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Gibson’s J-200 is probably among the top five most popular acoustic guitar models ever made. First released in the 1930s, J-200 has been used by a huge number of famous artists up until this day. Epiphone EJ-200CE is their way of paying tribute to this legendary guitar. It offers the same aesthetic, a tone worthy of the J-200’s name, and a solid set of electronics to push this old design into the new age of acoustic guitars. At the moment, EJ-200CE is one of the most reliable lower mid-range acoustic electric guitars you can get. For more great picks in this segment, check out our recommendations.
Jumbo guitars are not as prolific as their smaller dreadnought cousin. Some people find them too big, but others just love the extra volume this body shape is capable of delivering. EJ-200CE features a cutaway, which makes more difference on jumbo guitars than on any other body size. Tonewood of choice is a combination of solid spruce top and maple back as well as sides. The neck is also a maple piece with a nice rosewood fretboard. The body features white binding, as well as the fretboard. Another sweet detail are the crown inlays. In terms of fit and finish, EJ-200CE is just amazing.
Most acoustic guitars share a more or less similar type of hardware. Not EJ-200CE, though. Instead, you get a very unique looking bridge made of rosewood, with a synthetic bone saddle sitting comfortably on top. The nut is made of the same material, which has proven to be a good substitute for the traditional bone. One of the best elements of EJ-200CE’s hardware are the tuning machines. Instead of installing a set of generic Epiphone tuners, they’ve actually decided to use Grovers’ set. The result is a very effective intonation and tuning retention.
Many people were skeptical when Epiphone announced their eSonic2 preamp system. This reserved attitude comes from the fact that most players like to see a third party brand, which is specialized in this type of electronics. However, Epiphone developed this set of electronics in cooperation with Shadow from Germany, whose reputation is known all around the world. Resulting eSonic2 features a variety of advanced controls on top of the standard three-band EQ, which will give you an amazing amount of tone shaping range.
On its own, Epiphone EJ-200CE packs a powerful punch. After all, we’re talking about a jumbo guitar. The combination of tonewood takes advantage of the already versatile foundation, giving you a very balanced tone. It’s not all about the volume and projection. EJ-200CE makes those trebles and mids sound very organic. There’s enough warmth and more than enough balance.
At the end of the day, Epiphone EJ-200CE is a very fitting tribute to Gibson’s legendary jumbo. Sure, there’s a difference between the models offered by these two companies, but Epiphone’s price compensates for any shortcomings in terms of performance. If you’re looking for a powerful, loud and overall well-built jumbo, this EJ-200CE should definitely be on your short list.