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Crown Peghead Logo

Gibson put the first crown peghead logo on an ES-300 back in 1940, and it has graced the headstocks of many legendary Gibson guitars ever since, including the legendary Southern Jumbo and today’s new Kristofferson model. Over the years, it has also been called a “thistle” because of the group of flowering plants with the sharp prickles, though Gibson has preferred to call it a “crown.”


The light tortoise pickguard for Kristofferson is Gibson’s traditional fat ’50s-style pickguard, which has been used on the Southern Jumbo since its introduction in 1942. As with all of Gibson’s pickguards, the coloring, inlay, and binding are all done by hand.


A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most ornamental elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking decorations on any acoustic guitar. The rosette on The Kristofferson is a double-ring rosette, with the main ring consisting of seven-ply binding, and the second ring three-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to this classic acoustic.

Indian Rosewood Fingerboard with Split Parallelogram Inlays

The fingerboard of The Kristofferson is constructed from the highest grade rosewood on earth, which is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson’s team of skilled experts before it enters the Gibson factories. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The Kristofferson’s split parallelogram inlays – including UFW logo on the fingerboard’s 12th fret – are made of genuine mother of pearl, and are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn’t require the use of fillers.

Fishman’s Acoustic Matrix Natural I Pickup System

The Kristofferson comes equipped with the revolutionary Acoustic Matrix Natural I Pickup System from Fishman, which features a co-polymer undersaddle pickup and active endpin-mounted preamp that’s proven more stable and durable than many standard ribbon-type pickups. It also delivers acoustic performance not previously attainable from an undersaddle pickup. Its design removes unnecessary internal components, and enhances the coupling between the pickup and the guitar, thus improving the sensitivity of the transducer for a robust, lively and natural acoustic sound with excellent dynamics, a delicate high end and a slight, yet, very noticeable bass boost, especially at low to medium stage volumes.


Body Tonewoods

The body of The Kristofferson exactly as it is on his original Southern Jumbo, which is known as a slope shoulder dreadnought. The top is made from AAA-grade Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are constructed from pattern-grade, quarter sawn mahogany, giving The Kristofferson a volume that projects as good as the sound is rich and warm, with highs and lows balanced to near perfection. Selecting the right wood, and the formula to dry it out, are two of the most central procedures to Gibson’s guitar-building process. Beginning with its first catalog in 1903, Gibson has assured its customers that every guitar would be built using woods with “the most durable, elastic, and sonorous qualities,” and today’s guitars from Gibson Acoustic are no different.


Every acoustic guitar made by Gibson features hand-scalloped, radiused top bracing inside the body, a feature normally found only in limited run, hand-made guitars. By scalloping each brace by hand, the natural sound of the acoustic is focused more toward the center of the body, enhancing the instrument’s sound projection. The Kristofferson features a variation of Gibson’s “X” bracing pattern situated behind the soundhole, with a set of tall and thin braces for the back, and scalloped tall and thin braces for the top. This legendary bracing design — exactly as it appeared in the first Southern Jumbo in 1942 — delivers a balanced expression, with punchy, deep lows, warm mids, and clear, crisp highs. When pushed for more volume, The Kristofferson projects a natural compression, which helps it blend nicely with any accompaniment.