Explanation For Finish Peeling on Murphy Lab LPs

calieng

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Unfortunately looking at one dealer I purchased ML from....they still have a bunch of defective guitars in stock from ML as you can see in their for sale photos....and they got many of these in just a few weeks ago.

Buyer beware.

gibson-gibson-murphy-lab-1958-les-paul-standard-bo.jpg
 

Pageburst

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I'm a fan of well done relic & was all set to buy a Murphy Lab RI. The couple I demo'd at my local dealer were not impressive (both the relic'ing & tone). Ended up buying a used 2007 plain-top R8 with has some serious magic due to the old-growth Honduran mahogany in those years.
They didn’t use old growth Honduran mahogany in those years. That’s unsubstantiated Internet blather. Not to say yours isn’t a fine guitar but most of the pre 2012 Historics I’ve played and owned, well over 50, were by in large tonally numb sounding definitely softer, muddier than my vintage Gibsons, replicas and post 2012 Historics.
 
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Lhdr

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Anyone have any data on how many guitars have been affected? I’ve seen a few threads here but 3 or 4 posts on the subject doesnt convince me how widespread it could be.. Are these post just the tip of the iceberg or have I missed other reporting? Thanks.
 

Brek

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good question lhdr, my three are still perfect as they left the factory, a lot of people love to pile on the hate, thats not to say that what this threads about, the statement blaming the owners is in any way acceptable. my two goldtops are ultra light aged and the R8 is a light aged, with a lighter back that the deep cherry ones.

To me, looking at the affected guitars its evidently the pore filler, why though I have no idea, did someone use the wrong filler? was it a bad batch?

I have seen a couple of guitars in the UK that look like they might have same issue out of nearly a 100 I have looked at.
 

LeftyF2003

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It would be hard to write a worse response if you tried.
As I read the article, I thought, oh, he must just be the ES guy and I can see him being overly sensitive to temp swings. Nope, Senior Director of Product Development. He's over all of them. Boggles the mind. These aren't Epiphones being bought by the unwashed masses. He blames his whales, many that buy every year, sometimes multiples.
Seems like a nice kid that does love guitars, but he's seriously going to wipe the snot from his nose and tell someone like Slubowski that he doesn't know how to treat a guitar.
Oof
+100,000,000,000,000×10−4
 

mudface

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I’m not surprised by Gibson’s response to this or how they are handling the warranty claims.... this is their MO.... always has been. Especially when trying to keep their head out of the water sort of speak.

What surprises me is the sheer number of ML guitars being produced.

SG, Juniors, ES, Les Pauls, V, Explorer, and what else..... they’ve gone Murphy Mad.

It would seem to me that this is a niche market,.... but I guess there must be a huge demand for these??

I wonder if it will all crash and fizzle like the Collectors Choice in a year or two.

It doesn’t matter how few that have the issue.... it will be eclipsed by the mass that is being hammered out. Pun intended.
 
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Dave Stephens

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My gawd, Gibson brass truly has no integrity at all. Bring out a garbage finish on an overpriced guitar, then double down by lying about it and blaming the customers.

I never thought I would join the “I’ll never buy another new Gibson“ herd but I think I‘m there. This ownership group doesn’t deserve our loyalty, or our money.
When the new management took over, I saw they were all CEO's. They bragged that one of them actually played in a band, so I went and found video of them. Awful playing, not much better than Henry was. I predicted that nothing was going to change, these new guys are all bean counters. Face it, they are never going to change. Money people will always put money first. I bet Murphy is regretting the job right about now. The first photos Gibson put up of the Murphy Lab guitars on a website all looked like Chibsons, with really bad aging, then recently they had these "Hendrix" aged guitars that truly looked like someone had put a blow torch to the nickel parts. Its just sad, but honestly it all turned bad when I was 18 in '68 and bought the new Les Paul for the first time since they quit making them. That guitar was horrible, Les Paul Deluxe with mini's and made like plywood. Get a replica made by Bartlett, or Steve Hague, Santucci, then find out what a real Les Paul is like.
 

calieng

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Anyone have any data on how many guitars have been affected? I’ve seen a few threads here but 3 or 4 posts on the subject doesnt convince me how widespread it could be.. Are these post just the tip of the iceberg or have I missed other reporting? Thanks.

I can tell you my defective guitars ranged from 2020 to mid 2021. And 7 of 8 cherry backed guitars now returned (not including returning defective replacement). I just have one guitar out of 8 not flaking and that had the lightest cherry back color of the bunch. But the others were UL aged, Light aged, and Heavy aged and had dark cherry backs, medium color cherry, and brown-cherry color.

It is simple chemistry. If the pore filler was bad thru that time period then all guitars with cherry backs are effected. If the pore filler was uniformly applied then all the surface of the guitar with the pore filler will eventualy flake off.

What you are seeing now is the worst cases of the worst finishes. The others will show signs over a longer time period. But it will happen. Some of mine were defective within a few weeks and others took a few months to show the first signs of finish loss.

Another member on the Gear Page recently reported trying to contact Gibson Customer Service about his guitar and as soon as he mentioned it was a Murphy Lab they hung up on him - so he says anyway.
 

calieng

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I’m not surprised by Gibson’s response to this or how they are handling the warranty claims.... this is their MO.... always has been. Especially when trying to keep their head out of the water sort of speak.

What surprises me is the sheer number of ML guitars being produced.

SG, Juniors, ES, Les Pauls, V, Explorer, and what else..... they’ve gone Murphy Mad.

It would seem to me that this is a niche market,.... but I guess there must be a huge demand for these??

I wonder if it will all crash and fizzle like the Collectors Choice in a year or two.

It doesn’t matter how few that have the issue.... it will be eclipsed by the mass that is being hammered out. Pun intended.

My concern is they changed the formula midway thru 2021 apparently to fix the initial issues but how much testing was done? They got it sorted out in a few weeks? How about when they change a finish then give out some prototypes to be used for several months and get some feedback on how the finish is holding up before continuing to crank out these guitars.

The replacement guitar I received a couple weeks ago reeked worse that any guitar I have ever smelled. It was fresh from the spray booth. When I first got it the finish look very smooth and you could barely see any crack lines in it. Within a few days the cracks became more obvious and the finish started lifting up just like the original guitars. Whatever they are doing I do not know if this issue is actually fixed now. And I wonder if they are using an additive in the nitro to make it shrink and crack when it cures now instead of freezing? It sure smelled like some volatile substance and not just a nitro smell.
 

Lhdr

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Thanks Calieng, I wonder how much of this is due to the stress of covid? Loss of workers, stress on workers, stress on management, stress on supply chains, delivery, etc. etc.

I can attest to many companies with a reputation for great service, not getting back, not answering emails, not having product, etc. etc. These are tough times. In my local guitar center, they are finally getting some products back. The quality of, I cannot attest to as I usually dont buy there, but every company from string manufactures on has been hit.
 

depuis1899

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Here's another 'expert' on the matter.
So just a heads up guys, all this crazy checking is what you paid for. But the paint falling off is indeed not cool.
I can only shake my head to those 'reactions' on YT... why even bother doing a video when you have 0 clue about something ?
Oh right, view fishing...
 

guitarded_82

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I can tell you my defective guitars ranged from 2020 to mid 2021. And 7 of 8 cherry backed guitars now returned (not including returning defective replacement). I just have one guitar out of 8 not flaking and that had the lightest cherry back color of the bunch. But the others were UL aged, Light aged, and Heavy aged and had dark cherry backs, medium color cherry, and brown-cherry color.

It is simple chemistry. If the pore filler was bad thru that time period then all guitars with cherry backs are effected. If the pore filler was uniformly applied then all the surface of the guitar with the pore filler will eventualy flake off.

What you are seeing now is the worst cases of the worst finishes. The others will show signs over a longer time period. But it will happen. Some of mine were defective within a few weeks and others took a few months to show the first signs of finish loss.

Another member on the Gear Page recently reported trying to contact Gibson Customer Service about his guitar and as soon as he mentioned it was a Murphy Lab they hung up on him - so he says anyway.
You have a good point. It probably is related to pore filler and the nitro not soaking-in to bite into the wood below. Nitro is too thin, pore filler too thick maybe?
 

calieng

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You have a good point. It probably is related to pore filler and the nitro not soaking-in to bite into the wood below. Nitro is too thin, pore filler too thick maybe?
According to a major Gibson dealer the pore filler did not dry hard to the wood but instead left a power residue on the surface. It seems to be related to the cherry dye as Gibson Customer Service also said they added too much cherry dye. Maybe Tom Murphy will explain what happened at some point. But yes the thin brittle nitro adds to the failures.
 

kelsodeez

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What a mess this all is. At my local guitar center they have a Murphy labs there showing signs of the lacquer falling off and the salesman tried to say that it was a feature of the ML and that it's totally normal wear.
 

calieng

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I have said it before but just as a reminder - DO NOT BUY A USED MURPHY LAB! Unless you get something in writing from Gibson saying they are extending the finish warranty to non original purchasers AND you have some sadistic need to experience a warranty return to Gibson.
 

Wizard of Ozz

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What a mess this all is. At my local guitar center they have a Murphy labs there showing signs of the lacquer falling off and the salesman tried to say that it was a feature of the ML and that it's totally normal wear.


... And in related news… a salesman tried to tell me the new 2022 Lambo Countach will be sold for $2.2 million sans engine. That way you can install whatever engine you like!
 
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morelespauls

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Other guitar companies are having quality control problems too and they could all go away now if not for the jobs they provide. There is enough fine guitars now for all the guitar wangers in the world 100 time over.:band::jam::acoustic::cheers:
 

calieng

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Well I was worreid about this but now posts on the Gibson forum via a post on the Gear Page. ML finish starting to go to shit in other areas not just the cherry pore filler. Too thin. Too brittle.

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