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djw171

Pickguard Material

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I'm with you, Sal. That damn pickguard or piece of flubber has been on my Hummingbird for some ten years now. Sucks-up all the volume. I can't even hear the guitar if it's not plugged-in. I'm peeling that damn thing off and then if I can hear the guitar I'll just get a permanent marker and draw some kind of bird near the soundhole (not touching the rosette). Likely be dumping the J15 too.

 

BTW, assenphat, welcome to the Gibby forum. We had this discussion months ago, but it's always good to rehash it...lol....welcome abroad.

 

Thank you.

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FWIW, the teardrop pickguard on my 2011 J-50 appears to have been printed: I examined it using a small lens and it's swirly patterns are composed of dots, as you would see in a printed image or photograph.

 

The guitar sounds great, btw. [biggrin]

 

Fred

 

I don't see that the flubber on my 2011 Hummingbird is printed. However, I did have a 2010/11 Martin D-41 ($4,000) that had what has come to be known as the "purple dot-matrix pickguard". You could see it in bright light/sunlight. Is was blasphemy as far as anyone was concerned. I sold it due to some structural problems and replaced it with a '14 D-18 and couldn't be happier. But the purplish dot matrix pickgurd on a $4,000 Martin was complete sacrilege.

 

Now, would I buy a Gibson acoustic guitar knowing it has a flubber on it? Well first of all, the word "flubber" is quite presumptuous. Are people tearing these things off in droves and throwing them in the trash? No. But that aside, I bought mine because it sounded, played and looked great. I never felt like, "man this guitar sounds flubby"... at least not until I read these threads. The "flubber" as it's unfortunately called, eliminates pick scratches and wearing off of the PG graphics. I won't take mine off, it sound incredible. I think people get hung up on this kind of stuff unnecessarily. Otherwise, why'd you buy your guitar in the first place if the tone wasn't right? In my case, the answer is YES! I'd buy another knowing that it had this so-called flubber thing on it. :)

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I don't see that the flubber on my 2011 Hummingbird is printed. However, I did have a 2010/11 Martin D-41 ($4,000) that had what has come to be known as the "purple dot-matrix pickguard". You could see it in bright light/sunlight. Is was blasphemy as far as anyone was concerned. I sold it due to some structural problems and replaced it with a '14 D-18 and couldn't be happier. But the purplish dot matrix pickgurd on a $4,000 Martin was complete sacrilege.

 

Now, would I buy a Gibson acoustic guitar knowing it has a flubber on it? Well first of all, the word "flubber" is quite presumptuous. Are people tearing these things off in droves and throwing them in the trash? No. But that aside, I bought mine because it sounded, played and looked great. I never felt like, "man this guitar sounds flubby"... at least not until I read these threads. The "flubber" as it's unfortunately called, eliminates pick scratches and wearing off of the PG graphics. I won't take mine off, it sound incredible. I think people get hung up on this kind of stuff unnecessarily. Otherwise, why'd you buy your guitar in the first place if the tone wasn't right? In my case, the answer is YES! I'd buy another knowing that it had this so-called flubber thing on it. :)

 

 

In 1991 the Gibson J-30 retailed for $1183.00 and the Hummingbird retailed for $1,800.00. These are the same guitar in every respect. Every specification is the same. Everyone. EXCEPT for the pickguard and the position markers. I take it to mean that the pickguard was valued at a bit over $600.00. The difference in the cost of the two guitars. This was a hand engraved celluloid pickguard. There was value in it and it was a fine handcrafted piece of celluloid designed to vibrate with the top and not interfere with the sound or volume of the instrument.

 

Gibson has decided to have the "new" pickguards made off shore with a different material altogether and there is no hand engraving in the process. The "new pickguards cost pennies. If that is the case shouldn't Gibson lower the retail price by the $600.00 they are saving on the pickguard alone?

 

As to the sound.. There are folks that post here that swear they can hear the difference in sound when comparing the bridge pins. There are folks that take the label out of their guitar as they think they can hear the difference. One thread running right now questions the smudges on a guitar top affecting the sound of the instrument.

 

Gibson claims that it's nitro finish is buffed out as far as possible to lighten the effect of the nitro on the tops ability to vibrate naturally. Then they lighten the top even further by scalloping the top braces to make them lighter and allow the top to vibrate easier. I'm not convinced that spending all of this time and money on the guitar is worth the expense when they finish the guitar and then put a 1/4 inch piece of sound deadening flubber on the top. This makes no sense to me. If that isn't bad enough they charge a fortune for it?

 

I understand that you are happy with your guitar and you should be. Just imagine if you had a $600.00 refund for the pickguard overcharge and the top could vibrate naturally. Would it sound better? Of course it would. If you would place your guitar on your lap and strum the strings open and then place your hand lightly on the top you will hear the importance of a freely vibrating top.

 

I coined the term Flubber as it seemed that the new material was like the stuff the "Nutty Professor" designed in the old Disney movie.

 

I am old enough to remember when Norlin tried to tell us the double x braced top and the adjustable bridge saddle were great ideas. We all know how that worked out.

 

If you don't like the idea of a dead top just take the flubber off and send it back to Gibson or better yet put it on E-bay and sell it as a wonderful addition to any guitar that has to rich of a tone and to much volume. There are plenty of folks out there that will buy it.

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Right on, Hog-eye. Someone will always buy 'something'.

 

My inquisition is "why" oh "why" does someone come up with a "better idea" that absolutely "sucks" the life out of what was adequate to begin with? Great sales-persons, I guess? I am having a hard time excepting all of this modern BS....Flubber PGuards....just great! That guy was 'shear genius'.....LOL

 

Old enuff too remember Norlin? Yes, I am older than that. I 'once' in '74 entertained the thought of buying a '73 J-45 'NEW and discounted' at $425 'because of" shadow-bracing....God only knows where that one is now??

 

Double X -shadow-braced! A 'pinnacle' of Norlin construction for the princely sum of $430....such a deal! Thank God, I was only making $65 a week and could not afford it! I actually wanted a Gibson acoustic so bad, back then.

 

And then that I actually 'dreamed about that "brace-shadowed" box"!

 

I now own some very nice Vintage acoustics/electrics....Flubber -be-damned! Have at it boys!

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