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What is Gibson’s holy grail benchmark acoustic?

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To me, the terms holy grail and benchmark are sort of contradictory when it comes to Gibson acoustics. Benchmark signals a high level of accomplishment, but at the same time a ”standard” against which to compare. Holy grail, on the other hand, signals something great but very, very hard to obtain. 

When it comes to Martin, I think the two terms meet in the prewar Brazilian rosewood D-28s. This guitar is both Martin's ”standard”, as well as their holy grail. One might argue that the prewar D-28 is the benchmark, while the prewar D-45 is the holy grail, but I think D-28 holds up well enough.

When it comes to Gibson, it becomes trickier. I would argue that the Banner J-45 would be the benchmark standard, but not necessarily the holy grail guitar. That could be a 30's AJ, or as in my case, a Rosewood Banner SJ. I'm sure for some it would be a 30's J-200...

Just an opinion...a fun discussion for sure...


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