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Jim Decola interview discussing 2015 range


Mikey P

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I hope that they can sell these changes. Jim confirmed to me that: 1) They widened the necks because people were catching the high e strings in the binding and 2) That the new nut was because Guitar Center couldn't do conventional nut work and was eventually instructed to stop doing nut work and they were getting lots of nut related returns through GC. Tight G strings and all that.

 

I can understand why they want to use the same neck throughout the whole line but I don't get putting G-Force on the whole line. They could have eased it into the line as optional.

 

It was good to listed to what Jim had to say. It's good to get the story straight from the horse's mouth. But the body language from the reviewers tells me they're still on the fence.

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Very cool interview. I kinda figured that's how it went down. I was glad to hear the point being made about the switch from P-90s to PAFs which is one I've made before. I'm really interested in that Les Paul Plus. I suspect that next year you will see at least one Gibson USA model that is a bit more traditional. Maybe a 2011 Tribute with a baked maple fingerboard and a crappy black case. [thumbup]

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I hate how Gibson seems to think they know what's best for us. They introduced new features. The majority (and let's face it, it Is a majority) of us have outwardly expressed our dislike of these changes. Any other company would see this and make changes. Gibson just shoves it back on the customer saying "We know better. You're wrong."

 

To say that the people who want a "traditional" Gibson need to buy from the Custom Shop is ridiculous. People want a guitar that's simpler to make, and yet they have to pay double the price or more?

 

-Ryan

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Not much bass noise coming out of Gibson this year. Of course there's the SG, the Thunderbird (with the innards pilfered from the EB) and we're getting a semi hollow Les Paul bass out of Memphis. There was vague rumours of a new 4 and 5 string "V-bass" - see this placeholder - http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BAV4NABC-15 but everything's gone quiet about it. Will the EB and the Midtown survive? Who knows? Can anyone from Gibson help us out here with some news/facts?

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I hate how Gibson seems to think they know what's best for us. They introduced new features. The majority (and let's face it, it Is a majority) of us have outwardly expressed our dislike of these changes. Any other company would see this and make changes. Gibson just shoves it back on the customer saying "We know better. You're wrong."

 

To say that the people who want a "traditional" Gibson need to buy from the Custom Shop is ridiculous. People want a guitar that's simpler to make, and yet they have to pay double the price or more?

 

I think they know what is best for them, not us. They are having trouble selling our dads Les Pauls because young peoples just don't want our dads Les Pauls anymore. Same as the guys in CA, having trouble selling our dads and Leos guitars.

 

Time for something else, slowly but surely.

 

rct

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Guess I need to play the new models with the wider fretboard to see if my biases are justified. To me this is the one change they should not have forced on the buyer because it is a huge change in the feel of the guitar. Removable scratch plates, digital auto tuning, coil splits, etc are toppings on the burger. Changing the fretboard width is like switching from beef to turkey.

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Looks like I'm a Gibson Custom customer.

Yeah I found that a bit mad too... Lee basically said flat out, is your intention for traditional Gibson customers to go to the Historic division for guitars they want to buy and Jim's answer straight away was "Yes, absolutely", which was one of the things people were saying when the new model details came out that its a marketing strategy to push people to the custom shop..

 

Which. Ok that's their prerogative... BUT they don't say that to buy one of those you are gonna pay more than for a Standard or any of the US line up (apart from maybe a signature model, but that doesn't count). I just worry they are gonna push a lot of us traditional buyers away with statements like that??

 

Im sure though that they have way smarter people than me who actually know the facts to work this stuff out.. But still seems a bit odd to me?

 

It will sure be interesting to see what happens with the 2016 models (he says in February :rolleyes: :))

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Those of us writing "here" are, regardless of chronological age, pretty much "old timers." We've mostly had enough guitars to have a level of comfort with what we have.

 

On the other hand, look at all the discussions on amps, stomp boxes, pups, etc. - folks wanting something a bit different. Even discussions of better with or without pick guards.

 

Bottom line for Gibson has to be bottom line. The point about the HB vs. P90 is a good one. I've noted that some questions from folks with their first P90 guitar - and even something from Fender - have been "how do I get it to not hum."

 

Back in the '50s there were similar discussions. Some of the "country" folk really objected to drums and electric guitars, for example. Who needed 'em anyway? Tinny sound from Mr. Fender and fuzzy stuff and feedback from Mr. Gibson.

 

Meanwhile Gibson put mag pups even on flattops; amps weren't all that loud and... Then all of the "sound reenforcement" stuff got more powerful and... then Mr. Paul came out with his own solidbody with a Gibson sort of construction as opposed to the "banjo" style construction of Mr. Fender's so-called guitars...

 

So I'm not really shocked by the byplay here.

 

"We" also have to figure that "younger" players are going to look at guitars differently, just as "younger" players looked at adding electrical contraptions to guitars and boards differently from many of the older guys - and the older guys in 1950 already were looking at sound reenforcement for their archtops and flattops if they were playing in venues bigger than country saloons. Even the "classic" ES175 ain't really much different from the stuff pre-1950 except for the pups; and it wasn't universally loved even back then. Small body so you could make more "noise" without feedback? Not as good as a "real" guitar.

 

The thing is, in ways there hasn't been much changed about guitars since the 1930s; nor about pups since the '50s. Necks, some materials, yes - but that's been going on since day 1. None of us really would want an 1870 guitar, I think. Then again... if it would work for a given playing style, why not? Leon Redbone wasn't using a Strat or LP because it didn't fit with what has made him a living; ditto Leo Kottke with various 6 and 12 flattops with mag pups. Or...

 

I can see good reasons for most of the changes. OTOH, I doubt that they'll remain exactly as they came out this year.

 

Various robot tuning stuff? Hey, I could see using it.

 

I'm also waiting for a control interface to a pad/laptop that combines songlist with amp/pa settings, etc.

 

As for the wider fingerboard... Anybody ever tried to play one of the really narrow older (20s-30s) fingerboards? Not all of the fingerboards back then were 1 3/4 or wider on flattops; many were very narrow from my perspective.

 

Actually I don't see this as "Norlin II" but more a "we've done some research and this is what new buyers are telling us, and they're the majority of the potential market; those who want a more old-style, we'll offer custom shop instruments."

 

"We" are really a pretty small piece of the marketplace. A lot of the market is beginners or relative beginners with the cash to follow the admonition to "buy as good as you can possibly afford," which means Gibson, Martin and better Fenders to those not really familiar with today's market.

 

m

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Yeah I found that a bit mad too... Lee basically said flat out, is your intention for traditional Gibson customers to go to the Historic division for guitars they want to buy and Jim's answer straight away was "Yes, absolutely", which was one of the things people were saying when the new model details came out that its a marketing strategy to push people to the custom shop..

 

Which. Ok that's their prerogative... BUT they don't say that to buy one of those you are gonna pay more than for a Standard or any of the US line up (apart from maybe a signature model, but that doesn't count). I just worry they are gonna push a lot of us traditional buyers away with statements like that??

 

Im sure though that they have way smarter people than me who actually know the facts to work this stuff out.. But still seems a bit odd to me?

 

It will sure be interesting to see what happens with the 2016 models (he says in February :rolleyes: :))

 

Even if we the customer were willing to pay the extra and follow the Historic route, given the increase in demand could they maintain the quality? Maybe I'm wrong, but I always believed that the custom shop instruments had a higher level of hand made content, and also they allegedly pick out the best timber for them, will they have enough or will they just use whatever they have?

 

Ian

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Once they get the real LP signature script back (2016 ?) and maybe make a DC version of the slim model that guy Jim had, and have enough years of G-Force under their belt to have gone through any recalls and made it bullet proof I will buy one - maybe in 5 years - that'd be something to really look forward to. [thumbup]

 

The neck width is my main concern... there are some things I can play easily on my 1&9 and 1&10 nutted guitars that I just cannot play properly on my 1&11 (disclaimer - I'm a crap player with small hands) and its about the distance between the high E string side fretboard edge and the low E and A strings so that is a bit of a worry - how wide are these again?

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wow - really? - I ran that through a converter and it said its 1&13/16ths - that's like doubling the difference between my main guitar at 1&9/16 to my current widest 1&11/16.

 

so be it... I won't say definitely not, but I'd really want and need to spend some time with one first.

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Yeah I found that a bit mad too... Lee basically said flat out, is your intention for traditional Gibson customers to go to the Historic division for guitars they want to buy and Jim's answer straight away was "Yes, absolutely", which was one of the things people were saying when the new model details came out that its a marketing strategy to push people to the custom shop..

 

Which. Ok that's their prerogative... BUT they don't say that to buy one of those you are gonna pay more than for a Standard or any of the US line up (apart from maybe a signature model, but that doesn't count). I just worry they are gonna push a lot of us traditional buyers away with statements like that??

 

Im sure though that they have way smarter people than me who actually know the facts to work this stuff out.. But still seems a bit odd to me?

 

It will sure be interesting to see what happens with the 2016 models (he says in February :rolleyes: :))

 

Strange, isn't it? What used to be "I'm going to go into the guitar store today and will be buying a Gibson" has turned into "I'm going to have to find a place that stocks Custom Shop Gibsons because the Gibson USA models that are available everywhere are evidently aimed at a different demographic".

 

I can tune a guitar, I've never had a string get stuck in a nib, I know that the string spacing got screwed up at the factory somewhere along the line and that's why the high E string could be pulled off of the neck too easily, I could care less about coil splitting as it won't make humbuckers sound like P90s, I don't need a power booster switch and I won't accept fake wood on the fret board.

 

I guess that makes me a dinosaur.

 

End of rant.

 

 

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I have tried a 2015 Les Paul standard daily for the last two weeks, hoping it would grow on me. I think I hate it even more now, its just not right. Too wide and too flat.

 

The young kid growing up playing a Epiphone LP, will not like this at all.

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I tried too, Just cant. Im not going to buy a Custom Shop anything. Whats the point? I strip and gut every Les Paul anyway and Im not paying any more than what I paid before $1899. There are so many homeless Les Pauls that would be happy to live with me for that price I no longer need Gibson as part of the equation. I would have been on board for more 1960 Classics and Signature Ts and such but its not in the stars I guess. I'm ordering a 2014 Fender American Standard Stratocaster. I notice just about everyone on these boards are having NGDs with everything BUT Gibsons now. How sad.

Yeah, it is kinda sad. There are a couple of Strats now on my radar for this year.

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I've now tried the 2015. I don't like it, period.

Neck's too wide, flat and not nibbed.

I don't know what pups, pots and caps were in it but it sounded cr#p.

I can see this nut tearing through strings.

I like to tune a guitar myself, not some computer.

The clip on guard didn't feel solid.

Nope, don't like it one little bit.

 

They made the main line these new permanent changes and the original the sideline. It should be the other way around.

Hey, Gibson management, are you reading this? And taking notice from the real players? I think your market research has fallen asleep at the wheel, there's going to be a wreck soon.

 

 

Can you imagine Stradivarius or Steinway doing this to their instruments? The outcry?

 

[thumbdn]

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