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Gibson Super Fusion J-190 EC Guitar

Gibson calls it the Super Fusion, a name that conjures images of John McLaughlin and Pete Cosey, but the J-190 EC’s fusion isn’t that of jazz and rock, but jazz and folk. An interesting pickup combination makes this flattop unlike any other acoustic-electric I’ve encountered. Its electrified sound doesn’t always include the harsh bite I’ve come to expect from acoustics with phono jacks.

Borrowing from the design of its classic J-160E, Gibson placed a single-coil pickup at the end of the neck. There’s also a transducer pickup under the saddle in the ebony bridge. Blending the sounds from both pickups using the two volume knobs and rolling off a bit with the tone knob can result in a convincing, if not all-the-way mellow, archtoplike tone. A mix of about 80% single coil and 20% transducer does the trick; the single coil keeps it plenty warm and the transducer delivers a cutting brightness. Once you have the mix right you’ll want the control of a master volume knob; unfortunately, Gibson didn’t include one.

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