Pros: Like Elvis used to play, premium quality, hard shell case included
Cons: The king is dead
Gibson Elvis Presley Dove Acoustic Guitar
The Gibson Acoustic guitars are made in Bozeman, Montana where temperature and humidity conditions are perfect for the construction of fine wooden instruments and the sight of the snow capped Rocky Mountains serves as inspiration for the luthiers who build some of the world's finest guitars.
The Dove is one of the bird-named Gibsons, which include the Songbird and Hummingbird, and is a classic model that has been built since the 1960s. Elvis Presley played a Dove just like this one in his Las Vegas stage shows during the 1970s.
The Dove is what Gibson calls a "Square Shoulder Dreadnought" - this design is one of the two most popular styles for full sized acoustic guitars, so I‘ll just call it a "Dreadnought."
The Dreadnought is characterized by a squarish shape at the corners and a thick waist joining the two bouts (sound chambers) of the guitar body. The other typical design is called a "Jumbo" or curvy, more traditionally shaped guitar.
The Dreadnought design is known for its ability to project at high volume and strong bass response, perfect for rhythm guitar work, flat picking, or finger picking. The Dreadnought is also a little more comfortable for me to play than the curvy Jumbo style body.
The Gibson Dove is a solid wood, hand made guitar. This means all parts of the guitar are made of clear natural wood; no pressed board, laminate, plywood, plastic, or "wonder" materials - strictly accurately cut virgin wood hand assembled by skilled labor and tested and adjusted for sound production, according to Gibson‘s high standards.
The Dove is made of flame maple for the body sides, back, and curly maple for the neck, this is finished in black ebony lacquer, much like the flagship Les Paul Custom is. The maple gives the Dove added treble response to balance the bass tones typical of the Dreadnought design. The two halves of the back are joined with a strip of checkerboard marquetry and the body is bound all around with multi ply binding for protection and appearance. The pick guard is the classic Dove shape, made of black plastic.
The top of the guitar, or soundboard, is premium Sitka Spruce, braced and hand adjusted for best sound projection. The strings are anchored between a special rosewood Dove bridge and chrome Grover tuners at the gloss black peghead, which has the classic Gibson name logo and crown inlaid in pearl. The truss rod cover is engraved with a replica of Elvis Presley's signature.
The bound Rosewood fingerboard has pearl double parallelogram position markers and has 20 frets total, 14 free of the body. The entire guitar is finished in classic black nitrocellulose lacquer that will only get better with age.
The neck is 1.725" wide at the nut and the scale is 25.4" which are the typical dimensions for the full-sized Gibson acoustics. This means that playability is very similar across the Gibson acoustic line and the Dove plays just as well as the Deluxe Songwriter, Hummingbird, or any other model you might try. The intonation (ability to stay in tune as you move up the neck) is excellent and playing feels great with the rosewood fingerboard and typical Gibson scale length. The Gibson Dove has a nice midrange sound, neither too bright or too bassy and will suit a lot of different playing styles.
What you will find when you decide to buy a first class quality all wood guitar is the sound of each instrument is unique. While all Gibsons play pretty much the same, due to their quality control, the one thing that no one can predict is exactly how the natural wood will sound. Each guitar will have a somewhat unique tone that should be heard before you finally decide. The sound of a natural wood guitar will also improve with age as the wood mellows, which is not the case with a plywood instrument.
Like all Gibson acoustics, the Elvis Presley Dove comes with a full lifetime warranty for the original purchaser and a deluxe hard shell case which is only proper for the preservation of such a fine instrument.