GIBSON ALL AMERICAN II

  • Gibson All American II electric guitar

Overview

Brand name: 

Product: 

  • electric guitars

Series name: 

Dates of manufacture: 

1996 to 1998

GIBSON manufactured the ALL AMERICAN II between 1996 and 1998. The design was based on the early Melody Makers, but it had chrome tuners, no scratch plate, rear-mounted controls and a tremolo bridge. It had two high output single coil pickups. The following information about the Gibson All American II was contributed by a guitar-list.com visitor. The Gibson All American II is an unusual model for Gibson, produced in Nashville Tennessee only in the mid 1990s. The body shape is similar to Non-SG shaped Melody Makers or a 1959 Les Paul Junior Special.  What really sets this guitar apart from typical Gibsons is that it has 24 very accessible frets and a "Stratocaster" style tremolo system.

It has two high-output single coil pickups, a three way toggle switch, one volume control and one tone control.  The pickup sound is somewhere between a P-90 and a Telecaster, and loud enough to make a tube amp cranked up sing beautifully.  At lower volumes, the sound is clear and pretty almost like an acoustic.  Other than the truss rod cover, the only other covers are on the back of the body, one for the controls and one for the tremolo.  The output jack is mounted to the edge of the body, much like a Les Paul.  It has the great action and playability which Gibson is so well known for.  I've read reviews which said they were "bland" looking, the tremolo wouldn't keep in tune, yada, yada.

IMHO this is one of the prettiest, best playing and most versatile guitars ever made.  The "Wine-burst" finish is spectacular, and the face looks clean and functional.  If you actually want an ugly guitar, get a Jazzmaster or Jaguar, with ten tons of chrome and a myriad of controls which no one uses.  The knobs and switch are located in a very easy to reach location.  Also, mine stays in tune even after a pretty extreme whammy dunk using 0.009s.  Back in 1973 I literally had dreams (really!) about this guitar, (Gibson, red sunburst with Strat whammy) but I never saw anything like it anywhere.  So when I happened across one in 1997, I had to own it, especially at the price...  ~$250 new, no case.  I'm seeing them from $350 (trashed?) to well over $1000 now.  A great investment you'll never want to part with.

Specifications (24)

General

Weight
3.27 kg
Number of strings6 strings
Scale length24.75 inches scale-length

Body

Body depth1.75 inches body depth
Body materialmahogany body
Body shape featuresdouble cutaway

Hardware

Bridgetremolo bridge
Hardware colorchrome hardware
Tunersenclosed tuners

Fretboard

Fingerboard inlay materialmother of pearl fingerboard inlay material
Fingerboard materialrosewood fingerboard
Fingerboard position markersdot fingerboard position markers
Inlay at 12th fretdouble dot inlay at 12th fret

Neck

Headstock inlays or logosscreened logo/graphic on headstock
Neck heelcontoured heel
Neck jointset neck
Neck materialmahogany/rosewood neck
Neck profileD round neck profile
Neck width1.69 inches wide at nut
Number of frets24 fret
Nutivory nut
Peghead (headstock)black face headstock
Truss rodadjustable truss rod
Tuner layoutthree-each-side

Prices (5)

DatePriceConditionNameComments
2013$500good
1996$800goodkarl
2014$395good
2017€470excellentBonjour, Quel type de Hard Case pour celle-ci? Case Lespaul ne convient pas. Bye
2017$500good

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2 Comments

Gibson All American II

As an owner of a black 1996 Gibson All American II, I thought I would add my 2 cents worth. The previous owner of the guitar said he wrote to Gibson inquiring about it, and in their response they said it is an All American II Series GII. I think the GII part of the name is significant because the All American II Series included 1996 and 1997 models of The Paul II, the SG-I, The Hawk, and the GII. These guitars all have the American flag decal on the back of the headstock with the words "Proudly Made In the USA" above the flag, and "Handcrafted In Nashville, Tenn" below the flag. I speculate that there may have been an All American Series (I) prior to 1996, because I have seen a 1994 model - forget if it was The Hawk or The Paul II - with a flag decal which was the flag only - no wording. Also, after 1997 The Paul II became The Paul II SL (Studio Lite?), and the SG-I became the SG-X. Same guitars, just different names. As for the body shape, it is similar to a double cutaway Melody Maker, but not EXACTLY. The body is thicker than a Melody Maker - more like that of a Les Paul Junior or Special. The GII's cutaways are symmetric, unlike the Junior and Special's asymmetric double cutaways.The body shape is quite like the XPL, but without the arched top. An appropriate name for the GII would be XPL Junior. The neck of the GII is fat with respect to depth, but narrow with a slight inward taper to the fretboard, giving it a C shape.

Gibson All American II

I had a wine colored one, not sure of the year, but I acquired it via eBay in February 2001. Unfortunately the neck cracked in shipping--the classic Gibson neck crack near the headstock. After settling on an insurance claim with the post office I decided to have it repaired, and even with the damaged neck it was one of the best playing guitars I ever had, and sounded great both clean and distorted. The pickups look like Fender style single coils but the high output, particularly if you set the toggle in the middle position, was a virtual humbucker. A very versatile guitar with a great feel. After about 10 years I decided to sell it, but despite painstakingly careful packaging the neck broke again. Had I known, I would have kept it. Not having it in the collection is now one of my biggest regrets