1966 Gibson J-200N
The “King of the Flat Tops” made its first appearance in 1937 initially called the Super Jumbo, changing early to the Super Jumbo 200. The retail price was $200 with very few examples shipped, the ledgers show that only 25 left the factory in 1938. Early pre-war examples in good, original condition will fetch the $100,000 mark. Production of the Super Jumbo 200 ceased during the Second World War as Gibson scaled down manufacture and upon its re-release in 1947 the specification had changed mainly to the back and sides changing from Indian Rosewood to figured Maple with Natural finish becoming an option in 1948 Constantly evolving the 1950’s would see the SJ-200 body depth increase to 4 7/8” in 1952 and in 1955 the model name was shortened to J-200. in 1961 the J-200 would receive a gold Tune-o-matic adjustable bridge with a newly designed ‘closed’ moustache bridge and 1963 would see the introduction of a five piece laminated neck.
This fantastic example dates from 1966 and is one of only 21 Natural J-200 to be shipped that year and I think you would be hard pressed to find a better example.
As befits a range topping instrument, the J-200 features superior materials, level of finishing and is beautifully appointed.
The Sitka spruce soundboard is from the best stock available and is straight and tight grained, the Maple back and sides are highly figured as is the wood selected for the five piece maple neck. The bound ‘ stinger’ headstock features a pearl inlayed Gibson Logo and Crown inlay. Tuners are gold plated Kluson Wafflebacks. The bound rosewood fingerboard is inlayed with Pearl Crest position markers. The Pearl inlayed Rosewood bridge has a gold ABR-1 with nylon saddles.
The finish is in remarkable condition having aged to a delightful shade of honey blonde. The 1 9/16” nut width is comfortable in combination with the slightly fuller neck profile.
The guitar sounds excellent, a great singer- strummer but also sweet when fingerpicked or flat picked. There is good reason why the J-200 has been used by artists such as Elvis, Bob Dylan, Emmy Lou Harris, Tom Petty and even the original singing cowboy Rat Whitley in musical styles from western to blues to folk to rock to country.
The guitar comes with it’s original Yellow lined Faultless Case in equally good condition.