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Help me ID this J-200!


SummerStrummer

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I came across this guitar for sale.

Here's the description of the guitar as described by the seller;

Top: Spruce

Back&Sides: Indian RW

Fingerboard: Ebony

Bridge: Ebony

 

I agree with top, back and sides but the fingerboard and bridge look like rosewood to me, but he insisted that they are ebony.

 

But what puzzles me is that this J-200 has Indian RW instead of Maple when asked the seller said it's a custom's spec (which I doubt).

 

The serial number said it's made in 1992, I looked it up but didnt find much info so my guess is that Gibson used to offer J-200 Standard in RW in the 90's then somehow switched back to just Maple?

 

The owner also claims that this RW J-200 costs substantially more than its J200 Maple counterpart..

 

Can anyone back up the claims on this guitar or have diff opinions?

 

PS. Im located in Thailand and the seller wants 4,000USD for this guitar and suggestions?

 

Appreciate you inputs

 

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Hello! Bracing, headstock looks wrong. Logo is suspicious, even the body shape is kind of off. Pickguard's graphic seems unusual. I'd say it's a counterfeit. But please note I'm not an expert. Wait for others' opinion as well. Cheers... Bence

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The original J-200's, made in the 40's I believe, were made with RW b/s. It isn't unlikely that Gibson wouldn't have done it again at some point. Their "J-200 Custom" has RW, but it's too ornate compared to the one you pictured.

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Hmm.......

 

Firstly, an e-mail to Customer Services would be an excellent idea.

Secondly, a copy of this post would probably be better placed in the acoustic section where there are knowledgeable folk who know all about these things.

 

However, a few things which spring to mind;

 

Since WW II there have been around a dozen re-issues of the (pre-war) rosewood version of the J-200 and yes, they do cost a fair bit more than the regular maple model. Specs vary between the re-issues and things like the peghead inlays, Gibson script, bracing patterns and some materials have all changed from time to time.

 

AFAIK they have often had, in the past, the ebony bridge and f'board as described but the current version of the rosewood-bodied J-200 (available from the Custom Shop) has rosewood f'b and bridge.

 

BTW, ebony is not always pure black. It can be the colour seen in the pictures but I find it slightly surprising that Gibson would use such light coloured ebony in '92.

 

The guitar in the snaps doesn't have a Custom Shop label but I'm not sure whether the Bozeman plant issued 'Custom Shop' branded labels in '92 nor, indeed, whether that plant even had a C-S department in '92. If it didn't then, of course, the label shown is fine.

 

All-in-all the guitar looks OK to me but, like Bence, I'm also no expert by a long way.

 

The regular J-200 can be had new for the asking price of this one. The r/w one seems to cost around $5,500 to $6,000 new if you can find one.

 

P.

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Hello chaps.

 

Pippy, comment vas-tu? Long time no see, but that's because the acoustic section is indeed the place to be for many things, including this post. As you say, there have been a number of rosewood J200 reissues from Bozeman, including the Western Classic that essentially copied Ray Whitley's original custom-made J200, and the pre-war jobby which you mention and which looks more like this one (pickguard basically like the postwar maple ones). So the rosewood back and sides shouldn't be a worry, provided they are priced in the Stella Artois 'reassuringly expensive' category. I'm no expert on US prices either, but I'd say that 4K second-hand would be pretty Stella, if not stellar.

 

The fact that the current Custom Shop rosewood model also has rosewood bridge and board would seem to mirror a recent trend - somebody reported that their new J45 Custom (again rosewood back/sides) has a rosewood bridge (forgotten about the board), where until recently this model always had ebony bridge and board. Perhaps they're low on ebony, and have found a new stock of rosewood (they've had problems on that front recently too, even though Bozeman was unaffected by the Feds raids). Older J200 rosewood models could very plausibly have ebony. As for the colour of the ebony, I would also expect darker wood on average on a 92 than on a current model. Certainly the ebony board on my 91 Howard Roberts Fusion is super black. But that's a Nashville guitar, and perhaps Bozeman just had a nice stock of lighter ebony when this one was made. Not sure about the labels in 92 either, but I do believe that Bozeman custom shop guitars were more custom-made then than they are now. In the early days of Bozeman, apparently, the custom shop was a special shop within the factory, where a few hand-picked luthiers made guitars with Ren Ferguson. Now CS guitars are basically production-line instruments with perhaps a bit more inlay work done.

 

Szia Bence. Hogy vagy? Rég nem találkoztunk se, de meg mindig nincsen Les Paulom. I am also no expert when it comes to J200s, but my hunch is that this one is genuine. There was a fake up on the acoustic thread last week and the shape was definitely more off than this one (think Martin OOO shoulders). Some members on the other side attributed the odd shape to camera angle and were convinced that only smaller details indicated fakery. Here the shape in the photos is much closer to what I'd expect of a J200, and I would feel more comfortable with the camera angle explanation. Headstock seems OK to me, especially as a 92 might not quite look like a 2012. The logo troubles me a bit, because the o looks a touch open, and there are all of the Gibsun fakes circulating, but actually the current Gibson site shows a J200 standard with a very similar o. Nem hisszem, ahogy hamis.

 

SumStrum, post a link to this post on the acoustics section, and wait for the opinions to flow.

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Szervusz Mojorule! Valóban rég beszéltünk. Remélem minden rendben Nálad! :) Regarding this instrument: I've googled some photos of other J-200s and found these outstanding differences that led me to the conclusion I've stated. But again, I've nothing to do with acoustics, so I might be completely wrong (it seems I am wrong indeed). I am still suspicious, even though I know Gibson often changes specs of it's instruments. Minden jót! Cheers... Bence

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Igen minden jó (vagy olyan jó mint lehet, amikor a közgazdaság anyara nem csodálátos). Kösszi. You are definitely right to raise the points, as they need addressing by the J200 crew (my involvement in acoustics is limited to slope-shoulder jumbos, and not to these giants). I wonder whether the bracing is different on rosewood J200s and their maple siblings. Certainly the Advanced Jumbo has quite different back braces from the J45 or Southern Jumbo, despite having essentially the same body shape and size. (AJ thick, J45-SJ thin.) Not sure what the back braces on rosewood J45s look like. I wonder if there is a pattern to do with rosewood versus other woods. I think I'll post a link on the acoustic page, as Summer Strummer hasn't done so yet.

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Salut, Mojorule. C'est super-chouette ici. Ca va?

 

From what I've read the bracing of the Rosewood re-issues DOES tend to be different from the regular Maple-side&backed 200's.

 

This is from the current spec listing but I've read similar stuff elsewhere (in this excerpt they are talking about the C-S version as opposed to the regular J-200);

 

"The lightweight bracing pattern inside the J-200 Custom—the same pattern used in Gibson’s first Super Jumbo in 1937—is constructed to support and strengthen a very large surface, thus allowing the top more freedom of movement to vibrate and project sound. The placement of the braces inside the J-200 Custom also creates powerful, deep lows with full frequency range, producing the incredibly balanced, huge sound for which Gibson’s Super Jumbos are famous."

 

P.

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Ouais, en gros ça va pas mal merci. C’est même la canicule qui continue ici. Ou au moins l’après-midi. Lecture approfondie et approuvée des spécifications. The rosewood-backed Songwriter also apparently has chunky back braces. Anyway, they all look considerably meatier than the braces on my Southern Jumbo or on a stock J45.

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.

Overall, it looks okay. The label is placed where I've seen it in other 92s.

 

But I'm bothered a bit by the two pics in which you can see the bridge, the bridges pins are different and the bridge wood graining looks different. If you haven't seen the guitar in person I would be a bit concerned about picture bait.

 

 

.

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