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Chemi

Volume and tone control on the side of a j-200?

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Hello to everyone!

 

I´m new around, though i´be been reading the forum for a long time. I´m about to buy a J-200; i've allways wanted this acoustic, i have an Epi Ej-200 and i love it. The thing is that i´ve seen one to buy online that is the exact model that i want, (type of moustache, pickward, tuners, vintage sunburst...), the guitar is from the 90's, but there is one thing that makes me doubt, the seller says that it has a piezo installed and a preamp to control volume and tone on the side of the guitar.

 

That´s the thing that makes me doubt (i asked the seller for photos of the preamp but hasn´t received it yet); when he says a preamp on the side of the guitar is a thing like an Esonic? is it normal to make a hole on an all solid guitar to install a preamp? should it be a deal breaker?

 

I´ve seen a lot of j-200 online and i think noone had that type of preamp installed on the side, i see that the ones that has electronics has the volume and tone control on the soundhole.

 

So, definitely, should i buy a guitar like that or should i wait for another to appear?

 

 

Thank you very much in advance for your replies.

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I would definitely not want an heirloom iconic instrument with barn door electronics in the side. Thats fine for a gigging guitar (where its practical - sure), like a Takamine, but for a Gibson? Not my preference - Too many reversible non-invasive pickups out there, be they UST like a Baggs Element VTC, or SBT like a K&K.

 

Wait for another.

Edited by ThemisSal

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Welcome to the cuckoo's nest!

 

I too would be wary of a J-200 described as such. Perhaps it was done well and might be passable.....internal preamp board with just small volume and tone knobs properly located, ala Taylors' layout. If the guitar is otherwise right and you do have need of onboard electronics such a setup might be acceptable to you. Sounds like it might be the "barn door" installation though, generally not considered a good modification on such an instrument. However, the decision is yours, of course........

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I do not like trapdoor electronics on acoustics no matter how well the work is done. Then again I have always objected to Master Volume knobs on amps. I just prefer spending my money on the guitar itself. You can always add electronics down the road and then you have a wide range of gizmos to pick from.

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Is this used?

 

I'm not an expert on J200s, but I don't ever recall one being stock fitted with a pickup system that has control panels mounted. (I can't think of ANY Gibson that came from the factory with this never mind a SJ200)

 

if it IS a USA Made SJ200, and not brand new, this was most likely done by a previous owner (in a moment of weakness no doubt..) If the price was "right' and I mean REALLY right, I guess it may not be a show stopper if you don't care about that.

 

I am with the others, I wouldn't be interested in such a modification done. I don't like those clunky control panels either, but that's just me.

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Hello again and thank you everyone for your replies.

 

@kidblast, the guitar is used, is an j-200 from the 90's, i have no doubt that the guitar is a legit gibson, the electronics as you said must have been added by a previous owner.

 

My doubt was if when the seller says the guitar has "preamp to control volume and tone on the side of the guitar" this refers to a "barn door" installation like Buc McMaster said or could be something removable, i don't know much about guitar electronics and if this is possible, but when i receive the photos from him that doubt will be cleared. The other thing is if it is worth to buy the guitar if it reaally has that "barn door" installation made, but seeing your responses i think i´ll maybe wait for other j-200. The seller says the guitar sounds amazing plugged and unplugged but i have yet to hear it/try it.

Edited by Chemi

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Hello again and thank you everyone for your replies.

 

@kidblast, the guitar is used, is an j-200 from the 90's, i have no doubt that the guitar is a legit gibson, the electronics as you said must have been added by a previous owner.

 

My doubt was if when the seller says the guitar has "preamp to control volume and tone on the side of the guitar" this refers to a "barn door" installation like Buc McMaster said or could be something removable, i don't know much about guitar electronics and if this is possible, but when i receive the photos from him that doubt will be cleared. The other thing is if it is worth to buy the guitar if it reaally has that "barn door" installation made, but seeing your responses i think i´ll maybe wait for other j-200. The seller says the guitar sounds amazing plugged and unplugged but i have yet to hear it/try it.

 

There are many different pickups with control modules available. You just need to see the photos to see what they actually put in there. Could be a control plate (or,, a barn door as folks like to refer to it as) or as simple as a volume and tone put that were installed. if it's a control plate, hard to undo that, there's probably a piece of wood cut out from the side to accommodate the mounting of the control plate.

 

A volume and tone pot could be reversible, but that is something you'd want to have a pro look at plugging up those holes and restoring/repairing the finish. I don't really know how much hole cut in the side would effect the guitars tone, but I'm pretty sure it would have done "something" ...

 

I have as 2016 J200, the controls on that, and on most of the J200s with pickups, are mounted inside the sound hole, dbl sided tape usually attaches them to the wood under the top. no permanent mods beyond boring out the hole where the jack goes down that the bottom where the strap button usually is.

 

Unless the price is hard to beat, perhaps you'd be best to wait till you come across another one. When you're looking or a good used acoustic, "the hunt" is where you are right now, and it is part of the journey. There will come another one. They are fantastic instruments, and a bit of a serious investment as well. It would be worth taking your time in the long run.

 

Good luck!

Edited by kidblast

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Is this used?

 

I'm not an expert on J200s, but I don't ever recall one being stock fitted with a pickup system that has control panels mounted. (I can't think of ANY Gibson that came from the factory with this never mind a SJ200)

 

if it IS a USA Made SJ200, and not brand new, this was most likely done by a previous owner (in a moment of weakness no doubt..) If the price was "right' and I mean REALLY right, I guess it may not be a show stopper if you don't care about that.

 

I am with the others, I wouldn't be interested in such a modification done. I don't like those clunky control panels either, but that's just me.

 

For what its worth, I had a Gibson J-165 at one time with the Fishman Aura electronics installed as a barn door straight from the factory. It was identical to this:

https://reverb.com/i...src=aw.ds&pla=1

 

I have no idea how many other models got this treatment.

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Not necessarily a barn door. Gibson sold J-200s in the 90s with volume and tone pots mounted up on the upper bass side shoulder - here's

. At http://uspest.org/coopl/tvzfaq.html#19 you'll find this in the listing of TVZ's guitars, which sounds like what you're looking at - 1996-xx-xx-TvZ.jpg

 

This is NOT some mono-buttocked homebrew installation, nor is it a stereotypical barn door electronic setup - and it arguably has some historical significance and cool guy factor, to boot. Don't be in such a rush to pull it and plug up the holes, especially if it's factory stock.

 

 

Gibson J200 ('91/'92 onwards...I believe this was made by Gibson luthier Chip Phillips, who

said "Every time I saw him since he got that guitar, he was very appreciative. Townes wasn't

a materialistic person, but you'd have had a hard time prying that guitar away from him. It

was his pride and joy.") [Townes got the J-200 through a Gibson endorsement. According

Phillips a friend of Van Zandt's, the instrument has a spruce top, maple back and sides,

a maple neck, a rosewood mustache bridge, and factory-installed SORS (Symbiotic-Oriented

Receptor System) electronics with a piezo-type saddle pickup and built-in preamp.

- about-townes 12-9-2000]

 

[it's a Gibson J-200--it's big enough to hide behind--and sometimes, I swear, my guitar plays

itself. Guitars are alive--I say that and people go, 'Yeah, far out!'--but I mean it. My guitar

is alive! That wood ain't dead yet, you know?! - TVZ, New York Times, 11/24/1994]

 

[When Townes died he had 3 guitars. I gave Tin Man to Katie Belle which she makes up

Blues songs on in open tuning. I gave the J-200 to JT (you may have seen him play it on the

ACL tribute). Will, who started playing just before Townes died; Townes called him

a natural, got the custom TVZ & Newman(sp?)Jones (who makes guitars for Keith Richards)

electric guitar. It's a beauty. Will has never played again since Townes died.

Jeanene Van Zandt 9-19-1999]

 

Anyway, it could be a very, very cool guitar with factory stock pickups - and if it's the TVZ variant, maybe a little extra cachet with it, you know? Go check it out.

Edited by rustystrings

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My doubt was if when the seller says the guitar has "preamp to control volume and tone on the side of the guitar" this refers to a "barn door" installation like Buc McMaster said or could be something removable

 

Maybe he says it is on side "of the soundhole" ?

Like LR Baggs VTC ? (removable).

 

Maybe just ask him a whole bunch of pictures of the guitar if not done already.

If it is cut then it's been added and i would pass on it...

Edited by Mafy31

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Many Montana Gibson models have had factory side-mounted electronics, on either the upper or lower bass side bouts. Every one I've come across has been on a cutaway model, including a cutaway J-200.

 

Earlier side-mounted electronics would be the two knob type near the neck joint, which were seen on non-cutaways, such as the J-200 noted above. I find these somewhat tolerable visually, but still not ideal.

 

Personally, I think all side-mounted electronics detract from the essential basics of an acoustic guitar. With so many soundhole mount versions available, they're the way to go, imho.

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For what its worth, I had a Gibson J-165 at one time with the Fishman Aura electronics installed as a barn door straight from the factory.

Interestingly, in the J-165 cutaway's earlier version, the CJ-165ec, for the first two years ('07-'08) it came with a soundhole mounted Fishman Aura. I happened to land one of these a few months ago - being pleasantly surprised to find one without the side-mounted electronics.

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If I was laying out close to 5 Large for a Traditional J-200 I would not want visiable Electronics. It's too beautiful of a Guitar! Although I would want Electronics that weren't visiable, invasive or in any way alter the Body of the Guitar & could be removed without blemishing the Guitar in any way if I should decide to do so...

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Thank you all for your replies again, this forum is fantastic!

 

@kidblast, thank you for your cheers, i think i finally found the guitar; as @rustystrings said, the guitar has volume and tone pots mounted up on the upper bass side shoulder, like the one Townes Van Zandt is playing in the photo he posted, so is not the barn door home made installation that i feared haha, instead i think it gives the guitar an interesting look couse there aren´t many j-200 with that volume and tone controls, i like it.

 

@rustistrings thank you for sharing your knowledge :) you absolutely cleared all my doubts.

 

I´ll post some photos or a video when i have the guitar, i hope it will be soon.

Edited by Chemi

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I learned something new today, (like I said, not an expert). I do remember the Van Zandt's but wasn't all that familiar, didn't realize they had the controls there.

 

I do recall the Lennon sig models thou..

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