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Rant About Gibson Bashing


drathbun
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I have alternately praised and criticised Gibson based on my opinion of their qualities and/or deficiencies, all filtered through my own subjective analysis of preferences and observations. I like to think I'm open-minded enough to not be trapped by group-think or brand fanaticism. There are some business practices of Gibson that I have thought were totally ridiculous and there are products they have produced of which I am absolutely in awe (read: my 2012 SJ200 Golden Age).

 

What I cannot understand for the life of me, is this penchant of some YouTuber "guitar techs" (I put the term in parentheses because many as just hacks) to spend entire videos ranting about quality-control issues with Gibson guitars. This particular video I'm posting here is a case in point. This guy, and most, if not all, of the people commenting, speak about Gibson in platitudes that sound more like the kvetching of those who are pissed off they don't own a Gibson, never played a Gibson, or just like to jump on Gibson bashing bandwagons.

 

The guitar in question is a Bozeman made Bob Dylan players edition. I've played one of these models and they are incredibly fine instruments. Dave, the tech dude, says it is brand-new but has issues. There are sharp fret ends, a wire from the Baggs pickup that rattles when you vigorously shake it and a not visible on camera "blush" in the finish. He also complains that the guitar isn't set-up. He questions whether the Baggs Anthem pickup system was installed at the factory and calls the people in Bozeman "**** waffles".

 

Dave secured the wire, buffed out the "blush" with Final Touch swirl remover, set up the guitar and dressed the fret ends. All through this basic setup, Dave bashed Gibson for producing a $6000 guitar that has these kinds of issues. At the end of the video, he calls Gibson "****-heads" even though he claims this is "retail fail". I swear it makes my blood boil.

 

1. He admits the fret ends could be a "store issue" but continues to bash Gibson for it. Later on, he claims the issues are "retail fail". He says the "cowboy end" frets are fine and it is just two or three frets in the 12 fret range of the neck.

2. He complains about the action being high but admits "they do this because you can always lower it... they sorta leave it up to the other end" - in other words, a personal setup preference. But then he says it is "out of spec" and changes the action 1/64 on the upper and lower strings and the relief by 1/1000 of an inch.

3. He claims that "somebody" (implying a Gibson worker), tried to buff a tiny little mark out of the surface but "didn't do their best".

4. He describes the "case candy" in derogatory ways and calls the guitar "unbelievably expensive".

 

What is with these basement shop idiots who think they can build themselves up by bashing brand names? I've seen rants like these against Rickenbacker as well.

 

Also, what kind of idiot takes his brand-new, under warranty, $6000 Gibson acoustic to "Dave's World of Fun Stuff" to have these "issues" resolved? Seems to me, someone brought their new guitar to a "friend" for a setup and Dave made a video RANT to drum up Patreon subscribers, video views and more tech business.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyr0tFsU9YQ

 

I reviewed a few of Dave's videos on guitar repair. All I can say is if you are thinking of having Dave work on your guitar RUN!!!!

 

- He bashes Rickenbacker because he promised the owner of a Rick 12 that he could reverse the string order. Seriously? And he cuts a ridiculously tall nut for it with impossible string spacing.

- He brings in a Martin acoustic that is "dirty, and needs a truss rod adjustment". He can't find the proper Martin truss rod wrench and so he goes at it with a short-handled Allen wrench and gets leverage by using a freakin' CRESCENT WRENCH on the end of the Allen wrench. OMG!

- He brings in an under warranty Taylor acoustic with action that is too high. So he changes the strings, and goes to adjust the truss rod by getting an Allen wrench and feeling around inside the sound hole. Then says, "Oh yeah, this is a Taylor!" and takes the truss rod cover off.

 

All the time he's polishing the frets on the Taylor, he is bashing the company complaining that he had called them and asked for the neck shims and they told him that a Taylor certified tech needed to make those kinds of adjustments. During his Taylor rant, he claims that Taylor only gives a 10-year warranty. Of course, Taylor gives a lifetime warranty that isn't transferable.

 

This reminds me of another YouTube guitar tech cowboy who broke the side of a J45 while he was steaming the neck off for a neck reset and blamed it on Gibson.

 

This makes me wonder how many thousands of people are ripped off by cowboys like this doing their own horrible repairs in their basements.

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Drathrun-sounds like the guitar tech is one of those who takes a “you can fool some of the people some of the time” approach with b.s. talking and put downs, blaming. Not somebody I’d give my guitars to...

 

Keeping in mind, the flip side of his approach is “you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

 

Interesting post. Says more about some people than about guitars. A nice change of pace posting string.

 

QM aka Jazzman Jeff

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What is with these basement shop idiots who think they can build themselves up by bashing brand names? I've seen rants like these against Rickenbacker as well.

Agree - just no sense of balance there. Some people on the Tube do it with music/albums too.

 

Reminds me of the old saying, don't know if you English-speakers know it.

 

Mouse and elephant out walking together cross a wooden bridge. Mouse boldly states : Hey listen how we 2 rumble. .

Edited by E-minor7
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I don't know why the guy in the video is complaining. If there really are that many horrible new Gibsons out there should be backlogged with Gibsons that need tons of work and he should be a rich man by now. If that really was the case though he'd probably be way to busy to take the time to film and edit a video complaining about Gibsons.

 

Obviously I am a Gibson fan. I also like Martins and I've had "issues" with both new models from each company, usually minor. With the Gibsons it's been the "flubber" pickguards they put in the J45 Standards. I've had two that have peeled off, but both times Gibson has come through and covered sending me new ones under warranty. Also bought an SG that had a cracked tenon cover and cracked pickup surround. Again, Gibson came through and send me replacement parts free of charge. I had a Martin that was less than three years old that Martin even admitted needed a neck reset, but they wouldn't cover it and instead only authorized that the bridge be shaved down by an authorized Martin repair shop.

 

But with all that said, I do tend to agree that I've come across more new Gibsons in stores that have HORRIBLE factory set-ups compared to Martins, that seem more consistent. Of course the setups will be a tad on the high side because everyone has different specs that they prefer, and it's MUCH easier to lower action and nut slots than it is to raise them, but man, Gibson for the life of them just cannot seem to cut nut slots properly. They really do have horrible factory setups.

Edited by sbpark
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It never occurred to me that a brand-new guitar would NOT need a set-up. Even when I buy a used guitar, the first thing that happens (well, maybe the second or third) is that it goes off to my guy to be set up the way I like it. He's better at it than I am, even though I'm the guy playing it.

 

Do you drive your new car without adjusting the seat and steering wheel to suit you? It's just that the guitar set-up is a little more complex than pushing the seat button in a car. It still needs to be done, in most cases. That doesn't bother me one bit.

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My experience with Gibson has been very positive and I would never let other people make up my mind for me.

 

Too many people expect “perfection” from something factory made ... I don’t and never have.

Even car manufacturers fail at building cars sometimes ... Does that make them a terrible brand? No!!

 

 

It’s been said on this forum that in the 60’s gibson stamped a #2 on a bunch of guitars which they considered to have minor flaws and were sold at 10% discount.

Now I guess that doesn’t exist because you can get a discount direct from a dealer.

 

Either way I think people tend to over romanticize their notion of “vintage quality control”

 

I support the Bozeman product ... Because it does what I need it to do.

 

 

I’d rather a Gibson than anything else.

 

JC

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I don’t understand....

 

Why is this guy doing unauthorised Gibson repair? Warranties null and void.

 

High action and sharp frets are possibly humidity related and need a month or so of settling with a humidity control system, then check frets and action.

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

Agreed.

 

(edit - There was a fret down around 15th that he showed that did appear to have a bit of an unfinished edge on the top of the bevel.)

Edited by PatriotsBiker
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I have 3 Gibsons that I bought off the internet...1 j45 rosewood and 2 j45 mahogany. Each one got an immediate setup from a qualified luthier. I have to say that I've been extremely satisfied with each of them. Date of manufacture runs 2002, 2008, and 2014. Maybe I am just lucky....or maybe this guy is just a Gibson basher.

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I have 3 Gibsons that I bought off the internet...1 j45 rosewood and 2 j45 mahogany. Each one got an immediate setup from a qualified luthier. I have to say that I've been extremely satisfied with each of them. Date of manufacture runs 2002, 2008, and 2014. Maybe I am just lucky....or maybe this guy is just a Gibson basher.

 

People who throw the F-word around on the internet do not merit my spending any time on their other words.

(I guess the owner of the youtube agreed - it doesn't look like it's available anymore.)

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People who throw the F-word around on the internet do not merit my spending any time on their other words.

(I guess the owner of the youtube agreed - it doesn't look like it's available anymore.)

I think, somehow, the embedded link is the only thing that was disabled. If one copy and pastes the URL, it's viewable on Youtube.

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The last new Martin I purchased back in 2009 had a number of sharp fret ends down near the nut. This should have been easy for someone along the production line to spot. I noticed it immediately, but wanted that particular guitar & took care of it myself.

 

Maybe a worker just happens to be having an off day, and things get missed. We're talking about factories with a number of employees & turnover - not a one or two man shop with people on the floor named D'Angelico & D'Aquisto.

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There is one little thing that I've wondered about regarding the action spec and the inspection sheet they give us. I got an SJ-200 and a 'bird this year. Both had these little inspection sheets. Both have string height of 5/64th on the low-e and even less on the high-E written on them. Both of my guitars were almost 8/64th. The high end, but easier to take off that add. I'm cool with that. Not a defect. However, I do get the feeling that both of these sheets were more or less some type of rubber-stamp act. I find that kind of thing counter-productive to instilling good vibes to the customer.

 

That aside, I'm very happy with my good Gibsons. Even if the overall quality numbers are as bad as haters say, well, whatever. Sorry? I guess a few dozen of us here got lucky.

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There is one little thing that I've wondered about regarding the action spec and the inspection sheet they give us. I got an SJ-200 and a 'bird this year. Both had these little inspection sheets. Both have string height of 5/64th on the low-e and even less on the high-E written on them. Both of my guitars were almost 8/64th. The high end, but easier to take off that add. I'm cool with that. Not a defect. However, I do get the feeling that both of these sheets were more or less some type of rubber-stamp act.

 

Maybe, but it's equally likely that in the 40% (or so) humidity environment of the Bozeman plant, that was indeed the action height when the guitar was ready to leave the factory. String height is astonishingly sensitive to ambient humidity, and guitars are organic beings.

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I find Gibson bashing (Martin bashing, etc.) to be on the funny side of life. I've yet to find a smear of glue inside of a guitar I like that has made me not like the guitar any more. I like lots of guitars and Gibsons are easily my favorites, although Martins and even cheap Yamahas rate highly with me. I just don't care if someone is complaining about the finish being too thin or the lacquer is too thick or there are a couple splinters on the braces........Haven't ever played one of the Dylan models mentioned. I suspect it's one-hell-of-a-guitar, but I just don't think any guitar I plan on using as a gigging guitar to be worth some $6000. If I stumbled-upon one of these Dylan guitars for 2500 or so, I'd jump on it, but beyond that, it's too much money. I'm not a collector and it's not likely any of my guitars are ever going to be worth more than I paid for them. I'm just a guy who plays his guitars at gigs.

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Maybe, but it's equally likely that in the 40% (or so) humidity environment of the Bozeman plant, that was indeed the action height when the guitar was ready to leave the factory. String height is astonishingly sensitive to ambient humidity, and guitars are organic beings.

Good point. Never thought of that. The SJ is a late November build, and the 'Bird is winter.

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Dave's World o' Fun rocks. C'mon who gives a fig what this clown or anyone else thinks about this or that guitar. It s all just self-aggrandizement - the I am the expert trying to save you poor stooges from being parted with your hard earned scratch on some crappily-built guitar. The biggest problem both Gibson and Martin have when it comes to separating you from your money is having to compete with their own back catalogs. Thus we have a plethora of "Reimagined", "Authentic," "True Vintage," Truer Vintage" and so it goes and so it goes.

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Dave's World o' Fun rocks. C'mon who gives a fig what this clown or anyone else thinks about this or that guitar. It s all just self-aggrandizement - the I am the expert trying to save you poor stooges from being parted with your hard earned scratch on some crappily-built guitar. The biggest problem both Gibson and Martin have when it comes to separating you from your money is having to compete with their own back catalogs. Thus we have a plethora of "Reimagined", "Authentic," "True Vintage," Truer Vintage" and so it goes and so it goes.

 

Which, of course, is not a problem if you only buy Real Vintage !

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My experience with Gibson has been very positive and I would never let other people make up my mind for me.

 

Too many people expect “perfection” from something factory made ... I don’t and never have.

Even car manufacturers fail at building cars sometimes ... Does that make them a terrible brand? No!!

 

 

It’s been said on this forum that in the 60’s gibson stamped a #2 on a bunch of guitars which they considered to have minor flaws and were sold at 10% discount.

Now I guess that doesn’t exist because you can get a discount direct from a dealer.

 

Either way I think people tend to over romanticize their notion of “vintage quality control”

 

I support the Bozeman product ... Because it does what I need it to do.

 

 

I’d rather a Gibson than anything else.

 

JC

 

The "vintage quality control" thing is one thing that is not romanticized. By the late 1940s, Gibsons were inspected by the craftsman doing the work followed by the line leader, the foreman, the official designated inspector, roving inspectors, spot inspections, and two final inspections after a guitar was finished. It all came crashing down in the mid-1960s when it was determined to be too time consuming.

 

I am not saying Bozeman is not as careful. The vast majority of guitars I have had in my hands exhibited a top notch build quality. What is romanticized is the "hand built" thing. If you think about, going into the 1970s the most hand built guitar in America was not a Gibson or a Martin but Harmony. These guys were building guitars with the same tools, dies, techniques, and belt-driven machinery they had been using in the 1890s. The truly sad part is that when Harmony, in a last ditch effort to save the company, came out with the Opus line in the early 1970s which rivaled anything Martin was building and, in fact, were better designed and more carefully built than what Gibson was offering, it crashed and burned as their reputation for el cheapo guitars was so firmly established nobody was willing to cough up the asking price.

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You’re all missing the guys sense of humour

 

That’s his whole schtick

The grumpy guitar guy

 

I think his little videos are great fun

 

Take him with a pinch of salt and you’ll hear that he doesn’t really say any more bad than he does good about the guitar

 

AND all his points are correct. Pickup wires should have been put in properly. Fret ends shouldn’t be sticking out and the guitar is very expensive

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The "vintage quality control" thing is one thing that is not romanticized. By the late 1940s, Gibsons were inspected by the craftsman doing the work followed by the line leader, the foreman, the official designated inspector, roving inspectors, spot inspections, and two final inspections after a guitar was finished. It all came crashing down in the mid-1960s when it was determined to be too time consuming.

 

I am not saying Bozeman is not as careful. The vast majority of guitars I have had in my hands exhibited a top notch build quality. What is romanticized is the "hand built" thing. If you think about, going into the 1970s the most hand built guitar in America was not a Gibson or a Martin but Harmony. These guys were building guitars with the same tools, dies, techniques, and belt-driven machinery they had been using in the 1890s. The truly sad part is that when Harmony, in a last ditch effort to save the company, came out with the Opus line in the early 1970s which rivaled anything Martin was building and, in fact, were better designed and more carefully built than what Gibson was offering, it crashed and burned as their reputation for el cheapo guitars was so firmly established nobody was willing to cough up the asking price.

 

ZW,

 

I meant it from the Gibson Basher’s POV .

Many of these guys have probably never owned a Gibson from any era.

So if they see a bit of orange peel or a drop of glue inside their guitar they just say it’s poor quality and not “on par” with the old stuff [Even though we know some old gibsons can have a ton of glue on the inside]

 

I see people saying Gibson USA sucks all the time.

I played 2 left handed Gibson USA les pauls a few years ago at NAMM and they seemed flawless to me ... 🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️🤷🏼‍♂️

 

 

Being left handed it’s hard to find good quality instruments ... Gibson has surely delivered that for me ... time and time again!

 

The only reason I will have to stop buying Gibsons in a year or two is because I can’t keep up w/the prices but I have never felt I got less value than what I paid for a Gibson.

 

I’m not a fan boy ... just a guy who feels he has been taken care of by Gibson

 

 

 

 

JC

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