I'm shocked and amazed.

Red Planet

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wow, thats amazing.
Previous owner has a boat load of guitars. He purchased the guitar, took it to be set up, took it home, and never got it out again. When I purchased it he was very hesitant about selling it but it was going to a friend on the condition that he has first buy back if I sell it. I have no plans of selling it, it's a great guitar. If I never changed anything on it, its a Rock & Roll machine. My Standard does pretty crystal clear clean tones that are closer to Broadcaster tone.
 

Red Planet

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Well, you have to remember it's from 2003, almost 20 years ago, and the first year of the Custom Shop. They didn't have everything perfect and 100% accurately authentic right out of the gate. Why do you think the True Historic line in 2015-2016 got so much buzz and commanded higher prices? Because every year since the CS was established, there's always a new improvement, or they decide to make one aspect more accurate to 50s models, to make the next year's models feel fresher. But I think your statement that the sound "sucked as soon as I found out" kind of says it all (I assume that was a joke, but just in case...) - if you weren't a vintage purist and didn't really care how authentic the caps were, would you have ever really noticed? I know personally I've had the same wiring in my 2003 R7 since I bought it new that year. Frankly, it sounds and plays so good, I really don't care how authentic it is. But I totally understand and respect the desire for accuracy, I just wouldn't publicly start shitting on Gibson for a mistake they made 18 years ago (and continued to make until 2009). I'm curious to hear/read your description of how the tone improves when you get around to replacing them (and I'm not being sarcastic, I am genuinely curious).

Lets see, yes I was joking and I'm not crapping on Gibson. I do think these are very simple things to do that should be basic. It seems there is a lot of thought put into these guitars that are designed to keep folks coming back to buy the "new improved" version. I suppose I can understand that though it seems to me simple easy basic things like pot values, taper, capacitor values, and wiring are so easy these should be done without question. Don't get me started on the words "True Historic", I think Gibson shot themselves in the foot on that one due to the connotations of the name. Its going to be difficult for them to best that name for marketing purposes.
 

Red Planet

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From the wayback machine May 2 2011


"Historic Spec Bumble Bee Capacitors - Two-Pack
Straight from Gibson Guitar’s Historic Re-issue guitars come Gibson Gear’s new Historic Spec series – parts that have been specially designed to replicate the original parts used by Gibson in the late 1950s. This two-item set of .22 mfd Bumble Bee Capacitors look, perform and sound just like the original capacitors, which were used on late ’50s Les Pauls and vintage SGs. Famous for their tone (and their stripes!), the Historic Spec Bumble Bee Capacitors are specially made for Gibson and can help you achieve that sweet, full tone our legendary instruments are famous for. Put a little sting in your guitar. $133.33"
 
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BDW60

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From the wayback machine May 2 2011


"Historic Spec Bumble Bee Capacitors - Two-Pack
Straight from Gibson Guitar’s Historic Re-issue guitars come Gibson Gear’s new Historic Spec series – parts that have been specially designed to replicate the original parts used by Gibson in the late 1950s. This two-item set of .22 mfd Bumble Bee Capacitors look, perform and sound just like the original capacitors, which were used on late ’50s Les Pauls and vintage SGs. Famous for their tone (and their stripes!), the Historic Spec Bumble Bee Capacitors are specially made for Gibson and can help you achieve that sweet, full tone our legendary instruments are famous for. Put a little sting in your guitar. $133.33"
Well, they never actually SAY they are PIO caps ... ha. Shaking my head. Pretty sweet profit margin on those puppies, eh?

I changed the pickups my 2020 Standard 60s and changed wiring to 50s ... pretty notable improvement on what was already a very good guitar. I left the orange drops in there. For now, anyway.
 

ARandall

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So, my 2009 R9 probably have these fake caps?
They are a mylar cap (a real one) inside the sprague outer.
Not all of the vintage sprague caps are PIO. There are many disappointed and betrayed people who find out that a goodly number of the old ones were mylar too. So the 'legend' was born from multiple different materials.
 

Phil W

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Gibson (whatever company happens to own the brand) could easily make 100% accurate 58 to 60 bursts bearing in mind the availability of wood and the significant variance in the original guitars but they refuse to do so because once done their marketing team (cursed be ALL their names!) have nothing to promote in subsequent years. They just don't get that players will buy multiple guitars and probably more of them if they are accurate! It's a long-standing con trick that annoys me and I speak as an R9 owner.
 

jbash

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They are a mylar cap (a real one) inside the sprague outer.
Not all of the vintage sprague caps are PIO. There are many disappointed and betrayed people who find out that a goodly number of the old ones were mylar too. So the 'legend' was born from multiple different materials.
Did not know this bit of info. So maybe the fake bumbles ARE historically accurate? :laugh2:
 

Red Planet

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My limited research says that newer technologies involving more advanced construction methods of small capacitors were not readily available to general manufacturing until the mid 60s and not widely in use by manufacturing until the 80s. If one ran across a vintage burst that had other than a PIO cap in it most likely the original had failed and been replaced at a later time.

To those that speak of not hearing a difference in a guitar circuit I can see how that would be the case though I think the value can greatly affect how the circuit works. I do know this for sure, back in the 90s/2000s I had a JTM 45 clone built and used mostly all Jensen PIO caps throughout the entire build and I can say it made a drastic difference in the overall tone and feel of the amp. It was a night a day difference, not a difference that could be considered subjective. That amp had this extreme crystalline riiiiiiiing to the tone that was insane. You would think it wouldn't overdrive well but it did extremely well. I ended up selling it like the knuckle head I am.
SDG and Ttaer_0571.JPG
 

Red Planet

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Gibson (whatever company happens to own the brand) could easily make 100% accurate 58 to 60 bursts bearing in mind the availability of wood and the significant variance in the original guitars but they refuse to do so because once done their marketing team (cursed be ALL their names!) have nothing to promote in subsequent years. They just don't get that players will buy multiple guitars and probably more of them if they are accurate! It's a long-standing con trick that annoys me and I speak as an R9 owner.
You hit the nail on the head, its all marketing hype. They are never gonna give us all of it at one time.
 

Adinol

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To open up my (newly acquired) R8 and find it has modern wiring...

...Then I figure out the Bumble Bees are fake...
If musicians and guitar manufactures, in the 1950's, had a choice between "authentic" bumble bee caps and whatever caps we now have available, which do we think they would all choose?

Would they have said, "Oh, I want those caps that look like bumble bees, because I like the lack of consistency and I also like the fact that they go bad after a decade of just being exposed to natural elements, like the air we breathe..."

Which caps do we really think they'd have used, if they all had a choice?
 

Red Planet

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If musicians and guitar manufactures, in the 1950's, had a choice between "authentic" bumble bee caps and whatever caps we now have available, which do we think they would all choose?

Would they have said, "Oh, I want those caps that look like bumble bees, because I like the lack of consistency and I also like the fact that they go bad after a decade of just being exposed to natural elements, like the air we breathe..."

Which caps do we really think they'd have used, if they all had a choice?
I agree with that though that has nothing to do with with the discusion. We buy these guitars as they are supposed to be an accurate reproduction of the originals only to find out the easiest part was not accurate at all.
 

Six6String6

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So if my 2019 50’s Standard looks like the top photo does that mean it’s wrong? I would otherwise not know the difference.
 

Six6String6

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I'm not buying another new Gibson after my bad experience with my recently purchased 2020 Standard 50s (purchased new in 2021). No 50s wiring (I broke a lug trying to change it the cap legs were cut extremely too short), very little usability with the factory pots and caps installed. After replacing everything there was a world of difference in functionality. It doesn't make sense to buy new then start replacing everything. Its better to buy used and replace components. I made some assumptions when I purchased the Standard but I will not be doing that again. There are many many people that do not know what components come in what Gibson models as evidenced by my many threads with no answers for basic questions.

Fast forward to the R8 it plays and sounds amazing but it has similar issues as the Standard did with getting usage out of the tone and volume controls. I ordered the .015 and .033 Greeny Meanies from Tonemanguitar and will try that first, swapping to the 50s wiring then. I do not want to get my Standard and R8 sounding the same but I do like to use my volume and tone controls a lot.

I wasn't aware of the pot tapers so that is now a possibility as well. Its difficult for me to describe the symptoms with 50s Standard factory wiring. Sound would turn to mud when reducing the volume controls, bridge pickup was so brittle and harsh and using the tone control to tame it yielded more flavors of harsh tones (it's like the tone control was not functioning properly).

On the 50s Standard I finally got frustrated and ripped everything out. I replaced the pickups, pickup selector switch, pots, caps, all wire, and jack. All electronics were changed in the guitar. I'm extremely happy with how it sounds and plays now, the controls are much more functional. With the R8 I'm going to try a little at a time to keep from replacing too much in the guitar. I'd like to keep it as stock as possible though definitely replacing the caps (while changing cap values) and going to 50s wiring for sure first.

In the Standard I didn't change the wiper lug orientation on the tone pot (at first) but this time I'm goin to do that to the R8 View attachment 561945 View attachment 561947 .

Before and after on the LP Standard 50s.

So I was kind of thinking that you had to pay up if you wanted better components but apparently that isn't true.
so if my 2019 50’s Standard looks the the top photo does that mean it’s wrong? I would otherwise not know the difference
 

Red Planet

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so if my 2019 50’s Standard looks the the top photo does that mean it’s wrong? I would otherwise not know the difference

Post a pic, its easy to tell.

Here is my R8 that is wired modern wiring and below that is my Standard 50s that has been changed to 50s wiring.

R8.jpg
LP50s.JPG
 

Red Planet

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Whichever wiring you prefer no matter what you think it's pretty clear evidence in 1958 Gibson used what we call 50s wiring on 58 Les Pauls. I would rather have my 58 reissue Les Paul wired like they made them then rather than how they did not make them then. If that makes any sense to anyone at all. Also would have prefered my Les Paul Standar 50s come wired 50s wiring as well.

I can see justification for a 56 or 57 replica being wired either way but not for 58 and 59 replicas. Does that make me nerdy? Possibly
 

Joe A

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Yawn... yet another I'm not buying another Gibson story. ZZzzzZZzzzzzzz
 

Six6String6

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All I recall is the orange drops are in it. Where the wires go, I’ll check again when I’m home tonight.
Anyway, it sounds freaking awesome to my ears at least.
 

mrblooze

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I agree with that though that has nothing to do with with the discusion. We buy these guitars as they are supposed to be an accurate reproduction of the originals only to find out the easiest part was not accurate at all.
Bang! I think you hit the heart of the problem squarely with this one, kudos: there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding about what buyers want, vs what Gibson is selling, complicated by marketing schemes of course, but it comes down to this:

1. The maker wants to make guitars that sound consistently good, while being reasonable copies of the original guitars, but using original spec parts won't guarantee consistently good sounding guitars, no matter how accurate the parts are, so they compromise to ensure a consistently good sound (opinions vary on this, of course), because they neither want the bad rep that comes from the few bad sounding guitars (make a thousand that sound perfect, no one notices, but that number one thousand-and-one that sucks? Wow. From the fuss, everyone gets the impression they all suck... Think Norlin era guitars' rep), nor do they want the dealers to face all the hassles of returned guitars.

2. On the other hand, we have people who expect a perfect sounding guitar with exact vintage specs (keep in mind that using exact components will no guarantee that all vintage guitars sound good, or even like actual vintage guitars that they copy). Very few perfect sounding guitars existed even then. Most were consistently good, but even then, only when played by Clapton, Page, Gibbons, Moore, Walsh, Allman, Betts... Yes, we all hear guys playing incredible vintage guitars on YouTube all the time, but it's usually a very small handful of the 1200-1700 (depending on sources and counting methods) of Bursts made. What happened to all the rest? If they all sounded so good, you'd think that more than the bare handful we hear of would have survived, and in the hands of more than guitar greats like Bernie Marsden et al. Every great guitarist out there would own a closet full, like Joe Bonomassa.

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding between the Gibson and some buyers about just what these guitars are, and just how exact they are, and what compromises in specs are made to ensure a consistent sound from a replica, a sound that meets the expectations of a majority of potential buyers (the impossible dream).

I don't know this, and can't figure out how we'd go about trying to prove it one way or the other, but I suspect that the percentage of bad sounding LPs made today vs 60 years ago is probably less. Not to say that QC is better, since there seem to be so many blemish and finish issues these days. But maybe not: the LP was so minimally popular in its day that they phased it out just 8 years after it was introduced, and it went through major changes almost every one of those 8 years. By the time they became popular and sought after, they were all used guitars. Who knows what the QC was before they were all abused by garage bands? But again, we hear more about the complaints today, and less about all the successes. Just like 60 years ago, so maybe nothing ever changes.

Not defending Gibson here, not defending buyers either, just pointing out the situation as I see it.
 

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