First Ever Gibson Monarch SJ-200 Acoustic Guitar! J-200 J-250 SJ-250

 Price: $49,999

This is one of the coolest Gibson guitars on the planet. It is Serial Number 1 of the Gibson Monarch collection. This guitar was hand-built by Ren Ferguson and John Walker in the Gibson Custom Shop in 1994. Gibson told Ren to design and build a guitar that would trump everything else on the market, regardless of price range. This is what he came up with. Since then, Gibson has built other Monarchs modeled after this one, but none compares to this one in craftsmanship, uniqueness, or cool factor. This is the only Monarch that was actually built by Ren Ferguson. The others were production-line models.

Ever since its introduction in 1938 (prototype in 1937), the Gibson SJ-200 has been marketed as “The King of the Flattops.” When the Monarch was introduced into the Gibson lineup, it was marketed as the King of Kings (hence, the name Monarch). As the first Monarch ever, this guitar is not only the King of all Monarchs, but all J-200s the world over.

The obvious standout feature on this guitar is the inlayed King’s Crown on the headstock. This King’s Crown is different from the ones on all other Monarchs. The pearl-and-abalone inlays are more intricate and ornate, and the crown also features actual precious gems set into the crown. This includes real rubies, an emerald, sapphires, and amethysts. The dot for the “i” in the Gibson logo is a real diamond. Ren Ferguson said that these stones are of the highest quality. The craftsmanship here is unreal. None of the other Monarchs have these features. The crowns on the others are simple in comparison. You won’t find another guitar like this anywhere.

As you can see, the back of the headstock features the serial number inlayed in pearl. The “No. 1” beneath the serial number identifies this one as the first of all Monarchs. The back of the Monarch headstock is, in my opinion, the most beautiful back of any headstock Gibson has ever built.

The tuners are three-dimensional hand-carved pearl crowns with inlayed amethyst stones. They are one-of-a-kind and completely unique to Serial Number 1. None of the other Monarchs have these tuners.

The guitar features an ebony fretboard inlayed with extremely ornate crowns at each fret-marker. These crowns are much more ornate than the ones on the standard Monarch.

The back and sides of this guitar are Brazilian rosewood. I’m sure I don’t need to explain the rarity of Brazilian rosewood. You just don’t find very many Gibson guitars with Brazilian back and sides.

As you can imagine, the tone of this guitar is superb. Ren Ferguson is one of the world’s best luthiers. He does not spare any expense when building guitars, and this one is no exception. He would never build a guitar this fancy without making sure the tone matched the looks. It sounds phenomenal! The sheer volume of the this guitar is legendary. The bass response is enough to shake the legs off the chair you happen to be sitting on. It is simply amazing.

As you can see in the photos, Ren Ferguson and John Walker signed the label inside the guitar.

This guitar has been well-cared for during its life. It has been played lightly and does show minor signs of use. The guitar has one small repaired top crack. The repair job was done by The Music Villa in Bozeman, Montana. Ren Ferguson himself actually shops at this store frequently. He inspected the guitar himself during the repair process. The repair is completely invisible when viewed from straight on. It is only visible (still very hard to see) when viewed from the bass side (the side where the crack is). The repair is seamless, meaning nothing can be felt when running your finger over the crack. If you were presenting this guitar to a friend, and you didn’t tell them it had a repaired crack, they would never notice it.

In the long run, a well-repaired crack does little, or nothing, to hurt the value of a guitar like this. How many prewar Martin D-45s have you seen without at least one repaired crack? Cracks happen. Eventually every guitar in the world will sustain at least one. All Stradivarius violins have repaired cracks.

This guitar is obviously not for the casual collector. This guitar is for someone who has a deep passion for Gibson and wants a guitar which has historical significance with the company. Just imagine what Ren Ferguson’s guitars will be worth someday down the road. To have the first Monarch, and the only one ever built by him, is quite a special thing. This guitar will be the stuff of legend someday.

Included is the original hardshell case.

Please call me with any questions: 435.406.9281

Gibson SJ-200 Prototype Ron Wood Acoustic Guitar! J-200

Price: $9,999

Here we have the prototype Gibson Ron Wood J-200! Gibson made a deal with Ron Wood (guitarist for The Rolling Stones) to produce a guitar based upon his specifications (usually referred to as a “signature” guitar). Ron provided Gibson with his personal preferences and Gibson set out to build the guitar that would suit him best. This is what they came up with.

 
This particular guitar is actually the very first one of these Gibson built. They presented this prototype to Ron for him to test out and look at to make sure everything was pleasing to him. He approved and the model was moved into production. Each one in the series is numbered on the label inside the soundhole. This one is simply labeled “Prototype”, as you can see in the photo of the label.
 
Have you ever seen a Gibson prototype for sale? I didn’t think so. Gibson rarely sells its prototypes. I bought this one from the original retailer, who convinced Gibson to sell it to him back in the 90’s. He held on to it for years and recently sold it to me. This is an extremely rare guitar.
 
Most of these Ron Wood J-200s have double pickguards attached to them. The pick guards were never installed on this one, maybe because they hadn’t been designed yet. Most people don’t like these pickguards. I think they are unattractive, myself. This one, without them, looks much better to me.
 
Some of the Ron Wood J-200s have ebony fretboards, while others have rosewood. This one has a jet-black ebony fretboard, and a jet-black ebony bridge – also a great feature.
 
The maple on this guitar is stunning! Check out that flamed-maple neck! That’s some of the best figured maple you will find! The back and sides also have great flamed-maple.
 
The flame inlays are a unique feature to Ron’s J-200. I’ve never seen them on any other J-200 out there. I love them.
 
This guitar is in flawless condition. Aside from Ron Wood’s testing, this guitar is unplayed. The original retailer stored the guitar away and never really intended to play it or sell it. The guitar has no blemishes from play wear. The finish shows some signs of age – some finish separation at the bridge, very minor finish checking in the body, finish aging near the binding of the headstock – standard stuff for the age of the guitar. It is well-preserved because it hasn’t been played since Ron had it.
 
Included with the guitar is the original hardshell case and all original paperwork. 
 
Please call me with any questions: 435.406.9281

Gibson J-200 Custom Elite Acoustic Guitar (Sold!)

Here we have a Gibson J-200 Custom Elite Acoustic Guitar!

Price: SOLD!

I have owned many J-200 Custom Elites. This is probably the finest example of a Custom Elite I have ever owned. I do not say these types of things about every guitar I sell. Check my other listings.
 
The Gibson SJ-200 Custom Elite was built by the Gibson Custom Shop. It is no longer being produced.
 
This particular example features the rare “Stinger” painted on the back of the headstock. You don’t see this on very many Gibson J-200s. Go look around and see if you can find another one. It’s not easy.
 
The SJ-200 Custom Elite has several distinct advantages over the current J-200 Custom being built by Gibson: 
 
-First of all, the SJ-200 Custom Elite was built by the Gibson Custom Shop; the current J-200 Custom is built by Gibson USA. We all know that the Custom Shop has a much higher standard of quality than Gibson USA does. The finish flaws usually found on Gibson USA models are nearly non-existent on the Custom Shop models. The luthiers at the Custom Shop have more experience. 
 
-The Custom Shop uses better cuts of wood, such as the maple and ebony cuts used for this guitar. The current J-200 Custom has a rosewood fretboard, as opposed to the ebony of this SJ-200 Custom Elite. The woods used to build Gibson USA guitars are inferior – trust me, I’ve owned them.
 
-This last item is an observation of mine, but I haven’t technically verified it: It seems to me that the Gibson Custom Shop braces its guitars lighter than Gibson USA does, giving Custom Shop Guitars a better tone. This could be because Gibson knows that the people buying Custom Shop guitars have more knowledge about guitars and are less likely to overload the top. When people overload the top, Gibson ends up paying for warranty repairs, leading them to brace the guitars slightly heavier to prevent that from happening. My Custom Shop guitars have all been lighter than my Gibson USA guitars.
 
This guitar features a beautiful AAA-grade Sitka spruce top with plenty of horizontal grain (“bearclawing”). Horizontal grain is an indicator of extra stiffness in the top, resulting in an enriched tone. The back and sides are made from AAA-grade flamed maple – gorgeous! The neck is also highly-flamed maple and is one of my favorite things on this guitar. It is beautiful! The fretboard is a jet-black cut of ebony. Ebony is a rarity now-days. Gibson is not currently producing any guitars with ebony fretboards. Check the latest J-200 Customs – they all have rosewood fretboards. I just sold one a while back with a rosewood fretboard. Pretty soon people are going to realize that ebony is disappearing and the value of guitars with ebony boards will skyrocket. 
 
The inlays on this guitar are beautiful. The fingerboard is inlayed with abalone crown inlays, as opposed to the usual pearl inlays. The headstock crown inlay is also abalone.
 
Included with this guitar is the original hardshell case and all case candy. The original bill of sale is also included!
 
Please feel free to call me with any questions: 435.406.9281