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The biggest is the G-Force system. As an option? Yes. As a compulsory fitment? No.

Apart from that in no particular order;

Asymmetric neck profile; Compound radius 'board; Fret-over-binding; Wider neck/'board; Fancy wiring set-up.

Oh, and that silly Toy-Town peghead silkscreen.

There are a few more 'improvements' I'd like to see for myself before I comment on them and there are also certain smaller cosmetic touches which I utterly detest.

 

So I sorely doubt I'm a part of their 'Target Audience Demographic' this year...

 

P.

 

Yea but the fret over the binding isn't new, its vintage Gibson. Had Gibson not used the binding nibs then there would be no need to widen the board, only remain consistent with the QC and string path. In general I agree though.

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Since 1974 Gibson had been trying to re-create, as close as possible, the '57 - '60 LP Standard. Sometimes with more will, sometimes with less will.

Putting the Re-Issues to one side for a moment the USA plant finally got it right with the 2013 Traditional. This aim, as you can see, took FORTY YEARS to achieve.

 

Why, then, did they change it just when they got it right?

It truly beggars belief.

 

P.

 

Moral of the story re 2013 Les Paul Traditional...

 

Buy, Buy, Buy... [thumbup]

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Yea but the fret over the binding isn't new, its vintage Gibson....

I think one of us might be getting the terminology wrong here, Golden.

As far as I know bound-neck Gibsons have always had the fret-ends protected/covered by the 'nubs' of plastic. It has, AFAIK, been like this until the 2014 model range was introduced.

For the first time (again, AFAIK) many of the bound-neck Gibson USA models had no 'nubs' - there were, however, a few exceptions such as the Traditional which retained the nubs.

 

'Fret-over-Binding' is Gibson's term for common-or-garden flat-top binding where the fret ends go over the top edge of said binding in the manner of pretty much every other manufacturer.

 

Moral of the story re 2013 Les Paul Traditional...............................Buy, Buy, Buy... [thumbup]

Yes; you might be on to something there, Pin.

Normally we Forumites always advise;

"There are good and bad guitars in every model year - just buy the best player without bothering about the year of manufacture."

 

2013 might be the exception to this rule-of-thumb.

Indeed, I can see where, in the near future, players will be hunting down the '13 Trads as being the only guitars since '82 to have been made like the Standards of old.

If we take into account the better quality of build/hardware included in the package it's clear we should all be snapping them up like there's no tomorrow!....

 

OK; I haven't had a Conspiracy Theory for.....ooooohhhh.......DAYS!.....so let's us all get one now, shall we?

 

As previously mentioned the 2013 Traditionals were the closest thing Gibson had produced to the old Standard since 1960.

So close were these models, and so well made, that more players than was anticipated looking for something like a 1959 weren't buying the R8/R9/R0. They were buying the Trad.

Custom Shop were left with countless unsold R-I's and were unhappy about the USA-line taking all their customers from them.

And so they complained to Henry.

Henry listened; agreed with their grievances and decided that no-one would again be offered something so closely approaching an R9 for Trad money.

What do you reckon?

But before you make up your minds just remember there has already been a precedent (and apologies in advance to those who already know the story);

In 1989 (before the Historic Division - later Custom Shop - was set up) Gibson introduced the '1960 Classic'. This featured many of the details found in the pre-historic R-Is which were trickling out of the Custom Dept part of the plant. The only constructional changes of note were the short neck-tenon and they would have had the 'Swiss-Cheese' weight-relief. Some hardware changes - such as the ceramic p'ups - but mostly 'vintage' such as the original-style ABR-1; green tip Kluson tuners, sharp-tip 'board trapezoids etc...etc... On release it was priced half-way between the Standard and the '59 Pre-Historic.

Everything went well for quite a time. Then, in 1993, disaster struck! The Historic Division was opened and the first of the 'proper' Re-Issues appeared ! ! !

The problem was that customers shelling out big money for the R-I's couldn't quite see why they were being charged so much when the Classic - expensive as it was relative to the Standard - was so much cheaper.

Bear in mind the structural changes were all effectively invisible - the longer tenon could only be seen with the neck p'up removed and the cheesing completely so.

Something had to be done!

Starting in around '95 the 'Classic' was systematically downgraded in terms of appointments. Snot-Green Aged inlays replaced the 'vintage-accurate' ones; the 'Les Paul MODEL' silkscreen was changed to read 'Les Paul CLASSIC'; the narrow binding in the cutaway was changed over to the wide style; the ABR-1 was ditched in favour of the Nashville.

All of this took time, however, and there are certain newer details found on some instruments where others still have the older appointments.

 

Officially (or semi-officially) these changes were to stop unscrupulous dealers passing-off '1960 Classics' as 1960 Re-Issues................but perhaps it was to try to maintain sales of the R-I's?................:-k

 

P.

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I think we're hitting all-around the reasoning to be found in seemingly unreasonable changes to things people buy.

 

The trade-off of durability to favor gadgetry is nothing new. And in the process, manufacturers have created a need for repeat purchases, and ... you guessed it, the Extended Warranty.

 

More gadgets to fail = more $$ for repair & replacement. "Innovation" gives a reason to buy another one - the one you have isn't exactly like the new ones.

 

Dinos aren't pulled in with this stuff, but with some exceptions, the last two or three generations will throw away perfectly functional stuff, just to have a new whatever-it-is that *might* have something new about it that's an actually improvement.

 

How many refers have you pre-Xers purchased in the last 20 years? How many so-called smart phones? How many of you line up at all crazy hours to not only buy a new one, but to make sure you're in the first million or so to have it?

 

We should thank X, Y and M rather than criticize though. This is what the foundation of our economy has shifted to.

 

"They" aren't counting on "our" money anyway.

 

Tech sells. Almost as good as low cut tops and short skirts. But hey, *nothing* will replace those. Ever.

 

Good gawd, I can't wait for this iEverything fad to end.

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How about one actual classic Gibson Les Paul Classic!

If it comes to that, Donny, how about one actual standard Les Paul Standard!

 

The '13 Trad WAS a Les Paul Standard. They should have stopped tinkering with the model right then and re-named that the Standard.

Then everything would be as it should be.

 

P.

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I love it when a thread takes on a different direction and a life of it's own.

 

Lots of good points raised here.

 

Not to bash Henry (or his design team), but I am HAVING to ask, who is he building for? Isn't Gibson supposed to be a "pro" brand? As in, for expert players? Or is it for novices?

 

What person who knows how to play a guitar CAN'T TUNE IT?!?! It isn't really hard. I mean to say that for those experienced in playing, tuning and keeping a guitar in tune, it's a skill one develops. It comes with the territory.

 

Someone skilled, or practiced in the art of playing a guitar is not going to ask for a guitar that has "automatic" tuners. He KNOWS this is a step backwards, a hinderance in helping him(her) do what he KNOWS HOW TO DO!

 

Technology? It isn't always in gadgets. In this case, it would be better tuners with no backlash that don't wear, nuts that don't bind, bridges that dont wiggle, and made lightweight to mimmick what the "collective" have already seemed to determine makes a better "sounding", more resonent instrument.

 

Put the G-force on Epiphones.

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Remember when Henry smashed a Les Paul at the big shindig for the Firebrand X and said how the guitar world was ready for big changes. I just think he has bad instincts.

I am all for "experiments", but when it goes bad, doesn't that show something?

 

Bad instincts for sure.

 

Henry missed the boat twice this time. There HAVE been big changes, happening right before him.

 

The Firebird X is OLD technology. We been there done that way back in the 80's, when we did the effects rack and MIDI thing with every sound known to man at the press of a button, 164 sounds all programmable. Reverb to simulate every room or studio there ever was, every amp 'model', so on and so forth.

 

But what did we learn? It sounded like crap. That not digital or effects box could simulate the real thing. It separated us from the music.

 

So, we searched for the "vintage". We asked why they sounded better, and then set out to replicate, reproduce. We dissected vintage amps, vintage guitars, unwound pickups and transformers. We "aged" magnets and speakers. Tube factories were started again.

 

While all this so-called "snake-oil" and myth entered the marketplace, we learned what was real and what wasn't. Today, it IS realistic to be able to build a certain guitar, or a certain amp, that actually sounds as good or better than it did. There are guys that can actually make a humbucker as good as a PAF. A Bassman amp that sounds as good as the better ones. And, Les Pauls that sound and play as good as the old 'burst.

 

How long did that take? 20 years? 30? Isn't THAT technology?

 

So while Ren was transforming the accoustic division in Montana, pick-up makers were selling pups for the price of the average guitar, guitar players were using "boutique" amps and poeple were making COPIES of old Gibsons, where did the idea come that what the public wanted was a guitar crammed with effects?

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Excellent post, Stein, and right on the money.

 

...where did the idea come that what the public wanted was a guitar crammed with effects?...

My guess FWIW is from young kids with degrees in IT who are just out of college and have been hired by Gibson to come up with some New Sh!t.

Henry thinks there must be some way to jump on the New-Tech bandwagon and gives them free-rein.

 

P.

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1411613644[/url]' post='1568582']

The extra grand must be be because they include the HS case now...

 

I hope they come back down to earth in 2016. I was really hoping for a pelham sg with lyre this year (I'm sure many, many others would like to see them hit the market) and I've been looking at semi-hollows but I'll either go used or look to a different maker.

 

Great. $1000 for a cardboard case...oh no wait....that priceless gibson stincel that suggests yer in the cool kids club...that's worth $1000 isn't it ??

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1411723227[/url]' post='1569078']

Yup, Ian, you are on a roll! Great Post!

 

[thumbup]

 

Some excellent points raised;

If I may?

 

 

When I started my first job a Les Paul Standard was the equivalent of ten weeks' wages. Work that out for yourselves and see what you should be paying if all else is equal.

I, too, used to dream of owning a real one as I played my 'Grant' Gold-Top copy...

 

 

This could be a thread all on it's own.

I can't speak comprehensively as I've (obviously) only amassed a limited experience of Gibson guitars through the decades - I've only played one '50s Les Paul (a '57) and one other '50s Gibson (a '58 ES-175), for example - but the experience I DO have tends to suggest that the guitars built throughout the '90s and '00s are amongst the best the company has ever produced.With the recent adoption of dubious changes and the introduction of questionable 'innovations' I doubt the 2015-on models will be as attractive to a high percentage of players in comparison with these older examples.

Also, as was said elsewhere, the decision to produce certain models has been baffling.

The Firebird-X? It was a small-scale limited-run model yet there are still some examples to be found brand new on dealers' walls almost four years after it was released.

What does that suggest?

Not only have they failed to sell; they have failed to sell even when they are offered with a massive price discount!

You may label me a Luddite, Henry, but clearly I'm not alone.

 

 

Which makes the decision to factory-install the G-Force on practically every single Electric even more shameful.

 

 

Again; we could debate the reasons for page after page.

When the 'Nashville' replaced the ABR-1 it was seen to be an improvement over the older design.

At some point the original Kluson-style tuners were replaced with much better-quality units.

The 'Volute' drastically reduced instances of peg-head breakages.

From the early '80 the increasing mass of the body-blanks was reduced by the practice of 'Traditional Weight Relief'. This made the guitars easier on the shoulder and back without any loss of tone.

Yes it did. Don't argue!.....LOL!

 

BUT.....if we are prepared to pay a price premium we can buy a Re-Issue with all the old-fashioned crappier bits fitted! How Crazy is That???

 

Yet the four best LPs I've ever played in my life are so equipped. How do we explain that?

 

P.

Let face it guys. It has been my observation that! There are ALOT of peeps from the UK on here. I don't mean this badly but..You peeps in the UK are keeping gibson prices high..you are willing to pay the price for the sound..and mostly the status. We here in the US gave up on Gibsons long ago with our economy..we can't even afford epi anymore...as long as you guys keep hitting their site...they think they still have a chance to stick it to your wallet....you can buy a LP Std used here for dirt..even in MINT condition..hook up with someone in the US..have them send it to you I the mail...it still be ALOT cheaper then buying from there. Just a thought..peace.

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Let's finish it off by having our American icon made in Mexico.

How about a larger headstock? So as to fit the "made in USA with U.S. and global materiels" stamp on the back of the headstock?

 

The sig on the front might not look so bad.

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Let face it guys. It has been my observation that! There are ALOT of peeps from the UK on here. I don't mean this badly but..You peeps in the UK are keeping gibson prices high..you are willing to pay the price for the sound..and mostly the status. We here in the US gave up on Gibsons long ago with our economy..we can't even afford epi anymore...as long as you guys keep hitting their site...they think they still have a chance to stick it to your wallet....you can buy a LP Std used here for dirt..even in MINT condition..hook up with someone in the US..have them send it to you I the mail...it still be ALOT cheaper then buying from there. Just a thought..peace.

American guitars and amps have ALWAYS been more expensive in other countries. It's always been a bread and butter for American companies with "icon" status.

 

The same can be said for us Americans and the Marshall amps.

 

It's what keeps us COOL to one another. The American guy goes, "meh. It's just a Gibby and a Fender", and the British guy goes, "meh. it's just another Marshall".

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Let face it guys. It has been my observation that! There are ALOT of peeps from the UK on here. I don't mean this badly but..You peeps in the UK are keeping gibson prices high..you are willing to pay the price for the sound..and mostly the status. We here in the US gave up on Gibsons long ago with our economy..we can't even afford epi anymore...as long as you guys keep hitting their site...they think they still have a chance to stick it to your wallet....you can buy a LP Std used here for dirt..even in MINT condition..hook up with someone in the US..have them send it to you I the mail...it still be ALOT cheaper then buying from there. Just a thought..peace.

 

Ha! so it's the Brit's fault this great American institution has survived! Great Britain has been blamed for a lot of things, due to our imperialistic history, but never that. Come to think of it, it was a Brit that saved Volkswagen at the end of the second World war, the list could be endless [rolleyes]

 

Ian

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Let face it guys. It has been my observation that! There are ALOT of peeps from the UK on here. I don't mean this badly but..You peeps in the UK are keeping gibson prices high..you are willing to pay the price for the sound..and mostly the status. We here in the US gave up on Gibsons long ago with our economy..we can't even afford epi anymore...as long as you guys keep hitting their site...they think they still have a chance to stick it to your wallet....you can buy a LP Std used here for dirt..even in MINT condition..hook up with someone in the US..have them send it to you I the mail...it still be ALOT cheaper then buying from there. Just a thought..peace.

 

It isn't just Britain where prices are sky high. It is Europe generally. But also take a look at Australia - they really pay through the nose.

 

Buying a guitar s/h is always a risk and buying unseen thousands of miles away makes it a big risk. And then there is the not so small matter of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs taking their sizable slice s/h or otherwise.

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It isn't just Britain where prices are sky high. It is Europe generally. But also take a look at Australia - they really pay through the nose.

 

Buying a guitar s/h is always a risk and buying unseen thousands of miles away makes it a big risk. And then there is the not so small matter of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs taking their sizable slice s/h or otherwise.

Got that right.

 

It's a shaky, shady world economy right now.

 

Not only should we be grateful to have any revenue from anything right now, we should also be glad Gibson still exist as the company they are.

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...Come to think of it, it was a Brit that saved Volkswagen at the end of the second World war...

Major Ivan Hirst.

 

He treated the workers and the company of the Volkswagenwerk as if it was his own family and his brainchild.

Great man. We owe him a debt of gratitude.

 

Carry on!

 

P.

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Ha! so it's the Brit's fault this great American institution has survived! Great Britain has been blamed for a lot of things, due to our imperialistic history, but never that. Come to think of it, it was a Brit that saved Volkswagen at the end of the second World war, the list could be endless [rolleyes]

 

Ian

If you are going to bring a list to the table, I would hope it has something better than Volkswagon.

 

No points for you sir.

 

Well, OK you get one for being a Brit.

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I stopped buying new Fenders when my American special had a Mexican humbucker and a Taiwan bridge. Same now for Gibson. That robo tuner and PC board are made in China. If you can't sell me American craftsmanship new I can sure buy it used.

Last I checked a couple years ago, Fenders have gone way, way down in quality.

 

They had a good run there in the 90's, even when they started moving things to Mexico.

 

But, just to make clear, what they WERE doing then became real convoluted. What was "made in USA" and "made in mexico" had no real truth to it. There were parts shipped and finished back and forth. So, even your custom shop stuff had the real possibility of Mexican craftsmanship.

 

But, even so, the point of THAT is when they were making good stuff, at least you had a good parts guitar that you could fine tune. That's really all a Fender ever was to begin with. At a point here in the recent past that is was longer true.

 

Buy it used? Not only that, you could buy from another company a "fender" clone and put a decal on it, and it would be more accurate, and a "truer" Fender than you can get from what is left of that company.

 

I think Gibson has done real, real well in the quality department of the past decade. They have not only protected the brand's reputation, but made what most would call "genuine" Gibsons.

 

But the past couple years, it sounds like they are moving away from that. It wouldn't be the first time for Gibson. The end of an era.

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I stopped buying new Fenders when my American special had a Mexican humbucker and a Taiwan bridge. Same now for Gibson. That robo tuner and PC board are made in China. If you can't sell me American craftsmanship new I can sure buy it used.

Lots of US made instruments including Gibsons and Fenders came with German made Schaller or ABM parts, and some still do. So to say, I have brought a few of them home. [biggrin] The latest one is the base of - no kidding - the Fishman Power Bridge on my SG Supra.

 

Ha! so it's the Brit's fault this great American institution has survived! Great Britain has been blamed for a lot of things, due to our imperialistic history, but never that. Come to think of it, it was a Brit that saved Volkswagen at the end of the second World war, the list could be endless [rolleyes]

 

Ian

Major Ivan Hirst.

 

He treated the workers and the company of the Volkswagenwerk as if it was his own family and his brainchild.

Great man. We owe him a debt of gratitude.

 

Carry on!

 

P.

As a personal retrospective, I think the crushing British and American evaluations of the VW Beetle in 1945 were spot-on. Volkswagen kept on making some of the worst cars ever built including their siblings like VW 1500, 1600, 411, 412 and VW-Porsche 914 until the mid-1970s. That time gas prices rose due to the oil crisis which killed the overly hungry air-cooled flat engines.

 

Couldn't find a proof but I think I remember an expertise by Ford calling the Beetle "too small, too loud and too unsafe" which totally nailed it in my opinion. I assume the "unsafe" point referred to the Bowden cable brake mechanism which killed ten thousands of people when failing or lacking balance through rust or frost. Export models were built with hydraulic brakes and sold as an option in Germany, too. Poor fuel economy, bad heating, and missing fan for cabin venting were another points.

 

The engines were likely to fail due to seizure in the 3rd cylinder (according to DIN and EC, I think it's the 2nd according to ASA), the one in the right-front position. Its cooling air was already pre-heated by the oil cooling radiator. Two former classmates experienced that, and I was front passenger when it later happened to our tour bus in 1982 [crying] Fans driving hundreds of kilometers to this gig saw us standing on the emergency lane of the Autobahn and picked us up. We only left the drums in the bus, our drummer used that of another band gigging at this event. All the other gear including my 1978 Gibson S-G went with us in the fans' cars. [biggrin]

 

I also don't like the more modern Volkswagen. I am driving a Ford, except for half a year my car brand since 1979. [rolleyes]

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1411756218[/url]' post='1569284']

American guitars and amps have ALWAYS been more expensive in other countries. It's always been a bread and butter for American companies with "icon" status.

 

The same can be said for us Americans and the Marshall amps.

 

It's what keeps us COOL to one another. The American guy goes, "meh. It's just a Gibby and a Fender", and the British guy goes, "meh. it's just another Marshall".

 

That is a valid point...I am just in denial bout. GAS....maybe there is. Meeting I can go to that will cure..GAS.....Hmmm

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