1938 Gibson SJ-200 Pre-war Rosewood “Holy Grail” Acoustic Guitar J-200

Aug 18, 2019

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Here it is, the “holy grail” of Gibson acoustics: a 1938 Gibson SJ-200!

The SJ-200 began its production run in 1938, making this the earliest model year for production SJ-200s. This is as cool as it gets!

The pre-war SJ-200 is the most desirable Gibson acoustic model in existence. There are fewer than 100 of them.

This guitar features rare rosewood back and sides, which is a part of what makes the pre-war SJ-200 so desirable. When production resumed after WWII, the SJ-200 model featured maple back and sides.

This guitar also features an ebony fretboard. Post-war SJ-200s utilized rosewood fretboards.

This is among the finest-sounding vintage instruments you’ll ever hear! Tremendous bass response and volume. A perfect example of what a vintage guitar should sound like.

The top of this guitar has been refinished expertly. It retains the finish checking that makes vintage guitars so cool. The back and sides appear to have their original finish, with a few small touch-up spots near the neck from when the neck was reset.

There are a few very small back cracks (no large cracks) which are repaired and tight. The top has one long crack and a few small cracks. Everything is tight and expertly cleated where needed, and nothing unseemly.

The pickguard was replaced at the Gibson factory in the 1950’s (as many of them were). The bridge has been replaced, though the original pearl inlays and original individual saddles have been retained and are used in the new bridge!

Overall this is an excellent example of a pre-war SJ-200.

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