When is a semi-acoustic guitar not really a semi-acoustic? When it's a Gibson Midtown Standard! This unique model has the vibe and sophistication of an ES-335, but it's actually a solid-body instrument, with all the sustain and power you'd expect from a Les Paul. Here's all you need to know about this great new guitar, now in stock!
The new Gibson Midtown guitars are getting increasingly popular, due to their unique design: despite their classic semi-acoustic look, reminiscent of the ES-335 guitars, they are actually solid body instruments, more like a Les Paul!
Whereas semi-acoustic guitars have laminated top & backs, the Midtowns have solid mahogany bodies, just like a Les Paul, but chambered.
The ES-style body shape gives it a familiar vibe, but it's smaller than traditional semi-acoustic guitars, making it more player-friendly. To give it a more "semi-acoustic" tone, the Midtown body is chambered and also features f-holes, but the guitar can be considered, mostly, a solid-body.
Why would you want a solid-body that looks like a semi-acoustic?
Some players may like the sound of semi-acoustic guitars, but when they try one, they don't feel comfortable with the body size. Another factor is the fact that, due to the fact they are semi-hollow (and sometimes hollowbody, like the Epiphone Casinos), semi-acoustic guitars tend to feedback more, especially when played at louder volumes. It's no coincidence you see more semi-acoustic guitarists playing blues and jazz, than playing heavy rock!
Of course, nothing stops guitarists from using a semi-acoustic when playing heavier styles, such as Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters! But in general, the Midtown Standard models address the issues that put some people off playing this kind of instrument, and in doing so, Gibson created an unique electric guitar: the Midtown covers the sonic spectrum from hard rock to soft jazz, a supremely versatile instrument that marries semi-hollow tone with solid-body sustain and stability. Plus, it also has a pair of excellent Burstbucker pickups.
In terms of price, features and versatility, few recent models can be considered such a great value as the Gibson Midtown. If you thought you knew Gibson, think again - try a Midtown and it'll surprise you!
GIBSON MIDTOWN VS. ES-339: HOW DO THEY COMPARE?
The Gibson Midtown Standard can also be a great alternative to the ES-339 models. They have similar sizes, but the 339 is a "proper" semi-acoustic, with Rosewood fingerboard. The ES-339 studios come with '57 Humbuckers rather than Burstbuckers. And while the 339 only has one tone and one volume knob, the Midtown has 2x each, allowing for more tonal versatility.
All told, two slightly different instruments, but if you want to rock harder the Midtown will be your best bet!
By Ivan Silva