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Difference Between Martin and Gibson

Martin vs Gibson

Martin and Gibson are companies which are one of the best-known names in producing and selling acoustic instruments in the USA. It is not very easy to site differences between them in general as they both produce high-quality instruments which have been valued and cherished by customers for years. Both brands have very loyal fans. Those who use Martin keep using Martins, and those who use Gibson keep using Gibson year after year. The differences can be seen and “heard” between the different models of the companies.

C. F. Martin & Company was established by Christian Frederick Martin in 1833. They make steel string guitars and flat top acoustics. They also make electric basses and electric guitars. Their vintage lines of guitars are so sought after that they may bring six figures. Martin factories and headquarters are located in Nazareth, Pennsylvania and in Mexico.

The two main innovations of Martins are:

Developing and producing on a large scale the X-bracing system for the first time in the 1850s.

Developing the dreadnought guitar during 1915-1930. The body of dreadnought was deeper and larger than other guitars of that time.

One of the most interesting features of a Martin is that they periodically make a special series of guitars. These are a limited-production series which are endorsed by well-known guitarists developed with the help of artists and named after them like Eric Clapton, Johny Cash, etc. The Women in Music series was launched in 1997. A seven-string folk guitar was developed with steel strings; it was developed with Roger McGuinn.

Numbering System
The numbering system has an initial letter or series of zeros which shows the body type. Largest is denoted by “J” and smallest by “5.” It is followed by the guitar’s style and ornamentation.

The Gibson Guitar Corporation was established in the 19th century. It is situated in Nashville, Tennessee. Earlier it was situated in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They produce electric guitars, jukeboxes, pianos, and other acoustic instruments.
Gibsons are available in varied styles and colors. They are also suitable for varied styles of music. They come in styles like; square shoulder, round shoulder, contemporary, small body, arch top, jumbo, and super jumbo.
The most well-known Gibson is a solid body electric guitar model called the Les Paul. It sells instruments under the brand names Garrison Guitars, Baldwin, Kalamazoo, Valley Arts, Maestro, Epiphone, Steinberger, Singerland.

Numbering System
From 1997 to 2006, the numbering system included eight-digit numbers which were on the back of the instruments. It showed where it was produced and the order number of production of instruments that day. In the centennial year, 1994, the numbers started with “94.”


1.Martin produces guitars whereas Gibson produces guitars, pianos, jukeboxes, and other acoustic instruments.
2.Martin produces and sells all its products by the name Martin whereas Gibson sells its products under various brand names.
3.The numbering systems of both brands are different.
4.Martin has made two main innovations in the acoustic instrument world, namely, the X-bracing system and the dreadnought guitar.

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