Gibson 2018 Acoustic Guitars

First Look: The 2018 Gibson Acoustic Guitar Collection

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Gibson’s Montana artisans raise the bar again with new J-45, SJ-200, Hummingbird, 00 and parlor guitars.

Looking for the rundown on the latest crop of Gibson acoustic guitars for 2018? Read on for all the key features and specifications that set this year’s collection apart. We’ll delve into the tonewoods plus body and neck profiles that set each acoustic guitar apart. We’ll focus on the Gibson SJ-200, a trio of the J-45 models as well as three Hummingbirds, closing out with Gibson’s latest 12-string acoustic-electric plus a pair of exciting new parlor guitars.

If we’re any judge, the 2018 Gibson acoustic guitar lineup is likely to be seen as a particularly fine vintage year in coming decades. We don’t say that lightly. The stream of Jumbos and Super Jumbos, 00s, and parlor guitars Gibson has built during the past century rank among the most celebrated acoustic guitars ever.

But the luthiers in Gibson’s Bozeman, Montana shop are clearly up to the challenge of meeting the standards of that legacy. In unveiling the 2018 acoustic guitar lineup, Gibson demonstrates a reverence for traditional methods and materials balanced with a willingness to explore new approaches. The result is a very well-rounded collection that has something for everyone. From seismic rhythmic chording and frenzied flatpicking to delicate fingerpicking, there is a Gibson acoustic to match your music and technique.

Musician's Friend has ordered a complete selection of these newest acoustic guitars from Gibson. To whet your appetite, we’ve highlighted 10 of most notable entries in that lineup for your consideration.

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Gibson 2018 SJ-200 Standard Acoustic Electric
Gibson 2018 J-45 Standard Acoustic-Electric
Gibson 2018 J-45 Walnut Avant Garde Acoustic-Electric
Gibson 2018 J-15 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric
Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Vintage Acoustic
Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Rosewood Avant Garde Acoustic-Electric
Gibson 2018 Songwriter 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Gibson 2018 Parlor Rosewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Gibson 2018 L-00 12th Fret Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Gibson 2018 SJ-200 Standard Acoustic Electric Guitar

The 2018 SJ-200 Standard Acoustic-Electric has a lot of legacy to live up to. Since its debut in 1937, various forms of the Gibson Super Jumbo have appeared and eagerly been adopted by guitarists across the entire spectrum of Americana music and beyond. Collectively, these guitars have earned the nickname, “King of the Flat-tops” for their tonal balance and huge resonance.Gibson Montana addresses the realities of modern performance with a deluxe L.R. Baggs pickup and preamp that does complete justice to this big-toned instrument when you must plug in. Built to Super Jumbo specs, this big acoustic has projection to match and a bottom end that opens up under hard picking.

2018 SJ-200 Standard Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Gibson 2018 SJ-200 Standard is the latest entry in the series known as the “King of the Flat-tops."

Gibson 2018 J-45 Standard Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The new Gibson 2018 J-45 Standard Acoustic-Electric is equipped with a best-of-breed L.R. Baggs Element VTC pickup so it can hold its own in amplified settings. Gibson’s round-shoulder J-45 has been produced ever since 1942 and is prized for its well modulated bass and treble response. Like its predecessors, the 2018 J-45 has wonderful balance from defined, punchy bass notes through bright, ringing trebles and a complex, fat midrange that holds it all together. The classic combination of a Sitka spruce top with mahogany back and sides is just part of the tonal recipe. With a slightly smaller lower bout than Super Jumbo models, the distinctive voice of the SJ-200 is often the choice of singer-songwriters.

Gibson 2018 J-45 Standard Acoustic-Electric Guitar

When it comes to balanced response, it’s hard to beat the 2018 J-45 Standard Acoustic-Electric.

Gibson 2018 J-45 Walnut Avant-Garde Acoustic-Electric

This year Gibson is offering a cutaway version with richly grained American walnut back and sides for a slight brightening to the overall tone of the 2018 J-45 Walnut Avant-Garde Acoustic-Electric. With enhanced fretboard access and its crisper voice, this is an ideal instrument for pickers who appreciate articulate tone with fine string-to-string definition. The Walnut Burst finish adds visual distinction.

Gibson 2018 J-45 Walnut Avante-Garde Acoustic-Electric Guitar

A cutaway plus electronics makes the warm-toned 2018 J-45 Walnut Avant-Garde Acoustic-Electric a sweet stage guitar.

Gibson 2018 J-15 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar

With its slightly smaller American walnut body on a Sitka spruce top, the 2018 J-15 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric has a bit more punch than its stablemates that are built on mahogany bodies. When you need to plug in, the L.R. Baggs Element pickup ensures all the sparkle reaches your amp.

Gibson 2018 J-15 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The 2018 J-15 Dreadnought Acoustic-Electric is a celebration of American tonewoods.

Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The first square-shouldered dreadnought from Gibson—the Hummingbird—was introduced in 1960 and quickly gained a following among pros and enthusiasts alike. At 16.25”, the lower bout was slightly larger than the Jumbo’s 16”. Despite the comfortable, reduced body depth, the Hummingbird was still capable of plenty of projection and shared much of the other Jumbos’ evenness of tone. The Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric possesses those same tonal charms and has an L.R. Baggs pickup and 2-band preamp to faithfully deliver its voice to your amplification system. The traditional Sitka spruce top on mahogany back and sides ensure you get the full measure of the Hummingbird’s trademark sound.

Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric

With its comfortable body depth and L.R. Baggs pickup the 2018 Hummingbird Acoustic-Electric is gig-ready.

Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Vintage Acoustic Guitar

From the expertly applied nitrocellulose finish to the distinctively engraved pickguard and Gotoh Relic tuners, the Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Vintage Acoustic is built for the traditionalist. All the historic details are here including the belly bridge and parallelogram fingerboard inlay work. The Sitka spruce top has been thermally treated to impart the fully “bloomed” sound of a vintage guitar while the mahogany back and sides contribute warmth.

Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Vintage Acoustic

The top of the Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Vintage Acoustic receives a proprietary thermal treatment that opens up its sound.

Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Rosewood Avant Garde Acoustic-Electric Guitar

For the guitarist less concerned with tradition who wants performance-friendly tweaks, the 2018 Hummingbird Rosewood Avant Garde Acoustic-Electric should fit the bill. Combining a sleek Advanced Response neck with a bottom bout cutaway makes for easy fretboard navigation. The L.R. Baggs undersaddle pickup and preamp with 2-band EQ energize the sweet output for external amplification. Rosewood body construction imparts a slightly more rounded tone, especially in the trebles.

Gibson 2018 Hummingbird Rosewood Avant Garde Acoustic-Electric

The rosewood body contributes a slightly darker tone to the Hummingbird Rosewood Avant Garde Acoustic-Electric.

Gibson 2018 Songwriter 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Gibson luthiers lavish a whole lot of hand work on the Gibson 2018 Songwriter 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar, and it shows. Immaculate cosmetics include a gorgeous marquetry strip that sets off the glowing rosewood body. The Sitka spruce top on this square-shouldered dreadnought adds clarity to the chime and jangle of driving chords. The hand-scalloped X bracing, perfected in the 1930s, helps give this guitar its outstanding projection. A 2-band L.R. Baggs system delivers accurate tone when you go electric. The beautifully fitted inlay work and rosette are a testament to the superior work that comes out of Bozeman.

Gibson 2018 Songwriter 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Proven 1930s-era bracing gives the Gibson 2018 Songwriter 12-String Acoustic-Electric Guitar superb projection.

Gibson 2018 Parlor Rosewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Some of the earliest successful Gibson guitars belonged to the L-series—parlor-sized guitars that originally were archtops in their initial production between 1902 and 1926. Beginning in 1926, they were produced as flat tops. Typically they had a 13.5” lower bout, great projection for their size, and crisp tone. The new Gibson 2018 Parlor Rosewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar employs the J-165 parlor guitar shape with a cutaway. Multi-ply binding frames the Sitka spruce top that generates bright and articulate tone. Premium L.R. Baggs electronics makes the Parlor Rosewood an acoustic guitar for all occasions.

Gibson 2018 Parlor Rosewood Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The 2018 Parlor Rosewood Acoustic-Electric surprises with its powerful output despite a modest parlor guitar sound chamber.

Gibson 2018 L-00 12th Fret Acoustic-Electric Guitar

Guitarists who are into country, blues and other folk music forms should give the 2018 L-00 12th Fret Acoustic-Electric Guitar a close look. Its authentic tone is ideal for intimate gigs and recording. Thanks to the L.R. Baggs pickup with 2-band EQ, it’s stage-ready too. The nitrocellulose lacquer burst finish evokes the look of an early 20th-century parlor guitar. Solid rosewood back and sides temper the natural snap of the Sitka spruce soundboard, imparting a slightly warmer, richer sound. Gibson sticks to time-tested elements including the traditional V-profile neck with rosewood fingerboard and 1.75” nut.

Gibson 2018 L-00 12th Fret Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The L-00 12th Fret Acoustic-Electric takes its DNA from guitars that helped write the book of rural blues and folk music.

We’ve just touched on some our favorites from the Gibson Acoustic collection for 2018. Be sure to explore the entire collection of 2018 Gibson acoustic guitars.

Have a few more minutes? Be sure to read our new 2018 Gibson USA Electric Guitar and 2018 Gibson Semi-Hollowbody and Archtop buying guides.

Tags: Acoustic Guitars

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