Always honoring their legacy of greatness while catering to the needs of modern players, Gibson is releasing a fresh iteration of its Generation Collection acoustics. Sporting bold features that are purpose-designed to enhance ergonomics, the line includes the G-00, G-45 and G-200—built on the body shapes of Gibson’s most iconic acoustic designs.
Player-centric specs like the Player Port soundhole on the upper bout, a flatter fingerboard and nitrocellulose finish give artists the familiar feel of a Gibson acoustic with an enriched sonic and playing experience.
We chatted with Don Ruffatto, product specialist at Gibson Guitar, to give us an expert’s take on all things Generation Collection.
The HUB: How did the new Generation Collection evolve from the prior line, which was released in 2019?
DR: The original G-45 Studio and Standards were a perfect combination of our historic build processes in a very cost-effective package. These were incredibly well received in the marketplace, but we knew that we could expand the line and improve the product. Thus, the new Generation Collection, which consists of four different body styles—two of which are cutaways.
The HUB: Were there specific areas of tone or playability that you wanted to address?
DR: Always looking to improve, we looked into our past and found blueprints of a guitar with an upward facing sound port from 1964. We recreated this guitar, then utilizing our current technology and experience, created the new Generation Collection with the player in mind. In addition, we utilized the Advanced Response neck profile to make it as user-friendly as possible.
The HUB: What did you envision as the typical playing experience or use for each model?
DR: All four of the Generation Collection models have a number of features in common. First, there’s the thin, satin nitrocellulose finish which allows the body to resonate and project—and will age and mature with time. Second, there’s the previously mentioned fast neck profile. Finally, there’s our new Player Port, which enhances the player’s experience by directing some of the guitar’s tonality to the artist.
The HUB: Can you walk us through the entire range and what makes each one special?
DR: The G-00 is a compact guitar with a big sound. This guitar, with its slightly thinner body, is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play—and although ready for any style, is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle artists.
The G-45, a round-shoulder dreadnought, lives up to its “Workhorse” history. With an incredible dynamic range in a comfortable mid-size body, the sky is the limit when it comes to versatility. Rock, blues, country—this guitar can handle it all.
The G-Writer is a modern version of our historic square-shoulder dreadnoughts. This powerful guitar has tone and volume to spare. With a 25-1/2" scale length, Gibson’s famous advanced open X-top bracing pattern, a slightly decreased body depth for focus and projection, and a new L.R. Baggs Element Bronze pickup, this cutaway is as stage- and studio-ready as anything on the market.
The G-200 is a cutaway version of our historic SJ-200 Super Jumbo. The G-200 is one of the most powerful instrument designs ever created. The 17" lower bout gives it a roundness of tone and incredible warmth that can only happen in a jumbo. Great for any style of play, this is a guitar that will hold up to the aggressive strummer—and, with the slightly thinner body depth, has the focus and response that finger stylists will also enjoy. It comes equipped with the new L.R. Baggs Element Bronze pickup system.
The HUB: What was the development process like for the Player Port? When did you know it was “ready?”
DR: We took the 1964 blueprint and, with a series of prototypes and variations, landed on our current design. Our luthiers and design engineers experimented with Player Port size, shape and placement, to create the ultimate player experience that allows the artist to “Hear more of you.”
The HUB: Outside of the direction of sound, how else does it impact the playing experience? Is there any change in sustain or low-end response?
DR: In addition to the ability for the player to better hear the guitar, we feel that the multiple directions that the instrument is projected fills a room like never before. Sustain and tonal response are tried-and-true attributes that all Gibsons get from the build processes. That includes the domed top, scalloped bracing, hide glue dovetail neck joint and nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
The HUB: Does the Player Port impact any other aspects of the build?
DR: The Generation Collection is constructed using time-honored techniques, and none of that changed with the addition of the Player Port.
The HUB: Each guitar in the Generation Collection is a take on an existing model/platform within the Gibson acoustic family. How do they compare to their standard versions?
DR: As you mentioned, all four guitars in the Generation Collection have the unique honor of being based on some of the world’s most revered designs and body styles. Slightly different dimensions, the use of new materials, and adding a new dynamic pickup system to the cutaways make these a wonderful variation from their historic counterparts—but with the soul and feel of the original.
The HUB: Can you speak a little bit about how the utile neck compares to a more traditional mahogany neck?
DR: Utile is actually a member of the mahogany family. Often called “sipo mahogany,” its density and tonal characteristics are very similar to our historic builds. Cost-effective, readily available and easy to work with, this is a wonderful variation from our standard mahogany necks.
The HUB: Let’s talk about the neck shape and fretboard radius. Was there a particular playing experience you were designing towards?
DR: The Advanced Response neck was created with the versatile player in mind. With the feel of a modern acoustic or electric guitar, it allows the artist to play styles previously reserved for solid-body instruments. The 16"-radius fingerboard is utilized for ease of bending strings and playability up the neck.
The HUB: Can you give us a little more insight into the newly developed L.R. Baggs Element Bronze electronics?
DR: The L.R. Baggs Element Bronze is a wonderful variation on the VTC system used in a lot of our Gibson acoustics. The under saddle braided element has a warmth and transparency not found in many onboard systems. Single volume control, for player simplicity, re-creates the tone of the specific instrument without adding the “synthetic” qualities heard from many acoustic pickups.
The HUB: Do you have a personal favorite of the four models?
DR: All four. Each has a place for different styles of play, but all have the heart and soul of a Gibson acoustic.