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NG- 2020 SJ-200 Pre-War Historic Series

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Well, I done it. It got here mid-day, unpacked a few hours late and began our adjustment period. This is an initial reaction post. Of course it was a long-*** initial reaction afternoon. 🙂 

I've not gone over every single measurement or checked the frets yet, but i think it will be very good. The bridge and neck angles looked alright by eye site. The relief was set at .011, but played decently because the action was as advertised at the 12th - 5/64 and 3.5/64. Then nut slots will need a tiny bit of lowering. but not much. Not like the ones I had to do previously. This was set up as easy to play out of the box as anything I've had. I lowered the relief a bit down to .007 to make things a bit easier at the top. The action at the 12th ended up just a touch lower as a result, of course. 

I don't like the period correct case. Part of is is personal. It's too tall for my guitar storage armoir. The other part is the latches are a PITA. Assuming I keep this, which is looking really good, I will replace the case and keep this one in an out of the way closet. Actually, I am disappointed to spend this kind of money and have frigging latches that need such fussing. 

Oh, and there is a little indent right at the edge of the nut at the low-E. Like a ding. I'll take better picks of everything after I clean her up real good and all.

Last bad thing. I understand why there is not on something like this, but I really would have liked to have a strap button already installed. My neck is killing me with this stupid headstock thing. As with the D-41 last year, I will install one as soon as I know for sure it's a keeper. Oh, and I think there are a couple high frets. TBD. Same sort of noises as I heard on the others. Not a huge amount, though.

OK, so now the good stuff. this has such a smooooooth pick attack and very lively, bright but not harsh at all tone. It's very much in the wheelhouse I was hoping to end up with for this one. It will really belt out some bright, smooth tones. Real deep chimey stuff, no thinness or tin can nonsense. Pure depth. Big motor, too. Big warm growl. Man, just as a nice E-chord as you can hear. As you can feel.

I'm sure a lot of you are rolling your eyes at two SJ-200s. It does give me a much better understanding of those who own a Martin D-18 and D-28. The difference between the woods is worth the price of admission. The SJ-200's Rosewood and Maple editions have similarities, sure, but they also have two wonderful distinct tones. I pulled my Maple out to compare after a while with the Rosewood. One strum was all it took. I'm not sure which is more impressive, actually. This new one's darned near as well set up as the one I worked my butt off to get to where it is. 

In another thread, I wrote of "Wow Factor Guitars". This one's there already. I couldn't set it down. Reports from across the room are positive as well. This was the goal. The objective. Replace the Taylor with a wow-factor guitar different enough from what I already had. I was taking a big risk doing this Rosewood version of the SJ-200 instead of the J-55 or holding out for a used Sheryl Crow SJ. Those would have been different, for sure. I fell in love with the SJ-200 demos I saw online and banked on those difference being very real when you get to try them. The difference, I think, is that this one can be as warm as it can be bright. Providing, of course, I learn how to driver her correctly.

Assuming I find no more oddities, I've got a real winner here.

I know it's a bad pick. Sun went around to the other side of the house. I'll have better shots over the weekend.

IJBLR4c.jpg

 

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Congrats on the big '200. . . that's a lot of guitar. . . looking forward to seeing some natural light photos, including the case, whose size and latches you're not so fond of. So the other 200 fits in your guitar storage, but not this one? Hmm... a nice gig bag for that, then.

No strap button, eh? As one who'd rather make that decision myself, consider yourself lucky. Maybe it's part of the Historic series, as is the no-electronics?

Curious to hear your thoughts on the VOS finish. And if you ever get around to putting this one, and the maple one, on strings of the same type and age, I'd happily wade through one of your "comprehensive" 😉 sound analyses.

Edited by 62burst

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Beautiful.     I am one that prefers no strap pin. And that should be a personal thing to install.   Same with electronics.     Congrats on your Gibson. Really Nice.  

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Well done.  Got used to all of mine without a pin.  That is a pretty one;  hope the sound matches!

Edited by Hall
sp -5

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5 hours ago, 62burst said:

Congrats on the big '200. . . that's a lot of guitar. . . looking forward to seeing some natural light photos, including the case, whose size and latches you're not fond of. So the other 200 fits in your guitar storage, but not this one? Hmm... a nice gig bag for that, then.

No strap button, eh? As one who'd rather make that decision myself, consider yourself lucky. Maybe it's part of the Historic series, as is the no-electronics?

Curious to hear your thoughts on the VOS finish. And if you ever get around to putting this one, and the maple one, on strings of the same type and age, I'd happily wade through one of your "comprehensive" 😉 sound analyses.

I'm going to get a brown SJ-200 case for every day use and send this one to the back of some closet, keeping it only for correctness whenever it has to be sold.

I don't know what I think of this finish other than it's certainly not a bad thing. I'll take a shot of the two side by side.

Great idea on the sound/tone tests. 

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Thanks everyone!

Day-2 has included a lot more measuring and eye for detailed nits. A little dimple on the nut between the edge and the low-e string pretty much details the visual defects. Oh, the pick guard and those blue, white and green dot inlays. They are almost as if someone forgot to sand them down a bit. There. that's it.

Set-up wise, whoever did this (WildWood or Gibson) did quite the remarkable job. One string slot (low-e) needs to come down about .003". That's it. The other end, the saddle was sized to match a truss rod relief of about .010". Break angles a tiny bit on the flat side compared to my others, but nothing is low. Everything measures up well. Bringing the relief down to the .007" range brings the guitar into the same region as my others. I'll get a taller saddle to try out, but it is not a priority. Filing that one slot is not a high priority, either. 

Tone-wise, so far, so good. I always like my guitars' tone better after they've been out of the case over-night. This one is right there with the rest. I'm just surprised that I'm into it so soon after purchase, and without all that extra setup work the others took.

Pics tomorrow. I lost the nice light of morning.

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Very impressing - one of the majesties.

And hats off to the fact that you now got both maple and rose 200s in the house. I too would like an in depth comparison between the pair. If not by film, by words.   

Stay Happy

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Thanks, everyone! I do feel honored that the guitar was allowed to come to my house. We are still enjoying our bonding period. 

I took some better pics this morning before out internet crapped out. I can't get a clear shot of that dimple in the nut. I'll try later. My old digital SLR is just that - OLD.

Can I still use the same Gibson polish cleaner stuff? 

Pics:

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Really nice looking SJ-200.  There really seems to be a lot of red in the burst and even on the back of the neck, and the rosewood back of the body is also stunning.  Glad it was set up pretty well right out of the box for you.  Quite a difference, from your description, between the pre-war Historic and the modern day Standard.  Seems the extra $2k buys some worthwhile tone.  Looking forward to hearing some sound samples when you get time.  Enjoy 👍 

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Looks fantastic - I ordered the maple 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst from this series back in early February, no idea when it might get here. (Australia)

Edited by Brucebubs

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Strange- it doesn't have the C-shaped ivoroid heel cap. . . I think it might be a fake. ; ). 

Looks beauty. Nicely done photos, too. Enjoy the big and the lush . 🙂.

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Damn!  That is an absolutly gorgeous guitar.  If it plays anything like it looks it will approach being the mythical "holy grail."  Congrats on a stunning instrument.  J200s are awesome to begin with, but that one is on another planet.

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22 hours ago, MissouriPicker said:

Damn!  That is an absolutly gorgeous guitar.  If it plays anything like it looks it will approach being the mythical "holy grail."  Congrats on a stunning instrument.  J200s are awesome to begin with, but that one is on another planet.

Thanks. I feel quite fortunate. We are continuing to bond. It's got me to the point where I might not even install a strap button.

On 7/12/2020 at 8:37 PM, 62burst said:

Strange- it doesn't have the C-shaped ivoroid heel cap. . . I think it might be a fake. ; ). 

Looks beauty. Nicely done photos, too. Enjoy the big and the lush . 🙂.

I'm sure it is a fake now. No bad spots in these Grovers and I've had it for 3+ days. 🙂

On 7/12/2020 at 8:21 PM, Brucebubs said:

Looks fantastic - I ordered the maple 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst from this series back in early February, no idea when it might get here. (Australia)

Man, that's gotta be tough as nails. Is it stuck somewhere, or did it get delayed in Bozeman factory due to this Covid thing?

Thanks BayouBengal

On 7/12/2020 at 5:38 PM, Twang Gang said:

Really nice looking SJ-200.  There really seems to be a lot of red in the burst and even on the back of the neck, and the rosewood back of the body is also stunning.  Glad it was set up pretty well right out of the box for you.  Quite a difference, from your description, between the pre-war Historic and the modern day Standard.  Seems the extra $2k buys some worthwhile tone.  Looking forward to hearing some sound samples when you get time.  Enjoy 👍 

I'll be heading back upstairs into my home project studio as soon as Mrs PB heads back to work. I don't want to waste time we could have had together just in case something bad happens with all this stuff going on. Don't think I've been in there longer than 30 minutes in the past month. I will definitely track something solo with these before jumping into my next song.

That back RW really caught my eye. They had two. I had the salesman select the one he thought the better of the two sonics and playable standpoints, and was pretty stoked that this was the one. I've not seen one quite like it, though both were just drool worthy and different than my Martin RW.

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Ssssssizzlingly Stunning !      Just the right amount to bling:  perfect meld  Art and Tool.     I had written a couple of days ago "Don't put a heel button on that beauty!"  but my phone  deleted it before I could send it.  Glad you are leaning in that direction !    I"m not big on wanting to hear what every slightly different guitar out there sounds like, in part because I'm not planning on acquiring any more -  but I would love to hear that sucker -  clear without any electronics in the way.   Enjoy !  

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PB asked about using the same Gibson polish.  I recently bought a Collings (with an uber thin nitro finish) and their care instructions say to stay away from polish entirely.  Just use a damp cloth to remove smudges and any dirt and then dry with a dry cloth.  Microfiber cloths seem to do the best job, an old cotton rag tends to leave swirl marks in my experience.  My most recent Taylor has a satin finish, and the microfiber seems to work well on that too.  The cleaner/polish companies will go broke if they are relying on my future purchases 🙂

 

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That’s the most killer looking set of rosewood I’ve ever seen ( the Southern Jumbo and Advanced Jumbo I played had similar looking wood).

 

 

Absolutely Stunning.

 

 

Congratulations.

JC

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Beautiful.

Top is gorgeous.

Looks spot on to an original I used to see at Elderly which had a monster price tag. Looks like Gibson did a great job with these.

Congrats! 😎

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