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NGD - 5th try - 2014 Les Paul Futura


BenJammin

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Hello all! My first post.

 

Was it just my string of bad luck or was it a Gibson quality control issue? (I've read differing opinions here). Either way, I'm finally a happy guy. I've been wanting a real Les Paul since I was a teen and now I'm finally a proud owner of a new 2014 Les Paul Futura. But, man! Did I have to go through several Les Pauls before I got the one that was right. I first started at a major music store chain, then ended up ordering online at Sweetwater. To make a long story short, these are the chain of events. After a thorough research and reading many reviews, I went and picked up a...

 

1) Les Paul Trad Pro II Gold Top.

This one was on display but it was as flawless as it was gorgeous. Played it unplugged for about 30 seconds and the frets were perfectly Plek'd. Awesome playability so I bought it. Went home and it sounded GLORIOUS through my Mesa rig. Coil splitting and 10 dB boost was perfect for my needs in my original/cover band. Two days later the coil split failed on the rhythm pot. The store was good in finding a replacement at a different location and assured me that they would send the "best" of the two that were in stock. 5 days later I picked up my...

 

2) Les Paul Trad Pro II Gold Top replacement #1

Took it home boxed (had a lot of trust in the replacement) but when I opened her up the thing was obviously heavily used. Obviously not Gibson's fault, but scratches on the pick guard, scratches easily felt and seen on the headstock and along the bottom side, toggle switch turned sideways with the tip switched to black, one of the pup plastics switched to black, and fret buzzzzzzzz. Went back for another exchange believing a 3rd time's a charm. I was assured a brand new virgin Les Paul would be shipped from their distribution center, but it may take about 3 weeks to receive my...

 

3) Les Paul Trad Pro II Gold Top replacement #2

Oddly, I received it in just 5 days but in about a week it sounded like the coil split feature was ready to go on one of the pots (again!). I was done. I wasn't feelin' the love on this one anyway with the fret buzz and the blanched-out look on the rosewood. So I got a refund. I then decided to go with a Futura for several reasons. It was the only gold colored LP (besides the Trad Pro II) within my price range; it was half the cost of the Trad Pro II, it has the coil split feature, 15 dB boost, and the Min-Etune system so I can go to DADGAD in seconds, or play The Rain Song in a few clicks, or go to any other alternate tunings. I went with Sweetwater, worked out a good deal, and within a week received my...

 

4) Les Paul Futura Bouillon Gold

It wasn't THEE gold top I so coveted but I was still very happy with it. The Min-Etune worked nicely, the pup configuration sounded simply awesome, playability was huge. A little fret buzz but a simple tweak would've fixed it easily. 2 weeks later, on a fully charged battery, the Min-Etune decided to stop working. Completely. It was lifeless. Called up Sweetwater and they shipped out a replacement that day. Within a week I received my...

 

5) 2014 Les Paul Futura Bouillon Gold replacement

Ahhhhh, perfecto! Everything I described in (4) except the frets were perfectly Plek'd. ZERO fret buzz out of the box (ok, maybe just a micro buzz on the low E around the 5th fret but otherwise perfect). And the battery compartment opens! This was a problem with the Trad Pro II. But I'm feelin' the magic on this one. I just hope the Min-Etune failure on the first one was just a fluke with these units. Overall, it was worth the wait. I'd hate to go through it all again but now I'm happy. Sharin' the love with a few pics. Enjoy.

 

Ben

 

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The only thing I have to say is:On guitar #1, why didn't they just replace the $5 pot and be done with it?

Make absolutely no sense to swap an entire guitar for a bad pot,Could you imagine the car industry doing that because you got a flat tire.

Wow.

Hope you continue to enjoy #5

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Could you imagine the car industry doing that because you got a flat tire.

 

LOL

 

anyway, my question would be what does "major music store chain" translate to

 

if it's Guitar Center, there's your answer as to why not fix the pot..

 

Futura looks nice! Good luck with it BenJammin

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Hey BenJammin, glad to year you finally got a good guitar. There was a recent thread of someone else having similar issues with having to return several les pauls. Not a good sign. Although, the first guitar was just a bad pot and the second guitar was a floor model.

 

Enjoy.

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Congrats on your buy, Ben. May it turn out fine eventually.

 

As far as I know, Gibson wants faulty guitars back before they are sold to a customer, or in case they appear to be faulty after sale during the return period. While a sales guy tuned a brand-new Standard 2012 for me in July, 2012, one of the locking tuners went bad. I possibly would have loved this guitar, they had the tuners in stock, but he said Gibson insists on getting these back.

 

After repair, Gibson returns the guitar to the retailer. I experienced that this procedure also applies to Limited guitars. You may refer to this topic:

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/111603-update-sold-the-last-frank-zappa-roxy-sg/

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I get that some people have had terrible experiences at GC but not all of us have. Some people don't like having to purchase a guitar site-unseen and GC happens to be the only place to come in and try a bunch of instruments. It's all about being an informed consumer and knowing what to expect when you go and shop. Yes, GC as of now has their employees earning commission on sales, but if you do your homework then you go in with a mindset of what you would like to try. Some of these employees are desperate and stick to you like white on rice but that's because they're trying to make sales--it is their job, after all. My biggest advice is to talk to them, try and find the ones that are genuinely interested in setting you up with the right gear as opposed to the most expensive guitar it seems you will purchase. Try and establish communication, a rapport if you will, with one GC sales rep to whom you will check in with any questions or concerns. All of the guitar tune-up/repair guys that I have seen have been very skilled and knowledgeable. Know why we mostly read up horror stories of GC repair guys that flub guitars? Because it's boring to headline a post with, "Wonderful Repair Job at Guitar Center!"

 

I wouldn't call this a rant, but I do apologize if it comes across as such or defensive; I just want to be able to put in my opinion towards an issue that seems predominant on all the forums. Of course this jabbing at GC could be all done in good fun, but I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I'm thankful for a place like GC to be around.

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I get that some people have had terrible experiences at GC but not all of us have. ...

 

You've got some good advice there, and I would agree that for some people, because of their location, GC may be a choice they have to deal with. Unfortunately, GC has a bad reputation. And it's not just on this forum. I haven't had any terrible experiences at GC - I've got a local one and have made some purchases there - but in my opinion GC is a place to avoid. On top of the usual complaints - sales people with poor knowledge, beat up hanging stock, restocking returns and shipping guitars that haven't been inspected - GC is in deep financial trouble: $1.6 billion (May 2014). In May, it's main creditor, Ares Management, took controlling interest from Bain Capitol, GC's previous owner. In April/May and June the media was buzzing about a possible GC bankruptcy and the Ares acquisition was intended to avoid that. We'll see, but I haven't noticed any changes in my local store or the one I check out when I'm visiting in the Chicago area (last week). Of course if they go belly up and there's a GOOB sale, I'll be there looking for bargains.

 

 

@BenJammin - great lookin' GT. . B)

 

.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The only thing I have to say is:On guitar #1, why didn't they just replace the $5 pot and be done with it?

Make absolutely no sense to swap an entire guitar for a bad pot,Could you imagine the car industry doing that because you got a flat tire.

...

At first I laughed at that one, then I thought about the relativity. I'd equate a car's tires to a guitar's strings, in which case I'd just change them; I'd equate the pickups to an alternator. If my alternator died five days after driving a new car off the lot the car's going back to the dealer, not to Pep Boys.

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Well, we're all different, and approach things according. However, had it been me,

I would have had my dealer replace the pot, in question, and be done with it. There

was no reason, IMHO, to have the entire guitar replaced (several times), just to

end up with a completely different model?! All that, over a Pot?! [confused]:-k

 

But, whatever floats one's boat!

 

 

CB

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I ordered my Flying V 120 from Sweetwater and the first one arrived with some blemishes (dents) in the top fret of the fretboard.

 

I called them the next day, and they immediately sent out a replacement for me, no hassle.

 

Their customer service was really good, and they have great financing options (only way I would have been able to get a Flying V.)

 

Hope you enjoy the LP Futura!

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Seems to me that you have suffered from Gibsons lack of effective quality control. I am realistic and objective in my approach to guitars, and honestly think Gibson are relying on their history and marketing to sell high priced guitars.

Having said that, I own two Gibson guitars so I too am vulnerable to the marketing and branding ploys. Neither of my Gibsons were anything near perfect (although I really hoped they would live up the marketing), and to be honest I have a Korean guitar (P*S se245) which is at least as well made and finished, sets up easily and accurately, and has better ergonomics and playability, and whats more was a tenth of the price of my LP.

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