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iamgreg

SJ-200 Std. & Strings

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Greetings All!!!

 

My new 2011 SJ-200 Standard (purchased 9/2011 from Guitar Center) came with D'Addarrio light gauge strings. At least I'm assuming that's what they were by the 6 different colored ball ends. I continued to use D'addarrio 12-53's though I tried a set of their mediums and found that they had no give so I went back to lights. I was finding the tone a little thin when playing with others so a few weeks ago I picked up a set of John Pearse Medium 700M's and I really liked the feel and tone but after a few days it seemed like the bass notes were muted sounding and had a quick decay. I just put on a set of DR Rare's in 13 gauge and man do they sound great thus far. They must have more tension as the action crept up just a hair but they are still very playable. I am finding that the DR Rare's project better and hype up the bass response and sustain like a bell. I also picked up a set of DR Sunbeams in 13 gauge to try next. By the description I am guessing that the Sunbeams will have a bit less tension (they are round core where Rare's are a hex core) but will also be brighter. Has anyone tried both DR Rare and Sunbeams that can offer a comparison? I have also tried Martin FX's and SP4100's on the SJ-200 and didn't care for either. Are there any other "Must Try" strings out there for an SJ-200?

 

BTW; I outfitted the guitar with Colossi bone pins, ivory nut & ivory compensated saddle. I chose ivory because I didn't want to overly brighten the guitar. Perhaps down the road after the guitar has opened up I'll switch over to a bone saddle. Has anyone A/B'd an ivory vs. bone saddle on their SJ-200 that can offer a comparison? I've been keeping the guitar out on a stand as I've heard that being out will help it to open up quicker. Fortunately the winter has been pretty calm here in Michigan so it's been easy to keep my studio at 72 degrees with 45% humidity.

 

At any rate I'm loving this guitar and I like the new manufacturing process for the pickgaurd. The Fishman Aura Ellipse sounds great and the build quality is flawless. I traded in a 1991 J-200 towards this guitar and the build quality is a night and day difference in favor of the 2011. The '91 was very sloppy; headstock overlay was coming undone, where the sides meet the neck was buckled and the bracing had a lot of glue run out.

 

Sorry for rambling on; I'll eventually get to posting the obligatory pics, sound clips and video. Have a great day!!!

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iamgreg, I also have a 2011 J200, Ive tried alot of strings and found that I like the martin bluegrass strings the best, they have 12s on the bottom and 56s on the top

 

they sound great and still easy to play

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Uh huh. I've used both saddle materials on an SJ200WC, but I have sworn not to discuss one of those two here on the forum. Raises the hackles on some folks. I will say I used that material for the same reason you stated: to tame the high end. I really liked DR Sunbeam 12s on my 200, better than the Pearse. My Hummingbird is just the opposite - the Pearse strings are just right on this guitar.

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Did you give the Gibson J-200 Strings a try? I've got the mediums 13's on now. They say on the package that the strings are covered in wrapped silk on the ends, but I don't have that on mine. They seem kind of stiff. I've had DR sunbeams 13's on before, and they seem to be the string for my SJ200.

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Did you give the Gibson J-200 Strings a try? I've got the mediums 13's on now. They say on the package that the strings are covered in wrapped silk on the ends, but I don't have that on mine. They seem kind of stiff. I've had DR sunbeams 13's on before, and they seem to be the string for my SJ200.

 

 

Hmmm. Need to give the Sunbeams a try. I've bounced back and forth between lights and mediums and am now using Martin light-mediums as a compromise. I like the easier string bends of lighter strings but the thump of heavier ones. Sounds like the DR's may come close to the best of both.

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Yes the Sunbeams has round core instead of hex, and round core is more flexable. Just don't cut the strings before you wind them up, cut after they are tuned to pitch. I think you will like them. (try the 13's, they have the playability of the 12's of regular hex core strings)

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I appreciate all of the feedback. I put on a set of 13 gauge DR Rare's but am finding that the inntonation is poor. I get the open strings in tune but when I play a chord all of the fretted notes are sharp; that's not good. The Rare's also are under a lot of tension; had to tweak the truss rod. I just switched the Rare's over to 13 gauge DR Sunbeams and took a little tension off of the truss rod and they feel nice. I'll have to give them some time to break in but my initial thought is that the Sunbeams are brighter then the Rare's or John Pearse 13 gauge PB's. Does anybody know if John Pearse PB's are hex or round core? I might try a bone saddle with JP's next. I'll order up some Gibson J-200 13 gauge as well to try. I've tried Martin strings but didn't like the tone.

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Hi Folks;

 

I just got an SJ200 and I'm having problems. My barre chords suck (pardon my french). I have two other Gibsons and this one is the most difficult to play. I went out and got Martin Light Strings, hoping to solve the problem, but it is still there. I love the look of the guitar, but it seems I have to press down much harder and more accurately to hit the chords. I know that is my problem, but does anyone else have this problem too?

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Sounds like it maybe a set up issue, how high is the action on the 12th ? Also as suggested try DR Sunbeams 12's as they have lighter tension it might help you in hitting those darn barre chords a bit easier. I personally find the neck of my J-150 very comfortable and easy to fret in open and barred chords.

 

Hi Folks;

 

I just got an SJ200 and I'm having problems. My barre chords suck (pardon my french). I have two other Gibsons and this one is the most difficult to play. I went out and got Martin Light Strings, hoping to solve the problem, but it is still there. I love the look of the guitar, but it seems I have to press down much harder and more accurately to hit the chords. I know that is my problem, but does anyone else have this problem too?

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Now I'm not so fond of DR Sunbeams. After a weekend of heavy playing I broke all of the wound strings twice over; I never broke a string on this guitar until now. I went up to Guitar Center and they said they are getting a lot of complaints about that as of late so they hooked me up with a set of John Pearse 700M's and my string breaking stopped! Has anyone else had a problem with snappin' Sunbeams?

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Never had an issue with them snapping the way you describe it and I can drive them pretty hard, but I have hard several experiences of a couple strings being faulty in the pack in the sense that they vibrate really strangely, buzz and intonation is totally out.

 

Overall theyve been and still are my favourite strings but DR Dragnosnkins are creeping up slowly, have em on the SJ and the Bird and really love the tone Im getting the longer they've been on, and its been about 6 weeks now ..

 

Now I'm not so fond of DR Sunbeams. After a weekend of heavy playing I broke all of the wound strings twice over; I never broke a string on this guitar until now. I went up to Guitar Center and they said they are getting a lot of complaints about that as of late so they hooked me up with a set of John Pearse 700M's and my string breaking stopped! Has anyone else had a problem with snappin' Sunbeams?

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One thing that comes to mind is that perhaps youre not putting them on the right way. They are round core, which means you should not cut them until tuned to pitch and also not stretch them after tuning. It can cause signifcant weakness to the core of the string and hence increase chance of breakage.

 

Yes; I really like the Sunbeam tone & feel as well but it's crazy how they are breaking on me. The Guitar Center tech says that DR is inconstant in their quality.

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I didn't cut them until tuned to pitch but I did stretch them. Now that you mention it every time they broke I was doing string bends. Perhaps they are the wrong choice for playing lead?

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You can stretch the living daylights out of them, but not the normal big stretch straight after tuning to pitch, let them settle in naturally by just playing them for an hour and correcting gently. Then go crazy ! :-)

 

I didn't cut them until tuned to pitch but I did stretch them. Now that you mention it every time they broke I was doing string bends. Perhaps they are the wrong choice for playing lead?

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... I traded in a 1991 J-200 towards this guitar and the build quality is a night and day difference in favor of the 2011. The '91 was very sloppy; headstock overlay was coming undone,

 

By that description, you could be talking about my '91 J-200! Not the shiniest guitar on the block, but it's got the sweetest voice.

 

... I have also tried Martin FX's and SP4100's on the SJ-200 and didn't care for either

 

It's a big old world... FX strings are my choice for the J-200. But then, I am not looking for LOUD and bright as many folks are, and

I think the FX strings promote a dry, woody tone with lots of fundamental.

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