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Old 03-13-2017, 03:23 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Default What are your three favorite Gibson models? Why those?

I just started a thread asking about favorite Martin guitar models, so I thought I'd do the same for the Gibson guitars I like. I don't have nearly as much experience with Gibsons as I do with Martins, but I've owned a few and know which ones I like and - even more importantly - why I like them.

If those of you who have more years of experience with Gibson guitar can contribute to this thread and give us some of your insights, it'll be much more worthy of being read than if I alone write down my impressions.

But here are my three favorites among Gibson guitars made in the past few years:



Gibson Advanced Jumbo

1. The Gibson Advanced Jumbo. This is a powerful yet tonally balanced guitar. It's loud and projective, yet each note in every chord in every position on the neck can be heard with equal clarity. (The J-45 has the same characteristic tonal balance, but has a more enveloping sound instead of the projective sound of the AJ.)

The Gibson AJ is the guitar that got me back into playing dreadnoughts after a more than 20 year hiatus where all of my performing guitars were OM's or smaller. It's a marvelous design, and anyone who casually dismisses Gibson acoustic guitars as not being as good-sounding as Martins needs to search out and play one of these. It'll cause you to revise your opinion...



Gibson Hummingbird Artist

2. The Gibson Hummingbird Artist. This was a limited run "Hummingbird" that Gibson made for Guitar Center/Musician's Fiend for a few years. It wasn't built in a Hummingbird body mold, but in the mold for the modern Gibson Songwriter model. I'm guessing they called it a "Hummingbird" for the name value, but from a structural standpoint it's a short scale mahogany Songwriter.

And it's a great guitar. I've loved every one of them that I've had a chance to play. No, it's not a "real" Hummingbird, but I've liked these a lot more than the vast majority of "real" Hummingbirds I've played.

Naturally, your mileage may vary.

My third favorite Gibson model is the perpetual underdog of the Gibson lineup (in terms of sales,) but one that's greatly beloved by true acoustic guitar aficionados everywhere, and that's the



Gibson J-185

3. Gibson J-185. Here's a blond one to ogle:



Gibson J-185 Natural finish

These are just great guitars: tonally balanced, with plenty of power and, once they get broken is, warmth as well. I don't own any J-185's and never have, but I've put in some time playing some owned by others, and it's just one of the iconic guitar designs.


Okay, those are my three favorite Gibson models. What are yours?


Wade Hampton Miller

Last edited by Wade Hampton; 03-13-2017 at 03:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2017, 03:29 PM
arwhite arwhite is offline
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I'm currently digging my 2017 J35. It's all I had hoped it could be and more.

I have liked every J-185 I've ever played. That's just a cool guitar.

I likely will have an Advanced Jumbo one day. I've not played many of them, but every one was a hoss!
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:33 PM
llew llew is offline
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J-45
Hummingbird
L-00
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:40 PM
smurph1 smurph1 is offline
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I've only owned 2 Gibson acoustics. One from the 70s . don't know what model it was, and my current LG-2 American Eagle, which I love dearly. Small Parlor size, but with a tone that belies it's small stature. The electronics are top notch and when I run it through my Fender Acoustisonic, it sounds Awesome!
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:42 PM
Buc-a-Roo Buc-a-Roo is offline
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After many a Martin, Taylor, Alvarez and others I came to understand that Gibson is the acoustic guitar for me. And I've been through several of those, J-200, Dove, CJ-165 and more than one of these two iconic models......



But these are the two that live with me now and, at my age, will likely be the last in the parade of instruments. Both of these are 2016 Vintage models with the cooked top......sitka on the Hummingbird, red spruce on the J-45. What do I like about them? In as few words as possible, short scale mahogany. Comfortable to play, a warm sweet voice from the 'Bird, an aggressive edginess in the 45. Fundamental in tone, short on sustain.....perfect songster guitars.

....and yes.....they are left handed instruments.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:43 PM
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My 3 fave Gibsons:
  1. Songwriter Series. I have one of those -- what a guitar! Created for Gibson by Ren Ferguson to compete with the Martin D-28. I've never A/B'd it against the Martin though, but even apart from that comparison it is a wonderful instrument.
  2. B-25! My very first guitar in 1971, has a special place in my memory.
  3. Gibson J-50! A worthy and durable Gigger that I owned through the mid-to-late 1970s.
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Old 03-13-2017, 03:59 PM
salsarev salsarev is offline
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I'm no aficionado, but I've owned five. My first Gibson, and really my first "good" guitar back in the 80's was a Country Western model - factory second with a cracked bridge that never gave me any problems. In the last couple of years I've owned a J-45, J-35, and two J-15's. The 35 was an older model and didn't really punch a hot button with me - nothing specific, just didn't do it. The 45 and the 15's were different but I enjoyed the short scale and playability of each of them. I bought each of them on-line and they were all lively sounding. I sold each of them when I started GASing for something else, with some regret. Considering buying another Gibson slope shoulder.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:01 PM
H165 H165 is offline
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You sort of modified your question at the end there - adding "...made in the past few years".

Based upon the best Gibson acoustic I've ever played, the J-200 is #1 for me. Next is the J185. J-45 is third.

Someone should ask the same question about Epiphone......
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:11 PM
DanR DanR is offline
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A few years ago, my local 5 star Gibson dealer had an Advanced Jumbo with an adi/red spruce top. That was the best, or at least my favorite Gibson acoustic I ever played. I encouraged a friend to buy it to remove my temptation to be financially irresponsible. It also gives me access if I want to play it. It sounded different from a Martin HD-28 that was also in the store and to my ears, the Martin did not 'win' tonally, which really impressed me.

I've owned a LG-2 American Eagle which surprisingly spoke to me a while back. I had to move it to allow the purchase of my currently owned HD-28. I don't regret moving it but I do wish that I didn't have to. It had a great fingerpicking sound that, while I've always preferred rosewood bodied guitars, gave me an equally pleasing fingerpicking sound as my OM-28 Martin.

I don't have a number three, yet. Down the road, I could see me possibly getting a J-45 or round shouldered Southern Jumbo as I currently have no mahogany bodied guitars and I may appreciate the variety in having one.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:28 PM
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LG-2 AE, L-00, and J-35, in that order.

LG-2 is the perfect "in-between" guitar -- small body but big sound.
The L-00 is the blues guitar by which all others are judged.
The J-35 bridges the gap between an AJ and a J-45 -- it's a short-scale slope-shoulder with advanced bracing.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:30 PM
SuperB23 SuperB23 is offline
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SJ-200, Roy Smeck's from the 30s, ES-5

I know I know an ES-5 is an electric guitar but its a beauty!!
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:43 PM
6L6 6L6 is offline
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Nothing on the acoustic side.

But I think the ES-335/45/55's are the best electrics ever made.
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:43 PM
gmr gmr is offline
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J45 because it is full and balanced and comfortable to play. SJ200; it is bold but not overwhelming, bright but balanced, big and visually stunning. And you can sing behind them with very good results. Doesn't hurt that they are iconic...
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Old 03-13-2017, 04:45 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H165 View Post
You sort of modified your question at the end there - adding "...made in the past few years".

Based upon the best Gibson acoustic I've ever played, the J-200 is #1 for me. Next is the J185. J-45 is third.

Someone should ask the same question about Epiphone......
Oh, I guess that comes under the "Rule of unintended consequences." I was just referring to my own three favorites, and didn't intend that to dictate anybody else's choices. So include any vintage models you like.


whm
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2017, 04:45 PM
ataylor ataylor is offline
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I don't own a Gibson, but of those I've played, my favorites have been:

J-45 (particularly standard models from the mid 2000s)
Advanced Jumbo
J-35

I much prefer the older standard J-45s with the gold headstock logo decal, white button tuners, and orange label. To me they felt a little lighter and a little more versatile. I also think the 1950s look is much better than the current iteration. That said, they did finally get the pickguard placement right.

I've never played an AJ I didn't like, and if I were to buy a Gibson today, that's probably what I'd buy.

The J-35s I've played have been nice as well. A good J-35 is kind of a middle ground between the J-45 and the AJ.
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