Smaller-bodied acoustic guitars can sometimes be surprisingly loud, and that’s the case with Gibson’s new LG-2 American Eagle acoustic-electric. Gibson has revived a guitar that was first made in the early 1940s and was replaced in the early ’60s by the B-25, basically the same guitar with a few changes. One surmises that the American Eagle name may be the company’s way of combining something legendary with some modern sentimentality.
Whatever the case, this smaller guitar (think Martin 00 size or thereabouts) has a lot going for it. For starters, in addition to the great volume and nice projection as well, it has the smaller guitar advantage of being easy to handle no matter how big the player is. It has a short-scale, 19-fret neck, and, similar to Gibson’s new J-35, has the antique natural hand-sprayed nitrocellulose lacquer finish, Sitka spruce top, dovetail neck-to-body joint and mahogany neck, back and sides. It’s equipped with the L.R. Baggs Element pickup with easy volume access just inside the top of the soundhole, and has a traditional belly-up rosewood bridge with a Tusq saddle, rosette binding, and a single-action truss rod housed under a black and white truss rod cover on the peghead. The tuners are 15:1 white button vintage, and the iconic Gibson decal (think the Les Paul logo) is on the headstock. It comes with a black hardshell case with blue fabric inside.
Extremely well-balanced, with nice uniform action all the way up, this guitar is fun to play, not just because of its size but because of the confidence a player can have with it. Let’s face it, nothing is more distracting than trying to play an instrument (especially in public) that doesn’t stay or play in tune or has a buzz when you don’t need it. None of this applies here; the LG-2 American Eagle is a well-crafted instrument that recalls the LG-2/B-25 of old with a modern attitude. And while the world becomes a smaller place every day and some players are leery of foreign guitars, this axe is American-made in Gibson’s Bozeman, Montana acoustic shop, where the nearly-dead Gibson acoustic business was taken off life support in the late 1980s.
The MSRP for this guitar is $2,449, but it can be had for $1,899. Give this one a look if you’re in the market for a smaller guitar.