Gibson's builds... 2013 vs 2014 ?

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,452
I read at length about how great the 2013 builds from Gibson were. Wondering if that extends to the 2014? I know, the ugly inlay... I really don't care about that. I'm specifically looking at SG Standards.

Has any one done a (or many) year to year comparisons?
 

budglo58

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,151
I have a 2014 335 that is flawless. Even nicely finished binding at the fret ends and no orange peel on the binding .
 

Mandrax

Member
Messages
1,602
All I can say is that the 2013's I played were excellent, I played a lot, and they were mostly all good. The limited number of 2014s I played (10-12) were all no good. They just felt bad. Bad fret ends, overly heavy, really dry fretboards. They were all Studios Pro's and Traditionals.

All this says however is the ones in my area were just crap. Doesn't mean they were all worse than the 2013s.
 

PeteyNaf

Member
Messages
192
I can't find a flaw with my '14 Firebird. Absolutely gorgeous. Case seems a bit flimsy though.
 

kbgear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,127
I have a 2014 335 that is flawless. Even nicely finished binding at the fret ends and no orange peel on the binding .
Though to be fair, I think that's Memphis, not Nashville where the LPs and SGs are made.
 

thekaiser

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
465
My 2103 SGJ feels better than every single 2014 SG or LP I've picked up except, though the one Flying V History 120 I played a few weeks ago was amazing.
 

omfg51

Member
Messages
2,915
The funny thing was, in the years prior to 2013, most of what I heard was about how bad Gibson was getting, then 2013 was about how good Gibson had gotten.

This year I've heard literally nothing. Nada.

I work at Guitar Center, so you'd think I might be more in the loop, but not at all. No news to me.
 

dcbc

Member
Messages
2,281
I have a 2014 Les Paul Traditional on the way. When I have it, I can compare its quality to a 91 Gold Top-Gold Back Deluxe I once had as well as to my 1967 ES-335, my 89 Tele, and my 99 PRS HBII. My guess is that I will be pleased as can be. But I can always return it; and if the quality isn't great, I will. I have played a number of other 2014 LP Traditionals and they have all been very nice guitars from what I could tell.

Sorry, I can't compare it to the 2013 line, but guitars are all so personal, it wouldn't be much use.
 

Gemini2

Member
Messages
1,699
2013 Seems to be favored due to none of the recent "improvements" being present. But only time will tell.. I've heard the 2013 - 2014 Historic LP's are supposed to be some of the best so far from Gibson. They are also very vintage accurate. Curious about the 2015 CS Gibson's.
 

Mandrax

Member
Messages
1,602
Whilst not an improvement, 2014 had the 12th fret inlay. I think most people would now take that inlay over what's coming on the 2015 guitars.
 

jaysmall

Member
Messages
39
Whilst not an improvement, 2014 had the 12th fret inlay. I think most people would now take that inlay over what's coming on the 2015 guitars.
And fret-over-binding on all but the Trads, which caused its own firestorm of "where'd-the-nibs-go?" threads.

I bought my Standard in 2013, because that's when I got a bonus big enough to afford it. If it had happened this year instead of last, I probably would have bought a '14 and been fine with it. But I would not have bought either without trying them, in my hands, for long enough to decide if they felt right for my playing style.

Say what you will about the model-year changes in decoration, hardware, model specs. I honestly do not know if a zero-fret brass nut is better or worse than what I have, because I haven't tried it.

I think Gibson USA made some excellent 2013 guitars, some excellent 2014 guitars, and is probably rolling out some excellent 2015 guitars. I also think it was and is possible to get a lemon from any of those years. It's even more likely to pick up a very well built guitar from any maker that, nevertheless, for whatever reason, doesn't feel right to you as an individual player, doesn't inspire you, or whatever. It's such a personal decision.
 

Mandrax

Member
Messages
1,602
And fret-over-binding on all but the Trads, which caused its own firestorm of "where'd-the-nibs-go?" threads.

I bought my Standard in 2013, because that's when I got a bonus big enough to afford it. If it had happened this year instead of last, I probably would have bought a '14 and been fine with it. But I would not have bought either without trying them, in my hands, for long enough to decide if they felt right for my playing style.

Say what you will about the model-year changes in decoration, hardware, model specs. I honestly do not know if a zero-fret brass nut is better or worse than what I have, because I haven't tried it.

I think Gibson USA made some excellent 2013 guitars, some excellent 2014 guitars, and is probably rolling out some excellent 2015 guitars. I also think it was and is possible to get a lemon from any of those years. It's even more likely to pick up a very well built guitar from any maker that, nevertheless, for whatever reason, doesn't feel right to you as an individual player, doesn't inspire you, or whatever. It's such a personal decision.
Indeed, I think you are probably right. For me though, these things often come down to features. I'll buy a guitar with features I want and I'll pass on anything that has features that don't interest me. What this means in Gibson terms is that I'll pass on Gibson guitars until they get back to the features of the 2013 models.

I desperately want a Traditional, but not in it's current guise. I've had 3 guitars this year so I'm done for 2014 but I'll be looking again next year but if it's a LP Traditional I buy, it will be from the used market, unless any 2013 NOS show up.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,452
I've wanted a small guard walnut finish two humbucker SG with binding for years. I've thought the '61 (and even the '62) reissues were too much money. When they switched to that format for '13, I was pretty stoked. Then when I saw them blowing out them out at 750 - 900 bucks I was really stoked... only my gear fund was low and other events kept me from purchasing.

For the record, the 2014 was 25% higher than the '13. the '15 will be another 15% hike.
 

Binaural

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,923
I own both a 2013 and 2014 SG Standard. They are both very equal in quality overall. I bought the 2014 recently since I wanted one in the walnut color and the dealer gave me an excellent deal on it. The dealer did however with some persuasion remove and replace the Etune and replace it with grovers, I let them keep the Etune unit. I tried the Etune on another guitar I own and didn't like it and eventually replaced it too. As for the two SGs they are almost alike except for the 12th fret banner and the 2014 having the coil splitting option, which I honestly don't use. I would buy the 2014 again without hesitation, it's an excellent guitar.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,452
Thank Binaural, that's helpful. I'd love to play it prior, but I'm shipping online. I also was looking for walnut.

Just pulled the trigger on a 'used' 2014 at 31+% less than retail. It won't have a warranty, but I'm guessing I'll be able to tell of there is a problem prior to the 30 day return policy. I suppose that I could have waited for a Nov 22nd event again, but that year they did not announce or ship the '14's until after the first of the year... and there is no guarantee that the black friday deals will reoccur (we'll see if that bet pays off).

I'm not a huge '57 classic fan on solid guitars, but the coil splitting might be interesting. I do like it on my 335 Pro.

I'll likely sell the mini tune system and put tone pros on it and net the difference.
 






Top