What years were the best productions in Gibson?

goodwater

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there's always hit and miss but late 50s-early 60s and late 80s-90s are generally considered to be the "golden ages" these days
 

fewlio

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The era of ebony and plek but before baked maple, particle board and richlite customs..
 

Twangdaddy

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685
1978

Seriously - my only reference point, in fact.

I've only had two Gibsons - both 1978 Les Paul Pro Deluxes - in ebony. Hefty, hefty, hefty but both were excellent. Kinda wish I'd kept the first one that was marked a SECOND. It had an amazing neck and ebony board, but the one I have now ain't bad either. Heavy but they :rockin like crazy.
 
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jdel77

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10,070
late 80s to early 90s was one time period. Gibson really upped their QC for various reasons.
 

still.ill

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3,240
+1

had a 335 sunburst 2010 that sounded good, but was a dud cuz the neck kept warping, and the truss rod eventaully maxed out and the neck still wasnt straight. sent it back, gibson sent me a new 2013 (last summer), after like 2 months. I was wondering why it took so long when I got it and looked at the serial number, it seemed like Gibson actually made that guitar in those 2 months! Gibson actually sent me color preference (cherry), and so far i haven't had to touch the truss rod at all since the initial setup.
 
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2,577
+1

had a 335 sunburst 2010 that sounded good, but was a dud cuz the neck kept warping, and the truss rod eventaully maxed out and the neck still wasnt straight. sent it back, gibson sent me a new 2013 (last summer), after like 2 months. I was wondering why it took so long when I got it and looked at the serial number, it seemed like Gibson actually made that guitar in those 2 months! Gibson actually sent me color preference (cherry), and so far i haven't had to touch the truss rod at all since the initial setup.
Same thing happened to me with an Advanced Jumbo acoustic.
 

Tim Plains

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6,143
I don't understand why people keep thinking certain years are better than others. It's as if the workers showed up the first day of the year and said "This is it. We're all putting in extra effort this year." :facepalm

There are great, good, average, and crappy Gibsons made every year. That includes 1959.
 

sleep

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3,158
I don't understand why people keep thinking certain years are better than others. It's as if the workers showed up the first day of the year and said "This is it. We're all putting in extra effort this year." :facepalm

There are great, good, average, and crappy Gibsons made every year. That includes 1959.
Sure. But company management and the general economy plays in as well. The 70's saw a lot of unpopular cost cutting(?) efforts like pancake bodies, 3 (sometimes four) piece tops that were poorly matched, etc- those choices make guitars of that era less desirable, regardless of how the employees felt making them. They're also usually pretty heavy, and there are some really hideous (clownburst?) finishes.

The 90s saw a pretty robust economy. I think it follows that a better economy causes less of a need to cut corners. If you buy a Les Paul Studio, for example, from the late 80's to 90's it's not going to have a factory faded finish, a laminated/baked maple fretboard, a faded and unsanded top (Gator series) or any of the other weirdness you can get now. It would just be a Les Paul Studio. I've never played a LPS from that time where the fretboard didn't extend to the edges of the neck, but I've owned a recent one where there was a distinct ridge, and I've seen several other posts with the same issue. That wouldn't have happened before.
 

ixnay

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4,291
I don't understand why people keep thinking certain years are better than others. It's as if the workers showed up the first day of the year and said "This is it. We're all putting in extra effort this year." :facepalm

There are great, good, average, and crappy Gibsons made every year. That includes 1959.
This. There are no magical, special years for most things. There are great Gibsons,awful Gibsons, and Gibsons in between, every year.
 

dayn

Silver Supporting Member
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1,874
I don't understand why people keep thinking certain years are better than others. It's as if the workers showed up the first day of the year and said "This is it. We're all putting in extra effort this year."

There are great, good, average, and crappy Gibsons made every year. That includes 1959.
True indeed, though I have to say I am still looking for that crappy 59 burst for sale for pennies on the dollar...
 

samdjr74

Silver Supporting Member
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8,840
I don't think there is one specific time frame better then another. Sure the late 50's are great but unobtainable for most people. The 60's saw a lot of changes, one being the LP to SG, the 70's did see a lot of cost cutting measures like multi piece bodies but even then there are some great guitars from that era. The 80's saw a shift from their original location to their new headquarters and a few new models models came out like the LP studio which was great. The 90's and up saw different models come and go, some guitars might not have been up to snuff while the majority are great.
 

jdel77

Member
Messages
10,070
I don't understand why people keep thinking certain years are better than others. It's as if the workers showed up the first day of the year and said "This is it. We're all putting in extra effort this year." :facepalm

There are great, good, average, and crappy Gibsons made every year. That includes 1959.
This is simply not true. A few years back an ex employee at Gibson posted from his direct experience working on guitars from about 1988 to 1993 that there was a concerted push from Gibson to up their QC to compete with other manufacturers. It happened. Yes, there are some dogs and some gems from every period, but we are talking about consistent averages here, the norm and not the exceptions in either case.
 
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2,577
True indeed, though I have to say I am still looking for that crappy 59 burst for sale for pennies on the dollar...
Good point.

Sure. But company management and the general economy plays in as well. The 70's saw a lot of unpopular cost cutting(?) efforts like pancake bodies, 3 (sometimes four) piece tops that were poorly matched, etc- those choices make guitars of that era less desirable, regardless of how the employees felt making them. They're also usually pretty heavy, and there are some really hideous (clownburst?) finishes.

The 90s saw a pretty robust economy. I think it follows that a better economy causes less of a need to cut corners. If you buy a Les Paul Studio, for example, from the late 80's to 90's it's not going to have a factory faded finish, a laminated/baked maple fretboard, a faded and unsanded top (Gator series) or any of the other weirdness you can get now. It would just be a Les Paul Studio. I've never played a LPS from that time where the fretboard didn't extend to the edges of the neck, but I've owned a recent one where there was a distinct ridge, and I've seen several other posts with the same issue. That wouldn't have happened before.
So very true.

This is simply not true. A few years back an ex employee at Gibson posted from his direct experience working on guitars from about 1988 to 1993 that there was a concerted push from Gibson to up their QC to compete with other manufacturers. It happened. Yes, there are some dogs and some gems from every period, but we are talking about consistent averages here, the norm and not the exceptions in either case.
Again, right on. It's easy to say with a sweeping comment that there are great guitars and dogs every production year. But the evidence over time has shown there are certainly good, and not so good years and time periods. My girlfriends Studio has a freaking fake wood fretboard. I'd trade it in a heartbeat for a 90 Studio.
 




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