Review: Gibson Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC Acoustic/Electric Guitar

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The name of Gibson’s Songwriter Deluxe Studio EC Acoustic/Electric is a bit of a misnomer to me, as most songwriters, even if they capo a lot, don’t play far enough up the neck to need a cutaway (I presume the EC stands for “electric cutaway,” not Eric Clapton, as some people might immediately think). Maybe the cutaway feature is where the “deluxe” tag comes in. But I digress.

This is a really nice dreadnought, for sure nicer than some Gibsons that cost more. The one I tested was a lot of fun to play, made me want to play even longer, and as a lead player I was happy to be able to reach all the way to the 20th fret and to be able to easily bend my notes up to the 17th where the body joined the neck, probably the result of the “rolled” fingerboard edges. While I’ve seen a couple negative reviews of this guitar online, the one I played seemed just fine, in fact almost surprisingly so. It played great and stayed wonderfully in tune all the way up the neck past the cutaway even when playing full chords on the top four strings, sounded really good with uniform and balanced tone, and was nice to look at, especially with the gold Grover Rotomatic tuners and decades-old iconic Gibson crown logo on the peghead. A custom-shaped tortoise pickguard, double-ring rosette, and dual-parallelogram fretboard inlays also make the guitar aesthetically unique.

The top is Sitka spruce and the sides and back are rosewood, as is the fingerboard on the mahogany neck. The bracing pattern is based on the design used for Gibson’s Advanced Jumbo models of the 1930s, with a wider “X” red spruce bracing pattern than most current models. The guitar has Fishman’s Prefix Plus-T pickup with volume, bass, treble, notch filter and phase switch and has a chromatic tuner, which can come in handy if you need to tune to an alternate tuning or are someone who tunes down a half-step to accommodate a vocal range.

Something I gripe about with many new acoustics (except for reissuses that are trying to be true to an original design) is the absence of an under-the-neck strap button, which is the case here, something which would have made the package complete. That said, all in all, this is a real good guitar for the street price of $2,599, a better deal than many of Gibson’s other acoustic/electrics.