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Old 05-29-2019, 06:55 AM
advid advid is offline
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Default Compare Epiphone and Sigma (J200 jumbo)

...Being one of the many guitar players that canít really afford to buy a Ďrealí Gibson J200 over the last year or so Iíve being trying out some older Epiphone equivalents. Not the newer model with cutaway but the original non-cutaway fully acoustic versions. Iíve managed to find three on eBay (2 natural and one sunburst finish). All three have similar full, deep body sounds but as with any guitars they all have a slightly different Ďtwangí ect. ect. Iíve kept one and sold on the other two.
Iíve also recently been looking at the Sigma J200 model and from browsing at YouTube reviews and other internet areas it really looked like an improvement over the Epiphones.

They donít turn up much on the second hand market but yesterday I came across one for sale fairly locally on a UK selling site. I contacted the seller and went over to look at it with the sole intention of hopefully buying it. First impressions, visually a beautiful and well made guitar. Perfect straight neck and nice action. Tonally, an improvement over the Epiphones, a fuller bassier and overall Ďthickerí bigger sound.
I knew from reviews that the nut width was slightly wider over Epiphones but this was a plus for my fingerstyle (Chet, Merle) playing that I use this type of guitar for. It was noticeably immediately. That slight extra width makes a lot of difference. BUT the neck thickness....Wow it was like a tree trunk, thicker and deeper than any guitar iíve ever played. (At home Iíve got a Gretsch 5420 and an Epiphone 175). Over the years Iíve played loads of guitars and this (to me) felt terrible...
Also the thick neck tapered more that the norm as it joined the body at the 14th fret....much more so than my other guitars. After a few minutes I knew deep down that Iíd never grow to love this guitar. When you pick up a new instrument you know almost immediately if it feels like a keeper...some are - some arenít. This one - definitely NO...sorry to say. Thatís just my opinion for what itís may feel totally different and maybe itís the one youíve been searching for ?
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Old 05-29-2019, 03:49 PM
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Brucebubs Brucebubs is online now
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eden, Australia
Posts: 11,678

Great post and welcome to the AGF.

I found a full body, straight acoustic 2012 Epiphone EJ-200 in Hobart, Tasmania last year.
Superb condition.
Previous owner has fitted a Planet Waves 'O' Port Sound Enhancer - don't know how good it is but the guitar sounds great so I'm leaving it in!
I upgraded the saddle and bridge pins to bone which made it even better and last month I tried DR Sunbeam Light strings and I think I've hit the sweet spot - plays and sounds way above it's price!

I've seen those Sigma SJ-200's advertised here in Australia and wondered how they compared so thanks for your review.


1972 - Takamine D-70
1980 - Morris B-50
2002 - Guild F-412
2009 - Martin Grand J12-40E Special
2011 - Martin JDP 2 #71/71
2014 - Alvarez ABT60 Baritone
2015 - Kittis RBJ-195 Jumbo
2012 - Dan Dubowski#61
2012 - Epiphone EJ-200/N
2012 - Huss & Dalton MJ Custom
2018 - Rickenbacker 4003 Fireglo
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Old 05-29-2019, 06:28 PM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 2,248

I went into my local music store last week and was massively surprised by their Sigma guitar mostly Gibson and Martin copies. (Build quality, playability and sound at a fraction of the Gibson/Martin equivalents granted they came with laminate back and sides).

I previously owned an Epiphone Hummingbird and it too was a great guitar for the money, but the Sigma guitars are something else.
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:10 PM
Molder Molder is offline
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Location: Fredericksburg, VA
Posts: 112


I have an AMI J45 copy which is really nice. Plays and sounds great. No nut filing like I had to do on my Gibson J15.

1970 Dixon 693 w/JJB
197? Yamaha FG-110
2008 Crafter DV200/NV
2010 Blueridge BR-140A w/Lyric & K&K
2011 Blueridge BR-143A w/JJB
2012 Ibanez AC300-LVS
2012 Eastman HE322CE w/K&K
2015 Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE/NA w/JJB
2016 Gibson J-15 w/K&K
2016 Recording King ROS G9M
2017 Epiphone Masterbilt AJ-45ME/VSS
2018 Yamaha FS-TA
2018 Taylor 110e w/ES2
2018 AMI JM-SG45 w/JJB
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