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Gibson Guitars: Legend or Hype

CCG

Member
Messages
257
Good point. To my eyes that doesn't look like fret wear. It looks like the typical Gibson fret profile that really should be crowned better.

The ES-335 that I have on hold has properly crowned frets, but the frets are too low (so I guess too much material was removed) and they have not been polished. If I end up buying that guitar I'll polish those frets and it'll be good. I have not seen any other issues with it.

I did buy a Les Paul Special a few months ago and I decided they frets had to be recrowned. I even found a couple of high spots with the fret rocker. I know that's not supposed to happen on plek'ed guitars, but the high spots were there, although minimal. Those frets were not as flat as on pre-plek years, but nevertheless I thought they were too flat for my liking.

I have been wondering if there might be a more "legitimate" reason for flat-ish Gibson frets. Perhaps somene's thinking to do it that way to extend the life of the frets. more surface area = less wear = longer life. If that was somehow ever the intention I still think they made them too flat on many of the guitars I've seen.
Yeah I guess I'm not looking that closely at the guitar to be 100% honest. It looks good, feels good in my hands and sounds good coming out of my amp so I'm happy. I got it for $1,000 on close out so to me it was well worth the money and IMHO a Gibson SG is the greatest guitar ever made for slide guitar and that is my primary function when playing in the band.
 

hunter

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,009
I bought 2 in 2020: A 2019 a Les Paul Standard 1960’s and a 2020 SG Standard ‘61. Both guitars are exceptional.

They have the legal right to protect their copyrighted designs. I’m pretty sure most people here would seek legal remedies if they felt they were a victim of thieves. Why should we expect a company to act any different?
It would be a good idea to look up the concepts of patent, copyright and trademark. And once done you will recognize Gibson is not seeking legal remedies for copyright or patent infringement and actually holds no legal right to either for any of their designs. Gibson is pursuing legal remedy for trademark infringements. And as the Gibson vs PRS single cut trademark suit demonstrated, this is not as settled. The court determined that there was no basis for Gibson's attempted trademark on single cut body shop. However frivolous or legitimate a suit may be in intent, it has the power to impose financial hardship. If you ever get sued by someone with big money, the hardship will be come painfully apparent. And if a frivolous suit, I am pretty sure you would resent it.
 

Joe Randazzo

Active Member
Messages
59
I have owned Gibson Electrics and Acoustics. Loved them, sold them, lusted after them, and finally, broke up with them. The issue for me was eventually a failure of quality control. I had 3 Gibson Johnny A customs, and every one of them rattled. Broke my heart. When they became law-suit crazy in the 70's, the adversarial attitude of the company started to wear the shine off the legend of their instruments. They have lived a long time off of the reputation of their legendary guitars of the 60's. What about now? I would be very anxious about buying a Gibson without playing it first to examine the quality control. Anyone else share this experience?
I have owned Gibson Electrics and Acoustics. Loved them, sold them, lusted after them, and finally, broke up with them. The issue for me was eventually a failure of quality control. I had 3 Gibson Johnny A customs, and every one of them rattled. Broke my heart. When they became law-suit crazy in the 70's, the adversarial attitude of the company started to wear the shine off the legend of their instruments. They have lived a long time off of the reputation of their legendary guitars of the 60's. What about now? I would be very anxious about buying a Gibson without playing it first to examine the quality control. Anyone else share this experience?
I absolutely love my Gibson guitars. I have 22 acoustic and electric guitars from six different manufacturers. I have a Tele, Strat, Les Paul ES-335, 339, Midtown Custom, Sheraton, Hagstrom Tremar Viking, Martins, Gibson 12-string, and many others. The Gibsons are my favorites. Yes, they had quality control problems under the numb nut who they eventually threw out. When it comes to playability, quality of construction, and their humbucking pickkups, for me they are tops. If you do a little research, you will see that Fender is also having some quality issues, so they are not unique to Gibson. It all depends on what you like. There is no right or wrong here. You can't say the color green is prettier than the color blue. They are just different. A person who loves his Les Paul will not be convinced to trade it for your Tele, and the opposite is also true. When I grab my Gibson Midtown Custom, with the body and sides carved out of a single, solid piece of mahogany, and topped with a quarter-inch thick piece of solid maple, with hand wired USA components, a bound, plekked neck with block inlays, and a split diamond at the headstock, and burstbucker AlNiCo 2 pickups, all is right with the world. I wouldn't trade it for anything. So help me, when I plug it into my Fender Blues Reissue amp, there is nothing in my collection that sounds as good.
 

nmoc strat

Member
Messages
84
Gibson, Legend or hype ?

Well, for me at least, its hype for the most parte.

Of course, Gibson is a Legendary guitar, everyone loves a Les Paul, these are historical guitars, they Belong to the wall Of Fame Of the industry. The thing is, nowadays, there's probably a ton Of Better quality instruments out there, and for the most part, for much less Money.
 

Voxshall

Member
Messages
1,348
For me the fun of Gibson is trying a massive bunch of them out until you find that one incredible guitar that blows the others out of the water, when you get one of those it stands up to anything out there. I never buy new guitars though so there quality doesn't bother me.
 

scotty31

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,344
Love Gibson.

I have 3 and want a couple more.

Current: '06 R6, '00 LP Dlx Ltd. Ed + '08 SG Classic.
Want: J45 + '00 Explorer Ltd. Ed.

Great axes doing the classic thing just the way you want them too.
Plus i love Gibson P90s (my PRS McSoapy has them too) and mini buckers.

That said, have a few japanese copies that keep some Gibson labels out of my stable
Navigator's LP Custom's are insanely good
Tokai ES160 is better or as good as any ES-335 i've played
1980 Reborn Old does the R8 thing nicely.
 

RCCola

(|@ / \ @ |.)
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,452
Legend:: 50s-60s guitars, archtops from 50s-60s and after about '89

Hype:: Custom Shop - Les Pauls were super inaccurate until about 4 years ago; quality overall is nowhere near say, Collings - file marks on neck binding, rough edges on F holes

I own 2 Les Pauls and a Korina Flying V. None are made by Gibson.
 

datguytim

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,310
I vote legend. I grew up with Gibsons & have been fortunate enough to play several prime examples of their iconic '50s guitars on many occasions (just spent an hour yesterday playing a '54 Goldtop that was exceptional). I will admit that I own quite a few Historic Reissues, and while they are fine instruments that I love to play, they are QUITE different from their vintage counterpart!!! Neck profiles, weight, feel, even sound- are significantly different between vintage and reissues. I love chunky neck profiles, but the '54 Goldtop, '54 Custom, even the '57 Junior, and many more I've played had much thinner (without being 'thin') neck profiles that are quite comfortable and easy to play. I wish Gibson would make their Reissues more like the OGs!!!!
 

Ibemarkmedic

Member
Messages
93
Three LP’s, LP Jr, LP DC, Melody Maker. J-15. Only problem I have ever had was my LP Tribute gold top suffered a little fretboard shrinkage (it shrinks? Lol) due to humidity, etc. Fixed by $40 from local guy. I have Guild, Fender, PRS , etc and I can find something “wrong” with all of them. I recently bought a one year old LP Standard, heritage cherry burst, and it is as close to flawless as any guitar (50-60) I’ve ever owned.
 

stephax

Quarter Pounder with Cheese = Royal Cheese
Messages
2,398
They've been on production for a couple of decades, so hype ? I'd say no. Legend ? Can't say, really. All I know is that the ones I own are eye catchers. And inspiring.
 

NINFNM

Member
Messages
118
Legend or Hype? Really just those two options?
C'mon, what is a hype is the Gibson bashing in TGP

(Yea, Gibson fanboy bla, bla, bla...)
 

jeffroel

Member
Messages
1
I don't think there's any hype regarding Gibson. LPs and SGs are some of the most iconic guitars, and they've made history. You may like them or not and you may prefer other type of guitars (because of sound, ergonomics or anything else) but Gibson is a proven recipe of success

At the same time, I also think that their QC is questionable and if you want a Gibson you have to live with some issues that are part of the brand (binding scraped by hand, nitro finishes) I've been buying Gibson guitars for more than 15 years now (both USA and Custom Shop) and my only serious QC problem has been with a 2020 LP Special I bought 2 weeks ago and that have this paint job (right now I'm handling it with the dealer that says that it's something normal for Gibson...) Not sure how it made it out of the factory.


 

kohoutec

Active Member
Messages
42
I've had 4, got 1.
First one was a 2010 Studio I bought for peanuts and should've kept. Despite the PCB/Weight Relief etc it was a great guitar with no issues at all
Second was a new Studio Faded, the neck angle was way off and impossible to set up, so that one went back.
Third was a 2019 Special. It played nicely, but it literally had gouges in the binding where it had been scraped, really big ones, looked like someone had attacked it with a chisel...Couldn't live with them so that one went back.
Forth, and the one I still own is another 2019 Special....After the first one i pretty much gave up, but there was a really good black Friday deal on, £999, I didn't actually get it then, but it was a month or so later when they had gone back up to £1300, but managed to haggle back down to £999.

It's got a few tool marks in the binding, but nowhere near as bad as the first one, and I will treat it to a new nut at some point, but other than that it is a lovely guitar no two ways about it.
It's second to my #1, a modern Gordon Smith, but only just.

So my experience is 50/50 really...I've learnt that you might well have to accept some imperfections, which for the money they charge I don't like, but when you find a decent one it might be worth overlooking them
 

dughaze

Member
Messages
999
Gibson guitars are neither legend or hype. I have a few I really like. Ever go out to dinner with those people that seem to always have a problem with their meal and they send it back or are unhappy with the service? Same thing...
 

COYS

Member
Messages
6,260
I don't even rate finish and nut issues or setup issues with Gibsons. They put ultra thin nitro finishes on the guitars because that's what current fashion trends dictate. I expect nut and setup issues with them out of the factory because that's just what my experience has shown. (I took a new SG to a well known local shop and the lead tech said almost all Gibsons he sees need to have the nut reworked.)

Nut and setup issues to me are not that big of a deal, it's a fix of <= $100 that you can factor into the cost of the instrument if you can't do it yourself.

These do present the problem of how you trial a guitar with a poor setup and really hear its voice, but that's part of the deal.
 

Whittlez

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,247
I've owned well over thirty Gibsons, and I haven't had a single quality control issue with any of them.

It's basically internet lore, it's not a real problem.
Internet lore? Really?

C'mon. I've had TWO luthiers I respect tell me otherwise and they've worked on guitars for DECADES.
 




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