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1953 Gibson SJ-200

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SN#: A-13293

Body size at lower bout: 17" Scale length: 25 1/2" Nut width: 1 11/16" Body depth: 4 7/8"

Materials: Bookmatched quartersawn X-braced solid spruce top; tiger flame maple back and sides and neck; solid Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and bridge; mother of pearl fingerboard inlays; 7-ply top binding, 5-ply back binding, bound fingerboard and headstock.

Hardware: Original hardware includes gold Kluson Deluxe single ring, no-line tuners with keystone keys; adjustable truss rod. Gibson tortoise pickguard with flower motif.

Notes: Introduced in 1937, the Super Jumbo 200 was Gibson's top-of-the line flat top guitar. It's massive 17" body was the same width as the flagship L-5 archtop, and at almost 5" in depth, the SJ-200 was larger and more ornate than virtually any flat top of its day. Signature features included the engraved floral pickguard, 'moustache' bridge design, and 'thistle' fingerboard inlays, all unique to this upscale model. By 1947 the SJ-200 was constructed with solid maple back, sides and neck, and the natural finish option made its debut the following year. Favored by performers from Gene Autry to Elvis Presley and Emmy Lou Harris, the J-200 remains at the pinnacle of Gibson flat tops to this day.

This stunning example from 1953 has it all: the vibrant tiger flame body, astoundingly fine grain top, superb original condition, and a voice to die for. The instrument has been particularly well cared for, with blonde finish aged to a deep amber, without pick, buckle, thumb or fingerboard wear, and only very light scattered checking. Several hairline pickguard-shrinkage cracks have been soundly resealed, one at the very point of the guard, and a tiny pair on the inside edge. Apart from a few old finish nicks on the back of the neck, the instrument is otherwise uncannily pristine. The pickguard is a nice older Gibson guard, professionally installed sometime after 1955. The soundboard of this instrument is crafted of unusually fine grained spruce, up to 40-50 grains per inch at the centerseam (one really big tree.) Even the original brown Lifton 'California Girl' case is in gorgeous shape.

Astoundingly, this guitar weighs in at a mere 4 lb. 12 oz, by far the lightest super jumbo we have ever seen. And the voice is accordingly phenomenal: huge and open, with deeply resonant bass response and sustain, clearly balanced up to the highest register, and loud as a baby grand. The body is very well balanced, and has a very comfy gentle D neck profile, with smooth low action over fine original frets. If the often overbuilt J-200's of recent years have left you somewhat underwhelmed, this feather-light wonder will show you, once and for all, what all the fuss is really about. Call now.

Setup: This instrument is strung with medium gauge bronze strings (.013-.056). The guitar will accommodate lighter or heavier gauge strings, according to preference. String action is set at 5/64" to 6/64" at the 12th fret, with moderate relief for acoustic playing with medium strings.

Case: Original brown Gibson case with pink plush lining.




























































































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