Gibson J200 Guitar

1960 Gibson J200

1960 Gibson J200

The Gibson J200, also known as the Super Jumbo 200 is an acoustic guitar produced by the Gibson Guitar Company.  It’s considered the best acoustic model by Gibson by many guitarists, and was the guitar of choice for many famous musicians, such as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon.

The model first began production in 1937, and was the top of the line flat top guitar model for the company.  Originally, the guitar was named the Super Jumbo, but in 1939, its name was changed to the Super Jumbo 200.  Its name comes from the guitar’s super large flat top body.  The name underwent another change in 1955, when it became the J200.  Because demand was low after the Depression and during the war, there were a limited number of guitars made.  According to many records, just before the second world war, Gibson only made and shipped out 100 individual guitars in this model.  Amongst collectors, early models made specifically from rosewood are highly prized.

Presently, Gibson makes a variety of variations of the J200, ranging from the J200 Studio to the J200 Custom.  The J200 Custom features rosewood back and sides, just like the original J200.  In addition, Gibson released several vintage guitars, which are modeled after the J200 from various times throughout its production, as well as limited run models, such as the J200 Koa and the J200 Trophy.

There are many times that the J200 has been an important part of musical history.  For example:

  • The guitar is featured on the album cover of Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline. He was given the J200 by George Harrison of The Beatles.
  • George Harrison was a big fan of the J200 and played his Gibson J200 in many Beatles hits. He also used his guitar when he recorded songs for his solo debut.  There’s a lot of debate regarding whether or not this is the same guitar he gave to Bob Dylan and was given back.
  • Pete Townshend’s favorite J200 exploded. He explained that somehow the guitar got wet in the studio and “got its revenge on him.”  He called this guitar the one instrument he would actually miss.
  • Townshend and Gibson collaborated to make his own signature model.