GIBSON J-200, 1961
100% Original, Sunburst. An amazing and powerful-sounding acoustic guitar, the J-200 was - and still is - the largest among Gibson's flat tops with its 17" of width measured across the lower bout. The model has a long history which dates back to the '30s of the past century, but through the decades has maintained intact its main features. After switching from rosewood to maple in the early post-war years, the J-200 has always been easily identifiable by the wide maple body, the flashy western look, the rich pearl inlays, the moustache (or buffalo-horn) bridge, the flower-trimmed plastic pickguard. A real calssic, both in look and sound: a powerful voice with clear highs and mids, which especially enhances the low frequencies thanks to the huge and round body. All these features have made of the J-200 the instrument of choice for a very wide range of performers, from finger-picking legend Rev. Gary Davis to Elvis Presley - just ot give you an idea.
The instrument you see here was made in a very special year: 1961 marks a turning point in the history of th model, the last of the "good years". Shortly after this guitar was made, Gibson introduced two modifications which brought a highly negative impact on the guitar's sound: the additional top brace and the metal tune-o-matic saddle. These two "improvements" resulted in a heavier and less-responsive guitar, which simply did not sound nearly as good as the original. This guitar, however, does not feature any of these later specs and offers all the classic beauty and sound you expect from a Gibson's golden era J-200.
Flamed-maple back, sides and neck, x-braced spruce top, rosewood bridge and fingerboard. The guitar is in more than excellent conditions with a straight neck and a great action. Frets are a bit worn but they still do their job pretty well and playability is excellent. It shows light traces of playing wear, with a few dings on the top and a heavier mark on the rim, next to the neck-heel: it looks like a crack but it's only on the outside and does not go through the wood, as you can see looking through the sound-hole. There is an added strap-button on the neck-heel. The tuners are the original and perfectly working gold-plated Grover Roto-Matics. On the back of the headstock, right above the serial number, there is a little "2" stamp that denotes there originally was some imperfection in the guitar's finish. Whatever it was, it can't be detected anymore and the sunburst finish looks as beautiful as it can be and enhances the beauty of the woods.
This J-200, unlike later models (especially those from the '70s) is very light and has an exceptionally warm, powerful and defined voice, and sounds in tune all along the fretboard. It comes with its original Lifton hardshell case, "built like a fortress", as the label tells, which has actually protected this guitar for the last 50 years. An exceptional instrument we are very proud of.