Our recent story on Chris Isaak got me thinking about the Gibson J-200. There is something just so classic about that guitar. It sounds like a guitar you have seen and enjoyed listening to many times before. There is also something about its unique shape and ornamentation that makes it seem great for folk, rock and country. We’re also struck by how many of our favorite artists turn to this guitar when playing acoustic.
The guitar was originally produced in 1938 and was Gibson’s top of the line flat top guitar. It remains one of Gibson’s top acoustic models. The current version is marketed as the SJ-200 Modern Classic. It is a modern classic. It has a sitka spruce top with maple back and sides (meaning that the guitar isn’t light but sure smells sweet).
The guitar’s mustache bridge and tortoise pickguard are just two of
the features that make the guitar distinctive. What makes it most
distinctive is its unique sound – making it sound especially good when
strummed. The guitar is available in a natural finish and a “vintage”
sunburst color (which is the color originally used in 1938). Its unique
shape allows it to sit awfully comfortably on your knee.
The following are just some of our favorite artists that play (or have played) this beauty:
In fact, Elvis Presley can be seen playing his natural-finish J-200 in the movie G.I. Blues.
The J-200 falls in a special category of guitars that includes the Martin D-28 and Gibson Les Paul. These are all-time classic guitars that stand the test of time (70 years and counting for the J-200). Now, it would be great if they could start paying us here at Fretbase so we could afford one.
Have you played this guitar? Please let us know how you liked it in the comments.