Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
olie

Gibson QC

Recommended Posts

Lately there has been a lot of discussion re. the Chapter 11 situation and future of Gibson here and elsewhere.Some have stated that in at least the Bozeman,Montana plant things are relatively healthy compared to the rest of the organization and that quality control there is not a major problem.

When Ren Ferguson took over the factory things improved and a new era of high standards had begun.A video interview between Ren and Tony Polecastro from ca.2015 went up on youtube and was run on this forum.It was insightful and gave us a peek into the opaque world of Gibson culture.

Quite a few commenters have said that during the 90's and into the 2000's QC has improved to the point that people were pushing back against the critics of Gibson, especially on sites such as AGF.

I have a J-45 Std. and am very happy with it.However,the other day I was in a Long and McQuade store in Ontario(Canada)and saw a 2017 J-45 on the wall and took it down to see what a newer version looked like.I couldn't believe the finish on the back of it-streaky spray job and an almost black stain to the mahogany.A salesman was near-by and I asked him how he figured this one got past an inspector and he winced and shook his head.

I know that mine is just a single sample but you might think that with everything else going on with Gibson the folks at Bozeman would try to maintain higher standards than what I saw.

Hopefully this was an anomaly,but it's concerning. I wonder if any members here have similar (or different) observations from mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

when buying apples I pick the ones without bruises and never again think of the others -works with gits as well...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than a few guitars in the early 2000s with neck set issues, I’ve never come across any of the fabled Gibson QC debacles. I owned a Dove that had some loose frets, but I suspect that was due to it being in a poorly humidified shop environment for some time.

 

I own six Gibsons, all of which are beautifully finished and have no tonal, cosmetic or structural issues (to my knowledge anyway!!)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pics or it didn't happen......

Well,Murph-I wonder what the manager would say about me taking a photo of a shoddy paint job to show to the world. Besides-it's very difficult to get a good picture of something like a dark object in a poorly-lit shop.

My point was that I was disappointed in what I perceived as a VERY poor finish on an expensive musical instrument.

If the problem had been minor I wouldn't say anything. This was SO bad that I guess you'll have to take my word for it. I am not gratuitously trying to bash Gibson.I really hope they come out of their dilemma in better shape but sending shoddy workmanship should be stopped at QC not in a retail outlet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With all due respect, maybe the salesperson's reaction was directed to your comment and not the quality of the guitar he was selling.

With all due respect returned,I omitted his comments because I hadn't anticipated your reaction.After his initial eye-roll he did say that it was a very bad example to have in stock but it wasn't his call as to whether to return it or not although he agreed with my assessment.It really was that shoddy.

My intention in posting was to inquire if others had seen QC problems and whether it might be a recent development.As I said,I've heard complaints about Gibson standards and wondered if this was overblown or justified.I was not trying to be heretical-I've always admired Gibson guitars-but I'd never seen a worse example of stain and nitro finish and wondered if things were slipping or if this was a one-off.Please don't shoot the messenger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read all the threads here and there about Gibson QC, and have owned quite a few "newer" Gibsons myself, from 2012 onward. About half were bought used, and half bought brand new, ranging from two J200's, several J45 Standards, a J45TV, J45V and an Advanced Jumbo. I have NEVER seen or had any QC issues with any of these guitars as far as fit and finish were concerned and no structural issues. They all looked great, neck angles are always perfect with Gibson acoustics (but seem to vary with Martins, and I'm not bashing Martin...I have a beautiful sounding D-35 and considering pulling the trigger on a 000-18 as we speak).

 

However...the one thing I have noticed with Gibsons is they really do vary a LOT in terms of sound from one guitar of the same model to the next. Yes, these are acoustic instruments made of organic materials, etc., and as a result there will always be a variation in sound from one instrument to the next, even if they're built with identical specs, wood species, and so on. But I will admit that other guitar manufacturer's guitars tend to be a bit more consistent sound-wise from guitar to guitar of the same model compared to Gibsons.

 

I was chatting with someone from a very well-known, reputable shop that we all most likely have heard of, and a few of the guys form the shop went out to the Bozeman, MT factory for a tour and to spec out some custom models they were going to have Gibson built, and he told me he thinks it's because of some of their manufacturing techniques. Seems like they pride themselves on doing a lot of things on the building process the "old-fashioned way", and these techniques may be contributing to their inconsistency. It's just a theory and was his opinion, not mine, but I could see that. Lots of people scoff at things like CNC, and automation, e tc., but lots of those techniques tend to allow for more consistency from instrument to instrument and can lead to an increase in production. I'm not saying that Gibson doesn't use these techniques at all, because they do, but apparently they retain certain practices that are just archaic and could be modernized in the manufacturing process apparently, but didn't give be specific, and if he did I cant remember them.

 

I'm not bashing Gibson at all. I love my AJ (which is my only Gibson I have currently). I sold the J45's and J200's a while ago (still regret selling one of the J200's, it was glorious, but the other one sounded thin and weak). I'm just participating in a discussion, and like I said, have NEVER had a bad Gibson as far as QC or fit and finish was concerned. Sound-wise, ys, they tend to be all over place and less consistent than guitars from other manufacturers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... the other day I was in a Long and McQuade store in Ontario (Canada) and saw a 2017 J-45 on the wall and took it down to see what a newer version looked like. I couldn't believe the finish on the back of it-streaky spray job and an almost black stain to the mahogany. A salesman was near-by and I asked him how he figured this one got past an inspector and he winced and shook his head. ...

 

... After his initial eye-roll he did say that it was a very bad example to have in stock but it wasn't his call as to whether to return it or not although he agreed with my assessment. ...

 

BINGO! . . No matter the manufacturer, there are going to be issues that get missed by Q/C. The retail person/people that check-in newly received stock is/are the last inspection eyes in preventing quality issues from making it to the retail floor and being returned to the manufacturer. So, in some outlets (like Fuller's for example) you will never see quality issues, and in those outlets where the check-in people aren't picky, or just don't give a sh!t, you'll see more. (Much like your Lone and McQuade, where people know but apparently do nothing about it)

 

 

.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bingo Bingo !

Gibson handpicks it's Five Star Dealers with the expectation that they inspect the quality of the product they themselves, in effect, are buying from Gibson. Gibson would much prefer a salesman find a flaw and resolve (reject or repair) it, rather than let the guitar sit on the floor with the flaw visible to scores of consumers each day - eroding it's reputation.

I would have a problem dealing with a company that did not perform that vital task, and figured it was 'NOT MY JOB'.

Supposed Bozeman performed no incoming QC inspections on its raw materials, and figured it was up to their customers to find those flaws.

If the flaw in the guitar at L&Ms was significant - it is actually THEIR QC that failed more grievously than Gibson's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the flaw in the guitar at L&Ms was significant - it is actually THEIR QC that failed more grievously than Gibson's.

 

lolz

 

rct

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya.. L&M look at these with a blind eye for the most part... there take is. it will sell if not.. off to rentals it goes.. then after its been rented and beat to death.. back on the rack it goes for a little less than new. for the most part.. the employees dont care unless its cheap for themselves.

 

 

Ill walk in. look around and walk out... its gotten to be that bad.

 

as for Gibsons QC.. for the amount of Guitars made and sprayed every day.. theres bound to be a flaw some where.. it is what it is.. its your part as a Customer to say Ill take or leave it..

Edited by slimt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bingo Bingo !

Gibson handpicks it's Five Star Dealers with the expectation that they inspect the quality of the product they themselves, in effect, are buying from Gibson. Gibson would much prefer a salesman find a flaw and resolve (reject or repair) it, rather than let the guitar sit on the floor with the flaw visible to scores of consumers each day - eroding it's reputation.

I would have a problem dealing with a company that did not perform that vital task, and figured it was 'NOT MY JOB'.

Supposed Bozeman performed no incoming QC inspections on its raw materials, and figured it was up to their customers to find those flaws.

If the flaw in the guitar at L&Ms was significant - it is actually THEIR QC that failed more grievously than Gibson's.

I hear ya, but I find it sad that an "inspector" in Bozeman could let such a defect pass into the outside world. THAT is the Achille's heel that we should never have to see.It's a shame they don't vet all their products as carefully as they would for a 5-star dealer-they charge the same price there as they do at L&M don't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hear ya, but I find it sad that an "inspector" in Bozeman could let such a defect pass into the outside world. THAT is the Achille's heel that we should never have to see.It's a shame they don't vet all their products as carefully as they would for a 5-star dealer-they charge the same price there as they do at L&M don't they?

 

Olie.. for the most part. Yorkville gets what they get... They dont get to pick and choose like American dealers.. .. from What Im seeing for prices.. since yesterday.. 5600 for a J200? selling price . I think thats a little more than U.S List .. alot of money for guitars that have faults that are not dealt with prior to putting on the floor for selling.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Curious if the complaining sales guy quoted in that thread a month ago was the same sales guy complaining about this Gibson.

I don't think so.He certainly didn't hint at it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Long and McQuade carries seconds and should be clearly marked on the price tag as a second.

At least the stores in Calgary do. So maybe this guitar was a second and not mark correctly

on the price tag.

That being said I've looked over some of the Gibson marked down as a second and couldn't find

anything wrong with them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've owned a bunch of Gibsons throughout the years (decades?) and in all sincerity have never had any of the issues often raised about Gibson quality control. Maybe I'm just not as picky or observant as others are and maybe I should be. All I know is that I've owned and own some super instruments and most are Gibsons. I just don't care about a smear of glue on the inside of the guitar (haven't looked for them), or a burst that looks different from all the other bursts. Don't know a raised fret from a lowered one unless I start feeling it on my fingers and or am hearing some buzzing. Don't really care if the finish seems to be too thick or too thin or if there is a little bit of flaking somewhere. I just play them a lot and have a blast. [thumbup] [thumbup]

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man that is a lot of stuff to read and I just got back from a 7 hour car ride from SC to VA. Can someone give me the cliff notes version.

Edited by LP Trad Pro II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this post is a little old but just putting in my two cents worth. In the past three months I have been looking at J45's and a couple Humming Birds thinking I might get one. Well from the ones I looked at in four different stores the Humming Birds were ok but I couldn't find a new J45 I would take home for the money they want and the QC I saw. I can say the Epiphone DR500MCE I have since 2012 is a lot better built than the 45's I checked out for sure Think I'll just stay with that all though I might go for a Humming Bird yet. Just thought you might want to know that olie Mik B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me from all I’ve read that Gibson’s guitars were not the cause of the BK 11 filing, but all of the other non-guitar acquisitions that Gibson had made. Seems some significant creditors agreed and even gave Gibson’s guitarmakiing a significant line of credit during BK 11 to keep their guitarmaking going during the BK. Now that the BK is over and a new investor owns Gibson, the hope of those in the know all seem to be expressing that Gibson will continue with their high quality standards and keep building on it and American-made status to keep their reputation intact. All of the major guitar magazine reviewers have only spoke highly of Gibson’s guitarmaking for years and years. Plus, everyone in this posting string seems (myself included) seems to be defending Gibson’s quality...and, everyone defending something on this forum is not the norm.

 

I own vintage Gibson’s and Epiphones as well as modern versions as well as Norlin era instruments. The modern day quality is top notch in my book.

 

Just my two cents.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to me from all I’ve read that Gibson’s guitars were not the cause of the BK 11 filing, but all of the other non-guitar acquisitions that Gibson had made. Seems some significant creditors agreed and even gave Gibson’s guitarmakiing a significant line of credit during BK 11 to keep their guitarmaking going during the BK. Now that the BK is over and a new investor owns Gibson, the hope of those in the know all seem to be expressing that Gibson will continue with their high quality standards and keep building on it and American-made status to keep their reputation intact. All of the major guitar magazine reviewers have only spoke highly of Gibson’s guitarmaking for years and years. Plus, everyone in this posting string seems (myself included) seems to be defending Gibson’s quality...and, everyone defending something on this forum is not the norm.

 

I own vintage Gibson’s and Epiphones as well as modern versions as well as Norlin era instruments. The modern day quality is top notch isy book.

 

Just my two cents.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

Agreed. Although the number of models of the same J-45 designation seems, to me, absurd, I have no negative feelings regarding QC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input, Mik. It's curious that you mention the Epiphone -I had the same model as yours but I sold it to a friend after picking up a nice 2014 J-45 as a demo.The Gibson is a better guitar but the Epi was very nice as far as it went. My observation is that the Epi was overbuilt and didn't come close to the resonance and ring of the Gibson - but for the money it was what I needed at the time.Going back to the original thread, I've checked out Gibsons at stores other than the one I mentioned and they seemed perfectly fine.My impression is that a bad apple got through the vetting process. There never was the intent to slag Gibson- I simply was disappointed and wondered if anyone else had had my experience. After playing it for a couple years plus,I'm extremely happy with my '45 and will be keeping it for the rest of my days.

As a side thought ; I just watched TommyE.on Youtube and found his comment on strings very interesting. He says that sometimes he changes string brands because his guitar(s) "gets used to" the ones he has had on it and a change seems to wake the guitar up.I've been trying various makes as I read the reactions by others on this and other sites and find variations that are interesting.Most of the ones I've tried have been quite good -there are so many good manufacturers these days.Not like the old Black Diamond days.Sort of like the Model T; you can get it in any colour you like-as long as it's black.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this post is a little old but just putting in my two cents worth. In the past three months I have been looking at J45's and a couple Humming Birds thinking I might get one. Well from the ones I looked at in four different stores the Humming Birds were ok but I couldn't find a new J45 I would take home for the money they want and the QC I saw. I can say the Epiphone DR500MCE I have since 2012 is a lot better built than the 45's I checked out for sure Think I'll just stay with that all though I might go for a Humming Bird yet. Just thought you might want to know that olie Mik B)

 

Are we talking Guitar Center by any chance?

 

 

 

 

JC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...