If I could hate Gibson, I would

fjrabon

Member
they’re expensive. They’re a bit delicate. They cause backlash from some people who see them as elitist.

The fan base demands that the company more or less stick to exactly the same models as were available between 1954 and 1961.

And anything they do to correct problems is immediately hated (they’ve tried to fix the headstock issue 5 different ways and people always complain because it’s not how they did it in 1959).

But nine times out of ten, when I hear the sound of a guitar in my head, it’s a Gibson. Nothing feels at home quite like a good late 50s rounded Gibson carve. And nothing smells quite as sweet as Gibson vanilla. Nobody does an old school traditional burst paint job quite as well as Gibson.



I get the issues some people have. And I understand they’re not for everybody. But for some of us, we didn’t choose Gibson so much as Gibson chose us.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Silver Supporting Member
The one thing I would change in the OP is I'd add "customer base" to "fan base."

I'm overloaded (happily so!) with more recent Memphis factory models, one of the things that the Henry era did right, though that also brought about the factory's demise--hope they keep the lines going where ever they make them. Unlikely I'll buy another because I'm well set, but it's not just about me!
 
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fjrabon

Member
The one thing I would change in the OP is I'd add "customer base" to "fan base."

I'm overloaded (happily so!) with more recent Memphis factory models, one of the things that the Henry era did right, though that also brought about the factory's demise--hope they keep the lines going where ever they make them. Unlikely I'll buy another because I'm well set, but it's not just about me!
From what I’ve been told, what brought about the Memphis factory’s demise was simply that the real estate value on the land went up dramatically and it became a good piece of money to sell at the time to help make the books look better. They bought that land when it was worth next to nothing, and then it turned into a hip new area over the time it existed. It was really too valuable as a commercial area for a guitar factory to be there.
 
Probably the best and most accurate Gibson thread I've seen. I've seen and owned some really flawed guitars Gibson made, such as a Les Paul Special with a sloppy neck joint that jostled apart, revealing a stack of shims holding it in place. I've tried (and owned one of) two Custom Shop guitars that were completely unplayable. I've owned a number with headstock repairs.

But despite that, my CR8 has been my #1 for 12 years and probably always will be. When I'm playing on stage, nothing makes me happier than an LP, SG, or Junior in my hands. Gibsons make "that sound" and, yes, playing the big famous guitar brand that my heroes play and that everybody recognizes has its own value to me.

You can get better guitars than Gibson, and you can get cheaper guitars than Gibson, and you can even get better guitars that are cheaper than Gibson. But dammit, despite everything and all the problems I have with the company, I love mine.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Silver Supporting Member
From what I’ve been told, what brought about the Memphis factory’s demise was simply that the real estate value on the land went up dramatically and it became a good piece of money to sell at the time to help make the books look better. They bought that land when it was worth next to nothing, and then it turned into a hip new area over the time it existed. It was really too valuable as a commercial area for a guitar factory to be there.
A simple move would have solved that, not unusual for companies to sell real estate and relocate. The woes of Gibson and the need to "make the books look better" that you cite at the time prevented that seems to me.

But that's just the recent history, it's over except for recovery and I'm a Gibson fan not a detractor. I'm pulling for them to succeed, and expect them to.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Silver Supporting Member
Probably the best and most accurate Gibson thread I've seen. I've seen and owned some really flawed guitars Gibson made, such as a Les Paul Special with a sloppy neck joint that jostled apart, revealing a stack of shims holding it in place. I've tried (and owned one of) two Custom Shop guitars that were completely unplayable. I've owned a number with headstock repairs.

But despite that, my CR8 has been my #1 for 12 years and probably always will be. When I'm playing on stage, nothing makes me happier than an LP, SG, or Junior in my hands. Gibsons make "that sound" and, yes, playing the big famous guitar brand that my heroes play and that everybody recognizes has its own value to me.

You can get better guitars than Gibson, and you can get cheaper guitars than Gibson, and you can even get better guitars that are cheaper than Gibson. But dammit, despite everything and all the problems I have with the company, I love mine.
I've never owned a seriously flawed Gibson, except for the 50th Anniversary 1958 ES335 I got as supposedly a bit shopworn new old stock in 2010 from a GC. But I don't really believe it had never been sold as they claimed so the history is questionable, and a new harness fixed that completely. It might just be the best guitar I've ever owned.

But the real reason I quoted this post, I have a CR8 from around the same time as yours. And if there's a guitar that rivals the 335 for best I've owned, that's the one.
 
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fjrabon

Member
A simple move would have solved that, not unusual for companies to sell real estate and relocate. The woes of Gibson and the need to "make the books look better" that you cite at the time prevented that seems to me.

But that's just the recent history, it's over except for recovery and I'm a Gibson fan not a detractor. I'm pulling for them to succeed, and expect them to.
A simple move is all that happened to the Memphis factory? There was extra room at the Nashville plant. They moved there. That was basically all that happened with Gibson Memphis. It was just a real estate transaction.

It’s still managed by the custom shop like it was before, same processes and materials in the guitars. And any staff that wanted to move was able to keep their job.

Heck, I’d even like to say the old Memphis 335s were magic and the new ones are junk, because mine is a Memphis 335. But the new ones are the same.
 

FlyingVBlues

Gold Supporting Member
I got my first Gibson in 1961 when my mother bought me a shiny new SG Jr. I’ve been playing them ever since then, and for me they are the best guitars I’ve have ever owned. I own some other guitar brands, including some boutique instruments, but my favorite guitars are my Gibson’s. I love their feel, playability, ergonomics, aesthetics and especially their sound. I currently have 37 guitars and 25 of them are Gibson’s. My collection includes 7 vintage Gibson’s from the 50’s and early 60’s, and the rest are Historic/Custom Shop instruments. The two that are my favorites are a 1954 Les Paul Custom and a 1959 ES-355 that I am the original owner of. My most recent Gibson is a 60th Anniversary 1959 Les Paul Standard, which is a phenomenal guitar.
 

duaneallen

Member
My favorite guitars in the world are Collings. That being said, I have 4 Gibson’s, and I love every one of them. They are not the best guitar that is being made today, but they have a certain sound and history to them that is undeniable. It’s great having options these days.
 

Jabby92

Member
Yeah, they're all pretty solid. Imperfect guitars at times but I've played some really good ones over the years. I can understand the criticism at times and they've definitely made some questionable decisions over the years but no business is perfect. I've contemplated parting with mine a couple times but still keep it since the Les Paul was the first electric body shape I played and learned on, its always fun to play the shorter scale and the big slab body and neck.
 


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