Gibson guitars are widely regarded as one of the best in the world and come with a hefty price tag to match. But why are Gibson guitars so expensive? It’s tricky to answer it straightforwardly, but reasons like unmatched quality and brand value are some reasons why Gibson guitars are priced higher than other brands. Let’s get deeper to know what the other reasons are.
Gibson is one of the most well-known and respected brands in the guitar industry. Known for their innovative designs, Gibson’s Les Paul and SG models have been incredibly popular among musicians. Alongside, many famous musicians, such as Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, have endorsed Gibson guitars and used them in live performances, establishing Gibson as one of the most reputable guitar brands on the way!
In this post, I’ll dive deep into the world of Gibson and explore the key factors contributing to its high cost. Let’s uncover the mysteries behind why are Gibson guitars so expensive.
- Why Are Gibson Guitars So Expensive: 7 Key Reasons Explained!
- Are Gibson Guitars Worth It?
- Final Words: Why Are Gibson Guitars So Expensive
Why Are Gibson Guitars So Expensive: 7 Key Reasons Explained!
Here are the key reasons why are Gibson guitars so expensive than others available today.
1. Quality Components:
One reason behind the high price of Gibson guitars is the combination of premium tonewoods and top-notch hardware used in every single one of their instruments. The harmonious blend of these elements results in a Gibson guitar’s unparalleled sound, feel, and playability.
Tonewoods are used in the construction of the guitar, and they can have a significant impact on the guitar’s overall sound and feel. Gibson guitars are made of some of the most premium tonewoods available in the world, such as Mahogany, Rosewood, and Maple. These woods are typically more expensive than other woods used in guitar construction. Imagine yourself playing a Gibson Les Paul or SG, and the warmth of the Mahogany enveloping you as you strum each chord. It’s truly an amazing experience.
Gibson uses quality components, such as custom-wound pickups, CTS potentiometers, and PAF-style humbuckers, known for their accuracy and reliability. Gibson is also known for using high-quality metals such as nickel and chrome in their hardware, which not only adds to the guitar’s durability but also enhances its tone.
All in all, Gibson’s use of premium materials is a key factor that sets them apart from other guitar brands. The equation is simple; high-quality components translate into highly-priced guitars. Can you guess how much does a good guitar cost, like Gibson?
Photo Credit: Gibson
2. Unmatched Craftsmanship:
One of the biggest reasons why are Gibson guitars so expensive is the level of craftsmanship that goes into each one of them. Many of the components of a Gibson guitar are hand-made, including the body and headstock. Moreover, the pickups and electronics are also hand-wired. While wood cutting and basic instrument shaping typically occur on CNC machines, other crafty touches, such as the neck of every Gibson guitar, are carefully hand-finished and sanded.
On the other hand, Gibson only uses Nitrocellulose as a finish on their guitars. Nitrocellulose is difficult to work with and requires a skilled luthier. On top of it, the United States imposed significant restrictions on this type of lacquer application. But still, Gibson manages to use Nitrocellulose because the finish ages like a fine wine and is favored by many guitarists over Urethane or Polyurethane finishes.
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Photo Credit: Gibson
3. USA-based Brand:
Gibson guitars are crafted by skilled luthiers (guitar makers) in the USA, using only the finest woods and materials. The cost of labor and materials is significantly higher in the USA than in countries like Indonesia or Mexico. According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly wage in the USA is significantly higher (more than $25) than in those countries. Whereas, many big brands these days are moving to produce certain guitar models and market them at a way lesser price point.
On the other hand, Gibson’s main factory and headquarters are located in Nashville, Tennessee, one of the most expensive cities in the United States. Furthermore, Gibson has two other factories located in New York, making the costs of manufacturing their guitars higher than those of other guitar companies.
Photo Credit: Gibson
4. Exceptional Brand Reputation:
Gibson is a name that commands respect and admiration from players and enthusiasts all over the world. Gibson has been around since 1902, and throughout the years, they have built a reputation for producing some of the finest guitars on the planet. The brand has been associated with some of the biggest names in music, including Angus Young from AC/DC, B.B. King, and many more.
Let me give you an example. Gibson Les Paul came in 1952 and is still widely acclaimed as one of the greatest guitars ever made. Just imagine it’s been 71 years, and the model is still popular. The Gibson logo on a guitar carries a lot of weight in the guitar world, and of course, that reputation is reflected in the increased price of the instruments.
Photo Credit: Gibson
5. Signature Models:
Signature models are designed in collaboration with some of the industry’s most iconic and influential guitarists, and they often come with a higher price tag than standard models. How is a signature model made?
When Gibson partners with a musician to create a signature guitar, they work closely with the artist to design an instrument that meets their specific needs and preferences. It often includes customizing the guitar’s specs, such as the neck shape, pickup configuration, and hardware.
Gibson’s signature models are designed in collaboration with some of the world’s top musicians, like Les Paul and Slash, and feature unique design elements that make them stand out from other models. On top of it, only a limited number of signature models are produced each year, making them rare and highly sought after. So, guitar enthusiasts always demand these guitars, and their demand reflects the higher asking price.
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6. Costly PLEK Technology:
PLEK technology is a computer-controlled guitar fret leveling and profiling system that uses lasers and high-precision measuring instruments to ensure that each fret is perfectly level and smooth. It ensures a guitar is not only visually stunning but also plays and sounds better.
Gibson was one of the first guitar manufacturers to adopt Plek technology in their factory, and it’s among the reasons why are Gibson guitars so expensive. This technology ensures that each Gibson guitar that leaves the factory is set up and optimized for optimal playability and tone. The problem is that a PLEK machine is really expensive (around $250,000), which also pushes the guitar’s overall price.
7. Lifetime Warranty:
Even with the best craftsmanship, things can go wrong. That’s where the warranty comes in. Gibson offers a lifetime warranty on all of their guitars. So, if anything goes wrong with your guitar, Gibson will repair or replace it for you. It includes issues such as structural defects, hardware malfunctions, and even accidental damage.
The limited lifetime warranty also includes a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied with your guitar, Gibson will work with you to make it right. So, the next time you think of why are Gibson guitars so expensive, just know that it’s not only the quality of a Gibson guitar that you’re paying for but also the peace of mind and customer service that comes with it.
Are Gibson Guitars Worth It?
Gibson guitars offer a level of quality that is hard to find elsewhere. The brand is known for producing instruments with superior tonal richness and sustain, like Gibson J-50 . With its rich, resonant tones and dynamic range, the J-50 is a true powerhouse of traditional acoustic sound. On top of it, the innovative design of Gibson guitars, like the Gibson SGS15BLCH1 SG Standard Electric Guitar will leave you speechless. Its solid Mahogany body with the iconic asymmetrical double-cutaway shape gives an amazing look.
The reputation for exceptional build quality and playability is well-known among guitarists and enthusiasts. Gibson guitars are also used by a lot of professional musicians in different genres ranging from rock, blues, and jazz to country, metal, and pop. Gibson is highly popular for its versatility and ability to adapt to different playing styles.
If you value sound quality, playability, and high-quality instrument, Gibson guitars are worth the extra money you ought to pay to get one of the beauties at home.
Final Words: Why Are Gibson Guitars So Expensive
Gibson guitars are renowned for their craftsmanship, quality materials, and iconic sound. While these factors contribute to the high price of a Gibson guitar, they are certainly not the only reasons. Gibson guitars also have a long and storied legacy, which most guitarists value when selecting an instrument. With their timeless design, superior construction, and unique sound, it’s no wonder why Gibson guitars are considered some of the best in the world and one of the most expensive instruments on the market.