Epiphone EJ 200SCE – 2021 Review

Vlad
| Last Updated: March 12, 2021

Acoustic guitars can be used for both parties and recording purposes, so why not have both in one instrument?

Epiphone EJ-200SCE is a nice and affordable example of an instrument capable of fulfilling all your needs including stunning visuals.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Comes with an authentic Jumbo-200 style design
  • Comes equipped with a solid Spruce top for better sound
  • Grover Rotomatic machine heads are installed for durability
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Epiphone EJ-200SCE Acoustic-Electric Guitar Vintage Sunburst

PROS

  • A true eye candy 
  • Piezo undersaddle pickup included
  • Jumbo body shaped acoustic guitar
  • Ideal neck profile for electric guitar players

CONS

  • Mediocre factory strings
  • Gig bag would be appreciated

Epiphone EJ 200SCE Specs 

Type of Guitar: Acoustic guitar with preamp

Body Size and Type: Maple Jumbo body

Number of Strings: 6-string nylon guitar

Tonewood: Select Maple body with Solid Spruce top and tortoise shell style

Orientation: Available in right and left-hand orientation

Neck Profile: Hard Maple 60’s Slim Taper D-profile with sloped dove wing headstock

Fretboard: 20-fret Rosewood fretboard with crown inlays, 1.68 inches synthetic nut width and 12-inch radius

Scale Length: 25.5 inches 

Bridge: Traditional Rosewood belly up shape with synthetic saddle and pins

Pickup Type: Fishman Sonitone preamp and Sonicore undersaddle piezo pickup

Color: Ebony, Natural, and Vintage Sunburst

Weight: 4.8 lbs

Hardware: Gold Grover

Pros 

Jumbo Body Shaped Acoustic Guitar

Most acoustic guitars are dreadnought so we’re glad to see a well-made jumbo shaped guitar in this price category by Epiphone. It will deliver you a bigger tone especially regarding the low-end spectrum. Also, it will be significantly louder than most acoustic guitars in this price range.

Piezo Undersaddle Pickup Included

Sometimes even the loudest acoustic guitar needs reinforcement and that’s why electronics should be an essential part of every modern acoustic guitar. This way you can plug your guitar anywhere and also record it in the studio the best possible way.

Undersaddle piezo approach seems to be the best way to leave the tonewood unharmed. With all the modern equipment we find that volume and tone control found at Fishman Sonicore preamp will be more than enough in most situations.

Ideal Neck Profile for Electric Guitar Players

If you have played any electric guitar Epiphone or Gibson before you should be glad to know that EJ-200SCE comes with a ‘60s Slim Taper neck profile, so the actual frets and fretboard radius should provide you very similar experience compared to those you had while playing electric guitar.

A True Eye Candy 

Acoustic guitars tend to be a bit boring regarding their visual appearance and they are usually easy to mix up with other brands, but not the EJ-200SCE. It has a lot of small details on every part of the instrument - crown-shape inlays on the fret, binding on the middle of the guitar in the back, and eye-catching details on the tortoise pickguard and bridge as well.

Cons

Gig Bag Would be Appreciated

A hard case would be a bit too much to ask for at this price, but there is no reason to leave the gig bag out. This isn’t some cheap model and many brands are offering a gig bag as a part of the regular offer. It’s not just a matter of getting extra content, it’s more about time-saving. Instead of browsing for a perfect gig bag, providing one to go would be much more appreciated.

Mediocre Factory Strings

We understand that stock strings can’t be premium, but that doesn’t mean they should be lifeless like the one found on EJ-200SCE.

Epiphone could improve their impression further if they have included premium strings at least as a spare set within this purchase. This way they would also raise awareness of how different acoustic guitars can sound with the proper strings installed.

What Recent Buyers Report 

People are impressed with the specs you’re getting at this price and especially how consistent its intonation is. They would gladly recommend this guitar as the best acoustic guitar for under $500. The overall playability of this instrument surpasses the price offered. They tend to stay away from the comparison with Martin or Taylor guitars as they are aware that Epiphone wasn’t made to compete with them.

It’s usually bought from more experienced players who know what they want from their guitar and those were mostly country rock and acoustic blues players. They report that the guitar has an excellent feel and very good action, especially if you install premium strings on it.

And while we’re at the sound, we didn't find any complaints about it. It was often described as amazing and players tend to mention the overtones this guitar body produces. They loved how reliable the pickup electronics were and found it very useful for larger venues. Only a few professionals found that pickups weren’t good enough for their recordings.

It’s also worth mentioning that recent models don't come with an esonic2 preamp system anymore, so if you were looking for a stereo sound that esonic2 has, you will have to find it on the market and install it yourself, unfortunately.

What Are the Components of the Epiphone EJ 200SCE? 

Epiphone EJ-200SCE is a steel string guitar made of Maple with a Solid Spruce top with the traditional belly-up Rosewood bridge with a synthetic saddle. Its neck is made of Hard Maple and it has a 1960’s SlimTaper D-shape profile and 25.5-inch scale length with 20 Medium Jumbo frets and crown inlay. The nut is made of synthetic material and it’s 1.68-inch wide.

Speaking of inlays they are placed everywhere on this guitar - beside fretboard markers, there is also a nice design on a tortoise pickguard, bridge mustache inlay, and beautiful triple rosette with nice cream side bindings and the middle binding on the back of the body. To improve the aesthetics, the headstock is made in sloped Dovewing design along with 14:1 ratio gold Grover tuning machines.

What Size Strings Come on an Epiphone EJ-200SCE?

Stock strings found at Epiphone DR-100 are regular .013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056 stele string pack. They are officially unbranded, but they are made by D’Addario.

What Pickup is Installed in Epiphone EJ-200SCE?

Epiphone EJ-200SCE comes with Fishman Sonicore preamp along with the undersaddle piezo Sonitone pickup.

What Type of Battery Does Fishman Sonitone Use?

Apparently, all Fishman preamps are using 9 Volt alkaline or lithium batteries.

What Types of Music is the Epiphone EJ 200SCE Best For?

As it is equipped with steel strings, this guitar will suit the best if it’s being used for contemporary music genres. Which one you may ask? Well, it’s all based on your skills - this guitar will sound nice in almost any acoustic genre - country, rockabilly, blues, rock, pop - it’s all about tuning the hand and tone down to genre’s specifics.

It will not sound just great on its own during acoustic cafe events, it could also fit onto any stage with the full band included, too.

So, as long you’re not interested in classical music, EJ-200SCE will do great.

What Ages and Skill Levels is the Epiphone EJ 200SCE Suitable For?

This is a semi-pro guitar that aims at the tiers of players with advanced playing skills, those who are already or about to become professionals. While they may need to perform next to a campfire, they would appreciate the fact that they have good pickup options, so when the time comes, they will know how to utilize it in the studio environment.

But, with that being said, there is no actual reason why a newbie or younger teenager couldn’t perform on it. We would rather like to think about it as a long-term investment than an overkill.

What is Epiphone EJ-200SCE?

EJ-200SCE is an acoustic guitar made by Epiphone and it’s a budget-level version of the original Gibson J-200. Those two guitars share the design and initial specifications such as jumbo body shape or inlay details placed on the fretboard and both tortoise pickguard and bridge.

What Does SCE Mean?

It’s an Epiphone abbreviation that helps us determine the model specifications further:

  • S refers that this guitar comes with the solid top
  • C stands for a cutaway design and 
  • E means it's an acoustic guitar with equipped electronics.

Where Are Epiphone EJ 200SCE Guitars Made?

Epiphone EJ-200SCE is made in Epiphone plants in Qingdao, China.

What Makes the Epiphone EJ 200SCE Stand Out From the Competition?

In the world of plain-looking acoustic guitars, the EJ-200SCE is unique without being awkward. It will simply look wonderful on any stage.

Even if they don’t notice the fretboard inlays it will be hard to miss the pickguard or bridge so it may easily become your trademark - the guy/girl with that cool looking guitar.

And it also fits into Epiphone philosophy - an affordable guitar that sounds better than many others that are twice as expensive.

It comes with everything - acoustically loud low-end because of jumbo body shape, resonant and bright trebles thanks to the Spruce top tonewood, and all equipped with more than decent Fishman electronics.

DR-500MCE vs EJ-200SCE - Comparison Overview 

Those two guitars belong to the Epiphone brand so, besides having the same scale length, neck profile, and number of the frets, let’s see if the price of DR-500MCE feels justified when compared to the lower price of EJ-200SCE:

Ergonomics

EJ-200SCE may feel bulky to some users due to its body weight and on the other hand, DR-500MCE is a Dreadnought acoustic guitar. 

It’s one of the most frequent body shapes you will see at the acoustic guitar models. That’s why it will be more physically suitable for different kinds of players, especially with a single-cutaway feature that will be appreciated by all those who are planning to move a bit further from the first couple of frets.

Sound

DR-500MCE has a hand scalloped X-bracing pattern on the top which should improve the overall tone sustain and bring more professional sound to the instrument. Having a Matte finish will also improve the overall sound as there won’t be so many paint layers that can dampen the sound.

Acoustic Differences

EJ-200SCE has a jumbo body shape. This means it will be much louder because of its body type, so if you plan to play acoustically it will provide you with more content than a DR-500MCE.

However, if you don’t care about loudness or plan to use electronics frequently there is no reason to pick it over DR-500MCE.

Pickups

While they both share the Fishman Sonicore pickup, DR-500MCE is equipped with Fishman Presys preamp instead of Sonitone. This in general means that you will have much more tone shaping options with DR-500MCE and the built-in tuner may also come in handy. But, if you prefer to leave your tonewood unchanged, it’s worth knowing that the EJ-200SCE preamp comes into the sound hole mount position.

Visual Appearance

While both guitars look very nice, especially in vintage sunburst color finish, we must say that EJ-200SCE wins this contest within a second. While we love tortoise pickguard on DR-500MCE it simply looks plain and uninteresting next to EJ-200SCE, especially with that gold Grover tuner.

Sum-up

Our impression is that both guitars are excellent models and that DR-500MCE is more expensive for a valid reason. If the budget allows you it will prove to be a better investment. 

So, will you feel sorry if you pick EJ-200SCE instead? Unless you’re having professional ambitions or you’re a small frame person, we don’t think so. Both guitars are providing you a nice value for the money they are asking for and be sure that EJ-200SCE will be more fun at crowded gatherings.

Acoustic Guitar Pickup Types

With guitars such as Epiphone EJ-200SCE, installing a different pickup may be an option that seems somewhat logical based on the wood quality found in this guitar. Let’s see what are pros and cons for several pickup models available:

Piezo Pickup

These are also known as contact pickups. They are placed on or beneath the soundboard and they use sound vibrations of the strings going directly to the tonewood.  It is prone to capture the best sound of the strings so, in general, you will get a crisp and clean tone, perhaps a bit too bright sometimes. 

The overall tone is dependent on the position a lot and it won’t capture the tonewood sound which may be essential to the acoustic guitar sound. Also, when compared to others, the overall volume is not the loudest you can get. 

Soundhole Pickup

As you may guess, this passive pickup is mounted directly onto the soundhole. It’s also called magnetic pickup as it uses the magnetic pulse to capture the sound of the strings and usually they have a bit of struggle delivering a piece of low-end spectrum information compared to other types. That’s why it might be a better choice for the fingerpicking players first.

Transducer Pickup

These pickups are placed beneath the soundboard right below the bridge position and it’s available as both passive and active type. It will sound great for strumming and the only drawback we can think of it is that just like undersaddle pickup it’s not made to be switched between several guitars.

Microphone Pickup 

This is probably the best way to capture your acoustic guitar. That’s why they are more expensive as well. So, what’s the catch? Well, with the nature of the microphone comes feedback. That’s why modern models tend to blend microphone pickups with other options to provide you with the best quality and minimize the feedback.

Conclusion 

Epiphone EJ-200SCE is a beautiful and affordable acoustic guitar that can bring you closer to the pro sound level both live and in the studio and make a significant difference to your visuals. It’s a brainer for any large-frame player or anyone who needs extra “oomph” from their acoustic guitar.

People Also Ask

Now that we have covered you with the facts about Epiphone EJ-200SCE let’s cover some questions that feel related to this instrument such as the difference between acoustic and electric guitar, what makes jumbo acoustic guitars so special, and also a bit more of EJ-200SCE tech info.

How Long Do Active Pickup Batteries Last on Epiphone EJ-200SCE?

Epiphone EJ-200SCE is equipped with the Fishman Sonitone preamp and this preamp manual says that you should have around 100 working hours before battery change. That being said, always remember to pull the plug out of your guitar if you’re done with playing for a while.

What is the Difference Between a Semi-Acoustic and Acoustic Guitar?

Semi-acoustic or archtop guitars are a bit closer to electric guitars than acoustic. They have a pickup and the main sound content is generated by plugging the guitar into an amp or soundboard.

Yes, they can also be played acoustically in some terms, but the sound is much thinner and weaker when compared with the typical acoustic guitar.

Is Acoustic Guitar Harder Than Electric?

While they both share the number of strings and shape of the frets, those two guitars are not easy to compare. While the initial playing style might be the same, the complete mindset about playing those instruments is different and the answer may depend a lot on what your personal preference is.

Is a Jumbo Acoustic Guitar Good for Beginners?

Jumbo acoustic guitar body shapes are appropriate for all large frame players. A tall or big person may find the original dreadnought small. You may also love the bass sound those guitars can produce, but in general Jumbo, guitars shouldn’t be harder to learn on than any other body shape.

Is the Epiphone EJ 200SCE Good Guitar?

Definitely. EJ-200SCE provides you with the excellent build quality and beautiful visuals. It’s one of the most affordable jumbo acoustic guitars on the market. And let’s not forget that it provides you with a preamp, too.

When compared with other brands, Epiphone guitars tend to provide you with incredible value for the money invested.

Can I Use Nylon Strings on Epiphone EJ-200SCE?

Yes. Originally, Epiphone EJ-200SCE was made for steel strings, but the bridge system can support nylon strings as well. It will provide you a different more mild sound that may be appropriate for specific music genres.

How to Care For an Epiphone EJ 200SCE Guitar

Once you’re done with playing, storing the guitar back in the case or gig bag is an essential part of taking care of your acoustic guitar. Also, applying string conditioner, wiping strings down, and playing with clean hands may prolong the lifespan of strings installed on your guitar.

How to Date an Epiphone EJ 200SCE

Right at the back of the headstock, there is a serial number. The first 4 numbers are dedicated for manufacturing year and month info, so 1006 indicated that this guitar was made in June 2010.

For more information, check the website on the link.

Do They Make a Left Handed EJ-200SCE Anymore?

Yes, they are still available on several online stores with no words about discontinuing the production from Epiphone.

As the market for left-handed players isn’t so popular, perhaps you can drop a visit to this link and find out a bit more about other models also available.

Vlad

I'm a 35-year-old rock-oriented professional musician from Belgrade, Serbia with 20 years of field experience in various areas of the music industry. After graduating from elementary music school I joined my first band Alogia in 2001 which had incredible initial success with the debut album and became one of the greatest Balkan heavy metal acts ever. We have recorded several studio and live albums and played as an opening act for Whitesnake, Apocalyptica, and Paul Di’Anno. Meanwhile, I got a chance to collaborate with Roland Planet shop and get familiar with various music equipment for more than a decade. For the last eight years, I have done live audio mixing for numerous bands and other live and studio events, including some TV audio mixing for national television broadcast as well. Currently, I’m playing keyboards for one of the most authentic Serbian music rock legends - Dr. Nele Karajlić, also known for his work with Zabranjeno Pušenje and No Smoking Orchestra.