Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged Review & Prices
- From Gibson Custom's 2023 Murphy Lab - Light Aged series
- Made in United States
- 6 strings
- 25.5"'' scale
- 12" Fretboard Radius
- Thermally Aged Sitka Spruce top
- Spruce top
- Flame Maple back
- Flame Maple sides
- Mahogany neck
- Rosewood fretboard
- Bridge pickup: (/)
- SJ-200 Four Bar Moustache bridge
- Acoustic Rounded Set neck
- 20 Medium frets
- Gotoh with Keystone Buttons tuners
- Weight between 4.5lbs (2kgs) and 4.625lbs (2.1kgs)
- Compare Specs >
Our Scores and Tone Evaluation
- Heavy Metal
- Hard Rock
Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged
- Made in United States
- Expensive Wood
- Bone Nut
- Bone Saddle
- Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
- No Locking Tuners
- No Top Brand Pickups
- No Electronics
- Laminated Top Wood
- Laminated Side Wood
- Laminated Back Wood
- No Compound Radius Fretboard
- No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
- No Strap Lock
Price: is the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged a Good Deal?
Its average competitor's price is $3500, which means that the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged costs around 123% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.
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Not all instruments are created equally, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the one you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!
Neck speed (thickness)Vote
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Is The Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged Easy to Play?
The Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged meets 3 out of our 9 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not recommended for complete beginners. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.
Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged
- Easy-to-use bridge
- Tall frets
- Comfortable neck
- Comfortable shape
- Locking tuners
- Comfortable fretboard
- Wide nut
- Short scale
- Soft Strings
Hand Size Comfortability
After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged's construction favors people with relatively big hands.
Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.
How Lightweight is it?
We found that the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged weighs between 4.5lbs (2kgs) and 4.625lbs (2.1kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the guitars they sell.
Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.
Here's the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:
This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.
Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.
However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.
The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.
It has a U type neck. This shape usually has more 'shoulders' than a C neck. It's great for guitarists who love the feel of a vintage neck. Most of them are thick, which makes it better for people with big hands. However, some of them can be thin like a C neck but with more mass to the sides for a better grip.
When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.
The Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged has a 12" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:
This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.
Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged has the same radius across the board.
Playability compared to main competitors
The Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged has a nut width of 43.8mm (1.725''). This size is found mostly on Baritone or 7+ strings guitars since they need the extra space on the fretboard. It gives your fingers the extra space you need to play without muting accidentally, but this also makes bar chords harder to perform, so bear in mind that Baritone guitars aren't for every playing style.
It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.
Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.
The Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.
Does the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged Sound Good? Tone Analysis
The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.
Wood Used in the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged
Spruce Top: This wood has a light color with tight grain patterns. It's very stiff but relatively light. It's known for producing a well-rounded tone with a broad dynamic range.
Flame Maple Back and Sides: This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.
Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.
Rosewood Fretboard: Since the ban of Brazillian Rosewood, this has become a rare and expensive wood. It's not usually used for guitar bodies because of this, and also because it's heavy. Instead, it's used mainly for fretboards. Sometimes it's also used for necks because it's an extremely hard wood (even harder than maple). Its tonality tends to favor warm tones.
This acoustic guitar doesn't come with preamp pickups, so you won't be able to connect it directly to an amplifier. Instead, you'll need to use an external microphone.
How well is the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged Built?
Where is the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged Made?
Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.
The Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.
SJ-200 Four Bar Moustache: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.
Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.
In this case, the Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged has a Bone nut. This material is one of the highest quality you can get. It provides excellent sustain and tune stability if cut well. The only disadvantage is that it's an organic material, so it's not consistent. Two different bone nuts, even if made from the same bone, will probably sound slightly different. However, bear in mind that this is only relevant when playing open strings.
Build Quality Score
Gibson Custom 1957 SJ-200 Vintage Sunburst Light Aged Specs
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