Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Friday, May 13, 2011

Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC Acoustic-Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst
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I've owned this guitar about a year & a half.It came straight from the Gibson factory in Montana to replace a J-185EC under warranty.When I first played the Song Writer, the sound was incredible.I've owned several different Gibson acoustics over the years, including a '39 J35, but the Song Writer Deluxe has the most warm, resonant sound I've ever heard.It almost sounds like a faint reverb.You can also hear a warm, crisp sound to it.I would have given it 5 stars, but the action was a little high for my taste.I reset the action myself, & change the strings to a extra light variety (.010's), & this thing plays great.Mine has the Fishman electronics, they're good, & the built in tuner is pretty accurate.My style of playing ranges from Classic Rock to Bluegrass, from R&B to Gospel, from the blues to Worship/praise.So I do a little bit of everything.This has gotten to be my prefered guitar, it sits on a stand in my study, & I play it daily.The acoustic sound is good in recording too.If you love that "warm" tone, I would highly recommend this guitar.Just be sure it has the rosewood back & sides.Rosewood puts the maple & mahogany guitar to shame.Some might argue this point, but I own them all, & this one sounds the best.

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Product Description:
With its abalone trim and distinctive mother of pearl fingerboard and headstock inlays, the new 2009 Songwriter Deluxe Custom is the finest offering from Gibson's Songwriter family of acoustics. It is considered one of the world's finest sounding square-shouldered acoustics, crafted to reflect simple and sophisticated elegance. The EC version offers a cutaway for high fret access.The finest offering from the Songwriter family of acoustics.

Gold Grover Rotomatic Tuners
Grover's original Rotomatic tuners are an engineering marvel, with abundant style and performance exactly suited for the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC. With a gear ratio of 14:1, the Rotomatics deliver precision tuning in a durable housing that provides maximum protection for the gear and string post. All moving parts are cut for exact meshing, eliminating the possibility of slippage. A countersunk tension screw lets players regulate the tuning tension to any degree. A special lubricant inside the gear box provides smooth and accurate tuning stability.
The pickguard on the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC is a custom line design made from Tortec. As with all of Gibson's pickguards, the coloring, inlay, and binding are all done by hand.
Tapered dovetail neck joint allows the body and neck to become one solid piece of resonating wood.
Double-ring rosette with an abalone-filled middle.
Distinctive mother of pearl fingerboard and headstock inlays.
A rosette is the beautiful, hand-crafted circle around the soundhole, and can be one of the most ornamental elements of any acoustic guitar. It is also one of the most subtle and complicated woodworking decorations on any acoustic guitar. The rosette on the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC is one of Gibson's finest. It is a double-ring rosette with an abalone-filled middle, with both outer rings consisting of six-ply binding, adding a stylish, understated elegance to the Songwriter line.
Ebony Fingerboard with Rolled Edges and New Deluxe Custom Inlays
The fingerboard of Gibson's Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC is constructed from the highest grade ebony on earth, which is personally inspected and qualified by Gibson's team of skilled experts before it enters the Gibson factories. The resilience of this durable wood makes the fingerboard extremely balanced and stable, and gives each chord and note unparalleled clarity and bite. The fingerboard inlays of the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC are a completely new design made of genuine mother of pearl, and inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates gaps and doesn't require the use of fillers. The fingerboard also sports a rolled edge--instead of the usual right angle where the fingerboard surface meets the neck, Gibson Acoustic's rolled edges are slightly beveled for an extremely smooth and comfortable feel, enhancing the playability of the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC.
Body Tonewoods
The body design of the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC is known as a small dreadnought. The top is made from AA-grade Sitka spruce, while the back and sides are constructed from rosewood, giving the Songwriter a balanced, warm tone with clear lows and solid treble registers. Selecting the right wood, and the formula to dry it out, are two of the most central procedures to Gibson's guitar-building process. Beginning with its first catalog in 1903, Gibson has assured its customers that every guitar would be built using woods with "the most durable, elastic, and sonorous qualities," and today's guitars from Gibson Acoustic are no different.
Fishman Aura Pro Acoustic Pickup System
Gibson's Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC comes equipped with a built-in Fishman Ellipse Aura electronics package, which combines Fishman's most sophisticated onboard preamp design with the power of the popular Aura Acoustic Imaging Technology. The result is acoustic sound that is exceptionally accurate and true to life. Already loaded onto the system are four images that best match the instrument's natural tonal characteristics. You can make adjustments to any of them using the system's Pickup/Image Blend or Volume controls, or use the switchable Natural I and Natural II low frequencies for tone shaping. You can also control feedback with the Phase switch and automatic Anti-Feedback device control. The pickup's ergonomic soundhole-mounted design puts slider controls at your fingertips so you can maintain a natural playing position at all times. The Fishman Ellipse Aura is used by such noted musicians as Brad Paisley, Pete Townshend and Travis Tritt.
Every acoustic guitar made by Gibson features hand-scalloped, radiused top bracing inside the body, a feature normally found only in limited run, hand-made guitars. By scalloping each brace by hand, the natural sound of the acoustic is focused more toward the center of the body, enhancing the instrument's sound projection. The bracing pattern inside the Songwriter Deluxe Custom EC is based on the design used for Gibson's celebrated Advanced Jumbo models of the 1930s, consisting of a wider "X" pattern that allows the top to vibrate more freely and push the sound toward the soundhole. The result is an instrument that delivers incredible response, and a superior dynamic range with balanced, warm tones, clear lows, and solid treble registers.
Tapered Dovetail Neck Joint
The dovetail neck joint is one of the oldest--and best--ways of securely joining the neck to the body of a guitar. It is also a complex and expensive neck joint to build, but the result is a tight, locking connection that supports the neck at the proper neck-pitch angle, allowing the body and neck to become one solid piece of resonating wood, with no metal to impede vibration. This process is done entirely by hand, requiring patience and skill.
Radius Top
The top of many "flat-top" guitars are under a lot of stress from the pull of the strings, which can eventually compromise the top. So, while most acoustic guitars are true "flat-top" guitars, all of the acoustics produced by Gibson in Bozeman, Montana have a radiused, or "tuned" top. Instead of being perfectly flat, a radiused or "tuned" top is raised slightly, and a special instrument is used to shape the top braces to the radius of the top. This process adds tension and strengthens the top, creating a less stressful joint where the top meets the sides and reducing the stresses of string pull. It also results in a "speaker cone" effect that maximizes sound projection, adding a significant boost to mid-range levels for a more balanced acoustic tone.
Nitrocellulose Finish
Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson acoustic guitar--including the Songmaker Deluxe Standard--is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. Unlike the polyurethane finishes used by many guitar manufacturers, a nitrocellulose lacquer finish is porous when cured, allowing the wood to naturally "breathe" and mature. Microscopically thin, the finish on a Gibson acoustic guitar first requires seven main coats of nitrocellulose lacquer. After drying overnight, the initial seven coats are then level sanded and given two additional coats. Left to dry for five additional days, the finish is then wet sanded and buffed to its final glass-like sheen. The time-consuming nature of applying a nitro finish has been employed ever since the first Gibson guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894. Why? For starters, a nitro finish means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone. It's also a softer finish, making it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can't do the same on a poly finish.

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