Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar – 7 Great Options for You

Gibson is one of the leading manufacturers of both acoustic and electric guitars today. And like all well-built guitars, they tend to tonally open up and sound even better after years of playing. If you've progressed to the level of buying a Gibson, you may not be sure which is the right option for you and your style of music.

In this article, we've chosen our seven picks for best Gibson acoustic guitar. We have included guitars suited for many different genres of music in order to help you find your next guitar.

Our Top 7 Picks for Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar

1. Gibson J-45 Studio

Best Folk Guitar

4.0

Main Features

  • All-solid construction for excellent sound
  • Based on Gibson's iconic original J-45
  • Comes with top-notch electronics for playing live
  • Very responsive neck and soundboard for exceptional playability

No discussion of iconic acoustic guitars is complete without the J-45. This guitar has been a favorite of folk and blues performers for decades, and the studio version features updating styling.


Its round-shouldered dreadnought body has the same look as the original J-45, but the advanced-response neck gives it a playability like no other. This guitar has an L.R. Baggs VTC pickup system, and it has a solid Sitka spruce top with solid walnut back and sides.

Pros

  • Round - shouldered dreadnought body produces rich, balanced tone
  • Solid, quality tonewoods mean a tone that only improves over time
  • Comes with electronics for easily playing live

Cons

  • May be too expensive for some players
  • Those who want a boomier, bass-heavy sound may prefer a traditional dreadnought or Southern jumbo
  • Walnut is an unusual tonewood and may not be right for every player

Our Star Rating

Because of its quality playability an versatile tone, we give this one four out of five stars.

2. Hummingbird Original

Best All-Around

5.0

Main Features

  • Solid spruce and mahogany construction creates a rich, layered tone
  • Modeled after original Gibson Hummingbird guitar
  • Comes with quality electronics for faithful sound reproduction live

The Hummingbird is another iconic Gibson, and it's been widely loved and played for over 50 years. This guitar has a classic tonewood configuration--spruce and mahogany--meaning that it's tonally suitable for many different genres.


It comes in Heritage Cherry Sunburst with the distinctive etched pickguard that has set it apart for deacdes. For playing live, it comes with L.R. Baggs Element VTC electronics

Pros

  • Spruce and mahogany construction produces a tone good for most musical styles
  • Square - shouldered dreadnought produces rich, sound with enough low end
  • Iconic guitar design for players who want to stand out

Cons

  • Some players may prefer a more traditional-looking guitar
  • Larger body may be harder to handle and play for smaller people

Our Star Rating

Because of its excellent build quality and balanced tone, we give this one five out of five stars.

3. Gibson Dove Original

Best for Live Performance

4.0

Main Features

  • Spruce and maple construction for clearer projection
  • Unique, historic design
  • Beautiful appointments that make it stand out

The Gibson Dove is a guitar whose legacy is entwined with the politcal and social upheaval of the 1960s. Today, it's still one of the most distinctly beautiful Gibson guitars offered.


With a Sitka spruce top and maple back and sides, it's a guitar that's designed for bright, clear projection. It also has beautiful appointments like peraloid inlays, a bone nut and saddle, and a distinctive, etched dove pickguard.


Like many other high-end Gibsons, it comes with an L.R. Baggs VTC pickup system.

Pros

  • Quality tone that improves with age
  • Distinctive look makes it good for those who want to stand out
  • Comes with electronics for live performance

Cons

  • Maple back and sides don't provide the sustain and gradual decay of some other tonewoods.

Our Star Rating

We think this guitar is especially for those who like a clearer sound when playing live, and we give it four out of five stars.

4. SJ-200 125th Anniversary

Best Special Edition

4.0

Main Features

  • Solid spruce and maple construction makes it especially good at projecting
  • Quality electronics make it easy to play live
  • Limited-edition release also comes with embossed leather strap

The SJ-200 is a jumbo guitar with a boomy, full voice that's perfect for fingerpicking and flatpicking. This guitar has been a fixture in country music, and the 125th Anniversary SJ-200 pays tribute to that tradition.


It has a responsive Lutz spruce top with stunning figured maple back and sides. Its luxurious inlays and L.R. Baggs electronics make it a stage-ready instrument.

Pros

  • Jumbo body is great for country music, fingerpicking, and flatpicking
  • All-solid wood construction creates unparalleled tone
  • Quality appointments make this a stunning instrument on stage

Cons

  • Large body may be difficult for smaller players
  • Some players may prefer a slimmer neck
  • Because it's a limited edition, it is very expensive

Our Star Rating

This guitar is a work of art that's especially good for country musicians. We give it four out of five stars.

5. Gibson L-00

Best Blues Guitar

4.0

Main Features

  • L-00 body makes it great for blues and folk music
  • All-solid construction for great tone
  • Smaller body offers more treble and less resonance, which is ideal for some musical styles

You don't often see high-quality parlor guitars made, but the L-00 is an exception. It has the look of old "blues box" guitars, and its small body makes it a tonally sound choice for those who want to play the blues.


It has a solid Spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides, which give it the rich, midrange-heavy tones loved by many blues players.


And while its antiques sunburst finish may make it look like a relic, it comes with high-quality L.R. Baggs VTC electronics for when you want to play on stage.

Pros

  • Small body is easier to handle and transport
  • Better build quality than many smaller-bodied guitars
  • Very high quality electronics
  • Excellent playability

Cons

  • This body style may not be right for all musical styles
  • Despite its small size, this guitar is fairly expensive

Our Star Rating

This guitar may not be right for all types of music, but it's a top-of-the line blues instrument. We give it four out of five stars.

6. Gibson Songwriter

Best for Solo Artists

4.0

Main Features

  • Spruce and rosewood construction produces a rich tone and responds to complexities in your playing
  • Classic design includes a few distinctive touches
  • Top-quality bracing adds plenty of resonance
  • Comes with high-quality electronics

If you're a songwriter who also performs solo, you may not need the extra-full voice of a larger acoustic. Gibson's Songwriter is a dreadnought that's slightly smaller than most, making it easier to handle and more playable than many larger guitars.


Its hand-scalloped bracing adds all the resonance you need, and the solid rosewood back and sides add rich and complex overtones to your sound.


The Songwriter features a distinctive pickguard and dazzling abalone rosette, and it comes with L.R. Baggs VTC electronics for natural sound onstage.

Pros

  • Smaller-bodied dreadnought is easier to play
  • Quiet distinctive design
  • All-solid wood construction
  • Quality pickup for faithful sound reproduction

Cons

  • Some players may prefer a larger guitar for a fuller sound

Our Star Rating

We think this guitar is an especially good choice for solo performers, and we give it five out of five stars.

7. Sheryl Crow

Country Western Supreme

Best Signature Model

4.0

Main Features

  • Solid spruce and mahogany construction makes it a versatile guitar
  • Uniquely antiques finish gives it a vintage-inspired look
  • Responsive, playable mahogany neck
  • Unique electronics system improves sound when playing live

Gibson doesn't often offer signature models, but this one is worth a look. Designed in collaboration with Sheryl Crow, this model is a classically styled dreadnought that's especially useful when fingerpicking or flatpicking.


It has a solid Sitka spruce top and solid mahogany back and sides for rich overtones and a balanced sound. It comes with Amulet M electronics, which roll off extra bass response in order to avoid feedback issues.

Pros

  • Great for country musicians
  • Classic construction makes it great for picking
  • Attractive, vintage finish

Cons

  • May not be best for players seeking more unique tonewoods

Our Star Rating

We think this is one of Gibson's best signature guitars, and we give it four out of five stars.

Buying Guide: How Do You Choose the Best Gibson Acoustic Guitar?

Gibson has been making quality guitars since 1902, and today, their instruments are still regarded as some of the best in the world. When shopping for a Gibson acoustic, you don't need to worry about purchasing a quality instrument--these guitars are made with solid, hand-selected woods for great tone and an appearance to match.

The most important thing when buying a Gibson is to choose one that suits your style of playing. Here's what to keep in mind:

Tonewood Choices

Gibson uses quality tonewoods in all of their guitars, and some of these are very unique. here are some of the woods featured on guitars on our list:

Sitka Spruce

Sitka spruce is a sustainable tonewood that has been used to build acoustic instruments for centuries. It has a rich and fairly well-balanced tone, although it tends to favor midrange and higher notes. It's one of the most common top woods used on acoustic guitars.

Lutz Spruce

Lutz spruce is a hybrid of Sitka and white spruce, and it's the type of wood that responds to a strong attack (like strumming or vigorous picking). This makes it a great choice for larger-bodied guitars like Southern jumbos.

Mahogany

Mahogany is a beautiful tonewood that favors midrange sounds, meaning it provides a tone that's suitable for many different musical genres. It can be used as a wood for the top of guitars, but it's also commonly used on the back and sides of instruments. It tends to pair well with a spruce top, since the mahogany balances out the brightness of a spruce top.

Walnut

Walnut is less common, but it's commonly used on guitars geared toward blues playing, since it has a fairly dark tone and projects well. It falls between the tonal properties of mahogany and maple, and Gibson uses it on some models of J-45.

Body Style and Size

Body style and size is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for your Gibson guitar. Here are some of the body styles included on our list.

Double Zero Acoustic guitars

Smaller guitars like this parlor-style model are great for those who play music that emphasizes treble frequencies. These guitars are often used in blues music, as blues playing is easier on guitars that can project and don't have a lot of sustain. They also are easier for smaller players to handle.

Round-shouldered Dreadnought

Many players believe that the round-shouldered dreadnought takes off some of the bass sound of traditional dreadnoughts, and this is part of the thought behind round-shouldered guitars like the J-45. Round-shouldered dreadnoughts also have a vintage look about them, which is especially appealing to some folk and blues players.

Standard Dreadnought

This classic, square-shouldered guitar shape has been favorite over the decades. It provides plenty of bass response and is ideal for creating complex overtones. Many of Gibson's most famous acoustic guitars are standard dreadnoughts.

Southern Jumbo

This large-bodied guitar may not be the right choice for everyone, but it's an excellent performance guitar. Its large body creates a boomy, bass-heavy tone that takes especially well to both fingerpicking and flatpicking. These guitars may be somewhat difficult for smaller-bodied players to handle. However, they are especially popular with country musicians.

Electronics

Because Gibsons are professional-class acoustic guitars, most models come equipped with electronics. Most come with the L.R. Baggs VTC system. This is a state-of-the-art pickup system that avoids the artificial sound of the common piezo pickup systems often found in acoustic-electric guitars. The VTC system is designed to read the response of your guitar's soundboard, amplifying sound in a way that sounds much more natural. The system also includes a dynamic EQ, which adjusts based on your playing. This helps you avoid feedback issues, and it helps keep you sounding your best.

In Conclusion

Due to their superb sound and excellent build quality, you can't really go wrong with any Gibson acoustic. That said, our top pick is the Hummingbird. This guitar has a tonewood configuration great for any musical style, and its distinctive look makes it an eye-catching choice for any performer. A great runner-up is the Songwriter, a slightly smaller guitar that offers classic good looks and excellent playability. When shopping for your Gibson, be sure to look closely at specs and choose one that suits your music, and you'll be on your way to selecting the guitar of a lifetime.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *