When this model was introduced in 1938, it was known as the Super Jumbo (SJ-200) and it featured rosewood back and sides (only approx 100 made). In 1939, this model was renamed the Super Jumbo 200. In 1947, it was renamed in the company catalogues to the J-200.
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. It is widely referred to as “The King Of The Flat Tops”.
The model has a long history but through the decades it has maintained intact its main features. 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, and the flower-trimmed plastic pickguard. It is a true classic in both look and sound - a powerful voice with clear highs and mids, with a particularly enhanced bottom end thanks to the huge rounded body.
All these features have made of the J-200 the instrument of choice for a wide range of performers, from finger-picking legend Rev Gary Davis to Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan.
This lovely 1965 J 200 was purchased only last year from a reputed USA dealer, who recorded a great video demo of this actual guitar which can be accessed here - https://youtu.be/tHLGXNIUrWI
Top Material: Spruce Top
Body Details: Maple back and sides
Neck Material: Maple Neck
Fingerboard Material: Brazilian Rosewood
Neck Profile: Medium C
Neck Thickness: 1st- .81" 10th- .96"
Fingerboard Radius: 12.0”
Nut Width: 1-11/16”
Neck Details: Three piece maple neck with walnut stripes, bound Brazilian rosewood board and crown inlays.
Hardware: Original hardware except for replaced bridge and saddle.
Weight: 5.2 lbs
Being a 1965 build, this guitar originally had a Tune-o-Matic bridge saddle, but that transgression has been cleverly corrected, and in fact the entire bridge has been replaced by the earlier-style “open mustache” type, with solid saddle. And the large suspension brace usually present inside these guitars has been removed. These changes are very likely contributing factors to the enormous volume and tone of this guitar – it sounds huge.
This one appears to have no cracks or repairs anywhere that we can see – it is remarkably sound. The original sunburst finish is glossy with light checking and minor dents and scratches, but overall has very light player wear for its age. It has had a nut replacement and excellent pro refret some time ago and the frets are in great shape.
It has a quality pickup installed which we think is a quality K&K unit. This has the regular output socket housed within the strap pin. A previous pickup must have had a socket installed on the side at the lower bout, but the socket hole has since been professionally filled and finished.
The original waffle back tuners look great and work perfectly.
The guitar plays well with a medium action. A neck reset may benefit its overall performance in the years to come, but it plays just fine as it is right now. Most importantly, it has a big, bold sound - rich and thick in the lower midrange in particular, and brimming with a harmonic complexity not often found in a big body guitar.
This is a fabulous vintage classic which offers all the characteristic beauty and sonic performance you expect from a Gibson J-200 – it’s a big guitar with sound to match.
Comes in a later Gibson Historic hard case in excellent condition.