Tenons: Modern CS vs. Historic Reissues

SingleCutFan

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I’ve seen a bunch of threads about this, can anyone summarize for me so I dont need to sort through hundreds of posts arguing that tenon length of Historic Reissues vs. the modern Custom Shop models are either a) an incredibly big deal that has a massive impact on tone or b) isn’t that big of a deal as the CS model’s tenon is only 1.5” shorter and the strength of the joint between tenon and body is far more important than the length of the tenon itself?
I can see that this is another of those dead horse debates on this forum but I’d love to see a Cliffs Notes version. Since it also appears that there were some fairly recent (2015?) changes around how things were done at the CS.
Additionally, does anyone know how to contact the Custom Shop directly? Or do I need to use an authorized dealer as a proxy? I’d love to see some cross sectional pix of the tenons for one of the 50’s reissues vs. a Modern LP Custom. I’d think someone over there could likely oblige, but I can’t find any way to contact CS directly from the Gibson site, or after searching around a bit online.
Thanks in advance, and info you guys can provide is much appreciated. I’m trying to evaluate whether or not using a reissue as the base model for a M2M custom build instead of the modern CS model is really worth ~2k in sound quality, or if this really boils down to a tenon measuring contest.
 

Brek

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I have no idea, but I think this topic is exhausted, not sure many will reply. Some one did point out on one such posts I read that the short neck tenon has an extra face of glue contact. lol.
 

SingleCutFan

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I just want to see some photos, honestly. Plenty of threads here covered the topic but most of the images are no longer displaying.
 

Pappy35

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You can't call the CS directly and I seriously doubt they have what you're looking for. I mean, Gibson can't even supply a cartoon to show how their various neck shapes compare, I would be amazed if they had a tenon-comparison laying around. As 'corporate' and litigious as they are about their intellectual property, even if they did have something, they sure as hell aren't going to share it publicly (this is likely to be the real reason they won't publish neck shapes).
 

SingleCutFan

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You can't call the CS directly and I seriously doubt they have what you're looking for. I mean, Gibson can't even supply a cartoon to show how their various neck shapes compare, I would be amazed if they had a tenon-comparison laying around. As 'corporate' and litigious as they are about their intellectual property, even if they did have something, they sure as hell aren't going to share it publicly (this is likely to be the real reason they won't publish neck shapes).
Bummer. Oh well, thanks for the info.
I have been in touch with both Heritage (directly) and Gibson (via an authorized dealer intermediary) as I work on spec’ing out a custom build. And I have to be honest, Heritage can do more of the things I want, they’ve been more upfront and responsive, and to top it off, all of their solid bodies have the long neck tenon with hide glue fit, and I didn’t need to trawl the internet to glean that info. The rub is that their CS is on hiatus for the next few months while they catch up on pandemic-related back orders. But even given that delay, they don’t estimate a 10 month turnaround timeframe (which Gibson CS estimates) on a M2M guitar order, so that’s likely a wash.
 

Pappy35

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Back in the day, I had access to some very high-tech structural analysis tools (Unigraphics/Ansys/NASTRAN) and I would love to give this neck tenon thing a go. I'm sure the results would show no discernible difference to the overall harmonic response of the body that would be attributable solely to the length of the tenon but, that's just opinion without data.
 

SingleCutFan

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Back in the day, I had access to some very high-tech structural analysis tools (Unigraphics/Ansys/NASTRAN) and I would love to give this neck tenon thing a go. I'm sure the results would show no discernible difference to the overall harmonic response of the body that would be attributable solely to the length of the tenon but, that's just opinion without data.
I suspect you are right. I am extremely skeptical that the neck joint is going to have this massive, game changing effect on tone, particularly on a solidbody guitar. At any rate- according to Gibson, the base CS model has a long tenon, it’s just that the reissue models have a “longer” one, whatever that means, lol. All that said, I don’t think it’s worth $2k, at least not to me. Perhaps it is to some completists that are after exact replicas of ‘59s.
 

dc007

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I’m trying to evaluate whether or not using a reissue as the base model for a M2M custom build instead of the modern CS model is really worth ~2k in sound quality, or if this really boils down to a tenon measuring contest.
MHO is no it's not worth 2 grand but it's not my money. You have to be happy with your choices. Good luck
 

SingleCutFan

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MHO is no it's not worth 2 grand but it's not my money. You have to be happy with your choices. Good luck
I’m leaning that way too, that it’s a waste of money. I obviously want a great sounding guitar but spending $2k more for a tenon that is 1.5” longer and may or may not have any tangible / noticeable impact on tone seems like the epitome of diminishing returns.
 

Pappy35

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Here's what gibson had to say about in 2010

That's a little misleading because most of that extra tenon beyond the fingerboard gets machined off when the pickup cavity is cut and thus almost all of that extra glued surface area gets turned into wood chips.

From a lean manufacturing perspective, it's makes perfect sense to eliminate waste as, over time, it will reduce costs in the form of less raw material and fractionally reduced machining time. Might not seem like much, but take a $1 out of every guitar made per day, day over day, year over year, adds up to a lot of saved $$$.

There are Kaisen types out there that get all misty-eyed and flowery over a penny saved. I've worked in Aerospace all my life and those guys drive me nuts. I mean, I understand it but it all makes me crazy.
 

Freddy G

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As a builder I will just say this. I would rather have a short tenon that has a beautiful fit than a long tenon that has a sloppy fit!
So that being said....the bottom line is I would rather have a long tenon that is a beautiful fit.
 

mudface

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This guy used four bolts and no glue or a tenon to get shit done..... with a piece of crap parts guitar.... hell, it bought him that car.... and his house.

79F7726B-AA14-4CA6-A575-74DF0551718D.jpeg


Spend your dough wisely...., just my opinion..... not worth nothing.
 

BDW60

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Long vs. short, both done well, may be arguable. But I think most people can look at Gibson’s “rocker” short tenon and agree it looks like a very half ass way to connect a neck to a body.
 

1all's Pub

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My 2010 Custom (Silverburst) has a short tenon.
My 2018 R8 has a long tenon (obviously).

I prefer the long, just because, but frankly when playing them you can’t tell. Both sustain great. Both sound great. :)
 

LeftyF2003

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Long or short, I go for the one that sounds the best. That's kind of the point...
 


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