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Filbert

I must be the exception to the rule

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I have always wanted a 'proper' Gibson, having only been able to afford Epiphone Les Pauls in my youth so when changes to my work life and moving house happened back in 2015, I suddenly found myself in a position to buy my first genuine Les Paul (and, as it turns out, a whole bunch of other Gibsons, Fenders and Martins [biggrin] ) so I treated myself to a 2015 Les Paul Standard. I have to say, it is one of my favourite guitars but one thing I did do, after buying it (you may say I got this backwards!) was to read some of the contemporary reviews; I was surprised at how much of a slagging off the 2015 range got. I was fortunate enough not to suffer any of the build or QC issues others reported and I quite like the robot tuners (and still do!) so it seemed to me the criticism was maybe slightly overblown.

 

Anyway, step forward a few years and I recently picked this beauty up:

 

post-92045-014269800 1549446725_thumb.jpg

 

A 2019 Les Paul HP and I was blown away by how good it plays and sounds. This month, the latest issue of Guitarist magazine arrived and they reviewed some of the 2019 Gibson Les Paul range (not the HP though)- and they only awarded them 8/10, which again, I found surprising. I really thought Gibson had turned a corner, and judging by the quality of my HP, I figured they really had. Maybe not, it seems?

 

What is the point of this post, you may ask? Not a lot other than to say I consider myself a bit of an out-lier - I really, genuinely like the 2015 Gibson range, having played and owned a Les Paul and SG and I reckon it's because I bought into my Gibsons without really having any preconceptions as to what they 'should' be like so perhaps I was less perturbed by the non-traditional changes than others were. Different strokes for different folks is what I guess I am trying to say! But I still don't get the hate the 2015 range gets; I hope the 2019 range isn't judged the same way in time.

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I was fortunate enough not to suffer any of the build or QC issues others reported and I quite like the robot tuners (and still do!) so it seemed to me the criticism was maybe slightly overblown.

........... I really thought Gibson had turned a corner, and judging by the quality of my HP, I figured they really had. Maybe not, it seems?

 

The criticisms of the 2015 were not build or QC issues. Quite the opposite, actually. Relatively speaking, the 2015 builds were excellent as a whole. Of course that was overshadowed by the general hysteria over the "horrific" features": the LP signature, hologram, robo tuners, and wide neck. The only "real" issue (possibly) was the neck, which is always just a matter of preference.

I cashed in on the consequence of that hysteria and got some incredible deals on some 2015 blowout sales. Every one is outstanding. The necks are fine with me. The tuners are interesting, and no problems yet. I'm prepared to change them, but they'll stay as long as they amuse me. I actually like the distinctive signature, and think it is extremely disrespectful to bash an actual LP signature. I think Gibson did a great thing using it. It really shows you how disrespectful people can be. And how hard it can be for Gibson to try to "please everyone".

You are just one of many since 2015 that have come forward and said "Hey these 2015s are not that bad", even guys that admitted they bought into the hysteria at the time. Of course not.

BTW, one of them I have is a Traditional. It has the largest profile neck Gibson made and with the additional width, it makes a real baseball bat neck. Add that mass to no body weight relief and you have mass that rewards you with incredible sustain. Add the '59 Tribute pups and hand wired pots, and you have a Les Paul at it's best.

 

 

 

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................. the metal and zero fret nut thing,........

 

Should have mentioned that too. Filbert , if you haven't changed the brass nut on your 2015, call/write to Gibson and they will send you a free titanium replacement nut. The brass ones are problematic. Some have preferred a TusQ replacement, but the titaniums are fine with me.TUSQ replacement

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Should have mentioned that too. Filbert , if you haven't changed the brass nut on your 2015, call/write to Gibson and they will send you a free titanium replacement nut. The brass ones are problematic. Some have preferred a TusQ replacement, but the titaniums are fine with me.TUSQ replacement

 

Yes, I did that straightaway when I noticed the brass ones had already developed light wear after only a few months. To be fair, the Gibson Europe chap was brilliant - he mailed titanium replacements for my LP and SG immediately.

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Well congrats on your guitar. I have been in your shoes and approached the guitar world the same way. Although I am not looking any longer for another purchase. Now that finish is very attractive and the flame top is very nice. Good luck jamming on yours.

 

Oh and one more thing, If I am wrong correct me but are you in the UK? There is one thing on my list that I have never owned yet and that is a UK made Marshall Amplifier. Man one of these days I am going to get one. I think the new studio series are made in the UK and they sound pretty good from what I have heard on Youtube.

 

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The big thing about the 2015s was the neck change.. That's what most of us I think had an issue with. Cosmetic changes are one thing but they also no longer felt like Gibsons any more. It was too much at once and they did it across the WHOLE USA line up.

 

So as long as you don't mind the wider necks and or the tuners they are actually good guitars.. I think you can still pick up the odd new one here and there and they are amazing prices because of all the negativity towards them.

 

And as has been said.. The QC on the 2015s from everything I have heard, and what few I saw in real life was spot on.. They seemed more shiny that year.

 

So good on you.. [thumbup]

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yea, Gibson brought innovation to us Luddites who mostly couldn't handle the truth.. We're better now, we took meds and stuff.

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I forgot about the bigger neck and is that when nibs when away for a while?

Yes.. Even though I don't really mind the fret over binding thing.. Much easier to maintain in the long run and no shrinking issues...

 

But those necks.. They were more akin to a classical guitar or something.. Above the 12th fret for me it was almost unplayable (not that normal sizes necks make me play any better ;) )

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My only electric Gibson right now is my BB and it has a much fatter neck that the LP Classic with snot green inlays and LP Pro II I used to have.

Well, yes.. A Classic has a slim 60s neck and the Pro II I think came with both a 60s and 50s option.. So it doesn't surprise me.

 

But the 2015s issue was not so much the thickness of the neck profile, but the wideness of the fretboard... Made a HUGE difference.

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I tried one, a Traditional Sprint (or Spirit or whatever), the build quality was excellent, it played well and it sounded great there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. I ended up buying a 2014 because I didn't like the headstock logo, but if I hadn't found the 14 I probably would have bought it.

 

The only person who has to like it is yourself.

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1549459191[/url]' post='1976232']

The criticisms of the 2015 were not build or QC issues. Quite the opposite, actually. Relatively speaking, the 2015 builds were excellent as a whole. Of course that was overshadowed by the general hysteria over the "horrific" features": the LP signature, hologram, robo tuners, and wide neck. The only "real" issue (possibly) was the neck, which is always just a matter of preference.

I cashed in on the consequence of that hysteria and got some incredible deals on some 2015 blowout sales. Every one is outstanding. The necks are fine with me. The tuners are interesting, and no problems yet. I'm prepared to change them, but they'll stay as long as they amuse me. I actually like the distinctive signature, and think it is extremely disrespectful to bash an actual LP signature. I think Gibson did a great thing using it. It really shows you how disrespectful people can be. And how hard it can be for Gibson to try to "please everyone".

You are just one of many since 2015 that have come forward and said "Hey these 2015s are not that bad", even guys that admitted they bought into the hysteria at the time. Of course not.

BTW, one of them I have is a Traditional. It has the largest profile neck Gibson made and with the additional width, it makes a real baseball bat neck. Add that mass to no body weight relief and you have mass that rewards you with incredible sustain. Add the '59 Tribute pups and hand wired pots, and you have a Les Paul at it's best.

 

Agreed!

 

I could have done without the pho signature and hologram, but otherwise it was a great year! :)

2015fam2.jpg

 

 

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..........They seemed more shiny that year........

Interesting that you say that. As a whole they were indeed more shiny because even the lower end models that normally came without full gloss (faded, satin, etc., whatever they called those finishes) had full gloss finishes. Models like the LP Junior, LP Special, SG Special. Further to the shine, all models had real MOP inlays. And even the lesser models that normally came with a gig bag had the gold anniversary cases in 2015.

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Agreed!

 

I could have done without the pho signature and hologram, but otherwise it was a great year! :)

2015fam2.jpg

 

 

I don't know about you, but I found the SG Special to be a pleasant surprise. With the '61 Zebra pups, it brings something different to the table. Very different from my 2013 standard SG, but very good.

 

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1549546039[/url]' post='1976461']

I don't know about you, but I found the SG Special to be a pleasant surprise. With the '61 Zebra pups, it brings something different to the table. Very different from my 2013 standard SG, but very good.

 

I thought so also. Extreme quality in the 2015 SG Special, a player and a beauty as well. And yes, the '61's are unique. They definitely sound great, and different than the newer '61s in the 2018 Standards. At least to my ears.

BTW, has anyone pulled the chrome covers off the 2018-2019 '61R or '61T pups? Just curious if they are zebra covers or just plain black.

 

 

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Interesting that you say that. As a whole they were indeed more shiny because even the lower end models that normally came without full gloss (faded, satin, etc., whatever they called those finishes) had full gloss finishes. Models like the LP Junior, LP Special, SG Special. Further to the shine, all models had real MOP inlays. And even the lesser models that normally came with a gig bag had the gold anniversary cases in 2015.

There was one other thing about them when they first came out too.. For the pleasure of all of this and the auto tuners there was a 30% price increase that year.. Which is another reason they went down like a led balloon.

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But the 2015s issue was not so much the thickness of the neck profile, but the wideness of the fretboard... Made a HUGE difference.

 

You bet! [thumbup][biggrin]

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Yes -- the issue w/ the '15s has not been the quality of the build, but the bad design choices and bogus features. The adjustable nut is an undesirable, tonally deficient substitute for a properly cut nut. I'm guessing Gibson went to it because a good nut job requires expert handwork (= less profit) and can be a problem in the aftermarket if the owner changes string gauges. It's easier to just adjust the lousy metal nut that get a new one made -- something few can do properly. So it's a compromise design -- a step down for the sake of ease. On the other hand, I don't know why the wider fretboard got so much hate, as it's a small deal, well within the general ballpark, and I like it as much as the traditional width -- maybe more. The robot tuners are great if somehow tuning is difficult for you -- and let's face it, most players do a crap job -- but for a proficient player, they are a terrible joke. Don't people have tuners on their board, or a clip-on? And then there's the Les Paul signature... an insult to Les, and an eyesore. What were they thinking? I don't ming the '15s as I can reverse all of the above (except the signature), but why buy a guitar that is so compromised?

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1550028147[/url]' post='1977350']

Yes -- the issue w/ the '15s has not been the quality of the build, but the bad design choices and bogus features. The adjustable nut is an undesirable, tonally deficient substitute for a properly cut nut. I'm guessing Gibson went to it because a good nut job requires expert handwork (= less profit) and can be a problem in the aftermarket if the owner changes string gauges. It's easier to just adjust the lousy metal nut that get a new one made -- something few can do properly. So it's a compromise design -- a step down for the sake of ease. On the other hand, I don't know why the wider fretboard got so much hate, as it's a small deal, well within the general ballpark, and I like it as much as the traditional width -- maybe more. The robot tuners are great if somehow tuning is difficult for you -- and let's face it, most players do a crap job -- but for a proficient player, they are a terrible joke. Don't people have tuners on their board, or a clip-on? And then there's the Les Paul signature... an insult to Les, and an eyesore. What were they thinking? I don't ming the '15s as I can reverse all of the above (except the signature), but why buy a guitar that is so compromised?

 

I agree! The good thing is, at least I don't see the signature or hologram while I'm playing, lol

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Yes -- the issue w/ the '15s has not been the quality of the build, but the bad design choices and bogus features. The adjustable nut is an undesirable, tonally deficient substitute for a properly cut nut. I'm guessing Gibson went to it because a good nut job requires expert handwork (= less profit) and can be a problem in the aftermarket if the owner changes string gauges. It's easier to just adjust the lousy metal nut that get a new one made -- something few can do properly. So it's a compromise design -- a step down for the sake of ease. On the other hand, I don't know why the wider fretboard got so much hate, as it's a small deal, well within the general ballpark, and I like it as much as the traditional width -- maybe more. The robot tuners are great if somehow tuning is difficult for you -- and let's face it, most players do a crap job -- but for a proficient player, they are a terrible joke. Don't people have tuners on their board, or a clip-on? And then there's the Les Paul signature... an insult to Les, and an eyesore. What were they thinking? I don't ming the '15s as I can reverse all of the above (except the signature), but why buy a guitar that is so compromised?

The adjustable nut may be undesirable to you, but once again, not fact, but preference. Titanium is good for saddles, but not for nuts? It works for me. No problem if you don't like it, but that doesn't make it bad.

And I can't believe your signature comments. An insult to Les? It is one of the last know autographs of Les. So how does that make it an insult. to Les? What is an insult to Les (and Gibson) is your disrespectfully calling it an eyesore. What were they thinking? They were trying to honor Les, and the got met by a ton of small minded people.

I love the signature for exactly what it is.

 

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I fell in love with a 2015 Les paul less in heritage cherry, the body was so damn comfortable being slimmer, and sounded awesome, but as some had mentioned out the wide neck was a big NO for my small hands, i had to let that LP go

Edited by FemmeParallell

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I must say I have the titanium nut on both my 2015 LP Standard and my 2019 LP HP and I love it - I would actually goes as far as saying I prefer the metal zero fret nuts to 'traditional' ones.

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2015 was the toughest year for Gibson in a long time. They almost destroyed the company in one model year. I wonder how much it cost. 10 mil? 100 mil? Looking back at it, it seems like a personal tragedy played out before our eyes. A guy destroying himself and his iconic US company, ruining his legacy because he just didn't respect his limitations.

 

Other than that, it was a pretty good year.

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