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Do some need to 'graduate' to the Gibson tone ?

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Just wondering as in the past couple of weeks there were a couple folks on the AGF who bought themselves Gibsons after playing other brands for years. They both wrote how they suddenly 'discovered' the Gibson magic.

 

So I was wondering, and would be keen on your own observations, given the Gibson tone is quite specific, did it take you a while to hear the magic or did it hit you straight away beetween the eyes like a Mike Tyson punch ?

 

For me it was the first time I played a J-200, way back in 92' when I first started playing guitar. Had a crummy Washburn and then went to a small shop that had a bunch of great high end guitars and remember just being dumbfounded by the tone coming out of that big box after a couple strums, and depressed by the price tag.

 

I knew there and then that someday I would own one, took 20 years but it was worth the wait !

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The first time I played a Gibby I was in my teens. Like you EA, I knew that one day I would have one. My situation was one of cash! As soon as I was able to work and save enough money, I was on the Gibson train! No more Ovations, Washburns, Fenders, Alvarez, etc.! Although my very first Gibby was a 1976 Les Paul Custom, 2 pick-up Black Beauty. I'm still kicking myself for letting that one slip away!

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I think I qualify for the Tyson punch between the eyes.

 

Grew up around Gibsons...but was "into" electric.... Fenders....

 

Working in a music store, from 15-1/2 to 18. One day we got a Hummingbird in, (@1965), and when I played it.... was TOTALLY blown away!

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did it hit you straight away beetween the eyes like a Mike Tyson punch ?

 

Yessir, exactly this happened to me the first time I found a decent lefty Gibson to try in a guitar store - 'twas my 2005 J-45 Historic which I found in GuitarGuitar in Edinburgh. Since starting to play early that year, I had already graduated "up" from a Crafter dread, via a Tangelwood Jumbo to a Taylor 810CE but once I'd heard & felt that unique Gibson voice I was hooked. I didn't buy it on the spot but couldn't get it out of my mind for the next couple of days & then phoned them to buy it.

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I am one of those of which you speak. I've always loved the unique Gibson tone. I used to own a J200. My situation is that I was into maple. Then I went through a rosewood fad that started when Gibson came out with the CJ-165R. I played an excellent example of one. It was so much easier to play than my J200. The store wouldn't give me enough in trade to swing it. By the time I sold my J200 and went back for the CJ165r, it was gone. I couldn't find one that sounded as nice so I moved on to other brands because Gibson discontinued that model.

 

So after owning Goodall, Larrivee, Taylor, and Martin I discovered that my ears tired of their sound after certain periods of time. I call it ear fatigue. And what do all of these have in common? Overtones! So I switched over to strictly nylon string. No abundance of overtones there but I started missing that steel string zing. But I loved the warmth and didn't grow tired of it. It just lacking punch and clarity for strumming.

 

Guitar Center opened a new store here in my state and I went in looking for some stocking stuffing accessories. I wondered back to the high end acoustics and saw a used CJ-165R , J45, J200, and hummingbird artist, and songwriters. I played them all. The J45 and the hummingbird artist were my favorites. The CJ165r failed in comparison. I was about to leave when I looked up and saw hanging very high almost out of sight a Hummingbird MC. I quickly found the sales manager and he got on the ladder and brought it down for me.

 

It was lust at first sight. I could here myself praying that it sound and play just half as good as it looks. Well it was love at first strum. I had the manager bring me a capo and I put it through the test with my vocals. WHAT A BLEND! Never had a guilt just captivated me the way this hummingbird did.

 

I left it there because I wanted to bring in my guitar for a trade. I did some research and read about the tv model. I went back to do the deal. I got a wonderful price for my trade plus a great price on both the mc and tv birds. I was about to place the order for the tv and something within me said.......don't pass up another great Gibson! And I thought about theater Cj-165r that I never was able to find another one that compared. It was the same situation with the J200. I had played at least a dozen other examples of hummingbirds in my lifetime, including a vintage 60's at Gruhns in Nashville. This particular Hummingbird had everything I wanted and needed in a guitar. The honeyburst finish is spectacular. And I prefer it to the cherry burst. I also favor the natural mahogany over dark cherry color. I need the pickup for church. So I played that MC one last time and sang my favorite worship song. All I could hear over that sweet sweet honey tone was that I had arrived to my promised land of milk and honey and that a bird in the hand was better than .......lol. Im sure you get my point. I wasn't willing to take a chance and let this one go. So now its mine and I am completely satisfied. No regrets. My only gripe is that I feel that for the amount of money Gibson should do better on their standard cases. I will be looking for a better one.

 

So I said all of that to say that long ago, I discovered the magic in Gibson maple and rosewood. From my first trip ever to Guitar Center in the 90's when I longed for a CL-140 artist. I was a poor college student then. But it has taken me all these years to discover the magic in Gibson mahogany. Better late than never.

 

That's my story.....and Im sticking to it.

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Great story !!

 

I am one of those of which you speak. I've always loved the unique Gibson tone. I used to own a J200. My situation is that I was into maple. Then I went through a rosewood fad that started when Gibson came out with the CJ-165R. I played an excellent example of one. It was so much easier to play than my J200. The store wouldn't give me enough in trade to swing it. By the time I sold my J200 and went back for the CJ165r, it was gone. I couldn't find one that sounded as nice so I moved on to other brands because Gibson discontinued that model.

 

So after owning Goodall, Larrivee, Taylor, and Martin I discovered that my ears tired of their sound after certain periods of time. I call it ear fatigue. And what do all of these have in common? Overtones! So I switched over to strictly nylon string. No abundance of overtones there but I started missing that steel string zing. But I loved the warmth and didn't grow tired of it. It just lacking punch and clarity for strumming.

 

Guitar Center opened a new store here in my state and I went in looking for some stocking stuffing accessories. I wondered back to the high end acoustics and saw a used CJ-165R , J45, J200, and hummingbird artist, and songwriters. I played them all. The J45 and the hummingbird artist were my favorites. The CJ165r failed in comparison. I was about to leave when I looked up and saw hanging very high almost out of sight a Hummingbird MC. I quickly found the sales manager and he got on the ladder and brought it down for me.

 

It was lust at first sight. I could here myself praying that it sound and play just half as good as it looks. Well it was love at first strum. I had the manager bring me a capo and I put it through the test with my vocals. WHAT A BLEND! Never had a guilt just captivated me the way this hummingbird did.

 

I left it there because I wanted to bring in my guitar for a trade. I did some research and read about the tv model. I went back to do the deal. I got a wonderful price for my trade plus a great price on both the mc and tv birds. I was about to place the order for the tv and something within me said.......don't pass up another great Gibson! And I thought about theater Cj-165r that I never was able to find another one that compared. It was the same situation with the J200. I had played at least a dozen other examples of hummingbirds in my lifetime, including a vintage 60's at Gruhns in Nashville. This particular Hummingbird had everything I wanted and needed in a guitar. The honeyburst finish is spectacular. And I prefer it to the cherry burst. I also favor the natural mahogany over dark cherry color. I need the pickup for church. So I played that MC one last time and sang my favorite worship song. All I could hear over that sweet sweet honey tone was that I had arrived to my promised land of milk and honey and that a bird in the hand was better than .......lol. Im sure you get my point. I wasn't willing to take a chance and let this one go. So now its mine and I am completely satisfied. No regrets. My only gripe is that I feel that for the amount of money Gibson should do better on their standard cases. I will be looking for a better one.

 

So I said all of that to say that long ago, I discovered the magic in Gibson maple and rosewood. From my first trip ever to Guitar Center in the 90's when I longed for a CL-140 artist. I was a poor college student then. But it has taken me all these years to discover the magic in Gibson mahogany. Better late than never.

 

That's my story.....and Im sticking to it.

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Crap Dude, I have been playing Gibsons for alot of decades now. Got my first one - a 1930s L-00 - back when I did not know a "good" guitar from a can of tuna. Never heard the phrase "tone wood" or gave one thought to what the back and sides were made of. I got it cuz I liked the dark edged pear shaped burst and as it was used and not in pristine condition it was cheap.

 

As the years went buy I did snag other guitars - a Martin, a couple of Guilds, pre-Gibson Epiphones, some pre-War el cheapos, and whatever. Not that I did not like or even love some of those guitars but I kept gravitating back to Gibsons cuz while they may not be everyone's cup of tea they work for me.

 

40 or years down the road I still got two Gibsons with me. So I guess we kinda grew up together.

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I don't know which category I fit in to...after my first "good" guitar, a Harmony Sovereign, I started playing nothing but Fender's, Strats and Teles. Never could stand the sound of heft of most Gibson electrics, I was hooked on the single coil sound of my Fenders. I did like the sound of P90's in some Gibby models, but I still didn't really like the sound.

 

When I was in college, back in the dark ages, I remember a big Gibson acoustic that the wife of one of my friends had. Sure don't remember what model it was, my guess it was some kind of jumbo. Anyway, I thought that was the easiest playing acoustic I had ever played. Really liked the sound, too. Fast forward about 10-15 years and I bought a used J200 from a Tradin' Times ad (remember those????). Paid a huge sum of $1000 for it. Very nice guitar and play it as I could, I just really didn't want to be a acoustic player so I sold it.... :(

 

Move another 10-15 years ahead and I thought I'd start looking at acoustics again, mainly since I had stopped playing out with various bands I had been in. Got hooked on Martins and went through several that I thought I really liked. Then, at the beginning of this year, I really took the plunge and sold off almost all of my collection of CS Strats and Teles, keeping only one of each that I really liked. With that money, I started seriously shopping for acoustics again. A buddy of mine had a great Hummingbird that I always liked so I once again started looking at Gibsons. As I posted in a couple of other threads, I really went overboard when the bug finally hit. Within a space of about 4 months, I bought a mint 1998 J100xtra, a brand new Dove, a brand new Hummingbird, and, last but not least, a brand new J45. Obviously, my local Gibson dealers love to see me coming. In fact, I was at one of their stores yesterday and he dangled a brand new J45 Custom in front of me that was absolutely gorgeous. He's like a drug dealer, but I resisted the urge, in fact, I didn't even play it, I was afraid to.

 

I still have 2 Martins and a Taylor that I have purchased along the way, but the Gibbys are truly my favorites. Don't get me wrong, I love the way the Martins and Taylor play and sound, but they sure don't have the Gibson sound and look. So now, my biggest problem is that I sure don't have enough time in the day to play them all; I just have to pick one and play it and switch the next time I sit down to play.

 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it......

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I don't know which category I fit in to...after my first "good" guitar, a Harmony Sovereign, I started playing nothing but Fender's, Strats and Teles. Never could stand the sound of heft of most Gibson electrics, I was hooked on the single coil sound of my Fenders. I did like the sound of P90's in some Gibby models, but I still didn't really like the sound.

 

When I was in college, back in the dark ages, I remember a big Gibson acoustic that the wife of one of my friends had. Sure don't remember what model it was, my guess it was some kind of jumbo. Anyway, I thought that was the easiest playing acoustic I had ever played. Really liked the sound, too. Fast forward about 10-15 years and I bought a used J200 from a Tradin' Times ad (remember those????). Paid a huge sum of $1000 for it. Very nice guitar and play it as I could, I just really didn't want to be a acoustic player so I sold it.... :(

 

Move another 10-15 years ahead and I thought I'd start looking at acoustics again, mainly since I had stopped playing out with various bands I had been in. Got hooked on Martins and went through several that I thought I really liked. Then, at the beginning of this year, I really took the plunge and sold off almost all of my collection of CS Strats and Teles, keeping only one of each that I really liked. With that money, I started seriously shopping for acoustics again. A buddy of mine had a great Hummingbird that I always liked so I once again started looking at Gibsons. As I posted in a couple of other threads, I really went overboard when the bug finally hit. Within a space of about 4 months, I bought a mint 1998 J100xtra, a brand new Dove, a brand new Hummingbird, and, last but not least, a brand new J45. Obviously, my local Gibson dealers love to see me coming. In fact, I was at one of their stores yesterday and he dangled a brand new J45 Custom in front of me that was absolutely gorgeous. He's like a drug dealer, but I resisted the urge, in fact, I didn't even play it, I was afraid to.

 

I still have 2 Martins and a Taylor that I have purchased along the way, but the Gibbys are truly my favorites. Don't get me wrong, I love the way the Martins and Taylor play and sound, but they sure don't have the Gibson sound and look. So now, my biggest problem is that I sure don't have enough time in the day to play them all; I just have to pick one and play it and switch the next time I sit down to play.

 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it......

 

ANOTHER great story!

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I started with a Cortez dred in maple back in the 70's when I was working in a music shop. Worked it off. A Takamine, 2 Martins a few electrics and a lot of years later I got to play a SJ200. It was love at first listen, until I saw the price tag. I walked away. In 2005, I went to the music store to help my wife buy her first fiddle and while the salesman helped her, I was playing a rosewood SJ300. I couldn't put it down. Who knew? My wife told me to buy it, even though I felt it was way too much. She's a keeper (my wife). I still have the SJ300 today,( the wife too) and now she shares the wall with a J45 Custom in RW as well.

 

My Martins are gone and if I get another guitar I will have a Gibson SJ200 custom built. I have been looking really hard at the Camilla Mexican Rosewood Gibson is now using for special projects. I have played most of the higher end factory and customs out there. I really feel the Gibson sound touches something emotionally the the others do not. I couldn't tell you what that is, but I feel it. Don't you?

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Great stories. Here is what I have discovered about my Gibson acoustic preference for flavors.

In mahogany I like square shouldered and round shouldered dreads.

In maple I like big Jumbos and dreads.

In rosewood I like smaller bodies like the CJ, and CL artist size.

I prefer short scale in all flavors.

My absolute favorite Gibson Acoustic is the Hummingbird.

It took me alot of guitars over several years to figure all of this out. Sometimes it takes time to come across excellent examples of each particular model.

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I started playing some 8 or 9 years ago .

My cousin had a yamaha acoustic and I pick it up but couldn't play it because I was a lefty .

some time later my mom got a guitar just so we could play it (righthanded), since no one took interest in it

I pickit it up and fooled around with it the wrong way ...

a couple of years latter I got my own classical guitar just strung it the wrong way round ... and learned some chords

I stuck with that guitar for 4 or 5 years ... then after I knew I needed something different

I searched the internet for new guitars . First time I walked into guitar center I asked for a lefty taylor 210.

non in stock and so I left with a Lefty Yamaha this was in 2007. But I always knew I wanted a Gibson but I had no money .

it took 2 years to be able to get enough money for my SJ 200 TV .

 

And I don't think I'll ever buy anything but a Gibson . for me only a Gibson is good enough !

 

JC

 

 

Edit : since then I have purchased a hummingbird for myself and a Ron Wood SJ 200 for my best friend .

She says Gibson's are her favorite looking and sounding guitars too :D

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I think it all depends on WHAT the first Gibson acoustic was that you first played. If the first Gibson you had in your hands was a '58 CW (eh ol Fred?) your experience of "Gibson" was different than, say, mine with a '77 Hummingbird [thumbdn]

 

It took me decades to even hold a Gibson again. Then it took holding and playing many many Gibson before I found the "magic" with my SWD. That experience caused me to shed all my other acoustics (bye bye Larrivee's) and finally pursue my holy grail SJ200.

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Hey Juan Carlos..

 

I noticed you have a 2007 SJ200 TV. Seems like anyone who has a 2007 Gibson (any model) really likes them. '07 must have been magical year. Have you tried other year SJ200's?

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Had some Guild and Martin Ds that never rang a bell before getting a Hummingbird (long gone), that did. That said, that bell isn't going to go off for everybody. The thing that makes Gibson's stand out(thick mids, thump bass, chordal blend), isnt going work for someone demanding articulation at all costs. The will find comfort elsewhere and rail against Gibson's sonic shortcomings.

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More than a punch for me, more like having my ear bitten off [biggrin] .

 

Always been a Gibson and Fender electric fan, more Gibsons. Had a Martin DM acoustic for awhile but when I started really getting into acoustics a few years back, I tried to find out who made the sound I liked. Gibson all the way. Then I tried some at TrueTone in LA and nothing else came close period. Especially the sound of the one I ended up buying.

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When I finally had enough money to buy a decent acoustic (in my late 40s), I purchased what I considered the

'grail' - a Martin D18VMS. Loved that guitar. But that started my 'quest'. I bought and sold more Martins than I

can count. In the midst of my search, I also had several customs made for me (but that's another story).

Occasionally I would find myself in the local GC to play around with what was there. I remember playing a

number of J45s and saying to myself, "Where's the shimmer? Where's the lap piano?" I kept comparing them to

Martins - unfortunately. All I could hear was that bass 'thump' and that drier-than-Martin tone. I'd put them

down and wonder why anyone would ever buy one.

 

As I got better as a player, I started playing more and more country and country blues. I found myself muting

strings, fingerpicking, and looking for a more 'honest' sound - although I'm sure I didn't think of it that way then. So one

day I'm in the local GC - again - and I picked up another J45 - again - but this time it was different. I started to hear

that Gibson sound coming through, and suddenly I got it! It hit me why this guitar was chosen by so many. It had

a depth of character and a tonal clarity that I had somehow missed. It was simple and honest.

 

Subsequently I sold all my Martins. I still have my customs. But now I consider myself a Gibson player. I've owned

a couple of J45s, a couple J30s (great, unrated Gibson, imo), a couple J185s (my favorite for a while), an HBird,

a J100xtra, a couple of AJs, a Fuller's 1939 J35, and a '64 LG1. I still have the J35, an AJ, the and LG1. These are

keepers. I intend to add an HBird (again) and - someday - an SJ200.

 

To put it in a nutshell - Martins have heart, but Gibsons have soul.

They are the best.

Geoff

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I was a bit reluctant like Drathbun. I played electric blues with a strat and tele earlier on, with an acoustic solo set on dobro. I bought a late '70s Gibson Les Paul Custom which may have been made out of cement. It stretched my neck about 12 inches to the left and sounded pretty ordinary. A friend had a '70s J200 which was also made out of cement.

 

I had a wooden '32ish Dobro that sounded great but was dreadful to actually play and traded this for a metal body Dobro. (still have).

 

Eventually I think I started to miss the sound of wood and went crazy for Martins Ds. Later, I also tried a 000-15 and liked the smaller size and bought it.

 

A few years back I bought an Epi Blues King copy (EL-00) to try blues picking on small guitars and really liked it. Started reading about the real thing and lusted... I tried one at the Gibson dealer and was really dissappointed and headed for a Martin Eric. Another time, I went to a Martin dealer and was chatting about the best guitar for my style and he gave a Martin D? Already got that and that is the wrong thing to say!

 

Back later at the Gibson dealer and I was trying the J200 - the other extreme size wise, and picked up the Blues King. Oh No - perfect - I had the ssssshhhhakes as I went home. That was a Saturday morning and I think I was back there Monday afternoon to buy! From there we have accumulated a J45 new, a '58 LGO, a '52 LG1 and a '64 B25-12string!

 

HA!

 

 

Next would be.....?????? No idea.....

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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Just wondering as in the past couple of weeks there were a couple folks on the AGF who bought themselves Gibsons after playing other brands for years. They both wrote how they suddenly 'discovered' the Gibson magic.

 

So I was wondering, and would be keen on your own observations, given the Gibson tone is quite specific, did it take you a while to hear the magic or did it hit you straight away beetween the eyes like a Mike Tyson punch ?

 

For me it was the first time I played a J-200, way back in 92' when I first started playing guitar. Had a crummy Washburn and then went to a small shop that had a bunch of great high end guitars and remember just being dumbfounded by the tone coming out of that big box after a couple strums, and depressed by the price tag.

 

I knew there and then that someday I would own one, took 20 years but it was worth the wait !

I will testify that 20 years before your '92 encounter..in'72 that i had played 'a few' Gibson electrics and no Gibson acoustics. I happened upon a Alverez-Yairi for $400 that I bought new and played for a few years (there were more before that) but that was my 'best acoustic'. I remember drooling over a Gibson J45 in '74 that had the 'dreaded shadow brace' on the top from the 'kwik-cure UV glue that they had experimented with. It was $479 dollars at that timr (reduced).

I have acquired some nice Gibson acoustics since then. Acoustically....Gibson,s really speak to me.

Electric-wise....Gibson's speak to me also.....But, there are a lot of electrics out there that are Bi*t**es and Ho's"(as the young dudes say) ,other than Gibsons ,that like to be "slapped and spanked"

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I don't know which category I fit in to...after my first "good" guitar, a Harmony Sovereign

 

I still play a Harmony 1260 Sovereign. I swear that sucker is made with better lumber than new guitars out there today costing several thousand dollars.

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Martins have heart but Gibson have soul. I like that. I couldn't have said it any better myself.

 

No guitar comes with heart or soul built into it - that my friend is provided by the player.

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Just wondering as in the past couple of weeks there were a couple folks on the AGF who bought themselves Gibsons after playing other brands for years. They both wrote how they suddenly 'discovered' the Gibson magic.

 

So I was wondering, and would be keen on your own observations, given the Gibson tone is quite specific, did it take you a while to hear the magic or did it hit you straight away beetween the eyes like a Mike Tyson punch ?

 

For me it was the first time I played a J-200, way back in 92' when I first started playing guitar. Had a crummy Washburn and then went to a small shop that had a bunch of great high end guitars and remember just being dumbfounded by the tone coming out of that big box after a couple strums, and depressed by the price tag.

 

I knew there and then that someday I would own one, took 20 years but it was worth the wait !

 

There's a lot of propaganda out there which insists Martins are the best. The Cadillac of acoustic guitars, etc., etc.

 

It takes some people time to learn to think for themselves on the issue .

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