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Gibson guitar catalogues

Gibson publicity material 1950s-1980s

Gibson Catalogues

Gibson issued regular promotional material for it's products: catalogues every two years or so, dealer handouts, advertisements in guitar magazines, and Gibson's own magazines Gibson Gazette and Gibson Backstage Pass. Most of Gibson's guitars, basses and amplifiers are included amongst the pages of these catalogues, and many variations within a model can be tracked from catalogue to catalogue, both in the pictures, but also in the included specifications.

Gibson produced it's literature for the US guitar-buying market, but in the rest of the world, it was the responsibility of the overseas distributor, Selmer then Rosetti in the UK, Monzino in Italy etc. Gibson guitars often appeared in leaflets and brochures printed by these companies.


1958 Gibson electric guitar and amplifier catalogue1958 Gibson electric guitar and amplifier catalogue. This was a time of innovation at Gibson and although the catalogue did not contain all of the new guitars of 1958, it did include two new-legendary designs, the ES-335TD and Flying V guitars - aswell as the EB2 bass.


1960 Gibson full line catalogue1960 Gibson full line catalogue. The solid body and thinline ranges were expanding significantly at this time. New instruments for 1960 included the ES-330, ES-345 and ES-355, plus the early style Melody Maker, SG Special and EB-O bass.


1962 Gibson full line catalogue1962 Gibson full line catalogue. This catalogue debuted the familiar 'batwing' SG series, including EB0 and EB3 basses, plus Artist series jazz instruments, the Johnny Smith and Barney Kessel.


1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue1964 'Brilliant' Gibson guitar and bass catalogue. 16 pages. Yet again, new (yet soon-to-be classic) guitars were included in the form of Firebird guitars, and Thunderbird basses.


1966 Gibson full line catalogue 1966 Gibson guitar and bass catalogue. Electric guitars, basses, acoustics, amplifiers. This was Gibson's first full-colour catalogue.
1966 Gibson 'Feel The Excitement' brochure1966 Gibson "Feel The Excitement" brochure - a single sheet folded into panels


Towards the end of the 1960s, Gibson was running into a number of financial, managerial and production issues; ultimately culminating in parent company CMI giving way to Norlin in December 1969. New models were thin on the ground at this time, although there was much fanfare for the new reissued Les Paul guitars.
1968 Gibson pamphlet1968 Gibson pamphlet
1968 Gibson Les Paul brochure1968 Gibson Les Paul brochure


1969 Gibson Les Paul Bass owners manual1969 Gibson Les Paul bass owners manual
1969 Gibson ES340TD promo sheet 1969 Gibson ES-340TD promo sheet 1969 Gibson ES-150DC promo sheet 1969 Gibson ES-150DC promo sheet 1969 Gibson EB-1 promo sheet 1969 Gibson EB-1 promo sheet


1970 Gibson Les Paul catalogue - Les Paul models1970 Gibson Les Paul catalogue
1970 Gibson thinline catalogue1970 Gibson thinline catalogue
1970 Gibson bass catalogue - electric basses1970 Gibson bass catalogue
1970 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue1970 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue
1970 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue 1970 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue
In 1970, new owners Norlin changed from the usual approach of offering full line catalogues and published a series of pamphlets each around 8-12 pages long containing just a small segment of the 1970 range. Titles included: solid bodies, thinlines, Les Pauls, basses, banjos, electric acoustics, carved top acoustics, mandolins, flattops, 12-string flattops and classic guitars.


1971 saw the addition of the Les Paul Recording guitar and Triumph bass, with brochures detailing these new models and their novel controls
1971 Gibson low impedence brochure (with flexi disc)1971 Gibson low impedence brochure (with flexi disc)
1971 Italian Gibson/Monzino brochure
			1971 Italian Gibson/Monzino brochure
1971 Gibson Les Paul Triumph bass brochure/owners manual
			1971 Gibson Les Paul Triumph bass brochure/owners manual


1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue 1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place1972 Gibson bass catalogue
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place1972 Gibson solid bodies solid sound catalogue
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Les Paul Recording guitar1972 Gibson Showcase - Les Paul Recording guitar
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - L-5CES1972 Gibson Showcase - L-5CES
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - ES-175D1972 Gibson Showcase - ES-175D
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Super 400 CES1972 Gibson Showcase - Super 400 CES
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - ES-355TD-SV1972 Gibson Showcase - ES-355TD-SV
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Byrdland1972 Gibson Showcase - Byrdland


1973 Gibson solid bodies catalogue1973 Gibson solid bodies catalogue


1975 Gibson bass guitar catalogue1975 Gibson bass guitar catalogue
1975 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue1975 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue
1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar catalogue1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar catalogue
1975 Gibson solid body catalogue1975 Gibson solid body catalogue
1975 Gibson thinline catalogue1975 Gibson thinline catalogue


The 1978 Gibson catalogue was the first full-line catalogue of the Norlin period. New models first included in the 1978 Gibson catalogue include the Gibson RD guitar and bass, the the ES-347TD and several Les paul models: The Les Paul, LP Artisan, and LP 55/78.
1978 Gibson RD guitar and bass catalogue1978 Gibson RD guitar and bass catalogue
1978 Gibson Quality /Prestige /Innovation catalogue1978 Gibson Quality /Prestige /Innovation catalogue


1980 Gibson catalogue. Gibson Guitars.1980 Gibson catalogue. Entitled Gibson Guitars, but also includes a number of mandolins and banjos. The cover features an instrument made by Orville Gibson in 1894. First catalogue appearance of the 335S and Sonex series of guitars. 1980 Gibson Sonex owners manual1980 Gibson Sonex owners manual, covering the Sonex-180 Deluxe, Standard and Custom.


Summer 1981 saw the release of 10 Gibson 'pre-owners manuals' - actually mini folders with loose-leaf inserts, one for each model. Each manual represented one segment of the Gibson line. At this time, Rosetti took over distribution of the Gibson line in the UK, and produced their first Gibson guitar catalogue at the tail end of the year.

1981 Victory bass pre-owners manual1981 Victory bass pre-owners manual
1981 Victory MV guitar pre-owners manual1981 Victory MV guitar pre-owners manual
1981 Sonex guitar pre-owners manual1981 Sonex guitar pre-owners manual
1981 Victory bass owners manual1981 Victory bass owners manual
1981 Victory MV owners manual1981 Victory MV owners manual
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue


In '82 Gibson produced a number of single sheet flyers, typically with one or more folded panels with extra details. Some of these flyers were also placed as advertisements (minus the fold out panel) in Guitar Player and similar magazines. Only the front panels are shown here - click to see the full flyer.

1982 promotional flyer for the Gibson Victory guitar and bass series Gibson Victory MV guitar and Victory bass flyer 1982 promotional flyer for the Gibson Chet Atkins classic electric Gibson Chet Atkins classic electric flyer 1982 promotional flyer for the Gibson Les Paul Standard Gibson 30th anniversary Les Paul Standard flyer 1982 promotional flyer for the Gibson Flying V Gibson Flying V flyer 1982 promotional flyer for the Gibson Sonex Deluxe Gibson Sonex Deluxe flyer


1983 Gibson catalogue. American-made. World-played.1983 Gibson catalogue. American-made. World-played


Gibson Designer Series custom graphics flyer1985 Designer Series custom graphics flyer

Vintage Gibson catalogues for sale

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There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
Reginald Gainey Comment left 10th May 2012 14:02:30
Hello, I have used your site for years now. I wrote you a long time ago and told you about my LP-12 amp. You got me started on a long path of Gibson Recording and Triumph guitars. I visit Gibson Restoration for them to do all my work. They are great people. I also have a nice collection of Epiphone Guitars. They are not as low-end as people think. Yes, they do have some junk but Mr. Les Paul always wanted something for kids to use to get started with. You know that. I visited Mr. Les Paul on his birthday at the Iridium in NY on his birthday 2 years before he passed. He did not sign autographs that night but let me in the back in the green room with him after the show. He signed my Recording. I held his hand for 15 minutes and we talked about "life". I mentioned a couple technical questions to him, but I didnt want to talk about things he's always talked to fans about. So he told me about life and happiness. He did say he was still friends with Eddie Van Halen and that the LP-12 amp "was just too damn loud". I also have pics where Phil at Gibson Restoration made him his last Goldtop Low Impedance guitar from scratch. Phil took pics along the way and since he was the only one in the shop who worked on a Recording (mine) and he's the best, he got the job of making the guitar. I have about 100 pics. It was the last guitar made for Les before he passed. My original Gibson Low Impedance catalog got stolen at a gig. So I am trying to find another one. Please let me know if you find one? Also, I have 5 Epiphones and looking for Epiphone catalogs. If you know a site like yours, please let me know? Anything I can do for you just ask. Thanks, Reggie, Macon, GA

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