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Gibson unveils the Everly Brothers SJ-200

Gibson Everly Brothers SJ-200
(Image credit: Gibson)

Back in the early rock ‘n’ roll years of the 1950s, brothers Phil (1939-2014) and Don Everly (1937-2021) were a musical force to be reckoned with.

In post-war America, the medium of television was beginning to play an evermore important role in the changing face of popular culture, and the Everly Brothers appeared on-air resplendent with matching Gibson flat-tops.

Strumming and harmonising their way to the top of the charts the duo won fans from coast to coast and influenced an entire generation of budding guitar heroes.

Gibson flat-tops were the preferred choice for the Everly Brothers – notably the ‘king of flat tops’ J-200 – and they memorably toted customised guitars featuring large, symmetrical double-pickguards.

Conceived as a flat-top version of Gibson’s flagship L-5 archtop in the late 1930s, the J-200 began production in 1938 as the Super Jumbo but was renamed Super Jumbo 200 the following year (hence SJ-200) in reference to its $200 list price.

In the late 1940s, the model became known simply as the J-200 although it was labelled “SJ-200” well into the 1950s.

L-R: Phil Everly and Don Everly playing signature J-180 flat-tops in the early '60s

Phil (left) and Don Everly playing their signature J-180 flat-tops in the early '60s. Note the star inlays. (Image credit: David Redfern/Redferns)

The Everly Brothers were synonymous with Gibson when the Kalamazoo firm first suggested they collaborate on a signature acoustic guitar model.

Smaller in width than the 17-inches wide J-200, the 16¼-inches wide Everly Brothers J-180 appeared in the early 1960s.

Adopting a smaller J-185-style construction, these rare and highly collectible instruments are easily differentiated by their large, symmetrical double-pickguards and star inlays.

The newly released Gibson Everly Brothers SJ-200 guitars are markedly different signature models that reflect the appearance of Phil and Don’s iconic guitars.

Priced at $7,999.00, this top-drawer acoustic boasts highly figured AA-grade maple back and sides.

Tonewood such as this is carefully selected by eye for its outstanding looks, while a traditional maple construction and 25½-inch scale length provides a naturally strident tone.

A thermally aged Sitka spruce top, traditional hand-scalloped x-bracing, a hot hide glue neck/body joint, a bone nut and saddle, and a thin nitrocellulose finish adds extra vintage-style appeal to the Gibson Everly Brothers SJ-200.

Gold-plated Grover tuners, mother-of-pearl crown inlays and an Ebony finish completes the upmarket look of the guitar while a large, symmetrical double-pickguard keeps nobody guessing as to who inspired the model's creation.

Visit Gibson (opens in new tab) for more information.

Rod Brakes is a music writer with an expertise in all things guitar-related. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a journalist covering artists, industry pros and gear includes writing hundreds of articles and features for the likes of Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar, as well as contributions for specialist books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.