New Gibson Les Paul Special - amazing, but with a very slight issue. Complain or not?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by marc2211, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    It seems like Gibson these days is trying to mentally "condition" the buyers that these type flaws are inherent in quality instruments.

    But actually just the opposite is true and they need to be held accountable.
     
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  2. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    Call me anal and ocd, but if I am paying $1600 for a new guitar, I want the fit and finish to be pretty much perfect (my Japanese-made Ibanez models are). Sure, I expect some wear on a used guitar- that's honest imperfection. Bad finish or binding work from a shop that CAN do better- that's either laziness or incompetence and not acceptable, even if it doesn't affect playability. My opinion.
     
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  3. Deepblankspace

    Deepblankspace TDPRI Member

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    I would accept that on a sub $200, but once i start paying for "craftsmanship", things are to be expected.
    The wood, the hardware, these have deffinite values.
    I got a firefly lp. No craftsmanship just a straight out double humbucker, 24.75 neck, blah blah blah. $180

    $1600, and its not titanium, and no unicorn hair used as the winding for the pickup?


    Edit: do you have to pay any shipping?
     
  4. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    I would call them up and get a replacement, personally. At some point, (well below the MSRP of that instrument) you're no longer paying for functional quality but for the quality of the workmanship involved in getting excellent attention to detail and general F&F. Not to mention, if you keep that and later seek to sell it, you're going to be taking those shots to the value of the instrument, no matter how much you tell somebody you got it that way from the factory.

    Plus, if Gibson wants to reshape their brand as being the best in the world and do all their chest thumping at other makers, they had better be expected to be held to their word. I'd do it just on that if nothing else. Love or hate the company, just saying "eh it's good enough" is what leads to companies putting out worse and worse products with higher and higher prices. Don't incentivize their lack of QC or it will only continue and worsen.
     
  5. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Why look over the guitar with a flashlight and a microscope?

    You said the guitar is amazing. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
     
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  6. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Holic

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    Haha... and ppl turn their noses up at Chinese guitars.

    Chinese are way better finished.
    .
     
  7. mschafft

    mschafft TDPRI Member

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    It shouldn't be too hard to level for a luthier or skilled tech.

    After seeing so many of these I wonder who still believes that this type of binding process is superior to the usual type where the frets sit on top of the binding.
     
  8. marc2211

    marc2211 Tele-Holic

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    I took some photos of my guitar last night, and in comparison to kohoutec's, it's really not that bad. - you can't really see the issues apart from one place where the binding is very badly finished around the 12th fret (partly as I'm not able to get decent detailed shots).

    Thomann have been in touch and asked for pics to be able to put things right.

    At this point I'll play and forget.

    (Generally, I have never had this issue on my Epiphones, although I have had a few issues with Fenders too along the way. The only other new Gibson I bought was a 2016 SG faded, which was so bad that I had to return it ((only guitar that I've ever returned)).)
     
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  9. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Afflicted

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    You must know that it has something to do with the way Gibson does the binding: fretboard is radiused and fretted with fret ends flush to the side of the board and the binding is glued on. Then the binding is scraped by hand to smooth it and to shape the nibs on the fret ends. This final step requires some skills and some time from a worker to do it right. I guess Gibson is not willing to maintain this process...

    It must be noted too that the smoothness of the fretboard on a Gibson has always been different and inferior to what you are used to whith Fenders.

    This is no excuse for the mess. Just to understand that a small degree of imperfection may be acceptable. It’s up to you to say so.
     
  10. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    If you are buying it to look at, then I guess that matters a lot.
    If you are buying it to play, then appearance doesn't matter that much. Especially after a couple of gigs and a few dings.
    What matters to me is the way they feel and play and sound.
    I have found most imported hollow body and semi-hollow body guitars, even Yamaha 335 copies, have tops that are too thick. They don't resonate correctly. They sound like Les Pauls. And their pickups sound too middy to me. I guess they are trying to make up for the dead sounding tops.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
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  11. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    100% This.

    If you paid top dollar for a brand new sports car from an internationally known and widely respected manufacturer and it arrived with misaligned body panels and scuffed up wheels, would you be satisfied? It still goes fast and looks cool, so who cares right?

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I think $1600 bucks is a lot of money. If I'm paying that kind of coin for a brand new electric guitar I'd like it to be as close to perfect as is humanly possible. I shouldn't have to pay double that just to get a guitar without simple, easily avoided flaws like buffing marks or neck binding that looks like it was scraped with a pocket knife. That's bush league s**t.

    Either Gibson doesn't give a damn, or they don't train their employees (or pay them enough) to give a damn about the product they sell.

    I'd rather spend my hard earned money with a company that gives a damn.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  12. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Sounds like a good place for a factory tour video so you can see what aspect is done by humans and what is done by cnc.

     
  13. Wildcard_35

    Wildcard_35 Tele-Meister

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    Funny, but Fender sure seems to produce some good quality stuff most of the time without tool marks on the fretboard. Gibson needs to fix their quality control.

    Like several others have said, if it plays really nice, keep it and get it fixed under warranty. Or just get it fixed on your own dime with a repair person you trust. It won't be a lot and then you'll have a great guitar.
     
  14. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

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    Have to say, I know several people involved in hand making guitars (including the current owner of Gordon Smith - great guitars by the way!) and they'd be horrified at the idea of letting workmanship like the binding work on this Special out the door.

    The problem with Gibson isn't that they're hand made, it's that they're made in a factory with strict time limits assigned to each stage of the build before the guitar has to be on to the next station. In Gibson's case, there are first hand accounts of employees pulling guitars for quality control issues only to have a manager flush them back into production to meet the days quota. It's a shame, and other US manufacturers seem able to make similarly hand made guitars in a factory environment without the constant quality control issues, but that seems to be the score with Gibson.

    It's worth noting as well, lots of online comments suggest that this is a new thing that's happened with them, but it really isn't. I sold Gibsons for a retailer nearly 20 years ago and they always had fit and finish issues then. I also have a 60s 335 sat across to me just now with internal finish that would make a Chibson factory blush - glue everywhere - and I've seen a '59 LP Standard with a tuners unbelievably out of line with each other. So I pretty much just take it as how Gibson are: they're sloppy, they're lazy, but they make the most incredible guitars so, what can you do? The nice thing nowadays is there are plenty of alternatives is it does bother you.
     
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  15. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Holic

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    Ahh yes, the old subjective 'feelings' to justify objective failings.

    We can convince ourselves of anything if we want... and that is fine by me.
    .
     
  16. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I said "What matters to me is the way they feel and play and sound."

    Did you not understand my post? I am referring to the way a guitar FEELS in my hands. How else would "feel" matter?
    If it has a huge neck, is a heavy log, if it has neck dive, etc. All those things affect whether I want to play/own the guitar or not.
    On top of that, the way it "plays" and "sounds" matter as well.

    And I have no idea what you mean by "justify objective failings."

    If you need further clarification, let me know.



     
  17. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Holic

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    And this is evident in the 45 minute Gibson commercial posted above. Every worker in that video is going at light speed....and they probably go even faster when cameras aren't around. I'm betting their production levels are pushed to the absolute limit.
     
  18. Cysquatch

    Cysquatch Tele-Holic

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and state that those are mutually exclusive.
     
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  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My take might not be very popular here, but here goes.

    In short, it barely bothers me. Five minutes with a file would have the binding nicely rolled, tool marks mostly gone. The rosewood 'dents' - I'd not even notice them past the initial inspection.

    Those tool marks... those are made by HAND. This is part of what you supposedly want in a Gibson, no? A factory-built guitar, but with a lot of hands on attention. Perfection should be measured in the way it resonates when played, for example. Not so much if the binding has a little mark...

    Did they mess up a bit? Sure. Does it matter? No. I'm very glad they still do the binding nibs, and the manual scraping, even though there are cheaper ways to do it. For me, that style of binding, plus the nitro finish, are the icing on the cake that makes it special.


    If you're on an Epi budget, and finally save up for a Gibson... well, it seems people feel they have a right to demand almost unobtainable perfection. For a guitar priced under $2k? Are you kidding? Think about the economics of that for a moment. Think about how much your healthcare costs, for example, and think how much skilled USA-worker time is spent making your guitar. Ever try to buy the materials to make one of these? Ain't cheap. And on and on... $1600 is a great price for what seems to be a very nice guitar. IMHO.


    If your first thought is to compare it to an Epi for 4x less, than I submit that you shoulda got the Epi. Have you played an Epi? Do you feel they play as nicely, feel as nice, as the Gibson? Then get one. If you feel like the Gibson is just a better guitar, in countless ways, as you hold it and play it... then finish your initial flashlight inspection, log the issue, and forget about it.
     
  20. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Afflicted

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    Seems to me there are quite a few apologists for Gibson's sloppy QC. If a Chinese guitar turned up with the same issues I wonder if those same folk would cry foul.

    Gibson can make first class stuff; it looks like they still have problems with consistency.
     
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