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About SolitaryPine

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  1. First of all, there are a few different issues, and it is easy to get them confused. I'll try to clarify. Issue 1: "Piezo Bleed" This issue was first reported on these forums by one of the earliest recipients of the guitar when it started shipping. Essentially, the problem is that when you turn the piezo volume knob all the way down to 0, you can still hear some of the piezo pickup sound coming through. Gibson acknowledged this and added the pop-up volume knob switch to completely kill the piezo pickup. All guitars after AL 100 came like this from the factory. All earlier guitars were offered a free upgrade (basically it was a recall), you just had to bring your guitar to an authorized service center. So, if you buy this early guitar you may be able to get the free fix. Call an authorized service center in advance to find out. Issue 2: Volume drops, buzzing, cut outs, etc. These issues have been reported by a number of people, but others report no issues at all. I have no idea what the % of guitars with the problems are, but it appears to have nothing to do with when the guitar was made. Some have reported poor grounding. Also, unlike some competitive guitars, the guitar does not have any electromagnetic shielding in the wiring cavities. Your amp and effects rig and their natural level of noise will likely add or subtract to noise related problems if your guitar has them. You can likely fix these problems with the McDLT mod or by having the guitar's wiring modified to improve the ground and add shielding. There is no clear answer as the source does not appear to be consistent or with every guitar. These issues have the most potential to be frustrating for sure, but they have nothing to do with the piezo bleed issue or the kill switch that was added to rectify piezo bleed. Issue 3: Mag pickups affected by state of the piezo battery. This affects every guitar. The sound of the mag pickups will deteriorate when the battery is low. The McDLT mod will fix this. Or, making sure your battery is always good will fix it. The battery lasts a long time if you unplug the guitar when not playing. Issue 4: Bridge/neck pickup switch problems. This has just been reported recently. Apparently Gibson uses a different switch for the Axcess guitars (including the Lifeson version) because the body is thinner. My Lifeson switch has worked fine since I received the guitar over two years ago. My Gibson USA LP Studio (which should have the normal switch) has had switch issues. Go figure. Issue 5: Piezo pickup cutting out when tremelo is pushed down. Some users have reported here that the piezo pickups will stop sending signal when the trem is pushed down a significant amount. My guitar only does this if I've got it down so far that the strings are in full flop mode, so I don't consider it an issue. Personally I don't do deep acoustic dive bombs, and when the trem begins to return to the normal position the pickups begin functioning again. Some posters have said this issue is due to the length of the piezo wires being too short. I have not heard anyone propose your idea of having the wiring done with blended on one jack and just mags on the other. It's basically a variation of the McDLT mod and should work, but I'm not aware of anyone having tried it so you'll want to talk to a wiring expert (e.g. not me). Most people report that after spending a little bit of money to fix whatever problem they are having that they love the guitar. It truly is a unique instrument, and, unlike most signature models, is both a functional and a cosmetic upgrade from the base model Axcess (solid body, piezo, pickup covers, different colors, strap locks). I love mine. It's definitely my favorite axe.
  2. Congrats! Looks great!
  3. I doubt they are using different wood. I tried out six different AL LPs before selecting mine at Wildwood. They all sounded very different. Different tree, different wood density, etc. My guess is that the one Alex has in black is just one that sounds better.
  4. OK. I'm sure limited is true (since I think they use the same 3 digit serial number format as the other two colors) but I doubt there are only 25 of them. Maybe Wildwood sold 25. There are three on eBay right this second, and they don't seem to be priced any higher than other colors. http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAND-NEW-2012-Limited-Run-Gibson-Custom-ALEX-LIFESON-SIg-Les-Paul-Axcess-Guitar-/120997141906?pt=Guitar&hash=item1c2bfddd92 http://www.ebay.com/itm/2012-GIBSON-CUSTOM-SHOP-ALEX-LIFESON-LES-PAUL-AXCESS-EBONY-GLOSS-COA-TAGS-MINT-/221132471458?pt=Guitar&hash=item337c85bca2 http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-Custom-Shop-Les-Paul-Axcess-Alex-Lifeson-Ebony-/251156423752?pt=Guitar&hash=item3a7a16e448
  5. Are you sure there were only 25? The last time I looked on eBay there were three black ones for sale, and I've never heard anything about them being limited editions.
  6. AL 140 now on ebay. Buy It Now only, $5,995.
  7. Haven't seen any on eBay in a while (I check once every couple of weeks). Today I saw two: AL 153. Auction, no reserve. EDIT: Sold for $3,600. Low! AL 118. Buy it now $5k, or auction starting at $4k. Edit: Sold for $4,000.
  8. This is a seriously dead horse. Also, I'm not sure he is referring to the volute when he makes the gesture. There are a number of small differences between the signature and the original, not just the volute but the location of the f-holes and other minor details that have been described in the past ad naseum. The volute, in my opinion, makes absolutely no difference in the playing of the guitar. And, as an owner of one, the passion that people have displayed on these forums about the volute honestly just makes me roll my eyes and shake my head. The real difference, as far as playability and feel, is that the neck is much beefier in the signature guitar than the original. You hear him talk about how thin the neck of his guitar is during the video. The rumor I heard is that Gibson tried to recreate the guitar with a neck matching the dimensions of Alex's, but because it was so thin a very large percentage of the necks were coming out warped or otherwise defective, and so they beefed it up so they could manufacture them more reliably. But no signature owners ever complained about that because they've never seen or played the original, obviously. So, I'm guessing that he is referring to the thinness of the neck when he made his gesture and said "almost," since he had just spent some time talking about how that was a unique feature of the guitar. The volute is clearly a mistake by Gibson, and they have passed it off on Alex by saying that he "approved" the design, which he probably did because, like me, he probably felt it didn't make a real difference. Also, in other interviews that came out during the period after the guitar came out Alex is shown having both the original and one of the signatures along with him on tour, so he obviously didn't mind the numerous differences.
  9. My thoughts... when ever you do a "reversible" mod to a guitar like the McDLT (proper name) you should of course keep the original parts in case the next owner wants that. Another option for you to consider is to do the McDLT and then blend the signal later in the signal chain, prior to it getting to the amp. There are volume pedals that can do this kind of thing. Your matched set is probably worth more to the right buyer, if you can find such a person. You could test it out on eBay by offering both of them together with a high reserve price I suppose. If it is worth substantially more you could use the cash to buy replacements that aren't matching and pocket the difference, then mod the replacement Axcess as you see fit. If they can't replicate the problem you probably aren't going to get a refund. And even if they can, I would have my doubts. They would probably prefer to replace it or fix it.
  10. I love my AL. I have not had any of the sound issues that others have reported with respect to the piezo. Given that over 500 of the guitars have been delivered... the number of people who have complained on here seems relatively small to me. That said, if you do get a bad one, Gibson customer service does not seem to be treating people very well. I have not done the McDLT mod (even though I thought of doing that mod before anyone got the guitar for other reasons), but plan to do it at some point after my electronics warranty expires. I run with two jacks 100% of the time, so that may be part of the reason I have not had the issues the others report. All in all, even if you have to do the $60 McDLT mod and lose the in-guitar blending feature in the process, the benefits of the AL model to me seem to be well worth the additional cost. Partly that is because I like the colors better, partly the lack of chambers, partly the pickups, partly the pickup covers, but mostly the piezo, which I absolutely love.
  11. AL 294 also on eBay.. auction starting at $3,999 or buy it now at $4,599. I think that's the highest serial number I've seen. And this is the first time I've seen 3 of them for sale on eBay at one time. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Gibson-custom-shop-Alex-Lifeson-Rush-signature-ES-355-guitar-/230753981305?pt=Guitar&hash=item35ba025379 EDIT: Sold for $4,550.
  12. AL 009 now on eBay... auction.. starting price $5,999! (That's the lowest serial number I've seen.) http://www.ebay.com/itm/GIBSON-Alex-Lifeson-RUSH-ES-355-9-300-COLLECTOR-CONDITION-MINT-MINT-/290675922721?pt=Guitar&hash=item43ada29721 EDIT: Did not sell.
  13. With the way they are appreciating, it would be a better investment than the stock market!
  14. AL 038 back on eBay for a 3rd time. Buy it now only, $5,250.
  15. Does it have a kill switch (like the ALv2) or just volume knobs like the AL Axcess originally had before you reported the bleed problem?
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