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Gibson ES175 - quality control

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In an interview with the new CEO of Gibson he pointed out that one of the problems at the factory was there just was not enough light for the workers to spot some of these imperfections. He has vowed to improve the lighting and the QC should follow. Sometimes the simplest things can make a big difference.

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Hell just froze over so I bought my first Gibson, an 04 ES137 Classic, to go with my numerous PRS and a Collings City Limits Deluxe, so comparison in terms of fit n finish is pointless. That said, my ES demonstrates pretty much all of OP's issues. I bought mine sight-unseen from 12th Fret in Toronto, a great shop. I was pretty disappointed with the fit and finish to the point of returning the guitar, but a strange thing happened between sleeps...I actually started liking the ES warts and all. Despite its imperfections it plays great. So after a few days' contemplation I wrangled a discount on the price and kept the guitar (this was just last week). Yesterday I disassembled everything that had a screw and gave the guitar a massive de-grunging and cleaning/polishing and today it looks almost like the ad described! I really do like its playability too, tone is funky and versatile. 

So at the end of the day I got exactly what I expected: a typically shoddy modern Gibson with great playability and tone. Love it!

 

gibson-es137-sb-2004-cons-full-front.jpg

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Early Memphis production could be somewhat spotty at times.  From what I observed first-hand, things were much cleaner by 2009.

Between 2009 and 2012, I purchased a new Memphis instrument each year:  ES-339 in '09, ES-330L in '10, ES-335 w/P-90s in '11, and the first ES-330 VOS in '12.  Each of these are beautifully crafted throughout, and in particular, the overall execution of the natural finish ES-330 VOS is truly stellar. 

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Ever since Gibson sold out to Norlin, I find the quality has decreased despite the fact that the prices have increased. This selling of pre-distressed finishes is such BS. Is that what the public wants, guitars that are fake vintage? I have a 1957 ES, a 1960 ES, a 1962 ES and a 1969 LPC, all Gibsons, and I cherish those guitars as they are built well, play fantastically and sound great. And it's not just Gibson whose guitars lack quality. All name brand guitar manufacturers seem to want to maximize profit at the cost of quality instruments. Quality instruments are available, but now we have to pay a premium for them. They're no longer the norm. Sad. Maybe there are exceptions. I hope so.

Thorne

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On 4/16/2019 at 10:39 AM, bobalu said:

.......

Notwithstanding the above, I eventually found an ES-235 that played beautifully and sounded amazing, and they have a silk screen on the headstock so no inlay hacking job to worry about! But -they don't make a hard shell case for it (comes with a gig bag).

.

 

I see that is really an entry level ES model.  First I seen or heard of an ES model that didn't  come with a hard case.  "The new instant classic"  Yeah, that's marketing for you.  Guess they don't know how ridiculous  that sounds.

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I've rarely owned a Gibson with an unbound "F" hole that was smooth. The ones that are not black are easily cleaned up if it bothers the owner. The rest of the nits are well... Gibson.

Sadly, if visual perfection is what a player wants, then they can either go through a whole lot of Gibson models they are looking for to find one, or get another brand that's known for visual perfection.

As a buyer I'm not one to fuss over the small stuff,  but it's maddening when potential "buyers" ask for dozens of pics to (IMO) either find a perfect one, or for a reason to send it back or to negotiate a price reduction after they receive it.

PS, one of my fave gits (a black 335) has had a sloppy neck repair and it looks like a sweaty careless baboon owned it. I could care less! :-)

 

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A  black 335 ?!?! That's a keeper !

My 1960 ES335 natural has a neck repair, but, one, the repair is so well done, you can't see it unless someone tells you, and two, it's been that way for decades with no stability issues. Although it's def an investment guitar (because how many of the eighty-eight 1960 naturals are still out there?) and it was quite expensive, like you I don't care. Why? It plays great ! The PAFs really kick and although it also has a lot of finish cracks (it's been on the road a LOT so a lot of hot/cold changes - the guitar is weather-worn), I still don't care because it's a beautiful piece of wood and IT PLAYS GREAT ! Oh, and did I mention it plays great?  =:-) 

Enjoy your guitars. They are the tools with which we create and talk using the language of The Universe.  Thorne

Edited by thornev
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