We chatted with Gibson Product Developer Robi Johns, based out of Gibson’s Bozeman, Montana factory, for a behind-the-scenes look at the development process of both the G-45 Studio and G-45 Standard.
The HUB: How did you approach this project to create a new entry point to Gibson acoustics?
Robi Johns: The first phase of this project was deciding what we would not compromise on in our G-Series design, since delivering an acoustic with our full tonal and performance capabilities was our primary goal. The coveted Gibson Acoustic construction features include a Dovetail neck-to-body joint bonded to the body with hide glue, a radius top with scalloped bracing, and a full and authentic Nitrocellulose lacquer finish.
The HUB: How would you define the Gibson acoustic sound?
RJ: A full balance of lows, mids, and highs with a wood-toned and forward-projecting midrange. It is also important to note that Gibson Acoustics are capable of an extremely wide variety of tonal expressions based on a player’s technique including angle of fingerstyle or pick attack, different note positions on the fretboard, strumming variations over the sound-hole or near the bridge, and the over- all dynamic expression in a player’s performance. We consider these playing techniques the performers “tools of the trade” to fully express one’s unique and individual musical heart and soul.
The HUB: What is the difference between the Studio and Standard models?
RJ: The differences are in the “look and feel” category of a guitar playing experience. The Studio has a satin lacquer body finish, unbound back, walnut fingerboard and bridge with Mother of Pearl dot inlays while the Standard has a gloss finish on the top, black body binding, and a Richlite fingerboard with Mother of Pearl diamond inlays.
The HUB: What are the trademarks of Gibson quality that any player would find in both the more affordable Generation series and the familiar legacy models?
RJ: As with the world’s finest orchestral concert instruments, no two Gibson Acoustics are alike, as they each have their own individual character and response. In addition to this artistic virtue, we envision that an instrument must be capable to produce the countless nuances created by a player’s emotions and musical skill. At the end of the day, philosophically we still wonder “Does the player find the perfect guitar?” or “Does the guitar find the perfect player?” At Gibson, we continually strive to perpetuate the mindset that the right fit of the instrument and the player creates the best conditions for what we all so desire to feel and sense from a musical performance in any setting.
The HUB: Who are the G-45’s perfect for?
RJ: The Gibson Acoustic G-Series are for guitar lovers who may be purchasing their first fine professional American handmade acoustic guitar and are on the path to discovering their individual expressive identity as a performer. And we have not forgotten the highly-skilled acoustic performer who desires Gibson’s legendary acoustic sound in a very simple-but-classic acoustic guitar.
The HUB: How do you hope the G-45’s support the artistic journey of the artists who play them?
RJ: For those who have performed on an acoustic for many years it becomes apparent that the instrument must be capable to express a player’s full range of individual playing techniques. To put it more simply, the better the instrument can vary in tonal color, volume, and timbre, the finer the player can express their individuality as an artist. Where an instrument may fall short of tonal capabilities so can the player’s performance. The G-Series was designed to give guitar players the opportunity to rise to new and higher levels of artistic expression as well as delivering an instrument capable of providing us with a deeper musical experience of personal joy.