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A Brief Overview Of Gibson Guitars

One could argue that over the past 100 years no guitar company has been copied more often then Gibson guitars. Of course they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Ever since Gibson began making guitars in the early 1900s (with their roots going back to the late 1800s), their styles have been copied many times over. So why is it that so many companies copy the look and feel of Gibson guitars?

Well the most obvious reason is that they make guitars that look very cool and play extremely well. Many different artists over the years have endorsed various types of Gibson models, including Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Angus Young, and Slash, among others. In addition, many of their designs have been fairly innovative. The Les Paul is arguably the most well known guitar in the world and its style has been copied many times over by many guitar companies, sometimes even resulting in lawsuits. The Explorer and Flying V models also come to mind as two of the more innovative guitar designs of the last century.

Gibson is also recognized as the company that created the “humbucking” pickup in the 1950s, which is a pickup that is designed in such a way to cancel or eliminate the excess hum caused by early single coil pickups (i.e. “buck the hum”).

But perhaps the main reason that they've been copied so often is that the prices of a lot of their guitars are extremely expensive. Many companies as a result would offer similar guitars but at a drastically reduced price, including well known guitar companies such as Ibanez and Paul Reed Smith. Gibson does however have a subsidiary company, Epiphone, that is allowed to build very similar models to the more expensive models. They are able to build these replicas cheaply using overseas labor in countries such as China and Japan.

In any case, Gibson continues to make high quality guitars that are known the world over and their popularity has made Gibson a household name. And there is no reason to believe that they won't continue to make their guitars long into the future!

Submitted by:

Chad Taylor

Read more articles by Chad Taylor and read reviews of Gibson Guitars




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