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anzafrank

What got you hooked on the Gibson brand?

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That is assuming there are some here who are actually addicted to Gibson acoustics, and i'm wondering just how you became a Gibson nut. For me it started with  playing a high school friends B-25 after having only owned very cheap acoustic guitars prior to that . That little B-25 was a real eye opener along with him having a bunch of very enticing music store Gibson brochures, and that started the insanity.   

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As it used to say on the outside of the case--and still says on my Gibson denim jacket-- "Tone, Feel, Appearance."

When I started college in New England in 1965, most of the guys I knew who played had Martins. Then I spent a year in school in Mississippi in 1966-67, and most of my redneck guitar-playing friends had Gibsons. There was a lot more variety in tone and appearance in the Gibsons.

At the end of the day, if there had been a $50 Martin as well as a $50 Gibson on the wall when I walked into that store in Jackson, I'm not sure which would have gone home with me.

But there wasn't, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Now I can afford both brands, and I have both brands. But I always seem to end up playing a Gibson.

Tone, feel, appearance..

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Years ago when I was ready to buy my first quality  acoustic, my local music store had every one of their Martins hanging high on the wall where you couldn't reach them.   Gibson on the other hand had a promotional floor display right within reach.   To me, it seemed like he really didn't want to sell his Martins.   I went home with a mahogany Songbird.  Marketing is everything.   I admit I went off course when I was on my Taylor kick but came to my senses when I missed that Gibson sound.   They simply sound like a guitar should.   

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While I've always thought that Gibsons, in general, were good looking guitars, it was the sound that got me.  I owned several different brands before I bought my first Gibson, so I kind of had an idea of what I didn't want.  Right now, I have six guitars...……..five of them are Gibsons.

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Refreshingly original thread.    I became addicted because the first 'good' guitar I owned - which I had to stretch to buy (a new '64 LG1) - just kept sounding better and better.  In retrospect, Mel Bay might have had something to do with it.   But, I began to notice guitars on tv and in the movies.  The acoustic ones  seemed to be J45s most of the time.  Whenever I tried another maker's guitar, it just didn't sound right.   On the other hand, I never became a 'fan boy' for one make of car.  Had Chevies, Fords and Dodges.  Loved them all. 

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the bands I loved played them, (2 other brands as well,)  they seemed to be a pinnacle...and are.

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I've always been drawn to Gibsons and Martins.  Mainly Gibsons, but I see a lot of the same qualities in both---tradition, history, quality, the legends that play them, and simply the attribute of them being what a guitar is expected to be.  I've owned other brands.  Had a Taylor (although I didn't wear a toga when I played it....lol) and a couple of Breedloves.  Nice guitars, but not me.  Just don't think they fit me and the songs I like to play and write (and my songs are part of who I am and what I want to project).  Had a few Epiphones and some cheaper guitars that are/were okay, but I just jack-around at home with them.  I just always come back to my Gibsons.   To me, Taylors are the girl you meet in church.  She's pretty as hell, polite, pristine, and your mom and dad will love her.  You take her to the best places......Gibsons and Martins are the girl you meet in a bar.  She plays pool with the bikers.  She can cuss like a truck driver.  She's pretty, but in a "been there, done that" kind of way.  She's a fan of Janis, Cash, and Dylan.  She speaks her mind and if you can't handle that, it's your problem.  She is who she is and she makes no apoligies for it.  And if you want to date her, she's happy with some Jim Beam and a sofa.

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Great question. I’m a relative newbie a bit over 1.5 years of lessons and playing. I bought 5 guitars since starting. Three beginner priced Alvarez guitars and a Martin GP 35E. After the Martin purchase I quit playing the Alvarez’s and sold them. I started looking for  a second quality guitar, played many, liked many but the J -45 hooked me. I went to many stores and every time I found a J- 45 it seemed to call my name. I got my J-45 just three weeks ago and now I’m having trouble finding time to play my Martin. It’s a combination of playability due to the short scale I think and the tone. I’m just hooked on this thing and the great looks don’t hurt its appeal. Truth is I love this guitar.

Edited by jschmitz54
Grammar
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I'm game as I have some time on my hands this evening (as will be proven by the length of my post which I will apologize in advance for). In my case a  review of my posting history here on the forum reveals that I have had a long-term love/hate relationship with these guitars going back many years now. Yet I would say that I'm hooked on Gibson acoustics in the sense that I kept coming back to them time and again, always in search of the dry, woody tone that I have tucked away somewhere deep in my mind. While I'll admit to being hooked on Gibson acoustics, I would also note that I just happen to really like acoustic guitars in general. I have owned some really nice ones over the years from a number of prestigious builders. For whatever reason those guitars have all been moved on to new owners. I do still have a couple of guitars from the other major builders — a Martin and a Taylor to go along with my Gibsons. They all get played and I do enjoy them all. However, at some point down the road I will eventually begin to sell off some of my guitars. But as long as I have at least one acoustic guitar around  it would seem that I am sure to have a Gibson. 

Here is my Gibson timeline...

I purchased my first Gibson acoustic from Ray Hennig (of Ray Hennig's Heart of Texas Music) in Austin back in 1991. I had just been to a guitar show there in town and stopped by Ray's store afterwards as it was only a few blocks away. While talking with Ray he asked if any guitars had grabbed my attention at the show. When I told him of the one that did he asked how much the guitar was. Upon learning the price of the guitar at the show he informed me that he could hook me up with a brand new one for that amount. The guitar was a J-30 and Ray made me a hell of a deal. I would go on to buy my second Gibson from Ray as well. It was a mid-90's J-50. Both of those Gibson's are now gone (as is the HoT Music store itself that was located on South Lamar). My favorite thing about those particular Gibson guitars was that I bought them from Ray. Amazing guy — truly one of a kind. Ray sold an unbelievable number of guitars to countless musicians over the years yet he always recognized me every time I stepped foot in his store remembering exactly what guitars I had bought from him in the past.

Sometime around 2000 or so came a J-35 that I purchased from Fuller's Guitar in Houston. I took a day off of work in Austin and headed down to Houston specifically to visit Fuller's. They had a lot of Gibson's there but it was one of their J-35's in particular that caught my ear that day. It would wind up joining me for the drive back to Austin.  It was an otherwise uneventful trip as I didn't stop anywhere else other than Fuller's that day. That J-35 is also long gone as I ended up trading it back back to Fuller's for a National Vintage Steel Delphi guitar. It appears that Fuller's Guitar itself is still doing well to this day.

In 2008 I purchased my J-45 TV made that same year from Cotten Music in Nashville.  It was listed in amongst the used guitars that they had for sale. When I called Kim Sherman (a truly awesome woman) to inquire about it she had someone play the guitar for me over the phone. I could tell just by what I heard over the phone that the guitar had some qualities that I liked. It remains my all-time favorite guitar out of all of those that I've owned. I see that Cotten Music is no longer around as it was acquired by The North American Guitar and is now TNAG Nashville. It does appear that Kim is still around and a partner in the business.

Around 2009 or 2010 I purchased my 2006 Advanced Jumbo from Pioneer Music here in Portland. My friend Dan was working at the store the day that I happened upon the AJ. When he asked me how I liked the guitar I replied something to the effect that I was likely going to buy it. He just kind of nodded his head while commenting "that thing is a beast", lol. Pioneer music has been closed for a number of years now yet I still have that AJ.

My last Gibson encounter came by way of a trade. A shop here in Portland named Guitar Crazy had a 2007 maple Advanced Jumbo that caught my eye every time I stopped by. I never asked to play it as I didn't really need another guitar nor did I really have the money to spend on one. Then one day while stopping I got to talking to the owner about the maple AJ. That's when I learned that the guitar belonged to a friend of the shop's owner and that he might be open to trades if I had something that appealed to him. The rest is history as they say.

That was back in 2012. It was my last guitar acquisition and practically my last time to step foot in a guitar store. Guitar Crazy no longer has a brick & mortar presence. It will soon be coming up on eight years since I brought the maple AJ home with me. At this point in time it seems very likely that I am done acquiring guitars. I suppose it is only fitting that my last acquisition involved a Gibson acoustic guitar. One other thing to note: I played numerous others Gibson's over the years including quite a few vintage models. It is likely pure coincidence that I ended up hanging on to the three Gibson's that were built over three consecutive years from 2006 to 2008. On the other hand who knows, this just might have been a particular time during Gibson's Bozeman factory history that resulted in guitars that appealed to me more than all the others I've encountered over the years. 

So there you have it. Whatever the reason behind the attraction, I feel extremely fortunate to own those Gibson's that I have ended up hanging on to.

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My uncle had an Every Brothers acoustic in the early '70s that he got from somebody who owed him money and every time I would visit him in LA I spent hours playing it. I only knew a few chords at that time but he assured me that when I was older I could take it home with me. The next summer i went to stay with him I asked him where the guitar was and he pointed to a beat up Sanger flat bottom ski boat in the garage and said "It's right there." I never really got over that guitar and it instilled a lifelong love for Gibson guitars. I've had a few new ones over the years but my '64 Bird is the love of my life and I never felt the need to get anything else after she came into my life. (Thanks Norm) The funny thing my uncle's last name was...(wait for it) Martin. My dad always said a "A boat is just a hole in the water that you pour money into."

Edited by Holiday Hoser

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The look of the Gibson J-200 is what. First attracted me to Gibson acoustics. The look was huge, uniquely American, and as big as a Western Sky.

Being born a Brooklyn NY boy trapped in a sea of disco, Bee Gees, and Travolta... that big western image was crazy alluring.

so... the look got me. I’ve played and owned more models than I care to admit, and the J200 tone ended up not being what kept me in the Gibson fold. The tone of the slopes, and some squares, hit my sweet spots.

I love Bozeman Gibsons, and I always will. The tone.  The dry raw sound. The thump. But yeah... it was a look and a mirage that attracted me in the first place.

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A guy in my high school circle had a J50.  It stood out in a good way.   Then you'd see them in the hands of the Fabs, Stones, Dylan.  But it wanst til some years later that I got a late 60s j45.  Carried that one for a long time.   A  D28 was my first good guitar, tho.    I never took to it, even tho I was listening to CSNY and Flatt & Scruggs by then.  You'd think a guy would learn. 

Hey Sal. Talk about J200's.  That picture of Dylan with on the cover of Nashville Skyline says to me exactly what you are talking about. Petty with his Dove in the late 70s ...

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Being left handed .

 

I was looking to upgrade my old Yamaha which had been my main guitar for a few years.At that time quality lefties were hard to find.

 

I found a one off Sj 200  True Vintage  lefty at Fuller’s Vintage Guitar in Houston.It was purchased without ever being played or inspected by me.

 

Needless to say it was amazing !

 

 

 

JC

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Listening to the Stones acoustic stuff on Exile, Sticky Fingers, Let it Bleed and loving the sound of Keith's Hummingbird.  Strangely enough I don't have a Hummingbird I have a Southern Jumbo but that's what got me started.

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Like has been stated here before, the tone the feel and the looks.   Oddly enough for me when I first got into trying to play the guitar the first couple Gibsons I tried did not hook me.   One day I went to check out another guitar I picked up a J 45  and I was hooked .   I have to admit as well that the fact that so many of the people in Rock and Roll seemed to play Gibson's that influenced me.  

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It took a while for me, over years - I went from being a Gibson-hater to coming to love a battered '60 LG-2, having the way I hear acoustic guitars changed by exposure to a specific '62 J-50, then briefly owning a battered, rebuilt but fragile '50 J-45.   Even the old Gibson archtops I had, despite their charms, didn't completely nail me.

It was a chance thing, taking a guitar off the wall on my first visit to a Guitar Center while looking for something else, that finally hooked me for good.  I stood there, lifting this brand new '05 J-45 Historic Collection with dead strings and bad action due to shallow nut slots, without ever having played a note on it, just holding it by the neck, with this feeling - "Why is MY guitar on the wall of this Guitar Center?"  

When I eventually listened to that voice, I bought it and dialed it in and played it.  Somehow that guitar nailed the feeling of the old LG-2's neck with the things I loved about the old J-45 and J-50's sound, but with something else.  This guitar just has a certain breathy, lively quality to it.  It always makes me smile, and I always feel slightly sad when it is time to put it back in the case.  This guitar is simply it, the one I've been looking for since I started playing.

Now, I will admit, I would still love to score a 2013-15 LG-2 American Eagle - but to accompany and augment, never to replace ...

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It was the tone that hooked me first, as well as the beautiful artistic look of Gibsons. The Gibson tone is unlike anything else in the world out there. It is unique. It compliments and supports the human voice in a way I have found no other guitar in the entire world does. And when I discovered the Gibson Hummingbird and Gibson J-45 models, there simply was no looking back. I had hit gold, and there I stayed.

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Cutting a very long story short......I played in electric blues bands for many years...at one stage I took 4 guitars to gigs - Strat, Tele, Les Paul Custom, metal body Dobro for acoustic slide sets. (the Les weighed approx 3 tons!, Dobro 5 tons!).

I was looking to extend my acoustic set by using the Dobro in standard tuning instead of open tunings and I did a lot of playing and singing at home and it was becoming obvious that re-tuning all the time was a problem that just would not work on stage for me. I started looking for another acoustic, ended up with a Martin 15 series cutaway with pickup. Now we were reading about my same guitar online one day and it was  ...gulp.... a forum! Now, while everyone exclaimed the worth of my 15 series on this forum, the word was that a Gibson L-00 was even better for acoustic blues!

So I started researching Gibson L-00s online and the forum verdicts were that the 30s L-00 were the bees, but quite expensive and here...none! So I added my local shops to the search and found an inner city shop that carried a guitar called a Gibson Blues King L-00. I played it in the shop and bought it! And not too long after I joined the Gibson Acoustic Forum! (where lots of people had a low opinion of the Gibson Blues King L-00).

Nevertheless, I still have the Blues King nearly 10 years later and it is superb! My friend who used to sing in a band I was in loved it so much after playing it that he searched these shores for another....

(Mine on right of photo)

 

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BluesKing777.

 

 

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Always liked Gibson guitars my first was a '79 Les Paul bought new in '79.

Started playing more acoustic than electric in the 80 and always wanted a Gibson acoustic. 

Took until 2013 to get my first a J 35 the a year later a 1947 L 48  came my way for a deal I couldn't 

pass on.

I've alway thought Taylors were for Choir Boys, Martins were for Good Ol' Boys and Gibsons were for Bad Boys.

I don't play in church and don't play blue grass. Rock and Roll all the way.

 

 

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My first Gibson was a 1961 (red) double cut / twin pickup Melody Maker I got in 1969 at the age of 11. I played the Surfside Bar in Clearwater Beach with it at age 12. At age 16, I was gigging it all over Phoenix / Mesa / Apache Jct. Arizona making 25 dollars a night, 3 nights a week. Drinking beer and smoking cigarettes and stuff. Those were different times and there seemed to be no rules.

I still have it, although it was painted (clear) in the late 70's.

 

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My next gigger was a 1972 Les Paul Recording that I literally wore the frets off of. I've owned and gigged a few Fenders, I still own a '91 Telecaster and a Fender resonator, but I've never owned a Martin, or a Taylor and don't care anything about them. I'd buy one if I wanted to, but never felt the need. 

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It was back in the 1960s and the guitar a 1930s L00.  Never did know what year it had been built but then again who cared.    As I did not know a good guitar from a can of tuna I cannot claim it was sound or feel.   It was just sitting there in a pile up against the wall.  The first thing I saw was that burst.  It drew me like a moth to a flame.  As it was just a used guitar it cost far less than say a new LG-2 or B25.  It was rendered more affordable by the fact  it had a top crack and the back was  staring to pop off.   Nothing a couple of clamps and some Duco cement could not fix.

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simply stated, they just seem to take me the places I tend to want go when I'm playing them.

bought my first les paul in 1974, when I Was still in high school.  I've owned many guitars since then, I'm not 100% just into gibsons,   I have telecasters and strats, and I like what I can get out of them, but the 2 LPs an 2 SGs I have in the arsenal ,  just fit me the best and get the most time of all in my hands.

I also have an Es135 that I got that just before gibson disco'd them in favor of the ES137.   the PAF pickups are amazing in this guitar, I swapped out the stock trapeze tail piece for a B7 Bigsby, which to me, brought that guitar to life.  The trapeze tail piece just robbed the guitar of the tone it was capable of producing.  been playing that one a lot recently. 

My only gibson acoustic is an SJ200, which I love and play the heck out of.

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