58 Custom VOS returned. Thoughts/advice?

hirnra

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Long time lurker here but don’t post much. Sorry about the long post.

Little background I own a 2021 Les Paul Standard Slash in November Burst. I like it a lot and have 0 issues or QC problems. Really love the 50s neck. Did months of research looking for the next step up and was between a Heritage H150 Custom Core and a Gibson Custom 58 VOS. I went with the Gibson because a majority of reviews say how amazing they are and are an upgrade over the standards in many ways. The Heritage is always described as a better guitar(with no explanation) and sound “as good” as the Gibson customs. I decided I didn’t want the cheaper option that was just “as good” as the Gibson.

I don’t have a place to play these guitars anywhere close to me so I’m stuck ordering online and trying them out at home.

Long story short I received the Custom and was not impressed with it. I could tell a slight difference in sound from the pickups but otherwise was not better to me in any way to justify the 2k increase in price. I was really disappointed. I’m shipped it back.

I’m looking for others’ thoughts or opinions. Am I expecting too much over my standard? Do I just have a “really good” standard? Did I get a Custom that was just ok?
 

StubbyJ

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Yes to all of the above. It's all about preference. Some folks prefer standards to custom shops. You could have an outstanding standard while some custom shops are rather vanilla/have a standard feel; especially gloss versions. Simply get out there and play as many guitars including custom shops as you can and purchase based upon guitar rather than labels. Enjoy your /.
 

E.T.

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There is a massive markup on Custom Shop models, it's never seemed worth it to me for the goods- but I'd assume the salaries of the luthiers in the CS cost a bit more in the long term than depreciation on a CAM center so the percentage increase is probably justified on their side from a bidness perspective.
 

Rogueaverage616

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In the end its up to you.I own a 2016 Gibson USA Les paul Standard, and its a great guitar, with a very flamey top.Ive owned a few Gibson USA Les pauls, a 2017 Les paul Tradirional, a 2017 Les paul Classic, an 1995 les paul Studio, “Amazing guitar” wish i never sold it.

i sold the classic and the traditional, to buy my first custom shop Gibson les paul, witch is an 2018 Gibson Custom Shop R0 1960 Burst, then a 2019 Gibson custom shop les paul R9, then a 2016 Gibson custom Shop Historic SG Standard VOS, witch has no year attached to it, but spec wise is around a 1963-1964 specced guitar, with the Maestro Vibrato, small pickguard, ..etc..accept it has single ring Klusons, instead of double,

What i can say is that, all of the Custom Shop Gibsons i have , seem to feel the same in a way, something about them, the way they play, and feel with my hand wrapped around the neck.The Custom Shop SG, to be honest actually feels more similar to the Custom Shop les pauls i have, then my Gibson USA les paul, does to my Custom Shop les pauls...
 

hirnra

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It’s frustrating because when I call to purchase I had multiple sales people tell me how amazing they sound and play. It made sense to me. Long neck tenon, custombucker pickups, bridge mounted direct. But when I call to return it I get a story of it won’t be different at all really you are paying for “history”.

Appreciate your responses.
 

OBLP

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Depends on the one you get really and like others have said, its personal preference. The value of an extra $2k is different for everyone. My last standard was amazing but for some reason the custom shops I own resonate more with me when I play them but I couldn't really tell you what it is exactly. There are lemons in every group. Try some other 58's, 59's, or 60's CS LPs and see if you come to the same conclusion.
 

Brek

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Its an expectation thing, I kinda know what you felt when you played it. I was the same when i got my R0 home, was kinda underwhelmed. possibly because the last custom shop I had was the jimmy page number one, an exceptional guitar n everyway.!The historics are possibly a bit more responsive to certain nuances of playing. But rationalising that with the extra dosh they cost is really difficult. I feel with the ones I have that there is a difference in sound quality. I am just as happy playing my epiphone custom.
 

hirnra

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Don’t get me wrong it was not a bad guitar at all. It sounded different than my standard but necessarily better. It just has me second guessing trying a heritage custom core or different R8s.
 

ARandall

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A lot of people make that mistake......because something is more expensive that it has to be better for you. There are 2 fundamental flaws here:
1. The immediate association of price and tone. Take the very same bits of wood through either automated or fully manual construction and you'll get a vastly different cost for the exact same guitar.

2. The false perception that Gibson (or any maker) is required to provide the exact tone you want out of their high $ items - or that a subjective better can be objectively reached simply with more $$ paid. It just does not work that way.

Gibson's Reissue line is mainly about making an aesthetic and construction-accurate replica of a 50's Les Paul. Nominally it should be closer to the 50's tone due to the above, but as wood is unique this is essentially impossible to guarantee.
But if you don't like a vintage inspired tone, or that more dry open tone doesn't work with your rig, then quite literally the further you go into that market the further you are away from your ideal tone.

Its up to you to find where your 'best tone' sits in the guitar range. It might be that cheap guitars do it best.....that dense wood does it best, or indeed for some that the RI line does it best. There's simply nothing that we can do for you here.

Its also why you get those belligerent type people proudly proclaiming their Epiphone is better than any Gibson....as if this is a fact the rest of us are too indoctrinated to realise. No....its simply your opinion on the matter, and its as real to you as it is inconsequential to the rest of us.
 

soyboi

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I think the issue people don’t really understand is that pricing doesn’t scale with a custom shop. For an extra 2k you simply get nicer tops, vos treatment, lighter wood and a one piece back.

it’s not twice the guitar because it’s twice the price. You get maybe 10% more, but to some it’s worth it. For me in my financial position I simply could afford the extra to get a CS. To me, it was worth it over the standard.

if you pick up a vintage 59 LP, do you really think it’s 200x the guitar over a regular standard?
 

Injector

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My R7 is much lighter, has a nicer paint job and the fretboard feels much nicer to play than any LP I've owned previously. It's a nicer instrument in every way.but of course not twice as good as a USA Standard.
 

hirnra

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I think the issue people don’t really understand is that pricing doesn’t scale with a custom shop. For an extra 2k you simply get nicer tops, vos treatment, lighter wood and a one piece back.

it’s not twice the guitar because it’s twice the price. You get maybe 10% more, but to some it’s worth it. For me in my financial position I simply could afford the extra to get a CS. To me, it was worth it over the standard.

if you pick up a vintage 59 LP, do you really think it’s 200x the guitar over a regular standard?
I will admit I didn’t have any expectation it would be a guitar that was twice as good as my standard. I just expected something about it to be better than the Slash Standard and it wasn’t. Sounds like I shouldn’t give up on customs and just try others if and when they come around.
 
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Shane1956

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It's all about personal preference . You probably have an amazing USA model and if you are happy with it don't second guess the decision. However, in my experience I'm 100 % custom shop over USA all day every day. I've played enough to know that I personally have strong feelings towards the custom shop. So much so I don't even bother picking up a USA model Les Paul in any store. I want accurate traditional specs . That's my preference so I don't bother with the USA line. It has nothing to do with the quality of a USA Les Paul. To me there is a major difference for what I like and it's worth the price hike. Again, everyone is different. It comes down to being the judge for yourself.

Although, I tend to believe the majority will agree that on average The Gibson Custom Shop not only makes a better guitar but also a more desired one.
 
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DanD

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I think what it comes down to is how much are you willing to pay for that last 10% of refinement?

I've had many great USA LPs but they still miss the mark by that little bit. Lighter woods, better fret finishing, rolled binding, truss rod, tops, neck shape, and hardware all push me over to the Reissues.

Are these differences worth double or triple the cost?

That's the million dollar question and only you can answer it.

My 2013 Standard Plus had it all if you like a small neck and Grovers.

Neither would be my choice which is why I moved it along. Nonetheless it was a great guitar in its own right. Just not great for me.
 

Red Planet

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My 2021 Standard 50s is like a Tele on steroids. My 2003 R8 is a freakin rock monster. They are like apples and watermelons. Now I did gut the 50s and replace everything so that is part of the recipe that makes it different but it was different when it was stock.
 

jrkhav

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I know what you mean; I flip gear locally as a side job and have all kinds of different Gibsons come through, Custom and USA. I've had a few underwhelming Customs, but MANY more underwhelming USAs with a host of issues. Obviously neither is perfect but I will say that the Custom Shop puts out more consistently great guitars. The ones that I find myself enjoying the most and wanting to keep more often than not are the Customs. It seems like you do have a really awesome USA here though and that raised the bar for what to expect. I have a feeling if you come across and play more USAs you'll see how unusually great your Slash is in comparison.

Anyways, when you buy online this is the chance you take, totally understandable given the circumstances. It's an arduous process but I'd say keep buying, trying, and returning until you find one that really stands out to you. Should be easier to find a great Custom, but keep in mind that your Slash seems above average for USAs, so temper expectations based on that.
 

Yamaha R1

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Long time lurker here but don’t post much. Sorry about the long post.

Little background I own a 2021 Les Paul Standard Slash in November Burst. I like it a lot and have 0 issues or QC problems. Really love the 50s neck. Did months of research looking for the next step up and was between a Heritage H150 Custom Core and a Gibson Custom 58 VOS. I went with the Gibson because a majority of reviews say how amazing they are and are an upgrade over the standards in many ways. The Heritage is always described as a better guitar(with no explanation) and sound “as good” as the Gibson customs. I decided I didn’t want the cheaper option that was just “as good” as the Gibson.

I don’t have a place to play these guitars anywhere close to me so I’m stuck ordering online and trying them out at home.

Long story short I received the Custom and was not impressed with it. I could tell a slight difference in sound from the pickups but otherwise was not better to me in any way to justify the 2k increase in price. I was really disappointed. I’m shipped it back.

I’m looking for others’ thoughts or opinions. Am I expecting too much over my standard? Do I just have a “really good” standard? Did I get a Custom that was just ok?
Brother, the Heritage is better than the Gibson you purchased in my opinion. The Seymour Duncan 59s sound amazing. The craftsmanship in the Heritage is like nothing I've seen in a long while. Simply perfect. Each one hand made. Their Standard line is on par with a Gibson custom shop. Their Core line is a step above. I was in the same dilemma as you but after playing and feeling the Heritage, I purchased a Core model. You rarely find any used ones on Reverb for sale as we just keep them as they are so good. I hope you consider a Heritage as your next purchase.
 

FingerLakesFan

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Very interesting thread (Thanks for something new) - I own a '19 R8, a '20 Slash, and a '20 R9 and I actually prefer my Slash to my R8 to tell you the truth. I've said it a million times on here: The Slash is as close to a Custom Shop as you can get. I've been tempted to sell my R8 because I play it less than my Slash and R9. My R8 is a fantastic guitar, I just prefer the Slash and the R9 a tad better. So, my advice is to get a R9 as mine is my favorite guitar I've ever owned or played. Cheers! Here is a pic of my Slash as it the best looking guitar I've ever seen!

Slash Best.jpg
 

hirnra

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Brother, the Heritage is better than the Gibson you purchased in my opinion. The Seymour Duncan 59s sound amazing. The craftsmanship in the Heritage is like nothing I've seen in a long while. Simply perfect. Each one hand made. Their Standard line is on par with a Gibson custom shop. Their Core line is a step above. I was in the same dilemma as you but after playing and feeling the Heritage, I purchased a Core model. You rarely find any used ones on Reverb for sale as we just keep them as they are so good. I hope you consider a Heritage as your next purchase.
I’m not trying to start a versus thread here but I hear the same thing over and over again about Heritage being a better guitar but no one can state why. I just hear their quality is better than Gibson. In my case I have a Gibson Standard Slash that has 0 build issues. The Gibson Custom 58 had 0 QC/Build issues. I was just not impressed enough by the Custom over my Standard. Should I expect to see a big difference in the Heritage Custom Core?
 


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