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NGD fail #4 - Les Paul Custom


Levism

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First thank you for taking some time to read this. I'm really in some disbelief that a Les paul custom could have the same problem four different times...... First to help explain my situation here is a quick read on some of the problems I've had while trying to obtain my first custom Silverburst. http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1173213 it's the same as the BIG Issue.

 

So I'll make this as short as I can. A while back I found a red widow custom les paul that Was absolutely beautiful. After playing it a few times I got to like the richlite enough that

just had to have. Took pics, put a deposit and started to work towards it. Visit after visit I started having doubts because I wanted a silverburst forever and now that richlite was my friend I decided to order one new and live out one of my adult dreams. Rather than slowly pay this one off I came up with a nasty plan to trade. I posted my SG deluxe and was contacted by a guy who had a 2008 LP custom in red wine that was too heavy and needed something lighter. The custom checked out. It was a tank with and ebony board. I really liked this thing right off the bat and the trade was on. Here's where it gets messy. I traded the custom two weeks later to my brother for two SG's and two Taylor's. Then I took those to the dealer along with my other LP. So five guitars paid for this custom silverburst that I did not even play yet......this was a first for me , however I am buying a gibson les paul custom. That was enough that I was weary but ready to pull the trigger.

 

After a month a 2013 showed up, I played it and inspected while sort of "in the moment" and took it home. Soon after getting home I discovered some very serious features that were not acceptable. The binding had a serious gap along the neck on both sides. At the twelfth fret is was big enough that you could feel an actual edge. Now I mean baaaad. The binding around the entire guitar also had a definitive ridge as well. So took it back to the dealer who immediately said "whoa!, we have to get you a new one". Thought this was problem solved after I again specified 2014 please. So , two weeks later another 2013 silverburst custom (yep 2013) comes. Different serial number and SAME Problem! not as bad as the first but still flawed. Other flaws were at the neck where it is set (glue 1/8 ") chip where pick guard screw entered the body. So we figured it out that a different sku's had to be ordered straight from the USA. (Oh yes I'm Canadian) and it will def be a 2014 this time. So another three weeks and I get the call (this was last Friday ) "Matt I have great news your silverburst(s) are here ... So they for whatever reason sent two 2014's. I run out of the house and get there to open both box's and then cases and then ... No?! For the love of all thing silvery and bursty it had the same problems with the binding as the '13s. I pulled three 2013 customs off the wall, two of which are perfect (binding) and one had the slightest ridge at the 12 th fret. It was heartbreaking. One of the silverburst was the better of the four the ridge was there but no where near as bad as the other three. I played it. Thought about it. And they offered me a 200 dollar discount. I said you know what , I'm taking it home going to put it through its paces. I have 30 days to decide if I am going to keep it or not. The dealer was very sympathetic and offered me a full refund if I choose.

 

I've never felt an issue with binding before, on any guitar. On this one I don't feel it when I play, yet. It sounds absolutely amazing and weighs a ton as well( I like a heavy LP) sustain is fantastic and I certainly am growing to it. So now what ?

 

Well first if you've actually read all this I appreciate that. I will certainly follow up with some pics though I doubt I can identify any flaws with them. But that's ok right ?

Second. Wow. Four of them all with the same issue. I am very aware of the work that goes into these and how the binding is hand scrapped. But why only silverburst? Does it have something to do with the paint as it differs from all others? Has anyone ever experienced this? $4403.00 is a big chunk of cash for arguably one of the best guitars a guy can get his hands on (at least in mY opinion. Is 4500 dollars something you expect to be flawless or at least superior quality ? In any case I'm going to call Gibson tomorrow and see if anyone there can answer the silverburst questions.

 

I'm curious as to what some think about the entire experience. Trading guitars is not what I am in to. I buy my guitars cause I love them and love playing them. Not to sell. But this was one of those bucket list purchases that you are only supposed to do once. Hence the rash decisions.

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Sorry to read about the problem - and such a strange one at that.

 

I think you are doing the right things in the first instance such as test-driving the best of the bunch to see how you get along with it and find out whether or not it's an issue which is small enough to ignore if the rest of the instrument meets up with your expectations. I also think you are right in wishing to speak with someone from Gibson about this seemingly recurrent issue with the silverburst guitars.

 

The small chip where the p'g screw hole is sited is pretty common, I'm afraid. It shouldn't be but it does seem to be.

 

The 'Gap', though, is something I've not heard of before. Is the gap you describe at the binding's topside edge where it comes into contact with the fingerboard?

If so is the problem caused by the binding not being perfectly flat along the length of the neck or because there is a slight variation/narrowing in the width of the fingerboard in places?

The fact that it only appears to be a problem with the silverburst instruments is very odd indeed.

 

Is this issue something which could be rectified by a decent luthier?

Sometimes small gaps can be filled and slight ridges can be smoothed out to an extent where the problem goes away completely and the resulting repair work is invisible.

If this might be a viable solution for yourself and assuming you bond with the guitar you have then I'd consider using the $200 discount to pay for the remedial work and call it a draw.

 

I look forward to reading any new info you might receive.

 

P.

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There should be no flaws at all. I've seen people on here saying that it's the way they are. But it shouldn't be. I've got a relatively cheap Aria TA 50 (335) and the moulding is perfect. Bad workmanship, wrong drying times and profit hunting is the cause. Full stop. They want them out of the door as quick as possible to make more profit. They most likely hire cheaper staff too. I personally wouldn't buy a new Gibson now. I'd buy second hand. If I had that much money I'd buy a Knaggs anyhow.

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Sorry to read about the problem - and such a strange one at that.

 

I think you are doing the right things in the first instance such as test-driving the best of the bunch to see how you get along with it and find out whether or not it's an issue which is small enough to ignore if the rest of the instrument meets up with your expectations. I also think you are right in wishing to speak with someone from Gibson about this seemingly recurrent issue with the silverburst guitars.

 

The small chip where the p'g screw hole is sited is pretty common, I'm afraid. It shouldn't be but it does seem to be.

 

The 'Gap', though, is something I've not heard of before. Is the gap you describe at the binding's topside edge where it comes into contact with the fingerboard?

If so is the problem caused by the binding not being perfectly flat along the length of the neck or because there is a slight variation/narrowing in the width of the fingerboard in places?

The fact that it only appears to be a problem with the silverburst instruments is very odd indeed.

 

Is this issue something which could be rectified by a decent luthier?

Sometimes small gaps can be filled and slight ridges can be smoothed out to an extent where the problem goes away completely and the resulting repair work is invisible.

If this might be a viable solution to yourself and assuming you bond with the guitar you have then I'd consider using the $200 discount to pay for the remedial work and call it a draw.

 

I look forward to reading any new info you might receive.

 

P.

 

I concur Pippy...

 


Levism, I think every piece of wood is different coming from a living, breathing, organic crop and if the fretboard is an issue, there can be many factors involved... Sometimes Mother Nature sticks her hand in the mix and has her own effect on the human manufacturing process...

 

Does the new one have Ebony or Rosewood?

 

I'm curious as we've all heard about the Ebony shortages that are going to make it a collectors item to have Ebony eventually... The replacements might be a touch hurried as the shortage became an issue if so...

 

Not an excuse as nothing should be hurried, but woods that aren't properly seasoned and settled can have swelling issues that could cause such imperfections. Something clearly seen on imports that are often hurried into the factory without getting a chance to settle and finished before drying properly etc. Volatile neck adjustment issues are often the result with the imports, having said that, they can also work out and be acceptable...

 

I don't own any new Les Pauls, my 2 are second hand and I never really did note any issues toying with new ones @ GC that I recall...

 

I hope you decide you like yours so much that you just can't part with it. I consider the little idiosyncrasies as the things that give my guitars their unique character and make them more of a living thing to me...

 

Good luck, I wish you well!

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ANY $4500 dollar guitar should be flawless, in every regard!

So, until you get one that is, keep sending them back! People

have become too complacent, and too accepting of more and more

marginal workmanship...IMHO. And, not on just guitars! Things

overall, cost a LOT more, and are not nearly as good quality, or

last as long, either! And, as long as consumers just say "Well,

that the way it is," NOTHING will change, for the better.

 

(As you can probably tell, this is ONE of many, of my pet

peeves, these days!) [cursing]

 

So, do what you have to, to get what you really want! [thumbup]

 

CB

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The 'Gap', though, is something I've not heard of before. Is the gap you describe at the binding's topside edge where it comes into contact with the fingerboard?

If so is the problem caused by the binding not being perfectly flat along the length of the neck or because there is a slight variation/narrowing in the width of the fingerboard in places?

The fact that it only appears to be a problem with the silverburst instruments is very odd indeed.

 

Is this issue something which could be rectified by a decent luthier?

Sometimes small gaps can be filled and slight ridges can be smoothed out to an extent where the problem goes away completely and the resulting repair work is invisible.

If this might be a viable solution for yourself and assuming you bond with the guitar you have then I'd consider using the $200 discount to pay for the remedial work and call it a draw.

 

I look forward to reading any new info you might receive.

 

P.

 

Thanks pip,

 

The gap I speak of almost feels like the fretboard has shrunk on the neck and does not feel flush as all others I've felt resulting in a gap. This makes no sense because the fingerboard is richlite which is somewhat impervious to shrinkage. Furthermore the binding around the entire body has a ridge where it meets the body. Almost like a little indent the entire binding most likely from the scrapping process. At the peak of the single cutaway this "gap" is more significant than the rest , where I could see It catching dust and and oils and possibly building up where you would need a toothpick to clean it.

 

No the fingerboard is width is great. It's the binding that's not flat and It's the bottom side edge.

 

I am not completely sure that a luthier could sand this down and refinish it. I could assume one could but I'm not sure the finish could be restored correctly.

 

Appreciate the response and will most certainly post more findings.

 

Matt

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ANY $4500 dollar guitar should be flawless, in every regard!

So, until you get one that is, keep sending them back! People

have become too complacent, and too accepting of more and more

marginal workmanship...IMHO. And, not on just guitars! Things

overall, cost a LOT more, and are not nearly as good quality, or

last as long, either! And, as long as consumers just say "Well,

that the way it is," NOTHING will change, for the better.

 

(As you can probably tell, this is ONE of many, of my pet

peeves, these days!) [cursing]

 

So, do what you have to, to get what you really want! [thumbup]

 

CB

 

I agree with you to CB. Once I speak to gibson I hope to understand this silverburst more. Bottom line is I am willing to pay full price for a new flawless custom.

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OP, that ridge you are speaking of, sounds like they dug in a little too much while scraping. This is not uncommon on the Gibson line where the bindings are done by hand. I am actually amazed that we don't see it even more, considering all the hands on these instruments receive. To me its part of the charm of an instrument that is made by a human, it does not affect the instrument in any way. This is why every single one of these guitars is slightly different from each other.

 

I would sooner have my instruments built this way and a few very small inconsistencies, then to see them rumble off an assembly line with zero personality.

 

Just my .02 cents.

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Levism, as Charlie Brown says, keep sending them back. From what is being described here it sounds like the same old Gibson USA overzealous binding scraping problem. No excuse for it and I have never, ever seen this problem on the historic models, just the standard USA issue — kind of a "get what you pay for" thing (as if the regular old USA models are cheap to begin with).

 

In the $4000 dollar range I want perfection. Gibson doesn't.

 

EE

 

I have seen this on historic models too.

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"Hand built/Hand Work," should ADD to the quality, and "perfection,"

NOT deter from it! :rolleyes: "Personality," IMHO, is what WE as players, bring

to the guitar. The charm, for me, is in the wood grain, the finish

color, etc. NOT, in less that acceptable workmanship. But, that's

just Me! [tongue]

 

CB

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"Hand built/Hand Work," should ADD to the quality, and "perfection,"

NOT deter from it! :rolleyes: "Personality," IMHO, is what WE as players, bring

to the guitar. The charm, for me, is in the wood grain, the finish

color, etc. NOT, in less that acceptable workmanship. But, that's

just Me! [tongue]

 

CB

Hand work does add to the quality, but you will never have perfection. That is for a machine and not man. Do you play guitar perfectly every time? How about at work, do you do everything perfect every time?

 

Man is not perfect. These instruments are not perfect, but darn close too it. They are built with great craftsmanship and we receive top quality instruments made with a personal touch. The way it should be.

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Box cutter blades whacking off thick layers of binding adds personality?

 

Sheeesh!

 

EE

The personality comes from the fact that it was done by hand.

 

Sheeesh!

 

Perhaps we can see your work? I am sure it would be better and perfect every time, no?

 

Yes, I expect my Gibson's to be top notch and high quality work and materials, but I can overlook small things in some areas or just try another one. Everyone can decide how much that is of course and what is acceptable. I am talking about a small amount being scraped off and not a piece of binding missing. Huge difference.

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Guest EastEnder

Hand work does add to the quality, but you will never have perfection. That is for a machine and not man. Do you play guitar perfectly every time? How about at work, do you do everything perfect every time?

 

Man is not perfect. These instruments are not perfect, but darn close too it. They are built with great craftsmanship and we receive top quality instruments made with a personal touch. The way it should be.

 

First, you're comparing very, very basic construction techniques to the complexity of musicianship. Apples and oranges.

 

Your comments about "great craftsmanship" are just plain naive In this context. In the $4000 range, look at Collings guitars and you will unfailingly find "top quality instruments made with a personal touch."

 

Finding a well-crafted guitar in the standard "Gibson USA" range these days is the exception, rather than the norm.

 

Respectfully,

 

EE

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First, you're comparing very, very basic construction techniques to the complexity of musicianship. Apples and oranges.

 

Your comments about "great craftsmanship" are just plain naive In this context. In the $4000 range, look at Collings guitars and you will unfailingly find "top quality instruments made with a personal touch."

 

Finding a well-crafted guitar in the standard "Gibson USA" range these days is the exception, rather than the norm.

 

Respectfully,

 

EE

This is why there is choice. No one is forcing anyone to buy Gibson. Personally, I do not care for Collings guitars.

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Hand work does add to the quality, but you will never have perfection. That is for a machine and not man. Do you play guitar perfectly every time? How about at work, do you do everything perfect every time?

 

Man is not perfect. These instruments are not perfect, but darn close too it. They are built with great craftsmanship and we receive top quality instruments made with a personal touch. The way it should be.

 

I used the word perfection, in quotations, knowing no one is perfect, no product is perfect,

but...it should be as close to "perfect" as possible, given all the parameters. I wasn't

talking "Abosolute Perfection," at all. But, as the original poster stated, he's had 4-5

guitars, with varying amounts of the same flaw, in the same place. That's VERY unusual,

and bears investigating...IMHO. MY problem, with things these days, is that people seem

to be less and less inclined to even TRY to be (more) diligent, in product manufacturing,

than they used to be. Maybe, given the amount of product being produced, in less time

allowed, is mostly responsible? I'm sure it's a factor, no doubt. But, it's not a very

good excuse, IMHO, for less than their best workmanship, and product quality. It always

reflects badly, on the company, regardless of the "reason/excuses!" We've just become so

used to mediocrity, that we don't expect as much, anymore. But, that's just my opinion,

from years of observations. Too often, nowadays, it's "Fix it, with a New One!" [tongue]:rolleyes:

 

 

CB

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Oh, dear...

 

The OP wants a USA Gibson Les Paul Custom. He quite possibly believes that he has no choice but to get what may be the guitar of his dreams. He can't find one without flaws. That's what we're talking about.

 

EE

If he is not happy, order another one. Seems simple. He will get the one he wants eventually. I certainly don't grab the first one I see, it takes me a while to find the one that seems right.

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I used the word perfection, in quotations, knowing no one is perfect, no product is perfect,

but...it should be as close to "perfect" as possible, given all the parameters. I wasn't

talking "Abosolute Perfection," at all. But, as the original poster stated, he's had 4-5

guitars, with varying amounts of the same flaw, in the same place. That's VERY unusual,

and bears investigating...IMHO. MY problem, with things these days, is that people seem

to be less and less inclined to even TRY to be (more) diligent, in product manufacturing,

than they used to be. Maybe, given the amount of product being produced, in less time

allowed, is mostly responsible? I'm sure it's a factor, no doubt. But, it's not a very

good excuse, IMHO, for less than their best workmanship, and product quality. It always

reflects badly, on the company, regardless of the "reason/excuses!" We've just become so

used to mediocrity, that we don't expect as much, anymore. But, that's just my opinion,

from years of observations. Too often, nowadays, it's "Fix it, with a New One!" [tongue]:rolleyes:

 

 

CB

Sure, I can agree with some of this. But, do some people expect too much? Not saying the OP, just in general.

We have not seen a picture of this guitar. Are we talking a small little dip or a huge gouge? It very well could be an issue that needs to be brought to Gibson's attention, but hard to say without seeing the instrument(s).

 

Maybe I am to blame for Gibson lack of quality, since I am more accepting of small flaws. [tongue]

 

But, not here to argue, just adding my two cents. You guys are just as right with your opinions as well.

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Why are you making this personal? My work has nothing to do with this.

 

EE

 

No, you are correct. Sorry.

 

The only thing that really matters is that the OP finds a guitar that suits him and meets his expectations. Only he can decide what that is.

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Yes, some people are (probably) "too picky?" I've been accused of that,

myself, in some areas, even though I don't really think I am. But I KNOW

what I want, and will accept, and what I won't. That's all. It's our money,

we should be demanding, to a reasonable extent. I realize, that "reasonable"

can vary, as well...person to person, situation, to situation. But, most

of us know what's truly reasonable, if we have any common sense, at all.

Don't you think? [biggrin]

 

CB

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Yes, some people are (probably) "too picky?" I've been accused of that,

myself, in some areas, even though I don't really think I am. But I KNOW

what I want, and will accept, and what I won't. That's all. It's our money,

we should be demanding, to a reasonable extent. I realize, that "reasonable"

can vary, as well...person to person, situation, to situation. But, most

of us know what's truly reasonable, if we have any common sense, at all.

Don't you think? [biggrin]

 

CB

Agreed

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