This week I like to spotlight the J-200, perhaps the most recognizable acoustic guitar in the world today. Although its roots are firmly implanted in the country/western music genre, it has traveled through many different music styles from a wide range of different eras. Played by thousands of musicians from Gene Autry, to Emmylou Harris, to Pete Townsend, the J-200 Standard hasn't only stood the test of time, it has flourished like no other acoustic guitar in the history of mankind.
The J-200's origins started officially in the year 1937, when the legendary singing cowboy, Ray Whitley, wanted a deeper sounding guitar and one that screamed "fancy." Guy Hart, along with the design team at Gibson Guitars at the time, created not only a fancy flat-top, but THE fancy flat-top. With its distinctive moustache bridge, it's large, ornate faux tortoise shell pick guard, and its crown fret board inlays, this guitar is as noticeable today as it was revolutionary in 1938, when the first production SJ-200's hit the buying public.
Today's version of that historic model carries with it most of the same attributes as the original '38 model. The modern day J-200 Standard utilizes our AAA grade Sitka spruce top with its hand scalloped x-brace bracing pattern, our premium Indian rosewood for the fret board and bridge, and our gorgeous figured maple for the neck, sides, and back. The use of authentic mother-of-pearl inlays on the guitar as well as the inlaid pick guard with its flowers and vines motif brings you back to a time when a cowboy only needed his faithful horse by his side, his shiny six-shooter in his holster, and his beloved guitar in his arms serenading his sweetheart at the end of the day.
Go to your local authorized Gibson acoustic guitar dealer and try one on for size. If the attention to detail and the unique stylings of the J-200 Standard doesn't grab you automatically, then the booming sound that can only come from a guitar of this magnitude will definitely do the trick. Your eyes and your ears will appreciate it.
Jason Jones, luthier for Gibson Acoustics
This is Dennis Notarius buffing a J-200 this morning.