New Information About Gibson's Lack of Quality Control

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by edselman, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. edselman

    edselman Senior Member

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    I have some new information about Gibson’s lack of quality control. Yesterday I ordered a particular Gibson Les Paul from Sweetwater that was currently out of stock. The online listing noted that, “More are on the way,” and indicated that I could reserve mine now. So, I pulled the trigger. Today I received a telephone call from my assigned sales engineer. He said that today they received a shipment of the particular guitar I ordered but not a single guitar in the shipment passed their inspection. All of them have to be returned to Gibson. I was shocked. He told me that Sweetwater has to send an average of 13% of all Gibson guitars back to the company because they do not pass Sweetwater’s initial inspection. It looks like today was an especially bad day for Gibson.
     

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  2. sk8rat

    sk8rat Senior Member

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    if only musicians friend did the same thing. I got two beat up les pauls through them. the box was still sealed from gibson. I was told they would open the box the second time and inspect the guitar before they shipped it to me but they didnt :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Senior Member

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    I bought 3 new Gibsons this year (2 LPs; 1 Midtown). All of them had glaring finishing flaws. It doesn't bother me as much since I got them for a very good price, but it's still disappointing.
     
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  4. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Right before Henry took the helm, Gibby was hurting for sales. They were trying to move everything they could. They had huge labor turnover. Quality was just terrible.

    Day #1 when Henry arrived, he went thru the shop floor smashing finished and nearly finished guitars, yelling at the workers, "These are NOT Gibsons!" referring to the poor quality.

    Today, Henry is still at the helm, and quality is back to pre-Henry days. Sales are hurting, big turnover in labor. Quality is terrible.

    Ah how things go full circle.....
     
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  5. laterider

    laterider Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    We don't have any idea how long that 13% number has been going on. In Gibson's defense the 'hand built' guitars all have variations, its part of their charm we cherish but then its the downside that we complain about here. I'm sure that just like any other production facility there are the 'Monday' and 'Friday' produced models too. Sweetwater's 55pt doesn't always ensure goodness either. I grabbed a '13 vintage burst LP studio that was such a looker, I really liked that weird ebony 'stripe' or 'band' at the neck join on the natural back and mid sides - but it had a few high frets that made bends choke out at normal string heights. Yeah I could've had them dressed but shouldn't need to for a new guitar. Sadly it went back and they had no replacement at the time but I gave in and moved on. We always jump to say their QC is at a new low but I think its just a near constant over the years and something we have just learned to deal with. If we want it to get better we need to all rebel, stop buying, and then be prepared to pay PRS prices...
     
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  6. ToneasaurusRex

    ToneasaurusRex Silver Supporter

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    "Hand built" is not synonymous with "poor quality."

    If they're going to scrape bindings by hand, they ought to do it really well, so there is neither a trough nor a ridge at the binding/body joint.

    If they're going to build a fretboard with hand tools, they ought to remove all the tool marks before they call it done.

    Those are just two issues I've seen on multiple Gibsons in the past ten years. Like many Gibson fans, I love them, but . . .
     
  7. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    I wish people would stop making excuses for Gibson's lack of care. Of course there are reasons why some companies produce uneven ad at times crappy stuff. But when you charge a whole lot, offer a so-called premium product, and claim that your brand is superior, you owe the customer reliable quality. Just compare a PRS to a LP in terms of fit and finish. Paul Smith is a genius at developing production-line guitar making to a remarkably high standard; LP standards don't even come close. It's pretty sad, really. I agree with those who noticed an improvement in Gibson quality... for a while. But they've been backsliding. The overpriced special models are well made, if you want to shell out tons of extra bucks for decent fit and finish.
     
  8. edselman

    edselman Senior Member

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    Sadly, with companies like Gibson the "Made in America" mystique is fading. I have owned several Gibsons over the years. Unfortunately the keepers have been in the minority. My 2016 Traditional is absolutely flawless. But with some of the others I have had to send them back, or I kept some and finally sold them for a loss because the flaws kept nagging at me. I have a 2016 SG Standard that I kept after sending one back. The keeper is still a piece of crap. I'll probably be selling it too very soon.

    This issue can be corrected if the managers cared enough to kick ass on the production line. The individuals on the line need to do their jobs. But if nobody stays on top of them, they get lazy and sloppy.
     
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  9. edselman

    edselman Senior Member

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    I have to say that I dearly love Gibsons, Les Pauls in particular. That's why I put up with so much crap. It's a love/hate relationship. Owning several Gibsons costs money, time and frustration. I have thrown so much money and time down the drain on some of the messes that I've kept. Not anymore. Anything that doesn't measure up gets sent back.
     
  10. Jackangus

    Jackangus Senior Member

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    I find it hard to believe how many people try to defend Gibson over poor quality control.
    The money we fork out for these guitars is crazy, they should be absolutely perfect, simple as that.
    Gibson needs to get their act together.
     
  11. T22

    T22 Member

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    Way back in '05 I ordered a LP studio from music123. The nut was cut so badly the e string kept slipping out. Music123 promptly replaced it but the next one had the same issue. They then went through their stock and selected the best for me. Ended up with a great guitar, but you'd think Gibson would have a look at the instruments before sending it off...

    Saying that, last year I tried a'16 Trad, Standard and a couple of Studios. All I found to be excellent in terms of workmanship, the Studio in my avatar is the best LP I've owned so far.
     
  12. jc2000

    jc2000 Senior Member

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    That sounds like a good place to order from..:applause:
     
  13. T22

    T22 Member

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    Gibson charge too much for an amazing guitar, we know that and they know that.

    I always buy used now, try before I buy and enjoy the savings.
     
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  14. 1all's Pub

    1all's Pub Senior Member

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    I love Gibsons...they are my guitar of choice...the brand that I desire and have desired my whole guitar-loving life...and the guitars that insipire me most to play.

    But...if you’ve spent any time at all shopping for them in person, it is just undeniable that you have to shop around to find a good one. Not just a good playing/sounding/feeling one, but one with good QC/Fit & Finish. There are a lot of Gibson Guitars out there that I just wouldn’t even consider buying because of some QC/F&F flaw...too many, in fact.

    I feel for those people whose only option is to buy sight unseen online—it’s a total crap shoot as to what will arrive. (Advice if you must buy online: at least buy from someone like Sweetwater or Wildwood, etc., that shows actual close-up pics of the individual guitars—along with weights.)

    4 of my current 5 Gibsons I bought new. All locally, in person. And thus was able to ensure I got good ones (took a pass on many to find these 4). I am fortunate that I live in a large metro area with a lot of guitar retailers (5 GCs, SA, and several mom & pops), so I can take (and have taken) my time finding Gibsons (mostly LPs) here locally that A) look good and have proper QC/F&F and, B) play/sound/feel good to me. A few years ago I did try to buy a couple new ones sight unseen, and had to return both. Not worth the hassle and aggravation.

    All this said... I really hope Gibson gets its boat righted...I don’t want to see them fail.
     
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  15. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Senior Member

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    I'm a used gear buyer too..
    No new guitars for me thanks!! Oh wait there was that NW Nighthawk & Epiphone Ace..
    I have bought three Gibsons online used & only one had an issue,
    BTW it was a U2 super strat with steinberger KBX trem & it had the hump at the upper frets where it met the body.. The seller knew about the problem & made it right, I dressed the frets & went on, It did not have the leaning posts that most of that trem have.. Go Figure.. It really is hit & miss..
    Oh the Blueshawk I bought used needed a bone nut & one tuner was fubar = new grovers..
    Damn the more I think about it, You should only buy what you can hold/play in you're hands..
    I bet the ones I had with problems where better than the ones Sweetwater returned NEW in the box.
    Each man sees something that another might miss.. Change the strings & do a setup & everything could turn into a huge pile of $#!+.. That's user error BTW.. Nothing to do with the guitar IF it played great to start with.. It's a scary world.. Henry J. should have his trousers pulled down & taken to the wood shed.
     
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  16. PierM

    PierM Premium Member

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    I don't like to complain or bash a company, because it's boring (you always find denial fanboys telling they are handmade), useless (Gibson it's not reading), and karma killer (I prefer to return and move on instead hammer my balls to much). Said that, I can say this year I faced myself an incredible amount of Gibson P.O.S, that I returned immediately. One of them was so embarrassing that I was shocked to see such a 3K piece of crap in front of my eyes. That was not just a QC issue, was a totally construction facepalm. OP, sorry, it's not even "news". :)
     
  17. Hatefulsob

    Hatefulsob Senior Member

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    Several years ago I bought a MF house brand Rogue beatle bass. Don’t remember what I paid but I think it was less than 200 bucks. The workmanship and finish is absolutely without flaw, it could not be better. There is simply no reason for gibson to build such terrible examples. I think the reason the topic keeps going on and on is that gibson clearly knows how to and does “sometimes” make great guitars, they are absolutely capable of doing great work. If they can’t get their shit together, I have no problem watching them go down.
     
  18. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Senior Member

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    Quality would be vastly improved if Gibson reduced their employees' quota--or eliminated it completely.
     
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  19. rockstar232007

    rockstar232007 Senior Member

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    This isn't "new information".
     
  20. fleahead

    fleahead Senior Member

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    Hey, if anyone's interested, HJ is looking for a new e-commerce manager.....

    Just make sure you have that next job lined up after he cans you after a week....
     

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