Gibson J-200: Exploring The Legend

Published on 29 January 2013

When the Gibson J-200 was introduced to the world in 1938, few realised the dramatic effect it would have on the music of the 20th Century. As the world's first super jumbo, it was a groundbreaking instrument from day one but that was only the first achievement of history's most beloved acoustic guitar. The J-200 was first popular among Hollywood stars with its distinctive looks and big body style. Over the years it became the go-to acoustic guitar for some of music's biggest names -

Notable Gibson J-200 Players
  • Gene Autry
  • Bob Dylan
  • Jimmy Page
  • Emmylou Harris
  • George Harrison
  • Rolling Stones
  • Kid Rock
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Elvis Presley
  • Pete Townsend
  • U2
  • Coldplay
Songs & Albums Recorded on a Gibson J-200
  • Pinball Wizard
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • Lucky Man
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Tommy
  • The White Album
  • Nashville Skyline
  • Monsters of Folk
So what makes the Gibson J-200 such a popular guitar? The answer lies in its distinctive tone, a sound unmatched by its competitors. The J-200 is great for "full chord" music due to its exceptionally wide range of musical expression. The J-200's deeper low end, slight dip in the mids and crisp, sharp highs has lead to it being known as the "no extra EQ needed acoustic" by sound engineers the world over. The extra large super jumbo body also provides a big, expressive sound that has yet to be matched by another guitar. Today, the Gibson J-200 comes in three main variants, which you can read about below.

The J-200 Models

Gibson J-200 Studio
Gibson’s J-200 Studio proudly maintains the tradition and excellence of Gibson Acoustic’s Super Jumbo line, offering a remarkable combination of features that deliver all the sweet tone, clarity and presence expected from a Super Jumbo. The simple elegance of the J-200 Studio is evident in every detail, including its premium Sitka spruce top and attractive maple back and sides, releasing a rich, full, and balanced high end and grand projection.
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  • Maple Back & Sides
  • Clear Crisp Tone
  • Good Projection
  • Brighter Quality
  • Cutting Power

Gibson J-200 Standard
From its inaugural appearance in 1937, Gibson’s J-200 set a standard others have been trying to match ever since. Today—nearly 71 years later—the legacy of Gibson’s “King of the Flat-tops” lives on in the new J-200 Standard. Upon its introduction in the late 1930s, the J-200 immediately filled a need for a deeper, more balanced and powerful sound. It gave purveyors of the new American music scene of the 1930s a reliable, well-built instrument, capable of projecting the sound of the guitar well beyond that of any other acoustic on the market—a fact that still holds true today.
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  • Maple Back & Sides
  • Clear Crisp Tone
  • Good Projection
  • Brighter Quality
  • Cutting Power

Gibson J-200 Custom
The Gibson J-200 Custom is the ultimate in visual beauty and tonal quality—the absolute finest of Gibson’s storied Super Jumbo acoustic guitars. This custom “King of the Flat Tops” takes Gibson Acoustics to another dimension, yet stays true to the time-tested excellence of the legendary J-200.
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  • Rosewood Back & Sides
  • Warmer Lows and Mids
  • Wider Bottom End