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Does anyone know if there is much difference between the Masterbuild strings and the J200 strings as far as sound goes


Great question and one I ask myself every time I put an extra eighty five cents down for the J-200s (They actually differ in list price by $1.73). I have never been a fan of any Gibson strings but the J-200s (and the Masterbuilt Premium for that matter) sound the best of any I've tried on my SJ-200 and a distant second place would be the D'Addario Phosphor Bronze tied with Dean Markley Vintage Bronze (but the Vintage Bronze are a completely different flavour of ice cream from the phosphor bronze strings). From what I can gather the J-200 strings are a slightly different alloy and wound slower than the Masterbuilt but truth be told I've never heard any remarkable difference and I buy the Masterbuilt if the shop is out of the J-200s. I do like the yarn around the ball end on the J-200s but the string gauges are the same (I use the 54-12 light gauge) and as I said, I don't perceive any sonic differences. In fact I bought three sets last week of what I grabbed off the rack thinking they were all J-200s and one of the packs is a set of Masterbuilts and since they rang up as Masterbuilts and I didn't pay J-200s' price for them I didn't sweat it a whole lot. When I originally bought my SJ-200 it had been in the shop for a while and the strings were dead so I said to the shop owner I'd give it more serious consideration with new strings but he said he'd only replace the strings with the J-200s which were the stock strings (it was a brand new guitar). When he said it I said "ewww... Gibson strings??" and he said he'd give me a couple sets of whatever I wanted if I eventually bought the guitar. I did buy the guitar and got D'Addario strings in the deal but after I changed them I found I really liked the J-200 strings more. They became rare for a while around here so I went to the Masterbuilts and now it's an either/or proposition. I am interested in hearing others take on this though.



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I believe that Masterbuilt and J200 strings are the same (I use both), except for the silk wrap on the J200s. As Larens said, if there is a difference in composition, the resulting difference in sound is not one I've been conscious of.


Presently, both are made by D'Addario. Gibson shut down string production in Elgin, Illinois earlier this year, and moved it to Nashville. It's unclear whether they've begun production there yet.


I have quite a few packs of the older, Elgin-made strings still, so I don't know how the new D'Adarrio-made strings compare.


Red 333

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