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why does Gibson charge so much for binding and finish?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by LXARudy, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. LXARudy

    LXARudy Tele-Meister

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    I'm just confused as to why fender offers high end American instruments with nice finishes at a fraction of what Gibson does. The les Paul studio faded is an awesome guitar with a great sound. I can't imagine the quality of wood that goes into a standard can be that much better and my faded had great qc and fit well and everything. I'd still have it if it weren't for that baseball bat of a neck. I'm just wondering how Gibson justifies tacking on another grand for binding and gloss finish. Fender don't so why should Gibby get away with it?
     
  2. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

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    Is it the first of the month already?
     
  3. RyCo1983

    RyCo1983 Tele-Afflicted

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    Because they can, and people will pay for it.
     
  4. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Exactly. Why does anything cost what it does?

    The OP may not want to pay for the higher end guitars, but as long as people are buying them, they're not overpriced.
     
  5. LeroyBlues

    LeroyBlues Tele-Holic

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    I'm glad they do. I make my living scraping those bindings.
     
  6. KeithJ

    KeithJ Tele-Meister

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    I think it's a legitimate question, but really I think the answer is simply, "because they can".
     
  7. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    First of all Fender doesn't offer "high end American instruments" at a fraction of what Gibson does.

    Here is an American Fender with a bound neck....$2200, no bound body and cheap dot fret markers.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-american-vintage-65-jazzmaster-electric-guitar


    Gibson $2300........neck binding,body binding and trapezoidal fret markers.

    http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/gibson-les-paul-traditional-electric-guitar
     
  8. Elias Graves

    Elias Graves Friend of Leo's

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    Because Leo designed his guitars to be made on an assembly line with stock parts assembled by workers who can be trained up in short order.
    Gibson's designs are typically much more difficult to construct and, thus, require more and more highly skilled labor to build. That costs money.
     
  9. russpurdy

    russpurdy Tele-Holic

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    People like the idea of handcrafted.

    Personally, I think you could take an epi les Paul, put decent pickups in it, give it a thin finish and slap a Gibson headstock on it and people would barely be able to tell the difference. If Gibson offered epiphone guitars with Gibson shaped headstocks I don't think they would sell nearly as many high end instruments. You pay a lot for that extra 10-20%
     
  10. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    My own answer is Collings.

    FYI: Both these models share same Lollar Imperials and will do similar tone.



     
  11. flyswatter

    flyswatter Friend of Leo's

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    A guitar with a bolt-on neck, headstock on the same axis as the neck, no maple cap, no binding, single coil pickups, no fancy inlays, no pickup rings, pickups mounted on a plastic pickguard, and front-mounted electronics -- i.e. Fender -- is inherently going to be cheaper and easier to make than one that doesn't.

    Keep in mind that SGs -- designed much more simply than Lesters -- run about the same price as Fenders.
     
  12. blotchard

    blotchard Tele-Meister

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    The do, or at least they did.
    You had to source them from Japan though, Epi Elitist...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. gitold

    gitold Poster Extraordinaire

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    I watched the two Ladys in the hermedicly sealed booth scraping the nitro finish of the binding with razors at the Memphis plant. My Ex was shocked that people in the USA still did hand work like that. Gibson has a lot more American made guitars under $1000 then Fender... I just did the count at MF. 18 for Gibson 8 for Fender.
     
  14. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    People have no idea how much hands on work goes into Historic Gibson guitars - necks are shaped by hand, among other things. There's more personal attention to them than people think. And they are great guitars.

    As for ridiculous prices - saw a Strat on the Wildwood site recently for 7,000!

    And it wasn't vintage.
     
  15. Del Pickup

    Del Pickup Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've watched the vids of the Gibson factory tour where they show the craftsmen making LP's and 335's. They are skilled technicians and their time comes at a cost in the same way that you'd be paying a lot more for a Fender Custom Shop model because there is more hands-on work involved.

    As for the binding, I watched my friend do the 3 ply binding on the LP copy that I now own and it took him a lot of time and effort to get that just right. Now, OK, he isn't doing that work every day of the week but he is a very skilled engineer and there's pretty much nothing he hasn't done on guitars over the years so I'd compare his skill levels to someone working in a guitar factory.

    Time is money - and as others have pointed out, if people are prepared to pay for the finished item, why shouldn't the makers charge a decent price for a quality product.
     
  16. BrianNY

    BrianNY Tele-Meister

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    The longer it sits in a factory gettin finished, the more money it takes to make that guitar.
     
  17. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

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    I want to know why the gas station gets away with probably $6,000/year of my family's money?
     
  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    +1 Exactly!

    And Leo wanted it that way!
     
  19. studio1087

    studio1087 Telefied Silver Supporter

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    All true.

    I've told this story before but I was talking with a Gibson factory rep at a Gibson event at a nice Milwaukee guitar shop (this was 10 years ago) and the rep said that consumers should expect to pay $50 cash for every hands-on hour that Gibson puts into a guitar. He said that the reason that a Faded series guitar costs $600 is because the finish is smeared on and toweled off. It takes an hour to finish a Faded. A high gloss Les Paul can take 15 or more hours of finishing and buffing and finishing and buffing. It's skilled labor performed by people who eat and their kids eat. Make sense?

    My first good guitar was a Tele and my second good guitar was a Les Paul. I have great respect for both companies. Gibson makes a lot more USA guitar styles priced under $1000 than Fender does.

    It surprises me when consumers disconnect from the human labor involved in building some things. The stuff doesn't just magically appear. It's people. My kids eat. Their kids eat.
     
  20. bellytelly

    bellytelly Tele-Meister

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    just saw a vid on youtube where the guy in charge claimed that a simple finish takes one or two days while a high gloss-burst-whatever takes more like 4-5 days, this includes the drying/curing and readying inbetween sprays.


    i agree with the gent who posted above me, thanks !
     
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