I've heard that lately the Gibson quality has REALLY dropped from what it was. One thing about the Martin's is that they are pretty consistent year to year - and as the guitar ages it opens up well. My ex brother-in-law has an older style Gibson 12 string acoustic/electric that sounds beautiful and is a really good looking guitar. But it's from the 50-60's era. He's played with some of the newer ones and they don't sound anywhere near the same according to him.