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1957 SJ-200


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Several years ago, maybe 25, I acquired a Gibson SJ-200jr. . It was a fine guitar, great player and looker and a keeper. Needless to say in the past 25 years in was added to the "guitars-I-wish-I-still-had" list for reasons I no longer remember. And as the years passed Gibson's J-200 kept getting more and more expensive and just more than I cared to spend on a single guitar. So, 2  or so years ago Epiphone announced the "inspired by " line and  the J-200 in that line was too much of an siren song to avoid. I bought one and owned it less than six months. In short, it did not inspire me for several reasons. 

Then last week I saw an ad for newer "inspired by" models  and the 1957 SJ-200 was too much to resist. The specs (torrefied spruce top,  flame solid maple back and sides, a real mustache bridge) alone were enough to get me to try again  and I am not disappointed. This guitar has the volume and tone the earlier version lacked. The fretboard is a little wider. And it feels like a Gibson.  In my estimation it is as close to a $5000 Gibson SJ-200 as you can get for a fraction of that and it is worth every penny of its $1400 price tag.  It is beautiful, fun to play, expertly built and has tone and sustain for days.  I still haven't settled on what make strings I like the best with it but Martin  Luxe Kovars are in the lead. 

 

Bravo, Epiphone and Gibson Custom Shop.

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These look a big step up from the last "Inspired By" line.  I got a very good deal on a J45 from that range and it's a brilliant guitar.  The J45 in the new range looks amazing too.   

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/3/2024 at 6:28 PM, bubba1281734205 said:

I just got an Inspired By Custom shop Epiphone Banner J-45, and the tone and build quality is better than my 15 year old Masterbilts. It was well worth the money.

 

Mel

Wow, the early Masterbilts were truly excellent, so that's good to know. 

Enjoy your new J-45!

Red 333

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On 5/4/2024 at 2:28 AM, bubba1281734205 said:

I just got an Inspired By Custom shop Epiphone Banner J-45, and the tone and build quality is better than my 15 year old Masterbilts. It was well worth the money.

 

Mel

Exactly my experince!!!
I have a 2008 AJ-500 RNS and it's a toy if they're compared tonally.

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