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The Gibson Moustache Bridge Part One.

This is part one of a two part series of the iconic Gibson Moustache™ bridge, from a builder's view. The Gibson Moustache Bridge has for decades been a key and distinctive element to Gibson’s Acoustic Flagship model, the SJ-200. For part one we will focus on the crafting of the Moustache™ Bridge itself.  

In the picture below, Master-builder Jim Davies inserts the finest Mother Of Pearl inlays into the carved Rosewood blank. The blank is hand selected, aged and seasoned to provide a lifetime of use.

The Gibson Moustache Bridge

After carefully securing the inlays in place, Jim will begin the high detailed sanding process as we see in the pictures below.

The Gibson Moustache BridgeThe Gibson Moustache Bridge
After Jim meticulously sands the bridge to a smooth, high detail finish he will move the bridge on to the buffing process, this is where the striking characteristics of the Rosewood and Mother of Pearl will shine through.

The Gibson Moustache BridgeThe Gibson Moustache Bridge

And in the picture below, the finished product. 

The Gibson Moustache Bridge

Next week, for The Gibson Moustache™ Bridge Part Two, we will look at the placement of the bridge to the guitar top itself.

Posted: 4/3/2009 3:17:07 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Popular & Fun to Play: the Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC

From the creative minds that brought you one of our most popular models ever, the Songwriter Deluxe, this week I bring you the Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC ("EC" stands for "Electric Cutaway").  Made with the same high quality woods and standards that you come to expect from the Gibson Acoustic facility in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, the SW Dlx. Studio EC boasts an impressive body made out of premium Indian rosewood coupled with an AAA Sitka spruce top.  The neck is constructed from Honduras mahogany with a coal black ebony fret board and bridge. 
Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC
The inlay package is equally as gorgeous without being gaudy with its Mother-of-pearl fret board parallelograms (like the Hummingbird), its Mother-of-pearl logo and crown inlay in the head stock, wrapping it up nicely with an abalone rosette ring.  The thin, single white, binding around the fret board accents the look completely.  Add all this with an on-board electronics package (a Fishman Prefix-T) so you can adjust your sounds without having to change your settings on your amplifier. 

Oh, and did I mention it is a CUTAWAY?  Now those notes you couldn't reach before, without having to manipulate your fretting hand in a weird position, are easily accessible. Also, don't forget, it is still a Songwriter Deluxe, no matter how you slice it, so you still have the sturdy square shoulder dreadnought with the Gibson x-braced top all hand crafted by our talented luthiers in Montana.  

So if you are a little bit country and a little bit rock n' roll, please don't hesitate to experience that feeling that only a Gibson can provide, and pick up a Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC at your nearest authorized Gibson Acoustic dealer or online at one of our authorized web-dealers.  

Jason Jones, Gibson Acoustic luthier

Jeff Jewett and Chris Chappel binding SW DLX STUDIO EC BODIES

Posted: 4/3/2009 8:13:41 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Aaron Lewis of Staind Visits The Gibson Acoustic Plant

Aaron Lewis playing his J45Today Aaron Lewis, (lead singer, songwriter, & guitarist of the popular rock group, Staind), paid Gibson Acoustic, here in beautiful Bozeman, Mont., a visit.  A huge vintage Gibson acoustic fan, Aaron was relieved to finally make it up here to tour the plant and to meet with Master Luthier Ren Ferguson, Robi Johns, and GM Doug Koffinke to discuss a possible signature guitar run based on a reproduction vintage J45 that we had built for him. 

I had a chance to give him a personalized tour and to talk with him for a while.  An extremely talented acoustic player, Aaron was intensely interested in the construction process of a Gibson acoustic guitar.  Thoughout the tour, we discussed a variety of topics, from archery hunting to a solo side project he is working on to his vast array of vintage Gibsons (both acoustic and electric) that he has collected over the years. 

Aaron also showed a sincere appreciation for his fans by posing for several photos and signing a number of autographs much to the delight of the plant's employees.  It was a pleasure to meet this highly talented, down-to-earth, man, and we at Gibson Acoustic will always have an open door whenever Aaron Lewis wishes to visit us again. 

Until then, here are some photos of his visit.  Enjoy. 

Jason Jones, Gibson Acoustic luthier

Aaron looking at a maple neck blankAaron checking out neckfit

Posted: 3/20/2009 6:26:35 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

The SJ-200 Western Classic, for That Vintage, "Pre-War" Feel

Nothing screams "vintage" more than our SJ-200 Western Classic. With its 3 piece Indian rosewood back and sides, its 2 piece figured maple neck, and premium AAA Sitka spruce top, one strum across the strings will send you back in time to the days of Ray Whitley and Gene Autrey in their black and white splendor.  This particular model receives our special tri-burst finish on its top, giving it just that little extra pow over an average vintage sunburst finish.  The look is finished off with a multi-bound, high grade ebony fret board (with exquisite Mother-of-Pearl crown inlays) and matching ebony moustache bridge (with its vintage "4-bar/2-dot" Mother-of-Pearl inlays). 

The looks of this beauty will draw you in, however, it is the sound that will keep you playing.  The Western Classic has all the boom you expect from the SJ-200 size and the added twang you get from the Indian rosewood is a special treat you will not find on most models.  The smooth playability of the "fret over binding" fret board in combination with the gold Waverly tuners will make this one hard guitar to put down. 

So what are you waiting for?  Grab your Stetson, snug up your bolo tie, and trot on down to your local Gibson Acoustic retailer or search online from one of our authorized Gibson Acoustic dealer websites and get one in your hands today.

Jason Jones, Gibson Acoustic luthier

Chuck Knecht spraying lacquer on an SJ-200

Posted: 3/16/2009 7:52:23 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

A Visit to Japan

A visit to Japan is the opportunity for one to think outside the boundaries of our own home here in the USA, and Montana. This visit to Japan was a business trip which provided us a chance to talk to customers 5000 miles from where we make the fabulous Gibson Acoustic Guitar’s. The insight gained from our customers here in Japan was invaluable – reinforcing just how important it is to produce the highest quality acoustic guitars.
Like the USA, Japan faces many economic challenges. These challenging times have tremendous effect on the way people live their lives and how they earn a living. They also affect the guitar market. Japan is an amazing market for acoustic guitars, and especially for Gibson Acoustic Guitars. The Japanese have a long history with, and a passion for, Gibson. It also helps that there are highly passionate Gibson people in Japan who support all our efforts.
Having been to Japan a year ago I have noticed a big difference in the selection of guitars at the dealers. The biggest difference is that there is an increasing number of used guitars – beautiful vintage Gibson’s, and other brands! While there are more of these guitars, it was truly amazing to see the wide array of vintage Gibson’s in the market. One store, known as “G” store, displayed a wide array – over 20 vintage Gibson Acoustic guitars – from the early 60’s through the late 90’s. Beautiful works of art that can be bought for very competitive prices.
I wanted to share these few brief thoughts as we spend time in this very important market – Japan is a beautiful and unique place, there is a love of Gibson and they face the same challenging economic issues that we face in the USA.

Posted: 3/12/2009 3:32:19 PM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

What Has Broad Shoulders, Plays Wonderful Music And Is Part Hawaiian?

The Hummingbird Custom Koa! This gem of a guitar was designed by our master luthier, Ren Ferguson, and is now one of our most popular custom production models, and for good reason.

Made out of Hawaiian grown Koa, the body of the Hummingbird Custom Koa has a very exotic beauty about it.  Along with the AAA Sitka spruce top and the Abalone purfling and rosette, the body is striking to all who see it.  The large faux tortoise shell pick guard enhances the beauty even more so with its Mother-of-Pearl hummingbird inlays, each meticulously hand engraved.  The Honduras mahogany neck has a bound ebony fret board with Abalone "orpheum" inlays.  The ebony bridge with the hand engraved Mother-of-Pearl hummingbird inlays finishes this work of art, giving you a uniquely original and stunning guitar.

Of course the Hummingbird Custom Koa boasts not only killer looks, but killer tone as well.  You may want to frame this classic beauty and hang it on a wall, but your ears will beg you not to!

Check out the Hummingbird Custom Koa and many other model selections at your local authorized Gibson Acoustic dealer or on-line at one of our fine retail associates.

Sue Ehret inspecting her work on a H.C.K. pick guard.

On a sadder note, many of you have possibly heard of the explosion last week in our fair city of Bozeman, MT, that took with it several buildings in our historic downtown district.  Luckily, Gibson Acoustic is located on the opposite end of the town, so we were left completely unharmed.  At first, what was surprisingly thought of a casualty-free incident, turned out Sunday to be the contrary as a body was found in the rubble.  All of us at Gibson Acoustic give our heart-felt condolences to the victim's family and friends. 

Jason Jones, Gibson Acoustic luthier

Posted: 3/9/2009 7:06:06 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

The J-45 Standard: Gibson's "Workhorse"

For this week's blog, I've chosen one of my favorite models, the J-45 Standard.  Introduced in 1942, this simple, non-ornate, slope shouldered dreadnought has captured the hearts of musicians all over the globe.  This 2009 version has many of the same original specifications.  Premium Sitka spruce makes up the top as well as the hidden top and back braces.  Honduras mahogany is used to construct the sides and back of the body as well as the neck.  High quality Indian rosewood is used to create the bridge and the fret board.  In accordance to its simple motif, Mother-of-pearl dots flow down the fret board and a plain, tear-drop shaped pick guard protects the top.  This year we did modify the guitar by installing electronics in it for the added benefit of playing through your favorite amplifier.

But don't let the lack of flowery engravings or exotic inlay patterns fool you, this is definitely a stick of dynamite wrapped in a plain brown wrapper.  Nicknamed the "Workhorse" many years ago, this model is famous for its amazing tone and volume, generating many of the classics and future classics you listen to everyday.  From rock and roll to bluegrass, artists spanning numerous generations has put this fine instrument through its paces, and the J-45 simply keeps shining. 

This, and many more classic Gibson Acoustic models are available at your local Gibson Acoustic dealer, or online at our many Gibson Acoustic authorized websites.  Check one out today and experience what the "Workhorse" has to offer.

Jason Jones, luthier for Gibson Acoustic

Levi Main preparing a J45 body for binding

Posted: 3/2/2009 7:29:17 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

Update: The CL Fox Custom...

I promised an update on the CL Fox by Valerie Bolitho a couple of weeks ago, and here it is!  Completed, and ready for shipping, this Custom Line guitar sounded so magnificent with its crisp highs and full body lows, that it was hard to get it out of our Master Inspector's (Josh Dierman's) hands.  Now with its custom ebony bridge and faux tortoise shell pick guard in place, this guitar truly stands out as a fabulous piece of art.  View these images and decide for yourself.

Gibson Acoustic in beautiful Bozeman, Montana has the facility and the talent to create any masterpiece that you can conceive.  If you wish to make your dream guitar become a reality, please contact your local authorized Gibson Acoustic dealer and let us fulfill that dream for you.

Jason Jones, luthier for Gibson Acoustic 

Brad Schmidt setting up the CL Fox & Josh Dierman final inspecting it

Posted: 2/20/2009 11:25:59 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

The Flagship of The Gibson Acoustic Guitar Fleet: the J-200 Standard

This week I like to spotlight the J-200, perhaps the most recognizable acoustic guitar in the world today.  Although its roots are firmly implanted in the country/western music genre, it has traveled through many different music styles from a wide range of different eras. Played by thousands of musicians from Gene Autry, to Emmylou Harris, to Pete Townsend, the J-200 Standard hasn't only stood the test of time, it has flourished like no other acoustic guitar in the history of mankind.

The J-200's origins started officially in the year 1937, when the legendary singing cowboy, Ray Whitley, wanted a deeper sounding guitar and one that screamed "fancy." Guy Hart, along with the design team at Gibson Guitars at the time, created not only a fancy flat-top, but THE fancy flat-top. With its distinctive moustache bridge, it's large, ornate faux tortoise shell pick guard, and its crown fret board inlays, this guitar is as noticeable today as it was revolutionary in 1938, when the first production SJ-200's hit the buying public. 

Today's version of that historic model carries with it most of the same attributes as the original '38 model.  The modern day J-200 Standard utilizes our AAA grade Sitka spruce top with its hand scalloped x-brace bracing pattern, our premium Indian rosewood for the fret board and bridge, and our gorgeous figured maple for the neck, sides, and back.  The use of authentic mother-of-pearl inlays on the guitar as well as the inlaid pick guard with its flowers and vines motif brings you back to a time when a cowboy only needed his faithful horse by his side, his shiny six-shooter in his holster, and his beloved guitar in his arms serenading his sweetheart at the end of the day.

Go to your local authorized Gibson acoustic guitar dealer and try one on for size. If the attention to detail and the unique stylings of the J-200 Standard doesn't grab you automatically, then the booming sound that can only come from a guitar of this magnitude will definitely do the trick. Your eyes and your ears will appreciate it.

Jason Jones, luthier for Gibson Acoustics

This is Dennis Notarius buffing a J-200 this morning.
Dennis Notarius buffing a J-200


Posted: 2/13/2009 9:35:11 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink

The Latest from The Acoustic Art Shop ...

For this week's blog, I've decided to bring you into our world and show you a custom Art Shop original being created.  Valerie Bolitho is the luthier responsible for this piece of art, the CL Fox made from very selected Indian Rosewood.  The CL (or Custom Line) is known for it smaller size and ease of playability.  Its 4.5" body depth gives the CL a beautiful, clear tone.  The specially selected Indian rosewood gives it just the right amount of brightness that makes this the perfect guitar for small gatherings, recording work, or to simply lose yourself with your guitar in solitude.  The rosewood, in this case, was hand selected by Ren Ferguson, (master luthier and designer), during one of his global wood expeditions.   The figure, color, and sheer uniqueness of this selected rosewood is purely breath-taking.  

The CL also has a premium Sitka spruce top selected by Valerie for its sound qualities as well as its tight, straight grain configuration and its clean, flawless appearance.  She then enhanced the appearance even further with her choice of colored binding packages on the top and back of the body and her multicolored marquetry rosette selection, which she is known for on many of her creations. 

The headstock veneer is adorned with a beautiful fox, created out of multiple pieces of varying colored Mother-of-Pearl shell and the fretboard continues the theme with inlaid fox paw prints from the nut all the way down to the rosette. 

This is truly a one-of-a-kind work of art, but as we stress here in Bozeman, it is a completely functional and exquisite sounding guitar as well.  I will do an update of the guitar when it is completed and ready to ship to its excited owner.

If you have an itch for something unique, gorgeous, and with the sound and overall quality that only a Gibson can provide, please go to your local Gibson Acoustic dealership or to any one of the fine on-line stores specializing in Gibson Acoustics and see what our Art Shop can do for you.  Your personalized masterpiece may only be a phone call away.  In the meantime, please enjoy these photos.

Jason Jones, luthier at Gibson Acoustics

Jamie Eckart sanding the CL FoxFox inlayFigured rosewood back

Posted: 2/6/2009 8:11:23 AM with Comments | Add Comment | Email Link | Permalink
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