- Sep 4, 2015
- Reaction score
Thanks for sharing, that is a great review. Sounds like Gibson has a winner on its hands. A few observations:
"The top has countless micro dents that have allowed the lacquer checking lines to form around them in an entirely natural way ... In areas with extensive ageing, it’s apparent that the vast majority of dents have been induced using a single tool. The shape and orientation of the damage spots is a bit too uniform."
This has always been my personal deal breaker with artificial aging, even when done by the recognized best in the business. I got back an HM a few years ago and was disappointed in the dents in the top, which were clearly made on purpose with a tool and didn't look at all natural to me. I raised the concern with Kim and he just said that was a necessary step in getting nitro to artificially check. Interestingly, one of the top replica builders consistently gets realistic checking without doing this.
"The vintage PAFs have a more 3D quality, extended upper harmonics and greater clarity ... With the same amp settings, the modern pickups can seem a bit harsh and shouty next to the vintage units ... For playing at home most people would prefer the sound of an alnico III pickup and not alnico IV."
This is my complaint with most boutique PAF repros (interestingly, I don't find it to be as much of an issue with the new CBs). They're voiced for a home player, who sits in front of an amp at low-moderate volume but wants to RAWK. A great example is WIZZ; obviously the thousands of satisfied users love the way they sound, but A/B'd against my vintage PAFs they sound too loud, too bright and too aggressive. It's glorious when you step on a dirt box and hit a power chord in your bedroom with amp volume at 3, but they're their own animal.
"For a modern factory-built guitar, that’s a considerable achievement, but it’s still a work in progress ... That’s an opportunity that we have been aware of all the time, but the time hasn’t been right. What I can say is that we are going to tell stories that have never been told ... We have a new process that’s about to come online that will allow us to achieve results that are so realistic."
It's understandable that Gibson will continue to improve these parts and processes, but I've got to wonder: where will these first Murphy Lab guitars end up in the timeline of "worthy" improvements, particularly as they relate to retained value? Will there be models that get so much better in the next year, three years, five years that these lose significant resale value that owners must eat when they upgrade? I feel like that happened with the True Historics; owners who shelled out massive $$$ for those are now left pleading their cases for why they should retain more value versus the newer, "improved" Historics. The teasing of a "new process," so shortly after these first MLs debuted, doesn't bode well to me.
Not sure about others but my True Historics cost me around $4800 for most except the Murphy was $5900 when new. I can get more for them now. Actually sold a couple in the past for close to $9k so yes they have dropped and now going back up a bit.
It's a shame that they did not convert to the vintage nitro years ago because that really is the best thing going for these new ones. But I guess Historic Makeovers can help with that for any prized possessions from the past.