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Dave F

J200 comments/questions

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Yesterday I went to my local GC (Florence KY) and played a new J200 Custom.

Beautiful guitar but I was totally unimpressed with the sound.

I have a J200 standard. Is there that much difference in the maple and rosewood?

The custom sounded dead.

After I went home I pulled out my standard which IMO sounds 10x better and played it for a while.

I bought this J200 last spring but haven't played it much.

When I got it (ordered through my local music store) the action at the 12th was higher that the usually high stuff from the factory.

I checked the bow in the neck using the pushing down the strings at the 1st and 12th and checking the gap at the 5th. Was about .005" which most of mine are set.

(unbeknownst to me the strings were actually hitting the higher 7th fret and did not have a straight line to the twelfth)

Then I worked in a new saddle to get the the action down. It got it down barely in spec before I ran out of saddle. I prefer real low action but was not there.

Being fresh from the factory ( I recieved it within 2 weeks of the sign off at the factory) I thought I'd let it settle for a while and see if anything moves.

I've been checking it all year and it hasn't been moving around. Last night I thought I'd check a few things and here's what I found.

With string tension (using custom light elixers) -

- Straight edge on the frets showed fairly flat with the 7-8-9 frets a little high and a slight bow (.005") between the 1 and 7

- When I laid the straight edge along the frets and took it up the the bridge, the top of the bridge varies .040"-.060" above the frets when it's supposed to be even

WIth strings removed -

-7th fret on upwards are fairly even, but the headstock tapers away and there's a .04" gap at the 1st fret

- the top of the bridge is even with the higher frets

- I looked inside the guitar and reached in and felt around, the braces seem solid

After this I decided it was beyond my expertise, restrung it while putting the original saddle and pins back end.

The guitar checked the same as when I received it. ( I measured everything when it was new)

 

I took it back to the dealer today to get it checked out.

They have an independent onsight authorized repair shop on site.

I trust the store very much but have some reservation about the repair shop based on a couple things they've done for me in the past.

 

I don't understand the big difference with and without tension. Any insight on this subject?

My gut feeling is a neck reset and fret dressing or perhaps a new neck or new guitar.

The guitar sounds and looks good so I'm okay with a repair as long as they do an excellent job.

There's not even a pick scratch on this one yet.

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hi,i bought a j200 back in 1996,i had little knowledge of saddle and action n so..it was hard to play so i lowered the action myself which is where i ran into problems,not enought saddle..the neck relief was fine,i took it back to the store and they replaced it instantly.

From then on ive been very conscious of that problem because i like the action fairly low.To be blunt gibson has got a neck angle problem on alot of the guitars ive tried,i waited until i could get a j200 with plenty of saddle with a slight relief neck.I can tell you i waited a long time to find one,ive tried 4 other new j200s and all had highish action n not much saddle..Some martins are like that too although no where near as many.To be fair most strummers dont notice coz they dont play fast passages up the neck so,many dont find this a problem...so choose your guitar carefully for how you play..regards

mike

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I too am not a fan of the custom Dave. My favorite sj200 I've played tv standard had them all is my J100xtra with the hog back and sides I love it! Can't get enough of it!

Hope you get everything figured out!! Good luck

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One of the more seemingly stranger things in Gibson land is that while the SJ/J-200 has taken on a legendary status, there are folks who find they just don't cotton to the sound. Mine is an old one and it is one heck of a well-made guitar - the pinnacle of the guitar builder's craft. But if ya should drop over for a cup of coffee and a bite of rugelach you are more likely gonna find me playing a J-50 or LG-2. Not being real good at describing sound the only way I can put it is the J-200 lacks the crackling edge I associate with a really good Gibson. It is like when you want to play along a J-200 is a ringing bell when what you reall want is a washboard.

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