with a used one.

 

 

For places to buy mail order, been using Sweetwater for a long time now, and have bought a number of guitars from them. They've been very good to work with. In fact the SJ200 I initially bought had a defective pickup, once I notified my sales tech, he had me pick out another one, it was at my house 24 hours later. I just put the other one back in the box with the RA label he sent, it was that easy. there was really no difference in the two, ad I was able to side by side compare them for a full day or so before I shipped the defective one back. so these two were pretty consistent with each other. the replacement did not have the pickup problem. It worked out great.

 

Going new of course it will need a proper setup, since they all seem to come with action that's a tad high, but that's usually a pretty quick and easy fix with a good setup guy available.

 

Going used, perhaps the key words are perseverance and patience...

 

hope my 2 cents helps a bit. Good luck with the hunt. They are beautiful guitars.

Edited by kidblast

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Not an easy riddle for you. I'd have the same problem trying to find one locally. There's no Gibson dealers other than GC and I just don't like buying big items from them. They are sort of iffy with their customer support from the experiences I've read about.

 

The tone is really subjective, as everyone is going to expect and hear something differently. Nice option to have a place to try a handful before you buy, but that just doesn't see to be feasible with these. So I've come to the conclusion, you just go new, and lean on the return policy if it goes south for some reason.

 

I bought my SJ200 new in 2016, and I've not regretted a day of owning it. Agree that it was a lot of cash to lay down. I've been playing for 50 years, have a bunch of guitars in my possession, I've never dropped that much cash on a single guitar. But, I'm glad I was able to.

 

The only advice I can offer is, unless the pricing difference is HUGE, used verses new, if I had it to do all over again, I'd still go new. Point here is the warranty is not transferable on a used one, so you do loose warranty support from Gibson if it pops a brace, bridge lifts, and any one of the dozen things that could happen at some point. Now I not saying that it will, but not having a warranty is something I'd consider given the cost used are pretty not all that far to new.. usually in the mid 3k range. IMO, the money saved would be moot if something structural wound up happening that would be a warranty fix. Of course if it didn't, you'd surely come out on top with a used one.

 

 

For places to buy mail order, been using Sweetwater for a long time now, and have bought a number of guitars from them. They've been very good to work with. In fact the SJ200 I initially bought had a defective pickup, once I notified my sales tech, he had me pick out another one, it was at my house 24 hours later. I just put the other one back in the box with the RA label he sent, it was that easy.

 

Going new of course it will need a proper setup, since they all seem to come with action that's a tad high, but that's usually a pretty quick and easy fix with a good setup guy available.

 

Going used, perhaps the key words are perseverance and patience...

 

hope my 2 cents helps a bit. Good luck with the hunt. They are beautiful guitars.

 

Super helpful thanks. Your advice has somewhat shifted me away from used again. I had forgotten all about Sweetwater, in fact, I am right by their place several times per year. It is about 90 minutes away from my house. Hmmmmm....

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Some excellent points from kidblast (very well written post).

 

I played acoustic guitar for over 40 years before I landed my holy grail J200 Standard (blonde maple).

 

I've played quite a few J200s since working in a guitar store for a few years. After unboxing and trying probably over 30 or 40 of them, I doubt you could discern the difference between any two, NEW, maple, J200 Standards. The Gibson warranty is a big thing IMO.

 

You also mentioned "boomy and bassey". I would characterize the J200 bass as a particular, open-throated, growl which is uniquely Gibson. No other guitar sounds or feels like a J200. They ARE well balanced and clear. Now that I have a fingerstyle guitar in my Martin 000-28vs, I will defer my fingerstyle playing to the Martin. The Gibson shines in strumming there is no doubt but that doesn't mean it can't articulate when played that way. It is just a very big guitar (19" across the bass bout) and therefore, needs more energy to drive it.

 

I don't think you would go wrong getting one from Sweetwater. They seem to have pretty good return policies:

 

"We want you to be completely happy with your purchase. If you are not satisfied with any product, for any reason, you may return it for a refund of the purchase price, an in-house credit, or exchange for another product within a fair amount of time from the shipping date (usually 30 days). If your purchase was eligible for free shipping, the shipping cost will be deducted from your credit or refund."

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Some excellent points from kidblast (very well written post).

 

I played acoustic guitar for over 40 years before I landed my holy grail J200 Standard (blonde maple).

 

I've played quite a few J200s since working in a guitar store for a few years. After unboxing and trying probably over 30 or 40 of them, I doubt you could discern the difference between any two, NEW, maple, J200 Standards. The Gibson warranty is a big thing IMO.

 

You also mentioned "boomy and bassey". I would characterize the J200 bass as a particular, open-throated, growl which is uniquely Gibson. No other guitar sounds or feels like a J200. They ARE well balanced and clear. Now that I have a fingerstyle guitar in my Martin 000-28vs, I will defer my fingerstyle playing to the Martin. The Gibson shines in strumming there is no doubt but that doesn't mean it can't articulate when played that way. It is just a very big guitar (19" across the bass bout) and therefore, needs more energy to drive it.

 

I don't think you would go wrong getting one from Sweetwater. They seem to have pretty good return policies:

 

"We want you to be completely happy with your purchase. If you are not satisfied with any product, for any reason, you may return it for a refund of the purchase price, an in-house credit, or exchange for another product within a fair amount of time from the shipping date (usually 30 days). If your purchase was eligible for free shipping, the shipping cost will be deducted from your credit or refund."

 

I really want to believe that all the new ones are pretty similar. That would make my search much easier. The problem for me with sweetwater would be paying taxes and I am not sure they will make the deal I can get elsewhere on new when ordering on the phone. I am drawn to the natural finish standards so that lowers my cost a bit I guess.

 

Yes, my Hummingbird has a very distinct "growl" or something to it that is totally different from my Martin HD-28 or the Martin Custom D I have. I really like it. I didn't like it as well until I had it professionally setup, but it's awesome now.

 

I doubt I have 40 years left to find my J200, so I need to accelerate things a bit. lol. I don't play finger style, yet, just flat picking. My instructor was trying to show me "Travis Picking" on my Martin, (he calls it a blue grass guitar) but that's too advanced for my level right now.

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It only FEELS like a 19" lower bout, drathbun ! 17" is plenty big enough.

 

Craigkim- getting a '200 one year in? Most folk work there way up there over the course of the decades, maybe. Also- another way to approach your search might be the Kissing A Lot of Frogs method- just hold on to the best you've found so far, and bring it to a test with a possible contender. Just, in the name of all that is holy, make sure they're both strung with strings of the same type and age. Good luck.

 

Make sure to release the other frog when done.

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It only FEELS like a 19" lower bout, drathbun ! 17" is plenty big enough.

 

Craigkim- getting a '200 one year in? Most folk work there way up there over the course of the decades, maybe. Also- another way to approach your search might be the Kissing A Lot of Frogs method- just hold on to the best you've found so far, and bring it to a test with a possible contender. Just, in the name of all that is holy, make sure they're both strung with strings of the same type and age. Good luck.

 

Make sure to release the other frog when done.

 

Makes me wonder what ELSE I've been exaggerating in size? [crying]

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I would say that whatever a new SJ200 sounds like, the ‘89 you’ve come across is how it will sound eventually. They all vary a little but end up sounding big, throaty, bassy and sweet in general.

 

I bought an ‘03 SJ200 lightly used in 2004, and it was my main stage guitar for eight years, did well over 1000 gigs, toured the world with me twice and the UK and Europe five times. When I bought it, it was tight and had limited bottom end, it was decorative sounding but not a big booming workhorse. By the time I retired it from the road in 2012 it was very, very worn but HUGE sounding. It had opened up massively and sounded wonderful.

 

I replaced it with a 2015 SJ200 Standard, which was open from the get-go, but is stellar now.

 

You can’t go wrong with having an SJ200 and Hummingbird. Those are my go-to guitars (2015 SJ200, 1990 Hummingbird and 2005 Custom Shop Hummingbird 12 String) and I love them.

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Maple is the kind of wood that most people find "boring" or "lacking" something ... This tonewood is great if your playing style requires a quick decay in notes and chords.If you like the idea of "crisp and clean" nothing beats maple.The Sj 200 is a fantastic guitar for any playing style imho just know what maple brings to the table.

 

 

Happy hunting.

 

 

 

 

JC

Edited by JuanCarlosVejar

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You're playing just over a year and you can tell you like certain tonewoods over others ?

 

Hats off

That's fantastic

Good luck in your search

 

I couldn't tell the difference between solid and laminate when I started out.

Come to think of it....

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When I first started out, I could tell a good guitar from a can of tuna. I did finally figure out though that an action high enough to pass your hand between the board and strings and tuners that kept slipping were not good.

 

Never drank the Tonewood Kool Aid. Too many variables go into making sound come out of a guitar. Just pinching a waist a bit more will nuance the sound.

 

When it comes to a "good" version of this or that guitar we will all differ. Personally, I like a deep low end but shy away from guitars with a ringing high end. I also like a quicker decay. Last thing in the world I want is a guitar on which you hit a big fat open chord, walk away and make yourself a hot dog, and then return and it is still ringing out. I like guitars that give me a big note and then get out of the way. But that is what works for me. It does not mean it will work for the next guy.

 

We have owned a J-200 for many years. It is the Gibson that has been in the house the longest. It is an old one but I can tell you what I like about the guitar. It is not a loud instrment but if there is one thing that characterizes its voice it would be the full-tilt saturated mids. While it has a crisp upper end those mids are what makes the guitar the best strummer on the planet. It is the fattest, thickest sounding guitar in the house but still has a cracklin' edge to it which gives it a touch of sass. People have called these the grand pianos of acoustics. You just have to make sure you are not a barrelhouse kind of player.

 

The only other thin I would say is slow down. It takes a while to figure out how to pull music out a guitar. Which instruments respond best to your attack, what kind of strings and set up will get you where you want and such. Also remember, when you trade in something you bought new you are often taking a bath on it.

Edited by zombywoof

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90 minutes from Sweetwater... oh that would be so NOT good for me..

 

 

I see there' are some very good responses to digest.

 

There's many fine guitars to choose from, but IMO the SJ200 sits in a class by itself. Like Zomby mentions, the Grand Piano of Guitars. That just about nails it.

 

Keep us posted, happy hunting.

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Noticed you joined on the Gibson Acoustic forum right around the time you started playing.

Really hit the road running!

Hope you've been lurking and picking up some good info.

For example - how strings (and their age) can affect how a guitar sounds. Including the Wall Hangers in GC.

Not to mention different picks.

Part of the reason Brand New SJ200s sound the same - is likely because the strings are all new and the same!

Hope you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

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My story/spiel is this....

 

When I was a kid I wanted to be an artist. My dad said, get a job that makes good money and you can do all the art you want as a hobby. It was certainly his somewhat crushing but well meaning attempt at interjecting some reality into a kids world, but it did stick with me. Assuming I wouldn't be the next Michelangelo, better to have a stable income.

 

So, FF to today and it is funny, because I started taking guitar lessons and my instructor looks at his guitars like tools. I think my Hummingbird cost more than all the acoustics he has in his guitar rack. He thinks I am foolish for spending money on fancy guitars. He thinks of playing a gig as work and his guitars like a broom or a "meat gun" as he once referred to it. "Its how I eat", he says. Am I good enough to justify the guitars I have or an SJ 200? No. Will I ever be? Almost certainly not. Are they my tools? No. I will also never be paid a dime to play for other people and I don't have to worry about it for a second. I can tell you the first guitar which I played was a very mediocre Washburn and when I got my Hummingbird it was like !?!?!?!?!?!?!? This is awesome! My analogy for it is that you don't need to be a professional race car driver to enjoy driving a sports car, so why would you need to be Keith Richards to enjoy playing a Hummingbird? You don't. I am sure this case has been made many times over.

 

I have already lost a good chunk buying and trading, but that's just part of it in my thinking. I would probably have given up playing if I was still using that old Washburn. I really just want an SJ because I want another Gibson and I think the SJ is a larger departure from my square shoulder dreads than a J45.

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When I first started out, I could tell a good guitar from a can of tuna. I did finally figure out though that an action high enough to pass your hand between the board and strings and tuners that kept slipping were not good.

 

Never drank the Tonewood Kool Aid. Too many variables go into making sound come out of a guitar. Just pinching a waist a bit more will nuance the sound.

 

When it comes to a "good" version of this or that guitar we will all differ. Personally, I like a deep low end but shy away from guitars with a ringing high end. I also like a quicker decay. Last thing in the world I want is a guitar on which you hit a big fat open chord, walk away and make yourself a hot dog, and then return and it is still ringing out. I like guitars that give me a big note and then get out of the way. But that is what works for me. It does not mean it will work for the next guy.

 

We have owned a J-200 for many years. It is the Gibson that has been in the house the longest. It is an old one but I can tell you want I like about the guitar. It is not a loud instrment but if there is one thing that characterizes its voice it would be the full-tilt saturated mids. While it has a crisp upper end those mids are what makes the guitar the best strummer on the planet. It is the fattest, thickest sounding guitar in the house but still has a cracklin' edge to it which gives it a touch of sass. People have called these the grand pianos of acoustics. You just have to make sure you are not a barrelhouse kind of player.

 

The only other thing I would say is slow down. It takes a while to figure out how to pull music out a guitar. Which instruments respond best to your attack, what kind of strings and set up will get you where you want and such. Also remember, when you trade in something you bought new you are often taking a bath on it.

 

This. All of this. Couldn’t have put it better myself in a month of Sundays!

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You've got good taste in guitars and I'm all for someone buying what they want and can afford. Keep in mind that a new J200 is going to cost some bucks. Same with a used one in good shape. "Used" is a good way to go if you have a reputable seller. I've owned several "used" guitars and most were worth-the-money. In regards to someone's signature, not worth the extra price you pay....anyway........There's tons of great info in this thread from some folks who really know their stuff, so the bits-and-pieces I add may be somewhat redundant......But, maybe you're being a bit too "anal retentive" on this guitar stuff. To start with, it's not like every music store we walk into has a couple J200s and D45s hanging on the wall for someone to play. Just speaking for myself, if I'm in the market for a guitar and I play one I like, I'll likely buy it and won't look further. Likewise, I've purchased Gibsons over the internet I never played until they arrived, and they are kick-*** guitars. Does some other Gibson sound deeper or more woody or more somber? I don't know or care. I just know I really dig the guitars. I probably won't pass on a guitar thinking I'll play a few more at other stores ( because chances are that Gibson or Martin model isn't at another nearby store). We snooze we lose. I try not to get all wrapped-up in what I consider minor (at the most) differences in tone. So long as the guitar feels good in my hands, is comfortable to hold, sounds good to my ears, and most important feels like an extension of me, I'll likely buy it. I'm not saying you're way of shopping for an instrument is wrong. Just saying the time you can be enjoying playing a sweet J200 is being spent shopping for something you may never find. We all have searched for "the holy grail" of guitars and it doesn't exist. It's simply a marketing ploy to keep us guitar fanatics searching and buying. We've all had guitars we said we'd never sell and I suspect more of those guitars were eventually sold/traded than were kept and still with us..........Don't sweat what someone else is saying on the internet about a guitar model you like, don't get caught-up in arguments on guitars, don't get snot on Batman's cape........and don't say you'll never get rid of a guitar. And as far as playing expensive guitars instead of less-expensive guitars----I play Gibsons because I like them, can afford them, because I can identify with them, and because I feel I perform better with them. That's all the reason I need. If you find a nice J200 and can afford it, then give it a shot. Usually, a good guitar we buy becomes a great guitar. Hope you find the guitar you need.

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Craig,

 

Since you are so close to Sweetwater, I'd highly recommend checking them out. I briefly perused the link below and I see 8 SJ-200's along with some rosewood ones and SJ-100's as well. Not sure how much of a deal you can swing but I doubt you'll be able to do an A/B comparison with so many choices. Best of luck!

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=gibson+j-200

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Craig,

 

Since you are so close to Sweetwater, I'd highly recommend checking them out. I briefly perused the link below and I see 8 SJ-200's along with some rosewood ones and SJ-100's as well. Not sure how much of a deal you can swing but I doubt you'll be able to do an A/B comparison with so many choices. Best of luck!

 

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=gibson+j-200

 

 

What the heck is a Granadillo fingerboard? Sounds like it was made with the hide of an unusually large armadillo.

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What the heck is a Granadillo fingerboard? Sounds like it was made with the hide of an unusually large armadillo.

 

 

one of the many alternates to rosewood.

 

(google is our friend!)

 

http://www.lmii.com/products/mostly-wood/fingerboards/granadillo-fingerboards

 

 

What is Granadillo wood?

LATIN: PLATYMISCIUM YUCATANUM ORIGIN: CENTRAL AMERICA. Granadillo is an exotic wood that is bright red to reddish or purplish brown, with rather distinct stripes. The sapwood is clearly distinct from the heartwood, and is almost white in color. It is hard and superior to Teak and probably Mahogany.

Edited by kidblast

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So, I pulled the trigger on an SJ200 a few weeks back. I waffled around a lot about it, new, used, warranty, vintage, standard, etc. I finally decided to get a used Sj200 standard and save money both in taxes and price tag. I found one listed as mint on reverb. Hopefully it is okay to link to ended auctions on these forums.

 

https://reverb.com/item/10520659-as-new-gibson-j-200-acoustic-electric-guitar-natural-flame-maple-j200-sj-200-lr-baggs-anthem-pickup

 

Its a 2017 SJ200 standard. It was listed, correctly as "mint" condition. The serial number shows it as a 16, so my assumption is that this guitar had better than 18 months to mature and settle.

 

I had initially intended to make a trip to sweetwater, but then I came to the conclusion that even if I got a great deal on an sj, I would still have the tax to consider as well. I settled on a standard because I really like the natural finish better than the vintage sunburst. I also feel like a guitar which has had a little time to break in, might reveal its true nature more readily versus one that is fresh from the factory.

 

This makes my 4th acoustic. I now have a 2016 Hummingbird Vintage, 2018 Martin HD-28, Gibson 2017 Sj200 Standard, and a cheaper mahogany bodied Martin Custom D.

 

I really like this SJ200. I can't say if it is a stellar example of an Sj200, or not, but it is relatively close to what I expected. It basically has a similar neck to my bird wit a totally different sound. I expected sparkly highs, subdued mids, and good low end presence. I don't fell like it is quite as sparkly as the Pete Townsend model I tried, but it's nice. I think maybe strings could remedy that. I put Ernie Ball PB Lights on it after I got it and changed the bridge pins to bone. Curiously, I am not sure about what material they used for bridge pins at the factory, but the stock ones seemed harder and higher pitched when jingled together than the bone ones. The stock bridge pins in my bird seemed softer and more dead than the bone in comparison. I am going to experiment more with strings and swapping back to the factory pins soon.

 

I have a few observations about the guitar. No real negatives, more like neutral observations. I can ever so slightly feel the walnut stripe in the neck with my fingers. I can also ever so slightly feel the seem in the back with my fingers. Neither look structurally amiss and the lacquer is intact over them. Can't really see it just feel it. Not sure I care about it. Can probably be polished out if I did. I was surprised to find that the pick guard is a sortof rubbery translucent vinyl.... which interestingly doesn't seem to be scratchable and has the design molded into it. The tuners are curious to me, because it seems like they would add weight vs the vintage style tuners. Have considered a swap. The top looks nice, not near the silking present in my HD-28, but nice enough. The back neck and sides are pretty flamey, which is cool I guess. I don't care for the way the fret ends were dressed, if I had to complain. On my bird the binding covers the end of the frets and on the SJ the ends of the frets are sortof squared off exposed, but the necks feel very similar. I will probably have the frets dressed/polished. It is definitely heavier than my other guitars, but it is also my only electric pickup equipped acoustic. I confirmed the pickup works, but almost took the battery out just to save weight. I will likely not use it often. I don't find the weight to bother me though, it's just different.

 

To compare with adjectives to my other acoustics:

SJ-200 - (light pb strings)Harp like in the highs and almost muted horn like in the lows, sweet, mellow, somewhat subdued. Mids are noticably reduced. Highs are a nice clean silver sparkle like ringing high. There is just a nice constant complementary and not overpowering bass presence with any style. Stable and clear with a light touch or really digging into it... more force equals more volume. More volume and tone to the audience than the player it seems.

Hummingbird - (lt pb strings)Woody, almost raspy, reminds of more of a western feel to the sound. Great note separation. Probably more powerful in the mids, bassy, but the bass lacks impact.... it just sounds deep. Only 4lbs. Requires a light touch.

moderate approach but lights up well even with the light touch. Quietest of the 4, but not meek, sound seems to transmit evenly between the player and listener.

HD-28 - (med pb strings)Loud bright and bold like a piano. Notes seem to sortof all ring out together and into one another. Loudest of my guitars across the dynamic range, maybe even as bassy as the SJ... maybe moreso, but with a more forceful and less balanced sound. Highs are very jangly like brass rattled together vs silver coins. Sounds great fingerstyle and with lighter strumming, gets unpleasant to me otherwise. it puts a lot of volume back to the player.

Custom D - (light pb strings)It sits pretty well between the HD and the Bird in qualities, but I think it is brighter than either. It is really a pretty nice guitar for the money.

 

Trying to decide what strings to try out next. Want to see if I can get more sparkly highs but retain the low end. Maybe even use a light 80/20 set for strings 1-4 and pb for 5th and 6th strings.

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....I finally decided to get a used Sj200 standard and save money both in taxes and price tag. I found one listed as mint on reverb.....

Major congrats, Craig! An SJ200 is a holy grail guitar as far as I'm concerned.

 

I also liked your comment back in April:

 

Am I good enough to justify the guitars I have or an SJ 200? No. Will I ever be? Almost certainly not. Are they my tools? No. I will also never be paid a dime to play for other people and I don't have to worry about it for a second. I can tell you the first guitar which I played was a very mediocre Washburn and when I got my Hummingbird it was like !?!?!?!?!?!?!? This is awesome!

I'm not out there gigging for a living either. My first guitar (in the new Cougar era msp_smile.gif) was an Epiphone Masterbilt. It was OK. But I evolved. A year or so ago I was about to pick up a new Gibson J-15 when a jumbo Guild F50R popped up on reverb for about the same price. I gotta say, I think it's right up there with the SJ200. Like you say, I think it's awesome! Very happy camper here. Best wishes with your new-to-you SJ!

 

 

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Don't worry about justifying the J200. If you want it and can afford it, why not? Just owning it will inspire you to learn more and play better. If you like how it feels and sounds and if it's easy-on-the-fingers, you're likely going to play it for a long time, or at least until you think something better has come along (and someday it might).

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