The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Gibson SJ-200 Steel String Guitar Sunburst, 1954


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The Gibson SJ-200 has been in continuous production since 1938, with a hiatus during the WW2 years 1944 to 1946. Renamed the J-200 in 1955, it is one of Gibson’s most recognisable and popular designs. It appears on many recordings and stages. Though it’s often associated with Country and Western, it is the acoustic used on both The Who’s Pinball Wizard and all the acoustic parts on the first Led Zeppelin album.

This is a 1954 S-200, one of the last made before the model’s name shortened in 1955. It shows a number of characteristics peculiar to that era – the serial number of course, the SJ-200 written on the label, 4.75 inch body depth using solid Maple, and the use of Kluson ‘No Line’ tuners with the second post hole on the inside edge of the gear case. Those specific tuners were used only between 1953 and mid-1956.

The SJ-200 uses a Spruce top with solid flame Maple for the back, sides and neck. In 1955, Gibson began using laminated Maple for the back and sides on the J-200. The fingerboard and bridge are Rosewood (at this time often meaning Brazilian Rosewood), with Mother of Pearl for the position markers, Gibson headstock logo, and bridge inserts. The ‘Moustache’ bridge appears to be Indian Rosewood, but the fingerboard is very likely Brazilian. Of course there is the classic hand-painted and fairly heavy pickguard.

This Gibson SJ-200 was built during 1954 in the Gibson shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is in good playing condition, and it has had some work done over the years. A headstock crack was professionally repaired long ago and oversprayed, with very good results. At one time electronics were installed involving a volume control mounted to the top, and this was removed, patched, and the top re-shaded and oversprayed. It has been refretted, with some finger wear on the fingerboard filled. It plays well, and has that classic sound, loud, bright and clear with lots of presence. The original brown hard shell case is included.

Price: $7999.99 CAD
  • Model: SJ-200
  • Year: 1954
  • Finish Sunburst
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: A18088
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 20/02/2018

  • Consignment Item

  • Required CITIES documentation
  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 4.75lbs 2.16kg
  • Scale Length: 641mm 25.25in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.692in
Gibson Website

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