This is The Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar review for this year.
I tested seven outstanding Gibson guitars on the market and found the Gibson Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric Guitar to be the best Gibson acoustic guitar for players of all levels.
As an avid guitar player for 25 years, I am very much involved with examining the many different Gibson models. Having become quite familiar with their varied state-of-the-art qualities and features, I am now committed to sharing this valuable information.
All of us need some advice and guidance when shopping for our early guitar brands and models. I am only too glad to share with you what I have discovered through my own experience with these amazing instruments.
My number one reason for choosing the Gibson Hummingbird is its full projection and fluid warmth of tone. This guitar can provide such astounding clarity and precision of tone since it embodies all of the excellent features and craftsmanship that Gibson guitars are famous for.
This ultimate quality guitar design as a limited edition includes a stunning mahogany rounded neck with a Slim-Taper profile that ensures optimal quality playability for all guitarists. Its fine Sitka spruce top and mahogany back produce a warm, luxurious, and engaging acoustic tone. This graceful guitar design offers premium style, elegant tonality, beautiful resonance, and excellent sustain.
Even if you are a newbie player headed for your first jam session or gig, this outstanding guitar will see you through to success. Its easy playability and beauty of tone will inspire you, giving you the confidence to play your best.
If you are an experienced or professional guitarist, you will find this Gibson model equally compelling due to its combination of leading features. The top-tier design and craftsmanship of this guitar make it an exceptional choice for on-stage performances, coffee house jams, and studio work alike.
Keep reading to learn more about the Gibson brand’s innovative, unique and superb quality guitars.
What Is the Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar?
The guitar models described below are my choices for the seven best Gibson acoustic guitars currently available
Best Dreadnought for Classic Projection and Warmth
- Offers the stunning Vintage Cherry Sunburst design.
- Produces full projection and fluid warmth of tone
- Square-shouldered body of Sitka spruce and mahogany.
- Provides excellent acoustic and plugged-in sound quality.
- Superb-sounding rosewood fingerboard.
This ever-popular ‘songbird’ is high in this year’s lineup of top-quality Gibson models. The Hummingbird’s many classic features include its Vintage Cherry Sunburst finish and its square shoulder Sitka spruce and mahogany body.
Its classic design produces this guitar’s traditional projection and warmth. Other major features are its rounded mahogany neck and its rosewood fingerboard with classic split parallelogram inlays. Another signature component is its unique Hummingbird pickguard.
With its fitted LR Baggs VTC electronics, this Gibson assures you of superior plugged-in sound both in recording sessions and for every gig.
Body Size/Shape: Square Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Mahogany-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer Vintage Cherry Sunburst-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Rounded-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Rosewood-Fingerboard Radius: 12″-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Traditional Rosewood Belly Up-Nut & Saddle: Tusq Nut-Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series-Gibson Model Year: 2019-Model: Hummingbird
Best Guitar for Acoustic Players on the Move
- Has a slim-lined parlor design that is perfect for performing on road trips.
- Offers classic hand-scalloped X-bracing for greater sonic depth and power.
- Displays beautiful rosewood and Sitka spruce construction that ensures a rich, full tone.
- Is compact, comfortable to play, and offers rich coloration of sound.
This popular Gibson Parlor Modern EC Rosewood model is a leading parlor guitar. It is ideal for acoustic players who are on the move and offers a streamlined cutaway rosewood body.
This model also includes an Advanced Response ergonomic neck as well as LR Baggs VTC electronics. As a small, comfortable-to-play instrument that produces strong, rich tones, this guitar has it all.
This guitar’s ergonomic 24.75-inch scale neck of rich mahogany wood offers a luxurious, full sound while enabling relaxed, comfortably playing.
The 19-fret richlite fingerboard has stylish mother-of-pearl parallelogram inlays plus a traditional Gibson headstock with gold mini Grover Rotomatic tuners.
Body Size/Shape: J-165-Body Wood: Rosewood-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: Yes-Top/Body Finish: Rosewood Burst-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Advanced Response-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Richlite-Number Of Frets: 19-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Traditional Belly Up-Nut & Saddle: Tusq Nut-Tuning Machines: Mini Grover Rotomatics-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Gibson Model Year 2019-Model: Parlor Modern EC Rosewood 2019
Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar for Players of All Levels
- Is an excellent choice for beginners as well as experienced players.
- Offers a traditional belly-up bridge that prevents the bridge from collapsing below the sound-hole.
- Provides classic scalloped X-bracing for fine-tuning tone quality.
- Is equipped with Mini Grover Rotomatic Tuners for outstanding precision tone.
- Is designed with a top-quality rosewood fingerboard for ease of playing.
This Gibson model continues the ever-innovative G-45 guitar series. It exhibits an outstanding combination of fine tone, high performance, and ultimate style. This handcrafted guitar is produced with fine-caliber techniques, including hide-glued dovetail neck joints and domed top braces.
It also offers slenderized body depths and Advanced Response neck profiles. Other superb features of this instrument are its gloss top finish and rosewood fingerboard along with the top and back binding.
This model also offers Soft Diamond inlays. Its solid walnut back and sides along with a top of solid Sitka spruce deliver precise sound definition with lustrous overtones.
With the Fishman Sonitone pickup, every nuance is caught to facilitate easy plug-and-play.
Category: Acoustic-Electric Guitar-String Type: Steel-Number of Strings: 6-Body Style: Other-Cutaway: No-Built-in Tuner: No-Scale Length: 24.75″-Number of Frets: 20-Top Wood: Sitka Spruce-Body Wood: Walnut-Neck Wood: Utile-Fingerboard Wood: Rosewood-Color: Natural-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Hard Case-Model: RSG4STDR
Best Gibson ‘Workhorse’ with Excellent Tone
- Provides outstanding fretting hand feel for exceptional playability.
- Includes advanced LR Baggs VTC electronics that ensure amplified sound with astounding beauty.
- Has striking Vintage Sunburst finish, adding style to performance playing.
- Includes attractive tortoise teardrop pickguard to prevent guitar scratches.
This J-45 guitar has been one of the most widely heralded and highest-selling acoustic guitars among all Gibson models. It offers optimal quality tone and exceptional playability.
This round-shoulder guitar and flagship dreadnought model provides the same excellent sound and ease of playing as its legendary forerunners. This model is definitely an ideal instrument for both live playing and recording.
Delivering low-end, earthly warmth and superior projection, this guitar offers a well-balanced tone. It is handsomely designed with a Sitka spruce top with classic hand-scalloped X-bracing, and its back and sides are mahogany.
This model’s shorter 24.75-inch scale neck of pure mahogany has the unique Gibson fast Slim-Taper profile. On top is a smooth, easy-play rosewood fingerboard.
Body Size/Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Mahogany-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer Vintage Sunburst-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Slim Taper-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Rosewood-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Rosewood Belly Up Traditional-Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Gibson Model Year 2019-Model: J-45 Standard 2019
Best Guitar for Superior Craftsmanship
- Offers Advanced Response neck profile for ultimate design for complete fretting ease.
- Single volume control inside the soundhole to enhance the guitar’s appearance.
- Includes superb LR Baggs Element pickup for a big, full sound.
- Provide a 19-fret richlite fingerboard for top-tier playability.
This Gibson Parlor Walnut design offers fabulous tone quality and smooth, relaxing playability for its compact size. Crafted from walnut, this model offers the ultimate comfort for players with its Advanced Response neck and LR Baggs Element electronics.
This instrument is ideal for playing gigs and is easy to carry during road trips. Its cutaway style offers free upper fret use. This model is made of walnut with a Sitka
spruce top, and it offers classic hand-scalloped X-bracing. You and your audience can enjoy warm voicing and outstanding sonic power from this small-size guitar.
With the LR Baggs Element electronics feature, you benefit from large-scale sound from a compact acoustic. In fact, as soon as you plug-in and start playing, you will lose awareness of this guitar’s diminished size. This model’s 19-fret richlite fingerboard makes this instrument a true player’s dream guitar.
Body Size/Shape: J-165-Body Wood: Walnut-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: Yes-Top/Body Finish: Antique Natural-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: 2-Piece Maple-Neck Shape: Advanced Response-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Richlite-Number Of Frets: 19-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Traditional Belly Up-Nut & Saddle: Tusq Nut-Tuning Machines: Mini Grover Rotomatics-Electronics: L.R. Baggs Element-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Limited Edition 2019-Model: Parlor Walnut AG 2019
Best Guitar for Pure, Exceptional Acoustic Sound
- Provides exceptional classic acoustic sound.
- Offers small yet effective LR Baggs Element pickup for controlled amplifying.
- Has a classic Sitka spruce top and walnut back that offer graceful style.
- Includes Slim-Taper neck profile that facilitates smooth, even playing and sound.
This Limited Edition J-15 includes all of the excellent features and craftsmanship that Gibson guitars are known for. It produces a warm, luxurious acoustic tone with its quality Sitka spruce top and walnut back. Its design includes a 2-piece maple neck with a Slim-Taper profile for maximal easy playing.
Traditional hand-scalloped X-bracing provides strong support while the spruce top produces warm, impressive and full-bodied resonance. This model’s mini-Grover Rotomatic tuners enable excellent tone quality.
The neck of this guitar is mahogany with 20 frets and has measurements of 24.75 by 1.725 inches. A stylish rosewood fingerboard displays Mother of Pearl dot inlays. This model includes a Slim-Taper neck profile, which provides smooth playing movement with easy string bending.
This graceful guitar design has an elegant style and offers excellent sustain. Its rectangular closed slot walnut bridge provides support for strings and clarity of sound.
Body Size/Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Walnut-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer-Neck Wood: 2-Piece Maple-Neck Shape: Slim Taper-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Walnut-Fingerboard Radius: 12″-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Nut & Saddle: Tusq-Tuning Machines: Mini Grover Rotomatics-Electronics: L.R. Baggs Element-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Limited Edition-Model: J-15
Best Guitar for Streamlined Style and Excellent Tone Quality
- Has rosewood fingerboard for even playability.
- Produces beautiful amplified sound provided by onboard LR Baggs VTC electronics.
- Offers a single volume and tone control for perfecting your sound and tone.
- Displays stunning Heritage Cherry Sunburst finish for high visual appeal.
Since 1942, this model has been among the most acclaimed acoustic guitars in the Gibson inventory. It displays a streamlined, basic style while offering excellent tone quality and ease of playing. With the traditional flagship dreadnought round-shoulder design, this guitar lives up totally to the top-tier reputation of this limited edition design.
This Gibson model is equipped to provide the exceptional low-end warmth that this design is praised for delivering. It displays a Sitka spruce top with classic hand-scalloped X-bracing for ultimate stability and has handsome mahogany sides and back.
This guitar offers players an outstanding fretting hand feel and the ultimate smooth, easy playability. The ease of playing is also enhanced by the shorter 24.75-inch scale mahogany neck with the Slim-Taper profile.
Body Size/Shape: Round Shoulder Dreadnought-Body Wood: Mahogany-Top: Sitka Spruce-Bracing: Traditional Hand Scalloped X-Cutaway: None-Top/Body Finish: Nitrocellulose Lacquer Heritage Cherry Sunburst-Neck Type: Compound Dovetail Joint-Neck Wood: Mahogany-Neck Shape: Slim Taper-Scale Length: 24.75″-Fingerboard: Rosewood-Number Of Frets: 20-Nut Width: 1.725″-Bridge Type: Rosewood Belly Up Traditional-Tuning Machines: Grover Rotomatic-Electronics: L.R. Baggs VTC-Orientation: Right-Handed-Case/Bag Included: Yes-Case Type: Hardshell Case-Series: Limited Edition 2019-Model: J-45 Standard 2019
Buyers Guide for Selecting The Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar
The ‘Legendary’ Gibson Acoustic Guitar Models
Acoustic Guitarists Paradise, this way:
From the Hummingbird to the Dove, the Gibson acoustic guitars often referred to as the Montana range, are in high demand around the globe. Famous guitarists have played all modes of music on Gibson models since the early 1900s, from classical to standard ballads, to folk music, country favorites, gospel, folk-rock, and rock.
The company’s iconic solid-body guitar designs got their start in the Gibson company’s facility in Nashville, Tennessee. However, the famed acoustic range was first produced in Bozeman, Montana. Gibson’s stellar acoustic guitars have played a major part in designing modern music ever since.
Looking back at the Gibson company history, Orville Gibson started selling his mandolins and guitars in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Later, in 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mtg. Co. Ltd. was officially incorporated for promoting and marketing these instruments. As you now know, the rest is well-known history.
Characteristics and Special Features of Popular Gibson Models
The distinctive Hummingbird Gibson guitar is one of the most widely known designs around the world. Its burst finish and hummingbird pickguard design are easily recognized and remembered.
The first Hummingbird models in the ’60s had Sitka spruce tops and mahogany backs and sides. Later, maple, koa, and other finishes were used, yet today, most guitars of this Gibson line are produced from mahogany and spruce.
The Hummingbird design is still one of the most frequently bought dreadnought acoustics on the market. Famous for its amazing projection and rich harmonic tones, this square-shouldered style is well-suited for playing any genre and style of music. Be sure to check out the harmonic detail of this Gibson line when shopping for a new instrument.
SJ-200 (Super Jumbo 200)
This design was one of the first Gibson flat-top guitars. Originally introduced as the J-200 in 1937, this guitar offered a much larger curved body than other available models. This design produced a bigger booming tone that was unique to the J-200 and took some getting used to.
Since this guitar first appeared on the market, it has received numerous updates. Yet its major characteristics remain the same today. With its maple back and sides, it still has its unique clarity and brightness.
This model’s Sitka spruce top promotes warm sound and pleasing sustain. The overall effect is a heavy yet balanced tone that is equally suitable for hard hitters and easy strumming players alike.
The Gibson J-45 was the company’s first dreadnought model. It is still the most frequently bought and widely played acoustic. This guitar has a round-shoulder shape, rather than the square-shoulder associated with the Hummingbird.
Although this design offers comfortable playing, it detracts from some of the instrument’s top-end tonal brightness. Strumming players praise this guitar design, and it is very popular among singer-songwriters.
The J-45 is well-known for the subtlety of its burst finish, warm low-end quality and pleasing playing comfort. It has been played by guitar enthusiasts from all genres of music and was first promoted as a less costly choice than the J-200 during the 1940s. It also displays the familiar mahogany and Sitka spruce finish.
Gibson’s L-00 guitar is the smallest of the brand’s popular acoustic designs. It was first available in the 1930s as a lower-priced instrument that more people could afford during the Great Depression. This guitar has a mahogany body and a spruce top, and it is often called a Parlor (or Parlour) acoustic. However, it is a different style guitar from the Gibson Parlor model.
This small, compact guitar has always been ideal for playing on road trips and for guitarists with little space to store their instruments. The L-00 produces surprisingly full volume with a fair amount of low-end tonality.
For this reason, it is ideal for both traditional and current-day playing styles. Finger pickers often like this guitar’s middle-range projection, and singer-songwriters are attracted to its overall warm, engaging sound.
G-45 and other Generation Line Guitars
Gibson introduced the Generation line of acoustic guitars in 2019. Made in the USA, these guitars include the G-45 Studio and Standard styles. Created for the next generation of guitar-playing enthusiasts, these instruments combine classical and modern features. These models are priced reasonably to make them available to more players.
Gibson’s G-45 models are handcrafted in the company’s Bozeman, Montana factory. They are made using traditional Gibson methods with dovetail neck joints that are hide-glued and domed top braces. They display slim body depths and round-shouldered profiles like the J-45 models.
Q. Are there other Gibson models that I should consider buying when searching for the best Gibson acoustic guitar?
There are some other lesser-known styles and models to consider aside from these Gibson flagship guitars, including the following:
The Gibson Dove guitar came out in the ’60s as an alternative flat-top mode to the famous Hummingbird. The Dove displays maple for the back and sides and offers a longer scale for a brighter tone. It also has a greater mid-range projection.
In terms of visual design, the Dove exhibits a distinctive mixture of reddish and natural back and top finishes. It also features a pickguard that was carved by hand and displays a Dove design.
The Avant-Garde Range
Gibson introduced the Avant-Garde range of guitars to their inventories in 2017. The high-performance (HP) acoustic models display state-of-the-art design and offer the ultimate modern playability. Their features include Advanced Response neck profiles, multi-piece neck styles, and Richlite fingerboards.
Q: What is my most important step in selecting a new Gibson guitar?
The most important thing for you to do is to audition different guitars thoroughly. By visiting stores that sell a good selection of Gibson models, you can take the time to play different ones. This will help you narrow your choices down to a few and then pick your favorite guitar.
Q: What are the most important aspects of each different model to consider before buying my best Gibson acoustic guitar?
Pay careful attention to your perception of each guitar’s overall sound, tone quality, fretting hand comfort, and playing ease.
Good luck in your search for your next Gibson Acoustic, they really are some of the finest instruments you’ll ever play. No doubt about that.
Header Pic by John W. Tuggle