Do you think Murphy Lab aging adds anything to the playability or sound over a VOS?

LarryC

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Looking for opinions if you think Murphy Lab aging adds anything to the playability or sound over a VOS?,especially as you go up through the 4 levels Ultra-Light, Light, Heavy and Ultra-Heavy? or is it just strictly for looks? I suppose the necks do feel "broken in",which I guess might be a factor for slightly better playability? Thanks!
 

searswashere

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Looking for opinions if you think Murphy Lab aging adds anything to the playability or sound over a VOS?,especially as you go up through the 4 levels Ultra-Light, Light, Heavy and Ultra-Heavy? or is it just strictly for looks? I suppose the necks do feel "broken in",which I guess might be a factor for slightly better playability? Thanks!
My understanding is you get rolled fretboard edges with ML's which isn't offered on the "regular" historics. Sound? Nothing definitive IMO.
 

50 Watts

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Sound, no. Feel of the neck, yes. They feel more "broken in" and a bit faster. Is it worth the extra $? My vote would be no but to each their own. I think they look pretty cool but its a huge upcharge.
 

LarryC

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Sound, no. Feel of the neck, yes. They feel more "broken in" and a bit faster. Is it worth the extra $? My vote would be no but to each their own. I think they look pretty cool but its a huge upcharge.
Thanks, I think it might be worth it just for the feel,but around 5K more?that sure is a huge upcharge,weren't they closer pricewise when they first started doing these?I'm not sure but it seems like the price gap is larger now between the models? I may have made the mistake of playing this particular guitar out of curiosity which of course was the most expensive one and I really did love the thing,this would definitely be a " holy grail" guitar ...damn guitar companies!!
 

searswashere

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Thanks, I think it might be worth it just for the feel,but around 5K more?that sure is a huge upcharge,weren't they closer pricewise when they first started doing these?I'm not sure but it seems like the price gap is larger now between the models? I may have made the mistake of playing this particular guitar out of curiosity which of course was the most expensive one and I really did love the thing,this would definitely be a " holy grail" guitar ...damn guitar companies!!
You have to go ultra heavy aged to hit $5k more I'm thinking. I did a quick check of our national retailer and it looks to be $1000-$1200 upcharge for ultra-light.
 

50 Watts

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Thanks, I think it might be worth it just for the feel,but around 5K more?that sure is a huge upcharge,weren't they closer pricewise when they first started doing these?I'm not sure but it seems like the price gap is larger now between the models? I may have made the mistake of playing this particular guitar out of curiosity which of course was the most expensive one and I really did love the thing,this would definitely be a " holy grail" guitar ...damn guitar companies!!
I think there is an opinion out there that the aging (Fender, Gibson etc.) is primarily about the aesthetics. There is obviously an aesthetic component; however, I would argue that it’s primarily about feel. A lot of us like vintage guitars for the tone and the broken in feel of the guitar.

I took a heavy relic tele in trade thinking that I’d pass it along. Not my thing. Didn’t want artificial aging. Turns out to be the most comfortable best sounding tele I’ve ever played. I don’t worry about bumping it around so it can be liberating which can translate into better playing. The Murphy’s go up in price commensurate with the level of aging and hours involved in the process.

If it’s the best guitar you’ve ever played and you can swing it, there’s your answer. Those don’t come along every day.
 

LarryC

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thanks for your replies! Is anyone getting a 10 or possibly 15 percent off discount (at GC with a trade in) for these high end Gibsons? I'm not sure how it works because I've never bought anything in this price range there before. I would definitely feel alot better about it with 15% off which would at least bring it below the 10K mark...
 

StubbyJ

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thanks for your replies! Is anyone getting a 10 or possibly 15 percent off discount (at GC with a trade in) for these high end Gibsons? I'm not sure how it works because I've never bought anything in this price range there before. I would definitely feel alot better about it with 15% off which would at least bring it below the 10K mark...
I think those GC discounts come with a disclaimer.....up to $500 off.
 

Stealer

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I tried an ML earlier this year (so, my experience is limited to a grand sample of one!) partly because of the many positive comments that I'd seen here about them.

It felt "odd" in the hand to me in comparison to the VOS finish which I've been used to since I bought my first historic 2013. It's been suggested here, as a I recall, that the finish may have been tweaked recently and more plasticiser added. This was a 2022 model.

This was an uitra light variant - I had to look really hard to see any signs of artificial wear - almost to the point of being pointless. I've heard that you can buy ML VOS but haven't seen one in the UK (so ML finish, no wear beyond what you'd normally see - dull hardware, not buffed through to gloss, etc).

The finish does contribute to some degree to the overall tone of the guitar but how much and if for better or worse is entirely subjective.

To be honest, I wasn't a fan. Overall, it was a poor guitar and I sent it back.

Now, I do have a Collector's Choice #7 ("Shanks") and that has a seemingly very thin, hard (and hard-wearing) finish. Forgetting the aging, I think that Gibson had the finish right with that run (possibly adjacent CC's). Given the issues that ML's have had, I'd been inclined to revisit that recipe - although, it might not suit the "Lab's" current approach to aging.

I recall playing an early TH (not aged) and it reminded me of the finish on Shanks.

My experience dampened my enthusiasm for ML - wouldn't discount one, but wouldn't entertain the more extended levels of aging. Judge each on its own merits, as always.
 

60thR0

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My 2001 R7 finish seems indestructible. 20 years later it still looks brand new. I was out of game for a long time and I recently got a 2020 and 2021 VOS R0/9s and they almost literally scratch up while you look at them. Even just with bedroom play and always back in the case, the wear and “aging” is astonishing, almost alarming. But endearing. I have to say I find no need for artificial aging with this rate of wear. It’s awesome! Checking? I’m sure that could be arranged if needed. It’s nitro. But not all vintage guitars have checking…

The “plasticiser” debate is a corksniffer folly. All nitro has plasticiser even in the 50’s and many of the other ingredients such as solvents are also different and will never be the same. I do think some of the stigma is because “plasticiser” sounds like “plastic” which is not the case at all. The ML is not a vintage lacquer it is “reverse” (?) engineered to look like vintage. The one ML I played looked and felt rather comical, however plugged in it did sound killer, so ah…
 
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MuLLe

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I’ve tried ultra light, light and heavy aged. I don’t find it to be a special differences in the sound. It’s just like the none aged VOS, some sounds amazingly good, some less and some not so good.

I think like many says it’s an inspiring guitar for those who wants that look and probably brings a different approach of playing.

I’ve heard none aged VOS that sounds better and the other way around. It’s individual to each guitar :)
 

Bwk

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There are good guitars in both ML and VOS (and gloss) finishes. Personally, I like the broken in feel of the ML neck. The finish is thinner/more worn and the necks feel a bit smoother and more comfortable in hand imo. In addition, I do think the thinner finish can help the resonance of the guitar a little bit, but again, I have great examples in all finish types. Get what feels/sounds best to you.
 

ArchEtech

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No, not for me.

I prefer guitars without psoriasis.

I do like a good VOS, light Relic, closet classic thing though.
 

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