1. The Rules have been updated regarding posting as a business on TGP. Thread with details here: Thread Here
    Dismiss Notice

Gibson vs. Martin

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by RoadCase, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. RoadCase

    RoadCase Guest

    I'm trying to decide between the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe and the good ol' D-28

    I've heard the the Gibsons are more 'well-balanced' and not as throaty as the D-28

    Thoughts anyone???
     
  2. Eugene

    Eugene Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,690
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    Sure, get a Collings!:D Sorry, I couldn't resist...

    I prefer the D-28 over the Gibson. I've played both and the Martin seems more balanced to my ears. I believe the HD-28 has scalloped bracing...its one of my favorite Martin models. You might want to check that one out as well.

    Good luck!

    Eugene
     
  3. rbisherw

    rbisherw Guest

    I went through this almost 2 years ago.

    While, I have owned 2 Gibson acoustics (Gospel and Hummingbird) in the past, I chose the D28.

    To my ears, the D28 sounded magical, the Songwriter Deluxe sounded good.
    Workmanship on the Gibsons was excellent, workmanship on the D28 was flawless.
     
  4. Gazza

    Gazza Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    Don't even have to think twice about this question, D28!!!!
     
  5. tuna

    tuna Member

    Messages:
    306
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Location:
    Powhatan, Virginia
    +1 on the HD-28. I just went throught this too and the HD-28 with the scalloped bracing gives you that nice Martin bottom end.
     
  6. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    here's my setup and i couldn't be happier with it:
    an old gibson j50 and a collings dreadnought. if i had to choose one...jesus i can't. they are both amazing. the j50 probably would be my choice--it records great and is a dream to play. the collings rings like a bell and has great intonation & allaround great craftsmanship. i'd go for one of those, obviously. ymmv
     
  7. neve1073

    neve1073 Member

    Messages:
    199
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    ps the reissue j50s might be good. i've been meaning to try one out.
     
  8. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,492
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    near Philly
    well, I would say you need to try numerous guitars of each model.......there is significant variability in how each one sounds. for example, if you try five D28's, you might find that one really floats your boat and the other four are so-so.

    and sorry, I do need to put another plug in for Collings guitars. incredible build quality and incredible tone and incredible consistency between guitars of the same model. Their SJ model (small jumbo) is a real honey for singer-songwriter stuff.
     
  9. Brad Scott

    Brad Scott Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,247
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Birdland
    Martin HD-28 — wonderful tone and classic good looks.
     
  10. Droffie

    Droffie Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Go for the Gibson. I own a Gibson CL-50 Supreme and I find the Gibson better balanced guitars.
    I was not impressed by the HD-28 at all. Way to boomy on the bass no clear mids.

    Good luck in your choice.

    D.
     
  11. 60HzShuffle

    60HzShuffle Member

    Messages:
    535
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA area
    I played a Gibson AJ and a HD-28 side by side. For what I wanted, I liked the playability and tone of the Gibson. I wanted to get the HD-28, but thought the Gibson was more balanced to my ears. The gibson neck reminded me of a 50's profile on a Les Paul and felt easier to play. I wanted to get a Martin when I started out and may someday, but it is all personal preference and you have to play them (I know, it has been said here over and over). :eek:
     
  12. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,952
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    New Joisey
    Really hard to say since it depends on you mostly, and the actual guitars in question.

    For me, I bought a D-41 10 years ago and still love it. I played a LOT of different acoustics but the Martin spoke to me the most. That is how you should decide, let your gut tell you not us or your eyes.

    A D-28 is a staple for sure, it is the LP of the acoustic world.
     
  13. Roly

    Roly Guest

    Hi there!
    It´s not an easy decision if you haven´t played them yet. Only you will know when you hear them. If you like more lows , then maybe go with the Martin. I recently tested a Gibson Southern Jumbo. It had just as much bottom end as the Martin but with a more compressed and bluesy tone. It had more "character" than the Martin in my opinion and I really enjoyed playing it. Give it a try...good luck and go with your gut feeling. You´ll know it when you hear it !!
     
  14. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    21,734
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    A couple of different perspective:

    Are you playing out or practising/recording? At home, I like the sound and feel of the Gibson better. Warmer and rounder, very light and resonant.

    In a band situation the Martin has way more bass, authority and cut, not to speak of volume. This is partly because of the way they're built and partly the rosewood back and sides.

    For acoustics I think the Montana Gibsons are as good or better than their vintage counterparts or any Martin.
     
  15. Heliman

    Heliman Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    Northeastern North Carolina
    Another D-41 owner here!

    Gibson has not made a quality acoustic in 15 years.

    If the Gibby you are looking at is that age or older, it might be worth considering. If not, don't waste your time!

    The D-28 is the standard by which all other acoustics are judged.

    I would choose a Tacoma over any current Gibson. For example:
    http://www.musiciansbuy.com/TACOMA_DR55_GUITAR_W_CASE.html

    The Tacoma DR28 is even better priced!
     
  16. Droffie

    Droffie Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    what a load of crap :eek: . Gibson in Bozeman is making real quality guitars, even Gibson haters admitt this. I guess yer one of the real stubborn ones.

    My CL-Supreme from Bozeman Custom Shop is better sounding than any D-28. I might even challange your D-41...
     
  17. Heliman

    Heliman Member

    Messages:
    165
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    Northeastern North Carolina
    OK, Yea, Right! ;)

    Believe whatever makes you warm and cozy at night. However, Gibson has had some serious quality control issues at Bozeman for some time now as well as Memphis since its inception. So far, they have done a fair job in Nashville.

    Again, Tacomas will dog any Gibson that I have played in the last 15 years for 2/3's the price or less. :dude
     
  18. Ogre

    Ogre Member

    Messages:
    4,287
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Apples and oranges. I would find one that "speaks" to you, regardless of the brand. Remember to listen with your ears, and not your eyes.
     
  19. bscepter

    bscepter Member

    Messages:
    684
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    As Vincent Price used to say, "Eggs-actly."

    I was once where you were, stuck between Bozeman and Nazareth. Then, I wound up in Westerly, Rhode Island, with a Guild JF55.

    Personally, I thought it kicked both the Gibby and Martin to the kerb. Neck like an SG. AAA spruce top. Beautiful inlay. Gloss nitro finish. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. Rosewood back and sides. Tank-like case. AND it sounds fantastic.

    Now, I'm not sure how the current crop of Guilds is -- I heard they went offshore for a while. But, as the man said, if it speaks to you, buy it.
     
  20. PB Wilson

    PB Wilson Member

    Messages:
    760
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester NY
    Taking into account all of the Gibson acoustics I've played, the ones from the mid '60s, '70s and '80s were by far the worst. Even worse than the ones you may see in stores today. They were owned by Norlin who tried (and failed miserably) to rocket Gibson to the top with many new "advancements" such as the double X bracing (WAY too stiff), the Tune-O-Matic acoustic saddles set in a wooden bridge, plastic bridges held on with screws, giant bridge pads and the infamous paddle neck tennon (making neck resets much more difficult). Add to that the colossal flop of the Mark series and the lack of humidity control in their Nashville plant and you have some of the most inconsistent and dull-sounding instruments in Gibson's history.

    You may find a nice Gibson out today, but definitely play them before you plunk down the cash. When you are dealing with wood that is under 1/8" thick and pumping out as many guitars as they (and any other large factory) are, there are bound to be some dogs in the bunch.

    The biggest difference between Gibsons and Martins is the difference in scale length. Most Martins have a 25.4" scale while most Gibsons (not all) have a 24.75" scale. This makes a world of difference in feel and sound.
     

Share This Page