Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Orville Would Be Disturbed.

As with any other business there are always interesting rumours floating around about various guitar makers. But a new rumour about Gibson is rather bizarre. According to a regular poster on the Gear Page, a guitar discussion forum, Gibson is planning to discontinue production of archtop guitars. If true this would be a major shock, since it was Gibson founder Orville Gibson who invented the archtop guitar in the 1890s, and the improved archtops developed by luthier Lloyd Loar in the 1920s became the basis for some of the first practical electric guitars. Archtop electrics are still favoured by many jazz guitarists, but the rumour has it too many of them are buying brands other than Gibson. Its unclear, assuming this is true, whether this will also effect another Gibson's semisolid ES335 line, which also have arched tops and f holes. In any case its hard to imagine such classic instruments as the ES175 leaving production, and such a decision will certainly bolster the belief of many guitarists that the current Gibson ownership is too interested in wringing every available cent out of the Gibson name, and not interested enough in making quality instruments.

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