Difference Between Gibson and Fender (With Table)

Gibson and Fender are both guitar brands that are popularly used all over the world. Fender was invented by a non-musician, whereas an expert in acoustics designed Gibson. However, both the brands have made a massive success in the music industry and become the first choice of musicians of the globe. Gibson and Fender’s choosing might be difficult, but there are several factors you can consider before you buy any of them.Many genres like country, blues, rock, pop, etc., have been ruling our hearts for a long time, and exploring the type of musical instruments has become attractive.

Gibson vs Fender

The difference between Gibson and Fender is that Gibson is made up of mahogany wood whereas Fender is made up of alder and ash. The style and adaptability are quite different that makes them stand out from the rest. Gibson has two volume knobs, whereas Fender has one volume knob. Fender has single-coil pickups, which gives a bell-like tone, but Gibson can’t provide that sound. Gibson’s neck design is different than Fender structurally. There is a wide variation in their shapes. Gibson is thicker than Fender.

Gibson is an American brand of guitars and other musical instruments, along with professional audio equipment. Gibson has made a particular self-tuning guitar that tunes itself after few seconds using robotic technology. Gibson makes instruments under many other brands like Maestro, Epiphone, etc. The company invented first Spanish style electric guitar in 1936 which was a huge commercial success. It acquired an iconic guitar brand named ‘Mesa Boogle’ in 2021.

Fender is an American brand that manufactures music instruments and amplifiers. Fender is known for its acoustic guitars and bass amplifiers. Solid-body electric guitars and bass guitars are the most popular. A solid body guitar ‘Telecaster‘ was made in 1950 by Fender. Jaguar, Jazzmaster, Telecaster are some of the core products of Fender. Fender Jazz bass and Precision bass have set a benchmark for other electric basses.

Comparison Table Between Gibson and Fender

Parameters of ComparisonGibsonFender
FounderOrville GibsonLeo Fender
Brand Older brandNewer brand
Wood used to manufactureMahogany and maplePine and ash
WeightHeavier weightLighter weight
Values followedElegance and differentiationPragmatism and value
PriceExpensive as compared to FenderCheaper as compared to Gibson

What is Gibson?

Gibson was founded in 1902 by an American manufacturer Orville Gibson. He made his first guitar in 1894 and launched the company later. Gibson followed the pattern of archtop violins and made archtop guitars. Mahogany wood is used to make guitars that give a crisp sound to the instruments. Gibson is an older brand as compared to Fender. One of the world’s best-known guitars is Gibson Les Paul.

Mellow tones with thick, rock and dark music are the characteristics of Gibson. Gibson has been present in the music world for a very long time, which instantly increases the product’s authenticity. Gibson uses two coils together to produce beautiful sounds, and this has been the USP of Gibson. The mahogany body and two coils together give Gibson warm and dark tones.

Gibson is a heavier guitar due to mahogany wood. Gibson has a scale length of 24.75 which gives a soft and thicker tone by lightly touching the string. The look of the Gibson guitar is classic and elegant. It has a thin neck with a long radius making it an ideal choice for guitarists who like to play faster.

What is Fender?

Leo Fender founded Fender Company in 1946. Fender invented Solid-Body Electric Guitars. Fender was an amplifier manufacturer initially but, after a while, started making electric guitars. Leo Fender targeted adaptability and functionality in guitars, and thus, Fender guitars are known as ‘Ford of Guitars.’ Fender can produce high sound at a low cost.

The body of Fender guitars is made up of alder primarily, but ash is also used in manufacturing guitars. This difference of wood used in both brands is the main difference responsible for the sound. The wood is lighter and makes the guitar lighter to hold. In addition, fender guitars have single-coil pickups that produce a bright and soft tone popularly known as Fender tone. Fender tone is more crisp, bright and clear from the start.

Fender guitars are often used for pop and rock music. The scale length of 25.5 and fingerboard radius of 7.5 to 9.5 are the essential characteristics of Fender guitars. Fender with radius 7.5 is problematic while playing solos and bendings, but Fender guitars with radius 9.5 are more comfortable for solos and bendings.

Main Differences Between Gibson and Fender

  1. Gibson guitars are heavier in weight than Fender guitars.
  2. Gibson guitars are made up of mahogany wood, whereas Fender guitars are alder and ash.
  3. Gibson guitars are the older brand as compared to Fender being the newer ones.
  4. Gibson guitars are heavier due to the mahogany wood used than Fender guitars which are light in weight due to alder and ash timber used.
  5. Gibson guitars are expensive than Fender guitars.
  6. Gibson guitars produce warm tones, whereas Fender guitars produce bright tones.
  7. Gibson looks for elegance and differentiation, whereas Fender looks for pragmatism and value.

Conclusion

Gibson and Fender, both guitars, have their unique characteristics. It is a personal choice and needs, what should be bought. While buying any one of the guitars, the purpose needs to be kept in mind. The music composed by the combination of both the guitars could also be something unique to create. If you want country music, pop, blues, funk, light rock, you should go for Fender, but if you wish to classic and hard rock, you should go for Gibson. You can play any style with both the brands, it is a personal choice. Guitarists prefer one over the other depending upon a number of factors to look into, but again, every individual requirements are different and must be decided accordingly.

References

  1. https://www.academia.edu/download/32611533/guitars_that_made.pdf
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/466789

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