Gibson Acoustic Guitars: A Guide to Features and Top Models-:Complete Guide

Are you looking for a guitar that will meet your performance needs and look great on stage? Look no further than the classic Gibson acoustic guitars. With decades of experience crafting some of the world’s finest instruments, Gibson knows how to combine quality materials, impressive features and timeless style.

In this guide, you’ll discover the features that make these guitars so special and our pick of some of the top models.

Gibson acoustic guitars have been some of the most beloved instruments in the acoustic guitar community for over 120 years, providing superior construction and sound to users at every level. Gibson has a longstanding commitment to excellence that is evident in all of their products; from the affordable junior models perfect for beginning guitarists, to their expensive line of professional instruments used by some of the most influential performers and songwriters in history. Because of this tradition, Gibson acoustic guitars offer something for everyone.

This guide will go over the various features and models within Gibson’s expansive selection of guitars, educate you on their various technologies, such as acoustic bracing or pickup systems, and discuss why so many music devotees are drawn to these special instruments. We’ll also share with you our favorite top models that represent what Gibson has to offer no matter what level you’re playing at or what type of sound or style you’re after.

Brief history of Gibson Acoustic Guitars

Gibson Acoustic Guitars have been used in music for well over 100 years, and the company has made some of the best instruments ever. Founded by Orville Gibson in 1894, the Gibson brand started building mandolins and acoustic guitars that became legendary over time. The company shifted its focus towards electric guitars in the 1950s, and have since become a leader in this market as well.

Today, Gibson Acoustic Guitars are known for their unparalleled craftsmanship and attention to detail. Every Gibson guitar is built by hand, with great care placed on sound quality and precision playability. The instruments feature classic designs alongside up-to-date features such as advanced electronics and high-end finishes, ensuring that each guitar lives up to its highest standards. This guide provides an overview of the different types of Gibson acoustic guitars available, as well as descriptions of their top models.

Importance of understanding features and models

One of the most important aspects of choosing an acoustic guitar is understanding the various features and models available. Different aspects such as body type, tonewood, strings and neck profile play vital role in determining the overall tone and feel of instrument. Taking time to understand each individual model will help you decide which option best meets your playing needs. Additionally, it’s beneficial to understand why some guitars are considered premium models and why certain features are better for certain genres of music. In order to make a truthful buying decision it’s important to stay informed about industry trends and developments, as well as current pricing points for various instruments.

Regarding acoustic guitars manufactured by Gibson, there are a variety of models available with different specs, finishes options and craftsmanship level that have been designed to suit several playing styles. Whether you’re looking for an all-purpose dreadnought or a special edition small-body parlor guitar, Gibson have plenty of reliable choices on offer that reflect their rich history in traditional American luthiery. Let’s take a closer look at some popular models that can give you insight into what makes Gibson acoustics stand out and which instruments suit particular playing styles.

Gibson Acoustic Guitar Features

When considering an acoustic guitar made by Gibson, there are several features to be aware of before making a purchase. The type of wood used for the body, the design and shape of the body, the type of pickups used, the bridge and nut material, and the string gauge can all affect both how your guitar plays and how it sounds.

Body Wood: The primary woods used in a Gibson acoustic guitar body are mahogany, maple, rosewood and spruce. Mahogany is a softer tone wood than maple yet delivers warmth with good sustain. Maple has a balanced sound offered with a bright resonance. Rosewood has excellent natural sustain but with a soft treble attack in comparison to mahogany or maple. Spruce is lightweight with strong mids and has being popular for decades due to its ample presence in vintage acoustics from Gibson.

Body Design & Shape: From classic sunburst jumbos to elegant flat-top dreads, Gibson offers several distinct shapes at various price points. The Super Jumbo models such as the SJ-200 offer increased soundboard area and thus produce louder more robust sound compared to smaller sizes such as 000 or 00; whereas dreadnoughts offer longer scale length for better string tension on the top with vibrant response from its thin neck profile – making it ideal for hard strummers or fingerstyle players alike.

Pickups: Since 1975, guitars built at Gibson’s Montana facility have been setup with LR Baggs Element pickup systems to faithfully replicate an acoustic’s rich overtones without altering its natural tone when plugged into an amp/PA system. Acoustic models not setup with these pickups optionally have Piezo acoustic transducers fitted into them (see L-50 E) which capture both mid/low frequency detail whilst avoiding nasty feedback issues when cranked up loud outdoors – offering better dynamic range than regular magnetic pickups could ever provide!

Bridge & Nut Material: On all acoustic models six string tuning machines are installed either equipping Grover’s open back style or higher end deluxe planetary chrome units (generally on Artist/Elite models). Graph Tech Tusq nuts provide improved sustains & wear resistance – creating more organic harmonic resonance when compared to cheaper plastic nuts found elsewhere; while saddles equipped by Tusq XL generate healthier underlying highs that holds up even after years of abuse due heavy duty use situations!

String Gauge: Generally most Gibsons come stock fitted with D’Addario phosphor bronze strings ranging from 011-052 gauge depending on application; though custom string sets can be fitted if desired by special request upon order something other than what was originally intended thanks their accuracy tweaking techniques developed over years manufacturing expertise within industry itself!

Body Style

Gibson acoustic guitars come in a wide variety of body sizes and styles. From traditional shapes to modern interpretations, there’s a vast selection to choose from. Each body style offers different tonal characteristics and playability, so choosing the right one is crucial to pick up the sound you want. Here’s a quick look at some of the Gibson’s most popular body shapes.

Jumbo: The iconic J-45 is the granddaddy of Gibson acoustic guitars. With its large lower bout and powerful projection, the Jumbo is one of the company’s most recognizable models. Other popular jumbo-bodied Gibsons include the SJ-200 Super Jumbo, Hummingbird Artist and Special J models.

Dreadnought: The classic round-shoulder dreadnought shape has been used for decades by bluegrass bands and flatpickers alike. This shape produces great mids with plenty of volume and punchy lows— perfect for lively strumming or flatpicking solo leads. Popular dreadnoughts include the Dove ProSeries and Songmaker Deluxe Cutaway models, along with vintage reissues like theJ-100 XTRA series or Advanced Jumbo Realist pickups.

Small Body: For smaller hands, shorter arms or onstage amplified performances— there are small bodied acoustics that bring out rich harmonic tones in an incredibly compact footprint. Models like Baby Jumbos—with their small-scale design—produce a powerful sound from their diminutive stature whether it’s direct plugged into your amp or played unplugged around campfire . With its comfortable neck width, slimmer waist curves and short scale length—it comes into its own when playing complex fingerstyle patterns as well above being set up for Nashville Tunings . And then there are legendary parlor sized instruments like Hummingbird Mini with its small size producing brilliant low end capacity despite having solid Spruce Top due to construction parameters used by luthier gang back in Nashville factory days letting their fancy designs live on generation after genres passing through time itself …. So whatever you look for in an instrument —bigger isn’t always better!

Top Woods

When it comes to selecting the right wood for an acoustic guitar, Gibson has mastered the art. From top grades of AAA figured maple to choice mahogany back and sides, each species chosen has its own unique characteristics that contribute toward delivering a unique playing experience. In general, maple is known for its bright attack and uniform sustain, while mahogany contributes a warm midrange register with great separation between strings. Here are some of the top woods used in Gibson acoustic guitars:

AAA Figured Maple: Highly sought-after for its finely grained appearance, AAA flame maple delivers bright overtones intentionally introduced by the limited amounts of depth and figure in each layered piece. This wood is most often used as a top on higher-end models like the J-45 True Vintage and Hummingbird Artist models.

Mahogany: Found mostly on mid-range and beginner acoustics due to its relative affordability, mahogany usually carries an appealing balance between bass and treble registers. While it tends to lack some of the high end shimmer found in other woods such as rosewood or spruce, it still has enough tonal presence to produce a full rounded sound that some seek in their acoustics.

Rosewood: As one of the most common hardwoods found on solid bodied instruments across various styles of guitar playing (including classical), rosewood combines clarity and warmth with an articulate midrange aggressiveness that allows complex chords to resonate clearly even at louder volumes. While it does not have as much snap or snap as many lighter woods traditionally associated with steel strings guitars like spruce or cedar, it adds tons of complexity as well as overall volume projected by a flatpicking style player articulating notes through heavy strumming techniques.

Maintenance and Care

Now that you own an acoustic guitar, it’s important to have a routine for maintaining and caring for it. Proper maintenance will keep your Gibson looking and sounding great for years to come. There are three basic steps to maintenance: cleaning, conditioning, and polishing.

Cleaning: To clean your guitar, use a cloth dampened with water or rubbing alcohol (never use furniture polish). Aim to clean the dirtiest areas first and be sure not to use excessive pressure. Pay special attention to the back of the neck and tuning pegs, as these are usually the dirtiest spots.

Conditioning: To condition the fretboard and strings of your guitar, use lemon oil or fretboard moisturizer (rubbing alcohol works in a pinch too). Make sure never to put oil or moisturizer on plastic parts of the guitar, such as bridge saddles or pick-guards. Wipe down these surfaces with your cleaning cloth instead.

Polishing: Polishing is only necessary if you want an ultra-clean look for your instrument—otherwise it is unnecessary. If you do want keep your guitar shiny, apply a coat of wax at least twice a year directly on clean surfaces using microfiber cloths specifically made for polishing guitars (buffing has been known to cause damage). Keep wax off areas that are not able to be cleaned by water/rubbing alcohol so as not scratch them during buffing! This should do the trick in maintaining a glossy finish on your beloved Gibson acoustic.

String Changing

The strings of an acoustic guitar affect the playability and the sound of the instrument. Changing the strings can be a difficult process for beginners, but it is necessary for keeping an acoustic guitar in good playing condition.

When changing strings, it is important to take extra care with the bridge and bridge pins on a Gibson acoustic guitar. In order to avoid damaging this delicate piece, you should use only light pressure when inserting the bridge pin into place. You should never insert it from directly above as this may cause damage to the wood surrounding it. Additionally, make sure to tune each string using a tuner for accuracy and repeat this process after a few days in order to allow them time to settle and hold their pitch better.

Re-stringing your Gibson acoustic guitar can be time consuming but rewarding once you understand and apply the proper techniques discussed in this guide. Properly strung guitars will bring out their best tone and playability, allowing musicians of all levels an opportunity to enjoy their instrument’s fullest potential.


When it comes to cleaning your Gibson acoustic guitar, it is important that you use the right products. This means using specially formulated cleaners, polishes and waxes specifically designed for guitar instruments. Whenever possible, use natural wood-safe cleaners, as they can provide a gentle yet effective clean of the instrument without potentially causing any damage.

For example, when cleaning the fretboard on a Gibson acoustic guitar, it is highly recommended to use an orange oil or lemon oil cleaner; this type of cleaner produces superior results when compared to other types of cleaners and will not affect tonal quality or fretting accuracy.

To ensure your guitar looks its best for years to come, be sure to wipe down all surfaces after playing and apply conditioner regularly.


Storing guitars properly is essential to ensure a long life and great sound quality. As such, you want to make sure your Gibson acoustic guitar is stored correctly when not in use. There are several important keys to proper storage:

-Temperature: It’s best to keep your guitar out of extremes — too hot or too cold — so a room temperature environment is ideal. Make sure it’s not exposed to sudden changes in temperature, which can damage the wood and strings.

-Humidity: Extreme humidity levels also harm instruments and cause cracks in the wood over time. A relative humidity (RH) of around 43-53% is best for protection against cracking due to dryness and loss of tone due to too much moisture from high humidity levels. To maintain this ideal level of RH, consider investing in a humidifier for your home or using an indoor humidity regulator for your instrument specifically.

-Cleaning: After playing, wipe down strings and body with a soft cloth or lint-free chamois before putting it away in the case — do not forget the headstock! This precaution prevents dust from settling into crevices as well as removes sweat left behind by fingers that can corrode metal components over time. You may also use string cleaner if needed but avoid spraying alcohol chemicals on your instrument as these can also damage its finish over time. If you need deeper cleaning, take it into an authorized technician who can properly clean surfaces without damaging them and remove built up grime that cannot be reached by simply wiping down the guitar with a cloth or buffing pad.


In the end, there is no real way to definitively say which Gibson acoustic guitar is the best. Everyone has a different style and musical preferences that should be taken into consideration when choosing an instrument.

Investing in an acoustic guitar of any brand can be a big decision as these instruments are typically not inexpensive. Doing research, both online and in person, can help you make your decision based on the features that are important to you.

The options from Gibson are certainly vast and should provide something for everyone, regardless of their experience level and playing style. Be sure to take the time to find the model that fits your needs because once you start playing, you will want a guitar that brings joy to your performance every time.


What’s the best Gibson guitar to buy?

The answer to this question is subjective and depends on personal preference and playing style. However, some popular options include the Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG, and Gibson ES-335.

Which is the most popular Gibson model?

The Gibson Les Paul is one of the most popular and iconic Gibson models, known for its thick, warm tone and classic design.

Are Gibson acoustic guitars worth it?

Yes, Gibson acoustic guitars are considered to be of high quality and are often sought after by professional musicians. However, they can be expensive and may not be the best option for beginners.

How do I identify my Gibson acoustic?

You can identify your Gibson acoustic guitar by looking at the model number and serial number located on the back of the headstock. You can also identify the model by its body shape and design.

Is Martin or Gibson better?

Both Martin and Gibson are respected and renowned guitar manufacturers, and the answer to this question is subjective. Martin guitars are known for their warm, rich tone, while Gibson guitars are known for their sustain and versatility.

Do Gibsons sound better than Fender?

Again, this is subjective and depends on personal preference. Gibsons are known for their sustain and warmth, while Fenders are known for their bright, twangy tone.

Which guitar is better Taylor or Gibson?

Both Taylor and Gibson make high-quality guitars, and the answer to this question depends on personal preference and playing style. Taylors are known for their bright, clear tone and comfortable playability, while Gibsons are known for their sustain and versatility.

What is the No 1 best guitar?

This is a matter of opinion and there is no definitive answer. Some popular options include the Fender Stratocaster, Gibson Les Paul, and Martin D-28.

Is Gibson or Epiphone better?

Gibson guitars are generally considered to be of higher quality than Epiphone guitars, but Epiphones are more affordable and still offer good value for their price.

Which is easier to play Gibson or Fender?

Again, this depends on personal preference and playing style. Some people may find Gibsons to be easier to play because of their thicker necks and wider fretboards, while others may find Fenders to be more comfortable due to their slimmer necks and narrower fretboards.

See Also:

Leave a Comment