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This heritage company has made so many iconic instruments since its founding in 1902. Their current lineup of US production and custom-made guitars continue to innovate and reaffirm their status as a true giant of the guitar industry.

Gibson is one of the all-time most revered, prestigious and popular guitar manufacturers. If you mention the words “electric guitar” to someone, there’s a strong chance they’ll picture a Gibson model. Gibson guitars such as the Les Paul, SG, ES-335, Explorer, Flying V and Firebird are true icons that are firmly etched into the fabric of music history. Thanks to the exacting craftsmanship that goes into building them and their unmistakably rich tone, Gibson electric and Gibson acoustic guitars remain the go-to instruments for many pros. The fact that you can hear a Gibson played on an intimate Folk song one moment and then a blistering Heavy Metal track the next is a testament to the range and depth of these instruments.

No matter what your playing style or genre is, there’ll be a Gibson guitar that’s perfect for you. Gibson also offers left-handed guitars, including left-handed electric guitars, left-handed bass guitars and left-handed acoustic guitars, that cater to the lefty guitarist. As well as instruments, Gibson makes useful guitar accessories, cables, pickups and stylish merchandise.

We are proud to offer one of the best selections of Gibson guitars UK-wide, with many models in stock and available for next-day delivery. If you’re having trouble deciding which Gibson guitar is for you, head down to our iconic Brighton store where you can try some out for yourself and receive expert advice from our guitar specialists. You can also contact us online or over the phone if you need help with your purchase.

Which is better, Gibson or Fender?

A Gibson guitar isn’t better or worse than a Fender guitar - it’s a matter of preference. Although the Les Paul and the Telecaster are both electric guitars with two pickups and a single-cutaway, they each have a distinctive look, feel and tone. One player may prefer the Les Paul’s flatter fretboard and meaty tone, another may prefer the Tele’s longer scale length and bright, cutting tone.

A professional guitarist will likely have both a Gibson and a Fender so they’ve got both tonal flavours in their arsenal. It’s worth looking at the guitars your favourite players use and, most importantly, playing both Gibson and Fender guitars as much as you can to find out if you like one brand more than the other.

What’s the difference between Epiphone and Gibson?

Whilst an Epiphone Les Paul and a Gibson Les Paul may appear the same on the surface, they differ in some crucial ways.

The Gibson version is made in the United States with premium tonewoods, pickups and components. It’s a professional-quality instrument that’s imbued with the prestige that comes with being a Gibson guitar. The Epiphone version is a much more affordable alternative to the Gibson model. Epiphone guitars are built in Gibson’s Qingdao factory in China with more readily available components, which helps to bring down the price point.

Epiphone is the only brand that’s officially licensed by Gibson to reproduce their original designs so we highly recommend picking one up if you’re after a Gibson on a budget.

What does “VOS” mean with a Gibson guitar?

“VOS” is short for Vintage Original Spec. It’s a special designation that means a guitar has been built to the same specifications as a late '50s to early '60s Gibson. If you want the experience of playing and owning a vintage Gibson without the hefty price tag, a VOS model is the way to go.

Why are Gibson guitars expensive?

There’s no doubt that a Gibson guitar is a top-tier, premium instrument. As an instrument manufacturer, Gibson pride themselves on exceptional quality and craftsmanship. All Gibson guitars are made in the USA using high-quality materials and feature vintage-style nitrocellulose lacquer finishes.

Where are Gibson guitars made?

Gibson guitars are made at three factories, which specialise in certain guitar types. Acoustic guitars are made in Bozeman, Montana, hollow body and arch top guitars are built in Memphis, Tennessee whilst solid body electric guitars are crafted in Nashville, Tennesee.

Who plays a Gibson guitar?

The sheer number of legendary players and recordings that have featured Gibson guitars is immense. Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Slash (Guns N’ Roses), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Joan Jett (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Angus Young (AC/DC) Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Sheryl Crow are just a handful of the acclaimed artists that have favoured Gibson guitars. You could easily fill a book with the sheer number of groundbreaking guitarists that have wielded a Gibson live and in the studio.

What are the most popular Gibson guitars?

Gibson is arguably most well-known for their timeless electric guitars, which have had a major influence on the way the instrument would be made for decades to come. From the solid-body Les Paul and SG to the semi-acoustic Gibson ES-335, Gibson electric guitars remain immensely popular due to their stunning looks, smooth playability and unmistakable tone. Whether you’re after a hollow body that’s perfect for Jazz or an all-out rock machine with punchy humbuckers, Gibson have got you covered.

Gibson acoustic guitars, particularly the round-shouldered J-45, the dreadnought Hummingbird and the Jumbo SJ-2000, are amongst the most instantly recognisable models out there. Gibson also make electro-acoustic guitars, which are equipped with high-quality pickups and preamps, making them a top choice if you’re a live performer and want that classic Gibson acoustic sound.

Do Gibson make bass guitars?

Whilst they’re often recognised for their electric and acoustic guitar models, Gibson bass guitars are every bit as distinctive as their six-string siblings. If you’re after a big, bold and punchy tone with plenty of low-end, a Gibson bass is an excellent choice. The Gibson Thunderbird is a particularly popular model and has been used by players such as Gene Simmons, John Entwhistle (The Who) and Krist Novoselic (Nirvana).

What is the Gibson Custom Shop and Murphy Lab?

Gibson Custom Shop and Murphy Lab guitars are the cream-of-crop, representing the pinnacle of their craftsmanship, quality and tone. Each Gibson Custom is meticulously handmade using exclusively high-end tonewoods, hardware and pickups. A Murphy Lab guitar has undergone a special ageing process to give it the look and feel of a true vintage Gibson.

History of Gibson Guitars

Like many heritage music companies, Gibson’s origins are remarkably humble. Orville Gibson, the founder of Gibson Brands, Inc., began creating and selling mandolin-family instruments out of his small Kalamazoo, Michigan workshop. The Gibson company was created in 1902 to market Orville Gibson’s instruments. They quickly became known for their high manufacturing standards.

Orville Gibson kicked off the company’s innovative streak in 1898 when he was awarded the patent for the archtop guitar and mandolin. Gibson’s violin-style top and back design was carved from a single piece of wood and featured an oval soundhole. The result was a more durable instrument that delivered superior resonance, power and quality of tone.

Following Gibson’s death in 1918, luthier Lloyd Loar picked up where his predecessor left off. Loar designed the highly sought-after F-5 mandolin and the L-5 acoustic guitar, the first guitar to feature F-holes. From there, Gibson continued to produce incredible acoustic guitars such as the J-200, the J-45, the Hummingbird and the Dove.

The 1950s saw the dawn of the solid-body guitar and Gibson’s first commercial entry, launched in 1951, would become a true icon. The single-cutaway Gibson Les Paul was designed by the factory manager John Huis and his team. Guitarist and innovator Les Paul was consulted during the design process and lent his name to the guitar to boost sales.

What set the Gibson Les Paul Standard apart from the competition was its set-neck construction, solid Mahogany body, carved Maple top and independent tone & volume controls. This winning combination gave the Les Paul its trademark rich, warm and versatile tone with heaps of sustain.

Out of all the Les Paul models, the 1959 Les Paul “Burst” is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of electric guitars, with prized examples fetching over $400,000. Today, the Gibson Custom Shop and Murphy Lab craft spot-on recreations that have the feel, vibe and tone of those hallowed guitars at a more attainable price point.

Since the Les Paul’s release, Gibson has gone on to produce other landmark guitars including the double-cutaway Gibson SG (short for Solid Guitar) and the Gibson ES-335 (the world’s first commercial semi-hollow body electric guitar). Other Gibson guitars that were considered too futuristic for their time - the Explorer, the Flying V and the Firebird - have since become classics in their own right.