Nibs or No Nibs, which do you prefer?

Do you prefer a Gibson with fret nibs or without fret nibs?

  • With fret nibs

    Votes: 79 51.6%
  • Without fret nibs

    Votes: 33 21.6%
  • No preference

    Votes: 41 26.8%

  • Total voters
    153

Adinol

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I grew up poor and like nibs. Am I a corksniffer?

We were also very poor when I was a kid. Oh, so very poor... In fact, if I weren't a boy I wouldn't have even had anything to play with.

But now that I'm all grown I have my Gibson with nibs at the side of the neck, so it feels really nice in my hand. It reminds me of my childhood.
 

itsTrips

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Nibs! Definitely nibs. BUT.. I MUCH prefer the tiny ones, like on the LPs with the thinner original binding, where the nib is really tiny, yet still there. Actually, I've never been a fan of the thicker binding at all. I'm actually glad they seem to have gone back to using the thinner stuff in the last year or two. Actually making me wanna buy another LP! lol
 

gball

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Nibs! Definitely nibs. BUT.. I MUCH prefer the tiny ones, like on the LPs with the thinner original binding, where the nib is really tiny, yet still there. Actually, I've never been a fan of the thicker binding at all. I'm actually glad they seem to have gone back to using the thinner stuff in the last year or two. Actually making me wanna buy another LP! lol

Agree 100%. I'm down to only one that has the thicker binding. It's coincidentally my go-to, so I guess the nibs aren't really that bad though.
 

Adinol

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Nibs! Definitely nibs. BUT.. I MUCH prefer the tiny ones, like on the LPs with the thinner original binding, where the nib is really tiny, yet still there. Actually, I've never been a fan of the thicker binding at all. I'm actually glad they seem to have gone back to using the thinner stuff in the last year or two. Actually making me wanna buy another LP! lol
Funny you say that. I just put a down payment on a new LP.
 

efstop

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I will only play guitars with female nibs. Not into male nibs at all.
 

mstecker

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Hello! First post. The nib debate pulled me in.

Over the last few years, I've really taken up doing my own fretwork. I've gotten much better at it and can do level / crowning, and have gotten really good with shaping fret ends.

I mention this because over the same period, this increasing skill has led to more attention to detail and I have gotten much more sensitive to the quality of fret ends. I pick up guitars that I haven't used in a year and I'm shocked at the condition of fret ends that I used to think was acceptable.

So, now I require pretty extensive work on the fret ends of just about every guitar before I'll declare the frets 'good'. That is, except for Gibsons with nibs.

To me, nibs sort of permanently end the 'fret end dressing' problem, much less fret sprout. Yes, I know that they can still sprout and push and crack the nibs. Yes, I know that the nibs can still be shaped - but it provides a way of 'finishing' the fret end without requiring huge labor and adjustment.

Let me put it this way - if I go to my Guitar Center and start playing electric guitars on the wall - I would need to put a whole lot of fretwork into just about every brand new guitar before I'd happily play it after purchase. Even on some of the nicest new PRSs, for example, the factory just can't fully compensate for the drying of the woods after the guitar has left their hands. I've had to file on PRSs, Suhrs, etc. It's not their fault - it's just physics.

Except guitars with good nibs. I can take a new Gibson USA Les Paul off of the wall and play it just like it came (well, in some cases - the hit/miss ratio of new LPs is another thread) without feeling like I owe it fretwork.

So, that's why I love me some nibs.
 

01GT Eibach

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Hello! First post ... I can take a new Gibson USA Les Paul off of the wall and play it just like it came (well, in some cases - the hit/miss ratio of new LPs is another thread) without feeling like I owe it fretwork ... So, that's why I love me some nibs.
Excellent first post -- WELCOME!!! :wave:

Jeff-Beck.jpg
 

DBDM

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Hello! First post. The nib debate pulled me in.

Over the last few years, I've really taken up doing my own fretwork. I've gotten much better at it and can do level / crowning, and have gotten really good with shaping fret ends.

I mention this because over the same period, this increasing skill has led to more attention to detail and I have gotten much more sensitive to the quality of fret ends. I pick up guitars that I haven't used in a year and I'm shocked at the condition of fret ends that I used to think was acceptable.

So, now I require pretty extensive work on the fret ends of just about every guitar before I'll declare the frets 'good'. That is, except for Gibsons with nibs.

To me, nibs sort of permanently end the 'fret end dressing' problem, much less fret sprout. Yes, I know that they can still sprout and push and crack the nibs. Yes, I know that the nibs can still be shaped - but it provides a way of 'finishing' the fret end without requiring huge labor and adjustment.

Let me put it this way - if I go to my Guitar Center and start playing electric guitars on the wall - I would need to put a whole lot of fretwork into just about every brand new guitar before I'd happily play it after purchase. Even on some of the nicest new PRSs, for example, the factory just can't fully compensate for the drying of the woods after the guitar has left their hands. I've had to file on PRSs, Suhrs, etc. It's not their fault - it's just physics.

Except guitars with good nibs. I can take a new Gibson USA Les Paul off of the wall and play it just like it came (well, in some cases - the hit/miss ratio of new LPs is another thread) without feeling like I owe it fretwork.

So, that's why I love me some nibs.
Nearly every one of us has our "thing". Otherwise we would not be wasting our time reading about LPs. Your love of perfect frets is not my thing but I do understand having one. At least you know it and just "go with it".
 

DBDM

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Nearly every one of us has our "thing". Otherwise we would not be wasting our time reading about LPs. Your love of perfect frets is not my thing but I do understand having one. At least you know it and just "go with it".
I like a Long Neck Tenon and a REAL ABR-1 bridge. I have played spectacular guitars without those features and I know intellectually that neither of those features impacts my overall tone when heard by others. I have in my head that those features cause me to feel the vibrations on the neck more than when they are not there and that lends to me playing better. I have quit trying to prove it to myself and now I just "go with it". I buy mostly LPs with that combo. I fully understand that many do not have that requirement and that it is likely silly. That said I do not criticize others for things like demanding nibs (or no nibs). It is just a "thing" like the other 4,000 details we pick out on a LP. I have several guitars (read=a bunch) and now ONLY buy guitars that I really love and if there is some detail I do not love I either dont buy it or I sell it. Life is too short to fight "your thing". Own it and rock on!
 

ArchEtech

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After all these years I still do it for the Nibby, the nibby the Nibby…
 

Greg Dunn

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If the guitar has been refretted and lost the nibs it isn't a deal breaker for me as long as the fret ends are well finished.
 

CyFan

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Nibs are one of those finishing touches on a guitar that make it feel like a fine instrument to me. I like guitars without nibs also but I just prefer them.
 

cooltouch

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I'm a traditionalist. My very first Gibson, an SG Special, had binding and nibs. Every Gibson I've ever owned since then has had binding with nibs.

And a couple of Ibanezes as well. A couple years ago, I picked up a 1977 Ibanez 2355M, which is an ES-175 looking guitar, except it is constructed entirely from flame maple. The guitar sounded great, but it had an awful fret job, so I decided there was no getting around it: a fret job was in order. I build guitars, so I figured I could handle a fret job easily enough, and that's when the debate began for me: nibs or no nibs, that was the question. Because that old Ibanez had nibs.

Eventually, I sucked it up, and decided to include nibs. It wasn't as troublesome as I first thought it would be, although it definitely required more work. But, because I was replacing the binding as well as the frets, the binding had to be reduced down to the correct height, so the additional work to include nibs was negligible, although somewhat time consuming. And in one respect, it was easier to refret the guitar using nibs than not. Namely, the contour of the fret ends. With nibs, you just contour the end of the nibs, which is a simple task. But with fingerboards that don't have nibs, where the frets usually end before the edge of the fingerboard, contouring the fret ends can be tedious and time consuming. So I think that, on balance, at worst, it's a draw, and at best, it is a bit of an advantage refretting with nibs.
 

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