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June 2017 Giveaway

Epiphone AJ-220S - Vintage Sunburst Reviews

5.0 stars based on 27 customer reviews
Questions about the Epiphone AJ-220S - Vintage Sunburst?

Questions about the Epiphone AJ-220S - Vintage Sunburst?

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  • from California May 31, 2017Music Background:
    Best guitarist on the planet (when nobody is watching)

    Well worth it

    I picked this guitar for my uncle. He's rough on his stuff, so I got him this one because I knew it would be nice and inexpensive too. His last guitar got left outside on a rainy night. I had to check it out before giving it to him. I am thoroughly impressed with this guitar. I tuned it up and this thing easily hangs with my much more expensive guitars. He plays on the hard side, and this thing sounds great played soft and when beating on it too. Now I want one for myself. This truly is a nice acoustic. My uncle loves it. Its funny seeing this guy baby it. I've never seen him take such gentle care of anything. Haha! I would recommend this guitar to anyone that doesn't have a ton of money to spend and also to anybody that does have money to spend. It seems like Epiphone would sell themselves short putting out such a nice guitar for such a low price.

  • from s. carolina November 4, 2016Music Background:

    High end guitar for a low end price.

    Great guitar for the price and i don't think you will find a better playing or sounding acoustic guitar in this price range that will equal this one in quality. by no means am i a guitar expert but have been playing a while & have played many others that just don't compare to this one. mine was set up perfect right out of the box with a low action & great neck that really makes it a joy to play and easy on the fingers. sometimes guitars are a hit and miss on what you might get but i believe the reviews on this one says it all. a keeper.

  • from Klamath Falls, OR August 31, 2016Music Background:
    55 yrs on guitar

    Excellence at an affordable price

    I recently purchased this guitar after playing it locally because I was looking for something that possessed both sound quality and great looks at an affordable price. Epiphone certainly delivered with this amazing guitar. I was impressed with everything that this guitar has to offer, what other manufacturer can deliver the awesome qualities found in this AJ at this price point? A solid Sitka spruce top and a fast neck that plays like an electric coupled with sparkling sounds and fantastic eye appeal, I am BLOWN AWAY with this beautiful guitar, you can play any genre of music including blues and bluegrass,rock and country with the greatest of ease, it also delivers great jazzy tones as well. From beginner to pro and everything in between. I highly recommend this acoustic guitar.

  • from Mississippi April 24, 2016Music Background:


    This is my first real guitar and i love it. It has a bold deep sound when you play. I've been playing a couple months now and i'm getting better. I recommend this guitar to anyone that is a beginner.

  • from U.P. January 7, 2016


    This guitar was recommend from a music teacher I know. I'm a beginner at the guitar. The reviews were all good and the price was right. I ordered the sunburst and it was at my door in 26 hrs. I love it. So easy to hit chords and the sound is beautiful. I took it to my teacher friend and he started playing and he just kept saying perfect, perfect. What more can I say? Oh the sales rep. was very helpful and polite. I got a follow up call a few days later to make sure I was satisfied. That's great service.

  • from Alabama (ROLL TIDE) December 25, 2015

    AJ 220S VS

    Received Gods blessing, found mine in a pawn shop, the only acoustic in the place, not blemish on it and paid 110.00 tax included and out the door couldn't wait to fire it up absolutely perfect I'm in heaven. Such a beautiful rich sound. Merry Christmas to me and to youall out there.

  • from Kansas City September 7, 2015Music Background:
    played for over 40 years

    Great Guitar for the money

    Took a chance on this guitar after reading all the reviews. Wanted something with an old school look, in a jumbo so I took a chance. Best 199 I ever spent. Have a PRS, Washburn Godin 5th ave and a few other guitars all costing far more . But for the money this thing sings, great voice, lots of volume and after sweetwater setup played great out of the box. Looks like the $2200 Gibson for almost nothing. Plays like it should have cost much more. If it hold up I can see it sounding better with age.

  • from May 1, 2015

    Serious Advice

    Do NOT (I repeat DO NOT) pick one up to check it out unless you are ready to take it home with you. Great value for the money and sounds beautiful.

  • from The desert July 11, 2014Music Background:
    Yes, I have played for money, and I'd do it again, so don't judge me. HA!

    Just,just do it

    If you play the GUITAR buy this piece of furniture with strings attatched. Low action, beautiful bound neck, top tone wood face, clear coat that brings out the beautiful Mahogany back and sides. This Epiphone is the best bang for the buck you will find. Epiphone is creating some great products, GOOD FOR THEM, AND US ALL. BUY IT!

  • from atl,Ga July 2, 2014Music Background:
    bluegrass,country,southern rock



  • from Corinth, Miss. USA June 24, 2014Music Background:
    Semi pro entertainer

    Terrific guitar

    I had never played one of these, but it's appearance caught my eye. I ordered one in Vintage Sunburst from Sweetwater & when it came in, I was astounded by it's personal looks, it's beautiful sound & the playability. The neck is great for my small hands & it handles great! I would recommend this guitar to anyone, being a beginner or a pro. This guitar is second in command to my Epiphone EJ200.

  • from Massachusetts January 1, 2014Music Background:
    Blues explorer,

    Furry Lewis owned an epiphone similar to the AJ-220s

    I absolutely dig my jumbo! She's in sunburst. The tone and projection is so big and sweet you'd swear those notes and chords '...did not just come out from this!'. It has a warm, rich amber colored tone when played in open position using .10s. The attenuation on my guitar is a cent or two out, but the notes are so clear and crisp that you can easily tune by ear on open strings, and cheat a cent here or there. Capoed from 1st fret to 9th is very much in tune. Although not ever recommended to do to your guitar, I use .9Ga electric strings on mine. It allows me to tune up to GBDGBD, and still holds true and neat at DADF#AD.
    Oh, yeah...$199.00?....the best price paid for something I had drastically lowered my expectations for to begin with. I had no idea it had mahogany sides, back and neck, or a spruce top... Just assumed it was going to be Ash and maple with about three hours of filing the saddle, nut and adjusting the truss rod just to get it within a quarter step tuned. (I found out when I got it that it gets a reset here in the U.S. before it hits racks. I really don't know who else does this for $200.00 guitars.
    So she plays like butter. I dig playing my blues on it. I also like that the raw material composition of the AJ-220s was chosen out of tonic principality, and not cost restrictiveness. These jumbos have soul, and for 200 bucks, I feel it is the biggest bang for buck in the lo buck guitar market! I own quite a few other instruments. Some worth over $2,000, some $10.00. My ear is picky. Sometimes too picky for my wallet! But it's the most surprisingly pleasant $200.00 ever spent on a guitar. Bar none!
    If you enjoy the voice of your instrument, if your instrument is set properly, if you can connect with your instrument and feel it's vibe, you will discover more and and more things in music. The more discovery, the more intrest, the more intrest, the less your instrument will be put down. You will love to play more, because your instrument delivers the qualities that help your ear become more refined. It's truly a Win/ Win in my opinion!

  • from High Falls, NY December 21, 2013Music Background:
    performer, composer, recording engineer, studio owner, sound designer

    I really cannot beleive how good this guitar is!

    I'd read all the other reviews, but still worried that I was buying a toy or (odious expression) a 'beginner's guitar'. Still, I needed a knock-around axe to take on vacation etc. My Martins are not going to hang out on the beach.

    When I got the guitar and pulled it out, the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous translucent sunburst finish. I'd peen expecting something more 'painted on', but this is a very light, very classy finish job, and the beauty of the wood shines through.

    Then I picked it up and played it.

    After ONE STRUM, my jaw was on the floor. Crisp, but not tinny. Round and warm, but not boomy. A very balanced, harmonious and pleasant response that sounds WAY better than 200.00! I'd say this guitar is around a $600.00 instrument. It's the third Epiphone I've bought this year, and they are on fire! Is it as good as my limited edition Steve Miller model Martin concert? But that guitar was originally $1700.00. I got it for $1200.00. Does this guitar sound like one sixth of that guitar? HELL NO! If I did not own my two Martin's, I'd be happy to perform and record with this guitar. No,. I am not kidding about that! This is not some toy, or beginner's guitar. It's a perfectly fine-playing (the action's a tad higher than I like, but just a tad), fine-sounding guitar for any skill level.

    For $200.00 it is a ridiculous steal.

    Epiphone appears to have figured out how to make great guitars inexpensively. If this thing had 'Gibson' on the headstock, I bet it'd be over a grand. Don't buy brand, buy sound!

  • from Ponte Vedra FL April 6, 2013Music Background:
    Many Genres, many bands. Ive settled down to playing lead guitar in my Praise and Worship band.

    UNREAL FOR $199!

    I've been playing for 16 years and have owned every guitar under the sun. I had an old beater acoustic for "around the house" playing, that was on its last leg. I read a few reviews on this one, and pulled the trigger. I got a price match and got it for $180 out the door from Sweetwater. It was at my doorstep 2 DAYS later!. Opened the box and all I can say is WOW! The volume on this baby rocks, and it is so crisp and clean. I keep telling my wife "this thing sounds as good as my Taylor". Unreal deal for the $199, and you may be able to get it for less. This was my first purchase from Sweetwater, and it will not be my last.

  • from Texas April 4, 2013

    Epiphone AJ-220s VS

    I needed a new "porch" guitar and decided on trying an Epiphone. I was interested in a “slope shoulder” style so I pulled the trigger on an AJ-220s Vintage Sunburst. This was the only solid top in this price range with the slope style offering I could find. Too be honest I didn't expect too much for 199 bucks but what I got was pretty surprising.

    The sound is actually deep and pleasant with really good volume. The slope shoulder design does seem to project a deep lush sound. The action and strings are decent on this one which actually shocked me and it is really easy to play. The guitar’s tuning machines are performing very well so I believe they will hold up.

    I did not expect the sunburst finish to look much like the finish on a Gibson J-45. I was expecting an orangey or yellowish color but it is more of a vintage brown like what is seen on a J-45 Custom or Vintage model. Maybe the color was a factory fluke but I don’t think I am that lucky. I am sure this is the finish color used on the VS version.

    Overall I have to give Epiphone credit on this particular model. It actually is much more guitar than I expected. Kudos to Sweetwater as well. Fast shipping and the condition of the guitar when I received it was excellent.

  • from Miami Springs, Fl. January 31, 2013Music Background:

    Awesome Vintage Sunburst Acoustic Epiphone Guitar!

    I bought this guitar as a gift for boyfriend and he doesn't seem to want to put it down. He loves it! Great price for a good quality sounding instrument.
    I had been serviced by your associate Stuart Niven in the past and once again he made sure that I would receive my item intact and in a short period of time.

    I look forward to dealing with Sweetwater again in the near future for my next purchases.

  • from Plol, IL USA January 15, 2013Music Background:

    Epiphone AJ 220S

    Bought this as a 'beginner' guitar for my daughter. When she proudly showed it to me I was really surprised at how nice a guitar it really was. Beautiful coloring and finish, and the action from the factory was pretty much perfect. My friend has been playing an Epiphone 12 string for years, and it's a great guitar, so maybe ALL the Epiphones are a good investment. I play a 12 string, but if I ever make the jump to 6, I'll keep this beauty in mind. This guitar was a suggestion by one of Sweetwater's sales engineers. I've been dealing with these guys for a couple years, and I've never been let down. It's nice to know you can trust someone at the other end of a phone line. Kudos!

  • from United States January 14, 2013Music Background:
    pro musician

    what a nice guitar

    I have played guitar for 30 years or so. I owned a Martin D28 for 15 years or so. When I saw the AJ220 s on sale, I thought I would try it out and see if the reviews were true. Folks this is a great guitar , for the price you cant beat it. I love this guitar! The quality i s great , the guitar is beautiful. The sound is so close to the Gibson J45 that i played in the store it's hard to believe. Sweetwater was great , tracked the guitar from warehouse to my front door.

  • from Springfield, MO December 7, 2012Music Background:

    More than I expected

    I've played drums for 15 years and recently took an interest in guitar. I wanted to buy a decent acoustic guitar and shopped around for about a week. I came across the Epiphone AJ-220S and it immediately caught my eye. It not only looks great but, sounds great as well. I don't know a lot about guitars but I do know good quality and this guitar is just that. For $200 you can't beat it. View some of the videos on youtube and you will see and hear how impressive it is. If you're like me and on a budget but, still want a quality acoustic, I don't believe you can go wrong with this one.

  • from lucas ohio usa October 18, 2012Music Background:
    casual player 20plus years

    blown away

    All I can say is WOW! Bought this guitar from sweetwater excellent service great price superb quality. I've own two other epiphones a DR500 masterbuilt and a old 70's small body acoustic but this one is awesome the quality for the price is out of this world the finish the tone everything about this guitar makes it worth 4 times its price I highly recommend this guitar to anyone who wants something to start out on or for the seasoned player who wants another guitar for a cheap price this guitar is amazing thanks sweetwater

  • from October 12, 2012

    Superb value acoustic tone machine

    I was trying to remember the last time that I got so much for so little... I gave up! This guitar is awesome! Rich, throaty tone, excellent playability, beautiful finish and detail. The advanced jumbo shape is just right, without the boxy look and feel of most dreads. It's just a flawless guitar and very inspiring to play! I don't see how they can sell something this nice for this price. Your eyes, ears, and wallet won't believe the deal you just got.

  • from Saint Anne, IL September 9, 2015Music Background:
    64 yr. old novice

    Very Nice

    First let me say this IS a five star guitar...I ordered mine on a Monday and received it the next day (I'm only a few hours away from Sweetwater) I opened the box and thought "It's Beautiful", until I turned it over and saw a flaw in the finish. What appeared to be about a 3/8" bubble that appeared to have been filled with clear coat and buffed out and VERY noticeable. If I had been offered this in a store I would have asked for a different one for sure, the finish where the neck meets the top also appeared a bit "foamy". I called Kent, my sales associate and he made everything good. He arranged for a return, I was contacted by Tech Support, they checked out a new one and sent it out. It did take until Friday to receive the new one but it was perfect. Do be advised that the 55 point inspection only applies to guitars $299 and up that's what I found out when I asked how this one got through...this is not stated in their descriptions hence the loss of half a star. The new guitar played very nice, the action seemed just fine to my novice's touch and the sound seemed as nice as other reviewers have indicated, I have been around musicians for most of my life but somehow have waited until now to take up an instrument. This is a fine first guitar. I did put lighter Martin SP strings with a new Tusq saddle and pins on the guitar after a few days of practicing...the difference was striking. The guitar's voice seemed to open up, it was brighter, clearer and more nuanced, even my wife noticed the difference. I highly recommend the upgrade. All in all I am completely satisfied with my AJ220 in Vintage Sunburst and play it nearly every day. I am slowly improving. The EDREAD case is very nice with a soft plush interior and a decent fit but for about $100 the QC could have been better, there are a few pieces of "something" causing a few small lumps under the Tolex cover material, but not so much that it's a deal killer. I believe the case will protect the guitar adequately for everyday use. Thank You Sweetwater for making me a believer in your customer service and Thank You Epiphone for producing a really nice reasonably priced guitar. I would recommend this in a heartbeat. If you're sitting on the fence jump for it, I don't think you"ll be disappointed.

  • from July 15, 2015

    Great Gift! !

    Really love my guitar, was a father's day gift and I have been enjoying it every since. I have my bass guitars but this one sits by my recliner for easy access. Love it! !!

  • from Tecumseh, MI January 19, 2015Music Background:

    Amazing Value

    I was looking for a good quality acoustic for an affordable price. I was very pleasantly surprised with how rich and full the sound is from this guitar. It is an amazing value and it looks even better in person(vintage sunburst). The neck is really nice too, it is very comfortable with a nice satin finish.
    Over all its a great guitar after you get it set up. Mine had a lot of buzzing and such when it arrived but now after being set up its awesome.

  • from West Virginia March 4, 2014Music Background:

    A great guitar

    This is a great guitar for jamming and playing around the house, or wherever! The fit and finish are nearly perfect, the advance jumbo shape is a little different but feels good and not to large. I love the satin finish on the neck. The Sunburst looks very good and is well done. The sound is full and even, i play mostly rock and 90's songs and its done well with that. Learning blue and bluegrass it sounds great.
    I am really impressed by the action and playability right out of the box. The neck is thin and fits well in my hands, the big headstock took some getting used to for me. I purchased Elixer stings expecting to swap them out very quickly and Ive played this guitar daily for a month and the strings still feel and sound good.

    I am looking forward to my monthly jam session with my friends who play Taylors, Martins, etc. Im curious what they will think of it.

    This is not a professional guitar by any means, but its perfect for around the house (mine has dogs and kids) or for the back porch, family trips, etc. Sounds good, plays good, not to costly.

    The only drawback is that its a little odd shaped and did not fit in my dred case, I ordered the SKB gigbag and it fits well. I cant justify the cost of the epi case.

  • from ca March 13, 2013Music Background:

    Great Value

    I bought this guitar after having trouble with a very low end starter acoustic. The tone of this instrument is excellent, and the action is very low. I have checked every single fret for buzz and not one has even the slightest hint. I am a begginer on the 6 string, however with this guitar both open and bar chords are extremely comfortable and the satin finish on the neck makes single note lines a breeze.The finish is great, it looks even better in person the pictures do not do it justice. I must say that if you are in the market for a low cost, high quality guitar look no further. Very, very well done Epiphone.

  • from Mars Hill, NC July 18, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    Good guitar for just about anyone!

    I picked this AJ-220S up as a demo from Sweetwater. Was needing a good session and jamming guitar to take out instead of my better instruments. I've been playing most of my 60+ years and have had some very good guitars, and since I'm a fan of the Gibson AJ guitars I figured this Epi version would be a good knock-around box for outdoor stuff. For the money, how bad could it be, so I sprung for it.

    I was impressed immediately with the guitar's tone - - rather loud for stock strings and the rather high setup. I have arthritis and always do custom setups on all my instruments, so first thing I did was remove the crappy factory strings, installed a bone saddle w/ Tusq bridge pins, retouched the fret ends a bit with emery cloth, oiled the rather dry rosewood fingerboard, polished the frets, and lowered the high action at the fingerboard nut. ( I can do all this, but most people would need to take it to a qualified guitar tech to get the setup done.) I put on some Martin SP lights and now this baby sings with sweet, ringing tones and nice harmonics, and best of all - it's much easier to play. At least the neck and fingerboard was nice and straight, and no buzzing or high frets. I am very impressed with the deep, throaty bass and punch this thing has - - and it should open up the more it's played.

    That's all the good stuff - - now the not-so-good - - there were several finish flaws that were obviously missed in the inspection, grains underneath the finish that you could feel, and a couple of rather significant runs in the varnish down the top from the sound hole, but you kind of have to hunt for them if you don't have it in the light just right. There was some black dye slopped up onto the neck binding near the sound hole and even a little on the top, which I tried to remove. Also a few scratches visible underneath the varnish on the back, and no matter how cheap the guitar these are obvious signs of a poor QC. Of course there were a few body dings from being a demo, but that's why I got a discount for it so no problem. One of the sealed tuners was also very hard to turn, so I may replace them at some point. The guitar is also a little heavy overall, and the neck set was a bit high, making the saddle a little low, not a deal breaker but still decries poor QC from the factory. After my setup, however, it now plays like butter and sounds amazing. This higher-than-normal neck set does worry me as how long it will be before it becomes hard to play due to high action, but guess that goes with the territory. For now it's perfect. Another thing that I've heard a lot of nice comments about is the matte neck finish - - which I think looks just plain cheap. It has an almost white-ish sandblasted look, and just feels very cheap, and not at all like the satin-finish on other guitar necks. So, I took some oil and rottenstone (pumice) on a piece of felt and rubbed the back of the neck and headstock to make it a bit more shiny, and now it looks very classy and like it's been played for a few years. I know some of this stuff is just the perfectionist in me, but I've seen better quality-control in guitars costing much less, and believe me the woods are full of them. I've had a few Epiphones over the years, Hummingbirds, Doves, etc., and the QC on most any of them is far superior to this AJ model. Could be that this one just slipped by, but suffice it to say I'm not impressed with the shoddy QC on this guitar.
    Overall, however, this is a decent guitar for the beginning to intermediate student who wants good sound and playability, or for the pro who wants a knock-around good-sounding guitar. Of course, that's probably going to be after a good setup, which is normal for any inexpensive guitar, and even some high-end ones. This AJ at least has the internal build and jumbo body to produce that cannon-like projection that you are looking for. Just be prepared to do some work on it to get there.

Questions about the Epiphone AJ-220S - Vintage Sunburst?

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