Pros: Sweet sound, Easy action, Deluxe appearance, Lifetime Warranty
Cons: None I could see
Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Cutaway
I mentioned to Dr. P in the comments section of one of my recent reviews that I did buy a Gibson Acoustic guitar and that Id soon write a review of it. After playing the living daylights out of everything in that guitar store I returned and tried the Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Cutaway once more.
Sparkospunky has already mentioned in his fine review how his Songwriter Deluxe caused him to reach guitar nirvana and now I know exactly how he feels.
The Songwriter Deluxe is a handsome instrument with all the appearance factors just right. The body is Dreadnought style, with the squarish shoulders and wide waist typically characteristic of most Martin guitars, however the Gibson "D" Body sounds VERY different. Whereas the Martin runs to the bass side with less apparent treble response, to my ears the Songwriter Deluxe sounds just right; balanced, with a roaring bass tone and good solid treble registers as well. This is a great guitar for folk, rock, country, or ballads. Try Detroit City by Bobby Bare if you want to get the uncontrollable grins playing this guitar. ;>
The Gibson Songwriter Deluxe is available in both cutaway and non cutaway versions. The body is made from solid Indian Rosewood with a solid Sitka Spruce top. My top has beautiful cross grain highlights, like fiddle back, making it a very handsome instrument.
The neck is of Mahogany; why the neck wood is different than the body wood is beyond me, but it is. The body is fully bound with multiple ply binding to protect the edges. Solid wood guitars can crack if banged around and the binding serves a useful protective purpose as well as being decorative.
The Gibson is made in the Gibson Acoustic factory in Bozeman, Montana, which their website explains has the perfect climate for manufacturing fine wooden instruments, neither too hot or too cold. Also, the sight of the snow capped Rockies gives the luthiers inspiration. Gibson Acoustic guitars are built by musicians, for musicians. No stone is unturned to make sure each instrument meets the demanding standards to bear the 100 year-old name of Gibson.
The fingerboard and bridge are made of the finest ebony, hard as woodpecker lips, for brilliant sustain. The neck is set into the body with Gibsons special dovetail joint, making the guitar virtually one piece of wood for transference of the string vibrations to the sound chamber. Special arched and scalloped bracing inside directs the sound to the sound hole making the guitar the acoustic equivalent of a fine audio speaker. I would say the bracing as well as the Indian Rosewood back and sides might be the reason the Gibson has a better treble response than the typical Martin.
Appearance factors are right in tune, also, with spiffy large double parallelogram position markers made of luxurious mother of pearl, as well as the Gibson crown and name logo inset into the headstock. An abalone rosette also surrounds the sound hole. Gold-plated kidney shaped Grover machine heads handle the tuning chores with aplomb.
The neck and headstock are unbound in keeping with the more modest price of the Songwriter Deluxe. The guitar has a Fishman pickup with active four band EQ built in in case you want to plug in. The EQ has + and - 12 dB of boost and cut to give you a highly variable tone for both rhythm and lead licks. There is a phase switch in case you get hum, also. Ive run mine through my Line 6 amp and found it had great tone, however I think Ill plug it direct into a PA system if I do a live performance that needs amplification.
Like most Gibson Acoustics, the Songwriter Deluxe is finished in Antique Natural hand rubbed lacquer. This is the age-old Gibson finish that melds with the wood and makes the tone sweeter year by year. It also yields that beautiful vintage Gibson appearance as it ages.
Playing the Songwriter Deluxe is a delight with its typical 25? scale length and 1.725 width at nut. Hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, and chording are super accurate and easy to do. The guitar has consistent intonation up the entire scale length, no annoying fret buzz or rumble. Tone is highly satisfying with a good mix of treble and bass response.
I replaced the somewhat dingy factory Gibson Mastertone phosphor bronze strings with a set of Martin .012 round wounds and it sounds even more full and lovely than it did when I bought it.
Like all Gibson Acoustics, the Songwriter Deluxe comes with a premium hard shell case, humidifier, instructions, and a guitar pick. It has the Gold lifetime warranty that you can register by snail mail or by visiting www.gibson.com.
At present, while supplies last, Gibson will give a bonus pack to purchasers who register their guitars, consisting of a special Gibson logo bag, strings, guitar polish, limited edition guitar strap, and soft lint free cloth. I estimate the goodies are worth around $75, so its worth getting the freebies. I paid $1,600 for the Songwriter Deluxe and feel I got a heck of a deal.
I hope youll try one of these fine Gibson Acoustics and join me in the very finest activity I know, making music.
Thanks for stopping by!