It's been a long standing debate: which is better, Fender or Gibson? I remember early on in my guitar wood shedding, that argument would come up every once in awhile between my musician friends. For myself at the time it was Fender, and I was even more specific -- a Fender Strat! I'd adamantly stomp and cry about it! My early big guitar influence was Jimi Hendrix and I loved the sounds I heard coming out of the Fender Stratocaster he is famous for playing. But the truth is neither Fender or Gibson is "better", in the end, it's all in what you personally prefer to meet your personal taste and style. These of course will most likely change and vary over time. Here are three advantages on the Gibson side: 1. Volume Knobs. Gibson has two volume knobs on it's SG's and Les Pauls. Fender Guitars generally have only one. If that added diversity in this one aspect is important to your needs, then lean towards Gibson. 2. Humbucker pickup's. Fender tends to use single coil pick-ups which in part, give it its distinctive "bell like" tone that you just won't get from a Gibson guitar. But the problem with single coil is that they notoriously produce humming and buzzing sounds, and may even pick up radio frequencies! Gibson's double coil pick-ups are relatively quiet in comparison. Fender has remedied the problem with introducing their "Fender Lace" pick up line, which reduced this problem while not sacrificing, somewhat, that famous "bell" tone. As far as quiet noiseless pickups, Gibson would have to be the winner. 3. Clear and sustained "singing" notes (that “thick classic rock tone”) Particularly with gain or distortion added to the guitar signal, Gibson comes out on top. This is due to the type of wood many Gibson guitars are made of, and also to those Humbucker pickups. The chords in particular using heavy distortion is much more clear and less muddled on a Les Paul than on a Fender Strat. My suggestion is to try various Gibson and Fender guitars to see what suits you personally. Try different setting (toggle switch, tone knobs, and buttons), with distortion and without. Whether you pick a Gibson or a Fender, The guitar you choose should meet your own personal needs over all. Like many guitar players over much time spent learning their art, one comes to appreciate both Gibson and Fender for their own respective qualities and attributes. You'll probably want to own both at some point.
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