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Everything posted by bobouz

  1. LP Specials are really nice - love P90s & the basic appointments. I've had a few of them, and currently own a wine red 2012, with a bound fingerboard & gloss nitro finish. Picked it up from Amazon at an ungodly close-out price, which somehow keeps me from thinking about buying another. But this new honeyburst version is rather tempting!
  2. Being made in 2004, your guitar is from the first version of the Elitist Texan, made by Terada in Japan. It is not a close reproduction of a '60s Texan, but it is a very good guitar, and it was indeed called the "Elitist '65 Texan." Beginning in 2005 (a few actually made at the end of '04), Terada then built 1,964 instruments as part of McCartney's Adopt-A-Minefield fundraiser. Gibson also built two versions in Bozeman for the fundraiser (one reliced, one not). All versions were called the "Paul McCartney 1964 Texan" & they were all well executed reproductions based on McCartney's original instrument. I happen to own one of these, made by Terada in '05. The most recent version of the Elitist Texan cited on Epiphone's website is also built by Terada, and more closely follows the construction details of their previous McCartney Texan release. The Elitist '65 Texan differs from the McCartney model in the following ways: Poly finish, laminated mahogany sides, Grover tuners, 3-hole Elitist truss rod cover, peghead edge not rounded on the sides, cloud inlay a bit squared off, no aging toner. There most likely are also some internal bracing differences. But again, regardless of any differences, it is a high quality instrument, and the Nancy Wilson connection is very cool!
  3. Everything looks good. Nice find!
  4. l’ve had three of these from this era, and typically the top will have heavy checking. To have one without it is unusual & makes me wonder if the top has been refinished.
  5. Interestingly, in the J-165 cutaway's earlier version, the CJ-165ec, for the first two years ('07-'08) it came with a soundhole mounted Fishman Aura. I happened to land one of these a few months ago - being pleasantly surprised to find one without the side-mounted electronics.
  6. Many Montana Gibson models have had factory side-mounted electronics, on either the upper or lower bass side bouts. Every one I've come across has been on a cutaway model, including a cutaway J-200. Earlier side-mounted electronics would be the two knob type near the neck joint, which were seen on non-cutaways, such as the J-200 noted above. I find these somewhat tolerable visually, but still not ideal. Personally, I think all side-mounted electronics detract from the essential basics of an acoustic guitar. With so many soundhole mount versions available, they're the way to go, imho.
  7. From the photos, it would appear to me that this model is built in Epiphone's Indonesian factory. This would, imho, make it more like a "tricked-out" IB-Texan, rather than putting it in the same quality category as a Terada-Japan built Elitist Texan. There is also an all solid-wood Masterbilt J-45 model produced in Indonesia, and the Frampton model most likely is quite similar in it's construction details. Terada has built two versions of the Elitist Texan (early 2000s, and a more recent model for the Japanese market). In approx 2005-2008, they also built a version of the Paul McCartney 1964 Texan (for Paul's Adopt-A-Minefield fundraiser). I happen to have one of the McCartney instruments from 2005, and it is a highly accurate reproduction of a mid-'60s Texan.
  8. Yes indeed, as typically the front end of an endeavor is the most challenging.
  9. Much of this discussion has been about the dealers who are not idiots - The ones who were around when Henry dismantled the existing Gibson dealer network, and are still around today and quite successful. The smart move now would be to focus on rebuilding connections with these successful dealerships.
  10. Two points: > Mars declared bankruptcy in Sept 2002, and closed their doors a month later. Henry had fully established his relationship with Guitar Center a year before that. > There's only one reason that such a wide cross section of Gibson dealers felt compelled to end their affiliation with the brand at the same time - Henry radically altered stocking requirements to the point where it was not tenable for the dealers. This was a calculated choice made by Henry, and one which essentially dismantled his existing dealer network. He certainly was not forced to go this route - it was a fully informed decision, based on the big-box/online marketing vision he wanted to pursue. Thankfully, the other major players did not follow Henry's lead, and retained their dealer networks while establishing a similar big-box/online footprint.
  11. No, he didn't, because many of the good ones are still there. What he did specifically was drive them away in one swift dumping move as he went big-box and online in 2001 and into 2002. Whatever incentive programs he may have offered before that apparently went away with his newly crafted marketing model. Remember that Guitar Center had not been a Gibson dealer for a number of years prior to Henry's full-on shift. In the spring of 2001, Gibsons began flooding into Guitar Centers. Shortly thereafter, a slew of dealers across the country ended their Gibson affiliations. One local dealer in my area with four stores had been with them for thirty years. My small but successful true mom & pop had to pull out. George Gruhn pulled out. This was a sweeping sea of change, and very few were left standing besides Guitar Center and a few major online retailers. In the ensuing years, I've noticed a few dealers coming & going from the Gibson fold, but the ones who were forced out in the initial wave never returned. And a very healthy number of these shops are still there. Do you think they have spoken many good words about Gibson in the interim? If they could reach workable agreements with Martin, Taylor, & Fender, and continue to sell instruments for all these years, why not Gibson? The new management has an opportunity to right some wrongs and build new relationships. I hope they are truly successful in this endeavor.
  12. Indeed, this is a good point re the mid-size dealers, but there can be room for some smaller dealers such as the one I mentioned in my earlier posts. This particular one lies in the suburbs of a major metro area, and in particular, in an area in close proximity to a high tech industry corridor. A lot of folks nearby have good paying jobs, and they have the money to buy high end products. They also have the money to send their kids into the local store for lessons. To not lose out to the online retailers on guitar sales, they simply offer to price match. And btw, during the period when this shop carried acoustic & electric Gibsons, they also carried acoustic & electric Epiphones (as the perfect gateway drug). But when they couldn't meet Henry's Gibson stocking quotas, they were also cut off from access to Epiphone. At any rate, I believe there are a significant number of small dealers in major metro areas who could successfully carry Gibsons and Epiphones. Coupling a select group of smaller stores with winning back the major mid-sized stores such as Fuller's (which for god-sake clearly lived & breathed Gibsons), would be a great place to start.
  13. The successful small local dealers in my region who used to sell Gibsons are still there, and they have one advantage that online retailers are not able to match: They give lessons. Those students are going to be advised by their instructors. It's pretty difficult to get excited about Gibsons in a store full of Martins, Taylors, and Fenders. But again, it didn't used to be that way where I shopped. This particular small store had Gibson acoustics prominently showcased on a four-sided display in the middle of their acoustic room, and the electric row of Gibsons was quite extensive. When an instructor/salesman wanted to show his/her students the good stuff, they would invariably turn to the Gibsons. Another local business with four stores and a large overall inventory always had Gibsons well displayed for a first-hand assessment (if you asked!). When Henry pulled the plug on local dealers with stocking demands that were out of reach for most, Martin, Taylor, and Fender all continued to sell in these same shops throughout the country, even as they and Gibson began flooding Guitar Centers with their product. Eighteen years later, guess what? Those same local stores are still carrying Martins, Taylors, and Fenders. They still promote them with their students, and they continue to create a buzz for those products among local players. Imho, Henry went barking up the wrong tree, and created a raft of ill-will in the process. It will be very interesting to see to what extent Gibson's new management works to restore these connections.
  14. My criteria is simply whether or not I derive any pleasure from owning a particular guitar. If I do, it most likely stays. If the day came where I needed to sell a group of instruments for financial reasons, I think I could do it without an excruciating amount of struggle. But until that day comes, I'll enjoy being surrounded by these fine objects that just make me feel good - either by playing them, working on them, or just looking at them.
  15. The mom & pop store where I bought a number of Gibsons had the rug cut out from under them in Henry's first wave of dealer dumping during his initial big-box move in 2001. It made absolutely no sense to me, and was my major quibble with HJ's era. Instead of having a dealer who would go to NAMM annually & come back excited as heck about Gibson - and continually say positive things about the product & company - you had someone who was now going to be talking about other brands with the same glow that used to be reserved for Gibson. I hadn't been in that mom & pop for a number of years, but happened to stop in there a couple of months ago since it was close to a doctor appointment in the big city. On the electric side were a whole lot of Fenders, and on the acoustic side it was raining Taylors. Multiply that by all the large & small stores nationwide that no longer carry Gibson to consider how much was lost. Moving forward, let the rebuilding of Gibson's dealer network begin with integrity & partnership.
  16. In a weird way, I kinda like that crazy thing!
  17. Mike, there's some good & not so good news here. First of all, your guitar was indeed built by the Peerless factory ('R' serial number), which has a very good reputation for their build quality. But the salesman was incorrect about the top. AJ series guitars with a solid top from that period were denoted with an 'S' after the model number, such as AJ-18SCE. Back and sides in the AJ series utilized laminates. This does not take away from the fact that these were well built instruments, which represented a good value at their respective price-points. Edit note: The 'VS' in you model number stands for Vintage Sunburst, not to be confused with the 'S' mentioned above to indicate a solid top.
  18. If I were to wager a guess, I'd say the biggest positive influence on Gibson-acoustic internet chatter has been the addition of an affordable built-in-Montana model such as the J-15, which has probably tempted many more players to give Gibson a test drive. Once they do, those preconceived generalizations (based mostly on internet hearsay) begin to get seriously challenged. I would also imagine that Gibson's new Montana releases with a $999 price point will continue to impress those with little knowledge about Gibson acoustics, and will in many cases become a gateway drug. As many of us know, once you get a taste of the good stuff, there's no turning back!
  19. Yes indeed, and one of those was Les Paul, who tried very hard to play like Django (before finding his own niche), made it a point to meet him, and eventually became good friends with him before his untimely passing.
  20. There was no "fair amount of others who piled on" in the thread I'm referring to, which I'm guessing few people saw before it quickly devolved & was removed. There was another long-winded thread that covered similar territory, and I believe it is still up on the board. Posts about non-Gibsons on this board are fine in my book, especially since these typically are made by Gibson players and offer comparative insights. I would only say that if there is no Gibson content, such posts would seem to be most appropriately placed in The Lounge, since it is primarily intended for a wide berth of topics & general discussions.
  21. Aside from a post in the current thread re the passing of OWF, his most recent posts were in a thread that was removed from the boards by a moderator. He and Euro Aussie were trading insults re Matons, when Hogeye (the guy who says he never personally attacks forum members), leveled a typically unnecessary & highly personal assault on BK777. Shortly thereafter, the thread was gone.
  22. Started listening to Django in the '70s, when I first began exploring the roots of blues & jazz. The Hot Club recordings still represent some of my all-time favorite stuff. Happy B-Day, and thank you Django!
  23. Made in Montana at a $999 price-point? Very interesting!
  24. bobouz

    Ut Oh!

    Seemed to work pretty well for McCartney with his Epiphone Texan!
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