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My 1st Les Paul Purchase has been a NIGHTMARE!!! Help!! Quality problems

#1 User is offline   Drock4048 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:00 PM

A few weeks ago I decided to purchase my dream guitar that I've wanted since I was a kid... a Gibson Les Paul Standard. After a lot of shopping and research, I ordered a 2017 Standard T in Honey Burst through Guitar Center Lexington Ky. After playing a few weeks, I felt the guitar wasn't staying in tune properly. Upon further inspection, I found a crack in the nut of the guitar in two different places. It's upsetting but things happen so Guitar Center was great and offered a brand new exchange. Well, wouldn't you know it, the next guitar shipped with the very same problem. Gibson support has offered no explanation or help when I contact them. I really want a les Paul standard so, I tried a 3rd time. The next one didn't have a nut crack, but a chip and the supposed AAA flame was a AA at best. Plus at this point I'm so worried that I thought there could be an ongoing nut issue so, I didn't even take it home. I opted to order a bourbon burst standard HP 2017 with the metal zero nut fret (Even though I really want honey burst, but why should I get the color and quality I want for $2500 right?) This was yesterday, I was contacted by GC Gilroy CA, to tell me that my Standard HP Bourbon Burst has a defect and it's the only one Guitar Center can send in the whole US!! What do I do now? Try an order for the 5th time, another guitar? Is this nut issue an ongoing thing other people have experienced? Is Gibson quality so bad now that I should consider buying outside the USA? I'm sad that it's finally come to this and yet another beloved American business is dying. Since Gibson won't respond to me, what do you all think I should do? I have several Fenders already. Should I just go straight for perfection on the first order and buy a Dusenberg? Btw, I have pictures and serial numbers. Plus, probably the most respected Independent Guitar business/luthier, who will remain nameless, contested that the nut was defective. Someone please help! I want my dream guitar!
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#2 User is offline   Eracer_Team 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:29 PM

My first thought was.

Get GC to replace the bad nut
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#3 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:34 PM

My first thought as well. If they only thing wrong was a crack in the nut, just replace the nut. Easy fix and you have your dream guitar. Guess it's too late for that now as you are on about the 5th one, but surprised the seller didn't suggest that first.

Anyway it is not a trend or common thing AFAIK, I got a Honeyburst Standard T in January and the nut and everything else on the guitar is perfect.]

Hope it works out and you get the guitar you want.
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#4 User is online   rct 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:02 PM

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 05:00 PM, said:

...After playing a few weeks, I felt the guitar wasn't staying in tune properly.

What does that even mean? Was the guitar staying in tune or not? What do you use to determine this? Are you constantly out of tune with others in your band? Do you tune by ear, use a tuner, your phone? What does it even mean to "feel" a guitar isn't staying in tune properly?

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 05:00 PM, said:

Upon further inspection, I found a crack in the nut of the guitar in two different places. It's upsetting but things happen so
Guitar Center was great and offered a brand new exchange.

GC offered to replace a guitar with a crack in the nut instead of replacing the cracked nut on a guitar with nothing wrong with it but a cracked nut?

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 05:00 PM, said:

Well, wouldn't you know it, the next guitar shipped with the very same problem...
The next one didn't have a nut crack, but a chip and the supposed AAA flame was a AA at best.

You do know that anyone can call any top any number of As they want, there is no Flame Top Commission somewhere governing this. You say it isn't they say it is.

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 05:00 PM, said:

...What do I do now? Try an order for the 5th time, another guitar?

Do you have a store that has at least a few Les Pauls you can actually look at before you buy instead of "ordering" guitars and finding things wrong?

rct
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#5 User is offline   american cheez 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:17 PM

i feel like the price of some models forces people to be pickier than what is normal. have seen many guitars rejected for the most specious of reasons, all because people rightly expect perfection when paying prices that are elevated beyond reason for the sake of branding.
yakuni tatanai
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#6 User is online   rct 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 07:32 PM

View Postamerican cheez, on 16 September 2017 - 07:17 PM, said:

i feel like the price of some models forces people to be pickier than what is normal. have seen many guitars rejected for the most specious of reasons, all because people rightly expect perfection when paying prices that are elevated beyond reason for the sake of branding.


No offense to anyone but my experience is that people that expect abject perfection are generally speaking not guitar players. It's ugly I know, but there it is. Guitars aren't cheap and using them will immediately cause them to be less than perfect. Guitar players know that.

rct
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#7 User is online   Megafrog 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:02 PM

Earlier this year I bought a SG and a Flying V that both had issues and I resolved it by getting warranty work done to fix them. OP, you have the warranty, use it, that is what it is there for.
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#8 User is offline   Drock4048 

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 09:36 PM

Thx Twang. All I want is for my expensive guitar to be right. I've had a ton of inexpensive guitars without cracks in the finish or hardware and I don't feel like a new 2k guitar needs to be immediately repaired. The flame commission made me laugh. That was funny. But seriously, how many flames make it AAA and not a AAAA. Why are so many of you so angry when Ive had a bad experience? I want a Gibson and I don't have unreasonable expectations. I don't have to defend myself as a player. My experience is some people would rather talk about gear and collect "things" instead of playing. That's why I'm a new member. I can't ma ACT if you don't know what stay in tune means. You're not the help I'm seeking. There's no way I can convince you that I can tune or play on a message board. I've tried driving to several stores but no luck finding my model. Megafrog. I'm using the warranty by taking to the store and doing what they suggested. So far I've heard, take it back, get a brand new guitar repaired, and they I have unrealistic expectations of a $2500 guitar, and that I don't know what I'm talking about. Any other ideas?
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#9 User is offline   Matty1976 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 12:10 AM

I've had to work on most of my Gibsons in one way or another after receipt: one a replaced nut, one has not perfect alignment on the tuners, and my new 2018 Classic has an ever so slight defect in the finish on the back of the neck. For me, I buy these guitars to play, not hang on the wall, so I'm fine with minor issues. Gibson gets a bad rap of late for "quality issues", and don't get me wrong I understand a complaint on an expensive instrument, but if the guitar feels right I fix and move on. I agree that over 2 grand is a lot and you should get what you want. I guess I'm either a sucker or maybe shouldn't look past certain issues, but my guitars are bought to be players and aren't going to stay perfect for long anyway. Make them fix the nut (if they are competent to do so) and love the crap out of the honey burst. That's the one you want, so go for it.
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#10 User is online   Megafrog 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 03:17 AM

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 09:36 PM, said:

Thx Twang. All I want is for my expensive guitar to be right. I've had a ton of inexpensive guitars without cracks in the finish or hardware and I don't feel like a new 2k guitar needs to be immediately repaired. The flame commission made me laugh. That was funny. But seriously, how many flames make it AAA and not a AAAA. Why are so many of you so angry when Ive had a bad experience? I want a Gibson and I don't have unreasonable expectations. I don't have to defend myself as a player. My experience is some people would rather talk about gear and collect "things" instead of playing. That's why I'm a new member. I can't ma ACT if you don't know what stay in tune means. You're not the help I'm seeking. There's no way I can convince you that I can tune or play on a message board. I've tried driving to several stores but no luck finding my model. Megafrog. I'm using the warranty by taking to the store and doing what they suggested. So far I've heard, take it back, get a brand new guitar repaired, and they I have unrealistic expectations of a $2500 guitar, and that I don't know what I'm talking about. Any other ideas?


You are not using the warranty to have the nut repaired. You are using a store policy to return and exchange.

It sounds like you don't understand a lot about guitars. If you want something that is 100% machined perfection, buy some made in Asia guitar that has no hands on assembly process with a veneer finish.

You are shopping the end of the model year guitars. These are not the cream of the crop out there, these are stragglers that didn't sell, they are at a reduced price and they have been played for months now, every day, by people in the stores. They are sold as new but have a lot of miles on them in many cases.

You may want to read your posts and ponder why people are responding to you the way they are.
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#11 User is offline   sparquelito 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 04:55 AM

My own take, and this is without an ounce of anger, animosity, or ill intent;

I have always found it best to touch, hold, peruse, fondle, and play a guitar in person before laying the cash down.
There's no disappointment that way, and you take the guitar home knowing full well just how great and flawless it is.

That aside, I know that there are times that long-distance purchasing, thru the mail, is the only way to get a particular model of guitar.

Based on all I have seen and heard (in person, and on a variety of web forums) I will offer my subjective scoring for the various methods for acquiring a guitar thru these alternate methods.

1. Craigslist, local purchase, cash, meeting in person, examining and playing the guitar before buying. A+

2. Craigslist or eBay, long distance purchase, PayPal, with shipping and handling charges. D plus

3. Guitar Center mail order. C minus

4. American Music Supply mail order. B minus

6. ZZounds mail order. B

7. Sweetwater. A

Sweetwater has exceptional customer service and their 55 point inspection and preparation method is top-drawer.

I used Sam Ash years ago, but I haven't since around 1999 or so. I do recall that they provided prompt service and a nice warranty on all items shipped.


The problem with Guitar Center's special order system (wherein you show up at your local Guitar Center and pick up a guitar that was shipped from some other, distant Guitar Center location in another city or State) is that there is no standardized inspection or shipping criteria. And very often, the guitar that I order from the Shreveport GC and receive at the Huntsville GC may have been hanging on the wall at Shreveport for many, many months.
And it's been touched and played by dozens of amateur shoppers before it was taken off the wall and boxed up for shipping.
YOUR NEW GUITAR has been subjected to many hours of other dorks playing Sweet Child O Mine, badly, long before it was mailed to you.

Who needs that?
Not me.

Okay, I'm gonna shut up now.

:(
Am I alone in this?

Am I alone?
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#12 User is online   rct 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:07 AM

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 09:36 PM, said:

The flame commission made me laugh. That was funny. But seriously, how many flames make it AAA and not a AAAA.


Seriously, any number anyone wants. There is nothing written down that says anyone has to call any amount of top figuring anything, they just call it what they want.

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 09:36 PM, said:

I can't ma ACT if you don't know what stay in tune means. You're not the help I'm seeking. There's no way I can convince you that I can tune or play on a message board.


Sure you can, it's pretty easy to tell after just a couple of posts where someone is with guitars. Guitar players don't "feel" whether or not a guitar stays in tune properly. They either do or they don't, and we usually know why they don't, and a cracked nut isn't it.

Good luck with it, I hope it works out for you.

rct
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#13 User is offline   sparquelito 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:33 AM

View Postrct, on 17 September 2017 - 06:07 AM, said:

Seriously, any number anyone wants. There is nothing written down that says anyone has to call any amount of top figuring anything, they just call it what they want.
...
rct


This fellow (see link below) seems to agree with you, rct.

A nice article. I learned quite a bit from it!

:mellow:

https://spinditty.co...ple-Top-Guitars
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Am I alone?
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#14 User is offline   Eracer_Team 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 06:42 AM

I do agree there probably shouldn't be any broken parts other than shipping issues on a new guitar.

But the biggest problem I read on this forum all seems due to online ordering.

I understand that a particular store(s) might not have color/options someone wants.

But I can tell you if I ordered a Guitar and it was great except a broken piece that was easily fixable by a store.
I'd get it fixed under warranty over sending the whole thing back.

Why do you think new car dealers charge $1500 for "dealer prep" they fix things broken before new buyer sees it.


Also it's reported Sweetwater checks guitars before shipping, Wildwood Guitars does too.
GC different story
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#15 User is online   Megafrog 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 01:39 PM

View PostEracer_Team, on 17 September 2017 - 06:42 AM, said:

I do agree there probably shouldn't be any broken parts other than shipping issues on a new guitar.

But the biggest problem I read on this forum all seems due to online ordering.

I understand that a particular store(s) might not have color/options someone wants.

But I can tell you if I ordered a Guitar and it was great except a broken piece that was easily fixable by a store.
I'd get it fixed under warranty over sending the whole thing back.

Why do you think new car dealers charge $1500 for "dealer prep" they fix things broken before new buyer sees it.


Also it's reported Sweetwater checks guitars before shipping, Wildwood Guitars does too.
GC different story


You are spot on! Sweetwater is by far the best place to do an online order unless you are buying a "Guitar of Distinction" at Sam Ash or the equivalent at American Musical Supply. I have never shopped Wildwood guitars but if they do like Sweetwater does, they have to be pretty decent. I had two Gibsons fixed earlier this year because I liked everything else about them.
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#16 User is offline   Little Jerry 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 07:01 PM

View PostDrock4048, on 16 September 2017 - 05:00 PM, said:

A few weeks ago I decided to purchase my dream guitar that I've wanted since I was a kid... a Gibson Les Paul Standard. After a lot of shopping and research, I ordered a 2017 Standard T in Honey Burst through Guitar Center Lexington Ky. After playing a few weeks, I felt the guitar wasn't staying in tune properly. Upon further inspection, I found a crack in the nut of the guitar in two different places. It's upsetting but things happen so Guitar Center was great and offered a brand new exchange. Well, wouldn't you know it, the next guitar shipped with the very same problem. Gibson support has offered no explanation or help when I contact them. I really want a les Paul standard so, I tried a 3rd time. The next one didn't have a nut crack, but a chip and the supposed AAA flame was a AA at best. Plus at this point I'm so worried that I thought there could be an ongoing nut issue so, I didn't even take it home. I opted to order a bourbon burst standard HP 2017 with the metal zero nut fret (Even though I really want honey burst, but why should I get the color and quality I want for $2500 right?) This was yesterday, I was contacted by GC Gilroy CA, to tell me that my Standard HP Bourbon Burst has a defect and it's the only one Guitar Center can send in the whole US!! What do I do now? Try an order for the 5th time, another guitar? Is this nut issue an ongoing thing other people have experienced? Is Gibson quality so bad now that I should consider buying outside the USA? I'm sad that it's finally come to this and yet another beloved American business is dying. Since Gibson won't respond to me, what do you all think I should do? I have several Fenders already. Should I just go straight for perfection on the first order and buy a Dusenberg? Btw, I have pictures and serial numbers. Plus, probably the most respected Independent Guitar business/luthier, who will remain nameless, contested that the nut was defective. Someone please help! I want my dream guitar!

Hi Drock – I hear you and understand your frustration. My dream guitar is also a Gibson Les Paul Standard, which I got at an unbelievable closeout price when Gibson moved from the 2014 to 2015 models. Growing up in the 70’s and being partial to Southern rock, it seemed like all my guitar heroes from my childhood were playing Les Pauls.

You may want to consider buying again the LP Standard in the color you really want. If it comes with a defective nut, I suggest that you consider taking the guitar to respected and well regarded luthier/guitar tech in your area and have the guitar professionally set-up and have a custom bone nut fabricated for it at the same time.

If my 2014 model had any faults, it was with the TekToid nut that came with the guitar. My strings kept getting caught in nut slots, no matter how often I tried sanding it down. I had a custom bone nut fabricated for the guitar and have never looked back. The guitar is much easier to tune and I don’t have to hear that little ping when the strings snap back while tuning.

The luthier I use charges $68 for a set-up and $68 to fabricate and install the bone nut, including materials. I realize paying an additional $136 (assuming techs in your area charge about the same) after paying $2,500 for the guitar may not be to everybody’s liking. In my case it was money well spent. I consider my Gibson LP Standard to be one of my prized possessions and I feel like one of the luckiest guys in the world every time I play it.

Good luck!
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#17 User is offline   sparquelito 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 07:27 PM

I read somewhere that Adolf Hitler suffered from a defective nut.


Just sayin....

[glare] :unsure: [unsure]

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#18 User is online   Megafrog 

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 08:09 PM

View Postsparquelito, on 17 September 2017 - 07:27 PM, said:

I read somewhere that Adolf Hitler suffered from a defective nut.


Just sayin....

[glare] :unsure: [unsure]




He was a defective nut
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#19 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 07:38 AM

View Postrct, on 16 September 2017 - 07:32 PM, said:

No offense to anyone but my experience is that people that expect abject perfection are generally speaking not guitar players. It's ugly I know, but there it is. Guitars aren't cheap and using them will immediately cause them to be less than perfect. Guitar players know that.

rct


Man, you are so correct on this. Every instrument I have ever purchased has needed work on them to make them to my liking. Whether it be a new piano setup - which BTW is SOOO painful to break in, doesn't even compare to guitar pains, and have voiced properly - to new guitar setups, these need to be done at some point. In this particular case, a cracked nut wouldn't be my first turn to ditch the instrument if that is the ONLY thing wrong... If there are major flaws with the guitar, then I would consider. It is cool though that GC will allow you to return no questions asked sort of thing. Nonetheless, if you want a quality instrument that is actually PLAYED, it takes time to play on it and time to find what needs adjustment - and time TO adjust what is in need of attention.

Gibson nuts are plastic - always suck over time. These are not the most durable pieces on these instruments, so I usually replace with bone nut - courtesy of my awesome and reliable local guitar expert/luthier. Others like different types of nuts on their guitars, but I prefer bone... I look at the nut on a guitar sort of like tires on a car. Eventually wears down and need to replace. If you get a free bone nut or something that doesn't void the warranty for fixing a cracked nut, then go for it.

Eventually, there comes a point where you buy the guitar, happy with what it can do for you, and just go with it. As long as there is no major warping or truss rod issues, etc - i.e. major issues - the guitar is good and can be worked with to be reliable in terms of delivering enjoyment playing it.
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#20 User is offline   MichaelT 

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 12:35 PM

I bought a 2017 Standard at Guitar Center in Louisville, KY. This was after I looked it over carefully, played it for an hour or so and was happy with it. I knew I wanted one and planned on buying one if I found one I liked. I did. I loved it. I took it home and shortly after taking it home, I was playing with the push/pull pots and when pulling up on the bridge pickup tone control, the full bypass, when I would push it back in, I'd lose all sound.

Long story short, I loved that guitar except for that one issue. I called Gibson support, submitted a warranty claim, took it to GC and they replaced the PCB. It's great now and is one of my favorites. It wasn't perfect and had been played but no nicks or anything and the flame would probably be considered AAA or maybe even AAAA but there doesn't seem to be any consistency with how they're graded. Get the guitar you want and if it's not perfect, get a discount. I didn't pay full retail for mine. I made an offer, they countered, I made another and we met in the middle.

Gibson will fix the nut by replacing it under warranty. If you can get the one you want with just minor issues that can be fixed, with no major issues AND a discount, that's where I'd go. As others have said, Sweetwater has a multi point inspection and may be the route to go if you're not satisfied with the bottom of the barrel stuff that GC usually gets in or has left over.
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