Gibson American Eagle LG-2

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

Gibson American Eagle LG-2



The top is made of Sitka Spruce, with Mahogany back and sides. There’s multi-ply top binding, single-ply back binding and a simple, traditional soundhole rosette. The headstock is the traditional AJ shape pitched back at a 17-degree angle, with a gold Gibson decal and simple bell-shaped truss rod cover. The fingerboard is made of Rosewood with 19 frets (although the body meets the neck at the 15th fret so the highest ones aren’t particularly accessible), and the tuners are white-button vintage- style models with a 15:1 turn ratio. The neck meets the body with a compound dovetail joint and traditional hide glue. The bridge is ‘belly up’ (ie: backwards to how most bridges are shaped today) with a TUSQ saddle. There’s also an L.R. Baggs Element under-saddle transducer, and the endpin doubles as the output jack. If you look closely you’ll see a tiny volume control hidden just inside the sound hole. It’s not a terribly flexible system, so you might want to use a preamp to get the most out of your amplified sound, but it’s still very handy to have. Either way, a more complicated system would detract from the simple beauty of this guitar.


Oh one last thing before we get into the sound: like all brand-new Gibson’s, acoustic and electric, this thing smells amazing. Gibson uses a scented lacquer, which protects your nostrils from the less-than- appetising aroma of freshly cured nitrocellulose, and it smells so good I wish they’d sell it as cologne. Okay maybe not… okay yeah.



Surprisingly, this is a very confident-sounding guitar with remarkably full low end for such a little instrument. The harder you strum, the deeper the lows seem to get, but the same is true of the clarity and focus of the high end as well. This makes the American Eagle great for folk, blues and finger styles, where you want to draw the audience in and tell them a story through your use of playing dynamics. You can also strum away on this guitar quite happily indeed and it’ll sound great, but it really does seem to demand that you play more complex fingerpicking patterns rather than just bash away with a pick. The only mark in the ‘against’ column is the cut of the nut: it’s a little sharp and will jab into your fingers when playing certain chord shapes. Most stores will give this a going-over for you before they let you out of the store though, so it’s not a huge deal.



This is a beautiful little guitar that sounds great when you’re really showing off your fingerpicking skills. It just screams – okay, yodels – Americana. It smells better than a newborn baby in a new car on the first day of spring.