Oy! Again, with the J200’s!
A few years ago, I wrote extensively about my long love affair with Gibson J200s. I had gone on the hunt, and ended up with a very nice 1991 rosewood “J200 junior” (actually a J185 with fancy trappings) at that time. It’s missing a couple of the fancy trappings (bound headstock and fingerboard), but it sounds better to my ear than most any maple J200, and I’ve been very pleased with it.
Here it is on a Rev. Gary Davis-esque rendering of the 60s pop hit “In The Summertime”.
Anyhow, the iconic pickguard on this guitar had two little things about it that bothered me.
- J200’s are not big flatpicking guitars, but I often flatpick mine, and the deeply embossed pickguard was very scratchy and annoying when my hand slid across it during the picking motion.
- On my favorite J200s from the ’40s., the pickguard had a thin outline which defined its shape. Especially on a sunburst model, this has a notable effect on the appearance of the guitar. See pic below.
So, a few weeks ago, I went on ebay and found a suitable replacement guard for the “junior”. It arrived yesterday, and I spent an hour or so removing the original and replacing it. Here’s a before and after shot:
Not only does the new pickguard have “the look”, but it’s not embossed. The painting seems to be safely beneath a substantial clear coat, which means the guitar now flatpicks just like any other guitar, with no embossed impediment! A win-win situation! Okay, now if I can just find someone to put binding on the neck and headstock…