The J 200 is an addition to my only other Gibson, the Songwriter Studio Deluxe EC. The Songwriter is like the majority of guitars, using Sitka top and Rosewood back and sides. I wanted something different. Something that isn't like the majority of guitars. Something with a little more "wow" factor. And boy, Gibson did not disappoint. If only I could select the right verbs to describe this awesome guitar. Beautiful. Elegant. Stunning. A few words that are totally inadequate to describe this guitar. The fit and finish is totally perfect. I am " wowed" every time I look at the J200.
The playability and tone just blows me away. While the Songwriter is brighter the J200 has a more consistent, mellow tone. Finger picking, using your fleshy fingers, will produce a more mellow tone as compared to the Songwriter, which is brighter. However, the J200 has a more consistent tone over all the strings any place on the neck. I didn't seem to get that with the Songwriter. The J200 is such a dream to play and listen to that I would suspect I will not be playing the Songwriter much. Am I going to throw the Songwriter in the dumpster? Hmmm. Probably not. Anyone interested in a used Songwriter? hahaha.
I am an intermediate guitarist. So, moving up and down the neck, whether strumming, flat or finger picking, has not always be easy on my previous guitar. On the J200, it now seems much easier. And, notes that didn't always ring true on the Songwriter, now ring true and full and more resonate on the J200.
I wouldn't want anyone to shy away from the Songwriter. Its a marvelous guitar. But, its not a J200. Paying another 2 grand for the J200 makes a big difference in playability, sound, and beauty. I can only imagine the improvement as the guitar ages. Not sure it can get any better than this. I am blown away.
If you have been on the fence about whether to jump up to the J200, then I'd say, get off the fence and purchase this truly magnificent guitar. You will not be disappointed.