Minggu, 19 Agustus 2007

History of Gibson Guitars

Orville Gibson (born 1856, Chateaugay, New York) started making mandolins in 1894 in Kalamazoo, Michigan USA. The mandolins were distinctive in that they featured a carved, arched solid wood top and back and bent wood sides. Prior to this mandolins had a flat solid wood top and a bowl-like back (similar to a lute) made of multiple strips of wood. These bowl-back mandolins were very fragile and unstable. Disdainful of the shape, Orville Gibson characterized them as "potato bugs." Gibson's innovation made a better-sounding mandolin that was immensely easier to manufacture. Orville Gibson's mandolin design, with its single-pieced carved sides and a single-pieced neck, was patented in 1898; it would be the only innovation he patented.[2]
In 1902, the Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co, Ltd. was founded to market the instruments.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the Gibson company was responsible for many innovations in guitar design, and became the leading manufacturer of arch-top guitars, particularly the Gibson L5 model. In 1936 they introduced their first "Electric Spanish" model, the ES-150, generally recognized as the first commercially successful electric guitar.

1996 Gibson Les Paul Studio Limited Edition Gem Series Topaz
As a result of the strong sales of the Fender Telecaster in 1950 Gibson decided to make a solid-body guitar. This was despite the fact that Gibson, like most other guitar manufacturers, were contemptuous of the concept of a solid-body guitar. Although guitarist Les Paul was one of the pioneers of solid-body electric guitar technology, the guitar that became known as the Les Paul was developed without any input from its namesake. After the guitar was designed, Les Paul was asked to sign a contract to endorse the guitar to be named after him. At that point he asked that the tailpiece be changed, which was his only contribution. (Ironically, this tailpiece was changed in 1954.)[3] The Les Paul was released in 1952. The late 1950s saw a number of innovative new designs including the eccentrically-shaped Gibson Explorer and Flying V and the semi-acoustic ES-335, and the introduction of the "humbucker" pickup. The Les Paul was offered in several models, including the Custom, the Standard, the Special and the Junior. In 1961, the body design of the Les Paul was changed, due to the demand for a double-cutaway body design[4]. Les Paul did not care for the new body style and let his endorsement lapse, and the new body design then became known as the Gibson SG. The Les Paul returned to the Gibson catalogue in 1968 due to the influence of players such as Eric Clapton and Peter Green. Both the Les Paul and the SG later became very popular with hard rock and heavy metal guitarists; Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin , Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band, Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Slash of Velvet Revolver (formerly of Guns N' Roses) and Ace Frehley of Kiss are known for their preference for a Les Paul Standard. Pete Townshend of The Who, Angus Young of AC/DC, Frank Zappa of Mothers Of Invention and Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath are some of the more well-known SG players.
Between 1974 and 1984, in a move that is still controversial to this day, production of Gibson guitars was shifted from Kalamazoo to Nashville, Tennessee in an effort to reduce the costs associated with high-wage, unionized workers in the Industrialized North. Norlin continued to struggle with cost and quality issues. In early 1986 the Gibson Guitar Corp. was bought by Henry E. Juszkiewicz, David H. Berryman and Gary A. Zebrowski. The survival and success of Gibson today is largely attributed to this change in ownership. Currently, Juszkiewicz stands as CEO and Berryman as president of the company. More recently new production plants have been opened in Southern and rural areas, such as 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. The quality of current production instruments from these facilities has played a major role in the resurgence of the brand.

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