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Twang Gang

SJ200 Studio w/Walnut Body

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I am interested in an SJ200 Studio which has a spruce top, but a walnut back and sides.  Wondering if anyone has played one and what the tone is like compared to a maple body or a rosewood?  I have a solid body guitar that has a sapele back and a walnut top, and it has a darker woodier tone than similar guitars with mahogany body and maple top.  The SJ-200 also has a walnut fingerboard and of all the guitars I've owned they were either ebony, rosewood,  or maple fingerboards.  

There are no guitar shops near me stocking this model for me to go and try out so wondering if anyone has any experience with the tone of them.  I like the slightly simpler look of the studio and see that the body is a little slimmer than an old school SJ200.  Plus the studio is quite a bit less expensive than the Vintage, Deluxe, or Standard.

I realize tone is subjective to each individual, but any help would be appreciated. 

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I had a 2019 J-45 Studio, walnut and sitka. It was very nice indeed. Beautiful built and great tone....but the walnut tone is different than maple or hog or rosewood tone. And that's where the main difference will be. Walnut to my ear, falls somewhere between mahogany and rosewood. It is brighter than hog, but has less overtones than rosewood. Maple is bright, and walnut will be a tad less bright but very rich sounding in my opinion. In the end I preferred my mahogany tone over the walnut tone and sold the walnut J-45. I did like the thinner body, much less imposing and lighter that the full size model. I see no reason why you would not like the SJ-200 Studio if you are willing accept the tone (slightly different) than Maple. And they are a great price. The burst models are exceptionally beautiful. Guitar Center sells them, and they allow 30 days to evaluate and return. Might be the way to go. Here is the GC link...nice that they deliver it to your door too since you are not near shops to find one and play it. Good luck. Hope this helps.

https://www.guitarcenter.com/Gibson/SJ-200-Studio-Acoustic-Electric-Guitar-Walnut-Burst-1500000227830.gc

Edited by ALD323
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Thanks ALD for your advice.  What you say about the walnut tone is pretty much what I imagined the differences would be.  I would have GC ship me one, but I want to trade in another guitar so that doesn't work.  I found a J-45 walnut as well as a Hummingbird walnut at a GC that is a couple hours drive from me.  I think I will go over there and play them and see how I like the tone and if the walnut sounds good to me then I may have the SJ200 shipped to a store where I can then go and trade in my other acoustic.

Thanks again I appreciate your response.

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Great! Remember that if you do drive to GC for a try out..take the guitar you want to trade. They will trade and ship. They will also buy your guitar outright and give you cash...which you could apply to a later GC purchase of the sj-200, or trade your old guitar and have them order the new one right there on the spot, they will subtract the trade amount, and have the new one delivered to your home.  I've done that many times!  One small thing you might want to consider also here is that...the Studio series are all( "Flat sawn wood.") ..Most quitars are made of (Quarter sawn wood,) which is considered much stronger by many luthiers. The results of flat sawn wood and its strength over time is not not yet known. Quarter sawn wood can last several lifetimes....flat sawn wood...is a bit more uncertain.

Edited by ALD323

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Well my dilemma was solved.  The guitar center that is closer to me (still over an hour drive) had a J-45 Standard (mahogany) and a studio (walnut) and a SJ200 Standard (maple) so I went over there to try them out.  Turns out they didn't have the J-45 Walnut as it had just sold in the past few days.  I played the J-45 Standard and it was very nice but then I played the SJ200 Standard and it was all over but the cryin'.  I traded a Taylor I had bought a year ago but never bonded with, and a Les Paul that I didn't play much anymore and was happy with the deal.  So here she is:

jYMlBdP.jpg

I really like the tone - I have had maple body acoustics before and this is mellower sounding and the guitar is lighter than I expected for a maple body.  So very happy and comfortable with Gibson neck, rosewood board, gold grovers etc. ☺️

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Congradulations! Looks like you got what you REALLY wanted, and its absolutely stunning!! The top and the burst look just heavely! What do you bet it sounds just as good too! Good for you!

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I've got a J100 that is walnut.  Real killer of a guitar.  As stated above, walnut is different.  My J100 has good volume, but I don't know that I'd call it a "loud" guitar----although I'm sure someone who is great at playing with a pick could get a lot of sound from it.  I think the bass has a great thump to it and I think the meds and highs are strong, but the sustain is not a great as maple, rosewood, and koa.  I like the guitar a lot and I play it a lot.  It truly has it's own sound and it sounds as good as it looks.

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Damn that's nice but I always thought they should spray a little stain on the inside so it didn't look so "new" Binding is a little bright for me as well. Nothing 50 or 60 years won't fix. congrats

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Beautiful! There truly is nothing like an SJ200. My 2015 Standard has opened up beautifully over the last four years or so and is an absolute joy. I've played them for many years, a 2003 Historic Collection was my main stage guitar for eight years and went all over the world with me.

 

I disappeared into the world of AJs and J45s for a bit after that, but an SJ200 will always feel like home, and I was absolutely thrilled beyond measure to own one again when I bought my current one. She's a keeper in every way, I can't ever imagine parting with her.

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