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Gibson Goes Back to Black with J-45, Hummingbird, and SJ-200 Acoustics

Gibson Ebony J-45 Standard, Ebony Hummingbird Standard, and Ebony J-200 Standard
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson have announced three of their classic flat-top models – the J-45, Hummingbird, and SJ-200 – are now available in a traditional Ebony finish. Although Ebony finishes are a more common sight on electric guitars these days, Gibson's new acoustics are reminiscent of the familiar black finishes used for the L-0, L-00, and HG-00 flat-tops of the 1930s, and the black J-45 made in 1968.

The new J-45 Standard, Hummingbird Standard, and SJ-200 Standard acoustic guitars currently sit alongside several other Ebony finish instruments that form part of Gibson’s Exclusives Collection (including the 70s Explorer, 70s Flying V, ES-335 P-90, SG Standard ’61, Les Paul Standard 50s, and Les Paul Standard 60s).

J-45 Standard

Introduced in 1942, the “workhorse” J-45 is Gibson’s best-selling flat-top. Originally featuring a plain dot neck, mahogany back and sides, and a sunburst finish, the J-45 first appeared as a round-shouldered dreadnought, changing to a square-shouldered design in 1969. This model features the original round-shouldered profile.

Gibson Ebony J-45 Standard

(Image credit: Gibson)
  • Mahogany back & sides
  • Sitka spruce top with hand-scalloped X-bracing
  • 24¾” scale mahogany neck
  • 12” radius Indian rosewood fingerboard with dot inlays
  • Grover Rotomatic tuners
  • Rosewood bridge with TUSQ saddle and bridge pins
  • LR Baggs VTC under saddle pickup and preamp
  • Gloss nitrocellulose Ebony finish

Hummingbird Standard

Developed in 1960, the Hummingbird was Gibson’s first square-shouldered dreadnought and was constructed with a mahogany back and rim as standard, aside from some rare maple examples produced in the early '60s (known colloquially as ‘Humming-Doves’). A Gibson brochure titled New ’61 Gibson Guitars & Amplifiers introduced the Hummingbird as “Gibson’s Sensational New Flat Top Guitar… For those interested in owning one of the finest guitars ever made for voice accompaniment.”

Gibson Ebony Hummingbird Standard

(Image credit: Gibson)
  • Mahogany back & sides
  • Sitka spruce top with hand-scalloped X-bracing
  • 24¾” scale mahogany neck
  • 12” radius Indian rosewood fingerboard with double-parallelogram inlays
  • Grover Rotomatic tuners
  • Rosewood bridge with TUSQ saddle and bridge pins
  • LR Baggs VTC under saddle pickup and preamp
  • Gloss nitrocellulose Ebony finish

SJ-200 Standard

The SJ-200 began life in 1937 as an "L-5 Spec." flat-top custom ordered by the ‘singing cowboy’ movie star Ray Whitley. In 1938, the “King of the Flat-Tops” entered production as the Super Jumbo and was renamed Super Jumbo 200 the following year (hence SJ-200) as an indication of its $200 retail value. SJ-200s came with rosewood backs and sides until 1947 when Gibson introduced the more familiar and brighter-sounding maple design.

Gibson Ebony J-200 Standard

(Image credit: Gibson)
  • Flame maple back and sides
  • 25½” scale two-piece maple neck
  • 12” radius Indian rosewood fingerboard with crown inlays
  • Gold Grover Rotomatic tuners
  • Moustache rosewood bridge with TUSQ saddle and bridge pins
  • LR Baggs Anthem under saddle pickup and preamp
  • Gloss nitrocellulose Ebony finish

Visit Gibson's website 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 magazine, MusicRadar, and Guitar World, as well as contributions for specialist books and blogs. He is also a lifelong musician.