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Rating and Reviews: Gibson Midtown Standard

This guitar from Gibson combines the archtop and solid-body designs together to create a stunning appearance.

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"Super Bang For the Buck" submitted August 23, 2012

By Paul Edwards in Southington, CT
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Musical Background: Player for 50 years.
Music Style: Blues, Rock. Jazz, Country, just all kinds of rootsy music.
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Overall: I was looking for an inexpensive Epiphone Dot and even though the price was way under $500 it just did not play or sound what I was looking for.. After a bunch of other cheap Epi's I checked out an ES-339. Nice guitar and despite the large increase in price I was not that impressed. I was getting ready to leave empty handed when the sales guy brought over a black Midtown Standard with a Bigsby. It was more than I wanted to spend but he was just doing his job in trying to sell me a guitar in that style. As soon as I saw it I was intrigued. This one looks fantastic and the Bigsby just sort of was the cherry on top. It was more than I wanted to spend but what the hey, I'll give it a try. Big mistake because this guitar played and sounded awesome. Exactly the sound I was looking for in my minds ear. The more I played it the more I fell in love. It nailed about 90% or more of an ES-335 sound and was smaller and actually sounded better to my ears than the Gibson ES-339! The Bigsby is such a sweet subtle vibrato and that just added to its mojo. I liked the Master Volume and Tone idea as well. Just made it easier to dial in the tone I was looking for. The neck action, medium jumbo frets, and profile was just what the doctor ordered. The '57 pickups were perfect for this configuration. OK I was sold even though it was way more than I initially wanted to spend. So right out of the box this ax kills. I brought it home and did what I always do with a new guitar... changed the strings from .10's to .09;s. Using Ernie Ball Cobalts that are the best ever but that's a different review. I tweaked the truss rod to compensate for the different string gauge and intonated it perfectly. In doing so I found that the stock 14:1 Grovers were lacking in precision. Too much backlash for me and made it hard to stay perfectly in tune. I am very particular in this area. I switched the tuners to Planet Waves Auto Trim Locking tuners which were a direct replacement so it was easy to do. So now I have this awesome Midtown that plays like a dream and looks even better. It it easy to tune up accurately and stays that way. Definitely in competition with my 2012 Les Paul Standard.If you are looking for a great semi-hollow type guitar than look no further.. this Midtown Standard delivers in spades. I love it!!
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"Get one while you still can!" submitted January 23, 2013

By Don H in Braintree, MA
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Music Style: Rock player since 1963.....!
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Overall: I bought one of these in 10/2011 when they first came out. Loved the way it looked and played... BUT, the I swapped out the pickups for a pair of Duncan P-rails and added a couple of mini switches for the PU coils (These pickups are fantastic, but that's another review...) As another reviewer did, I dumped the Grovers and put in Planet Waves. I was pleasantly surprised that they were a direct replacement for the Grovers! The case smells kind of funny and I hated it at first, now I love it because it reminds me of the guitar! Gibson put a 300k linear volume control in it, which is totally asinine as you have to roll it way down to get much volume change. I would have swapped this out too, but I always use a volume pedal and leave the pot on 10, so...The Bigsby is nice; no dive bombs, but I'm too old for that anyway! Bigsby note: When Changing strings, put the high "E" on first, it's much easier to get it on the pin that way!
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"Rosewood" submitted November 27, 2012

By Brian D
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Musical Background: 11 years of playing Guitar
Music Style: Metal, rock, Blues, Indie, Progressive
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Overall: The main issues I have with this guitar are these: The one I received DID NOT have a rosewood fretboard, it has a richlite fretboard... considering it was advertised as having a rose wood fretboard I am very disappointing. The Richlite isn't a deal breaker now that the guitar is here but... it might have been if I had known prior to ordering. The board doesn't play to badly but... *PING* I hear that sometimes when playing single notes... I am not sure what it is but I've read something like it in other reviews. The binding on the fretboard is scratched, I think it has to do with how gibson paints the binding and scrapes it or something... the box came sealed from the factory so I am pretty sure that has nothing to do with zZounds... but richlite?? Maybe. On my particular model (faded red) the maple top pieces weren't matches in away so the top looks a little odd in some regards. White dot inlays instead of mirror inlays... as advertised... The input jack seems to pop a little bit on occasion, I've used two seperate chords one is new and the other is a more expensive on so I am sure it's something to do with the jack itself. What I like about this guitar: The finish (faded red) is sooooo sexy. It really is. It is kind of translucent so the maple top POPS and glows and shines. The finish on mine has an orange glow on the mahogany back that is to die for and the overall feel is kind of a lush cherry instead of faded red. The pickups are wonderful, beefy sound on the bridge pup (a little muddy with high gain but nothing unforgivable) and the neck pickup is very articulate and has a 'woody' or natural clean tone to it. I like the sound of this guitar immensely even with a richlite board. The tuning stability seems better then expected, out of the box it played well and after a few minutes of play the tuning staying well even with less then shy use of the bigsby, The bigsby to me is a very fun peice to play with, I have never had one before but it seems like I will have some fun experimenting with it, with how resonant the good is and considering its lovely clean tone I think the bigsby was a great little thing of them to add. Overall, I am obviously disappointed with the few things I mentioned, I think someone really dropped the ball with not updating the fretboard material, but, the guitar is pretty unique to say the least and its killer finish, fun playing and nice tones are enough to make up for the disappointment.
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"gibson midtown standard in red" submitted March 17, 2012

By Raymond Anselmo in Youngsville, NC
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Musical Background: 38 years
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Overall: When I opened the guitar case....man what a nice looking guitar....the color is great! The sound of the guitar is great also......but it had two problems. 1) the action was very high, so I lowered the bridge all the way down and still the action is a little high....I noticed the bridge stem on the bass side is not completely down into the guitar body, it's about 3/16 out, so I have to take it in the be fixed. 2) the guitar has surface scratches all over the body on both sides, as if someone took a dry rag to it and rubbed every way possible....I called Gibson and was to to use their polish and their guitar polishing cloth to remove the scratches....guess what....it did not work.....a little pissed.....purchase a brand new guitar and get problems right out of the Gibson box......please note, this is not zzounds fault, its Gibson's fault.
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