In these times of recession, most guitarists looking for new equipment have had to scale back their dreams of multiple thousand dollar pieces of musical art resting in their laps to set their sights on more reasonably priced instruments. For those guitarists, the Epiphone EJ-200 should be considered an attractive option, as it recreates the look of some of the expensive vintage Gibsons at a good price without losing too much in terms of quality.
In appearance, the EJ-200 is a surprising beauty. It has a maple neck and body, with a select spruce top and a rosewood fingerboard. One of the distinguishing features of the EJ-200 is the “crown” design of the inlays, which are visually pleasing and translate a pearl aesthetic (although they are actually plastic). Similarly, the “mustache” design of the bridge takes a normally plain utility and embellishes it nicely. In style, the EJ-200 in some ways calls to mind the vintage Gibson Hummingbird models, particularly with the white floral pattern on the oversized pick-guard. The model we looked at had a vintage sunburst finish, which complements the large body and subtle flourishes well.
For a jumbo body acoustic, our EJ-200 has been set with fairly low action, and is not as unwieldy as one might imagine. It has a deep bass sound and the strong volume one would expect of a jumbo, which makes this a nice strumming guitar. The EJ-200 may buzz a little more than the most expensive models, but it makes up for that with a solid ease of playability and a comfortable neck. The nut width is 1.68”, and it features the familiar gold grover tuners.
While the EJ-200 may not be the extravagant guitar of your fantasies, with a list price of $665.00, it may very well find a place as the quality guitar of your reality.
We recently invited singer-songwriter Todd Snider to participate in the American Songwriter office “Sessions” series. Snider plays the EJ-200 in his live performances, although he brought an Epiphone acoustic cutaway model to our office on this particular occasion. Watch the video below which highlights some of the features of the Epiphone EJ-200, as well as music and photos from the Todd Snider Session.