Why Are Gibson Guitars So Expensive: Explained

Why Are Gibson Guitars So Expensive

There are many reputable brands of guitars equipped with unique and high-quality building materials and designs. Amongst them is Gibson, which seems to stand out not only in popularity but also in price tag.

So why are Gibson guitars so expensive?

The reason why Gibson guitars are so expensive boils down to a lot of factors which include:

  • the fact that they are manufactured in the USA,
  • the reputation of their brand,
  • the use of reliable, high-quality building materials, 
  • the unique process of production of guitars.

Join me as we take a deep look at the above reasons and a question that I think might be on your mind: if Gibson guitars are worth the price. 

Exclusively Manufactured in the USA

The fact that Gibson guitars are exclusively assembled in the United States of America is why the guitars are expensive. In contrast to other companies, the Gibson company has never made their products outside the USA. All three factories owned by the Gibson companies are situated in the USA.

Labour is relatively expensive in the USA compared to other countries like China, Indonesia, Mexico, etc. Most popular guitar companies like Fender, Martin, and Ibanez assemble their products outside the USA, where labor is cheap. 

Also, this ensures the use of high-quality materials in the production of these guitars. As you’ve already guessed, high-quality materials aren’t cheap. 

Made With Expensive Materials

Made With Expensive Materials

Many high-quality materials go into the building of Gibson guitars, some of which include good and solid wood, good electronics solid, and unique finishing material. Some of these materials are hard to buy as they are not readily available and are expensive, resulting in the price of Gibson guitars being high. 

Solid Woods

There are different kinds of woods used in the production of guitars. The kind of wood used has an impact on the tone of guitars. Gibson guitars have been known to mostly use the best kinds of wood, including rosewood, mahogany, maple, and ebony. 

However, the government has placed restrictions on using some of these woods, particularly rosewood, on preserving them. It makes the acquisition of these woods a lot more expensive. 

But this doesn’t stop guitar enthusiasts from demanding guitars made out of these woods. It is, in turn, one of the main things responsible for the expensive price tag on Gibson guitars. 

Quality Electronics

For solid-build guitars with no hollow parts, the sound entirely boils down to the guitar’s electronics. Gibson’s solid-body guitars generally have good electronics, responsible for their unique and loud tone. 

The Gibson electronics, along with a handcrafted fixing of the neck of the guitars, is responsible for the great sustain found in Gibson guitars. 

Expensive Finishing Material

Finishes are needed on a guitar during its production to prevent the accumulation of dirt and other particles and its subsequent resultant damage. 

Nitrocellulose is mostly used as the finishing material in Gibson guitars because nitrocellulose allows for greater sustain and a better open sound. 

However, there is a limit to the daily use of nitrocellulose for finishing guitars, restricting the amount of guitar produced and subsequently causing a price hike. 

Unique Production Process

Unique Production Process

In addition to the use of expensive materials, manufacturing Gibson guitars stands out compared to other reputable guitar companies. 

I mentioned earlier that the production of Gibson guitars is labor-intensive and requires skilled labor, which is expensive in the USA. 

Most of the processes involved in manufacturing Gibson guitars are done by hand, in contrast to most other guitar companies that use modern technology in handling most of the production process. 

One notable process handled by technology is testing these guitars to make sure they are of high quality. Gibson makes use of a device called Plek machine to test these guitars. 

The Plek machine essentially examines the guitars for any abnormalities in the fret or neck with impressive accuracy. All this adds to the consistent production of quality Gibson guitars, hence their expensive price tags. 

Impressive Legacy

The Gibson brand of guitars is one of the most popular brands in guitars. It’s not hard to see why given that Gibson has been around for more than 125 years and has consistently churned out high-quality guitars.

Brand recognition and reputation, especially amongst famous guitar players, have played a huge role in the expensive price tags on their products. Gibson guitars are largely popular amongst famous artists and different genres, especially in rock ‘n’ roll. 


Gibson is a reputable brand in the world of guitars with a rich history and legacy behind it. The company prides itself in the consistent production of high-quality guitars. 

The production process involved in making Gibson guitars is highly labor-intensive, and it occurs mainly in the USA, where labor is relatively expensive, hence, why Gibson guitars are so expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Gibson guitars worth their high price?

Yes, they are worth the expensive price tags. Gibson guitars are made of high quality and expensive materials with the production process mainly handcrafted, which makes each guitar unique. Gibson guitars are also examined for any errors with high-quality machines.

What is the relationship between Gibson and Epiphone?

Epiphone is a brand that produces guitars just like Gibson. However, they are under the Gibson brand because Gibson company acquired them in 1957. most of their operation is in China, in contrast to Gibson, which operates mostly in the USA.