Murphy Lab Quality Issues

calieng

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Well my first disappointment with Murphy Lab today.

Thought I was getting a killer looking top on a Factory Burst today but what a cheesy instrument that showed up.

It is slapped together worse than any Epiphone (Epis are really good actually).

Poor fit and finish. Something out of alingment with neck and/or pickups and the pickguard does not fit right. And the strings running off to the high E string side. Lacquer bubbling up around the strap button that looks like the texture of a big scab! Probably start flaking off in no time.

Back she goes...

Pick and choose carefully. They are expensive for what they are so you should accept only the best. I got lucky with the first few that were exceptional but as we were previously discussing the best of each run seems to come out in the first few months and then the quality tends to fall off a bit.

I guess the Murphy addiction has passed now...back to the hunt for Brazilian wood!

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sd_guitars

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Yikes. I wonder what happened around the strap button. I got one of the Murphy LP Special Ultra Light Aged models and it was pretty solid quality control wise. Had a weird product on the fretboard though that smelled and faded weird over time
 

calieng

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Basically they are selling guitars with poorer quality wood then they ever have in the past and getting away with it by throwing the guitar in the freezer a couple times. But there will be some finish issues over time. Watch and see. I bet Gibson has to refinish some of these under warranty.

I was lucky to get a few really nice ones and they were worth every penny but like I said be careful what you buy because they are passing some not so great ones off by simply aging the finish.

In this case the finish is already lifting away from the wood near the strap button and the fit, finish, and setup is piss poor.

Mini Rant: and who the hell is slotting the saddles at Gibson? I have had to replace sooo many because they only seem to care about lining up the treble pickup pole pieces and not whether the strings are centered over the neck pickup or centered down the neck. And they are not consistent. One saddle will be slotted in the center and the next one way off to one side. :End Mini Rant.
 

BDW60

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That strap pin area looks like my 25 year old leather wing chair, which spent too much time near a sunny window and rarely got conditioned ...
 

ARandall

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That checking is unusual for freezer or razor.
Best guess, somebody has already had that guitar, tried the home CO2 method and returned it after it went wrong.

Other than that......well its fair to say that loose fitting guards are part of the 59 thing, as well as randomly placed pickups within the rout. If you have chosen to buy a reissue then this is the sort of thing that is built into the design spec. Chattery edged plastics are also part of it.

You know there was a thread a short while back about the QC vs random build differences..... I pointed out that there is a subset of RI buyers who cannot understand that they are not buying a 'setsquare guitar'.
The top $$ you're paying is for the irregularities like you'd find in a real burst. I've just this second gone onto burstserial and seen about 6 of 10 guitars I clicked on that feature 1 or more of the things you are complaining about.
I mean in almost half of the real 59's the neck line is not even aligned to the centreline of the body for example.
 

Brek

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That pickguard looks a bit too loose a tolerance. Regarding the wood, I cannot see it getting any better sadly, I have noticed a gradual decline in woods on all guitars since 2000. My two are early production runs, 0780 and 0138. No issues what so ever with them. They are the only two I am buying though, simply cannot justify the additional price of the 58’s and ‘59’s. I think some will end up unhappy with the harder lacquer, it chips very easily as I found out yesterday, entirely my fault, I had a pedal on a cab near me so I could adjust it as I was playing and when I went to put guitar back on stand the pedal fell of and hit lower bout of the ‘57 and a 1/4 inch pice of gold top came away leaving the white base visible. As I say entirely my fault and was preventable with more care on my part. I’ll add some green to make it look oxidised by way of a fix.
 

tomajoha

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Basically they are selling guitars with poorer quality wood then they ever have in the past and getting away with it by throwing the guitar in the freezer a couple times. But there will be some finish issues over time. Watch and see. I bet Gibson has to refinish some of these under warranty.

I was lucky to get a few really nice ones and they were worth every penny but like I said be careful what you buy because they are passing some not so great ones off by simply aging the finish.

In this case the finish is already lifting away from the wood near the strap button and the fit, finish, and setup is piss poor.

Mini Rant: and who the hell is slotting the saddles at Gibson? I have had to replace sooo many because they only seem to care about lining up the treble pickup pole pieces and not whether the strings are centered over the neck pickup or centered down the neck. And they are not consistent. One saddle will be slotted in the center and the next one way off to one side. :End Mini Rant.
Sorry to hear you’ve had issues Cali. I can only speak from my own experience with one guitar but the sum of its parts sounds better than the dozen other historics I’ve owned over the years all the way back to the pehistorics
 

boola1

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I’ll add some green to make it look oxidised by way of a fix.
You are joking right? That 57 is a heavy reliced guitar, no? I saw it in another thread. You might as well fill in all the other dings and call it a VOS :)

I bashed my shiny '68 custom against a speaker magnet of all things which left a crescent shaped dent. I was upset for 5mins then got on with it. It wont be the last, it's just character and at least it's MY damage, not somebody elses :)
 
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Brek

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You are joking right? That 57 is a heavy reliced guitar, no? I saw it in another thread. You might as well fill in all the other dings and call it a VOS :)

I bashed my shiny '68 custom against a speaker magnet of all things which left a crescent shaped dent. I was upset for 5mins then got on with it. It wont be the last, it's just character and at least it's MY damage, not somebody elses :)
lol, this is the other one, its ultralight aged, just want right of the glaring white spot.
 

Subterfuge

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the pickguard is disturbing, never mind the loose fit, the inability to cut a straight line/edge is what I find baffling ... I love the vintage vibe/finish thing but defective build and or components is just silly
 

calieng

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To be clear this one was an ultra light aged finish so it should just have a few lines here and there in the finish not a scab area. That is a defect in the finishing and looking at it in person you can tell it is starting to lift off the wood.

And I agree about wood quality declining over the years. Have agreed with that in past posts.

The heavy aged Murphys I recently received have been wonderful in sound and how the finish looks so I do not mean to trash the whole line. Just a warning to be careful when buying because there are some poor copies too.

Thanks.
 

calieng

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That checking is unusual for freezer or razor.
Best guess, somebody has already had that guitar, tried the home CO2 method and returned it after it went wrong.

Other than that......well its fair to say that loose fitting guards are part of the 59 thing, as well as randomly placed pickups within the rout. If you have chosen to buy a reissue then this is the sort of thing that is built into the design spec. Chattery edged plastics are also part of it.

You know there was a thread a short while back about the QC vs random build differences..... I pointed out that there is a subset of RI buyers who cannot understand that they are not buying a 'setsquare guitar'.
The top $$ you're paying is for the irregularities like you'd find in a real burst. I've just this second gone onto burstserial and seen about 6 of 10 guitars I clicked on that feature 1 or more of the things you are complaining about.
I mean in almost half of the real 59's the neck line is not even aligned to the centreline of the body for example.

I agree that the original guitars may have had large variances however with CNC manufacturing there is no reason for it now. My other Murphy Labs (and other Les Pauls from recent years) have all been put together like a Swiss watch. I have really been impressed by the fit and finish this year until this one came along. There is no excuse for that in 2021.

Once again I will say - they push out all the nice ones at first to get people excited about the line and then quality drops off as they have to crank them out and turn a profit. It has happened in the past and will likely be the case this year too.
 

tomajoha

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To be clear this one was an ultra light aged finish so it should just have a few lines here and there in the finish not a scab area. That is a defect in the finishing and looking at it in person you can tell it is starting to lift off the wood.

And I agree about wood quality declining over the years. Have agreed with that in past posts.

The heavy aged Murphys I recently received have been wonderful in sound and how the finish looks so I do not mean to trash the whole line. Just a warning to be careful when buying because there are some poor copies too.

Thanks.
Does look heavy for ultra light? what was the serial on this one Cali? early/late?
 

calieng

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Does look heavy for ultra light? what was the serial on this one Cali? early/late?

Mid 400s of 2021 so recent production. Dealer just received it a few days ago. I was looking at a different one he had and he mentioned it had just came in. He only emailed a couple photos so my bad for not being more careful.
 

calieng

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How did you come to that conclusion?
Been buying guitars for 30 years. Simple answer. Just spend enough time looking at them and you get a sense for where things are headed.

Here's an example of an early 2015 True Historic (#25 that year) that I just ordered. Did not see tops like that very often if ever by the 2016 run.

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There was some really beautiful wood back in 1999 and early 2000s. How often do you see a killer quilt top on a '59 anymore?
 
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tomajoha

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I don't disagree about the general decline of good wood, I guess it's par the course in today's world of increasingly scarce resources, but alot of the new CS stuff in the UK at least has some very figured tops so I don't doubt they can get supply of good enough maple, obvs the mahogany is a different story and we have all seen the increasingly light-coloured rosewood being used.

I hope your recent dud was an anamoly and gibson dont respond to the buzz and demand for new ML's by pumping out poo - would be a real shame based upon what I've seen of this first ones. I have an UL aged Es335 incoming so I'll feedback tomorrow!
 

boola1

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Been buying guitars for 30 years. Simple answer. Just spend enough time looking at them and you get a sense for where things are headed.

Here's an example of an early 2015 True Historic (#25 that year) that I just ordered. Did not see tops like that very often if ever by the 2016 run.

View attachment 535723
Ah OK. To me, wood quality means how it sounds. I thought that is what you meant also.

I really don't care how a Les Paul looks if it rings like a bell and through a Marshall punches like a boxer :jam:
 

calieng

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I don't disagree about the general decline of good wood, I guess it's par the course in today's world of increasingly scarce resources, but alot of the new CS stuff in the UK at least has some very figured tops so I don't doubt they can get supply of good enough maple, obvs the mahogany is a different story and we have all seen the increasingly light-coloured rosewood being used.

I hope your recent dud was an anamoly and gibson dont respond to the buzz and demand for new ML's by pumping out poo - would be a real shame based upon what I've seen of this first ones. I have an UL aged Es335 incoming so I'll feedback tomorrow!

Good luck with that one. I am sure it will be nice and would love to see it.

In a way the less perfect flamed tops on many of the Murphy Labs makes sense because the originals were the left over wood not good enough for the arch tops of that era which were Gibsons premiere guitars (not the solid body bursts). But at the same time the current prices should consider the less expensive wood being used.

Cheers.
 


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