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2015 Gibson's ...how are they really?

#1 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 08:05 AM

I have recently purchased a 2015 LP Custom tri-burst. It is pretty much a nice heavy block of solid body (has to be around 10lbs easy - will weigh soon enough), electronics are "classical-like" (soldered "popcorn part" pots and caps - as one would expect I suppose), the tuners are Grovers, and there is no cheezy hologram on the back of the neck-headstock region. Cosmetically, it is fabulous to say the least. What imperfections exist, I have to look very closely at it to see them. Overall, the guitar I wanted. Oh, and it sounds real nice to me with the 498T and 490R pickups.

Going online the biggest gripe with a 2015 (as far as I can tell) is with the G-Force tuner system and the brass (titanium replacement) nut. The brass nut... yeah this is an issue, and a big one IMHO. At least I gather the replacement is free... The tuning system with a faulty nut material doesn't help promote the tuning system any either. I have heard there are complaints of placing an internal PCB in the control cavity. I don't see how that's a bad deal, but if you want to mod the guitar, then maybe it will pose a problem. My guitar does not seem to conform to this stuff whatsoever. It has a plastic (corian?) nut, classical gold HW tuners, electronics are wired, and based on feel, I think that it is not weight relieved... Frets are also very nice with well-cut nibs... Finish and figured maple top is just stunning.

So, I love the guitar - definitely not intending on returning it at all. It is a straight up Les Paul with that familiar LP tone we all love so much. I suppose it seems that the 2015 lineup is focused on Gibson USA and their QC mishaps, not the Custom Shop? Because, honestly, it seems like my guitar was handled with love at the factory, at the GC I bought it from, and now it is in my possession. Received it in a very acceptable condition - and yes for the money I paid for it, it is up to par. The experience was a great one from picking it out, to finally receiving it in my possession. I live in MI and ordered my LPC from Manhattan GC, so it had an extra shipping detail prior to it falling into my hands. Everyone has done a great job with it, but this is GC related. Just mentioning because even after going through GC's hands, it still arrived in awesome condition.

So what else is the stigma with 2015 Gibson guitars? I don't get it and how all of a sudden, 2016's came out and you get a wonderful Gibson...
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#2 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:27 PM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 26 October 2017 - 08:05 AM, said:

I have recently purchased a 2015 LP Custom tri-burst. It is pretty much a nice heavy block of solid body (has to be around 10lbs easy - will weigh soon enough), electronics are "classical-like" (soldered "popcorn part" pots and caps - as one would expect I suppose), the tuners are Grovers, and there is no cheezy hologram on the back of the neck-headstock region. Cosmetically, it is fabulous to say the least. What imperfections exist, I have to look very closely at it to see them. Overall, the guitar I wanted. Oh, and it sounds real nice to me with the 498T and 490R pickups.

Going online the biggest gripe with a 2015 (as far as I can tell) is with the G-Force tuner system and the brass (titanium replacement) nut. The brass nut... yeah this is an issue, and a big one IMHO. At least I gather the replacement is free... The tuning system with a faulty nut material doesn't help promote the tuning system any either. I have heard there are complaints of placing an internal PCB in the control cavity. I don't see how that's a bad deal, but if you want to mod the guitar, then maybe it will pose a problem. My guitar does not seem to conform to this stuff whatsoever. It has a plastic (corian?) nut, classical gold HW tuners, electronics are wired, and based on feel, I think that it is not weight relieved... Frets are also very nice with well-cut nibs... Finish and figured maple top is just stunning.

So, I love the guitar - definitely not intending on returning it at all. It is a straight up Les Paul with that familiar LP tone we all love so much. I suppose it seems that the 2015 lineup is focused on Gibson USA and their QC mishaps, not the Custom Shop? Because, honestly, it seems like my guitar was handled with love at the factory, at the GC I bought it from, and now it is in my possession. Received it in a very acceptable condition - and yes for the money I paid for it, it is up to par. The experience was a great one from picking it out, to finally receiving it in my possession. I live in MI and ordered my LPC from Manhattan GC, so it had an extra shipping detail prior to it falling into my hands. Everyone has done a great job with it, but this is GC related. Just mentioning because even after going through GC's hands, it still arrived in awesome condition.

So what else is the stigma with 2015 Gibson guitars? I don't get it and how all of a sudden, 2016's came out and you get a wonderful Gibson...


If those are the ones with the metal zero nut, I know that was a big issue and was that the year nibs or nubs went away. And maybe the tuner thing as well.
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#3 User is offline   'Scales 

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 01:46 PM

Seems a long time ago now but what I recall - and this is for the Standard moreso than the Custom, the most disliked things were:
- extra wide fretboard (widest ever and only done in 2015. E strings way inboard)
- g force became standard fitting (at extra $) and wasn't liked by many anyway
- adjustable nut that wore out quickly
- Les Paul 100 signature script that was just 'wrong'

Other stuff that divided opinion included hologram, loss of nibs and probably stuff to do with electronics

There were things that were liked I think like work to the bridge and click-off removable pick guard, I think the paint jobs improved (?)

Maybe other stuff too. The case was quite different but I can't remember if most people liked that or not.
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#4 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 26 October 2017 - 08:33 PM

The 2015s are great guitars in my opinion but I have big hands so the wide necks are a plus for me. Gibson will replace the nut for free so that isnít an issue for me. You ca; scoop them up cheap so that is appealing.
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#5 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 02:05 AM

Chris,
I think the Les Paul Custom is one of the Gibson USA line of guitars (there are a lot of members on here more knowledgeable than me, maybe they can confirm that).

I played a 2015 sprint run Traditional which was a short run model without the robot tuner but with the zero fret nut, wider fretboard and the Les Paul 100 script on the headstock. The build quality of the guitar was very good, the guitar played and sounded good (it was fitted with the now defunct 59 Tribute humbuckers), I had no problems with the guitar, in fact there were some points that I found better than other years Les Pauls particularly the speed knobs which had a textured edge to them. (I like speed knobs because I find them easier to change without looking down at them). In summery it was a very good guitar.


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#6 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 12:50 PM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 27 October 2017 - 08:18 AM, said:

Thanks all for the replies. I sincerely appreciate the feedback!

Overall, I like the guitar, plays very well, obviously was getting some love at the factory and handled well at GC before falling into my hands. It was a recent purchase, and I wasn't really aware of the "dreaded" 2015 GIbson guitar lineup... As mentioned, I purchased for a stellar $5500 pretty much from GC.

http://www.guitarcen...uitar-J27529.gc

BTW, I was the one who gave the review as I think the guitar is a quality piece of work. The only thing that my guitar may be "victim" to is the wider fretboard, but then again, I play it, and it doesn't bother me or hamper my playing at all... Not worried about that. As I mentioned before, the price is pretty high and I could get a solid color LPC for a few thousand less, or find a '68 RI used for less as well (if I want this type of tri-burst finish - which I absolutely love). I just want to make sure I am not getting taken for a ride here on the price... With the high quality set aside, the price is expensive. The price I paid, is this too high? GC said they were inflexible on the price, but I did end up working out a deal for a lot of other goodies in the deal - pickups, straps, string packs, various repair components for my other guitars (pots, covers, and switches), etc. I suppose I am happy paying this if indeed this guitar is worth it. Do note that this guitar is brand new essentially - I am first owner and build on it is immaculate... Not even trying to hype it up because it is true.


Chris, glad to hear that your happy with your new guitar. Regarding the price, I've no idea how US prices compare to here in the UK, but obviously your happy with the deal so that's all that matters.
The wider fretboard seems like a good idea, I never even noticed it on the one I played.
I hope you get many years of enjoyment from it.

Regards,
Ian

p.s welcome to the forum.
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#7 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 27 October 2017 - 03:20 PM

Chris, your guitar is from the Gibson Custom Shop and not a Gibson USA model. Your guitar doesnít have the quirks of the Gibson USA models.
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#8 User is offline   valtyr 

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Posted 29 October 2017 - 06:40 PM

Congrats Chris.

I think much of the hate the 2015s get is due to the fact that there were multiple changes across the range at the same time with no traditional offerings. No other choice was given that year so buyers were unable to opt out of the wider neck, gforce tuners, adjustable nut, or the other changes that year. Not everyone liked or even wanted some of these changes, and they increased prices as well.

I don't think there would have been near as much hostility if they had done what they are doing now, which is having different lines where buyers can select more traditional or more modern features.
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#9 User is offline   Farnsbarns 

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 04:33 AM

I see you've had a lot of answers so I'm not going to jump in and repeat. Just to say, the reason some people don't like the circuit board is the capacitance between the the tracks and the board substrate which, in an audio circuit, could be considered undesirable. That said, most modern, insulated wire also has some capacitance.
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#10 User is offline   Farnsbarns 

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Posted 30 October 2017 - 06:22 AM

Just scribble a pencil in the nut slots. You don't even need to remove the strings, just lift them out of the slots. Powdered graphite is the perfect lube.
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#11 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 08:50 AM

Glad you got the guitar you wanted and are happy with it.

As I recall most of the complaining about 2015 models was from people who never played one or ever had one in their hands. They just read about the wider neck, brass nut, auto-tuners etc. and said they didn't like any of those features. I guess the nut was a problem and Gibson recognized that and was willing to replace them. Also yours is a custom and didn't have some of the things people didn't like about that year (hologram).
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#12 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 31 October 2017 - 11:43 AM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 27 October 2017 - 08:18 AM, said:

Thanks all for the replies. I sincerely appreciate the feedback!

Overall, I like the guitar, plays very well, obviously was getting some love at the factory and handled well at GC before falling into my hands. It was a recent purchase, and I wasn't really aware of the "dreaded" 2015 GIbson guitar lineup... As mentioned, I purchased for a stellar $5500 pretty much from GC.

http://www.guitarcen...uitar-J27529.gc

BTW, I was the one who gave the review as I think the guitar is a quality piece of work. The only thing that my guitar may be "victim" to is the wider fretboard, but then again, I play it, and it doesn't bother me or hamper my playing at all... Not worried about that. As I mentioned before, the price is pretty high and I could get a solid color LPC for a few thousand less, or find a '68 RI used for less as well (if I want this type of tri-burst finish - which I absolutely love). I just want to make sure I am not getting taken for a ride here on the price... With the high quality set aside, the price is expensive. The price I paid, is this too high? GC said they were inflexible on the price, but I did end up working out a deal for a lot of other goodies in the deal - pickups, straps, string packs, various repair components for my other guitars (pots, covers, and switches), etc. I suppose I am happy paying this if indeed this guitar is worth it. Do note that this guitar is brand new essentially - I am first owner and build on it is immaculate... Not even trying to hype it up because it is true.


Since yours is a Custom shop job yours suffers from none of what people hated from that year. Muy Bueno Guitara.
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#13 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:06 AM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 31 October 2017 - 09:34 AM, said:

Yeah, played my LPC every night thus far and nothing unexpected happening and everything expected happening! You have to really be trying to make an argument to point out a defect in this thing. I do not have any experience with 2015 Gibson's at all, so I will not comment on these. All I know is what I have in my possession and from 23 years experience playing guitar, I have to say this thing is exceptionally nice.

Another thing I have noticed is complaints about the "line" felt between the place where binding meets the neck. All my Gibson's with bound neck have this "line" and I don't know why people go out of their way to make videos on this and call this a defect. People have said they are turning in their guitar because of this thinking it is a defect... I guess if it SOMEHOW bothers your hand so much when playing, then OK, but to turn it in where this "line" has no effect on playability and purely on the basis that this is a defect, that is foolish IMHO. I mean, I see these un-boxing videos and all that comes out is complaints - like why bother buying these guitars then. They say this is the 3rd LP and blah, blah... I just doubt that Gibson can ship a LP multiple times and each one suffers from some sort of catastrophic defect. Just annoys me. My favorite are ones that complain about this thing not being setup correctly out the box... You have to tune a guitar by turning tuning machine heads, so get a screwdriver and turn the saddle, adjust the tailpiece! It's not difficult... To go as far as making a public video on it and convince all those that don't know about guitars that this is something to worry about... As I have said, you don't buy a multiple thousand dollar instrument and not know how to set intonation or adjust string action... I suppose these people turn in their new cars when their seat isn't at right setting "just for them" when they buy it... Oh well, enough of my rant on these individuals. Understand not liking certain guitar "innovations" like robo-tuner or whatever... To go as far as say quality is down the dumps because of a setup on a new guitar being incorrect, this is stupidity. I am not defending Gibson on any of their "quality issues", but I can sift through the trash to find the truth about the lineup.


Yes Chris, Gibson knocking has reached epidemic proportions, it's as though everyone wants to hate Gibson. I think it's at it's worst on the Acoustic Guitar Forum, if it isn't a Martin or a Taylor it sucks.
I have 5 Gibsons and I wouldn't swap any of them for anything else.


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#14 User is offline   valtyr 

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:27 PM

View PostTwang Gang, on 31 October 2017 - 08:50 AM, said:

Glad you got the guitar you wanted and are happy with it.

As I recall most of the complaining about 2015 models was from people who never played one or ever had one in their hands. They just read about the wider neck, brass nut, auto-tuners etc. and said they didn't like any of those features. I guess the nut was a problem and Gibson recognized that and was willing to replace them. Also yours is a custom and didn't have some of the things people didn't like about that year (hologram).


I read about the difference in width and wondered why people were making a big deal about it......until I played one. I didn't think a couple millimeters would feel any different, but it did, so I can sympathize a bit with the player who is used to the Gibson neck profiles and wanted an additional guitar with a similar feel. That said, it didn't feel bad, just different. It certainly wasn't unplayable and I don't think it would take much to get used to.

I think the major problem with 2015 was that they tried to push several changes across the whole line without giving players a choice. Offering both the HP and trad lines like they do now is what they should have done.
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#15 User is offline   GoldJim 

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 08:31 AM

I've owned 2 2015 Gibson Les Paul's, and I love both of them: a Traditional (has the robot tuners) and a Gold Top Standard (doesn't have the robot tuners). Love each of them. Don't understand the hate. I have a new 2017 Studio Deluxe IV from GC. Also a great guitar, and I don't understand why people are slamming on them.
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#16 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:28 AM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 07 November 2017 - 08:51 AM, said:

I have done my first string replacement on my 2015 LPC this weekend. Also added some graphite to the nut slots to get rid of the "plinks" when tuning up - works like a charm! The only thing I have been noticing is that when I try to play some "chicken pickin'" music, I noticed my C chord has some sharp notes in it - the fretted notes of the C chord. I depressed the 3rd fret, and noticed that the "relief" over the 1st fret was very minimal, so the nut slots look properly set in terms of depth... No sitar sounds as well as the string is resting pretty much like a zero fret... As well, the strings are not sitting deep into these slots either. Overall, the nut looks to be cut very well. The intonation down the neck is pretty much spot on - octaves are pretty precise on higher frets. What could be going on with these sharp notes on the first 3-5 frets? I know guitar is not a perfect instrument, but these sharp notes are sort of pronounced more so than my other guitars. I am not depressing these notes very hard - in fact, I notice the sharpness when I press like a feather on these frets. This just stifles me what the issue could be here. I am using 10-46 string gauge FYI. I am pretty sure that the neck relief is OK, but we are talking about 1-5 frets here which I think should not be affected by neck relief. Either way, If there is anything else I could add, please feel free to ask. Thanks!


LPC ? Is this Custom? If so you dont have the G-Force tuners right?
Does the sharpness show up on a tuner?
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#17 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 12:29 PM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 07 November 2017 - 09:41 AM, said:

Yes, LPC = Les Paul Custom. Sorry for the confusion. I do not have G-Force; I have Grover tuning machines. And on a tuner, the sharpness does show up quite a few Cents off. Just felt like mentioning since this is pretty noticeable on this guitar in particular. I don't want to start filing down the nut slot as I mentioned it looks pretty good when I inspect the spacing under the 1st fret when depressing the 3rd fret. I mean, the string just barely clears the 1st fret when 3rd fret is depressed as many suggest needs to be true.


You have checked everything as far as I can tell. You're obviously experienced. This is a strange one!?
My LP is a little sharp in the same area but thats because I have adjusted the nut unusually high.

Have you thought of checking your set up to Gibson guide spec? I dont have a link for it, but I've followed links on here a couple of times. Worth a check maybe?
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#18 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 07:42 AM

Thats seems a sensible approach. If you do get to the bottom of it, i'd be curious to know how it went! Good luck. [thumbup]
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#19 User is offline   Karloff 

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:32 AM

the auto tuners are a joke in my opinion. don't want it, don't need it. the brass nut, I can learn to live with. but I really like the slightly wider neck. they feel nice.
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#20 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 10:56 AM

View PostNighthawkChris, on 08 November 2017 - 12:10 PM, said:

I don't know if this is in agreement that the bridge height being increased making a bigger angle with the string and fretboard causes the lower frets to become more sharp. I mean, the generic answer to this sharp lower fret issue is the nut slot depth or basically, nut issues, but this is definitely not the case. As I have mentioned, the string is anchored on the nut very, very close to the fretboard with a good angle back to the tuning machines. As well, the height of the string at the nut is very slightly higher than the first fret (3rd fret depression visual inspection via feeler gauge under 1st fret). So overall, tune-o-matic height affects "sharpness" of lower frets due to increased string angle with fretboard. Can this happen? Just want to explain how I may have improved this situation I have been dealing with. Thanks in advance!


I'm of the opinion that it can happen, yes. Or at least theoretically it can, because the string length is increased by raising the bridge.

My Spanish guitar has a very high action and no bridge adjustment. Intonation is a problem when using it (changing from lower to upper frets). It has always seemed to me that the high bridge is the cause.

I would have expected the tuning issue to be relative rather than absolute though. You are describing a definite sharpness at the place where the strings are closest to frets. That is what's puzzling me.

Maybe one of the luthiers here will have better insight? Where's Rabs when you need him?!
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