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Epiphone EJ-200--An Affordable Version Of The Southern Jumbo
Oct 20, 2006
Review by Mike Mosier
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Inexpensive, jumbo sound
Cons:It's a $400.00 guitar, and will never compete with the real article
The Bottom Line: The Epiphone EJ-200 might be a great guitar for the beginner or intermediate player looking for jumbo sound at an affordable price.
The Epiphone EJ-200 is Epiphone's knock off of the classic Gibson Southern Jumbo. At a retail price of close to $400, the beginner or intermediate player might consider this one as a less expensive way to get into the jumbo acoustic guitar area at a price that's drastically below the price of the real article. Let me tell you about it.
Recommend this product?
As I've said in earlier Epiphone guitar reviews, there has been a noticeable step-up in the construction quality of Epiphone guitars, and the Epiphone EJ-200 is no exception to this general rule. The back and sides of this guitar are made of maple, while the top is select spruce. The maple neck has a rosewood fingerboard ornamented with crown inlays, and all the hardware on the guitar is gold-plated. The body, neck and headstock have clean white binding, and the pickguard is nicely engraved in the style of the Gibson Southern Jumbo. Three finishes are available--black, natural, and vintage sunburst.
Construction quality seemed to be pretty good. The seamlessness of the binding is always a pretty good indicator that there has been attention to detail, and the binding on the Epiphone EJ-200 looked pretty tight. I noticed no stray glue anywhere on the guitar, and I was pleasantly surprised when I picked it up and got a feeling of substance from it. It didn't have the heft of the comparable Gibson model, but it had enough presence to indicate to me that the woods used in the guitar weren't laminates. I give the Epiphone EJ-200 an 8 on a scale of 10 in the construction department.
At first glance, the Epiphone EJ-200 looks like I would expect a $400.00 knock off to look like--the finish is a little loud and garish, with none of the elegant restraint of the Gibson Jumbo model. Likewise, the pickguard work is not as intricate and detailed, and I rather suspect that the gold-plated hardware that looks so nice new would quickly wear away to reveal its underlying chrome identity. Still, it has the look of a jumbo guitar, albeit a cheap one, and I would give it a 7 for looks.
The Epiphone EJ-200 was an adequate player. The factory set up was good, and there was little a buzzing on the bass E string that could probably be remedied with a truss rod adjustment. Intonation was good up and down the neck, and the soft rosewood fingerboard was quick and responsive. I enjoyed fingerpicking this guitar, and my pet runs were easily executed. Flatpickers would love this guitar because chording was easy and changes were easily accomplished. The Epiphone EJ-200 gets an 8 on my scale of 10 for playability.
Jumbo guitars are built to produce jumbo sounds, and the Epiphone EJ-200 had a loud, expansive sound. The combination of spruce and maple made for a lively sound that had solid underlying bass tones, resulting in a rich, brilliant sound that was worthy of a more expensive jumbo guitar. The Epiphone EJ-200 is never going to sound like a high dollar jumbo guitar, but for $400.00, the sound of this guitar was jumbo enough for me. I give it a 9 for the jumbo sound.
The Epiphone EJ-200 is a great guitar for what it is--a knock off of an expensive, classic Gibson jumbo. I would heartily recommend this guitar for the beginner or intermediate player who wanted jumbo guitar attributes without paying a jumbo price.
Overall, the Epiphone EJ-200 earns an 8 on my scale of 10.
Thanks for reading.
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