Gibson Dove

The Gibson Dove is a flattop steel-string acoustic guitar made by the Gibson Guitar Corporation since 1962.

Gibson Dove
Gibson Dove 2005.jpg
2005 Gibson Dove
Body typeFlattop
Neck jointMaple
BridgeTune-O-Matic or adjustable or fixed rosewood
Pickup(s)LR Baggs
Colors available
Sunburst, Natural, Ebony


KT Tunstall performing at the 2005 Glastonbury Festival with a Gibson Dove. Tunstall has said of it, "I’ll often be playing bass lines instead of just regular guitar chords, and I would find that with any other guitar I was playing, I couldn't get that force of bass and that real richness of the bass tones that I could get on the Dove."[1]

The Dove was Gibson's second square-shouldered dreadnought, after the introduction of the Hummingbird in 1960. First made in 1962 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it was based on the Martin D-style dreadnought.[2]

Both Gibsons have solid spruce tops and engraved pickguards. The Dove has solid maple back and sides instead of the solid mahogany used for the Hummingbird, and a longer scale length (25.5" vs 24.75"). These make it a louder, brighter guitar than the Hummingbird.[citation needed]

The double parallelogram fingerboard inlays, the two doves on the bridge, and the dove on the pickguard are mother-of-pearl. The original Doves had Gibson's metal tune-o-matic bridge, which seemed like a technological improvement at the time but had negative effects on tone and volume.[citation needed] The Dove has factory installed LR Baggs active electronics powered by a 9-volt battery.[citation needed]

In 1968 the internal bracing of the Dove was made heavier.[3] This sturdier guitar was less likely to be returned to Gibson for warranty work, but its volume was reduced and tone negatively affected.[4]

In 1985 Gibson's new owners began to address the quality issues that were affecting the company's products and reputation.[5] By 1992 production of Gibson acoustic guitars was shifted to Bozeman, Montana.


Models include the Dove Performer (with a Fishman Prefix T Pickup), the Dove Quilt (limited to 20 made with a quilted maple back and sides), the Doves in Flight (with extra ornaments), and the Elvis Presley Dove, based on the 1969 custom Dove that Elvis used in the early 1970s.[6]


  1. ^ "KT Tunstall on Her Custom White Dove".
  2. ^ Hembry, Gil;Gibson Guitars: Ted McCarty's Golden Era 1948-1966; GH Books; Austin, TX; 2007.
  3. ^ "Vintage Guitars Info - Gibson flattop vintage guitar collecting". Retrieved 2007-03-09.
  4. ^ Eldon Whitford, David Vinopal, Dan Erlewine.; Gibson's fabulous flat-top guitars : an illustrated history & guide; GPI Books; San Francisco; c1994. ISBN 0-87930-297-6
  5. ^ Kevin Maney.; Guitar-playing Harvard man turns Gibson around; USA Today; 02/21/2006.
  6. ^ "Elvis' 1969 Ebony Custom Gibson Dove". Retrieved 2007-03-09.

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