AJ-200S review by Epiphone

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (28 votes)
Epiphone: AJ-200S

Price paid: $ 150

Sound — 10
I'm a big fan of hard rock and prog, so some of the first things I played on it were Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Yes. The guitar sounds big and loud, which I love. The strings that it came with were old and rusted, so I slapped on some Elixir Polywebs, and it sounds awesome.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, I struck gold with this guitar. It sounds good, it looks decent, and plays like butter. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a Gibson, but doesn't have Gibson money.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I used to be very cautious about Epis, but I think they've really stepped up their quality control in the last couple of years. I probably wouldn't gig with it without a backup, but that doesn't mean that this guitar isn't durable. I would take a backup even if I had a Gibson J-45.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The scratch was the one flaw with this guitar. It stays in tune, and the action is great. Goldilocks would have considered it just right.

Features — 9
I just moved to NC from NY and I could only take my two electrics with me, so I needed a decent Acoustic guitar for around 200 bucks. I had whittled the choices down to 3: Yamaha FG700S, Fender CD140S, and Epiphone AJ-220S. The Epi was my top choice, and Guitar Center had one, but it got sold before I got a chance to buy it. Luckily I saw the model from the previous year, the AJ-200S, on clearance for only $150. It had a scratch on it, but it didn't bother me enough to turn away from it. I snapped it up for a total of $257 including gig bag and accessories. It gets a point off for the scratch, but I consider it a battle scar.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I picked up a 2013 AJ200s on the road for 110 cash, used. It was more or less new, unplayed. The setup was terrible so I gave the neck a twist, sanded the saddle down, and put new phosphor bronze 11's on it - and it came out great. I've got a J45, D28 and 000-15 at home so picked this up to travel with. It's sounding great - tuners are stable grover imitations. Finger picking folk and country, some slide in E and it's singing. It's got a bright, open sound to it, longer scale than J45 so it's a bit louder. The overall quality of Qingdao/China Epis is now very good and it's got a unique sound of its own. I was gonna leave it behind or sell it before returning home, but it's a keeper. Like it more than my last road guitar, a Taylor 510, which was more 'accurate' (intonation and playability at 12th fret) but had a thin sound and a lot less substance and character. If you're looking for a cheap, entry level acoustic that you wouldn't be embarrassed by in a jam, i'd choose this or, perhaps, a Yamaha.