Gibson guitar catalogues

Gibson publicity material 1950s-1980s

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. The majority of these brochures state that materials and specifications could be changed without notice, so the information within, whilst generally accurate can not be regarded as absolute.

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

1958 Gibson electric guitar and amplifier catalogue

1958 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

1960 Gibson full line catalogue

1960 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

1962 Gibson full line catalogue

1962 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

1964 Gibson electric guitar and bass catalogue

1964 '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

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' brochure
1966 Gibson "Feel The Excitement" brochure - a single sheet folded into panels

1968

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 pamphlet
1968 Gibson pamphlet - a simple eight-sided booklet highlighting a handful of models representing Gibson's range of electric guitars and amplifiers.
1968 Gibson Les Paul brochure
1968 Gibson Les Paul brochure announcing the newly reissued Les Paul Standard and Custom.

1969

1969 Gibson Les Paul Personal / Professional owners manual
1969 Gibson Les Paul bass owners manual Four page pamphlet detailing the specifications and operation of the new low impedance Les Paul bass
1969 Gibson Les Paul Personal / Professional owners manual
1969 Gibson Les Paul Personal / Professional owners manual Six page pamphlet detailing the specifications and operation of the two new low impedance Les Paul guitars

1970

Published by new owners Norlin, in early 1970. For this catalogue, they 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. Naturally this reduced overall costs, as potential customers would only take the brochures featuring the instruments relevant to them, but it also allowed easy revision of certain segments as the instruments available changed. Titles included: solid bodies, thinlines, Les Pauls, basses, banjos, electric acoustics, carved top acoustics, mandolins, flattops, 12-string flattops and classic guitars. Note the new 'foliage' motif, used throughout the 1970s being used here for the first time.

1970 Gibson Les Paul catalogue - Les Paul models
1970 Gibson Les Paul catalogue - Twelve sides, five guitars, one bass, one amp
1970 Gibson thinline catalogue
1970 Gibson thinline catalogue - 12 pages, 10 guitars
1970 Gibson bass catalogue - electric basses
1970 Gibson bass catalogue - Eight pages, six basses

1971

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). Four pages
1971 Italian Gibson/Monzino brochure
1971 Italian Gibson / Monzino brochure. Six pages - fourteen guitars, five basses.

1972

1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue
1972 Gibson electric solid bodies catalogue - 12 pages, containing details of 5 newly redesigned SG models
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - details of the solid body EB bass range, redesigned for '72. Special focus on the new EB-4L
1972 Gibson bass catalogue - the bass place
1972 Gibson solid bodies solid sound catalogue - fold out brochure containing details of some of the new features of Gibson's solid body (SG) range

The Gibson 'guitar of the month' showcase series of brochures published in 1972 provide a detailed look at some of Gibson's higher end models - each is a single sheet folded down to four panels.

1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Les Paul Recording guitar
1972 Gibson Showcase - Les Paul Recording guitar
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - L-5CES
1972 Gibson Showcase - L-5CES
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - ES-175D
1972 Gibson Showcase - ES-175D
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Super 400 CES
1972 Gibson Showcase - Super 400 CES
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - ES-355TD-SV
1972 Gibson Showcase - ES-355TD-SV
1972 Gibson Showcase leaflet - Byrdland
1972 Gibson Showcase - Byrdland

1973

1973 Gibson solid bodies catalogue
Gibson solid bodies catalogue Single fold out sheet showing the once-again redesigned SG series. Five models are detailed.
1973 Gibson solid bodies catalogue
1973 'Look Ahead to Gibson' brochure demnstrated a selection of new models: Howard Roberts Custom, L6S, Gospel and the Les Paul Signature guitar and bass.

1975

Once again the 1975 catalogue is split into smaller brochures highlighting different segments of Gibson's instruments.

1975 Gibson bass guitar catalogue
1975 Gibson bass guitar catalogue Eight pages, featuring six bass models
1975 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue
1975 Gibson electric acoustics catalogue Twelve pages, featuring ten electric acoustic guitars
1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar catalogue
1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar catalogue Eight pages including four guitars and two bass guitars
1975 Gibson solid body catalogue
1975 Gibson solid body catalogue Twelve pages featuring six solid body guitar models
1975 Gibson thinline catalogue
1975 Gibson thinline catalogue Eight pages, four guitar models

1976

In 1975, several new models were added to the range - Gibson reissued some of the 1975 brochures with additional pages to cover the new guitars: the G-3 bass, and S-1 guitar

1976 Gibson bass guitar catalogue
19765 Gibson bass guitar catalogue - Twelve pages, featuring seven bass models
1976 Gibson solid body catalogue
1976 Gibson solid body catalogue Twelve pages featuring seven solid body guitar models

1978

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

1980

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 manual
1980 Gibson Sonex owners manual, covering the Sonex-180 Deluxe, Standard and Custom.

1981

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 manual
1981 Victory bass pre-owners manual mini folder containing two inserts: Victory Standard bass and Victory Artist bass
1981 Victory MV guitar pre-owners manual
1981 Victory MV guitar pre-owners manual mini folder containing two inserts: Victory MV-2 and Victory MV-10
1981 Sonex guitar pre-owners manual
1981 Sonex guitar pre-owners manual mini folder containing three inserts: Sonex-180 Deluxe, Sonex-180 Custom and Sonex Artist
1981 Victory bass owners manual
1981 Victory bass owners manual 32 page guide to the Gibson Victory Standard and Artist bass
1981 Victory MV owners manual
1981 Victory MV owners manual 36 page booklet for owners of the Victory MV-II and MV-X
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue
1981 Rosetti (UK) Gibson catalogue The only Gibson catalogue to include the GGC-700

1982

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.

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