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SJ-200 owner. Do I need a J-45 rosewood?

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1 hour ago, fortyearspickn said:

I think you'll find more you like about your SJ200 the more you play it.  I'm not saying they're an 'acquired taste'  but your ear does have to adjust to it a bit so you can 'hear' how different in a good way  it is compared a Koa Taylor.   Don't know how new yours is.  At least as much as any other acoustic - they  do need to be 'woke.  A ToneRite might work - but I'd do it the old fashioned way if I were me.  If playing time is an issue though - you can put a sound bar next to it, loop some music, check to feel the sympathetic vibrations on the face and leave it for a few hours every day for a week.       Another 'do it yourself-er',  you can get a bone saddle from Bob Colosi and that should help.  I'm guessing you have an Under the Saddle Transducer. That could be an issue if it is not seated perfectly or is wrinkly.  Consider removing it and make sure there isn't any sawdust, etc.  in there.   If you get a new saddle - you'll probably  have to sand a few millimeters off the bottom to fit it with decent action.  Don't sand it with out a using a guide channel. If you do it free hand, it will be rounded and wobble.   Also, make sure the saddle is not too thin.  If  it wobbles or leans, it will definitely rob tone and volume.  The entire bottom should rest snugly on the bottom of the bridge slot.  And make sure all the new (at least medium light) strings are seated correctly/tightly beneath the the bridge plate.  After all that - it's still not going to sound like a J45 !!    I've found my SJ200 is like a saxophone, and my J45 is like a trumpet.  You can't change their basic nature.   I've gone on way too much  here - I apologize if you've covered all these bases.  G'Luck. 

Thank you for the sound advice (pun intended)

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5 hours ago, tremolo arm said:

. . . Someone asked me about what's the tone in my head is.  For strumming it's what I hear in Lyin' Eyes, Peaceful Easy Feeling, etc. by The Eagles. I know they mainly played Takamine and Martins - but there it is. 

For finger picking it's Blackbird (ironically again a Martin). I am not sure how many of you use your SJ-200  for finger picking but I just find it too quiet and uninspiring - possibly because of the big body, possibly because of maple. 

Good to hear that you've got a sound in your head & know what you want to hear. However, I had that. . . then I ran into the 'hog Banner. So keep your ears open, and your head on a swivel- you never know what you might hear.

1 hour ago, fortyearspickn said:

  At least as much as any other acoustic - they  do need to be 'woke.  

I've found my SJ200 is like a saxophone, and my J45 is like a trumpet.  You can't change their basic nature.   I've gone on way too much  here - I apologize if you've covered all these bases.  G'Luck. 

Scary, "need to be w_"  # 1, and equally scary, #2,  the sax/ trumpet analogy. But I don't understand wind instruments.

The other, "make sure this stuff is sorted" info is good to do, before discounting the '200.

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1 hour ago, 62burst said:

Good to hear that you've got a sound in your head & know what you want to hear. However, I had that. . . then I ran into the 'hog Banner. So keep your ears open, and your head on a swivel- you never know what you might hear.

Scary, "need to be w_"  # 1, and equally scary, #2,  the sax/ trumpet analogy. But I don't understand wind instruments.

The other, "make sure this stuff is sorted" info is good to do, before discounting the '200.

Just saying if OP’s Guitar is new, it needs to be played to “open up”.  
sax vs trumpet.  Like a Grand Piano vs an Upright. They sound different, can’t make one sound like the other, that’s all.  Not meant to be scary.  

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2 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

Just saying if OP’s Guitar is new, it needs to be played to “open up”.  
sax vs trumpet.  Like a Grand Piano vs an Upright. They sound different, can’t make one sound like the other, that’s all.  Not meant to be scary.  

✔️.

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18 hours ago, Paul14 said:

Jinder's experiences and impressions of the J-45 RW don’t match mine, either, but I think he is spot on concerning the SJ-200. Never seen that video before. How did I miss that??

I should add the caveat that I've only come across one J45RW...perhaps I need to audition a few more. I certainly enjoyed the tone as a listener, but not quite so much as a player. Could well have been a slightly off-beam example, of course 🙂

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8 hours ago, tremolo arm said:

 I am not sure how many of you use your SJ-200 for finger picking

I fingerpick the heck out of my SJ200. If you head over to 28:00 on the below video, you can hear the way mine sounds played fingerstyle. This is all (vocals included) into one SE Electronics Gemini II condenser.

 

I gutted mine a little while after I got it, and divested it of its rattly, irritating Fishman Aura Ellipse. It sounds a lot more lively and natural to me with the Sunrise pickup and a bone saddle with no UST in the way. The Anthem is a great system but not something I'd choose to have in an SJ200...pickups are of course a very personal choice.

 

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20 minutes ago, Jinder said:

I fingerpick the heck out of my SJ200. If you head over to 28:00 on the below video, you can hear the way mine sounds played fingerstyle. This is all (vocals included) into one SE Electronics Gemini II condenser.

 

 

Wonderful sound. Yours definitely sounds warmer and more present than mine. What strings (brand, type and gauge) do you use?

Here is mine. It is difficult to gauge the presence / tone and loudness as it was recorded with the pickup, but the lack of oomph is evident on parts like Jolene and Big Love....

 

Edited by tremolo arm
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46 minutes ago, tremolo arm said:

 

Wonderful sound. Yours definitely sounds warmer and more present than mine. What strings (brand, type and gauge) do you use?

Here is mine. It is difficult to gauge the presence / tone and loudness as it was recorded with the pickup, but the lack of oomph is evident on parts like Jolene and Big Love....

 

Thankyou! Yours sounds a little tight and in need of a few months of hard use to my ears...I'm listening through/past the pickup and seeking the transients and bloom to the notes, if that makes sense. I can hear it's a little shy and perhaps holding back a little. 

I use Newtone Masterclass 12-54 round core strings. They are markedly better on the SJ200 than anything else I've played on my Maple instruments...I use them on my Maple AJ too, great combination of warmth and snap. If you try them, please make sure you tune them up and stretch them in for a good period before snipping the ends off though...unlike modern hex cores, clipping the ends off round core strings before they're at pitch and tension will kill them dead in the water. Don't ask me how I proved the theory right 🤣

What strings are you using?

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7 minutes ago, Jinder said:

Thankyou! Yours sounds a little tight and in need of a few months of hard use to my ears...I'm listening through/past the pickup and seeking the transients and bloom to the notes, if that makes sense. I can hear it's a little shy and perhaps holding back a little. 

I use Newtone Masterclass 12-54 round core strings. They are markedly better on the SJ200 than anything else I've played on my Maple instruments...I use them on my Maple AJ too, great combination of warmth and snap. If you try them, please make sure you tune them up and stretch them in for a good period before snipping the ends off though...unlike modern hex cores, clipping the ends off round core strings before they're at pitch and tension will kill them dead in the water. Don't ask me how I proved the theory right 🤣

What strings are you using?

 

So far I've tried the following (all in 12 gauge):

- D'Addario standard PB - can't remember the code 

- D'Addario NYXL - nothing spectacular, just normal

- DR Sunbeams (round core) - probably the best of the lot and yes, I was aware of the need to kink at the post and waiting to snip

- Currently strung with Martin 80/20 - sounded great when I put them on but very quickly lost their clarity 

It would seem that we have the same taste of strings as I also liked the roundcore the most. I am also considering putting a hybrid gauge on with light unwound strings and medium wound ones.

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Nice super jumbo samples, fellas. And good to see picks not required.

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12 hours ago, 62burst said:

and equally scary, #2,  the sax/ trumpet analogy. But I don't understand wind instruments.

It was and is scary, , , I'm still glad we didn't get clarinet. 

Regarding wind-instruments - try the flute for a start.

But fortyearpickn is right - it's hard if not impossible to change the nature of guitars, , , , well, anything. Still we can adjust, can we not. . 

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Frankly, the Jumbo in your video already sounds beautiful considering how tamely up the neck and with only the fleshy part of the fingers employed she is fingerpicked. Surely, with more age, she will only sound better. The direct comparison with Jinder's video can be misleading due to Jinder's professional recording setup and his creamy vocals (he should really do more 30s Americana stuff with it—and with updated lyrics).

It seems to me the J-200 starts singing and opening up the best when she is hit a little harder than you do to bring the top more in motion and with a guitar pick employed. The more compact Gibson J-180/185—a slightly smaller, shorter-scaled J-200 w/ mahogany neck—might be a fine alternative for you.

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On an unrelated note, my J-180 gets Kluson Supreme tuners (gold) soon.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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