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Macmutt

Gibson Loses Out to PRS

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Hey Guy's, well a few weeks back when I was pondering whether to get a 2015 Les Paul standard or a 2015 PRS Custom 22, I just could not make up my mind.

Since I wanted a solid body Les Paul (No Chambering or weight relief) with a new 2015 wider slim taper neck and burst bucker pro pickups, and no Geforce tuning system, I thought I would contact Gibson and ask the custom shop to alter their 2015 traditional model to suit my specs.

 

I offered $5000 for them to merely change the neck profile, pickups and leave off the tuning system, and they told me "We're sorry our custom shop is not taking any orders right now, and we don't know when we'll be able to".

Well that made up my mind for me, I then decided to order my new PRS Custom 22 and get a guitar with specs I actually want for my thousands of dollars.....and guess what? I've had the PRS for weeks now, and I can honestly say the sound and craftsmanship blows away anything Gibson has put out and currently puts out for the past 25 years til' today.

I can say that because I have owned Gibson's in the past and they all had some cosmetic or electrical wiring flaw, due to their poor craftsmanship.

I have never owned or played a guitar so beautiful looking and sounding in all my life as I have with this PRS, I was so impressed with it I sent a 5 paragraph thank you email to Paul Reed Smith himself for turning out such a top quality guitar with workmanship that Gibson has seemed to have forgotten all about.

 

So since they obviously didn't need or want my money, In the end I am so glad they denied me the custom Les Paul, otherwise I might never have found the real superior guitar maker that is Paul Reed Smith, their attention to craftsmanship and detail is amazing, it is flawless and I will own it for the rest of my life.

As for my old Gibson's they and their flaws were sold off years ago.....good riddance Gibson, and if you keep treating all your customers like you did me, then some day you won't have any.

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My guess is Gibson is a world scale producer and makes hundreds of each model and thousands of guitars each year in total. Their factories are designed for mass production. I think they are best at making a high number of units with a tight profit margin. Then there are their specialty guitars. The L-5 archtop and the Dylan Signature SJ-200 come to mind. They produce one or two hundred of these in a single production run using mass production methods but they don't produce them every year. Some they only ever produce once. I think they also increase the quality control and craftsmanship on these "Custom" guitars. Then their is the marketing hype in the advertising and pricing of the specialty guitars.

 

Gibson isn't really in competition with the boutique guitar shops that live on a low number of units per year but a relatively high margin, while still being competitive with the major manufacturers prices. I wonder if the boutique guitar builders have competitive benefits for their staff? After salary, there is annual leave, medical and dental coverage, sick leave and pension to pay for.

 

I'm glad you got what you wanted. Enjoy it. I wouldn't put Gibson down for not doing as you wished. As I see it, you are comparing apples and oranges.

 

Just my random thoughts after midnight. I hope others contribute how they see things.

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Hello,

 

 

First of all, congrats on your new PRS Custom 22. They are fine guitars, for sure. I have seen and played a couple of them over the years, and the Custom 22's are fine instruments. Personally, I am way more of a Gibson guy than a PRS guy. That just has to do with taste, I guess. Anyway, enjoy your new guitar. I'm sure you'll hang on to this one for years to come.

 

Now, onto the issue you had with Gibson. What I think basically happened here, was you got Gibson USA and Custom mixed up here. You asked them to make custom version of a standard line guitar. Jim deCola had specifically stated in multiple videos that Gibson USA is committed to the 2015 changes, and did not feel the need to give customers a choice. Big mistake, in my opinion, to not give customers a choice.

 

Like you, I hate everything about the 2015 Les Paul Standards. That's why I hunted down a 2014 LP Standard; that particular guitar looks exactly like a normal Les Paul, except for the Min-Etune. The tuning system is something you can get rid off easily; the 2015 guitars have a few changes that you simply cannot get rid off, such as the wider neck. Gibson USA simply does not do custom work - not now, not ever - because that's simply not what they do. They are there to push out guitars in greater quantities and more frequently than the Gibson Custom Shop.

 

If I were you before you made a decision, I would just order a Les Paul Custom (Silverburst/Ebony/etc.). The Custom Shop is much more willing to listen to your wishes. Just prepare for a long wait, though. It took long for my EDS-1275 to arrive, but it was everything I had asked and hoped for. But I can imagine your frustration. You'd think Gibson would try to work with you to get to your $5000.

 

Anyway, I get where you are coming from, and I understand why you elected to spring for the PRS Custom 22. Enjoy it!

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Yeah, but he stated that he did contact and talk to the custom section about this and was turned away. He wasn't talking to the USA line.

I did the same thing recently, but not having or being able to aquire the custom shop's phone number, instead I sent them an email. About getting a custom made '59. Two emails were eventually sent, both occassions, no reply.

Don't want to talk, don't want my business (money). Fine. Brian May got my business instead. Now a happy 'Red Special' owner.

To not even reply I consider rude. They probably consider me using their free site to air my point of view rude, but I'm allowed to give my opinion here, for better or worse, and have done and will do so.

I feel and understand Mac's frustration, having been there myself now. There's a particular model now out that we can't get here in Australia, so, knowing that Sweetwater was selling them I contacted them to ask if they would sell me one. They said no, because I live here. What are you to do? Is this anyway to treat a potential customer?

I just don't get it.

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Yeah, but he stated that he did contact and talk to the custom section about this and was turned away. He wasn't talking to the USA line.

I did the same thing recently, but not having or being able to aquire the custom shop's phone number, instead I sent them an email. About getting a custom made '59. Two emails were eventually sent, both occassions, no reply.

Don't want to talk, don't want my business (money). Fine. Brian May got my business instead. Now a happy 'Red Special' owner.

To not even reply I consider rude. They probably consider me using their free site to air my point of view rude, but I'm allowed to give my opinion here, for better or worse, and have done and will do so.

I feel and understand Mac's frustration, having been there myself now. There's a particular model now out that we can't get here in Australia, so, knowing that Sweetwater was selling them I contacted them to ask if they would sell me one. They said no, because I live here. What are you to do? Is this anyway to treat a potential customer?

I just don't get it.

Yeah, I know what he said. But I'm believing here, is that Custom and USA don't touch each other's products. He basically asked one section (Custom) to make a custom version of a USA guitar. Mind you, I think this should be no problem, especially for that kind of money. But I just believe that's how Gibson works.

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You should have called me. I could have set you up with exactly the guitar you wanted for $5000. Just get a 2015 Les Paul Traditional and swap pickups and tuners and pocket the extra 2 grand. [thumbup]

 

 

What color PRS did you get? Pictures? We wanna see! [drool]

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Guest Farnsbarns

You should have called me. I could have set you up with exactly the guitar you wanted for $5000. Just get a 2015 Les Paul Traditional and swap pickups and tuners and pocket the extra 2 grand. [thumbup]

 

This.

 

I'd also add that telling the story of how you contacted the custom shop (they don't talk to consumers btw. You have to talk to a CS dealer) and wanted this and that, but when you get to where they say "no" you launch in to an attack about workmanship doesn't quite make sense. Was their workmanship OK when you "offered them 5k"? What was it about finding out they don't want your 5k that effected their workmanship?

 

Sorry but this sounds like a teenager doing mental back flips to justify the angst they feel about being told "no" to me.

 

It's not that I'm a gibson fan boy, I just can't help but question a self contradictory post.

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Yeah, but he stated that he did contact and talk to the custom section about this and was turned away. He wasn't talking to the USA line.

I did the same thing recently, but not having or being able to aquire the custom shop's phone number, instead I sent them an email. About getting a custom made '59. Two emails were eventually sent, both occassions, no reply.

Don't want to talk, don't want my business (money). Fine. Brian May got my business instead. Now a happy 'Red Special' owner.

To not even reply I consider rude. They probably consider me using their free site to air my point of view rude, but I'm allowed to give my opinion here, for better or worse, and have done and will do so.

I feel and understand Mac's frustration, having been there myself now. There's a particular model now out that we can't get here in Australia, so, knowing that Sweetwater was selling them I contacted them to ask if they would sell me one. They said no, because I live here. What are you to do? Is this anyway to treat a potential customer?

I just don't get it.

 

I've found the same inconsistency in Gibson Customer Service communications. Some of the moderators have connections and often tell you to contact customer service. I've also seen several say that Gibson Customer Service got right back to them almost immediately. I've not once been replied-to nor ever gotten any kind of response from Gibson Customer Service to a handful of inquiries I've sent them since joining here and being given that advice...

 

Never once have they responded to my direct inquiries as I've carefully attended-to in direct cooperation with the guidelines that have been dictated by those I thought were in-the-know in here...

 

I was disappointed but not particularly surprised due to my understanding of the large scale of communications I suspect they're inundated-with constantly.

 

I'm not holding it against them any further than a pretty standard disappointment at the/any corporate structure that is over-run with such communications...

 

They're still my favorite guitars and that has little do do with me getting a personal response to an inquiry.

 

I would also suggest since the thread author actually got thru to them and spoke to them, in some form of communications, personally, that they are one of the lucky few. I would also further suggest that to the Custom Shop you offered them less than what several Gibson USA factory produced models sell for to make you a Custom Guitar. I also tend to think that Custom Shop orders are more likely if they're picked from their menu of special guitars listed on the website and what they are tooled-up to make at any given moment. Also I might suggest that clearly they're probably inundated with others that found a level of rejection at the Gibson USA 2015 innovations and have been booked solid beyond a reasonable wait time at this point and are struggling to catch-up and cannot be ham-strung as a Custom Shop by just such an onslaught of special orders...

 

Those are my own presumptions of course as I have no personal experience with them, just an observation...

 

I still have a distaste for not even being responded-to with even a form-letter style response or any response whatsoever...

 

Again to the thread author; Congrats on yer PRS. I'm glad you like it and it's something you want and enjoy. It is a make of Guitar that I have no personal interest in, but those are the joys of personal discriminating taste and our own individual liberty...

 

I'll find other avenues of acquiring the Gibson accoutrements I desire and prefer on a guitar in my own time... I still love Gibson guitars and still maintain my own preferences.

 

It's all good...

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This.

 

I'd also add that telling the story of how you contacted the custom shop (they don't talk to consumers btw. You have to talk to a CS dealer) and wanted this and that, but when you get to where they say "no" you launch in to an attack about workmanship doesn't quite make sense. Was their workmanship OK when you "offered them 5k"? What was it about finding out they don't want your 5k that effected their workmanship?

 

Sorry but this sounds like a teenager doing mental back flips to justify the angst they feel about being told "no" to me.

 

It's not that I'm a gibson fan boy, I just can't help but question a self contradictory post.

 

All of this makes perfect sense Farns. I get the same strong overtones, yet I also know it's easy to come-off sounding completely different than one intends in typewritten text as opposed to a personal verbal conversation...

 

Everyone's interpretation of typed prose on a screen is not only different, but is often skewed from how it was offered by the simply dynamics of human nature and the lack of connection found in black and white text...

 

I'm willing to extend the benefit-of-the-doubt and the author simply offered an explanation of his own mitigating factors in his decision to purchase his PRS because he couldn't come up with exactly what he wanted in a Gibson in the time frame he met in making his purchase. I truly get that kind of desire and unwillingness to wait. It's what prompted me to purchase "Blue" on the whim I did. It was a marvelous guitar, but really never was exactly what I wanted. It fit my personal lack of patience and desires, even if tempered by the instant-gratification syndrome that many of us fall victim to as a part of human nature.

 

I will add however that the thread almost smacks of buyers remorse... At least that's how it comes-off even if that's inaccurate.

 

But that's likely my own bias because I would feel buyers remorse had I purchased a PRS due to my own personal taste. I hope he's actually satisfied and content with the PRS as they are some perfectly nice and well crafted guitars of a high quality nature, even if they do nothing for me personally. Hell I like about a dozen different brands and makes myself... Some of them well out of my personal affordability; Fano being one of them...

 

What you say Farns is spot-on, as to how it sounds... But I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt at this point.

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for the plane I'm flying in, I really appreciate impeccable workmanship and attention to detail in those who engineered it. With guitars I'm a little more forgiving of 'character'. That said, the one thing that has stood out to me on these wacky new 2015 Gibson jobs has been the high quality of materials and assembly.

 

Sadly, I myself haven't had the opportunity to play everything Gibson has put out currently or over the past 25 years so can't comment on how good or bad the sound and workmanship might be, but if its as you say then I guess I pity the many (millions?) who you suggest have been dudded - especially if it was a Byrdland or R0 - cos they looked so superb to me.

 

Still, glad you enjoy the PRS - I've heard nice things about them. [thumbup]

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I've never contacted anyone other my friends at the local music stores. I pick out what I want and like. I have a Strat, 3 Gibsons & a Prs Custom 24. I love them all, because of their differences. The Prs is exceptional guitar. I wind up playing my SG the most.

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I do think Gibson is not losing business they don't have.

 

It is widely known they have not done special requests for a long time.

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I'd rather have a good, used Gibson than a new PRS but if Macmutt is happy with his purchase than that's what counts.

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This is my post over at the PRS forums, just scroll down and the pic of my guitar I took is pictured here, the color is called orange tiger smoke burst.

 

http://prsguitars.com/forum/showthread.php?12114-My-New-PRS-I-Love-This-New-Girl-of-Mine-It-s-Perfect

 

As for some other comments made here in my post at the Gibson forum, I am not a pouting teenager who didn't get what he wanted, i'm a 46 year old man with a wife and two kids who's been waiting for over 20 years to make a major guitar purchase like this and Gibson was my first choice, but they snubbed me and my money.

 

As for their craftsmanship, nothing has changed i.m.o. over the years but I was willing to take a chance in order to get my dream Les Paul Standard, but they didn't want to be bothered. If I did get it and it had some kind of flaw it would've got sent back until they got it right.

 

Luckily I don't have to worry about that with my PRS, it's perfect, just have a look for yourself.

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If you are happy that is what counts but I wouldn't take it personal. Gibson just does not do special requests like yours.

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But isn't the whole point of having the custom shop to take special requests? You know you want something along the lines of what they make but you want it done a particular way, your way, so you have it custom made. Isn't that what it's all about? Gibson have clearly stated that if you don't like anything that they're puting out on their regular line, the US line, then go to their custom shop. If you can't get it from the US line then get it from the custom shop. That's what Mac's request sounded like to me. He could have said 'I don't see what I want on your US line so I want a custom made guitar, and I want the body like this, and the neck like this, and the electrics like this, and so on and so on. Or, he could shorten it up and say, Basicaly what I have in mind is something like the US line such and such a model, but minus this bit, and change the neck to something like this...and so forth. Which is what he did, and was turned away.

That's my take on it anyway. But what do I know, I'm just a dumb sh!t customer just like everyone else.

By the way, I happen to think Gibby make a bloody good instrument. Certainly good enough for me to buy and use. They're not the best by any stretch of the imagination, their QC certainly leaves something to be desired. There has hardly been a time when I haven't had to have something done to one to either improve it or even just to bring it up to scratch, but I can live with that. No amount of b!tching on my part is going to change their way so I couldn't be bothered.

But the money that could've gone into another LP was spent on a BMG. And the money that I saved has gone towards a new Partscaster project I've had on the back burner for a while now. Two guitars for the price of one. Value for me.

Now, as one member here has so succinctly put it before, they don't give a c##p about me and my money because I'm just one person, so I don't count, I don't matter. Maybe so. If that's the case then I think that's a very sad state of affairs. But, that's life, get over it. I was lucky enough to have been born early enough to not only have seen all the good bands (lol) but to have also started my Gibby collection off at a time when they were not only worth it but they also meant something. Now, if all these new modifications (I won't use the word improvements as I don't believe that's the case) are really what the customer these days wants, well then, so much power to Gibby. I personaly don't believe this to be so. Not from all the griping I've not only seen here in this forum but other forums I belong to as well. It's even being discussed on two Fender forums I'm on. I think gibby's marketing division has seriously miscalculated here, and the next 12 months (4 quarter's worth of figures) will be telling. I could be wrong, if so, so be it. I was wrong. But I don't think I am. I love my old Gibby's and glad I have them. Just my personal opinion but I don't like the guitars they are now making, I don't like some of the stuff they're making them out of, I don't like their QC, and I don't like their attitude towards the potential customer. Nothing that can't be changed, and very easily and quickly. But they won't because their being very stubborn at the moment.

Someone give me a shove and wake me up please when they do.

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[rolleyes]

 

Seriously guys.... Go find a band to play in ..... I thought my ex-wife was a whiner

 

Mine was, it's officially documented.

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Have a look at the offerings on the Gibson site and it will begin to make sense. That is what I had to do.

 

Basically the Custom Shop re-issues custom models of past guitars. Custom Shop does not mean Custom Order Shop.

 

Personally, for $5k I would have bought the Frampton.

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Hmm, my wife listens to my rants and just politely agrees with me. I'm sure she's listening to Fleetwood Mac songs in her head while I'm talking. Can't blame her considering the moron she married!

 

I've said this before but I can find a flaw in every Gibson I've owned or played (minor stuff like filing marks, paint bleeds, etc.). I can't say the same about a PRS. They are absolutely flawless. My tech says that Gibson and Fender are a pain to deal with, while PRS and Taylor are the best. But I love the sound of my Gibsons and my PRS. If I really, really, really had to choose though, I would pick my PRS over a Les Paul, but I'd probably pick my 339 over all of them.

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I can kind of understand the OP's frustration, and I'll admit I went through some of that with looking for a Gibson 12-string acoustic. But if something is my first choice, it will remain my first choice until I get what I'm looking for. I could have opted for a Martin or a Guild.... But I would had felt I settled for a consolation prize..... But my patience paid off.

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"Basically the Custom Shop re-issues custom models of past guitars. Custom Shop does not mean Custom Order Shop.

Personally, for $5k I would have bought the Frampton."

 

 

Yeah, but if that's the case then they should call themselves something like 'the special line' or 'the re-issue line', not custom shop. They should look up the word 'Custom'. It has a completely different connotation to what they are then. Maybe splitting hairs, a matter of semantics sure, but still something that then needs clarification.

When my mates and I go off on a surf trip to some select breaks in Indo or Mexico and I need a couple of new boards specificaly for those breaks, I don't walk into a surf shop and get those boards off the rack, I phone a mate up and have them specially shaped for me, they are 'Custom Made'. Hence, the term. A couple of years ago, I had an idea for a new strat. So I phoned the guys at the custom section, put it to them, and had it custom made.

I didn't buy a re-issue of an old board design, and I didn't buy a re-issue strat. They were custom made. Splitting hairs, sure. But a big hair.

And I am in a band, and I don't have an ex.

 

And I'm with you there L8, I'd have got the Frampton too (lol).

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Guest Farnsbarns

I can kind of understand the OP's frustration, and I'll admit I went through some of that with looking for a Gibson 12-string acoustic. But if something is my first choice, it will remain my first choice until I get what I'm looking for. I could have opted for a Martin or a Guild.... But I would had felt I settled for a consolation prize..... But my patience paid off.

 

Duane, I'm willing to bet that when you found you weren't going to what you wanted from the CS you didn't, in the same breath, launch into an attack about quality. The point I was making was simply that the OP went as far as offering 5k but only seems to have developed an issue with quality after he was told they won't do it. That seems churlish to me.

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