Gibson Guitar Board: Tell me about the Gibson Gospel - Gibson Guitar Board

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Tell me about the Gibson Gospel Why do they go so cheap ?

#21 User is offline   Lee M 

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:24 PM

I have a 1993 Gospel. It is a very nice sounding guitar. I think the reason they go for relatively cheap prices is that 1) it is not an iconic Gibson model and 2) it wasn't all that expensive to begin with, I think $1000 MSRP. The back is laminated because it is arched and has no braces. I have read that the sides are solid but I'm not sure about that.

I bought mine used in 1998 for under $600 so the fact that I could probably sell it for about that much today means I have played it for 14 years for free!
1993 Gibson Gospel
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#22 User is offline   rar 

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:53 PM

View PostMissouriPicker, on 01 July 2012 - 05:04 AM, said:

... does anyone have any info on what is being done at the Garrison plant?

Didn't read this at the time, but maybe it's not too late to respond.

Nothing is being done at the Garrison plant. It was shut down in 2009 (IIRC) -- due to apparently-unsolvable production problems -- and everything anybody thought was worth saving was packed up and shipped back to the U.S.

-- Bob R
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#23 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

I have to step into this one...on behalf of the Gospel Reissue and its laminated back. I have a 1994 Gospel Reissue 100th Anniversay model. It is one of +20 guitars in my guitar collection. (I say this so its understood that it doesn't just automatically get any kind of favoritism or bragging rights b me just because I own one...you know what I mean.)

When I first obtained it (in trade for a different guitar), I was highly skeptical of it being anything but some lesser known Gibson model that I would likely seldom play from my stable of guitars. At first I also thought it likely wouldn't be able to stand up to being a gigging guitar or a guitar in terms of flexibility and durability or a guitar I could bring to the music jams I stage where tons of other acoustic guitars are present and one's guitar is subject to holding its own and when needed standing out against all those guitars.

Yet, over time, I found to my surprise over the past 6 years or so that I've now had it that the Gospel Reissue is probably the second or third most flexible, tough anddurable, pleasure to play guitars in my collection. Right behind my J-45 CS and my SJ. The Gospel Reissue is a great players guitar. Everytime I start setting it aside for another guitar to meet some new musical challenge, I keep ending up coming back to it as a workhorse.

I've read someone trying to compare it to one of the short-lived Canadian models. I've played those and can honestly say the Gospel Reissue and the Canadian models have nothing in common in terms of how they feel, play, or sound. The Canadian models didn't feel like Gibsons. The Gospel Reissue absolutely has a Gibson feel and vibe.

It also does not sound or compare to one of the Epiphone models. The Gospel R has a Montana handcrafted vibe and playability to it, whereas the aforementioned Epiphone models mentioned are very good guitars, they are not comparable except maybe on a spec sheet.

The solid top and the laminated back finishes on the Gospel Reissue is comparable to high end Gibson standards...except, with some corners cut with the laminated back to hold its costs down. This is not found on the Epiphone models. The pickguard is a bit non-Gibsonish, however, a bit of what might have been a Gibson marketing effort to attract church ministers to it who at the time Taylor was pointedly marketing its guitars to as a vast players market to try and penetrate/saturate...thus likely the Gospel name being resurrected at the time by Gibson.

Believe me, when I traded for the Gospel Reissue I never thought it would end up being one of my favorite and most flexible guitars when I got it...with its lesser known model name and laminated back to boot.

Just my two cents.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#24 User is offline   Lee M 

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:12 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 14 July 2012 - 08:23 AM, said:

I have a 1994 Gospel Reissue 100th Anniversay model. The pickguard is a bit non-Gibsonish...


They apparently changed the pickguard in 1994 from the earlier years. They also reversed the bridge and changed the headstock inlay based on pictures of 1994 models I've seen on Ebay.
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#25 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:47 AM

I know Gibson changed the headstock inlay on the 1994...wasn't aware if they changed the bridge, though. I'm not sure if they changed the pickguard, but I will say that the 1994 one in the photo in the e-bay link at the very beginning of this thread appears to possibly have a slightly larger pickguard than mine does...but, it is a bit hard to tell for sure.

Here's a video of me that includes photos of me playing my 1994 Gospel Reissue (its the square shouldered blonde guitar in the photos.)

The round shouldered blonde guitar in the photos is a 1956 NY Epiphone Company F79. (The pre-Texan model from before Gibson purchased Epiphone.)

Disclaimer: Though the video shows my Gospel Reissue and F79 in it, the guitar I'm actually playing in the audio is a 2006 Gibson CS J-45 1964 Reissue. Ah, the magic of audio and video in our modern world.



Video with my 1994 Gibson Gospel Reissue in it.





QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#26 User is offline   Lee M 

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:16 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 15 July 2012 - 08:47 AM, said:

I know Gibson changed the headstock inlay on the 1994...wasn't aware if they changed the bridge, though. I'm not sure if they changed the pickguard, but I will say that the 1994 one in the photo in the e-bay link at the very beginning of this thread appears to possibly have a slightly larger pickguard than mine does...


Nice job on Classical Gas!

Here's a large picture of my 1993. You can see the pickguard is smaller and the curved side of the bridge is on the soundhole side (or backwards as I like to say.) Dove headstock inlay also.

Btw, I enjoyed your comments on the Gospel. It's gratifying to hear someone with so many different guitars say the Gospel is one of their favorites.

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#27 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:17 PM

Interesting...you're right, they changed the bridge between the two years from what is cmmonly referred to as a top belly bridge (facing the soundhole) to a bottom belly bridge (facing away from the soundhole.) Didn't notice that one before. FYI, Gibson has variated using the top belly and the bottom belly bridge design over the years on a number of model year designs. Not really sure what the difference in placement, if any, results in. I always took it to be kinda like the way cars in the 60s would change some minor detail between model years. If someone can chime in on any potential structural or tonal changes with either a top or bottom belly bridge design being use (or is it just a cosmetic thing) it'll be interesting to learn or speculate on. Also, if there is any actual difference with a square shaped non-bellied bridge when it is used, as some models and model years of different guitars have.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#28 User is offline   Lee M 

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:56 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 15 July 2012 - 04:17 PM, said:

Not really sure what the difference in placement, if any, results in. I always took it to be kinda like the way cars in the 60s would change some minor detail between model years.


Pure speculation on my part but I assumed Martin came up with the belly bridge design first and used the bottom belly approach. Gibson, recognizing the superior adhesion properties from the larger surface area, but not wanting to copy Martin (or maybe to avoid patent infringement), just flipped it around.

From a structural standpoint, the bottom belly approach makes more sense to me since there is more area glued down behind the saddle to react against the strings as they try to lift up the bridge. I have no data to suggest there are any structural issues with either approach assuming a properly glued bridge. Soundwise, I seriously doubt there is any difference.
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#29 User is offline   Guitar Joe 

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:38 PM

I don,t know anything about the newer reissue Dove .Some of the older ones made in the seventies with maple back and sides sounded great. My friend had one and it always impressed me.I was playing a very good Martin D35 at the time and that is what I was comparing it with. If its laminated and it sounds good who cares.
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#30 User is offline   Maikan 

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:44 PM

Hi everybody,

I recently did a lot of researches to know a bit more about the 1995 Gibson Gospel I just bought (here in Canada). I mostly found that... a lot of messy and false informations are written.

So, yesterday, I wrote to Gibson Talk 2 Us platform, asking if the '90s Gospel reissues have solid mahogany or laminated back and sides. I had an answer 12 hours later!

Here's:

"Hello Hubert,

They have solid mahogany back and sides. The 70s version is laminated.

Best,

Jordan Hall
Gibson Customer Service"

So, the search is over. The Gospel reissues are all solid wood guitars!

Keep on playin'!
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#31 User is offline   E-minor7 

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 06:56 PM

View PostMaikan, on 12 September 2017 - 06:44 PM, said:

Hello Hubert, , ,





You just can't keep coincidences down. .
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#32 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:42 PM

 Maikan, on 12 September 2017 - 06:44 PM, said:

Hi everybody,

I recently did a lot of researches to know a bit more about the 1995 Gibson Gospel I just bought (here in Canada). I mostly found that... a lot of messy and false informations are written.

So, yesterday, I wrote to Gibson Talk 2 Us platform, asking if the '90s Gospel reissues have solid mahogany or laminated back and sides. I had an answer 12 hours later!

Here's:

"Hello Hubert,

They have solid mahogany back and sides. The 70s version is laminated.

Best,

Jordan Hall
Gibson Customer Service"

So, the search is over. The Gospel reissues are all solid wood guitars!

Keep on playin'!


You are getting fake info, though it may be well intended. The book, Gibson's Fabulous Flat Tops as well as the annual Vintage Guitar Guide and Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars documents the back of the reissue is laminated as was the original. The difference being the original had a maple arched lam back while the reissue has a mahogany arched lam back. The lack of any bracings on the inside of the arched back further demonstrates its laminated on the arched back as does the lower price of either when it was new. There is no way Gibson could sell a carved piece of solid wood in the shape of an arched back and sell it for the price it was sold at new. They legendary story is Gibson had an oversupply of laminated arched backs sitting around in Nashville for the ES175 and decided they could put them to use on the Gospel. Might be a true story or a legendary myth...

I have a 1994 Gospel. It has an arched lam back and others I've seen do, too. Sounds great with it! The Fab Flattop book says it makes a good sound chamber!

BTW, all 3 books also say the sides are also laminated.

You might want to write Jordan back with the 3 source book names and correct info so he can properly respond on Gospels for the next inquiry he gets.

Hope this helps.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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#33 User is offline   Maikan 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:14 AM

Sorry but I tend to believe someone who answers for the company that three non official books.

Like you said it's not bad intentions, but why Gibson would lie to me...? I wrote back to Jordan asking proof.

I'll let you know.
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#34 User is offline   J-1854Me 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:32 AM

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Hubert in Customer Service is wrong. Perhaps he's in Nashville. All the Gospels made in Bozeman were spec'd with laminated sides to accommodate the arched back, and the sides were whatever.
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#35 User is offline   Maikan 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:35 PM

Well, ladies in gentlemen, my bubble did burst.

I called directly to Gibson and the guy did few researches for me. He came to the conclusion it is probably laminated but he has an information that some of the reissues have a solid back. But mine, a 1995 model, has probably a laminated back.

He told me, maybe he felt my disappointment, that he doesn't understand this fight between solid or laminated back. For him, there's no difference in sound.

Anyway, I like my guitar so...

Sorry if I seemed pretentious yesterday; that was not my goal. It was enthousiasm!
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#36 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:58 PM

View PostMaikan, on 13 September 2017 - 03:35 PM, said:

Well, ladies in gentlemen, my bubble did burst.

I called directly to Gibson and the guy did few researches for me. He came to the conclusion it is probably laminated but he has an information that some of the reissues have a solid back. But mine, a 1995 model, has probably a laminated back.

He told me, maybe he felt my disappointment, that he doesn't understand this fight between solid or laminated back. For him, there's no difference in sound.

Anyway, I like my guitar so...

Sorry if I seemed pretentious yesterday; that was not my goal. It was enthousiasm!



No prob! No worries! Forum expertise rules! As does the pursuit of learning more about Gibson guitars.

Here BTW is some additional documentation for future reference in case this topic comes up, again. Attached are photos in this post and the next few posts of Gospel Reissue research pages (you need to click on them to enlarge them) from Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, a 2012 VG Guide, the Gibson's Fabulous Flat-Tops Book, and the inside of my guitar. Gruhn's and the VG Guide refer to the Gospel Reissue backs as laminated. The Fab Flat-tops Book calls them multi-ply (same thing as laminated.) You'll note the inside of my Gospel Reissue has no bracing for the laminated arched back.

Multi-posts are necessary as the site keeps telling me I can only load one photo at a time due to size restrictions.

Hope the photos are clear. No guarantees. Click on them to enlarge them.


QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: 2012 VG Guide-Gospel page.JPG

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#37 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:06 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 13 September 2017 - 03:58 PM, said:

No prob! No worries! Forum expertise rules! As does the pursuit of learning more about Gibson guitars.

Here BTW is some additional documentation for future reference in case this topic comes up, again. Attached are photos in this post and the next few posts of Gospel Reissue research pages (you need to click on them to enlarge them) from Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, a 2012 VG Guide, the Gibson's Fabulous Flat-Tops Book, and the inside of my guitar. Gruhn's and the VG Guide refer to the Gospel Reissue backs as laminated. The Fab Flat-tops Book calls them multi-ply (same thing as laminated.) You'll note the inside of my Gospel Reissue has no bracing for the laminated arched back.

Multi-posts are necessary as the site keeps telling me I can only load one photo at a time due to size restrictions.

Hope the photos are clear. No guarantees. Click on them to enlarge them.


QM aka Jazzman Jeff



Here's another Gospel Reissue research photo.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: Gruhns Guide to VG. Gospels.JPG

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#38 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:07 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 13 September 2017 - 04:06 PM, said:

Here's another Gospel Reissue research photo.



And, here is yet another research photo.

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  • Attached Image: The inside of my Gosp R.JPG

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#39 User is offline   QuestionMark 

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 04:24 PM

View PostQuestionMark, on 13 September 2017 - 04:07 PM, said:

And, here is yet another research photo.


The forum won't let me add the last photo of the inside of my Gospel Reissue. Says the photo is too big. Oh well. Sorry.

Hope the other research I attached is helpful to put this one to rest.

QM aka Jazzman Jeff
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