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Filbert

I must be the exception to the rule

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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.

 

I've heard this repeated in various forms countless times. Yet I've never seen a shred of evidence as to the truth of it. Quite the opposite, actually. This is more of the hysteria that came with the 2015s. The hysteria was far worse than anything that actually happened.

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I've owned Gibsons of many varieties & Years. Starting with a mid. 50's LP Jr., 1959 ES345 PAFS & many others over the years. Still have a few...

 

For many years I was just a Player & didn't know much about Guitars other than I liked the way it looked, sounded & seemed to be well put together. I know how to do a lot with Guitars now besides playing & have a bit more knowledge. I haven't built one yet but am thinking about it....

 

Having started with 2 Gibsons that were about the best examples of Guitars you could have I believe I know what a good GibsonElectric should sound like & how well they should be constructed. I may not have realized it at the. Times. Neither are still with me... Unfortunately...

 

I used to work in Guitar Music Stores for a few years & have seen & played a lot of Guitars...

 

Those first 2 Guitars were the luck f the draw.... Lucky for me... Since then I've had some good ones & some not so good ones... The years don't matter.. They're made by humans & some are better than others, Guitars I mean...

 

These days buying new is a much better experience with generous 45 day Return & Exchange Policies... Plus, Gibson has the best Warranty & Warranty Repair Service in the Business. I've used them several times & they always do a great job for me...

 

Congrats on your Guitar... Sounds like you got Lucky too!

 

L

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I don't think owning and liking a 2015 model makes you an exception.

 

Like any product or service when you sell it to a customer and they are satisfied you don't hear anything from them. People expect to be satisfied with what they purchase.

 

But when you sell something and the customer is not satisfied you are going to hear about it. They complain loudly and call the Better Business Bureau and hire a lawyer to come after you.

 

In the case of the 2015 Les Paul I believe most of the haters never bought one. The traditionalists on this forum and others didn't like the idea of the robot tuners, wider neck, hologram etc and bashed it. But they never bought one and played it. You and many others like you who did not read the forums and did not have a prejudice against that year's model just tried it, liked it, and bought it.

 

Gibson did realize the brass nut was too soft and sent titanium nuts to anyone who had a 2015 and wanted a change. The wider fingerboard disappeared the following model year.

 

Your guitar may someday become highly collectible and command a high price due to the rare (one year only) wider board [scared]

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I have seen and held a few 2015's that I actually liked, but I was never in a position to pull the trigger on them.

 

OP, your Les Paul HP is beautiful!

 

I really love that transparent turquoise finish, fading into crystal white-silver (okay, Sea Foam Fade).

It's a striking look, and the contrast between the vividly-finished maple top and the gorgeous mahogany sides and back is really lovely.

 

I have read some really good things about the electronics on that beastie as well.

 

Two thumbs up!

 

[thumbup] [thumbup]

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I have seen and held a few 2015's that I actually liked, but I was never in a position to pull the trigger on them.

 

OP, your Les Paul HP is beautiful!

 

I really love that transparent turquoise finish, fading into crystal white-silver (okay, Sea Foam Fade).

It's a striking look, and the contrast between the vividly-finished maple top and the gorgeous mahogany sides and back is really lovely.

 

I have read some really good things about the electronics on that beastie as well.

 

Two thumbs up!

 

[thumbup] [thumbup]

 

Agree, I have my 2015 LP in the more 'traditional' burst-type colour but I wanted to go for something different with my 2019 one. I really like both the Blueberry and Seafoam colours so it was a toss-up for me which one to go for.

 

As for sounds, again, the push/pull pots and dip switches do divide opinion but I love the granularity it can add to getting the right tone. I have owned and played 5 LPs and SGs in the past 4 years and from personal experience and the setup i have at home, I know that humbuckers can have a tendency to get quite brassy and piercing in the higher pitch note range but my 2019 is a wonderful exception. On my other guitars, I almost always have to roll down the treble and I very rarely play on the bridge pickup - it's almost always middle switch position or neck pickup - but with the 2019, I barely have to do that at all; it's not harsh at all and has a wonderful bass response and sustain. Overall, just a really nice package.

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Agree, I have my 2015 LP in the more 'traditional' burst-type colour but I wanted to go for something different with my 2019 one. I really like both the Blueberry and Seafoam colours so it was a toss-up for me which one to go for.

 

As for sounds, again, the push/pull pots and dip switches do divide opinion but I love the granularity it can add to getting the right tone. I have owned and played 5 LPs and SGs in the past 4 years and from personal experience and the setup i have at home, I know that humbuckers can have a tendency to get quite brassy and piercing in the higher pitch note range but my 2019 is a wonderful exception. On my other guitars, I almost always have to roll down the treble and I very rarely play on the bridge pickup - it's almost always middle switch position or neck pickup - but with the 2019, I barely have to do that at all; it's not harsh at all and has a wonderful bass response and sustain. Overall, just a really nice package.

 

I'm flip-flopped with you re color, but both with 2015s. My Ocean Blue Traditional is typical 2015 2015 Traditional, the other is a Heritage Cherry Traditional Pro 3T 2015 Trad Pro 3T much more like your 2019. Has the regular headstock, slim '60s taper neck, Tektoid nut, locking Grovers, coil split, coil select, boost, Classic '57 A3s,

Both 2015 Traditionals, but about as different as could possibly be.

 

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In the case of the 2015 Les Paul I believe most of the haters never bought one. The traditionalists on this forum and others didn't like the idea of the robot tuners, wider neck, hologram etc and bashed it. But they never bought one and played it. You and many others like you who did not read the forums and did not have a prejudice against that year's model just tried it, liked it, and bought it.

 

That's certainly fair enough. At the same time, calling somebody a hater 'cause Gibson did some stupid stuff and nobody liked it is probably not quite correct. Lets see. First, they got in trouble for illegal ebony use and spent two or three years putting out guitars with wet fretboards. Then people started having problems with fretboard shrinkage and bad binding and fretwork and people started catching their strings in the fretboard gaps on these shrunken fretboards. So they decided to make a wider neck, so nobody would pull their strings into the ditch along the binding, no matter how much the fretboards shrunk. That's called "the tail wagging the dog." Who makes a wider neck on their guitars because they were having QC problems with people catching strings? And I almost forgot, that's when they eliminated nibs and went to fret-over-binding to try to eliminate the "string catching". Tail wagging the dog because of bad quality control. At the same time, they made the robot tuner. It didn't work satisfactorily. They had to use the metal nut because of the robot tuners. The tail wagging the dog still. Nuts were no good, tuners were no good, fret over binding was no good, wide fretboards are not preferable, and they decided to apply these "improvements" across the entire line instead of making them optional. Mistake on top of mistake on top of mistake. Tail wagging the dog. That about sums it up.

 

Henry got caught with his pants down and he couldn't deal with it, and that drove him to make a bunch of bad decisions while he was trying to save his own face.

 

Don't take my word for it. The whole story is out there in public. [thumbup]

Edited by badbluesplayer

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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.

 

Hi Filbert,

Glad you like your guitars. I was sort of like you in the fact that I bought a 2015 LP Custom with the abhorred Richlite fingerboard. I actually tried the guitar out and I really liked the way it played - aside from the setup that came with it (or lack there of). I knew what I was getting into and that when I pulled the trigger on it and decided to keep it after the return window closed I wouldn't be able to look back - and I'd take a pretty big hit on resale value just because the fretboard doesn't have real wood on it. But I never buy guitars to think about selling them. To be honest, I have never sold any of my Gibsons and never plan to unless I absolutely have to. But the fact is that MY guitar is extremely beautiful looking, I like the way it plays, sounds, etc. I am not an exclusive collector/dealer, and I wanted to splurge on a more non-traditional guitar, because I play hard rock/metal with my band. Of course this guitar can pull off blues and classic rock stuff just fine, but in the end, I am the one who plays this guitar and makes the final call. BTW, it looks identical to the LP Custom 68 RI with the exceptions of:

 

  • speed knobs instead of witch hats (no vintage pointers either)
  • pickups are 498T/490R instead of 57 Classics
  • neck tenon is short
  • and of course, fretboard is Richlite

So the last 2 points - especially the last point - are the most stigmatizing among the traditional Gibson connoisseur, and I have read on multiple forums and such that Richlite on an expensive LP Custom is a huge no-no. I decided to see for myself, I have had my short tenon Richlite LP Custom since Oct of 2017, and I haven't regretted it one bit. I play it nearly every day to where I have the gold HW faded on the bridge and pickup covers, and when I compare it to my other LPs (Standard and Classic), I cannot really tell that I am playing on a Richlite fingerboard. I never think about what my fretboard material is on any guitar I am using when I play songs, and no one stops me in the middle of one to say, "Hey, your Richlite is stinking up the joint over here!" They tell me that of my playing, haha! So when you are in the market for a guitar and you find one you like, go for it. Not saying that researching is unnecessary, but opinions of what's out there are just that. If you can play your 2015 Gibson USA and it inspires you to play more, then that's what it is all about.

 

And I am not here to persuade anyone that Richlite is superior or inferior or neck tenons should be long, etc. because that's the traditional construction or I'm getting ripped off paying LP Custom money for fake wood or defending GIbson's choices to do what they did to the 2015 lineup... These are old debates that have been going on for quite some time and I have no interest to involve myself in - because again, more people will definitely speak negatively about my guitar than positive. I'm here because I have played long enough to say that if you have a guitar in your hands that inspires you to play music, who cares what others think about YOUR guitar.

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That's certainly fair enough. At the same time, calling somebody a hater 'cause Gibson did some stupid stuff and nobody liked it is probably not quite correct. Lets see. First, they got in trouble for illegal ebony use and spent two or three years putting out guitars with wet fretboards. Then people started having problems with fretboard shrinkage and bad binding and fretwork and people started catching their strings in the fretboard gaps on these shrunken fretboards. So they decided to make a wider neck, so nobody would pull their strings into the ditch along the binding, no matter how much the fretboards shrunk. That's called "the tail wagging the dog." Who makes a wider neck on their guitars because they were having QC problems with people catching strings? And I almost forgot, that's when they eliminated nibs and went to fret-over-binding to try to eliminate the "string catching". Tail wagging the dog because of bad quality control. At the same time, they made the robot tuner. It didn't work satisfactorily. They had to use the metal nut because of the robot tuners. The tail wagging the dog still. Nuts were no good, tuners were no good, fret over binding was no good, wide fretboards are not preferable, and they decided to apply these "improvements" across the entire line instead of making them optional. Mistake on top of mistake on top of mistake. Tail wagging the dog. That about sums it up.

 

Henry got caught with his pants down and he couldn't deal with it, and that drove him to make a bunch of bad decisions while he was trying to save his own face.

 

Don't take my word for it. The whole story is out there in public. [thumbup]

Yeah we don't really have many "haters" on here.. Apart from maybe Donny, he really did hate it and if you remember got banned for it. I seem to remember he somehow found out Jim DeColas email address and sent him what I can only imagine was quite a harsh and insulting mail.. And actually just out of interest I just went and looked at the original 2015 post. Not much hate going on there at all. They even deleted ALL of Donnies posts so most of it is gone anyway.

 

I do remember however the internet kind of exploded on the 2015 models.. But most of that wanst happening on here.

 

As you suggested though.. The biggest issue that year was that they decided to do it across the WHOLE line thus giving us no choice that year if you wanted a new 2015... You either had to buy an older model. second hand or wait till the following year. And then there was the 30% price increase just to make it all even worse.

 

It wasn't cool..

 

Also I have to point out to the poster above you that most of us DID absolutely try one out. I did and what I thought would happen did. The guitar itself was lovely (a tobacco burst DC), but the neck wasn't Gibson. It was more akin to a classical guitar or an Ibanez type profile, past the 12th fret it was almost unplayable to me.. One of the reasons I love Gibsons is the neck profile, and for me its the 60s neck. So the 2015s were just a no go from that point of view for me. I don't hate them though. They are just like any other guitar that's not for me. I don't like 50s necks either. Doesn't mean I hate every guitar that doesn't suit my exact taste.

 

Live and let live.. I have said it before but if we all liked and wanted the same things life would be really boring and we would have nothing to talk about on here :)

Edited by Rabs

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The wider fingerboard disappeared the following model year.

 

 

It was reduced the following year (by.050" If I recall right). The HP models still had wider necks though.

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i like the color. my first guitar in 1977 was a les paul standard. at the time i thought it was nice but too heavy, i sold it and got a Hamer steve stevens from tom johnston of the doobie brothers, i still have that one! enjoy the new axe!

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