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Why Gibson?

#1 User is offline   Guitarooster52 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:14 PM

There are lots of other great acoustic guitars out there. Why did you choose, or want to get a Gibson? Why not Martin, Taylor, L'Arrivee, Takamine, Blueridge.....

I'm not out to be critical, I'd just like your honest thoughts.
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#2 User is offline   lammataohc 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:07 PM

I am a first time gibson owner but I like 'em because it lets you dig in to the guitar without it breaking up. The sound does not change just the volume and I love that!
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#3 User is offline   Jayla 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:33 PM

I really like the sound of Gibson acoustics.
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#4 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:53 PM

Quite a few different reasons:

I'm primarily attracted to the tone that is uniquely Gibson. I love the sound that I've heard at live shows and via the recordings from a number of different artists: think Jackson Browne, Russ Barenberg, etc. - the list of singers & pickers could extend for quite a ways, not to mention numerous country blues artists.

I also like the look of Gibson acoustics - I'm a big fan of sunbursts and the round shouldered designs.

Gibson's history plays into the equation somewhat, but it's not nearly as important to me as the points mentioned above.

I'm a sucker for a good Gibson and I've owned a number of different models over the past few years (all Bozeman examples from 1991 on): a J30, a J50, and a J35. I currently own a J45TV.

That said, I don't consider myself a cheerleader for Gibson by any means. For the tone that I've been looking for, I feel like I've had to play at least twenty Gibsons for every one that truly appealed to me. I prefer a dry, punchy, woody, balanced tone. I don't like a low E that goes "thunk" or "thud" with no clarity at all, and I don't like trebles that lack presence or energy as you move up the neck or trebles that are too thin. I certainly don't like guitars that sound just plain lifeless. Too many Gibson acoustics that I've played over the past number of years fall into one or more of these categories. Those characteristics might work well for others, but its just not what I'm looking for.

However, when I do manage to find a Gibson that meets my requirements, I feel that few other guitars can provide as much satisfaction to my ears, certainly given the price. There are quite a few great guitars being produced right now - each of them appealing to their own group of fans. The music that I prefer to create owes quite a bit to traditional, roots based genres including country blues and some older country music. For what I like, the Gibson sound just works. There are plenty of other guitars that I would also love to own, but I'll probably always have a soft spot for the Gibson tone.

I was talking with a salesman at a Gibson dealer a few months ago. We were sitting in the store's high end showroom where a number of Gibsons reside along with some other models from smaller builders. He was playing a few of the guitars for me to listen to - I think he could have made just about any guitar sound heavenly. Many of those other guitars were very nice and I could understand the appeal if I were spending most of my time in alternate tunings, playing more modern fingerstyle music (for lack of a better expression, and I do create music like this as well). I think the salesman summed it up perfectly - after commenting on a boutique brand the store carried and noting how excited others in the store were about that brand he said "those other guitars are beautiful, but where are the meat and potatoes? They're just not what I'm after. Gibsons just have it." I couldn't have said it any better.

All the best,
Guth
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#5 User is offline   Modac 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:27 PM

My introduction to Gibsons was through pre war L-00s and the like, long before it became fashionable and costly to acquire them, and before all you get was somebody else's junk----for a ridiculous price. The reason I liked them was because they had more tonal coloration than Martins, and they were more malleable in my hands. I could play more expressively with them. Sadly, the vast tonal palettes of those old Gibsons are not always the case with some of the Montana guitars I've owned and tried. Happily, I have managed to find several that fairly held their own, in comparison with the the better old Gibsons I've owned and played. I like Martins too, and some of their imitators, as well.
The Legend and TV series are a nice step in the right direction for Gibson.....not only are they guitars that look cool, but they actually sound like Gibsons are supposed to sound----which is not generally the case with most of the Montana models, though many of them surpass the 60s and 70s monstrosities Gibson was churning out, back then.
Dennis
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#6 User is offline   Guth 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:56 PM

Modac,

Going back about twenty-plus years ago or so, I had a chance to purchase a few 30's era L-00s before the prices became too prohibitive. One or two examples were extremely tempting, but the size of the necks (thickness, not width) kept me out of the game. Great sounding guitars however. The tone of of those guitars definitely served to increase my fondness for Gibson acoustics.

All the best,
Guth
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#7 User is offline   Honky Dog 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:20 PM

I have played a lot of different brands of guitars, and none come close to Gibson for the sound I'm going for (Americana or Alt Country). I started playing guitar when I was around 21 or so. At the time, two good buddies played professionally (we were all friends with each other). One was a rock and roll drummer, but also a good country acoustic player. He had a 60's model Gibson 12-string. The other friend played bluegrass. He was the guitar player for The Outdoor Plumbing Company since age 15, and was good enough that he played onstage with Bill Monroe, The Seldom Scene, and others. His guitar was an original 1937 Martin D-28. I got to play both, and for me the Gibson always won out. But I don't play bluegrass. Both guys owned the best guitar for what they did. So I don't knock other brands. Hell, I keep wanting a Martin, Taylor, etc. etc., but when I play 'em and sing, there's just something about the Gibson that I love. It's like soul, or essence, or compatibility, or all of the above.
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#8 User is offline   RANEYM305 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:58 PM

The story behind my 1970 Gibson is pretty basic: I wanted to be unique.

Most country artists play Martin's and I wanted to stand out from the crowd. Years ago, before I had even tested any acoustic guitars against eachother I knew that I wanted a vintage Gibson (vintage, because I heard it sounds warmer). I had spent most of my stage and studio time playing electric, so most of my resarch, time, and money had been spent on electric guitars and gear.

When it came time to upgrade from my Takamine to something better, I sat down with a few Gibsons & Martins (old and new), and a few taylors and Epiphone Masterbilts. All of them dreadnoughts.

I was in love after playing a '68 J-50!

The Martins (new and old) had a great mid range tone. Great for anyone who plans on singing along and has a mid to high range voice. The Taylors, as you can probably guess, were to high and tinny sounding. Now, when it came to Gibson. The new Gibsons had a nice deep tone, but they were too crisp for me. the '68 I played was deep, and thick and rich! It was perfect for my baritone voice! I new that I had to have it... unfortunately I didn't have the money.

Last week, at my local music store (I live in a small farming town with a rinky-dink music store) I found a (soon-to-be MY) 1970 Gibson J-50 they had just got in on a trade. The guitar looked and played nice, but sounded like crap. The strings hadn't been changed in years.

Never-the-less, I acted on impulse. Went home, grabbed my Takamine, grabbed one of my American Strats, took out a couple hundred dollars from the bank, and made an offer on the crappy sounding/nice looking guitar.

I went home that afternoon, swapped the old rusty strings out for some Elixer Nanowebs, and fell in love again! That rich, thick, warm, delicious tone that I heard from that '68 I played a few years ago, came rushing right back to me all at once... It's hard to describe how I felt when I strummed that first G chord. It was like I had done something wrong, like the sound coming out of the guitar I was holding, shouldn't have sounded that way... not that good! I was completely taken back by how large and full the sound was!

...It was beautiful!

I have not put that guitar down at all this past week. I've played two shows this past week and spent about 10 hours in the studio, refusing to play anything but my acoustic.
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#9 User is offline   ballcorner 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:23 PM

I think many of us play around with several brands. There are some people here who appear to exclusively play Gibsons, but if you look at their collections you see a wide range of tonal characteristics despite sticking to that single brand.

I personally have a bit of everything, except Taylor.
Collings OM1E, Collings C10, Collings D2HSB, Martin OM-21, Godin 5th Avenue, Guild X-175 Manhattan, La Patrie Concert, three slabs and a uke.
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#10 User is offline   rustystrings 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:17 AM

I've owned lots of guitars and played even more. I've had the hard-core vintage stuff, old archtops, a '50s Martin, modern guitars, etc. My serious acoustics, though, tended to be old sunburst Gibsons, primarily an LG-2.

The guitar that changed how I hear guitars was a battered, refinished c.1950 J-45 with two dozen repaired cracks. Nothing else compared after that. Still, I wasn't ready to go down that road, and I insisted on playing a modern Taylor - a nice, big 815C jumbo with the usual Taylor toothpick neck.

Years passed. I trimmed the guitar lineup down to not much more than one acoustic, one electric, and a couple of old classicals. Then one day on a whim I lifted a J-45 off the wall of a Guitar Center. I was still raising it, hadn't even played a note on it, and the neck profile in my left hand just felt so RIGHT. Dead strings, terribly-setup nut, but it just whispered, "welcome home."

The Taylor is gone. The Telecaster lies dreaming in its case. The classicals bide their time. Every time I play the J-45 I hear my own history with the guitar. Intellectually, I understand that there is no finer guitar for accompanying the human voice than a J-45/J-50/Southern Jumbo - but emotionally, it just feels like home.
2005 Gibson J-45 Historic Collection
2012 Kremona Fiesta FS
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1950? Favilla U2 soprano
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#11 User is offline   peiplayer 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:45 AM

I bought my first acoustic a Martin D28 in late 2005. Didnít know anything about acoustics other than Martin and Gibson supposedly made good ones. Never heard of Taylor, Takamine, etc. Even though I preferred the look and sound of a J45 that the store had, I was talked into buying a D28 by the salesman who essentially said Gibsons were all c**pÖ.a mantra I have heard repeatedly since. I never lost my preference and soon realized I had made a mistake. The Martin was a fine guitar, I just never bonded with it I guess.

After a few months I traded for a new J45 at considerable loss, but Iím glad I did and have never regretted it. That doesnít mean to say that now I would only play Gibson. Many of my playing pals have Martins, Yamahas, and I would play any of Ďem, Iím not that obsessively attached.
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#12 User is offline   albertjohn 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:11 AM

I'm a bit of a marketing man's dream.

As a youngster I was into playing brass instruments and thelectronic organ. All the musical instruments seemed to be Yamaha. When I took up the guitar my heros at the time (70s) were Santana and Phil Manzanera - both Yamaha SG2000 players - start of GAS!

Then I discovered The Who so for acoustics it had to be Gibson. Even though I'm yet to get an SJ200. I just wanted to sound like the intro to Pinball Wizard or Behind Blue Eyes.

When I could afford one, I'd decided that a 200 was too big so went for a dread sized guitar. No regrets. But......

"One day, it shall be mine!"

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07 Gibson Songwriter Deluxe
04 Takamine EF381SC - 12 string
95 Fender Stratocaster - American Standard
74 Yamaha SG30
Fishman Loudbox 100
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Fender Super Champ XD
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#13 User is offline   Taylor Player 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:30 AM

I love the tonal difference my Gibson gives me. I obviously love my Taylor's too, but chose the AJ because it was everyting a Taylor is not, plays well for fingerstyle and strumming and just looks like what I expect an awesome Dreadnaught to look like. (I prefer slope shoulders to square).

I wanted to like Martins, but found them dull, lifeless and boring when played next to my Taylor... When I picked up the AJ and played it, it was love..... I knew it was definately not a Taylor sound but it works for everything that I don't play on my Taylors and has taken some songs away that I normally would play on a Taylor.
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#14 User is offline   stumps 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 04:26 AM

I recently finished an exhaustive search for my ultimate guitar. I went through several mental/attitude phases of the search, and out of frustration I settled on two concepts - 1) I am an acoustics man, so I quit looking at electrics, and 2) I was purposefully going to remove $$ from the equation. I wanted to find what sounded best for me, and then worry if I could afford it after I found it.

Now, a bit about me. I'm 40, been playing for 25 years - the last 18 exclusively acoustic. I don't have time to play in bands, it's all for my own pleasure and any family who wishes to listen. I listen to nearly every kind of music, and I gravitate toward anything authentic - so I don't care for pop music or anything that sounds like a production board made it rather than musicians. I play folk, rock, bluegrass - artists on my set list include eagles, grateful dead, johnny cash, john denver, simon and garfunkel, bill monroe and doc watson. I'm probably 60% flatpicking and 40% fingerpicking.

So now that that is out of the way... my selection process when like this:

Started looking at Martins and Taylors. I tried 8 or 9 Martins in the $2800 - $3500 range (store price, not list.
I tried a few more Taylors, maybe over 10 models, the most expensive was $4000 out the door.
I also tried a few Breedloves, Guilds, and a few smaller companies like Huss and Dalton.

Where I live, there aren't many Gibson dealers, so I was 3 months into the shopping phase before I made it in to try a Gibson. All I can tell you is that when I picked up the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio, at the first chord my heart ached. As i played I thought to myself "wow, I never knew I played so well!" I played that guitar for 30 minutes. I put it down, played a few more, circled back to it, same thing again, the sound just blew me away -clear ringing highs, pure, warm rumbles and purrs from the lows. Now to be fair to Gibson, I had already tried 3 other Gibsons that were more money than the Songwriter, but this guitar was just perfect for me.

Having said all that, I firmly believe that for each player there really is an ultimate guitar. In the Gibson I know I have found mine, but that doesn't mean that the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio is the best guitar ever made, it's the best one for me. You might pick one up and play it and not notice anything special. So, I don't believe that the Gibson guitar is the best, I think Taylors and Martins and a few others are fine guitars, but the reason I picked the Gibson over them is because the sound was exactly what I wanted, and it's the only guitar that gave me that sound.

I'll throw in here that many folks in this board seem to have collections of guitars. To be honest, with 4 kids I knew that this guitar purchase was going to be my one and only, so it's my one true guitar. I think someone with a collection of guitars might have a different perspective to offer you.

My two cents...
Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio - to the folks in Bozeman - three words - "wow" and "thank you"
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#15 User is offline   wonderful remark 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 05:06 AM

Posted Image

because he did..
J45, SJ200, Advanced Jumbo, Les Paul
And bunch of non-Gibson guitars... But who's counting?
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#16 User is offline   Hall 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:19 AM

I don't care if it's ACME, if it is crafted well, sounds good and plays to the touch. I have old and new Gibsons, Martins and a fine Taylor among the crowd. I just like guitars, and the older one might be, the happier I will probably be as well.
"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." w.s.
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#17 User is offline   Hoss 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:41 AM

For me, it's all about the sound. And all I know is that the Gibson sound works for the music I like to play. (traditional old time) Martins are nice, and have many qualities that I like, but they don't hit all the buttons like a good Gibson.

I could go on and on about the comparative qualities of tone, sustain, balance, etc, but why bother? You all know what I'm talking about.
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#18 User is offline   Hall 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 07:44 AM

Sure do. Whatever makes one happy.
"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." w.s.
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#19 User is offline   Taylor Player 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:11 AM

Quote

Posted Image

because he did..


Hopefully you trim your ends a bit shorter though........ =D>
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#20 User is offline   Hall 

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 08:15 AM

Quote


Hopefully you trim your ends a bit shorter though........ :-"




Naw. Lets go back to that. Worked so well for him.
"The empty vessel makes the loudest sound." w.s.
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