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Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by edselman, Nov 30, 2017.
Holy crap! That's inexcusable!
Those rejects/b grade instruments end up for sale somewhere. Usually on 'crazy blow out end of year deals'. At least that seems to be my experience - having bought 4 in the last 3 years. Every single one clearly B stock sold as A stock but heavily discounted. I kept them all bar one - a trad that had a fret hanging off. It wasn't cheap enough to justify keeping it at £900.
yes, Six sigma would make yer ax;s prettier and more playable but you would have to get a second to buy one, cost more unfortunately.
Exactly Hand-built is, or should be just the opposite, believe me I am in my 40th year as a Luthier. There is a sign that hangs above my front door that reads," nothing but my best shall pass this point". I mean it and I live and die by it ! Recently one of my customers was with an original member of Jefferson Starship and he told him the OM style guitar I had built for him 10 years ago was the finest acoustic guitar he had ever seen. One of the local Gainesville area Tom Petty hired guns told him the same exact thing right in front of me, I almost fainted. After playing it non stop for about the longest 15 minutes of my life without looking up or taking a break his exact words as he was handing it back to him was, "That's the nicest acoustic guitar I've ever played, what did it cost you?" he didn't beat around the bush!! Just before that when we both were Bs'ing about guitars and waiting for my customer to finish sound check for their show, he had told me that he had taken a year off from playing electric guitar and had only played acoustic Blues. I am a big fan of Sweetwater and don't see how their 55 point check didn't catch that bad of a binding crack or joint spread. All I can say is once they hand it over to the packing crew and then Fedex or whomever shipped it to you, it's out of their hands. Perhaps something happened after their check. All I can say about Sweetwater is in the last month I have spent 4500.00 with them and not even a scratch on anything I've ever purchased from them and I live in Alaska and everything I've ordered has shipped via Fedex ground. I get on a plane and hand deliver my guitars and hang with customer for a few days so I can address any adjustments they require, if any. I treat it as a vacation and a chance to see some good music!
having visited the Memphis factory, and seeing the different stations and checks done for qc, items that get through are basically a combination of incompetence and negligence. each station is basically responsible for a check before it even gets to paint, assembly and checks.
i can understand the high action, but everything else is down to negligence
I really hate reading about this.
Such a rich history, and such a great iconic product.
So what's the answer?
I read that they have a turnover problem. Is this true? Wonder how many factory folk have ten years or more of experience .
Are the best retiring or have left? Has their training been reduced to a few days then have at it?
How much do they make, is it decent wages?
Are they making inspectors out of personnel that maybe are in the wrong position?
Problems like these seem to always be linked to the top.
I'm not sure where you live, but where I live, the company I have worked for 30 plus years has had difficult times hiring men and woman that want to work, want to learn and excel and not just make it a stepping stone to something greater.
I have tried to find a younger person to teach for the last 10 years and it seems none are capable of reading a measuring tape or working fractions in their head without a calculator! A simple ? like what is half of 3/4 and their mind goes blank. These are all high school graduates and some beyond that! Instant gratification or they aren't interested! Sadly, I find the likelihood of any of them willing to spend up to 10 years to master building guitars is lost. Maybe a single or a couple tasks but start to finish takes much more than any company is willing to invest unless the person is really interested in learning the craft and has the technical aptitude to achieve it.
I've been buying and selling Gibson, mostly Les Pauls since 1992, and I must end up with all 13/100 every time. I've seen so many defects and complete lemons that it's a wonder I ever kept caring. My current LP's (all are fabulous) probably cost me thousands in lost time and money to arrive at over the last 25 yrs.
What year would you guys say the production quality went down the drain? Is there a Magic year for Gibson that most prior years were excellent or is it a slow gradual decline?
Not really too surprised there......MF is owned by Guitar Center, so same lack of customer care is to be expected.
The answer you ask? It's simple. There are tons of used Led Paul's all over the place and will continue to be for our entire life. They used to make them right.
Good point! If Gibson disappeared today, never to return, there are enough LPs out there in the market to last for several generations.
That said, (to your point that “They used to make them right.”)... they used to make them wrong too! Any honest reading of Gibson’s history shows that they have had pretty much a checkered past since at least the 60s/70s (and I’m guessing they had their QC problems in the 50s too, but those LPs are just so aged/beat nowadays that bad 50s QC is just seen as patina now... but I digress ).
Seems us LP fans have always had to seek out the “good ones” regardless of year (and yes, regardless of year there are always good ones to be found too). In reality, at least for me, the “hunt” is part of the fun! (not to excuse Gibson’s QC issues at all, but if buying an LP was like buying a toaster I wonder if we’d all be as excited about them... then again, maybe it’s just too early (5:30am) and I just need more coffee! )
I buy, play (and sometimes resell) Gibson guitars since they early '80, and honestly I've always seen dogs along all those years.
The main difference now is mainly on the rosewood quality, which seems really substandards. Everything else, QC related, always been pretty random, as today.
Hence the problem I think. I have had no less then 9 PRS guitars and 8 Ernie Ball Music Man guitars. There were never any QC issues at all with those lines.
I'm sure those brands have problems too in the pipelines, but their final QC firewall doesn't let any of those dogs passing by.
Gibson seems doesn't have a firewall at all, but doesn't mean that they are only releasing dogs. Those that I've in house are stellar guitars. Last custom I bought can easily put any FGN or a Edwards in an angle (PS, this year many FGN has been flagged as B Stock in europe). My R8 also can laugh hard on many PRS I've tried, on similar price ranges.
So yeah, when they do it right, it's monster guitars. For me, this still worth it my hunt (but I still buy other brands too, without any problem).
PS: Rosewood on USA Gibson, is my mainly concern these years. This is for sure a big one.
Seems the vast majority of complaint threads I read about involve one or more of the following
Set up/tuning issues
Seems pretty rare that someone gets a finish flaw from Sweetwater. And that mirrors my experience. I have no doubt that MF will ship anything- they do not care. And GC and Sam Ash operate under the policy that a floor model that’s been played by 4749456 people for six months isn’t a used guitar. Stop buying these guitars! You don’t buy the test drive car at a dealer for the same price as one with 3 miles on it, right?
As for the poorly cut nuts and tuning issues, I’ve been playing gibsons for 20 years. I’ve owned a ton of them. I have never had a tuning issue that required a new nut, new tuners or a warranty claim/store return on a single one of them.
Same here. They always been conservative with nut slots (and honestly this is a good move). I always have just to fine tune the slots for my final gauge. That's it.
It´s sad. It´s negligence. A bad cut body shouldn´t be assembled in a good neck, painted, finished...
One department should look before do their turn. It´s a total waste of labour and money. A finished guitar with gross failures it´s not acceptable in any price.
I can go down to my local GCs (we have 5 in Phoenix) right now and find at least one Gibson hanging on the wall at each of them that has a poorly cut nut... usually offset to the low E. I wish this wasn’t the case, but the facts are just plain to see hanging there on the wall.
I had a Cherry Sunburst Trad Pro IV in my hands a couple months ago that had an awesome top on it... sounded good, but the nut was so offset to the low E side that just doing a simple D chord caused the low E to slip off the fretboard. I was shopping for a guitar at the time and otherwise liked it, and I do realize I could have gotten GC to replace the nut probably as part of the deal of buying it... but it aggravated me so that I just put it back on the wall and walked away. I ended up finding/buying a Vintage Sunburst Trad Pro IV at another GC (that was kept behind a glass case in the Platinum Room so it wasn’t a wall-hanging “Guitar Denter special” ) whose nut was perfect and whose rosewood was nice and that play/sounded/felt great... but it did take some looking that’s for sure. But then, as I said before, I like the “hunt” to find a “good one” almost as much as owning it... almost.