Gibson's First Authorized Boutique Builder

Adinol

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Does anyone else see the irony in the name “Banker?”
I received an email alert that there is a new post in this thread. But the post was a bit longer.

Does anyone else see the irony in the name “Banker?” Seems fairly synonymous with “Gibson” to me. Guitars built by Banker, for bankers. I’ll choose to spend my money with a true luthier craftsman, not a “banker.”
It is my understanding that the guy used to be a banker. But now he build handcrafted guitars, so he is in fact a luthier.

I am also a luthier. now, but I used to do other things in life. When I was in my teens I used to be a waiter, then I had other careers. I build handcrafted guitars that also fall into the category of boutique guitars and I want to say that I know what it takes to build a hand crafted boutique guitar. It is a labor of love.

If we have not had the chance to hold a Banker guitar and spend some time playing it, I say it is not fair to say anything negative about those guitars. I have played many guitars that were made at the Gibson factory and I have seen many flaws. In fact, in addition to being a boutique builder I am also a part time tech at a large guitar store in a major city and I see a lot of Gibson guitars that need touch-up right out of the box. That said, I actually love Gibson guitars, but the truth is that their quality control is not as good as it should be. And I believe that Banker guitars are probably better crafted than the average off the shelf Gibson.

The guy behind Banker Guitars, Matthew Hughes, put together a deal with Gibson. He is not making counterfeits. He is an authorized boutique maker that can legally use some of the body shapes that are Gibson trademarks. I think it must have taken tremendous effort to put that kind of deal together. Personally, I think this is a historic event.

Guitar forms are full of post where people complain why Gibson folks can put their acts together and make Les Paul standards with whatever specs people want. Perhaps one day we'll be able to order a Les Paul from the Banker shop that will be made to our liking, It just won't have the Gibson logo on the headstock. But the rest of the guitar might be exactly the way we hope Gibson should be able to make their own guitars.
 

Bluesky

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First USED one I see I might be interested......
 

Adinol

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Gibson has a "Custom Shop". They can't build their own guitars better than a relative newbe. This baffles me.
A Gibson guitar is a production line guitar, even a "custom shop" Gibson.

A luthier built boutique guitar is... well... it's a luthier built boutique guitar. It doesn't matter if the luthier built guitar has a new design or if it happens to look like any of the Gibson models. If it's a well made luthier built guitar it should always be superior to a production line guitar.

I just bought a new Gibson Les Paul Special. The first one had problems (sloppy workmanship) so I asked the store to order another one. The second one had other problems (also sloppy workmanship) so I asked the store to order a third one. The third one was well built, still had fret sprout (and actually so did the first two) and has one of the lead wires sticking out between the bobbins of the bridge humbucker (again, just sloppy work).

I decided to purchase the third one and I am going to fix the fret sprout and that sloppy humbucker.

Yet, people (including myself) still buy Gibson guitars. But if a luthier put such sloppy guitars on the market no one would consider buying. That's because boutique guitars attract a completely different customer.
 

Adinol

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thanks for this but I don't prefer it
Do you mind if I ask a hypothetical question.

Let's imagine that you had a choice between two guitars. One is a Gibson LP, but it has a lot of QC issues. Let's say that the issues are beyond what a setup could fix. The kind of issues that we've been seeing so often coming out of the Gibson factory. And the guitar just doesn't play right, because of those issues. But it's a genuine Gibson and it says Gibson on the headstock.

The other guitar is a luthier built guitar, the same exact model as the Gibson, and it's an authorized built. Not only are there no issues with the guitar. The guitar is in fact superior to the original Gibson by a large margin. It is a boutique guitar, hand made to perfection and even the choice of wood grain is spectacular. And it costs half the price of the Gibson. But it had another logo on the headstock.

If money was not an issue and if those were the only two guitars available in the world, which one would you buy?
 

Revv23

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Nice can finally get a proper R8 flying V!

Wonder if he will do it in southpaw.



Side note, this is absolutely more about Gibson being able to go after "non licensed" builders. Legal precedent or not... Given that a boutique maker is typically a one person operation, not many can be a master luthier, businessman, accountant, and attorney.
 

allenmance

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Why would you pay that kind of money for a white Limba slab COPY guitar when you could buy this beautiful white Limba slab Japanese COPY Memose for 2k shipped? I can promise you the build quality is above or Beyond Gibson CS, especially the board and fretwork.

20200517_141707.jpg

20200517_141719.jpg
 

68Mopar

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I don't get it? If it's licensed by Gibson, why not just call it a Gibson?
 

efstop

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I don't get it? If it's licensed by Gibson, why not just call it a Gibson?
It isn't built by Gibson. It's only using licensed shapes. Squier is owned by Fender, but they aren't Fenders. They are licensed by the parent company to use the body and head stock shapes. Warmouth makes Fender neck replacements with the proper head stock shapes. They aren't made by Fender, but Fender licenses them to make and sell them.

I've ordered a Steinberger Spirit from Steinberger, yet the vibrato bridge on it wasn't manufactured by them, and it says "Licensed by Steinberger."
 

Beastie28

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Do you mind if I ask a hypothetical question.

Let's imagine that you had a choice between two guitars. One is a Gibson LP, but it has a lot of QC issues. Let's say that the issues are beyond what a setup could fix. The kind of issues that we've been seeing so often coming out of the Gibson factory. And the guitar just doesn't play right, because of those issues. But it's a genuine Gibson and it says Gibson on the headstock.

The other guitar is a luthier built guitar, the same exact model as the Gibson, and it's an authorized built. Not only are there no issues with the guitar. The guitar is in fact superior to the original Gibson by a large margin. It is a boutique guitar, hand made to perfection and even the choice of wood grain is spectacular. And it costs half the price of the Gibson. But it had another logo on the headstock.

If money was not an issue and if those were the only two guitars available in the world, which one would you buy?
The QC issues seem to be more prevalent on the Gibson USA guitars, Standards and the rest. Custom Shop historic reissues and and LPCs seem to be quite a lot better, though not necessarily every specimen is perfect. CS guitars are also 2-3X the price, and in that territory you are close to high end boutique.

This is just based on my experience. I have an R7 and R0, both great guitars once at least the wiring harness is replaced. i had a LPC 68 reissue that was also great, and had a Standard that was not very good. I also have a 1959 singlecut replica that is great.
 

Iron Blimp

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Whether you like these new ones or not - this marks a new marketing direction for a Gibson and I don’t mind the strategy. I think something Good will come out of this.
 

Olds442

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Why would you pay that kind of money for a white Limba slab COPY guitar when you could buy this beautiful white Limba slab Japanese COPY Memose for 2k shipped? I can promise you the build quality is above or Beyond Gibson CS, especially the board and fretwork.

View attachment 462922
View attachment 462923
or a Bacchus korina version from 2008-2013. they made them in small batches over those years. all the ones that made it through my hands were stellar instruments. PRS level of quality control.
 


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