gibson bozeman

Robi Johns has played a role in Gibson’s acoustic operation since 1990, when he left teaching and running a music store to become the location’s in-house musician.

The Gibson acoustic division’s head dreamer studied with Christopher Parkening, toured, played, taught, and has collaborated with many artists on signature models in his three-decade career.

Bozeman is known as the Sweet Pea City, a reference to the prolific flower that put this colorful Montana burgh on the map in the early 1900s. But most of us know it as the home of the Gibson Acoustic Craftory, where the brand makes guitars ranging from historic models like the L-00, J-45, Hummingbird, Dove, and J-200 to signature guitars for Jerry Cantrell, Orianthi, and Keb’ Mo’ to the company’s budget-priced Generation Collection, which offers updates on Gibson’s slope-, broad-shouldered, and cutaway models, all with sound ports. Turns out the region’s stable, dry climate is good for building guitars as well as raising blossoms.

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Gibson G-00 (top) and G-200 (bottom)

Solid wood construction and Bozeman-built appeal in more affordable and streamlined designs.

Intimate-feeling playing experience. Nice neck. Easy to play. Body shape well suited to austere appointments.

Fundamental build quality good, but detail-level work could be much improved.


Gibson G-00


Gibson's history is rich with acoustic instruments built to be accessibly priced. The company's beloved and underrated B series guitars from the '60s, for instance, used laminate mahogany sides to make them more attainable. Even the legendary J-45 began as a relatively affordable model—cleverly using that beautiful sunburst finish to conceal less-than-perfect spruce pieces that were in short supply around World War II.

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