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56 J 200


JuanCarlosVejar
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Carter's Vintage has a 1959 natural in what looks to be pretty pristine condition: $12,500.

 

Beautiful guitars, but that seems like a lot of money.

 

I recently sold a Gibson with a 17" body. That size is just getting a bit too big for me to handle comfortably for any period of time.

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My favorite J-200s date from 1955 to 1959. These, of course, have the second extremely wide angle X brace above the soundhole and the stiff laminate body. The braces around the soundhole on our 1960 J-200 are so large that the shop could not mount a soundhole pickup. The last two late-1950s guitars I have run across both went in the $9K range. Not the lightest guitars you will run across but they have a sound that is all their own.

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My favorite J-200s date from 1955 to 1959. These, of course, have the second extremely wide angle X brace above the soundhole and the stiff laminate body. The braces around the soundhole on our 1960 J-200 are so large that the shop could not mount a soundhole pickup. The last two late-1950s guitars I have run across both went in the $9K range. Not the lightest guitars you will run across but they have a sound that is all their own.

My J 200 is pretty heavy too.

 

 

It feels like a boat anchor compared to the Century of Progress

 

JC

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My J 200 is pretty heavy too.

 

 

It feels like a boat anchor compared to the Century of Progress

 

JC

 

The J-200 is the perfect example of how, while sound was important, structure and avoiding guitars being returned to the factory because of problems is often as much a driving force behind change. Since the day they came up with the SJ-200 Gibson was always nervous about that big top. And because of it no model went though more bracing changes than the J-200. They started out with the X brace above the soundhole, abandoned it, returned to it, and now have left it in the dust again. The X brace though showed that sound was still definitely on their mind. The bracing on our 1960 is not nearly as radically scalloped as the Bozeman-made versions. While I have not poked around inside for a very long time (I usually do this when thinking about mounting a pickup), if I recall the bracing on the treble side is very slightly scalloped while that on the low end side does not have that small uptick towards the end but rather is just tapered. I assume they were attempting to tame one end of the sound spectrum and boost the other. But I also have heard the white wood foreman would tap test the wood destined for the top. Who knows.

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