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Gibson Acoustic J-35 - Natural Reviews

5.0 stars based on 15 customer reviews

Sweetwater Advice

  • Charlie Davis

    The Gibson J-35 is far more than just a J-45 for those on a budget. It's a very different voiced guitar that will be a great option for many players. Aside from being a cannon when it comes to volume, it has a very overall balanced tone, with a nice cutting top that makes it great for both the studio and the stage.

  • from United States March 22, 2015Music Background:
    weekender gigger

    great guitar

    I have owned several martins including a D45 and owned a gibson hummingbird and numerous taks, and several taylors. excepting the D45 this is by far the best playing guitar I have owned. I am primarily a finger picker but will use a pick to strum chords. This instrument is outstanding.

  • from Greenfield ma July 16, 2014Music Background:
    Longtime hack


    As advertised---This is my second j35.I am very satisfied with this purchase. I had to come full circle back to this model.The first one I didn't keep--this one I will.The tone is warm and open---you can feel it in your chest.Get one!!!

  • from Sumter, SC June 8, 2014Music Background:
    Musician, Home Recording

    If You're Even Comtemplating, Just Get One!

    Where do I start? I guess I should say that I consider myself a “Martin Man.” For all intents and purposes, this is the first Gibson I’ve ever really owned. My primary acoustic is a Custom Shop D-18.

    I bought the J-35 on a whim. I love the "old school" look and feel of it. Banner Logo, Antique Natural finish, pearl button tuners and that Fire-Stripe pick guard may have actually been the deciding factor since I bought it online and had never even tried one before.

    Pick it, strum it, finger-pick it, it does it all. It is a great rhythm/vocal accompaniment guitar, but so much more. It’s even good for old blues, which I love. The nitro finish is flawless as is the wood grain. The neck is a little thicker than the one on my Martin, and it has a lacquer finish on it, but even with small hands and short fingers I have no problems with playing/ hand fatigue. In fact, after 4 months of ownership, this is my go-to guitar. I prefer this style neck and fret board now and let me tell you, she plays like butter! It comes from factory with 10's, but I stuck 11's on it and it has a lot more volume and thump now.

    I always wondered why Gibson’s were so bloody expensive, but if this represents their acoustic abilities, then I understand a bit more now. The nitro/hide glue/mahogany combination makes for one nice smell! Guitar weighs in at about 4 lbs, 2 ounces, so she’s very lightweight. Case is very nice with the Gibson blue lining. I was wanting a completely acoustic version of this, but I've tried the electronics on it a few times and I can't complain at all. You can't even tell it has electronics hardly except for the endpin jack. Tone wood prices are going up this summer and you can already see that with some popular manufacturers. If something happened to this, I would replace it as many times as I needed to.

    Bottom line: if you are even thinking about it, go for it.

  • from Springfield, Mo. October 31, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist, worship leader fill-in/helper.

    The Gibson J-35

    This guitar is stunning. Came nicely packed in the usual Gibson box, was really excited to open it. The smell of nitrocellulose and hide glue is amazing when you open the case. The finish on mine is very close to flawless, and a grain pattern like I have never seen before. The intonation is perfect out of the box, the action, the tuning, the case and everything else is perfect. This J-35 really surprises you when you actually get your hands on it. It's just an overall very well built and nice guitar. Balanced tone, sounds like a well broke in guitar right out of the box new so I can only imagine what it will sound like in years to come. I have recommended this to 3 of my friends so far. Love the price tag on it also! And the customer service is amazing. What a treat. What a guitar. Love it. Now just to have Gibson do a Sunburst finish option. Or Amberburst? :)

  • from Errol, N.H. October 20, 2013Music Background:
    a hum-strummer

    great in the studio

    I bought this from Sweetwater a month ago. Jake, the salesman is an acoustic player and at the time they had four J35's in stock. He played them and sent me the one he preferred. This was the first acoustic I have ever bought sight-unseen, and I was blown away by the tone and face it, gibbys are a joy to play when set up right. The neck is just like the one on my J200. I went into the studio the night I got it and spent the whole night working on demos for writers. The only gripe I had was a small scratch on the bridge. I can live with a scratch, but I can't live without that tone. Between gigging and back and forth in the studio, she will accumulate her share of battle scars. Great guitars are meant to be played not guarded in a case, and both my gibsons are workhorses along with my Martin. This guitar will be with me until I die. I really do wish though that gibson would make this model without electronics. The sound is so even and mics so well with an sm81 live.

  • from Amherst, MA September 26, 2013Music Background:

    Mighty Fine Acoustic

    It's like butter on corn on the cob, with a little salt. That's how good it is. Outstanding craftsmanship, playability and, tone it's an all around performer. What amazed me was the j-35's playability, smooth and easy, highly recommended to anyone seeking a quality made guitar.
    As always the staff at Sweetwater took great care of me, thanks everyone.

  • from Austin, TX September 17, 2013Music Background:
    Working musician

    Gibson Nails It With the J-35

    Honestly, this is the surprise find of the year. With nearly perfect out-of-the-box setup and a flawless finish, the J-35 exceeds all expectations. This is a LOUD guitar, with none of the typical wait-a-year-until-it-opens-up delayed gratification. Responsive and articulate, it has a throaty bass response and a sharp, clear high end. The AJ bracing really lets the top sing, and the deep mahogany body lets you feel the low end notes rumble against your chest. I'd been disappointed with some dead-sounding Gibsons in the past, but I took a chance on this one and was absolutely stunned. And my Sweetwater sales engineer, Aric, made my purchase smooth and effortless -- two days after ordering, my new guitar was in Texas, where it will live forever. Bottom line: with its punchy tone, understated good looks, and impeccable craftsmanship, the Gibson J-35 is destined to be a true classic. A bargain at twice the price!

  • from Indiana August 25, 2013Music Background:

    Great Acoustic

    Beautiful finish, amazing sound and the action and response is great. I've been wanting a Gibson acoustic for some time. I finally took the dive and I'm glad that I did.

  • from Philadelphia, PA area August 6, 2013Music Background:
    Playing for over 45 years.

    One Really Fine Guitar!

    Received my J-35 about a week ago, I have been playing it every day and grow to like it better with each passing day.

    The Gibson workmanship is flawless. I have inspected every inch and cannot find one single flaw. The fit and finish is superior. The honey color of the mahogany is beautiful and the headstock script and banner really makes this guitar unique looking.

    I played a few Taylors, Martins and other Gibson acoustics over the last few months while deciding which acoustic I would purchase. Once I played the J-35 there was no question. Not because of the pricing, but all to do with amazing feel and sound. The short-scale neck really allows effortless playing and the neck carve just feels right. The action is pleasingly low and not much force required at all

    All-in-all, this guitar, especially for the price, is a hands-down winner. No contest even with the J-45 at hundreds of dollars more. I was pleasantly surprised at how Gibson produced this guitar for a very reasonable price considering being hand-made in America. Gibson produced a flawless gem that sounds remarkable at any price!

    Another winner: Sweetwater is the absolute best and Mike A. always makes sure that all goes well with every single one of my orders. Seven USA Fender and Gibson guitars purchased from Sweetwater since 2011. That is the reason why I would NEVER purchase my new guitars/amps/pedals from any where else!

  • from Knoxville, TN July 19, 2013

    My First Gibson

    I first played this guitar at a large chain store in Nashville, TN and loved it. I own a Martin and a Seagull Performer both are great guitars but I was trying to find one that I loved, and my New Gibson J-35 was it, and I new that Sweetwater would treat me better than any chain store because of my past experience with them, and they did. I play In a Southern Bluegrass Gospel Group so one other band and myself both bought a J-35 Gibson and Sweetwater had two with consecutive numbers so one ends in 23 and the other in 24. The guitar Plays and sounds great and the set up is just the way I like it.

  • from July 9, 2013

    Gibson J-35

    I bought this J-35 in June of 2013 and have now had it for a month. As a point of reference, I've been playing acoustic guitars for going on forty years and during that time, I've owned a number of guitars - including Martin, Collings, Huss and Dalton, Gibson, etc. I've owned a number of Gibson (Bozeman) J-45's and a J-45TV. This J-35 is the best sounding one of the Gibson group. It has the AJ top bracing and it has much more volume than a standard 45. The bottom end is very strong as are the trebles. The full neck is very comfortable to play and the fit and finish is excellent. It is light as a feather at four pounds even and that contributes to the tone and volume. Great neck angle and the dovetail neck joint is attached with Hide Glue. The 35 comes with an undersaddle pickup but I"ve not used it yet.. I replaced the factory saddle and bridge pins with bone and that has helped to refine the tone. Very crisp but still has the low end Gibson thud. It's hard to believe Gibson is selling J-35's at this price point - what a tremendous value. They really hit a home run with this model and it's a definite keeper. Some people feel Gibson's are inconsistent but I've not had that experience. I bought this one sight unseen from Sweetwater and it's a killer right out of the box. Get out there and try one. NFI

  • from June 29, 2013

    J35 FUN!

    I have had my J35 now for well over a month I guess- my first Gibson and I couldn't be happier! this is one fine guitar- great tone and feel + a super clean fit & finish... there is something really special about the J35 that just makes it loads of fun to play- and Sweetwater has been great to do business with also! good stuff!

  • from Sebastian, Fl May 8, 2013Music Background:
    60 years; took three years of guitar music teacher.

    Gibson J35

    I was very surprised with the sound, it's as equal with my Martin D18.
    Neck is easy to place your fingers, you don't have to push very hard,
    and this will be one of the best guitars I have.
    Great job Gibson.

  • from Jacksonville FL May 2, 2013Music Background:

    Gibson J35

    I Just Purchase This Guitar a week ago, My Awesome Saleman Mark Magdich,Engineer Guitar Player , Set me up with the Gibson J35, O.K Why Do I Love This J35 So much. Very Well Made, The Sound is Amazing Look That are killer Diller . I Opened the Box And the saw the Guitar Yes I was Blown Away. The guitar Set up Is Like Butter Smooth Yea Baby, Also Clean I Love the way the Sounds , I Am main chord Player Super Nice for Me. Real Nice Highs When you go up the Neck And Really nice Lows playing down the neck. About the neck Smooth and very easy to hold All in All Great Purchase .

  • from Mills River, n November 19, 2013

    Great guitar

    This guitar is beautifully made and a joy to play. The sound is awesome

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