The word “Montana” evokes all sorts of Western images: wide open plains, snow-crested buttes, towering mountain ranges, and Yellowstone National Park. But, in the guitar world, we know Montana as one of the chief exporters of mojo because it is home to the Gibson acoustic factory. Nestled in Bozeman, the Gibson Montana plant is where skilled craftspeople continue to build on the storied legacy of acoustic excellence that began when Orville Gibson built the first Gibson mandolin in 1896.
Though their facility is certainly a bit more spacious than Orville’s original one-room woodshop on 114 South Burdick Street in Kalamazoo, their methods haven’t really changed. They build each and every guitar out of premium tonewoods that meet their stringent standards for quality, and almost every step of the build process involves old-world manufacturing techniques that require equal parts passion and elbow grease from each of the hundred or so craftspeople working the line.