1978 Ibanez Concord 698BK Jumbo Guitar

 Update: The owner just gave me the serial number for this which places it at 1978.

This is a customer's instrument and I'd made a new saddle for it last year but it needed a setup again this year. It's a solid-top, laminate-maple back/sides jumbo on the J-200 pattern and with J-200 decorative touches. I forgot to grab the serial number but I'm pretty sure this is a 70s model. It's in good health and has a good, J-200-style tone to it.

You get just enough sparkle out of these for fingerpicking and just enough oomph and boom for heavy-handed strumming without breakup. In that sense, they do the J-200 thing very well. They're definitely a different animal and don't quite have the rich mids-heavy sustain of a proper J. As folks feel the pinch of vintage price increases, though, these are always looking (and sounding) better and better for someone looking for something comparable but not listed under the category of costs a fortune.

The "Johnny Cash" black is pretty cool.

It's also hard to find fault with nice big-block pearl inlay...!

The pickguard is pretty cute with its pearlescent backing under the flower bits. From my experience, these "knock-off" pickguards actually hold-up better than the Gibson originals (which were often face-painted and so rub off with pickwear).

I prefer a big "moustache" bridge like this one compared to the earlier Gibson-style open-wing "moustache" bridges that tend to pull up. It's just practical.

The back and neck finish has a lot of grey "ghosting" to it. Oh well! At least the front is saved.

The Gator case certainly does the job.