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Thread: Gibson Guitars in trouble

  1. #151
    Member Top Cat's Avatar
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    I love Rick Beato and his videos but this Gibson Guitar video is over a year old.
    I've heard of nothing but positive reviews on the new line of guitars released in 2019, and quality control was the top priority addressed by the new CEO(James “JC” Curleigh)
    I purchased a Gibson Les Paul Tribute Satin Gold Top in the fall of 2017 and I absolutely love it. No issues, it stays in tune and plays like a dream. Let me preface my remarks by adding I'm not a professional and only play as a hobby. So I judge a guitar by how it plays and sounds, and I don't get into much further detail than that.

    It sounds like the new CEO has started to turn things around already. Check out videos online and reviews for the new 2019 line of guitars and many people are excited to feel Gibson is making a comeback.

    I haven't read the whole thread but here's an article about the new CEO for Gibson. I saw a video during the NAMM show in CA this year and he was a guest and I was quite impressed by his vision for Gibson.
    https://www.russomusic.com/blogs/new...waited-new-ceo
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  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post

    Their suggestion of a longer scale for the traditional Gibson models isn't a bad one, but moving from 24.75" to 25.5" has a pretty big impact on string tension, and thus playability. Goosing it a bit probably wouldn't hurt, but it isn't clear to me that would solve the problem. A roller bridge would seem a better addition, one that gives more play to properly intonate the strings.
    Not a good idea really, if that were to happen you no longer have a Gibson. Guys like Peter Green to Slash have been able to make it work real good, why mess with it.

    Oddly Paul Reed Smith builds beautiful guitars with a 25" scale, and with all of the ingredients on paper that are identical to a Les Paul (single cut body, set neck, 2 humbuckers, mahogany body w/maple top, mahogany neck, rosewood board, 3+3 tuners on headstock) the thing only slightly resembles the sound of a Les Paul, definitely it's own animal.

    A roller bridge might help a little with a Bigsby but would ultimately rob tone.
    Last edited by progholio; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:15 PM.

  3. #153
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    Well, if I buy an acoustic, I'll buy a Martin or Ovation.
    I'd go with a Taylor. Martins don't play all that well, and Ovations sound plastic to me.
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  4. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I'd go with a Taylor. Martins don't play all that well, and Ovations sound plastic to me.
    I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Martin. One year i had time to kill before catching my plane after nearfest so we toured the Martin factory, they also had a room with instruments you could play. I was very impressed with the facility with the combination of modern automation and old world craftsmanship and i can say they are very capable of building guitars as good as you'd want them. Like a lot of things they have their affordable lines that are a good value and then their expensive stuff that will blow your mind, with a lot in between. Taylor builds great stuff as well and it's the same deal - the really good ones = $$$$$$.

    While on the subject of acoustics - if someone is in the market Breedlove is a brand worth checking out.

  5. #155
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I'd go with a Taylor. Martins don't play all that well, and Ovations sound plastic to me.
    I'd be curious to know why you feel Martins don't play well, not my experience at all and in fact I am currently comtemplating a used D-41 right now and it plays like a dream. I guess playability can be a preference that varies with each individual's approach and style.

    Back to Gibson, they seem to be doing all the right things, jettisoning their misguided ventures into "side-businesses" and focusing on guitars and QA. I bought a Gibson CL-20 Standard Plus some twenty years ago and it is an excellent guitar that I still can't beat for the money and I've tried many more expensive ones that don't play as well or sound as good. There are two on reverb right now. They were made only for a couple of years in the late 90s in Montana and are highly recommended if you're looking at the $1000- $1500 price range. The new ones are getting good reviews and I've seen some people rave about the Montana Hummingbird.

    If you have more $$$, don't like Martin and want a brighter or more balance sound check out a Collings - suberb quality, and built in Texas, brighter and more balanced than a Martin. If you're rich of course there are a mind boggling number of amazing independent luthiers who will build exactly what you want.

    All IMO and YMMV of course.
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  6. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I'd go with a Taylor. Martins don't play all that well, and Ovations sound plastic to me.
    I am not sure what you are referring to regarding Martins "not playing well"; in fact, I find them effortless to play. I've loved the sound of the Martins I've owned as well as their playability. As far as Ovations, they handle effects pedals far better than standard acoustics. Less feedback and better adaptability. They sound great plugged in, which is what they were designed for.
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  7. #157
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    But with that rounded body only one person actually looked good playing an Ovation

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  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by progmatist View Post
    I'd go with a Taylor. Martins don't play all that well, and Ovations sound plastic to me.
    I wouldn't touch any of them with a bargepole. I've played a lot of Martins over the years, including quite a few vintage models, and with only a very few exceptions, most of them were vastly overpriced junk. Similarly, for the price of a high-end Taylor you could have a guitar custom-built by a luthier of your choice that would blow any Taylor out of the water. I just don't see the point in paying so much money for what is still essentially a factory-built guitar. At the lower end of the Taylor/Martin et al range the likes of Faith and Eastman absolutely put them to shame - and for a lot less money in many cases - and they don't have that horrible mid-spike in the sound that seems to be synonymous with Taylor guitars. Increasingly, it seems that, just as with Gibson electrics, the only reason to buy any of the above, is the name on the headstock. Having said that, Gibson's acoustics tend to be quite nice, and seemed to escape the worst issues that have long afflicted the electrics. I wonder if this has anything to do with them being safely tucked away in Montana, presumably reasonably safe from meddling MBA-types from management. I'd quite fancy a J-50, were I interested in an American-built acoustic. They're horribly expensive, though, in the UK.
    Last edited by kid_runningfox; 3 Weeks Ago at 12:49 AM.

  9. #159
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Coincidentally, I just bought a flawless 30-year old Martin D-41 at a great price, it was just set up by a Martin tech and it is superb and the playability and responsiveness is amazing. I have tried hundreds of guitars and never experienced such an easy, buttery fretboard. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is the relatively dark sound but many buy Martins precisely for that sound. If I ordered a guitar in this league custom-built by a luthier it would have cost 3x the price or much more.

    Martin guitars are fabulous, even legendary, hold their value well and are loved by many great players from David Crosby to David Gilmour - Gilmour's Martin D-35 just sold for $1,095,000, the one that sparkles in Wish You Were Here - now there's your overpriced junk!
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  10. #160
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    One thing to mention about Ovations if you've never owned one - spend a lot of time with it before committing because that composite round back is mighty weird. I had an old USA made balladeer i scored a great deal on years ago, had a fast slim neck which is great for electric players like myself, sounded only ok unplugged and just marginally good plugged in (nowadays electronics for acoustics have gotten to the point of sounding great on a $200 instrument). The round back on this guitar was an absolute deal breaker and was thrilled the day i got rid of it. They are slippery, just feel strange as hell up against your body and if you play sitting down you are constantly fighting it.

  11. #161
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    Latest is that Gibson is suing Dean Guitars. After all these decades Gibson now wants to go after all these companies that make Gibson copies. I hope the suit gets thrown out.

  12. #162
    So coincidentally, I've been looking at buying a light, single-pickup electric like a Fender Esquire or a LP Junior. I have two Fender-style instruments already, so I was looking at a Gibson-style guitar with the shorter scale. Turns out the Junior had other characteristics that attracted me as well, like a wide flat fingerboard. So after doing some research, I wound up buying this:

    64926744_10156323367190980_7109848686674313216_n.jpg

    It's a Margasa Joker. Margasa is a small builder in Maine, and makes these by hand. It's an almost direct knock-off of a Junior, but he made some adjustments to the heel for better upper fret access. This one has a chamber and an F-hole, which I think is cool. It also has heavier relic'ing than most of his stuff, but I like the thin finish, particularly on the back and sides of the neck, which feels fantastic.

    The reason I'm bringing it up here is twofold. First. I've been playing this guitar for two days since I got it. Once the new strings settled in, I have no tuning or intonation issues, in fact the thing is extremely stable, even in the wonky weather we've been having in Boston. So I call BS on the 24.75" scale being an issue for tuning and intonation, at least if you tune to A440 and other aspects of the instrument are in order.

    Second, you'll note I did not buy a Gibson. I just didn't see a Gibson that I trusted to be this light (6.7 pounds), have this thin a finish, have a Lollar pickup, and frankly I just didn't trust Gibson quality. Sure, you can get a vintage model, but those are $3-4,000+. The joker retails new for about $1,200, and I got mine for about $900 used (in mint condition, if you consider a relic'd guitar "mint" ) and on a 15% sale at Reverb. There's nothing in that price range from Gibson I'd really trust.

    I guess that may be changing with new ownership, and I hope it does. But Gibson should be able to build guitars of the Margasa quality in a similar price range. If they can't, people like Margasa will eat their lunch, and rightly so. But to me, there is nothing inherently wrong with Gibson-style instruments if you like that feel and sound, and the limitations of classic Gibson models (the heel, the headstock join, and apparently intonation/tuning) can be addressed creatively without compromising the classic feel of their guitars, or changing the instrument scale. I hope they figure it out.

    Bill

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by progholio View Post
    One thing to mention about Ovations if you've never owned one - spend a lot of time with it before committing because that composite round back is mighty weird. I had an old USA made balladeer i scored a great deal on years ago, had a fast slim neck which is great for electric players like myself, sounded only ok unplugged and just marginally good plugged in (nowadays electronics for acoustics have gotten to the point of sounding great on a $200 instrument). The round back on this guitar was an absolute deal breaker and was thrilled the day i got rid of it. They are slippery, just feel strange as hell up against your body and if you play sitting down you are constantly fighting it.
    I remember an old TV concert, broadcast sometime in the late 1970s, featuring the late great Roy Clark. He had been playing numerous electric and acoustic guitars, perhaps with an orchestra (thought memory admittedly fails me here), and at one point he pulls out an Ovation acoustic. He says to the audience, with a mock-serious expression, "I'd like to meet the fellow who designed this guitar", which he proceeds to hold up so everyone can see its weird profile. After a few seconds of audience laughter, he continues, "I don't want to talk to him. I just wanna look at his stomach."

  14. #164
    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    I remember an old TV concert, broadcast sometime in the late 1970s, featuring the late great Roy Clark. He had been playing numerous electric and acoustic guitars, perhaps with an orchestra (thought memory admittedly fails me here), and at one point he pulls out an Ovation acoustic. He says to the audience, with a mock-serious expression, "I'd like to meet the fellow who designed this guitar", which he proceeds to hold up so everyone can see its weird profile. After a few seconds of audience laughter, he continues, "I don't want to talk to him. I just wanna look at his stomach."

  15. #165
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I love Rick Beato and his videos but this Gibson Guitar video is over a year old.
    I've heard of nothing but positive reviews on the new line of guitars released in 2019, and quality control was the top priority addressed by the new CEO(James “JC” Curleigh)
    I purchased a Gibson Les Paul Tribute Satin Gold Top in the fall of 2017 and I absolutely love it. No issues, it stays in tune and plays like a dream. Let me preface my remarks by adding I'm not a professional and only play as a hobby. So I judge a guitar by how it plays and sounds, and I don't get into much further detail than that.

    It sounds like the new CEO has started to turn things around already. Check out videos online and reviews for the new 2019 line of guitars and many people are excited to feel Gibson is making a comeback.

    I haven't read the whole thread but here's an article about the new CEO for Gibson. I saw a video during the NAMM show in CA this year and he was a guest and I was quite impressed by his vision for Gibson.
    https://www.russomusic.com/blogs/new...waited-new-ceo
    170095150-front-large.jpg
    I couldnt resist the 2017 Les Paul Tribute T Faded Honeyburst- think I paid 8 hundred and change at Musicians Friend. I've owned several Fenders and Gibsons over the years but I think the Tribute T is the best value dollar for dollar of any of them. Looks, plays and sounds great. Whatever recent issues Gibson was having quality-wise, they aced this model.

  16. #166
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    When I was at college in the late 70s-early 80s, my roommate was part of an acoustic duo who played regular gigs at the local Holiday Inn. Anyway, he had an Ovation Adamas and he loved it. I didn't play, but I thought it looked and sounded great. The negative viewpoints expressed here are in no way a consensus view.

  17. #167
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post

    I guess that may be changing with new ownership, and I hope it does. But Gibson should be able to build guitars of the Margasa quality in a similar price range. If they can't, people like Margasa will eat their lunch, and rightly so. But to me, there is nothing inherently wrong with Gibson-style instruments if you like that feel and sound, and the limitations of classic Gibson models (the heel, the headstock join, and apparently intonation/tuning) can be addressed creatively without compromising the classic feel of their guitars, or changing the instrument scale. I hope they figure it out.

    Bill
    That Joker is a cool looking instrument, very nice!

    I've had experience with those "faded" series of Gibsons like the LP Junior, and I currently own a faded Firebird that I've had for several years. These things can be routinely bought from internet retailers for anywhere between $500-900 new (I paid 600 for the Bird). They finish them with a very thin coat of nitro cellulose finish that's a matte and not shiny (hence the faded). I find them to be very solidly built (grover tuners, good Gibson pickups), maybe not perfect but a $50 trip to the local luthier they can dial it in beautifully and they are also a great platform to experiment with any mods.

  18. #168
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Guitar Center was selling LP Jrs really cheap a few years ago. I almost bought one. Really like the sound of the pickups overdriven.

  19. #169
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    LP jr + Sunn Coliseum PA Head = Nothing like it !


  20. #170
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    Seems like they've given Dean a load of free advertising!

  21. #171
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    Those are P90 pickups?

  22. #172
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    ^
    A single P90, yes.

  23. #173
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    Best single coils when over driven. The Fender singles are fuzzier when distorted. I should have bought that Jr when I had the chance. 300 dollars. It might've been an Epiphone for that price.

  24. #174
    Quote Originally Posted by progholio View Post
    I've had experience with those "faded" series of Gibsons like the LP Junior, and I currently own a faded Firebird that I've had for several years. These things can be routinely bought from internet retailers for anywhere between $500-900 new (I paid 600 for the Bird). They finish them with a very thin coat of nitro cellulose finish that's a matte and not shiny (hence the faded). I find them to be very solidly built (grover tuners, good Gibson pickups), maybe not perfect but a $50 trip to the local luthier they can dial it in beautifully and they are also a great platform to experiment with any mods.
    Yeah, I played a faded Les Paul years ago when those first came out, and saw several of them on Reverb when I was looking. You can probably get a good one of those, but the one I played (admittedly not strictly a Junior) was only so-so to me. It felt a bit generic. And while you can probably get a good one, I think you can probably get a not-so-good one too. Maybe that is wrong, but that is the impact the negative halo effect of Gibson's erratic quality reputation has had on me, and I suspect many others. It was a factor in my looking elsewhere. (Plus I wanted a TV yellow one with a single cut, and I don't think they make a faded like that ).

    It was the same for Fender back in the early 80s, and it wasn't until the company re-tooled and started making a line of guitars that rivaled the quality of their pre-CBS models that they were able to largely restore their reputation. I think Gibson has to go through a similar process.

    I will say, though, that Tribute T Les Paul mentioned above is a sweet looking guitar, and if they nailed it with that particular model, then they did well for a guitar at that price point.

    Bill

  25. #175
    Member progholio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    LP jr + Sunn Coliseum PA Head = Nothing like it !

    If memory serves, that's the guitar Martin used on Aqualung, because of Leslie West. Killer tone alright!

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