I guess you have to decide for yourself if the "flaws" ruin the guitar and how high your expectations for perfection should be when purchasing anonymously from a mass market big box store. I don't buy every guitar in person, but I do ask the store employee to personally go through it and do an in-hand evaluation of it while I'm on the phone. You obviously can't do that with MF, M123 ZZ, AMS, etc. Even so, they are not usually going to be as picky as I am and they may not see the imperfections that I might pick up when it is my hard-earned money spent. I just got a CS Ebony Flying Custom and there are some egregious mistakes: like the bevel cut on the pickguard has melted plastic from the black layer vulcanized into the white layer probably because they ran it through the router too fast and heated it up; the pickup surround has a deep power screwdriver worm hole where someone was too careless when doing the install/adjustment, etc. Because they are cosmetic things and don't effect the playability, I'm not going to return it, but it does have a buzzkill effect on the rush of opening and gazing at my new guitar that costs over $4,200 MAP. The QC is better on some of my PRS SE (Korean) guitars that I paid $400 for. While not a CS guitar, I passed on the 50th anniversary Firebird because the paint quality is so heinous. Every one I've seen looks like the factory forgot to fill the wood before painting and the gold finish has a mottled and spray-can-at-home effect. Pride in American craftsmanship is apparently at an all time low in Tennessee.
Hi, I just got one of these after the Custom Shop made a "limited run" in March. It's been my "aspirational guitar" ever since the initial run in 2002. Whilst this version is slightly different from the original, I still am very, very happy with it and now maybe my Flying V Custom desires have been quelled for a while (I have a VW and Oxblood FVC too). I've been looking for information on this run, but there's very little info to go on and nothing at all on the Gibson website. The only other run of these guitars was in 2002 when 40 were made. Does any one know how many were produced in the 2013 run? My serial number ends in 390, but with CS guitars that probably doesn't mean much other than the sequence from the factory. It looks like each retailer only got two or three each, Dave's, Rainbow, Music Zoo, Wildwood, the usual upper echelon dealers. The CoA is specific for each dealer, mine says "made for Music Zoo". The pickups are CS "underwound" humbuckers. I've seen these referred to as "Custom Buckers", but I don't think that means anything. My Guitar Center exclusive '68 RI LPC from 2011 used the same terminology and they are definitely not the same pickups. Does anybody know the spec on these CS pickups? I'm wondering if they are potted, the type of alnico magnet used, output values, etc. Thanks for any solid information, not speculation, on this beautiful guitar. Before someone asks, here are the pics, so it did happen: