Gibson and Martin
One thing you can’t say about the Gibson’s is that they are boring. As I understand their history, it is a little chaotic as they have gone through many iterations of themselves over the years, and several different owners. Unlike CF Martin that has been a family owned and operated business for over one hundred years, Gibson which was founded by Orville Gibson in 1902 has had great years, and bad years, and been owned by several different companies since 1902.
Gibson invented the Archtop Guitar, they have built some of the most iconic recognizable instruments over the years. They built mandolins, banjos, electric guitars, electronics, etc. As I look at their early history, it seems to me that Orville Gibson built some very traditional instruments, but he also built some very different and unusual instruments indicating that he was always pushing the envelope. Seems like that tradition is in the company’s DNA.
Martin on the other hand seems much more traditional. They have made mandolins and they have ventured into a few different areas, but not too far from their roots. They like to remake the same guitar in different trim levels and in so doing, they stay pretty close to home. I guess if it is not broke, why fix it. For me, I like the classics so I only build my interpretations of some of the most iconic acoustic guitars in history.