i recently bought my first Gibson guitar - '76 reissue Explorer, and the final finishing of the instrument would be rated at an 8.5 out of 10. i bought the guitar NEW w/ a case at a Guitar Center while near DC last month. i didn't notice these little imperfections while at the store and would have demanded an even lower price on the instrument than i paid. i spent over 5 hours in the store trying different guitars and finally leaving with the Explorer. the guitar alone was talked down under $700 and the case was $125, when you break down the #'s. with the local tax and accessories (strap, strings, strap locks and other small items), i walked out with my purchase(s) for $878. i saw MF sells the same gtr w/ out the accessories for $949 + shipping, which is kinda funny since Guitar Center owns MF catalog sales!
i have never owned a Gibson. i rarely buy a NEW guitar. i love the instrument but am displeased with the finish and care that was spent on this guitar from Gibson.
the guitar is an '04 that was said to have only been on the wall less than two weeks. it wasn't banged up at all but does have a 1 inch sharpie mark on the back that almost looks like it is UNDER the laquer (the guitar is black w/ a white pickguard). the top of the body where the neck meets the body is really rough and looks like it was rushed rather than given the attention expected from a USA made guitar. the pearl dot inlays have filler around them (which i totally understand) and some of them have it slopped OVER the pearl. there are a few fogged spots in the finish and some odd marks that didn't clean off when i gave it the once over at home. the marks aren't dings but some kind of unfinished "scuffs" in the finish that seem to be some factory flaw in the finish rather than a player mark.
i know i'm being really picky about this stuff but you wouldn't expect a top notch (
) USA guitar company to deliver this kind of "unfinished" product.
has anyone else seen similar quality issues on Gibson? i would eventually like to get a DC Standard Plus - but i will settle for a second hand one so as not to get "pinched" for the extra $ buying it new and already flawed.
i recently had a kid bring in a Gibson ES-175 (i believe that is the model- sharp cutaway hollow-body) that he bought NEW from MF catalog in a stunning red transparent finish. the problem seemed to be that the pups were falling out of the guitar. upon inspection, the center block was made of BALSA wood! the screws wouldn't stay in the body - well NO S#@T!!!
you can't expect a screw to stay in balsa!!
is that a standard wood used in the center block for Gibson hollow body guitars? i was amazed.
i'm interested in hearing more from anyone on Gibson (cough) quality. the Hamer USA Studio guitar i just picked up is 10 times the quality and finish - hell, the Epiphone LP i just got is actually built better!
i do love the Explorer but i am saddened by what i expected to be a USA made instrument that i would proudly sing Gibson praise over. again, i do love the guitar and will enjoy playing it for many years to come, but if i had it to do over again, i would find a Hamer Standard made in the USA over the Gibson product any day of the week.