2019 Wildwood Spec - A discussion

jenton70

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Having a bunch of store credit and 24 month 0% financing is a dangerous business with me. A little bit ago I found myself staring at this scenario and GAS'ing hard for an R0. I kept coming back to this one, despite it not have my usual favored top. I just loved the color and how it all came together. And I was always curious about "Wildwood Spec" though I didn't know much about it nor put much stock in it. Marketing. I did some general Googling and reading through the description on Wildwood's site and I ended up buying the guitar, as much for the curiosity as the GAS. There is a decent return policy so if I didn't like it there was no risk. Stay with me here, I've got a lot of excuses for dumping money on guitar stuff.

Firstly, here is the guitar.

IMG_3131.jpg


The color is "Wildwood Burst". They really are exploring a theme here. But, hey, they got Greg Koch. I'm into the color so whatever they call it is fine.

What I know about the "Spec" - proprietary pickups, plastics. And that's the end of the list. Well, I guess finish color? The guard is cool, very nicotine looking. Same with the double ring tuners. And, as a note, they are the smoothest Klusons I've had. But let's not call that a Wildwood thing...
The pickups are really great. I fully expected them to be "okay" and end up being replaced by a dusty set of Wizz or Throbaks I have in the foot locker. But no way. They sound really perfect to me. Squishy and warm with no lack of bite where needed. No ice pick here at all.

So my question - what else is "Wildwood Spec"? The neck is phenomenal at .83-.93 but I think that's just the R0 thing. Does anyone have one or have more info?

And before this conversation degenerates into a debate on whether they are worth the money, please remember that we are all nerds here. 7299 MAP vs. 6499 MAP is pretty irrelevant considering a nice Epiphone will set you back 500 bones or so. So just stop.

As a note, this guitar is really inspiring to play. Neck, tone, feel, etc. It does everything my replicas do and more. This is highly unusual for a CS guitar lately. Again, not calling that the Wildwood magic dust or anything - just a note.
 

calieng

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I have a 2019 '57 Goldtop Wildwood Spec.

Other than the low wind pickups it is just marketing. The yellow stuff on the plastic rubs off fairly quickly so kind of a waste of time.

I suppose they may have some input on the selection of woods perhaps....

As long as you like it that is all that matters as long as they gave you a decent price on it. I got mine used but unplayed for a price too low to say.
 

VictorB

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I have 2 Wildwood spec LPs, a R6 & R8.

They’re both super light and resonant, that alone is worth the extra $$$
 

StubbyJ

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It's beautiful. Regardless of price, or spec., if it inspires you play, the bills are paid and the family is not starving, keep it.
Regarding spec.. If it's a featherweight the mahogany is different from standard reissues...but I can't recall what type or location...Fiji??
 

ManicPete

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Gorgeous finish.

"Wildwood Spec" triggers my subconscious to mean I will play like Greg Koch on those videos. And I guess that is the point.

In reality I'm guessing "Wildwood Spec" really means they requested woods and finishes and your guitar is one of them.

Health to enjoy!
 

Tim Plains

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Congrats.

WW spec is just the underwound pickups from what I was told when I bought an SG from them last year.

I'm not sure if this applies to all WW spec guitars but they do also go to Nashville and choose woods for their guitars, so in that regard, some are also like the Hand Select designation Gibson uses/used.
 

JMB1984

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The WW aged plastics are new for this year and are not on every WW spec guitar. All of the wood is also glued with Hyde glue as opposed to just the tops and fretboard. They also have handpicked tops with different finishes from the regular choices.
 

RAG7890

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The WW aged plastics are new for this year and are not on every WW spec guitar. All of the wood is also glued with Hyde glue as opposed to just the tops and fretboard. They also have handpicked tops with different finishes from the regular choices.
Sorry but this is incorrect.

The Custom Shop has been using Hide Glue for the Mortise / Tenon Neck Join + the Maple Cap to Mahogany Back + the Fretboard for a number of years now.

So a WW Spec covering this is not an afded feature. There is only so much you can do for. Guitar that most want Vintage Accurate.

Also, not that it really matters, but Hide Glue is not Vintage Accurate.

:cheers2:
 

JMB1984

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Sorry but this is incorrect.

The Custom Shop has been using Hide Glue for the Mortise / Tenon Neck Join + the Maple Cap to Mahogany Back + the Fretboard for a number of years now.

So a WW Spec covering this is not an afded feature. There is only so much you can do for. Guitar that most want Vintage Accurate.

Also, not that it really matters, but Hide Glue is not Vintage Accurate.

:cheers2:
I cannot say that I have ever seen Gibson promote that every piece of wood uses hide glue, but I certainly could have missed it. The Gibson website for the 60th Anniversaries also only mentions it for the fret boards now. We all know their website hasn’t been the best over the years so if you have another reference where Gibson says they use hide glue for everything it would be great to see it.

All that being said, I’m sure WWs extensive write ups are more about stating everything they can to justify the price. They are clever with their wording:

“Speaking of sustain: our friends at the Custom Shop then used hide glue to attach each piece of wood together. Here at Wildwood, we love hide glue the way Pete Townshend loves windmilling. It's a protein-based adhesive that promotes the greatest possible energy transfer between two pieces of wood. This results in maximum resonance and sustain, but it ins't easy. Hide glue is incredibly difficult to work with, and it requires a master's touch (as well as a tremendous amount of patience and elbow grease). The Custom Shop luthiers were up to the task, though, and their incredible skill made these guitars true sonic heavyweights.”
 
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JMB1984

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In digging further it looks like the 2018s at least mentioned using hide glue for the tops, neck joint and fret boards. What’s left after that? Headstock wing tips? LMAO. So unless Gibson scaled Hide Glue use back for the 2019 (since there is less mention on the website for 2019s), it does just seem like WW marketing for the hide glue.


 
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JMB1984

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Wildwood spec use to mean more of a difference. In the past they would introduce certain specs that became the norm later on. For example, I remember when I got one around 2010, they were advertising that WW spec guitars have long studs and anchors. That was an appealing spec to me then, and at some point (maybe 2013?) they became the norm for all Historics. The interesting thing is that I don’t think Gibson ever fully took advantage of marketing the long studs and anchors as an improvement in historical accuracy, even though they arguably had a bigger impact on tone than hide glue or changes to plastics.

For the ones offered today, I can see how it might be appealing to some people to get a guitar with aged plastics/hardware, but without dings and razor checking. There definitely is an after market for those parts that people buy into already for the added vintage look without taking the aging too far. If it is really just down to WW pickups and aged parts now, I guess people just have to decide if they want those things stock under warranty, or if they want to modify their guitars with after market stuff.

I know WW sometimes does runs like the Featherweights which offer more of a difference from the regular Historics. It would be nice to see Wildwood or other dealers add some new variation such as overwound custom buckers, which many people might enjoy more than underwounds. The point would be to offer a variety of different winds like Fender does even without custom ordering as opposed to just one wind. Wildwood could also bring back the well coveted neck profiles from the 1955 Historic Hot mod run that were thick in the middle, but with softer shoulders in comparison to the regular R6 or R7 profiles.
 

jenton70

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Wildwood spec use to mean more of a difference. In the past they would introduce certain specs that became the norm later on. For example, I remember when I got one around 2010, they were advertising that WW spec guitars have long studs and anchors. That was an appealing spec to me then, and at some point (maybe 2013?) they became the norm for all Historics. The interesting thing is that I don’t think Gibson ever fully took advantage of marketing the long studs and anchors as an improvement in historical accuracy, even though they arguably had a bigger impact on tone than hide glue or changes to plastics.

For the ones offered today, I can see how it might be appealing to some people to get a guitar with aged plastics/hardware, but without dings and razor checking. There definitely is an after market for those parts that people buy into already for the added vintage look without taking the aging too far. If it is really just down to WW pickups and aged parts now, I guess people just have to decide if they want those things stock under warranty, or if they want to modify their guitars with after market stuff.

I know WW sometimes does runs like the Featherweights which offer more of a difference from the regular Historics. It would be nice to see Wildwood or other dealers add some new variation such as overwound custom buckers, which many people might enjoy more than underwounds. The point would be to offer a variety of different winds like Fender does even without custom ordering as opposed to just one wind. Wildwood could also bring back the well coveted neck profiles from the 1955 Historic Hot mod run that were thick in the middle, but with softer shoulders in comparison to the regular R6 or R7 profiles.
Thanks very much for the info. The long stud thing was what I couldn't remember. I knew they were doing something like that at one point. -Andrew
 

Subterfuge

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I cannot say that I have ever seen Gibson promote that every piece of wood uses hide glue, but I certainly could have missed it. The Gibson website for the 60th Anniversaries also only mentions it for the fret boards now. We all know their website hasn’t been the best over the years so if you have another reference where Gibson says they use hide glue for everything it would be great to see it.

All that being said, I’m sure WWs extensive write ups are more about stating everything they can to justify the price. They are clever with their wording:

“Speaking of sustain: our friends at the Custom Shop then used hide glue to attach each piece of wood together. Here at Wildwood, we love hide glue the way Pete Townshend loves windmilling. It's a protein-based adhesive that promotes the greatest possible energy transfer between two pieces of wood. This results in maximum resonance and sustain, but it ins't easy. Hide glue is incredibly difficult to work with, and it requires a master's touch (as well as a tremendous amount of patience and elbow grease). The Custom Shop luthiers were up to the task, though, and their incredible skill made these guitars true sonic heavyweights.”
Wildwood Guitars has always excelled at creative writing ..
 

RAG7890

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I cannot say that I have ever seen Gibson promote that every piece of wood uses hide glue, but I certainly could have missed it. The Gibson website for the 60th Anniversaries also only mentions it for the fret boards now. We all know their website hasn’t been the best over the years so if you have another reference where Gibson says they use hide glue for everything it would be great to see it.

All that being said, I’m sure WWs extensive write ups are more about stating everything they can to justify the price. They are clever with their wording:

“Speaking of sustain: our friends at the Custom Shop then used hide glue to attach each piece of wood together. Here at Wildwood, we love hide glue the way Pete Townshend loves windmilling. It's a protein-based adhesive that promotes the greatest possible energy transfer between two pieces of wood. This results in maximum resonance and sustain, but it ins't easy. Hide glue is incredibly difficult to work with, and it requires a master's touch (as well as a tremendous amount of patience and elbow grease). The Custom Shop luthiers were up to the task, though, and their incredible skill made these guitars true sonic heavyweights.”
LMAO..................what an absolute crock of $hit (see Orange Font above).

Hide Glue is actually quite easy to work with & allows more open working time albeit a PIA to make up.

Every Luthier worth his salt knows that Titebond will do the same job as long as the Join is correct.

Gibson's issues over the years have often been sloppy Neck Joins, resulting in way too much Titebond.

Way too much Titebond = Rubber Join, just look at the older HM pics when they steamed out the Necks.

A properly made Mortise & Tenon Neck join is an interference fit & capable of holding a Body up by the Neck with zero Glue. You can't do that with a sloppy join.

As far as a Master's Touch & Luthiers at Gibson................well, they are skilled process workers. Maybe WW has their own Luthiers working there.

:cheers2:
 


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