Gibson Rants

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Macmutt, Jul 19, 2017.

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  1. Macmutt

    Macmutt New Member

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    Hey Guy's You listen to this story, because I think I was more than fair and patient with Gibson and their Les Paul's.

    First and foremost I was born in 69 so I grew up in the 70's and 80's, knowing all the while once I became interested in playing music & guitars that the brands to get were either Gibson, Fender or Rickenbacker, because as some of you may know PRS didn't really get going with mass production until about 85.

    However my older brother got me into Gibson, I just loved how they looked and sounded and I always said I'll buy my own Les Paul some day, well I am now 48 years old and I have owned various guitars over the years, but none of them with the exact specs I wanted, so I waited, then in 2017 Gibson put out their new traditional model, and I looked over the specs, and it had exactly what I wanted.

    From the SOLID non weight relieved body, to the rosewood fingerboard, kluson tuners, burstbucker 1 & 2 pickups, neck profile & binding, body color....everything was finally exactly how I wanted it.
    So of course I go to my local music store and order one, well I eagerly awaited it's arrival and once it arrived I looked it over.

    Now something you should know about me, when I am buying something, anything that costs thousands of dollars, and it's brand new, it had better be perfect, because I don't have that kind of money to spend very often as I'm sure is the same for most of you. Plus I don't leave the guitar out of the hardshell case at any time other than when I'm playing it, and even after I play it I wipe it down and handle it with ultra care to say the least.

    So now that you know that about me, I unbox the guitar and I open the case and I carefully look over the guitar and on top of the flame maple was a dark spot in the wood that was about the size of a dime in diameter, and then around the lower bout or cutaway where the binding goes around and separates the top finish from the back finish, it was almost as if someone came up behind the person that was applying the binding and bumped their arm, because there was like a semi circle reveal that clearly showed the paint seam, where on the rest of the guitar the seam was covered.

    This to me looked like a major flaw so I brought it back to the store and even another customer that was leaning over checking out the guitar while I was pointing out these defects to the sales guy commented " that she was surprised that they let it leave the factory like this"....the sales guy repeated that also when he saw it.

    Needless to say I returned it and ordered another one, it arrived, and had the exact same flaw with the binding, so again the guitar went back, I tried for a third time to order the guitar and now weeks were going by that I'm trying to get this done without this flaw, but the third one arrived with the same defect or so it was what I was calling it because that's what it looked like.

    Finally the sales guy called Gibson to ask about this specific defect with the binding on this model, and Gibson tells him " it's not a defect, it's the traditional model and that's how they were made back in the late 50's, early 60's " So then I told the guy, " that I didn't give a rats ass if that's how they were made back then because aesthetically it looks like a defect, it looks horrible ".

    So I returned the guitar, and went home and did some research, and it just so happens that PRS put out a guitar over a year ago called a PRS McCarty 594 and it was GORGEOUS, thicker body than any other PRS in existence, equal thickness to the Les Paul, with mahogany bound neck and body with flame maple top, two tone and two volume knobs, tone knobs are pull out coil tap, 3 way switch, rosewood fretboard, MOTHER OF PEARL INLAYS, NOT ACRYLIC, BONE NUT NOT TEKTOID, METAL jack plate NOT PLASTIC, this beast was superior to the Les Paul in everyway, even the 58/15 LT pickups were of equal sound and quality to the fat creamy PAF's of the 59 Les Paul.

    However with the flawless 10 top which is what I wanted, it was a $xxxx guitar, but guess what, I've heard enough about PRS to know for a fact that the guitar was going to arrive flawless and it did, it's PERFECT, the aesthetics, the feel, the sound, and the craftsmanship is unmatched by anything I've ever seen or owned.

    I've even educated myself on PRS and watched countless factory tour video's, read articles and listened to Paul Reed Smith give lectures on guitar building and the whole process of it, and he's doing things Gibson has never even thought of...For example, Gibson mass produces hundreds of guitar necks a day to be fitted to their guitars.
    It takes PRS 30 days to complete one neck, and most of you might think that's stupid or retarded or not productive enough for such a huge company, however the reason why they do this, is because when wood is shaved down, be it by hand or machine, the wood moves, so it has to be slowly removed, sanded leveled over and over to ensure it is always straight and always in tune...Do I know it works? Your damn right I do.

    The PRS McCarty 594 is thee only guitar I've ever received and received it on a hot 90 degree day with 80% humidity off of a UPS truck with no AC and I took it out of the case, plugged it into my digital tuner, and it was in PERFECT TUNE, I did not have to touch one tuning key.....That has NEVER happened with any Gibson, Fender or Rickenbacker that I have bought over the years...NEVER.

    Well that's my story, and for those of you who may work for Gibson that might read this, you are not the company you used to be in the 70's and 80's, nor do you put out the flawless craftsmanship you were once so famous for, and it's a shame, but im sure you could care less about one man's loss of business, but you have lost it for the remainder of my life, from now on I am a PRS fan only.....I was more than fair with your product but your quality control is lacking, even if that was how the binding was supposed to look it looked like a cosmetic defect, and aside from that the top maple had flaws and blemishes that you would have never let leave the factory 30 years ago.
    Farewell Gibson.
     
    #1 Macmutt, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2017
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  2. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I'm not out to hate Gibson, in fact I wish they would do a better job because they're righteous guitars in concept and history. But some of this stuff is pretty bad. Google "Gibson nibs" and look at the first image that comes up - this was a technique they were using for a while where they would put on a tall piece of binding that butted up to the fret ends, then trim it down along the fretboard but leaving it raised to act as the end of the fret (look at the pic, it makes more sense). From my understanding they were trimming it by hand with razor blades or something, and I saw plenty of them that looked messy and just plain awful, especially for an expensive guitar. Only ever saw one that looked good, a Bill Kelliher sig Explorer. But the rest always looked like they were done by a drunk toddler. And I can't imagine they would hold up well to future fret work.
     
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  3. tonyvenn

    tonyvenn New Member

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    Hey Mac....

    Great read! I'm the same age, and the same experience as you.

    I've always loved Les Paul's but frankly...it's a frustrating love...trying to find a "good one"...trying to find a flametop that is even...trying to find a fretboard that isn't dried out, etc...

    I *respect* Gibson's place in music and guitar history, but like Fender....they are resting on their laurels.

    Once I bought my first PRS, I never looked back. Any model that Gibson produces, PRS makes an equivalent...but better.

    In short, PRS is Fender and Gibson done right!

    I'm waiting on delivery of my 14th PRS guitar. They really are like potato chips...you can't have just one. PRS' attention to detail and moreso...attention to INNOVATION and REFINEMENT is what keeps me coming back.

    Enjoy your new 594....and be sure to post when you get your second PRS ;)


    Cheers!

    Tony
     
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  4. WeFixFlats

    WeFixFlats Respect The Clave

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    It all starts at the top with Gibson--->Henry Juszkiewicz, Father of the Firebird X.
     
  5. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Back in 1985, PRS raised the bar for all other guitar manufacturers.

    PRSes are stable, well made, play great, sound great, and look the business. What's not to like?
     
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  6. Geo408

    Geo408 New Member

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    Good post! I also wrote Gibson a "good bye note" just about seven years ago. I searched high and low for an LP, that would even come close to my 2009 Ted McCarty 245, and for all the reasons you listed, I gave up. Tried to buy one particular one that was nice, but the nut was ill-cut, and it would not intonate, and would not hold tune. The tuners were all loose and sloppy, and after 3 days I returned it. That was my last Gibson...its a shame that their QC is so horrible, and doubly so for an icon of the industry. In the past seven years, it's actually gotten worse, if you can believe it. I've been a PRS guy since 1990, and that's what I play out with, and what I record with. I figure why buy a guitar that you have to "upgrade" in order to use...does that make any sense? I do have a few other vintage and custom built F styles, and a few older acoustics, but sadly, none of them are Gibson's..they just don't measure up.....oh wait, here's the best: They actually replied to my email with the following: "Thank you for choosing Gibson". And "Only a Gibson is good enough".....shows you how much they pay attention to their corrospodance. Lol!
     
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  7. Atomic

    Atomic Who Dat

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    I also used to be a big time gibson guy. I played les pauls almost exclusively but they were always Epiphones because that's what I could afford. I would stare longingly at the Gibsons but they were way out of my price range. I didnt know anything about PRS at the time so I passed them by. When I finally had a decent job, I was single and had no kids, so I had some disposable income. I was gonna go out and get that elusive les paul. I bought my first LP standard and.......... it was dull. Beautiful... but dull. I wanted to like it, but it didnt play as well as my Epi, though it did sound better. I ended up finding a LP vintage mahogany that played better and sounded better for 1/3 of the price. it still wasn't anywhere near the quality of my PRS guitars. I ended up trading off the LP standard and keeping the VM. I tried my hand at refinishing the VM and im proud of the outcome. its still piss-poor quality considering the headstock says gibson. the frets needed work not to mention they were redonkulously skinny. the inlays on the fretboard are obvious plastic and dont even attempt at looking like MOP. they are litterally clear-ish white sparkle plastic with tons of filler. sad. but it plays good and actually sounds bad ass. I will never invest in another gibson though.
     
  8. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    I was fortunate enough to grow up in a place and time when Gibson's were relatively cheap and unpopular (80's-early 90's). I owned a bunch of LP's and SG's and the most I ever paid for one was $900, I even found a receipt in my mom's house for my last LPC that I bought used from GC for $685... IMO that's all most of them are worth, at least to me.

    They're not bad guitars but, I don't miss them one bit.
     
  9. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    Ummm, you forgot to share pictures of your 594.

    Glad to see you back in the fold.
     
  10. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    I grew up playing acoustic and was too poor to buy a new electric. I after many years got a cheap Squier Strat and tried to play it. I always wanted a Les Paul. Well the planets aligned when I was about 45 and I had enough disposable income to buy my first "good guitar". I went in looking for that Les Paul I had always wanted. Everything I tried wouldn't stay in tune, or had some quality issue. All the time there was this beautiful green thing with birds hanging above the cash register. I had no idea what it was but I asked to play it. Tuning problems were gone, quality was great, tone was lovely, price was a lot higher. Then I saw the price of the top of the line Gibson and it didn't seem so bad after that. I bought my first PRS (the green one in my avatar) and I will never regret it.

    I did end up getting my Les Paul years later, but it has "The Heritage" on the headstock.
     
  11. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG New Member

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    I was born in 72, so I'm a little younger. I listened to all kinds of music growing up & loved every bit of it. However I was almost 20 when I started playing guitar & though Gibson Les Pauls were at the top of my Holy Grail list, I had no idea how they were made in the 50s... to this day I've never had a 50s Les Paul bless my mitts.

    I do, however, own three Les Pauls, one Chinese knockoff & hope to one day buy a '58/59 true historic.

    When I plug said Les Pauls into my 70s amplifiers (JMP, Silverface, Mark) they deliver the goods, every time. & to me, that's what it's all about.

    My Teles deliver as well. Different, but good all the same.

    I enjoy plugging my PRSi into those amps, as well as modern modelled amps & they're very satisfying as well. Just different.

    Same with my BCRiches

    For me, it's not a zero sum game. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones, but I plan on buying Gibson, Fender, BCRich, Collings, PRS & a slew of other brands in the future. My biggest problem is figuring out what's next.


    Maybe a Martin.
     
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  12. Lee B.

    Lee B. I stitch my wings and pull the strings.

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    Man, I was sad to hear about Bill Collings passing away this week. Heck of a luthier! Wish I could afford one of his acoustics.

    Martin Music has a one-off he did, where he took a stab at making one of his singlecut electric models in a PRS Private Stock style aesthetic. As the item description tells it, it took so long to make that one instrument, that afterward Bill swore he'd never try that again. ;)

    Love my PRSi, but there are definitely other worthy instruments out there. That said, I think I'd be pretty disappointed if I paid Gibson Custom Shop money for a guitar with finish flaws like in the original post.
     
  13. RevBillyG

    RevBillyG New Member

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    Who wouldn't be?

    However, a lot of things in his "story" doesn't even make sense. This flaw in the binding? Yet he's going back & forth to a music store to discuss this? They send it back twice before calling Gibson?

    Don't you think they'd have gone to look at all the models they have hanging on the wall? Or have one person there who knows how Gibsons were traditionally made?

    & he knew this was the perfect guitar for him, ordered it through a brick & mortar shop, but didn't unpack it till he got home? Has that ever happened to you? Every time I buy a guitar, whether I ordered it through a shop, or picked one off the shelf, especially for that kind of money, they set it up for me & let me try it out before any money changes hands. Well, one time I had to put down a deposit.

    Anyway... I ain't t seen no pictures, so you know what that means.
     
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  14. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    Don't own any Gibson's "anymore" and have no plans to in the future. At least for me, PRS guitars have replaced Gibson guitars.
     
  15. Macmutt

    Macmutt New Member

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  16. gush

    gush She said "huge bag of dibs".

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    IVE had two LPs and one Flying V. I don't miss any of them. Prs is all I gig with.
     
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  17. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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  18. ieso

    ieso New Member

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  19. Steve5nine4

    Steve5nine4 New Member

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    MacMutt your about where I'm at. I got a couple year on you and been playing Les Pauls for right at 40 years. I took delivery of a high $ Collectors Choice about 6 weeks ago that was suppose to be a killer specimen. Well I wasn't feeling it. Changed the pots, caps, pickups. It improved quite a bit but I still wasn't feeling it. (or hearing it) Well I got pissed and ordered me a 594 from Willcutts. Best damn move I've ever made. This thing trumped the Gibson in every way. Tone, balance , intonation, versatility, good lord not to mention quality, and once again TONE. No over spray , no orange peel, no red dye all over the binding.
    When I was A/Bing the 594 and the 59 my wife walked in, and after a couple short stabs on both my wife looked at me and said, " that's pitiful". So it did't just edge it out it was pretty noticeable. This is one Bad Ass guitar. No other way to put it.
    Well the Collectors Choice sold last week and I've moved on and looking forward to getting a single cut 594 now and a single cut with P90s. I'm been converted.
    Oh yea that plastic holding the jack your talking about on the Gibson, well the nut and the washer hit the floor within the first 15 minutes of playing it. So the jack fell back in the body . Lovely
     
  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I'm all PRS, but honestly, I don't dislike Gibsons. They just haven't been my thing since I bought my first PRS in 1991. However, I used to play them, and liked them at the time.

    A great LP is still a mighty fine guitar. I just prefer to own PRSes. No right or wrong here, it's all a matter of preference.
     
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