The Info List - Gibson Guitar Corporation

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Coordinates : 36°07′48″N 86°43′33″W / 36.1298758°N 86.7257458°W / 36.1298758; -86.7257458

GIBSON BRANDS, INC. (formerly GIBSON GUITAR CORP.) is an American manufacturer of guitars , other musical instruments, and consumer and professional electronics now based in Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
. The company was formerly known as Gibson Guitar
Corp. and renamed Gibson Brands, Inc. on June 11, 2013.

Orville Gibson founded the company in 1902 as "The Gibson Mandolin- Guitar
Mfg. Co., Ltd." in Kalamazoo, Michigan
Kalamazoo, Michigan
to make mandolin -family instruments. Gibson invented archtop guitars by constructing the same type of carved, arched tops used on violins. By the 1930s, the company was also making flattop acoustic guitars, as well as one of the first commercially available hollow-body electric guitars, used and popularized by Charlie Christian . In 1944, Gibson was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments (CMI) which was acquired in 1969 by Panama-based conglomerate, Ecuadorian Company Limited (E.C.L.) that changed its name in the same year to Norlin Corporation.

Gibson sells guitars under a variety of brand names and builds one of the world's most iconic guitars, the Gibson Les Paul
Les Paul
. Many Gibson instruments are highly collectible. Gibson was at the forefront of innovation in acoustic guitars, especially in the big band era of the 1930s; the Gibson Super 400 was widely imitated. In 1952, Gibson introduced its first solid-body electric guitar, the Les Paul
Les Paul
which became its most popular guitar to date— designed by Ted McCarty and Les Paul
Les Paul

Gibson was owned by the Norlin corporation from 1969 to 1986. In 1986, the company was acquired by its present owners. Gibson is a privately held corporation owned by its chief executive officer Henry Juszkiewicz and its president David H. Berryman.

In addition to guitars, Gibson offers consumer electronics through its subsidiaries Gibson Innovations (Philips brand), TEAC Corporation (Teac and Esoteric brands), Onkyo Corporation ( Onkyo and Pioneer brands), Cerwin Vega and Stanton , as well as professional audio equipment from KRK Systems also pianos from their wholly owned subsidiary Baldwin Piano and music software from Cakewalk .


* 1 History

* 1.1 Beginnings * 1.2 Modernization

* 1.3 Recent history

* 1.3.1 FWS raids max-width:428px"> Orville Gibson , founder Gibson line of Mandolin
orchestra instruments, early 1900s. Harp guitar (c. 1912).

Orville Gibson patented a single-piece mandolin design in 1898 that was more durable than other mandolins and could be manufactured in volume. Orville Gibson began to sell his instruments in 1894 out of a one-room workshop in Kalamazoo
Michigan. In 1902 Gibson Mandolin- Guitar
Mfg. Co, Ltd. was incorporated to market the instruments. Initially, the company produced only Orville Gibson's original designs. Orville died in 1918 of endocarditis (inflammation of the inside lining of the heart chambers and valves). L-5 acoustic. ES-150 (based on L-50) ES-175 D (based on L-4) Super 400 CES

The following year the company hired designer Lloyd Loar to create newer instruments. Loar designed the flagship L-5 archtop guitar and the Gibson F5 mandolin that was introduced in 1922, before leaving the company in 1924. In 1936 Gibson introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150 followed by other electric instruments like steel guitars , banjos and mandolins.

During World War II
World War II
, instrument manufacturing at Gibson slowed due to shortages of wood and metal, and Gibson began manufacturing wood and metal parts for the military. Between 1942-1945, Gibson employed women to manufacture guitars. "Women produced nearly 25,000 guitars during World War II
World War II
yet Gibson denied ever building instruments over this period," according to a 2013 history of the company. Gibson folklore has also claimed its guitars were made by "seasoned craftsmen" who were "too old for war."

1953 Les Paul
Les Paul
Goldtop Les Paul
Les Paul
Custom Les Paul Standard Les Paul
Les Paul
Junior L-5 CES Byrdland ES-350T ES-335 T Explorer Flying V non-reverse (left) margin:1px;width:62px;max-width:62px"> Gibson SG
Gibson SG

In 1944 Gibson was purchased by Chicago Musical Instruments. The ES-175 was introduced in 1949. Gibson hired Ted McCarty in 1948, who became President in 1950. He led an expansion of the guitar line with new guitars such as the "Les Paul" guitar introduced in 1952 and designed by Les Paul
Les Paul
, a popular musician in the 1950s and also a pioneer in music technology. The Les Paul
Les Paul
was offered in Custom, Standard, Special, and Junior models. In the mid-50s, the Thinline series was produced, which included a line of thinner guitars like the Byrdland . The first Byrdlands were slim, custom built, L-5 models for guitarists Billy Byrd and Hank Garland . Later, a shorter neck was added. Other models such as the ES-350T and the ES-225T were introduced as less costly alternatives. In 1958, Gibson introduced the ES-335 T model. Similar in size to the hollow-body Thinlines, the ES-335 family had a solid center, giving the string tone a longer sustain.

In the 1950s, Gibson also produced the Tune-o-matic bridge system and its version of the humbucking pickup, the PAF ("Patent Applied For"), first released in 1957 and still sought after for its sound. In 1958, Gibson produced two new designs: the eccentrically shaped Explorer and Flying V . These "modernistic" guitars did not sell initially. It was only in the late 1960s and early 70s when the two guitars were reintroduced to the market that they sold well. The Firebird , in the early 60s, was a reprise of the modernistic idea, though less extreme.


In the late 50s, McCarty knew that Gibson was seen as a traditional company and began an effort to create more modern guitars. In 1961 the body design of the Les Paul
Les Paul
was changed due to the demand for a double-cutaway body design. The new body design then became known as the SG (for "solid guitar"), due to disapproval from Les Paul
Les Paul
himself. The Les Paul
Les Paul
returned to the Gibson catalog in 1968.

On December 22, 1969, the Gibson parent company Chicago Musical Instruments was taken over by the South American brewing conglomerate ECL. Gibson remained under the control of CMI until 1974 when it became a subsidiary of Norlin Musical Instruments. Norlin Musical Instruments was a member of Norlin Industries which was named for ECL president NORton Stevens and CMI president Arnold BerLIN. This began an era characterized by corporate mismanagement and decreasing product quality. Gibson left Kalamazoo
in 1984, then previous factory became Heritage Guitars Gibson Showcase at Nashville Gibson Factory at Memphis

Between 1974 and 1984 production of Gibson guitars was shifted from Kalamazoo
to Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
. The Kalamazoo
plant kept going for a few years as a custom-instrument shop, but was closed in 1984; several Gibson employees led by plant manager Jim Duerloo established Heritage Guitars in the old factory, building versions of classic Gibson designs.

The company (Gibson) was within three months of going out of business before it was bought by Henry E. Juszkiewicz, David H. Berryman, and Gary A. Zebrowski in January 1986. New production plants were opened in Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
, as well as Bozeman, Montana . The Memphis facility is used for semi-hollow and custom shop instruments, while the Bozeman facility is dedicated to acoustic instruments.

In 1977 Gibson sued Hoshino/Elger for copying the Gibson Les Paul
Les Paul
. In 2000, Gibson sued Fernandes Guitars in a Tokyo court for allegedly copying Gibson designs. Gibson did not prevail. Gibson also sued PRS Guitars in 2005, to stop them from making their Singlecut model. The lawsuit against PRS was initially successful. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court decision and ordered the dismissal of Gibson's suit against PRS.


Gibson purchased Garrison Guitars
Garrison Guitars
in 2007. In mid 2009 Gibson reduced its work force to adjust for a decline in guitar industry sales in the United States.

In 2011, Gibson acquired the Stanton Group, including Cerwin Vega , KRK Systems and Stanton DJ . Gibson then formed a new division, Gibson Pro Audio, which will deliver professional grade audio items, including headphones, loudspeakers and DJ equipment.

Gibson announced a partnership with the Japanese-based Onkyo Corporation in 2012. Onkyo, known for audio equipment and home theater systems, became part of the Gibson Pro Audio division.

In 2013, Gibson acquired a majority stake in TEAC Corporation.

In 2014, Gibson acquired the consumer electronics business of Royal Philips.

FWS Raids many 1994 serial numbers start with "94", followed by a six-digit production number. The Gibson website provides a book to help with serial number deciphering.

In 2006, Gibson introduced a nine-digit serial number system replacing the eight-digit system used since 1977, but the sixth digit now represents a batch number.

In 2003, Gibson debuted its Ethernet
-based audio protocol, MaGIC , which it developed in partnership with 3COM , Advanced Micro Devices , and Xilinx . Replacing traditional analog hook-ups with a digital connection that would, "...satisfy the unique requirements of live audio performances," may have been the goal of this project. This system may require a special pickup , but cabling is provided by a standard Cat-5 ethernet cable.

The Gibson "self-tuning guitar", also known as a "robot model", an option on some newer Les Paul, SG, Flying V and Explorer instruments, will tune itself in little more than two seconds using robotics technology developed by Tronical GmbH. Under the tradename Min-ETune, this device became standard on several models in 2014.

In 2013 Gibson introduced the Government Series of Les Paul, SG, Flying V, Explorer which were essentially the same as the first series, only finished in a new color: "government tan". Guitars from both the original and the second Government Series have since become highly sought after by players -webkit-column-width: 25em; column-width: 25em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ A B "Gibson History". Gibson Corporate Press Kit. Gibson Guitar Corp. Retrieved 20 May 2012. * ^ Gisbon Brands at Gibson Press website, retrieved 10 Dec 2014 * ^ "Gibson Brands, Inc.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg. * ^ "Drop the guitar Gibson rebrands" on BizJournals.com * ^ A B C D Ayala Ben-Yehuda (9 April 2007). "Gibson Guitar embraces China, Latin markets". Reuters. * ^ A B Gibson Pro Audio line, 10 Dec 2014 * ^ A B "Orville H. Gibson, 1856—1918". Siminoff.net. Retrieved 2011-01-28. * ^ A B "Gibson Dusk Tiger". Gibson.com. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2011-01-28. * ^ Wheeler, Tom. American Guitars. HarperCollins. 1992.pp 100—1 ISBN 978-0-06-273154-8 * ^ Lister, Kat (2014-04-23). "The Forgotten Women of Kalamazoo". Feminist Times. Retrieved 2014-09-15. * ^ Thomas, John (2012). Kalamazoo
gals: a story of extraordinary women and Gibson's banner guitars of WWll. Franklin, TN: American History Press. ISBN 9780983082781 . * ^ Hembree 2007 , p. 74—85 * ^ Duchossoir 1998 , p. 55—62 * ^ Hembree 2007 , p. 110 * ^ Hembree 2007 , p. 306 * ^ Gleick 1987 * ^ Fjestad, Zachary (June 16, 2010). "Ibanez "Lawsuit Era" Les Paul Custom Copy". Premier Guitar. * ^ "Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property Vol 4 Iss 2" (PDF). Law.northwestern.edu. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2012-05-09. * ^ Gibson Guitar
Corp. v. Paul Reed Smith Guitars, L.P., 325 F. Supp. 2d 841 (M.D. Tenn., 2004) * ^ Gibson Guitar
Corp. v. Paul Reed Smith Guitars, LP, 423 F.3d 539 (6th Cir. 2005). * ^ Garrison Guitars
Garrison Guitars
sold to Gibson thetelegram.com, July 4th, 2007 * ^ Email, published by Walker Duncan (2009-03-23). "Sources: Gibson adds to layoff tally Make and Buy NashvillePost.com: Nashville Business News + Nashville Political News". NashvillePost.com. Retrieved 2011-01-28. * ^ "Gibson Guitar
increases high-tech lineup with purchase". Tennessean.com. 2011-12-06. Retrieved 2011-12-06. * ^ "Gibson Expands Pro Audio Division". Gibson.com. 2012-01-04. Retrieved 2012-02-09. * ^ A B Wadhwani, A.; Paine, A. (25 August 2011). "Gibson Guitar raided but lips zipped". The Tennessean. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. * ^ Lind, J.R. (29 December 2010). "Federal agent: Gibson wood investigation likely to result in indictments". NashvillePost.com. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. * ^ A B "Gibson Guitar
Corp. responds to federal raid". Gibson Guitar
Corp. 25 August 2011. Archived from the original on 12 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ A B Trotter, J. (25 August 2011). "Endangered lemurs could be connected to Gibson raid". WMCTV.com. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011. * ^ "Update: CEO\'s Outrage Gets Media Buzzing". Gibson Guitar Corp. 26 August 2011. Archived from the original on 13 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ "Gibson Guitars fails to squash illegal wood investigation". Sound & Fair. 19 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ "Gibson/Lacey Act Update". Home Furnishings Business. 6 July 2011. Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. * ^ A B "Endangered species trafficking: What did Gibson Guitar know?". mongabay.com. 7 July 2011. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. * ^ Stern, Andrew (25 August 2011). "Gibson Guitar
to fight U.S. probe of its wood imports". Reuters. Archived from the original on 8 January 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ Schelzig, E. (August 7, 2012). "Gibson Guitar
Corporation admits to importing endangered wood". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 24 November 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. * ^ Black, R. (6 August 2012). "Gibson settles discord on timber". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 6 August 2012. * ^ Clarke, C.; Grant, A. (4 May 2011). "Are your wood products really certified?". wri.org. Archived from the original on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2011. * ^ "Gibson Comments on Department of Justice Settlement". Gibson Guitar
Corporation. August 6, 2012. Archived from the original on 24 November 2014. Retrieved November 24, 2014. * ^ Felten, E. (26 August 2011). " Guitar
frets: Environmental enforcement leaves musicians in fear". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ Simmons, L. (31 August 2011). "Raid highlights music manufacturers\' environmental risks". bizmology.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. * ^ Eilperin, J. (13 November 2011). "Gibson Guitar
ignites debate over environmental protections". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011. * ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/feb/2/gibson-launches-government-series-guitars-tonewood/ * ^ Faughnder, Ryan (15 February 2014). "Gibson guitars made with government-seized wood are sold out". Los Angeles Times. * ^ "epiphone.com". Epiphone. Retrieved 2012-05-09. * ^ kramerguitars.com Kramer Official Site * ^ Maestro by Gibson Gibson Official Site * ^ steinberger.com Steinberger Official Site * ^ Tobias Gibson Official Site * ^ Ken Achard (1996). The History and Development of the American Guitar. Bold Strummer. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-933224-18-6 . Also during the mid to late thirties, Gibson produced a range of cello and flat top instruments under the Kalamazoo
name and at inexpensive prices. * ^ "Gibson Kalamazoo". January 2, 2009. * ^ A B C D E F "Gibson Brands Announces Intention to Acquire Cakewalk Inc.". Gibson Guitar
Corporation. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2015. * ^ " Epiphone
Les Paul
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Standard". Epiphone.com. * ^ "Epiphone: A History — Epiphone
and Gibson". Epiphone.com. * ^ A B C D Gibson Serial Numbers: What a serial number can and can\'t tell you about your Gibson Gibson Official Site, 7.17.2007 * ^ A B C D Blue Book of Electric Guitars. Sixth Edition: Gibson Serialization. Edited by S.P. Fjestad Gibson Official Site * ^ A B C D The MaGIC of Gibson\'s Digital Guitars Maximum PC magazine, April 2003 * ^ A B C This Is MaGIC Gibson Official Site * ^ Yuri Kageyama (The Associated Press) (December 3, 2007). "World\'s first robot guitar takes care of the tuning". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-12-04. * ^ http://www2.gibson.com/Products/min-etune.aspx * ^ http://www.guitarworld.com/gibson-guitars-announces-government-series-ii-les-paul * ^ A B C Wheeler 1992 , p. 95 * ^ Carter 1994 , p. 12 * ^ Spann 2011 , p. 1 * ^ Spann 2011 , pp. 1–2 * ^ Spann 2011 , p. 2 * ^ Wheeler 1992 , pp. 101, 151 * ^ Wheeler 1992 , p. 144 * ^ Bonds 2004 , p. 318 * ^ Thomas 2012 , p. 3 * ^ Bonds 2004 , p. 396 * ^ Bonds 2004 , p. 406 * ^ "Gibson Guitar
Memphis Factory Tour Directions" ( PDF
). Retrieved March 24, 2014. * ^ Fjestad, S.P., Editor (2015) . "Blue Book of Electric Guitars" (PDF). Gibson Serialization (Sixth ed.). Blue Book Publications, Inc. Retrieved January 2, 2015. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link )


* Achard, Ken (1989). The History and Development of the American Guitar. Westport, CT: Bold Strummer Ltd. ISBN 978-0-933-22418-6 .

* Bacon, Tony (2002). 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-879-30711-0 .

* Bacon, Tony (2009). The Les Paul
Les Paul
Book: A Complete History of Gibson Les Paul
Les Paul
Guitars. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-879-30951-0 .

* Bacon, Tony (2011). Flying V, Explorer, Firebird: An Odd-shaped History of Gibson’s Weird Electric Guitars. Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1-617-13008-3 .

* Bacon, Tony (2012). The History of the American Guitar: From 1833 to the Present Day. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1-617-13033-5 .

* Bacon, Tony (2014). Sunburst: How the Gibson Les Paul
Les Paul
Standard Became a Legendary Guitar. Montclair: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-1-617-13466-1 .

* Bonds, Ray (2004). The Illustrated Directory of Gutiars. New York: Barnes and Noble. ISBN 978-0-760-76317-9 .

* Carter, Walter (1994). Gibson Guitars: 100 Years of an American Icon. Los Angeles: General Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-881-64939-7 .

* Carter, Walter (2007). Gibson Electric Guitar
Book – Seventy Years of Classic Guitars. Backbeat Books: New York. ISBN 978-0-879-30895-7 .

* Day, Paul; Carter, Walter; Hunter, Dave; Verheyen, Carl (2011). The Ultimate Gibson Guitar
Book. New York: Metro Books. ISBN 978-1-435-13756-1 .

* Duchossoir, A. R. (1998). Gibson Electrics: The Classic Years. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-0-793-59210-4 .

* Duchossoir, A. R. (2008). Guitar
Identification: A Reference for Dating Guitars made by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, and Martin (4th ed.). Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-1-423-42611-0 .

* Duchossoir, A. R. (2009). Gibson Electric Steel Guitars: 1935-1967. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-1-423-45702-2 .

* Erlewine, Dan; Whitford, Eldon; Vinopal, David (2009). Gibson’s Fabulous Flat-top Guitars: An Illustrated History & Guide. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-879-30962-6 .

* Fjestad, Zachary R.; Meiners, Larry (2007). Gibson Flying V. Minneapolis, MN: Blue Book Publications. ISBN 978-1-886-76872-7 .

* Fox, Paul (2011). The Other Brands of Gibson. Anaheim Hills, CA: Centerstream Publications. ISBN 978-1-574-24271-3 .

* Gleick, James (1987). Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-81178-6 .

* Gruhn, George ; Carter, Walter (1993). Acoustic Guitars and Other Fretted Instruments: A Photographic History. San Francisco: GPI Books. ISBN 978-0-879-30240-5 .

* Gruhn, George ; Carter, Walter (2010a). Electric Guitars and Basses: A Photographic History. New York: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-879-30974-9 .

* Gruhn, George ; Carter, Walter (2010b). Gruhn’s Guide to Vintage Guitars: An Identification Guide for American Fretted Instruments. New York: Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-879-30422-5 .

* Hembree, George (2007). Gibson Guitars: Ted McCarty’s Golden Era 1948-1966. Austin, TX: GH Books. ISBN 978-1-423-41813-9 .

* Ingram, Adrian (1997). The Gibson L5: Its History and its Players. Anaheim, CA: Centerstream Pub. ISBN 978-1-574-24047-4 .

* Ingram, Adrian (2007). The Gibson 175: Its History and its Players. Anaheim, CA: Centerstream Pub. ISBN 978-1-574-24223-2 .

* Marx, Wallace (2009). Gibson Amplifiers 1933-2008. Minneapolis, MN: Blue Book Publications. ISBN 978-1-886-76890-1 .

* Spann, Joe (2011). Spann’s Guide to Gibson: 1902-1941. Anaheim Hills, CA: Centerstream Pub. ISBN 978-1-574-24267-6 .

* Thomas, John (2012). Kalamazoo
Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women & Gibson’s ‘Banner’ Guitars of WWII. Franklin, TN: American History Press. ISBN 978-0-983-08278-1 .

* Wheeler, Tom (1992). American Guitars: An Illustrated History (rev. and updated ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. ISBN 978-0-062-73154-8 .


* Fox, Paul (2011). The Other Brands of Gibson. Centerstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-57424-271-3 .