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Gibson Quality Stereotypes are Wrong IMO


thegreatgumbino
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It baffles me when I see the stereotypical Gibson bashing going on at AGF. I spent the weekend visiting multiple stores to play every slope and square shoulder Gibson I could get my hands on. J15, J45, SJ, and Hummingbirds. In summary, the guitars being built in Bozeman right now are of excellent quality and tone. I played 4 J15's, one of which was excellent, all were great. Three J45's, again all great. One excellent SJ. Three hummingbirds, one was stellar. The winner of the day for me was a phenomenal 2018 J45 Vintage. This was my first time playing a Vintage, though I have played three of the Fuller's 2016 J45 Legends with torrefied B&S's. This guitar had it in spades. It happened to be the last guitar I played of the day (6 shops), and it was the only one that got me truly excited to the point where I considered trying to make it happen. All of the guitars I played were great build quality and sound, with the exception of at my local GC, which struggles with their humidity control. Several of the guitars at this location sounded dull and muffled, though the SJ I played here was excellent. I would have been happy to have any of these examples in my stable.

Edited by thegreatgumbino
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Some people are just wicked picky. Complaints range from the most minor little finish imperfection, to things that are almost always cured with a setup, which they need anyway.

 

With acoustics, it's no secret that moisture control is a deal breaker if not handled properly, and this is not the fault of the builders. That rests entirely on the merchant or the person who purchased it.

 

I own 6 gibsons. Bought each one new. oldest is a 95 LP Standard, newest is a Bozeman SJ200. No issues that were not overcome easily. I must have just been lucky right?

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I agree. To me, Gibson consistency has been pretty good since 1950/51 when they re-organized and re-tooled. The days when a part was finished when it looked close enough were gone, There will certainly be nuanced differences in sound due largely to the extent of finish and detail work done by human hands but I think the lack of consistency thing is overplayed. But I am sure an occasional Friday afternoon waiting for the end of the day whistle to blow guitar does get out there.

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Its not so much that they (all Gibsons) aren't 100% perfectly consistent, but neither is anyone else. I don't get why the other big makers don't get the same share of criticism. I've tried really hard to find a Martin I liked and most of the ones I've tried sounded dead. Maybe they had old strings or weren't humidified properly but not every Martin or Taylor is a gem either. I picked up a Taylor that was (in theory) identical to mine and it didn't sound or even feel like mine. You can have the best quality control in the world, but they are made of wood and no 2 pieces of wood are ever going to produce exactly the same sound.

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I think the problem is people expect perfection once they've seen instruments built 99% by machine. Taylors have a huge amount of machine precision and therefore they are very consistent. Gibson acoustics have a LOT of hand-work and that means more inconsistency.

 

I disagree that Gibson acoustics have been consistent since the 50's. Mid-to-late Gibson acoustics were awful. However, when the Bozeman (Ren) started making them in the late 80's, the quality went through the roof. They are still made with a large amount of hand-work by a relatively few number of artisans. Think of the output from Bozeman as well. The Bozeman plant puts out acoustics in the 100's per day where Taylor is in the 1000's.

 

So when the binding cut doesn't line up perfectly on the "kiss" at the bottom of the fretboard on a J200, to me, that is an indication of human hands. And the important part is, how it sounds.

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I figure we buy and play the guitars we like. The Gibson bashing is just something some immature people can't help from doing. Personally, I don't pay much attention to it. I really don't think I've ever had a Gibson that had any of the issues some of these people get frantic about. On the other hand, I don't really care if there's a spot of glue somewhere on the inside or if there's a splinter of wood under the bridge. I'm kind of over-glued and with a few splinters kind of person, so Gibsons suit me well. All I know is that all my Gibsons feel like an extension of me. They get played a lot. I've got several other brands of guitars, but they tend to take-up a lot of wall space. Gibsons have a lot of human contact as they're being made. So did I. \:D/

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I’d rather have the consistently great Gibson tone with a few of the QC/finish inconsistencies over the beautifully finished but tonally variable Martin range. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played plenty of Martins that have knocked me out, but plenty of others that were about as exciting as a slap in the manboobs with a lukewarm sponge.

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I'd rather have the consistently great Gibson tone with a few of the QC/finish inconsistencies ....

 

Said the man with the frets that fell out all by themselves and almost couldn't get Gibson to acknowledge that might have been their problem msp_biggrin.gif

 

 

 

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Taylors are good looking ... but the few I played weren't very lively.

Most of the Rosewood Martins I have played sounded muddy and uninspiring however I own a Koa Martin that sounds like a dream.

 

I played a lefty OM 28 authentic with Mad Rose and just scratched my head ... It sounded like cardboard.

 

The Gibson sound and construction fits the bill for me.

Specially their maple instruments and also mahogany.

 

Gibson is a master at building Maple guitars as far as I am concerned.

The only thing I think they need to start doing in house or sourcing close by is their pickguard material which could be much much better [the firestripes in particular] they lift too easily sometimes

 

I feel that Gibson is a step away from building "boutique instruments"

 

 

 

 

 

 

JC

Edited by JuanCarlosVejar
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it is possible to like most guitars a company builds and not like the company , and there has been some issues with quality at gibson, dosnt mean Im doing something horrible if I have negative feelings re the company and if I say them on a forum- that is free speech ...use before you lose it...

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"Taylors are good looking ... but the few I played weren't very lively."

 

I have a hog/cedar Jumbo that would change your mind completely. I've had it since fall of 06, this is the one guitar that found me instead of me finding it. Wasn't even looking for another guitar, never mind one north of $2k. But as soon as I played this thing, I Wasn't leaving the store without it. It was bare bones when I bought it, no pickup at all. I put a Fishman Infinity in it a few years after I bought it.

 

This pic was taken last fall. it's about 12 years old, and aside from a bit of fret wear, it's pretty much mint. action and neck are awesome, a dream to play...

 

22519455_10208217559276190_5893917388771159606_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeEyTv3_CUC5K3vYDKec1jqW9pDKCHt5fJU99YcyRbIBWc4M9YWcV5vJCVz2a-vVlivYITpcWDE8B7AXZmvY49--xi6XvPlZRqIjzUXGuQo_iw&oh=d30f2d431fd4daaa4cc9343c9d5a9b67&oe=5BBC2DD0

 

but then there's this one....

33876458_10209548149460113_3539326113039777792_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeHsU9GqzsKvEShWrI1lVIM8bWbhnwDGV7VCq4SC8kUzT7Dbs-Oi3Ow2CGZrbyc7uUEOVPZ5f-BDhXrC-LM8OhPjy-9B0HQALSYhXP5HBmCJCg&oh=b5b8c7719bfdfcbc07490c2bcfa1593a&oe=5B7DDA20

Edited by kidblast
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I think the problem is people expect perfection once they've seen instruments built 99% by machine. Taylors have a huge amount of machine precision and therefore they are very consistent. Gibson acoustics have a LOT of hand-work and that means more inconsistency.

 

I disagree that Gibson acoustics have been consistent since the 50's. Mid-to-late Gibson acoustics were awful. However, when the Bozeman (Ren) started making them in the late 80's, the quality went through the roof. They are still made with a large amount of hand-work by a relatively few number of artisans. Think of the output from Bozeman as well. The Bozeman plant puts out acoustics in the 100's per day where Taylor is in the 1000's.

 

So when the binding cut doesn't line up perfectly on the "kiss" at the bottom of the fretboard on a J200, to me, that is an indication of human hands. And the important part is, how it sounds.

 

Mid-to late 195s Gibsons awful? In some 50 years of playing Gibsons, my second favorite guitar remains a 1956 SJ. It was flawlessly built and an incredibly responsive and punchy guitar.

 

It is hard to say how much handwork is involved anymore. Gibson, as most others, relies on Mastercam CAD/CAM software which allows them to scan and automatically produce pretty much any part they need with a precision and consistency previously un-dreamed of. I remember reading somewhere that Bob Taylor shared the program he uses to make necks as he was not concerned about anybody copying a Taylor neck and had no problems helping others with the technology. It is definitely human hands though that do all of the final finish work such as sanding necks and putting the things together. A far cry, however, from the days when Gibson kiln dried its own wood and did not even own a router. But Gibson Montana also produces far more acoustics than they were shipping out of Kalamazoo in the mid- to-late 1950s.

Edited by zombywoof
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"Taylors are good looking ... but the few I played weren't very lively."

 

I have a hog/cedar Jumbo that would change your mind completely. I've had it since fall of 06, this is the one guitar that found me instead of me finding it. Wasn't even looking for another guitar, never mind one north of $2k. But as soon as I played this thing, I Wasn't leaving the store without it. It was bare bones when I bought it, no pickup at all. I put a Fishman Infinity in it a few years after I bought it.

 

This pic was taken last fall. it's about 12 years old, and aside from a bit of fret wear, it's pretty much mint. action and neck are awesome, a dream to play...

 

22519455_10208217559276190_5893917388771159606_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeEyTv3_CUC5K3vYDKec1jqW9pDKCHt5fJU99YcyRbIBWc4M9YWcV5vJCVz2a-vVlivYITpcWDE8B7AXZmvY49--xi6XvPlZRqIjzUXGuQo_iw&oh=d30f2d431fd4daaa4cc9343c9d5a9b67&oe=5BBC2DD0

 

but then there's this one....

33876458_10209548149460113_3539326113039777792_n.jpg?_nc_cat=0&_nc_eui2=AeHsU9GqzsKvEShWrI1lVIM8bWbhnwDGV7VCq4SC8kUzT7Dbs-Oi3Ow2CGZrbyc7uUEOVPZ5f-BDhXrC-LM8OhPjy-9B0HQALSYhXP5HBmCJCg&oh=b5b8c7719bfdfcbc07490c2bcfa1593a&oe=5B7DDA20

 

K,

 

Yeah that's why I made sure to limit my statement to the ones that I've played. I will tell you this I really like the Nylon style Taylors they are fantastic and great sounding.

 

 

 

Love the 200 too

 

JC

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K,

 

Yeah that's why I made sure to limit my statement to the ones that I've played. I will tell you this I really like the Nylon style Taylors they are fantastic and great sounding.

 

 

 

Love the 200 too

 

JC

yes indeed JC I also have a Taylor 514 nylon, great guitar in all aspects, Finally put an end to my quest for a nylon string.

I'm part of the music ministry at our roman catholic church and that guitar is perfect for much of that music.

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I wasn't aware of any "Gibson quality stereotypes". Do you think that might be because I don't use AGF? [biggrin]

 

or apparently read some of the posts in the GIBSON USA forum where people tend to gripe about Q/C issues quite often. :)

Edited by kidblast
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I’d rather have the consistently great Gibson tone with a few of the QC/finish inconsistencies over the beautifully finished but tonally variable Martin range. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve played plenty of Martins that have knocked me out, but plenty of others that were about as exciting as a slap in the manboobs with a lukewarm sponge.

 

I agree completely Jinder.

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Said the man with the frets that fell out all by themselves and almost couldn't get Gibson to acknowledge that might have been their problem msp_biggrin.gif

 

Admittedly, that was a little on the strong end of “usual inconsistencies” 😂☺️

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People like me are not exactly loved on the AVG having the forum name gibpicker, but I don't care, because the only Guitars that ever got me off were Gibson's, period, end of story. Sorry to be so absolute closed minded, but like someone else here said, the Martins they ever played put them to sleep. Whens the last time you saw a Martin on the wall that took your breath away like a J-200, or a Bird etc. would?

 

When I was at GS A few days ago with lots & lots of unlocked Taylors and Martins, the only Guitars I looked at were Gibson's.

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or apparently read some of the posts in the GIBSON USA forum where people tend to gripe about Q/C issues quite often. :)

 

Are you talking about this forum (which is called "Gibson Acoustic") or something else? Yeah, I have seen complaints here but they are generally from "the usual suspects" and I don't pay much attention. Regardless. I have no plans to buy a new Gibson guitar anytime soon. The new prices seem pretty outrageous to me, and I'm happy with the guitars I already own.

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I have seen complaints here but they are generally from "the usual suspects" and I don't pay much attention.

 

True dat.

 

Between the acoustics, several Studio Les Paul's (one mine, one my daughters) and the Custom Shop ES-339, I must say I've been very impressed with the quality of new Gibsons I've bought in the last decade + .

 

My old ones are about the same quality, he11 I own a Norlin SG that is a fine machine.

 

I own a 91 American Tele and a Chinese Fender Resonator and a Mexican Jazz bass, all good instruments, but my heart and soul always reaches for American Gibson guitars.

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IMHO the Gibson bashing is based on the guitars made between 1969 and 1989. You all know about the “Norlin” era which was certainly not the best for Gibson. The acoustics from 1989 to present are great guitars of which I have owned and sold over a dozen over the years and have never been disappointed. Sure there were some minor cosmetic flaws which I completely disregarded after hearing the wonderful sounds the guitars produced. Martin, Taylor, et al make great guitars too but they don’t touch my soul like a Gibson!

Edited by Southern Son of Gilbert
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How at times have you heard ‘people in the next town are a bit odd’

From that right up , or down to , racism , bigotry and just plain ignorance

 

Little surprise that a guitar manufacturer is thought of in a derogatory way

 

 

 

Maybe the norlin era planted the little seed that has gown into an untidy bush

 

Folk are strange apart from thee and me , and I sometimes worry about thee

 

 

 

Even this thread in its own little tiny way is adding to the train of thought that gibsons are to be taken with caution

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IMHO the Gibson bashing is based on the guitars made between 1969 and 1989. You all know about the “Norlin” era which was certainly not the best for Gibson.

 

I think they are generally priced to reflect this already. But I don't think this is a "quality" issue - in other words, it's not about poor craftsmanship or guitars that fall apart. In fact, the typical complaint is that they were built too strong, which affects the way they sound.

Edited by Boyd
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