Gold Grover Imperial Tuners
Grover’s Imperial tuners are from the company’s vintage line, making their first appearance in the early 1970s. Today’s Imperials are exact reproductions of the original, including their unique three-step buttons, a design trademarked by Grover. Using today’s technology, the Imperials deliver the performance exactly suited for the J-200 Custom. With a gear ratio of 16:1, the Imperials deliver tuning in a durable housing that provides maximum protection for the gear and string post. All moving parts are cut for exact meshing, eliminating the possibility of slippage. A special lubricant inside the gear box provides smooth and accurate tuning stability.
Crown Peghead Logo
Gibson put the first crown peghead logo on an ES-300 back in 1940, and it has graced the headstocks of many legendary Gibson guitars ever since, including today’s J-200 Custom.
A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most beautiful elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking ornamentations. The rosette on the J-200 Custom is one of Gibson’s finest. It is a double-ring rosette with an abalone-filled middle. The main ring consists of seven-ply binding, and the second ring is three-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to the J-200 Custom.
Rosewood Fingerboard with Rolled Edges and Graduated Crown Inlays
The fingerboard of Gibson’s J-200 Custom is constructed from rosewood. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, giving each single note and chord unparalleled bite and clarity. The J-200 Custom’s split parallelogram inlays are made of genuine mother-of-pearl, and are placed into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers. The fingerboard also features a beveled edge for an extremely smooth and comfortable feel, enhancing the playability of the J-200 Custom.
Fishman Ellipse Aura Electronics Package
Gibson’s J-200 Custom comes equipped with a built-in Fishman Ellipse Aura electronics package, which combines Fishman’s most sophisticated onboard preamp design with the power of the popular Aura Acoustic Imaging Technology. The result is an acoustic sound that is exceptionally accurate and true. Already loaded onto the system are four images that best match the instrument’s natural tonal characteristics. You can make adjustments to any of them using the system’s Pickup/Image Blend or Volume controls, or use the switchable Natural I and Natural II low frequencies for tone shaping. You can also control feedback with the Phase switch and automatic Anti-Feedback device control. The pickup’s ergonomic soundhole-mounted design puts slider controls at your fingertips so you can maintain a natural playing position at all times. The Fishman Ellipse Aura is used by such noted musicians as Brad Paisley, Pete Townshend and Travis Tritt.
Every acoustic guitar made by Gibson features scalloped, radiused top bracing inside the body. Scalloping each brace allows the acoustics to be focused more toward the center of the body, enhancing the instrument’s sound projection. The lightweight bracing pattern inside the J-200 Custom—the same pattern used in Gibson’s first Super Jumbo in 1937—is constructed to support and strengthen a very large surface, thus allowing the top more freedom of movement to vibrate and project sound. The placement of the braces inside the J-200 Custom also creates powerful, deep lows with full frequency range, producing the incredibly balanced, huge sound for which Gibson’s Super Jumbos are famous.
The Gibson name has graced the most innovative and revolutionary acoustic guitars of our time—the Super Jumbos, the J-45, the Hummingbird, the Dove. There is no mistaking the classic, mother-of-pearl logo, pressed onto the face of the headstock. It represents more than a century of originality and excellence. There is simply no equal.
- Gibson Logo
Tapered Dovetail Neck Joint
The dovetail neck joint is one of the oldest—and best—ways of securely joining the neck to the body of a guitar. It is also a complex and expensive neck joint to build, but the result is a tight, locking connection that supports the neck at the proper neck-pitch angle, allowing the body and neck to become one solid piece of resonating wood, with no metal to impede vibration. This process is done entirely by hand, requiring patience and skill.
- Tapered Dovetail Neck Joint
The top of many “flat-top” guitars are under a lot of stress from the pull of the strings, which can eventually compromise the top. So, while most acoustic guitars are true “flat-top” guitars, all of the acoustics produced by Gibson in Bozeman, Montana have a radiused, or “tuned” top. Instead of being perfectly flat, a radiused or “tuned” top is raised slightly, and a special instrument is used to shape the top braces to the radius of the top. This process adds tension and strengthens the top, creating a less stressful joint where the top meets the sides and reducing the stresses of string pull. It also results in a “speaker cone” effect that maximizes sound projection, adding a significant boost to mid-range levels for a more balanced acoustic tone.
- Radius Top
Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson acoustic guitar — including the J-200 Custom — is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. Unlike the polyurethane finishes used by many guitar manufacturers, a nitrocellulose lacquer finish is porous when cured, allowing the wood to naturally “breathe” and mature. Microscopically thin, the finish on a Gibson acoustic guitar first requires seven main coats of nitrocellulose lacquer. After drying overnight, the initial seven coats are then level sanded and given two additional coats. Left to dry for five additional days, the finish is then wet sanded and buffed to its final glass-like sheen. The time-consuming nature of applying a nitro finish has been employed ever since the first Gibson guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. It’s also a softer finish, making it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can’t do the same on a poly finish.
- Nitrocellulose Finish
In general, a guitar’s binding serves as a cosmetic feature, adding a subtle elegance to any Gibson acoustic while hiding the joints between the top, back, and sides, and helping to protect the guitar’s body from any nicks or dings. But to see the process of putting the binding on a Gibson acoustic is to really appreciate the effort and attention put into each instrument. After the body has been glued together, the excess from the top and back are trimmed off and a groove is cut for the binding. The binding is then glued on and held on to the body using tape, and hung to dry. When the tape comes off, any excess glue is removed and the body is moved into the next phase of production. It has been done the same way for over 100 years, and is a fundamental part of Gibson Acoustic’s rich guitar-making history.
- Body Binding