Jonesing for a Gibson SJ-200

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by Stax1, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Stax1

    Stax1 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Location:
    Over here
    So I've always loved the jumbo style guitars but I've only ever owned the Epiphone flavour, which was nice, but not amazing... My main acoustic is a Maton 808 that I've had for a loooong time, and I love playing it but its a small body and I'm wanting the BIG body sound for when I play more strumming type tunes.
    I also own an old mid-70's Ovation Legend that is a nice player, but its still not giving me that big fat acoustic vibe.

    Whilst I'm very lucky to own some amazing gear (which I have saved and worked my ass off for, for the past 15+ years - as many of us do), I'm struggling to come to terms with the price tag of SJ-200's - even used ones..

    Here in Australia a new SJ-200 will run about $5k for a studio model, up to about $7.5k for the standard. Used ones are around the $3k for a nice player's guitar, to about $4k for one that is still in collectible condition. Then the special flavours and vintage models will be circa $5k used.

    Anyone here own(ed) one and care to share their experiences? Likes/dislikes etc?

    In the meantime I need to consider what gear I can live without in order to afford one of these. :/
     
    idjster and Fretting out like this.
  2. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    979
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2015
    Location:
    UK and EU
    When I was starting on this guitar journey at the end of the 60's an SJ200 was my dream. I'd never wanted anything so much. Only one reason:
    download.jpeg.jpg

    Selmer's, the music shop in Charing Cross Rd, had one in a glass case for a while and I used to visit it. It cost about a year's student grant. Never touched one.
    Still haven't. The feeling gradually faded to a fond memory. I discovered Telecasters and all's been well since. But this was the only record I kept when I sold all my vinyl.(Idiot!)

    Good luck with your dream Stax1!
     
    Fretting out, idjster and Deeve like this.
  3. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    564
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Location:
    Spring TX
    GAS is a biotch!
     
  4. Stax1

    Stax1 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Location:
    Over here
    It is a classic case of GAS!
    I have 2 tele's and have considered parting with 1 of them, but I'm not sure I wanna do that.. I think I'll part with some other gear first.

    BUT - before I commit to releasing any of my cherished toys back into the wild I will go and play some of these guitars.

    A while ago I tried a Gibson EJ-160 in a local store. it was used and had a reasonable price attached to it but I wasn't in the market for another acoustic then. Felt amazing to play - was beautifully balanced to hold, and it was like the entire thing was resonating. Just a very well made guitar.
     
    chezdeluxe likes this.
  5. chezdeluxe

    chezdeluxe Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    69
    Posts:
    9,422
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    My 2001 SJ200 is my best sounding acoustic and I’ve got a lot including Martin,Maton and Guild as well as custom made by Brian Morris.
     
    telestratosonic and TigerG like this.
  6. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    1,828
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    There’s an sj-100 (I think it’s called that) which has the same dimensions it just has less trimmings that’s cheaper if you’re not set on having nice inlays and such

    I feel your pain I’ve never liked the look of dreadnoughts but absolutely love! SJ jumbo styles and OOO orchestra model style guitars
    I had a jumbo takamine (basically a SJ200 with a cutaway) that to this day I regret selling

    I wish you luck with your jumbo gas
     
    TigerG likes this.
  7. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    4,337
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Anderson, IN
    The SJ200 is a great looking guitar, but for my money the slope shouldered J45 and others of that ilk sound WAY better (and louder, too!).
     
    nocastermike likes this.
  8. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    69,932
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    They look so cool!
     
    57fenderstrat likes this.
  9. Slip Kid

    Slip Kid Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    402
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Connecticut
    8AFF35A0-7822-4A4E-8040-C0C6FC6D40DB.jpeg I have a ‘98, which Gibson was calling the “‘50’s Super Jumbo 200” at the time. It was the most I ever spent on a new guitar ($2,100). I definitely can’t afford a new one now and feel lucky to have it.

    My wife loves it’s sound, comments on it often (did so this week) and has forbidden me to ever sell it. It doesn’t sound as loud as it looks it should, if that makes any sense. There is a noticeable difference in how it sounds standing in front of it compared to holding and playing it. Others have mentioned this, including an employee of the store I bought it from (we actually took turns standing in front of it while the other played it). Occasionally, when no one is home, I’ll play it hard (Townshend style) facing a corner at the top of the stair landing in my house to really hear it shine.

    The jumbo body can feel a bit uncomfortable at times. Mine ended up with some finish checking a few years into owning it. I wasn’t very aggressive with the humidifier early on and that big top needs it. The neck profile on mine sometimes feels uncomfortable. Some chord shapes are tougher for me to pull off, especially if I’m trying to finger pick or arpeggiate it. I’ve concluded that I need to adjust my playing style to accommodate the guitar (i.e. wrapping my fretting hand thumb over the fingerboard, something I normally wouldn’t do). I think a lot of it comes down to that I am more comfortable with a rounder neck profile and radius and a smaller neck width. Oddly, some days I have no issues playing it and some days I feel like I’m fighting it. Personally, I think I excel more on it using it for strumming/rhythm applications as opposed to finger style.

    The change in seasons always affects it too. A local luthier made me a winter and summer saddle that I change out. It usually helps with buzzing but right now my J200 needs some expert help to get it playing smoother. I think the humidity level has a impact on its tone but not in a bad way. It will just stand out more (I’ve also noticed this on my teacher’s vintage D’Angelico).

    I don’t mean to make all this sound like I don’t like it. I really do love how it sounds, feel lucky to own one and would more than likely regret selling it. However, I could see me getting a different body style and wood construction acoustic one day that would lend itself to different styles. I would encourage you to try one out if you can.
     
    57fenderstrat, TigerG, NewKid and 2 others like this.
  10. telestratosonic

    telestratosonic Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    1,968
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2011
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    The Bob Dylan model SJ-200 is $5925.00 CAD right now at Long & McQuade. The SJ-200 Deluxe is $7199.00 CAD. Add 5% tax to that. Nice but out of my league at 70. I'm happy with my J45 though.
     
  11. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    42
    Posts:
    458
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2019
    Location:
    Springtown
    Gibson acoustics in general are such nice guitars to have. I bought a j15 a few years ago on sale for 1500. That's my limit sort of. Love it.

    Lucky to have a d28 as well for rosewood dreadnaught power. But there is something about the gibby.. that fullness and thump.
     
    telestratosonic likes this.
  12. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,244
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    IMG_20180427_173154.jpg
    I too have long held a special place in my heart for a J-200.

    I found this 1986 J-100E used and in need of a minor repair.
    It is the same materials and construction as a J-200, minus the bling.
    I am well satisfied.
     
  13. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    5,058
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    I made it a point, in my instrument buying days, not to touch a guitar I wasn't really seriously interested in buying and taking home if it turned out to suit me - whatever I was using as a criteria - cost, sound , look & feel, general allure... I found that if I played it and really liked it then it was just too easy to rationalize a purchase no matter what. I've missed trying a lot of great guitars, but I don't own any of them so it has worked out well. No use feeding the GAS. I have enough guitars. Oldtimers on the forum will remember when I was buying and selling guitars at breakneck speed. Now I have what I want and haven't bought anything other than strings in a long time. It's worked for me.

    But dreams are good, so good luck!
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  14. Stax1

    Stax1 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Location:
    Over here
    I'd certainly consider the J-100 - though I've not seen many here in Australia.. 985plowboy, yours looks great, the burst is not overly contrasting, has an autumn burst vibe to it!

    I've read a lot about them not being so loud (Slip Kid makes a good point about it not sounding as big as it looks) - in your opinion, how is it that the slope shoulders sound better?



    I'm not a mega Dylan fan or anything, but I'd certainly consider the Bob Dylan model. I'm sure someone will be importing them soon enough.

    Anyone played/owned a J-185 - or the smaller bodied jumbos? I'd imagine they sound a little more boxy in comparison..

    I'm planning to try a few 200's out as they come available here in Sydney, we'll see if the GAS starts to get real soon enough :)
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  15. Stax1

    Stax1 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Location:
    Over here
    And Slip Kid, your 200 looks beautiful! When you own an instrument you get more familiar with its limitations around your playing styles. Nothing wrong with changing things up a little to pull some sweeter sounds out of them, but I tend to play with the thumb wrapped over anyway. :)

    Also, I see you're in CT - we have some family in Old Saybrook, beautiful part of the world! Thankfully here in Sydney Australia we don't get the wild humidity fluctuations that you guys do. No snow here, just bush fires (at the moment anyway).
     
    Slip Kid likes this.
  16. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,847
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Newly Indiana
    I have the J185 and like it. It's got a nice, full sound , a little bright, but can get big if you hit it hard. Really perfect for leading large group worship at church (sorry Taylor). I think the maple bodies don't sound as Gibsony as a J45 or CW (nicest guitar I ever played was a 63? CW) but I'd dearly love to have a J200. AND that 63.
     
  17. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    750
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Great SJ-200 clip:

     
  18. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    1,828
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary

    Ohh! No! Mr. Bill.......!
     
    Slip Kid likes this.
  19. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    6,837
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    London
    I would strongly suggest playing one and having someone play it while you listen. All the ones I’ve tried have been quieter than their size would suggest. Perhaps why their nickname is “the whispering giant.”

    On the other hand, you might give a J-45 a shot. My 1950 is loud. Much louder than the J200s I’ve tried.
     
    NewKid likes this.
  20. Stax1

    Stax1 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    69
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Location:
    Over here
    I played a new J45, J15, and a Hummingbrid in a local store recently. All were nice to play but none of them sceamed 'buy me now'... The HB was the standout. Sadly they didn't have any jumbos..
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.