Gibson Maestro Acoustic Guitar Review: Acoustics Under $300 Reviews

Published Categorized as Dreadnought Reviews, Gibson Acoustic Guitars, Guitar Reviews, Guitar Reviews under 300, Laminate Back and Sides Wood, Laminate Top Wood, Nato Patterned Laminate Back and Sides, Small Size Guitar Reviews

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Hello and welcome to my Gibson Maestro acoustic guitar review.

I bought this acoustic guitar around 10 months ago as a do up guitar. I haven’t done much to do it up so far but have still played it a lot.

In this review I’ll take a look at the following about the Maesto:

  • The sound quality
  • The playability
  • The materials the Maestro is made from
  • Who the Maestro is best suited to
  • The Maestro’s value-for-money

I’ll also show video of the guitar being played so that you can get an idea of the sound for yourself and also some user reviews so that you can get some other people’s opinions.

Okay, let’s get started!

Table of Contents


The Sound


acoustic guitar's tonality

The Maestro comes in both a full-size dreadnought size and a parlor size. The one I am reviewing is the dreadnought.

When I first played this acoustic guitar I wondered what I had bought! I knew it was cheap but somehow I was expecting more from it.

After doing one simple thing the entire guitar was transformed and the sound became reasonable.

And that simple thing was changing the strings. The strings that came with this guitar are complete garbage in my opinion. Simply changing to some decent strings (I changed to the Elixir Nanoweb Phosphor Bronze) made a world of difference to this acoustic guitar.

This is a 120 USD guitar so it still doesn’t sound like a million dollars but once you change the strings (if you buy this acoustic guitar do it straight away for the sake of your ears and the ears of anyone else who might hear you playing!) it’s definitely playable and listenable.

Warm or Bright?

I would definitely call this a warm sounding guitar. To my ears it’s not muddy but I prefer a warmer sound in general. Those who prefer a brighter sound might find this acoustic guitar muddy sounding.

it’s likely that the sound would brighten up considerably if you were to replace the plastic saddle and nut with bone or something like Tusq. I have already purchased a new nut and saddle but haven’t gotten around to putting them on yet!

The Materials

  • Top: Laminated Spruce
  • Back & Sides: Laminated Nato
  • Bridge: Rosewood
  • Nut & Saddle: Plastic

Not surprising to see laminated woods for the top, back and sides and a plastic nut and saddle given the low price of this instrument.

Videos

The sound quality of this video isn’t great but will give you some idea of the sound of this Gibson guitar.

The next video is for the parlour sized version.


Playability


All right, now onto the playability of this Gibson guitar.

Surprisingly this guitar is actually not too bad to play, straight out of the box. I was expecting an unbearably high action as you often get when you buy cheap guitars.

But I was pleasantly surprised with how easy this guitar was to play.

Action

As mentioned above the action isn’t too bad out of the box. it’s still higher than I would consider ideal – especially towards the higher frets – but it’s definitely playable if you don’t want to have to adjust it (or have someone else adjust it for you).

Nut Width

The width of the neck at the nut is 43mm (1.69″). This is a nice width in my opinion and works well for beginners and more seasoned guitarists plus it’s a good middle ground for any sized hands.

Fretboard (Fingerboard)

The fretboard is rosewood so no complaints there.

Scale Length

The Maestro dreadnought has a full size 25″ scale length. This is what I am used to so this was fine. Those with smaller hands or for kids they might like instead to go for the Parlor version which has a 23″ scale length.


Who this Guitar is Most Suited to


This isn’t going to be the guitar you buy for performing or for recording. it’s got a good sound for the price you pay for it. But you aren’t going to get a performing or recording quality sound out of it.

This guitar would be best for anyone who is looking to find a playable listenable instrument to play around on around the house or around the campfire.

It would also be suitable for beginners – though I think there would be better options. As a beginner the sound is fine and it’s easy enough to play which is good but if you continue with “playing the guitar” you would probably want to upgrade reasonably soon to something of better quality.

For kids I would the recommend getting the Parlour version. The smaller scale length and overall smaller size of the Parlour version would be easier for kids to play. The dreadnought would be a bit awkward for kids.

Finally this guitar is great for anyone looking for an instrument as a do up or a way to get a nice cheap guitar. Replace the bridge, saddle, bridge pins and nut and you could have a decent sounding guitar for a very low price.


Value for Money


Definitely value-for-money.

This guitar is only around $120 – that’s nothing for a guitar. And if you at least change the strings then you get a decent sound out of it and it becomes actually pretty nice to play.

For something that costs this much, you get a guitar you can actually play! And I’ve been playing it for 10 months. I wouldn’t record with it and I wouldn’t perform with it but it’s perfectly fine for sitting around at home and playing and practicing.

Thanks for Reading

Disclosure: Links may be affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.

I hope this review has helped you to learn more about this guitar.

If you are interested in this guitar check out the links below.

Gibson Maestro Acoustic Guitar FAQs

Is the Gibson Maestro Acoustic Guitar a good guitar?

It’s a good value for money entry level guitar. I wouldn’t record with it and I wouldn’t perform with it but it’s perfectly fine for sitting around at home and playing and practicing. This guitar is great for anyone looking for an instrument as a do up or a way to get a nice cheap guitar.

What size is a Gibson Maestro guitar?

The Gibson Maestro series includes guitars in various sizes and styles, so there isn’t a single standard size for all Maestro models. However, the most common size for electric guitars in the Maestro line is the full-size or standard scale length, which is typically around 24.75 inches (62.87 cm).

By Nate Pallesen

Nate is just your average (above average) guitar player. He's no Joe Satriani, Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page - wait this site is about acoustic guitars (sorry) He's no Django Reinhardt, Chet Atkins, or Michael Hedges, wait? who!? He's no Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton or Ben Harper - more familiar? Anyway you get the point :-)

9 comments

    1. Hi D

      Thanks for your input. I’m not that familiar with 335s (electric guitars right?) or their archtops in general so it’s good to know. And do you think that they sound fine with the laminated tops? Or do you think they would be better with something solid wood?

    1. Hi Alex

      I think it comes with medium gauge but I put on some Elixir Nanoweb light-mediums (12-56) and also tried out some flat tops (D’Addario EFT16) on it – which were a light gauge (12-53).

  1. Hello everyone just wanted to share with you guys what I put into my Gibson Maestro and it sounded very clean and just as good as any other new guitar you could buy off the shelf for one I change the strings to Elixir Nano webs and I put a bone nut and saddle on the bridge and on the neck the bone and nut saddle really brought out the sound of this guitar if you ever want to make a change of bringing out a better sound and then plus lowering the action to where it’s more easier to play where the strings don’t stand so high off the fretboard the next thing I’m going to try putting on this is probably Martin strings and dropping a epiphone preamp in it just to hear it from an amp

    1. Hi Darwin

      Thanks for your input. Much appreciated. Yeah definitely a great way to improve the sounds, replacing the nut and saddle – and the strings of course.

  2. This is an excellent buy for the quality. Being a cheap guitar it came with it’s quirks. I bought some Diarrdio phos/bronze
    strings light., bone nut and saddle. Also went with brass pins for the string holes. It transformed this guitar to a much louder, and bright high, and midrange. The bass response was much improved too. I adjusted neck bar and had to sand down the bone saddle to fit proper height for string action. I was able to do my own setup work. The internet has tons of info.

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