The Gibson J-35
Gibson And Martin Dreadnought Guitars
Right here and right now is the golden age of guitar building in the world. There has never been a better time to buy a guitar. Oh sure, Martin guitars and Gibson guitars both refer to the pre world war two era of guitar building as the "golden era," but facts are, we've better technology and much better understanding of how to build a great acoustic guitar right here, and right now. Yes, some of the great tonewoods are now very hard to get, but others are not; and still new tonewoods are being used to terrific effect.
Gibson guitars was established in the USA in the year 1902, and since that time they've done a great job at rivaling C.F. Martin & Company for preeminence in guitar building in the USA. Martin developed its dreadnought body style in 1931, and Gibson promptly came out with its own version of that size guitar, and the J-35 is just that. Oh the "J" stands for "jumbo," but the guitar is a dreadnought, and there is no doubt about that. Gibson's design simply has slightly different dimensions, and a more rounded, or sloped set of "shoulders" on it.
Gibson may compete directly with Martin in global acoustic guitar sales, but there are things to know about this. The guitars by Gibson and Martin sound completely different. You can get a Martin D-18, and this Gibson J-35 and play them one after the other, and you'll see, they don't really sound alike at all, and this is due to the way they are braced, and because of many another nuance of guitar building as well.
Brand New Re-introduced Gibson J-35
Now the Gibson J-35 is a standard fourteen frets clear of the body all solid wood steel string instrument. It's made from solid mahogany on the backs and sides, and features a solid spruce top as well. The J-35 is a very low priced instrument for an all solid wood Gibson flat top, and in the case of this one, it is also equipped with pre-amp and a pickup for acoustic electric play. This instrument is ideal for either playing in a studio, with your musician friends, or on a stage; it's a do it all guitar.
This is a mahogany body guitar; and so it will have a very decidedly mahogany sound, and that means it will have a very bright, and immediate tonality. Mahogany is relatively inexpensive compared to rosewood, but it provides an extremely high value, and a completely different sound. Mahogany is absolutely preferred OVER rosewood, or anything else for that matter, by a large number of musicians. So the Gibson J-35 is a relatively similar instrument to something like the Tacoma Road King, but it costs more than twice as much; well, the big thing about that is, it says GIBSON on it, because that is what it is. Whenever you have a guitar made by premium manufacturers like Gibson or Martin, you've got something that will appreciate in value over time, or at least keep its value should it get scuffed up a bit.
There are qute a lot of guitars on the market that are also steel string dreadnoughts with mahogany and spruce, and fourteen frets clear of the body, and equipped for acoustic/electric play. One in particular that I'm fond of, and that competes very nicely with the J-35 in price and in specifications is the Guild D-40.
The Gibson J-35 Sound Check
The video above starts kind of slow, but if you are interested in this guitar, then it is truly the best video I could find. These things, as shown, sowd awesome when fingerpicking, or flatpicked in a bluegrass style. They're really balanced guitars, whereas sometimes a rosewood instrument the same size, will be a bit too "boomy" on the bass end of the tonal spectrum.
The J-35 does have a lot of rosewood on it. The fretboard or fingerboard is rosewood, and so is the bridge. Essentially, the J-35 is a J-45 with just a bit less ornamentation so as to be more affordable. The electronics on the guitar are all by L.R. Baggs; and can be expected to produce exactly as anyone would want them to. The Mahogany neck, as are all Gibson necks, really feel wonderful, and allow for your playing to be as effortless as it can be. It measures at 1 and 3/4" at the nut; and speaking of the nut, both the nut and saddle are made from tusq material, so that every note is loud, clear, and rings out with long lasting sustain. The fire stripped pick guard is unique to this instrument, and really allows one to see what model guitar is being played; it's really attractive. This guitar was in production years and years ago, but is now being re-introduced by Gibson for 2013, and it sure does look and sound like an all around winner. Of course a beautiful hardshell case is included, as is Gibson's Gold warranty.
This is a guitar to be excited about. If you're shopping for a great priced heirloom quality professional instrument, be sure you check one of these out before buying another. Thank you for reading.