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The Gibson Generation Collection is a lineup of acoustics that focuses on the player. Gibson was kind enough to send us a G-Writer and a G-200 to preview for the launch. At first glance, these look like the traditional models that Gibson has long been known for. With a solid Sitka spruce top with solid walnut back and sides, there’s nothing significantly different until the guitar is in your hands. We’ve seen some manufacturers in the past toy with the idea of soundholes in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and locations. They certainly all have their functions and strengths. The Gibson Player Port actually has its beginnings from a Gibson blueprint from 1964 that was found and then used as inspiration for the Generation Collection.
I’ve always been a big fan of satin finishes on guitars. Maybe it’s a bit of a placebo effect, but I feel like the wood is able to move more freely and you’re more connected to the sound. The neck profile is on the slimmer side, but carved out where your hand fits nice and comfy. To improve comfort even further, these guitars have a thinner body depth. You can still tell at first touch that these are 100% Gibson. The fit and finish is top notch and that translates directly to the feel of the guitar.
Now, the big talking point. Does the Gibson Player Port do anything? While the audience may not be able to tell, the player certainly will. The crisp high end is very apparent whether you’re digging deep into the strings or lightly fingerpicking along. At the end of the day, these still sound like classic Gibsons. The walnut used in the guitar’s back and sides sort of sounds like a mixture of mahogany and maple. There’s a straight-forward attack like maple with an airy resonance that is closely associated with mahogany.
If you’re looking straight on, the Generation Collection guitars look like classic Gibson models. The inlays on the fretboard don’t just look cool, they act as side dots on the fretboard. This means they’re big and easy to see if you’re just glancing down at the neck to make sure you’re in the right spot. Their spruce tops aren’t tinted at all, so they have a very fresh look.
When I think of the Generation Collection, I think of the bedroom player who aspires to play on stage. Because these guitars offer a very personal playing experience, they work well with someone who loves to play instrumentals or just wants something that’s out of the ordinary. They play like butter, which is to be expected out of any Gibson made these days. Smooth fret ends, a smooth neck carve, and good action make it easy to play for hours on end. Perhaps the best part about these is that they don’t look too out of the ordinary unless you see the soundhole on the side. All in all, the Generation Collection lives up to Gibson’s standards, while packing a little something up their sleeve.