How much 'margin of error' should you accept for a defected Les Paul?

Atomant

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
I think it's funny how we are paying top dollar for these Gibson products yet we are willing to take merchandise that has issues.

If you go buy a new car are you going to just let QC issues slide? I know I won't.

I agree with some of the comments here about much less expensive guitars coming out of China with less issues where QC is involved.

Aren't we buying these because we want "Gibson" and "Made in America". When we buy things made in the USA don't we expect well made goods and pride in the product quality?

If people accept inferior goods that's exactly what will keep coming out of the factory...

Hee hee I'm not about to take this sitting down. I'm not accepting these flaws from Gibson. :fingersx::fingersx:
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2016
Messages
3,781
Reaction score
7,185
One thing that I have noticed, is that some of the nuts are cut off center so to speak. Sometimes the high E is really close to the end of the fretboard. If it's too close, you will have problems with the string falling off. It's one of the things that I look at when I am shopping at a place like SW that shows photos of all of their guitars. Now granted, this isn't the end of the world, but I don't want to immediately replace the nut on a brand new guitar. (Some people want a nice bone nut, and remove it anyway, so, no biggie.)

That's how I originally noticed - the low E kept slipping off! :D
 
Joined
Mar 21, 2016
Messages
3,781
Reaction score
7,185
By the way, you just know Gibson knows what is said around here. This is a major Les Paul forum. Do they care? Obviously not.
 

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,631
the string spacing sounds fine. I dont think any strings line up perfectly with the inlays.

I had a guitar come that had a busted pot, a scuff on the headstock and some finish scrapped off when they scrapped the binding and it was enough for me to send it back for an exchange.
 

MooCheng

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
7,448
Reaction score
12,684
I don't think I've ever come across a guitar thats absolutely perfect,
great guitars don't have to be.

I kinda like the little imperfections, it makes them individual.

Japanese craftsmen often delibrately include imperfections in thier work, feeling absolute perfection is the preserve of the Gods not mankind.

there you go Henry, theres a excuse
 

RustyNuts

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
3,260
Reaction score
2,573
After reading through this thread (again) I went back and looked over the two Les Pauls that I've picked up this year, the 2015 Midnight Manhattan and the 2016 HCB Classic. I was a lot more critical today than I was when I first got them home.

The string spacing is near perfect on both of them. The nuts look fine (other than the odd looking zero fret brass thing on the 2015, but it's slated for replacement, not because there's anything intrinsically wrong with it, I would just prefer a bone nut.)

There's one little, less than 1/16" thick, 1/4" long section of the binding on the high E side that could have been scraped a little closer on the Classic.

There is a rub on the finish on the Studio that I noticed while still in the store, but I figure that's from hanging on the wall in GC for several months. There is also the slight imprint on the back of the headstock from the G-Force, but nothing unexpected there.

I also looked at my '09 Standard and 2011 Tribute. Obviously I can't comment on the finish because they have both been well played but the string spacing is great, the hardware is tight, and I see nothing to be concerned about on either of those as well.

I don't think I would leave the store with, or not return the guitar if it was ordered over the Internet, if it had what to me seem like such obvious defects.

How long after you bought it did you first notice the string spacing?
 

LtDave32

I'm walkin' on sunshine
Super Mod
Silver Supporting Member
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
50,816
Reaction score
172,935
Hi guys, thank you for all your replies. Well to keep you guys updated, I brought the guitar down to the dealer on the 1st April 2016 after about 11 months of ownership. Yeap 11 months. Complained about the issue with off-centered strap buttons, bent strap button screws and a laterally tilted neck. Was told to leave my guitar for inspection.

Waited 2 weeks for their reply and their reply is 'our technician has scanned the neck and there is nothing wrong with it'.

So I went down personally again to the dealership, this time speaking with the manager and technician. They insisted that everything was normal and that warranty only applies to electronic parts.

It is only when I threatened to post this matter on the forums that they relented.

Their "technician" ah, "scanned the neck", did he?

They have a "neck scanner", do they? I suppose by connecting the dots, that said "technician" has formal training on the "neck scanner".

The same way Subway sandwich "technicians" get a "diploma" in sandwich-making, I reckon.

Laughing at this, because as someone who carves necks from scratch, as I do, the notion of a "neck scanner" and associated "tech" to go along with is preposterous.

You either know what you're looking at with regards to a guitar neck, or you do not.

And the "scanning machine", along with "Mr. Pro-Tech" (with white lab coat, no doubt) seemed to both miss the glaring, .010 + gap between the frets and the binding on the treble side.

Something we can easily see as a problem from a lousy computer photo.
 

Atomant

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
I don't think I've ever come across a guitar thats absolutely perfect,
great guitars don't have to be.

I kinda like the little imperfections, it makes them individual.

Japanese craftsmen often delibrately include imperfections in thier work, feeling absolute perfection is the preserve of the Gods not mankind.

there you go Henry, theres a excuse

huh? can you name me a Japanese guitar manufacturer that deliberately include imperfections in their work? Other than a 'relic' piece? My Made in Japan, Ibanez RG550 Genesis that I purchased for only US$680 is damn near perfect, in fact, it is so perfect it's almost to the point of being clinically perfect in all honesty.

While I share your point on 'little imperfections making them individual', it should never be at the expense on us consumers or due to a 'loafing' luthier or negligence from the manufacturer.

Their "technician" ah, "scanned the neck", did he?

They have a "neck scanner", do they? I suppose by connecting the dots, that said "technician" has formal training on the "neck scanner".

The same way Subway sandwich "technicians" get a "diploma" in sandwich-making, I reckon.

Laughing at this, because as someone who carves necks from scratch, as I do, the notion of a "neck scanner" and associated "tech" to go along with is preposterous.

You either know what you're looking at with regards to a guitar neck, or you do not.

And the "scanning machine", along with "Mr. Pro-Tech" (with white lab coat, no doubt) seemed to both miss the glaring, .010 + gap between the frets and the binding on the treble side.

Something we can easily see as a problem from a lousy computer photo.

Yes LtDave, I knew right from the start they were throwing a 'smoke screen' at me. I'm not taking that bait. But that's exactly what they said. They'll put it on a Plek machine and their technician would 'scan' the neck. Sure there is a Plek machine at that workshop but does a Plek machine does lateral scanning of guitar neck?
 

Atomant

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
39
Reaction score
14
The Gibson lack of QC is really getting out of hand. If it's not the craftsmanship that we are paying for with these instruments then how can we justify the astronomical prices? Its just wood, metal, and electronics beyond that. I sold USA Jackson, Charvels, and Hamer guitars from 1988 to 1995 and not once did we have these kind of QC problems on any of those instruments. For that matter I don't remember these issues on the mid priced Japanese Charvel and ESP guitars we sold back then. It's ridiculous! The sad thing is we consumers keep writing these big checks for sub-par instruments that really don't even compare to $500 imports in the Quality department.
You're so right on this. I have a MIJ Ibanez RG550 Genesis that I paid US$680 for where I live. THat thing is almost near clinically perfect.
 

MikeyTheCat

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
24,512
Reaction score
49,423
Just went over mine and didn't see any flaws. The only issue with the guitar was the nibs, which were fixed before it left the shop.
 

ajory72

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
659
Ever seen those youtube vids of Gibson guitars that didn't pass QC so the guitars just get cut in half and chucked in a giant dumpster?

There's another picture I saw where some of the guitars they cut were used to build a feature wall in a restaurant as we'll.....

I'm assuming that's all hype for the press or visitors..... Or is it true?

If it is real/true they must have shockers, or diff QC people on that day..... Could believe it when I read an interview with Henry at Gibson on his first day at Gibson after buying it and he just grabbed a guitar that had just been built and smashed it!

Unbelievable!
 

rlefty

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2013
Messages
745
Reaction score
454
Ever seen those youtube vids of Gibson guitars that didn't pass QC so the guitars just get cut in half and chucked in a giant dumpster?

There's another picture I saw where some of the guitars they cut were used to build a feature wall in a restaurant as we'll.....

I'm assuming that's all hype for the press or visitors..... Or is it true?

If it is real/true they must have shockers, or diff QC people on that day..... Could believe it when I read an interview with Henry at Gibson on his first day at Gibson after buying it and he just grabbed a guitar that had just been built and smashed it!

Unbelievable!

During QC during that time and Gibson QC today are different beasts.
 

ajory72

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2010
Messages
1,254
Reaction score
659
Only have a pic of the neck. Will take pictures of the strap button when i'm down at the dealership.

I reckon the whole pick up is off to the treble side a couple of mm so the tech doing the slots for the strings on the bridge did it that way on purpose. Not cool but possibly an easy miss for a buyer
 

ajay

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2015
Messages
843
Reaction score
556
I see the problems with headstock inlays. Then I saw a clip of a Gibson "artist" taking a scalpel, and cutting into the nNitro all the way around the logo. Under a ten power loop it looks ghastly. Since then, I've noticed $5000 Customs with scalpel butchering all the way around the diamond headstock inlay, and all the way around the beautiful headstock binding. It's no wonder that Gibson no longer accepts warranty issues for finish issues. It looks like they do everything possible to turn beauty into a carved up piece.
 

Chris B.

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2016
Messages
298
Reaction score
195
Wow. So ya, hand made instruments sometimes have problems. Humans sometimes screw up. Most Gibbies do not have such issues or are extremely minor as to be immaterial. My 2014 LPTRPR2 is pretty flawless, for example. YMMV.

But my point is that I don't understand the vitriol towards Gibson. They turn out some pretty amazing guitars. Like any consumer product, if you get a dud, return it. What's the big deal?
 

grayd8

Senior Member
Joined
May 5, 2014
Messages
1,441
Reaction score
1,173
I bought a Gibson Les Paul that had the strings more to one side of the neck edge closer than the other side but it is one of the best sounding and playing I bought.

So to answer your question"how much margin of error"?

Error can be paid for or balanced out by how good does it sound and play..because at the end that is all that really matters.

I still own mine with errors inclusive.

Right, I noticed after several months of play that my low strings on my R8 are slightly offset over the pole pieces They hover over the very outside of the pole pieces. Thing is, it has such a great vintage tone and honk on stuff like sunshine of your love, that I don't care.
 

MikeyTheCat

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Messages
24,512
Reaction score
49,423
If you want to reduce your chances of flaws and defects in a guitar then don't buy a Les Paul. Les Paul Standards/Trads/Classics are not designed to be mass produced, if they were they wouldn't have neck angles, head stock angles, set necks, pronounced top carves, nitrocellulose, binding, nibs and all the other things that can contribute to flaws, and also features that few other guitar builders put into one guitar model. A PRS, like a Fender, is designed from the start to have fewer flaws by avoiding certain features such as binding and really pronounced carves on their main guitars.

My MIJ Les Paul was perfect, but then it had fret over binding, a poly finish and the carve wasn't as deep.
 

musicmaniac

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
10,145
Reaction score
5,379
So when you say they relented, do you mean they're giving you another guitar?
 

Latest Threads



Top