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As Rob mentioned, I am seriously considering selling my 1981 Tobacco Burst Custom. Latest bought of 7-string GAS has left me needing a little cash. As this don't get played much, I am be willing to sell for the right price ;)
Anyways, a pic of my LP Custom
 

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I think you need to go over to the Les Paul forum and ask there. Those guys live and bre4athe LP's, and their opinions will be more throughly considered. LPs cost a bundle, you should get eh best advice you possibly can if you are looking at the guitar as an investment.
And if you are looking for an investment, an original, mint condition LP Deluxe from the early 70's will likely be as much money as a new one and appreciate faster as well.

jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Agreed (partly) on the forum, but I know and trust people round here so I'll ask here as well as my Gibson obsessed mates.

Example: If you ask here what's wrong with Jems, you'll get a torrent of people telling you they are perfect then find a little truth in between (neck joint paint cracks etc). I figure there are not so many people blinded by the Gibson name here so responses might be more honest! Just a theory.

Not interested in investments, I'm interested in a guitar to play, and I'll almost certainly buy new.
 

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To be honest, I had a 2004 Gibson Standard and it rocked. the quality was fine and I actually like the newer Burstbucker Pro pickups better than any other Gibson pickups (save for vintage PAFs). It got sold to help pay for the arrival of my son, but I would have no problem buying a new Gibson again. Like anything else, you just need to try them out before you buy.

I think the cause of the current "bad reputation" for Gibson has to do with their pricing. At the level they charge, people expect near-perfection... and who can blame them? With all of the cheap knock-offs out there with similar construction/materials to a Paul, you need to truly provide something great for the 3-5x price increase. This feeling magnifies any flaws, IMO.
 

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gibsons aren't bad, but two things i dislike the most about Lespauls. 1 they are heavy. 2. the neck joint is absolutely awful for upper fret access. so uncomfortable. they need to make a neck through and scallop that neck joint down!!! :)
 

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I am looking for a paula since some time now, and what i found is that first you need to decide on one of the many models they have, and narrow it down from there. The only thing i have found is that sometimes the paintjob is not that great, but all of the surely played nice and sounded nice too, depending on model. And everyone should one one :)
 

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If you play 100 standard line Les Pauls, you may not find one without a warped neck. Additionally, Gibson sends them out of the factory practically without any tension on the truss rod so it makes it tough to tell if it's warped or just overly bowed.

However, I have never played a custom shop Gibson that is any less than perfect. They cost a bit more but are well worth it. The 60 and 58s do not cost all that much more than a LP Standard or Classic (the '58 has a super fat neck where the 60 has the slim-taper which is nice!).
 

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Where to start with the problems at Gibson? Understand that I'm a Gibson freak, been my favorite guitar maker since 1976 when I saw Ace playing a Tobacco Sunburst Standard. Back when he only had 2 pickups in his LP's...

First problem I have with them is thier sales policy. I cannot support any coompany that will willingly screw over the small "Mom and Pop" stores then get in bed with Musicians Friend. Reason #1 why I won't buy a new Gibson...

Second, I don't trust them. Hang out in the Les Paul forum and read for a couple of weeks. You'll hear some interesting things. Like Gibson necks stamped "Made in USA" being shipped over here from China. That is an interesting rumor, I don't know if I belive that one but if you look at their policy regarding the posting of pics on the internet, I wouldn't doubt it...

Next, they have started to whore out the Gibson name. Product placement in new car Commercials? Gibson advertising on TV? Huh? When did that become nessassarry?

Next is weight relief holes. I use to not have a problem with this but I now do. If you buy a new production line Gibson has drilled 13 holes in the mahogany, to make it weigh less. What? Aren't LP's suppose to be heavy? I think so. But others bitched so in go the 13 holes. Don't believe me? XRay your new production line LP and post the pic...

Quality control. Gibson has had a problem lately with LP's and quality. Gouged fretboards due to improper cleaning of the frets. Poor inlays. improper position of the studs for the stop tailpiece. Saddles installed crooked. Unaccepable "lemon peal" finish issues, most apparant around the neck where it meets the body. Crappy use of wood. I've seen some pieces of rosewood on $5000 Custom Shop LP's that shouldn't be on a Harmony. One question though, why do LP's have most of the quality control problems? SG's seem to come right out of the box ready to go. I would estimate 4-10 LP's to be good, 8-10 SG's. That's my expierience anyway...

Don't get caught up in the anti 70's (Norlin era) LP's. They get trashed because of the way they were built but I've played many a good 70''s LP's, Customs included. I think they can be great guitars, rivaling the Custom Shop...

Like I said, I love Gibson. I don't like to see what they are doing now. But it won't change until the president steps down. Harry is not a musician, guitar lover or anything like that. He's a total businessman. He's doing what he knows. But I don't think that's a good idea for a instrument company, maybe a dot com but not Gibson...
 

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My local luthier who is a vintage guitar freak, Pauls and Strats in particular has warned me about buy anything new from Gibson. He is constantly shocked at the shoddy workmanship coming out of the Gibson line. I was shown a terrible fret job from the factory on a $4000 Les Paul that he's having to re-fret for a customer. He gets those all the time, and worse.

I would avoid new Gibsons if I were you. It's a lot of money for something substandard. As much as I hate the hype around PRS, they do build a better guitar. I want a Les Pual type guitar, too, and I have decided on the ESP Eclipse II. $1300 street price and it gets excellent reviews.

Don't fall victim to the brand name trap. Gibson is in the throes of it's "CBS Fender" decline as we speak. Avoid them.

Ryan
 

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Don't get caught up in the anti 70's (Norlin era) LP's. They get trashed because of the way they were built but I've played many a good 70''s LP's, Customs included. I think they can be great guitars, rivaling the Custom Shop...
So, how were the 70s built? would the 80s be any better?
 

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Some Norlin era Les Pauls have whats called pancake bodies. What they did was sandwich 3-5 pieces of mahogany to make the body. Sometimes they would put a maple strip in the middle of the body. They also went to 3 piece necks, which they get slammed alot for. LP purists think the neck should be 1 piece, but they have been making multi-ply necks for a long time now. Thier higher end Jazz Boxes all had 3-5 piece necks. You can see the pancake body on most of the old ones due to the finish. Same for the neck...

Would the 80's be any better? That's all opinion, I'm not too fond of 80's era Les Pauls. All the ones I've owned save my Herritage 80 Reissue were dogs. But I like the 70's era LP's and those are consistantly slammed so I'm not above thinking there were some really nice Les Pauls made in the 80's...

Another good era was in the early 90's. I really like the Studio's I've owned from that time. Most had Grover tuners, which is a plus in my book. And most of the early to mid 90's LP Standards and Customs I've owned have been killer....
 

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Those early 80's Heritage reissues were and are absolutely slammin' guitars. I'd grab one of those if you could find one. They played very well, and looked fantastic as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Scott Smith said:
Where to start with the problems at Gibson? Understand that I'm a Gibson freak, been my favorite guitar maker since 1976 when I saw Ace playing a Tobacco Sunburst Standard. Back when he only had 2 pickups in his LP's...

First problem I have with them is thier sales policy. I cannot support any coompany that will willingly screw over the small "Mom and Pop" stores then get in bed with Musicians Friend. Reason #1 why I won't buy a new Gibson...

Second, I don't trust them. Hang out in the Les Paul forum and read for a couple of weeks. You'll hear some interesting things. Like Gibson necks stamped "Made in USA" being shipped over here from China. That is an interesting rumor, I don't know if I belive that one but if you look at their policy regarding the posting of pics on the internet, I wouldn't doubt it...

Next, they have started to whore out the Gibson name. Product placement in new car Commercials? Gibson advertising on TV? Huh? When did that become nessassarry?

Next is weight relief holes. I use to not have a problem with this but I now do. If you buy a new production line Gibson has drilled 13 holes in the mahogany, to make it weigh less. What? Aren't LP's suppose to be heavy? I think so. But others bitched so in go the 13 holes. Don't believe me? XRay your new production line LP and post the pic...

Quality control. Gibson has had a problem lately with LP's and quality. Gouged fretboards due to improper cleaning of the frets. Poor inlays. improper position of the studs for the stop tailpiece. Saddles installed crooked. Unaccepable "lemon peal" finish issues, most apparant around the neck where it meets the body. Crappy use of wood. I've seen some pieces of rosewood on $5000 Custom Shop LP's that shouldn't be on a Harmony. One question though, why do LP's have most of the quality control problems? SG's seem to come right out of the box ready to go. I would estimate 4-10 LP's to be good, 8-10 SG's. That's my expierience anyway...

Don't get caught up in the anti 70's (Norlin era) LP's. They get trashed because of the way they were built but I've played many a good 70''s LP's, Customs included. I think they can be great guitars, rivaling the Custom Shop...

Like I said, I love Gibson. I don't like to see what they are doing now. But it won't change until the president steps down. Harry is not a musician, guitar lover or anything like that. He's a total businessman. He's doing what he knows. But I don't think that's a good idea for a instrument company, maybe a dot com but not Gibson...
Thanks for that - many thing to be careful of. What I don't understand is why in the UK the MRRP is almost twice the actual store price - seems dumb to me. You would always expect a drop, but £1000? That isn't a marketing gimmick, it is Gibson misjudging the market entirely!

I played a shed load today, and most were good but there were definately a few duffers. The variation in the quality of the tops was surprising too, from flamed to plain (often on the same guitar). Nuts were usually not cut too well, and the set up was grim on a few, both easily fixable but you shouldn't have to. The same can be said of Ibanez mind you. I looked closely at the finishes but didn't find any flaws. Most of them had really crappy, dry looking planks for fretboards.

That said, there were a couple that played and sounded great. I have my eye on one but I'll go back and try it again another day with a fresh mindset.
 

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I can't tell in the pic of the Custom above if it's a pancake or not. I'm betting it is because of the 3 piece top, at least I think it's 3 pieces. That was another thing I forgot to mention, 3-5 piece tops. Purists hate that. I saw a 7 piece top on a 75 Cherry Sunburst Custom, looked cool I thought...

Gibsons set up is horrible out of the box. Always have been. But then again, most are...

Improperly cut nuts really pisses me off. It's not that hard, what's the issue? The stuff that gets by QC is amazing right now. But its all about the bottom line or $ to Gibson these days. They are not interested in making great instruments, only making cash. Somebody said that Gibson is in their "CBS" era, couldn't have said it better myself...

(Although that being said, there are some good 70's Strats, you just have to hunt for them)
 

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Algiman said:
That isn't falling standards, that is a complete loss of QC!
Well it is both. I don't think Gibson has a quality control problem, honestly. I think they have a quality problem, which is a bit different.

I've heard the loser who owns Gibson is getting a divorce and trying to drive the value of the company down as far as he can, figuring he can bring the company back at a later date. It makes perfect sense. Some of the new Les Pauls are worse than they were in the late 70s, and that is BAD!
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
My theory is that Gibsons (and PRS, but they're similar markets) have been highly fashionable for the last 10 years. These things are cyclic (noticed the increase in strats in music videos recently?) so Gibson need to ring every $ out of the product that they can now.

Who knows, the super strat may become cool again in 5 years or so!
 
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