The Gibson Sparrow With Sunburst Finish

The Gibson Sparrow Sunburst

Gibson Guitars And Bird Themed Instruments

Gibson guitars has a long history of making fine acoustic guitars.  For most of Gibson's existence it has had exactly one competitor in the fine steel string guitar manufacturing game, and that would be C.F. Martin & Company, an older company.  Gibson guitars also has a long history of making fine dreadnought guitars with bird themes.  There is a much newer guitar in the tradition of bird themed dreadnoughts, and this is the Gibson Sparrow.

The bird themed Gibson dreadnoughts, debuted in the year 1960 with the mahogany body Gibson Hummingbird.  This was and is a top notched instrument designed to be Gibson's answer to the Martin D-18.  It was a smashing success, and is to this very day.  In 1962 Gibson followed up with a more unique instrument, the Gibson Dove, and the Dove was more unique in that it wasn't designed with the idea in mind that it would compete directly against any Martin instrument.  The Dove was a six string flat top unto its own, for the dove featured maple backs and sides, a tonewood C.F. Martin & Company wasn't using much.

The Gibson Sparrow has none of the years of appreciation the previous two instruments have.  This guitar is so new few own it, and many desire it.  It is build and designed to old school platinum specifications, however, and seems built to take on the new Martin D-28 Marquis.

The Gibson Sparrow With Natural Finish

Sparrow, Natural Finish

Specifications, Musings, and Comparisons

Let's not pull punches here, let's not beat around bushes - this Gibson Sparrow guitar is built to go toe to toe with the high end D-28 Marquis.  It is, of course, all solid wood, with East Indian rosewood back and sides, and also like the Marquis, it features a red Adirondack spruce top. Adirondack spruce is only used on the finest of instruments, and here is one right here, no doubt about it.  This is also a rather square shouldered instrument, and if you look at it, yeah buddy, it's got herringbone trim.  The guitar screams D-28 competitor, but the Sparrow is a bit more ornate than a D-28, isn't it?  Yes it is.  It's got the double parallelogram fret board positioning markers, and then the Sparrow etched pick guard. 

This flat top beauty does have the classic dovetail neck joint, and also 1930's style Gibson bracing.  The neck is mahogany, the bridge and fretboard are rosewood; and one thing many people find preferable to Martin's current standard is the width of the neck at the nut, which is 1.725", nice and wide, but still wonderfully comfortable.  Of course this instrument is hand made by master luthiers in Gibson's Bozeman, Montana factory.  The tuning machines on this instrument, are of course, Grover tuning machines, and these are gold plated ones at that.

All Gibson bird themed instruments are rather upscale.  These guitars are built and designed to sound like several thousand dollars, and to look it too.  This new Sparrow Gibson is no different, but there have been a few criticisms of the pick guard which is decidedly more subdued in appearance than were and are the Dove and the Hummingbird guitars.  This guitar is also without a doubt a rosewood instrument, and that in and of itself adds to the price tag as rosewood is harder to shape into a guitar body, and costs more than mahogany on the market.

Most complaints concerning the Sparrow by Gibson revolve around the pick guard.  Take away the pick guard, and what you've got is a guitar nearly identical to the Gibson Songwriter.  The big difference between the Sparrow and the Songwriter is really not the pick guard at all, the difference is the Sparrow has the red Adirondack spruce top, and the songwriter the much more common sitka spruce top.  Both guitars feature the exact same body dimensions, neck dimensions, and are the same guitar outside of that pick guard, the slight difference in species of spruce used for the top; and the gold plated tuners.  One other slight difference is the slightly more Gibson looking mustache style bridge on the Songwriter as compared to the very traditional style bridge on the Sparrow.

The Gibson Sparrow is so new it isn't currently stocked by a few major retailers, and also the other major determining factor in it's rarity is that the initial offerings may have well been bought up rather quickly.  Guitar lovers are often like that.  God love them all. Thanks for reading.

A nice demonstration with a Gibson Sparrow guitar