7/19/2013

c.1996 Gibson J-200 Jumbo Guitar


This J-200 was custom-built for my buddy Rick Redington at the Bozeman factory. It's a fairly standard J-200 from the outside, but on the inside the bracing has been professionally scalloped which gives this guitar a giant and articulate voice that I expect more from a 30s or 40s instrument.

It was in the shop for a fret level/dress, setup, and a replacement pickup system. This had a fancy Fishman system in it with blender, undersaddle transducer, soundhole mic, active EQ and volume controls. Over time I've managed to get Rick hooked on the simplicity and transparency of K&K pickups and so that whole mess was taken out and a K&K 3-sensor ("Pure Mini") was installed instead. No batteries, no fuss, good sound, and good output. That's what I like about K&Ks.


The natural finish on this guitar has matured a bit to a sweet honey color. Check out the "dark patches" near the arm-resting position on the lower bout and also on the rear of the waist. That's what a lot of play will get ya!


I'm not normally a fan of gold hardware, but the gold Grover Imperials on this guy sure do look great. The copper "guitar lotus" truss cover is a neat add-on, too.


Nice pearl inlay in the rosewood board.


The stenciled pickguard's image has mostly worn off in the picking area, but the inlaid pearl dots still look as good as new!


Surprisingly, the moustache wings on this bridge are not unglued at all (they usually are on J-200s). I had to install a new bone saddle as the original was much too short after removal of the undersaddle pickup. This one has a compensated slot for the B-string which has improved intonation a bit.


Here's the "Rick spot," on this particular guitar.


The solid flamed maple used throughout the back and sides on this guitar is outrageous.



See the lovely two-piece maple neck? The profile on it feels a lot like a late 40s Gibson mixed with some sort of 60s Guild compared to the usual thin and fast modern Gibson necks I'm used to from most customer repairs. This is welcome to me -- it feels great in the hands.



There are those Imperials!


See the funky strap button? I used the oversize button here and the bolt and washer above it to plug up a couple holes from the original EQ and volume unit that was installed here. The reverse of this side had been reinforced to accept the controls so it's not a big deal to hang a strap from here.



I reused the original gold pickup strap button cover to keep the hardware matching.

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