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A Brief History of Gibson Guitars

Aug 17, 2007
The Gibson Guitar Corporation had its beginnings in 1894 when Orville Gibson started making mandolins. It was here that Gibson established himself as an innovative instrument builder because he started making mandolins differently than how they were made. The end result of his modifications was that the mandolin sounded better and had more depth. Sadly, Gibson passed away in 1918 so he was unable to witness the widespread success of the Gibson guitars.

Just as Orville Gibson established himself as an innovative designer, that tradition continued after his death. In the 1920s and 1930s the Gibson Guitar Corporation, then called the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Company, made some changes to the standard guitar designs of the time. In 1936 they launched their electric Spanish style guitar, called the ES-150. This was a very successful model and is considered one of the first widely accepted electric guitars.

The legendary Les Paul guitar had its beginnings in 1952 when Gibson collaborated with the guitarist himself to create a guitar that would suit his style and music. The Gibson Explorer and the Flying-V, two more legendary models, had their beginnings in the 50 s.

In 1986 the company changed owners. The Gibson Guitar Corporation was experiencing some financial difficulties and the change, fronted by Henry E. Juszkiewicz, David H. Berryman and Gary A. Zebrowski, is said to be the reason why the Gibson is still around today, and is still successful. They were responsible for keeping the company afloat and making it successful again.

Gibson currently has over 40 electric guitars that are currently available. Some of these, like the Les Paul, the Flying-V, and the Explorer have been around since the 50 s. Other models include the Gibson Nighthawk, the Gibson Moderne, the Gibson Blueshawk, and the Gibson Firebird.

Gibson also boasts a long list of artists who swear by their guitars. This includes Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, Ashlee Simpson, Andre Coutu who plays for Celine Dion, Alex Lifeson of Rush, and Andrew Goodsight of Black 47.

Here is what people have to say about their Gibson guitars:

Gibson ES 175

If you want that old jazz sound, it can t be beat. Of course it s great for mellower blues, too. I m after that early Kenny Burrell sound. Acoustically it has a nice sweet tone too. The guitar s pretty light which I think helps in that way. The old P90 seems sweeter then some of the newer ones, maybe aging has helped. I ll probably check the output reading for reference. The old P90s seem to range from about 5.5 to 8.5 ohms! I play though an old Polytone and a Peavey Classic 30. Thomasik Bebops 12-50 are the best!

Also about the ES-175

I ve been playing for about 15 years, professionally for about 6. Also teach guitar/bass/mandolin and banjo full time.
I was deliberating whether to go for the Steve Howe sig model or the basic 175. I went for the standard one in the end. I would replace this baby in a shot if it was stolen. I love its shape, looks, tone, reputation, history.
About the Author
Guitar Warehouse is your place to Buy Guitar and other musical gear. We also offer a wide range of Gibson Guitars and Free Guitar Lessons.
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