Gibson Les Paul Standard - Should I Send Back Again?

Pappy58

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I have long believed that GC takes all the "QA seconds". If it plays and sounds good, You can work them for a discount refund and keep it. But if you return it I would be you will have better luck with Sweetwater. If you want a perfect "one" you got to go to Wildwood or Daves or one of the other upscale dealers.
 

HardCore Troubadour

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cracks at the nut are absolutely common on Gibsons......

that being said, it is your money and your guitar......if you want to send it back, do it, regardless of anyone's opinion.

again, your money, does not matter what anyone here thinks.
 

Roxy13

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That first one I would have returned as well. The second one is up to you. I have never had any finish cracks around the nuts on my Gibsons. My 2017 SG Standard does have the tape issue around the TP and I don't consider it an issue at all. The rest of that guitar though arrived darn new flawless and it takes a magnifying glass to find a couple of pinpoint dimples. Sweetwater found them and discounted it accordingly but had they not showed them to me, I never would have seen them.
 

MFB24

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I really appreciate everyone's replies. I am still leaning towards sending it back. I also have a 2005 Epiphone LP that I bought brand new. It had none of these issues and still has none. I am sure the finishing process is different, but no scratches on the binding, no finish cracks (even with getting the nut repaired a few years ago). On the new Special I tried a little buffing of those scratches and they do not come off. You also can feel the difference in the neck binding when playing. Its not huge but its there.

More so I am a little pissed at Guitar Center. They knew my issues with the first Special and I asked them to inspect it before sending. I may be too detailed but you could see these issues in 5 mins and say, "This is not the one to send to this guy." Going to keep playing it and see if my mind changes.
 

Benniator

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I really appreciate everyone's replies. I am still leaning towards sending it back. I also have a 2005 Epiphone LP that I bought brand new. It had none of these issues and still has none. I am sure the finishing process is different, but no scratches on the binding, no finish cracks (even with getting the nut repaired a few years ago). On the new Special I tried a little buffing of those scratches and they do not come off. You also can feel the difference in the neck binding when playing. Its not huge but its there.

More so I am a little pissed at Guitar Center. They knew my issues with the first Special and I asked them to inspect it before sending. I may be too detailed but you could see these issues in 5 mins and say, "This is not the one to send to this guy." Going to keep playing it and see if my mind changes.
I have an ‘07 Epi that I got new. No finish issues with it either, but you have to realize that they spray it with polyurethane, which takes a hell of a lot more effort to crack than nitrocellulose. And the binding is scraped by hand at Gibson which can lead to inconsistencies in the binding thickness and smoothness.

That being said, I’d still be tempted to try a third time, especially since I was able to get a very nice example of a new Standard from Guitar Center’s website.
 

Guitpicky

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I have long believed that GC takes all the "QA seconds". If it plays and sounds good, You can work them for a discount refund and keep it. But if you return it I would be you will have better luck with Sweetwater. If you want a perfect "one" you got to go to Wildwood or Daves or one of the other upscale dealers.
I’m with you on that one. From everything I’ve been able to gather from observation there’s definitely some kind of deal with the “big box” stores to sell off guitars that weren’t good enough to make the QC cut but were too good to throw away.

Personally I think it’s good conservation and waste reduction in principle. My problem is the way GC and some others do it. Rather than being up front with it they try to pass it off as a new A stock guitar for full price. It’s left to the customer to call them out on it and while not being outright dishonest, it’s a shitty ploy designed to take advantage of people not paying 100% attention.

When it’s company policy to violate the trust of your customers I find a different company to do business with. This one isn’t on Gibson, it’s the retailers pulling this BS :)
 

LesPaul60sTribute

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That guitar will never sit well with you - and I don't blame you. I would get it back in the mail as soon as you can. Your right the epiphone versions are generally dead mint. Amazing ... :)
 

protestheriphery

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I wanted a guitar with P90s. I did my research, played a ton, reads the boards, and decided to go with the LP Special. Not shocking. Local Guitar Center was willing to give me a good deal on a brand new Original Model TV Yellow. First American Made Gibson, I was excited. It shipped to the store and we opened it fresh out of the box. So many issues. First, the pick ups were not set up. The height was all over the place and one screw almost touching the strings. That set me off so I looked for any defect I found finish cracks on the neck starting at the nut, chipped paint around the bridge screws, paint missing above the nut, and 3 way switch loose. I thought I was being a little crazy but a big purchase and I wanted it to be perfect.

Guitar Center was awesome and took it back and would order me a new one from their warehouse. I told them to inspect it before sending it. If anything was wrong with it I would return it and go to Sweetwater. Well it came today. Opened it up and first glance looked great. Then looking deeper, finish cracks on the neck by the nut (smaller this time) and scratching on the neck binding. Also a lot of red pencil marks everywhere around the fret work. Pictures attached are LP2. I plan on sending this one back as well.

First 4 Pictures are Les Paul #1 and the last 2 are Les Paul #2. New guy to the forum but I am here to ask... I being crazy to send this one back too? I know the finish cracks are just finish cracks, and the binding scratches doesn't change its play-ability. However I feel brand new this should be pretty damn flawless. Used, I wouldn't care. Not to mention all the bad QC stories about Gibson. However, If I am nuts let me know.

If I am not nuts, I am 0 for 2. Do I even bother going for 3 with Sweetwater? They do pride themselves on their inspections. If I abandon the LP Special any recommendations? Thanks everyone View attachment 446248 View attachment 446249 View attachment 446252 View attachment 446253 View attachment 446251 View attachment 446250
Thats a bummer to hear your first experience with this kind of guitar went that bad. Sadly, its pretty common to encounter with these issues when dealing with both Guitar Center and Gibson. Ive bought two high end guitars from them, and both instances were bad experiences.

On the other hand, I cant complain about my experience buying from Sweetwater. They are my first choice when it comes to buying new gear. Excellent customer service. Ive bought several instruments from Guitar Center, both new and used. However, I declared years ago that Im not gonna buy anything outside of strings from them ever again.

The only upside I see with Guitar Center is their return policy. If I decided to buy used gear from them (for whatever reason), I can walk into the nearest location and return it relatively hassle free, within their time window.

Personally, if I were in your shoes and went through your same ordeal, Id just take my business somewhere else.
 

protestheriphery

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I have long believed that GC takes all the "QA seconds". If it plays and sounds good, You can work them for a discount refund and keep it. But if you return it I would be you will have better luck with Sweetwater. If you want a perfect "one" you got to go to Wildwood or Daves or one of the other upscale dealers.
I believe it. Even the “Platinum Gear” at GC is sketchy.
 

lpfan1980

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You deserve the nicest guitar you can possibly get -send it back...Go with Sweetwater.
 

diogoguitar

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Welcome to the forum!
First one is a no brainer return.

For the second one, did you wait a few hours before opening up the box? Nitro finish can crack if the guitar traveled different weathers along the way and you didn't wait enough to stabilize the temperature.

The finish crack by the nut looks to be weather related. But the lack of finish on the headstock and the pencil marks on the fretboard just looks like a sloppy work to be honest. I'd send it back. It is absolutely unacceptable for a Gibson USA to have this kind of finish flaws.

I can't believe a guitar company makes a $1600 guitar and not have a guy to check the fit and finish at the very end. One guy per guitar... $15-30/hour... not too crazy to spend 5-10 mins per guitar in QC. Maybe just sample a couple before it ships...
 

LPaddicted

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The nut on the second one is normal, they cracks around the binding edges. Those other scratches are a problem. Missing finish by the bridge post is very common, too. The high screws on the pickups is very unusual. Not sure if I would return the second one, I might see if I could clean or rub out those scratches on the binding.
This is not a miss of finish but a piece of paper wich protect the stud during the paint job.
 

DarrellV

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No finish issues with it either, but you have to realize that they spray it with polyurethane, which takes a hell of a lot more effort to crack than nitrocellulose. And the binding is scraped by hand at Gibson which can lead to inconsistencies in the binding thickness and smoothness.
+1 :thumb:

Beat me to it! :applause:
 

moreles

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GC doesn't inspect their stuff. The second one looks like it got used and returned, with the cracks, which are minor, not manufacturing defects but the kind of thing that happens when the guitar gets stressed via a bump, mispacking, etc. Nonoe of it is critical, but none is acceptable in a supposed new, inspected guitar either. Of course you can live with it. Why should you? I don't buy from GC (except once, a used CS Strat that they mislabeled and mispriced) because their quality control is terrible. I don't want to give them money; if it wouldn't cause people to lose jobs, I'd like to see them and the major online retailers go out of business. When I retun stuff (not guitars, because I don't buy guitars from those sources) I get an exchange or refund, and for exchanges, I demand and receive some credit or partial refund for loss of use and annoyance. GC pretty much sucks, with the only plus being pricing, which is usually an illusion because they never get the best examples of anything and often deliver compromised items. You get what you pay for. Sorry you are having a bad experience. That's what GC delivers, IMO.
 

jcastle1

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Send it back to GC and buy from Sweetwater. Just bought a 2019 Special TV Yellow in December from them and it is perfect. The guy I deal with knows how picky I am and even though you can view each serial numbered guitar on their website, he personally pulled it, unboxed it and sent specific details I wanted to see.
This is the best place on the internet to buy if you cannot personally try them out.
I've visited their AWESOME facilities in Indiana and their inspection process is REAL.
I have never had an incident with them in purchasing Gibson Les Pauls, Marshall amps. Blackstar amps, Yamaha Pianos, or even cables, strings, & picks.Can't say enough about their customer service.
 

MFB24

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Again, thanks for all the help. Final update...I sent it back. After reading everything it ended up being more about Guitar Center than Gibson QC issues. I wanted to see if Sweetwater could deliver and they did.

The reps on the phone are great. They walked through my previous issues and helped me pick what they thought was the best one. It arrived yesterday morning and I took it out a few hours ago. Zero issues with it. It was packed in there super tight. I remembered opening both boxes from Guitar Center and noticing the lack of padding in there. So those neck finish issues on both were probably from the case (and guitar) bouncing around during shipping. No finish issues, no set up issues, no red pencil marks everywhere. So needless to say I am very happy. I will enjoy playing this thing and putting my own blemishes on it.

So I guess the lesson is Guitar Center sucks. It is too bad as I remember them coming to NY for the first time years and years ago and being super excited a better company than Sam Ash was going to be selling Guitars. I remember at the time my teacher telling me they would put Sam Ash out of business. It's also too bad cause their sales and staff were pretty awesome during this process. They deserved the sale but their company's operations sucks. Sweetwater really is the way to go.

Now I get to be trapped in my house playing my new guitar for the foreseeable future. Stay safe, and thanks again.
 


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