Gibson AJ opinions?


I don’t have much knowledge or experience with Gibsons but have been entertaining the thought of adding one to the herd, mainly a Dove or Hummingbird. A 2009 Advanced Jumbo in near new condition came up for sale recently for $1500 about an hours drive from me. Never played one and don’t know much about it. Hoping a few of you guys could tell me what you think about them. Thanks.


I don’t have one in the herd either. I haven’t played one that the tone really jumped at me. It’s a subjective thing, as I have played old J-45s that others were just nuts about, but for me it just didn’t fit what I was looking for. Oddly enough, I played a Santa Cruz Roy Smeck (RS) that I am guessing is based on an old Gibson design. I really liked it. It had great tone up and down the neck, but it was an expensive guitar. It was getting pretty close to a D-18 Authentic in price, and I would have rather departed with a some more dollars for the D-18A. Maybe I am just not a Gibson guy.
Structurally, they make great guitars. I have worked on my mother in law’s old Gibson, and it’s a well made instrument.


I own a Gibson j 200 . I have never played a guitar or heard one quite as nice , except for a 1945 southern jumbo that I played once. I have played Taylor’s and martins , but they just didn’t seem to fit as well. Sitka spruce top and maple back and sides.


Yay! We have a Gibson guy on the thread. That’s the great thing about guitars… they are different. And that’s ok, because people play differently, have different ears and various desires for an instrument. There are many different formulas of wood and construction that can equate to a great guitar. For example, I have played a few McPhersen guitars, and looked at probably half a dozen. They are some of the best made guitars I have seen. They are stunning in their craftsmanship, in the set up, and in the selection of woods used as well. With all that said, if you took a longtime Martin Dreadnaught player and handed them one of the McPhersens I have played, I suspect that many wouldn’t even like it. McPhersens (in my limited experience) have a beautiful sound, but it is quite different than a vintage dread. Better or worse? I can’t say. They are just different.
Bulldog, did you get a chance to try out that AJ?


I have never tried the mcphersen guitars. When I walk into a music store I always go for the highest priced guitars. The top priced Martins and Taylors always feel cheap to me. I know this isnt the case due to thier popularity amonst people who know considerably more , but they just seem light and boxey. Dont get me wrong thats not to say that all Gibsons are top notch acoustics. But… when you find one , the right one , they look feel and sound like a gift from above. The 1945 Jumbo I picked up was hands down the loudest guitar I have ever played. The salesman told me that it was because of the age of the instrument and it had essentially “opened up” over the years. Not sure if it was rosewood or mahogony back and sides , but it was a beast when strummed or picked. Also had a neck that reminded me of a 59 les paul. They also wanted 7000$ for it. I tried to make a trade with my mint Gretsch chet Atkins 5120 and cash … but couldnt come up with an offer that we could agree on. I had to settle for the J200 ( a new guitar). I have had it since January and play it alot and absolutely love the thing. It makes me play more than I would have otherwise. When that happens , its worth every penny of the investment. an investment in my playing. I am wanting to try the borgois guitars the Sutton plays but have not seen them in my area.


No Mike, the guy sold it before I could check it out. I did however get to try a few Gibbys at a guitar shop when I was on vacation last week. Played a new J-45 and an Advanced Jumbo along with a '74 Hummingbird. Of those three, the AJ did it for me as far as tone goes. I really wanted to like the Hummingbird as it was a real beauty but it just didn’t do anything for me when I played it. Of course that might be due to “McPhersen’s Syndrome”. Someone else might love it. Think I’ll keep my eye out for another used AJ.