Gustavvsons and Original 59 'Bursts: How does JG do it?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by phoenix 7, Jul 26, 2006.


  1. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    24,082
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Several people have mentioned that the Gustavvson Bluesmaster is closer to a real 59 'burst than anything they've played. People say that the Gustavvson has the 3D sound, resonance, etc., that makes it closer to a 59 than other guitars. My question is this: What is it *exactly* that makes the Gustavvson closer to a real burst than the other Les Paul-oid guitars. Is JG using older, better quality wood? And what other factors might be involved?
     
  2. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,873
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    NoVA
    I think the wood is defintely part of it. The other part of it is the intangible nature of luthery as an art. The guy's just got the stuff. That's something that is very difficult to quantify.
     
  3. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    24,082
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Makes sense to me, though I'm not totally convinced about the "intangible" part. If JG is making guitars that are consistently superior to the other burst-type guitars (which a lot of people believe), then there is something or some things that he is consistently *doing* that make his guitars superior - some physical charateristic/s that make the JG's better. I'm sure the wood is part of it. Is he using old growth stuff or something that makes his guitars closer to the real bursts?

    In addition to the wood, maybe he's doing something others aren't. And maybe that's JG's secret and nobody except JG knows what it is. But I doubt it's some intangible quality or mojo. I'm curious about exactly what that is (partly because I'm interested in ordering one). Maybe that's an answerable question, maybe not.
     
  4. BattleAngel

    BattleAngel Member

    Messages:
    951
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    I have a feeling that even some of the most discriminating people are prone to being influenced by hype. Then again, I think that's a good thing as it allows amazing instruments to continue being made, and hell, believing the hype might do something for your playing... :) (and I think hype and mojo, while not equal, are related) - that may be the 'intangible' factor.
     
  5. TRIODEROB

    TRIODEROB Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    san diego
    I have an idea what it is

    1) eastern maple that is air dried over years time
    2) central american mahogany that is air dried over time
    3) horse hide glue to join them which dries rock hard
    4) a nitro formula that does not have plasicizers to keep it from cracking
    5) lollar or wolfe pickups (the 2 best guys out there)
    6) no rubber collar on the truss rod to steal tone

    just a guess
     
  6. phoenix 7

    phoenix 7 Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    24,082
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    Yeah - this is exactly the kind of thing I was getting at. Do we know for sure if JG is actually doing all of the above? And is nobody else doing all of the above? Thanks for all the replies so far.
     
  7. fyler

    fyler Member

    Messages:
    1,314
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2004
    this is all i can find on JG's site.
     
  8. TRIODEROB

    TRIODEROB Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    san diego
    yes that is what he does and gibson does not do.
    they use a nitro spray that is tackey, cheap machine wind pickups,
    god knows what kind of glue, wood that is kin dried fast not aged over
    years. the original bursts used the methods JG is using.
    if you want a real burst go for a JG
    :AOK
     
  9. Fantom1

    Fantom1 Member

    Messages:
    1,998
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2004
    Having old growth wood, that has been aged for a very long time (I believe the first batch was from wood that had been drying at least 50-60 years) is probably a huge part of it. Most luthiers probably cannot source wood like that.
     
  10. CDaughtry

    CDaughtry Member

    Messages:
    2,992
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004

    Bingo!:dude
     
  11. gitman

    gitman Member

    Messages:
    975
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    western europe
    among the more interested players and lovers of fine guitars ( this forum ) it's agreed that we do live in the golden age of instrument making. never before has this much knowledge and technology been available to the luthiers
    the world over that helps them to build superiour instruments. i seriuosly doubt that the majority of these artists are unaware of the effect that cured, air dried tone wood has on the tone quality of guitars ( and fiddles, flutes etc ) . Mr. Gustafson cannot be the only one. we also agree that no 2 guitars sound the same so who is to say which one of 2 JG's or 2 '59 bursts is the better one ? no 2 pre-war Martins sound the same and they sometimes sound better than most newer guitars because a) they were well kept, b) have been made out of exceptionally stable wood ( which is pure chance ) and c) because they had all this time to mature - a thing that old people and old guitars and old wine have in common ;-) who is to say how the Gustavsons of today will sound like in 50 years ? will the PRS's appreciate in tone or not, only because they are glued together with modern, synthetic glues ?
    my point here is this : it's really pointless to compare apples and oranges and tastes all the more. i just enjoy a good instrument, admire the artist who can make them and in the case of Gustavson ( and Huber, for the same money ) , i very much enjoy the fact that these 2 guys work in Sweden and Germany and create such a rumble ! who knows, maybe the next great builder will set the world on fire from out of - the Ukraine , or
    South Africa ? i know that there is a great reservoire of the finest alpine spruce and maple in the Ural mountains and who knows what extra-ordinary tone-woods are awaiting their discovery in the forests of Africa .....golden times. for guitars at least .:)
     
  12. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,793
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Some food for thought....JG's look to be very fine guitars but no '59 sounds identical to any other '59 and I suspect that no JG sounds exactly like any other JG. Are there great and average JG's, just like there are great and average '59's? Has anybody here actually played any real '59 next to any JG in the same room, with the same amp, at the same time? Who are these very fortunate people that you are basing your premise on!? I'd love to play either but the thought of both in the same room.....:drool

    edit to add....looks like you had some of the same comments, gitman.
     
  13. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    7,873
    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    NoVA
    I'd like to meet someone who can hear a truss rod condom. Talk about "golden ears". The money that person could make is beyond huge. :D
     
  14. TRIODEROB

    TRIODEROB Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,342
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    san diego
    every guy knows you dont want to use a condom unless you have to.

    :moon
     
  15. CDaughtry

    CDaughtry Member

    Messages:
    2,992
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2004
    I do it virtually every day...:dude
     
  16. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    Messages:
    6,793
    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    I should know better than to pose that question here!!!:jo :D
     
  17. Don L

    Don L Member

    Messages:
    1,741
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
  18. slipbeer

    slipbeer Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,656
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Center City, MN
    Another reason I like to hang out here...the DOH moments:cool:

    Seriously, I vote old wood and good glue and patience to pay attention to the details of the craft.
     
  19. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Yeah, but you have to realize that none of JG's guitar have even been cheap. Even several years ago, it was around 5 grand for one of his guitars, which is now closer to $8000.

    You really can expect a mass production company like Gibson to hunt down old growth mahogany that's 50 years old. There's a big difference in making 50 guitars a year as a 1 man shop and making 10,000 as a big company. There simply isn't enough of this wood to go around.

    So few people have ever plugged in and played a real 58-60 paul that they don't even have anything to compare it to. There's a lot of hype around 50's pauls and it's more collector and perceived value than anything. These were simple factory workers making guitars, and I doubt a lot of them were these master luthiers that everybody makes them out to be.
     
  20. Crunchyriff

    Crunchyriff Member

    Messages:
    1,102
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    E SF Bay Area
    Yes it DOES make a difference. Rubber has high vibration dampening qualities- this in and of itself should be enough to convince the inquiring mind that it's at least a strong possibility...not to mention the fact that it runs the whole length of the neck under the fingerboard.

    That horrid sleeve mutes things.

    Old growth wood is the other main factor, and an even more important one than the trussrod condom.
     

Share This Page