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Gibson Memphis Factory Tour


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I've just returned from my trip to the U.S (my first in 20 years), and got the opportunity to do the factory tour at the Gibson Memphis plant. As you can probably tell from the photo, I really don't like having my picture taken!




The factory tour is great, but if your thinking about going, it's important to book either the 1200 or 1300 hours tours, because those are the only one's where you will see the staff at work.


I was fully expecting to be relived of some money in the Gibson Retail Store, but that wasn't to be the case, the prices are rather prohibitive, in fact once you've added local tax's, it works out cheaper to buy them in the U.K!

The store was a little disappointing, as I expected them to have at least one of each model, but that wasn't so, they didn't even have a 339, which was the one that I'm most interested in (they did have a 359 though).


There were some rather interesting guitars though, notably a Warren Haynes 335 which was superb and also a J15 acoustic which despite being the cheapest acoustic Gibson make sounded (to mine and my Wife's ears) sounded far better than the considerably more expensive models.


Thy had Two BB King Lucile models which were very badly set up, one poor the other appalling! you'd think in the factory shop they'd make sure they were something like right would you not?


Another interesting guitar in the store was a rather tired looking Les Paul, which a member of staff told me was a 9 year old Classic that wasn't for sale (the store staff didn't seem that interested in their stock). It looked to have not worn very well if it's only 9 years old, even most of the writing on the truss rod cover had worn away (I can't see how that would happen, it's not an area that gets any wear)




The tour is well worth doing, and you really should see the Ladies scraping the paint off the guitars binding, freehand with nothing more than their eyes and a razor blade, but I wouldn't bother taking any money for guitar buying!



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The tour is definitely worth it, as for the store I never really understood the point of it, same with the store in Nashville (which is gone now due to the 2010 flood).


You would think that every instrument in the Showcase would be hand-selected and setup perfectly well, I mean that is the concept of a Showcase but that is not the case and usually the employees at the store is almost as if they don't want to be there, as if they send employees that are on probation to work there.

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I'd love to work in the Gibson Factory Store… Just saying'...


No you don't. I suspect those guys get asked why guitars there are priced 20%-30% higher than everywhere else, I mean the world has internet and everyone knows what the retail prices are.

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