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J45 / J200 comparison video


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That was much better than most comparison of these types.

First off, that J-200 is a TV model, and I can't tell if it is rosewood or maple. I sounds more like rosewood to me, but I don't have a good frame of reference for the J-200 tonally.

The J-200 has a big, bright voice, and you could understand why an acoustic rock guitarist would choose it over a J-45. It's hard to imagine Pete Townshend or Jimmy Page flailing away on a J-45.

Different guitars for different purposes. The J-45 is mids-focused, the SJ shines at the top and bottom.

Both are really nice guitars.

 

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Thanks for that Dan!   They aren't supposed to and sure do not sound the same.    Good insights from j45nick.  

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Nice! You never hear that kind of difference in presence with these comparison videos. It's quite something to go back and forth between my square dreads and my SJ-200s.

I stink at the pick out the tonewoods by sound game.

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All Gibson models are mids-focused. That's their big selling point; that's the classic Gibson acoustic sound we have so come to love.

The J-200 is a loud, big guitar, but it is not excessively boomy. The maple adds a bunch of compression to the sound, stiffens things up in terms of bass response, and adds a lot of sparkle to the treble. The bass is, however, never overpowering and the treble never excessively sparkly. These guitars were designed to strum and sing songs to. They never get in the way of your voice. They play loudly so that they can get heard from far away. They also make awesome fingerstyle guitars. Particularly with fleshy fingers, you get a cool sounding blues fingerstyle. They are a sort-of do-it-all guitars with fantastic string balance.

 

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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5 hours ago, j45nick said:

That was much better than most comparison of these types.

First off, that J-200 is a TV model, and I can't tell if it is rosewood or maple. I sounds more like rosewood to me, but I don't have a good frame of reference for the J-200 tonally.

The J-200 has a big, bright voice, and you could understand why an acoustic rock guitarist would choose it over a J-45. It's hard to imagine Pete Townshend or Jimmy Page flailing away on a J-45.

Different guitars for different purposes. The J-45 is mids-focused, the SJ shines at the top and bottom.

Both are really nice guitars.

 

I don't understand the reasoning that someone in rock would prefer treble. I'm a "rock guy" and find trebly guitars off-putting (for that genre, at least). When I hear guitars that are bent toward the treble side of things, I think pop music and blue grass. The J-45, on the other hand, sounds way more "rock" because of it's mid range and overall darker tone. 

But hey, opinions are opinions lol.

Edited by Sevendaymelee
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3 hours ago, Sevendaymelee said:

I don't understand the reasoning that someone in rock would prefer treble. I'm a "rock guy" and find trebly guitars off-putting (for that genre, at least). When I hear guitars that are bent toward the treble side of things, I think pop music and blue grass. The J-45, on the other hand, sounds way more "rock" because of it's mid range and overall darker tone. 

But hey, opinions are opinions lol.

I think much of it is about instruments poking through into the mix.

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7 hours ago, BoSoxBiker said:

I think much of it is about instruments poking through into the mix.

Yes.

The video quality is terrible, but listen to Townshend's J-200 in this solo version of "Won't Get Fooled Again". What guitar would you pick for this: SJ-200 or J-45?

Acoustic Townshend

Now throw this into the electric mix of the Who and ask the same question, especially when you have to mix with  Thunderfingers Entwhistle on bass.

Or, this acoustic version of "Pinball Wizard" from what remains of the original Who (Townshend and Daltrey) today, from a concert just over a year ago and just before the pandemic cancelled everything. (skip to about 2 minutes in if you want to avoid a bunch of talk.) In this video--poor sound quality, but good enough to get the effect--you get two Townshends (Pete and younger brother Simon) and two J-200s.

You can drive the big Super Jumbo box a lot harder than you can the smaller slope-J box without the tonal character washing out.  Admittedly, Townshend is an extreme example of an acoustic rock guitarist. But he actually started out as an acoustic guitarist, which is why so many of his songs sound like they were written for and on an acoustic guitar.

Pinball Wizard 2020

Buddy Holly, of course, played a J-45, and Jorma played a J-50 for many years, so there are plenty of examples of the J-45 being used for acoustic rock. But I would say the SJ-200 really rocks for this purpose.

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59 minutes ago, j45nick said:

Yes.

The video quality is terrible, but listen to Townshend's J-200 in this solo version of "Won't Get Fooled Again". What guitar would you pick for this: SJ-200 or J-45?

Acoustic Townshend

Now throw this into the electric mix of the Who and ask the same question, especially when you have to mix with  Thunderfingers Entwhistle on bass.

Or, this acoustic version of "Pinball Wizard" from what remains of the original Who (Townshend and Daltrey) today, from a concert just over a year ago and just before the pandemic cancelled everything. (skip to about 2 minutes in if you want to avoid a bunch of talk.) In this video--poor sound quality, but good enough to get the effect--you get two Townshends (Pete and younger brother Simon) and two J-200s.

You can drive the big Super Jumbo box a lot harder than you can the smaller slope-J box without the tonal character washing out.  Admittedly, Townshend is an extreme example of an acoustic rock guitarist. But he actually started out as an acoustic guitarist, which is why so many of his songs sound like they were written for and on an acoustic guitar.

Pinball Wizard 2020

Buddy Holly, of course, played a J-45, and Jorma played a J-50 for many years, so there are plenty of examples of the J-45 being used for acoustic rock. But I would say the SJ-200 really rocks for this purpose.

I thought the recently posted video of Tamio Okuda's Signature model J-45 reminded me of that Buddy Holly sound.

Add to your points on the Who's sonic footprint was how they treated Entwhistle's bass sound. Lots of effects (dist/OD/Fuzz?)  which drove up the 600Hz - 1200Hz range even more than normal. Even less room for guitar sounds.

Edit: The first couple minutes of talk were worth it. Funny little story about meeting Bob Dylan and some self effacing humor from Roger Daltry. Always fun stuff to see. 

Edited by BoSoxBiker
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We have both in the house although neither was built in Bozeman.  My wife plays a J200.  I have never met anyone more in love with an individual guitar.   In all the years we have been married I cannot recall any guitar she has gotten her hands on with the exception of one particular Huss & Dalton which she did not walk away from thinking  "Meh".  Objectively I know that J200 is the best sounding guitar in the house. It is not a loud guitar but has a beautifully balanced voice leaning towards the mids which is what makes it the best strummer on the planet.   Heavy sucker though.

I  however, am more at peace playing my Banner J50.  It has a rawer sound which I define as a faster decay with leaner overtones/harmonics.  I also have to admit it has enough quirkiness in the build to endear it to me even more.  

 

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13 hours ago, Sevendaymelee said:

I don't understand the reasoning that someone in rock would prefer treble. I'm a "rock guy" and find trebly guitars off-putting (for that genre, at least). When I hear guitars that are bent toward the treble side of things, I think pop music and blue grass. The J-45, on the other hand, sounds way more "rock" because of it's mid range and overall darker tone. 

But hey, opinions are opinions lol.

The two greatest rock & roll acoustics on the planet were the Harmony H1260 Sovereign (and its 12 string version) and the Gibson Hummingbird.  If you do not believe me just ask Keef.

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Brian Jones also played a J200 during the "Beggars Banquet" sessions in 1968.  The guitar, however, was never seen with the Stones after his death,    

Edited by zombywoof
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8 minutes ago, zombywoof said:

Brian Jones also played a J200 during the "Beggars Banquet" sessions in 1968.  The guitar, however, was never seen with the Stones after his death,    

That included some slide work with the SJ-200, too. 😎

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Below is a link to the video of the entire February 2020 acoustic Who concert. In some ways it's a shame that it's just something shot from the audience, but in other ways it give a great feel for a small-venue live concert. These are almost never as refined as the "real" recordings, but they have an energy and feel all their own.

God but I miss small live concerts like this!

A couple of highlights from my perspective: about 24 minutes in, a nice version of Behind Blue Eyes.  And right at 54 minutes, Townshend switches from fingerpicking to flatpicking, grabbing a new pick off a special fitting attached to his mic stand and loaded with spare picks, like an ammunition belt. What a great arrangement! I bet he goes through a lot of picks during a concert, with his playing style.

You can also see in some shots how the finish is worn away on the top of his J-200 along the bass side of the fretboard extension.

Daltrey actually plays an Everly Brothers J-180 at some point during the film.

The Who at Pryzm

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I saw the Who on their first U.S. tour in '67 at the RKO 58th St. Theater in NYC..  It was one of the last of the great package shows with Cream, The Blues Magoos (remember them),  Mitch Ryder & The Detroit  Wheels, The Blue Project, and Wilson Pickett also taking the stage.    No acoustics anywhere to be seen during the Who set that show.

There is a site which has a very detailed breakdown of Pete's guitars on every Who and solo tour.  According to this source Pete favored Takamine acoustics for performing  into the later-1990s.  It notes the first tour he used Gibson J200 s on was 1996. 

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4 hours ago, zombywoof said:

The two greatest rock & roll acoustics on the planet were the Harmony H1260 Sovereign (and its 12 string version) and the Gibson Hummingbird.  If you do not believe me just ask Keef.

This one might be right up your alley, ZW. It looks pretty nice.

Sovereign

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9 hours ago, zombywoof said:

The two greatest rock & roll acoustics on the planet were the Harmony H1260 Sovereign (and its 12 string version) and the Gibson Hummingbird.  If you do not believe me just ask Keef.

This is where the whole opinion thing comes into play. I've owned and played trebly guitars and whenever I would play some of my favorite songs, they always seemed wrong. I need more warmth. More focus along the middle of the frequencies. More of a flat EQ. The scooped thing, where the bass and the treble are curved up just doesn't sound rock to me. 

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45 minutes ago, Sevendaymelee said:

Maybe that's it. I play rhythm guitar so I prefer to paint within the mix. 

That's a totally different consideration, and I understand why you have the preferences you have.

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1 hour ago, Sevendaymelee said:

This is where the whole opinion thing comes into play. I've owned and played trebly guitars and whenever I would play some of my favorite songs, they always seemed wrong. I need more warmth. More focus along the middle of the frequencies. More of a flat EQ. The scooped thing, where the bass and the treble are curved up just doesn't sound rock to me. 

Granted it is opinion but it is based on  both guitars rock & roll pedigree.  The Harmony Sovereign is all over the Stones LPs in 1964 and 1965, was used by Townsend on "The Who Sell Out" and "Tommy".  The Sovereign though is probably best known for being the guitar Jimmy Page used to work out the songs on the first three Zep LPs and to record "Stairway.."  Keef started to use the Hummingbird on the Aftermath LP.  If nothing else the fact it was used to record "Street Fighting Man" and  "Jumping Jack Flash' would place it on the Mount Everest of Rock & Roll Acoustics.  

Edited by zombywoof
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Love this thread! And thanks duluthdan for posting the comparison. I've had a good J-50 in the past, but that J-200 wins the prize in my opinion. Just love the sound of it in everything that was played, and  also loved all the Pete Townshend  spots. Great fun!

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