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Bluesy69

A Sad But True Cutting Corners Tale

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Hi Rabs,

Yeah, I agree the volute is pretty nice. I for one wouldn't mind it...

 

Great info on the headstock break - I am in agreement that something can be made stronger as described. The crack in particular on the guitar I was talking about was in the region around the truss rod cavity - right through that thin cross section you have illustrated. To me I would think this is a difficult thing to fix and make reliable for years to come.

 

Interesting enough, I one time ran into a LP Studio I was interested in on Craigslist - selling for around $550 or something of the sort. I was inspecting it and I noticed the smile-looking crap going on, and I immediately was concerned... The guitar was in good shape overall with frets, finish, electronics, OHSC... What's going on I asked myself. Once you know how thin that wood is around the TR cavity, your first reaction on this deal should be to walk away IMHO.

 

Anyhow, regarding the volute design, which guitars have this incorporated? I know the Modern Double Cut does, but I don't want that guitar - no way haha!

 

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You should have been here back in the old days.. Pre moderation.. It was like the wild west in here.. Imagine one of WildBills threads but with constant swearing and insults and about 15 of those threads all going on at once and you will get some kind of idea. To say you needed think skin to be on here is an understatement.

 

While I do thing this is a much nicer place because of the moderation, it has become somewhat boring over the last few years which is a shame as it really was one of the best guitar hang outs on the net at one point.

 

I don't care about the crazy traffic and the non-stop postings. There are other forums to get that if one chooses to do so. I am a Gibson enthusiast I suppose you might say, and I don't really care for people who come here to trash the name. Not that they are perfect by any means, and they sell expensive guitars, blah, blah... I love Gibson guitars and I like talking about guitar crap here with the members here. I have learned a lot about the lineups, older models, etc. I can get a bit wired up about stuff, but I try to maintain civility and respect... Hey, everyone has a slip up here and there - no one is perfect - but I usually know when I need to keep my trap shut. Like I have said before, I'm not a d1ck in person and I am a pretty rational thinker when a good argument is presented to me - most of the time, haha! I just try to be who I am and speak what I think needs to be said. Again, not always the best at this but it is what it is. Hey, it makes the place a bit more interesting msp_biggrin.gif

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Anyhow, regarding the volute design, which guitars have this incorporated? I know the Modern Double Cut does, but I don't want that guitar - no way haha!

From what I remember it was just on some of the Custom Shop stuff.. They seemed to drop the idea quite quickly.. Probably cos as usual people moaned about it and didn't like it [rolleyes] Its silly.. When you look at that cross section its quite scary.. They should do it cos its better and will make a stronger guitar.. End of. I even think that apex one looks quite nice.

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I use a trussrod that has an alan key for adjustment. It means the hole I drill for that is tiny compared to what Gibson have to do.. I also just to make sure, make the neck heal area as strong as I can.. The stronger the better as long as it doesn't get in the way of playing.

 

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Edited by Rabs

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Regarding a "properly" repaired famous LP headstock "smile" crack - one that is glued and clamped - what's the verdict on this here? Is it a stronger bond than what existed before the break? I'm guessing that this is not the same thing as gluing a couple blocks of wood together to make a 2-piece body, but curious what is said about this. Perhaps this question is more of a "depends on..." (case-by-case/too generic) type which makes this question unfair.

 

In my experience, I had a Gibson that I stripped down and gave it a guitar repair man near me to put a finish on it. It had the smile crack and the glue that was used was certainly hard as rock. This part is an unknown though in all fairness... I received the guitar with the "repaired" headstock crack from the guy I won an auction for it some time back. FYI, I needed some parts from this guitar, and I happened to get an "internet deal" on this. I figured I might as well see if this guitar can be made to play since I had this empty Gibson guitar body just laying around so to speak. Back to the repair, my local luthier was sanding it down to smooth it out a little more and in the process apparently broke the bond that glue made causing the crack to reemerge. He re-glued it again to his liking afterwards... Bottom line, I ended up bailing out on this project with that news, took my guitar home in the state as it arrived sort-of. He convinced me to do this because he didn't want me to have to pay for all the finish work and find out that later on whenever it may be that this perhaps will snap again on me. No harm no foul I suppose... This guy I sent my guitar is no cheat or hack - done good work on re-frets, cut bone nuts, and stuff like this in the past. He repairs a lot of instruments right out of his home for others and has for many years. He would have done what I told him to do - complete the refinish, but he just said quit while you're ahead here. I for one don't do these things - fret and (guitar) nut work - so I have no issues giving my stuff to someone I trust to handle these tasks for me. I don't have the time anymore these days being a dad of 2 little kids and working full-time. Hell, I'm lucky if I can play my guitar at 9pm to practice for my band let alone fine finish work on a guitar... I digress... This experience has lead me to believe that once you get a crack and repair it "properly", you have to be more careful with the guitar from then on out.

 

Here's my story, take it FWIW. Perhaps I should have started a new thread here on this, but we were talking about glue making wood stronger and all that... Just seeing if this is applicable in any way. Just don't know myself since I don't do a lot of woodworking and stuff of the sort. I usually believe someone with the most credible story, haha! msp_biggrin.gif I don't question the experts.

 

i think i mentioned this before. i have a buddy with a 74 lp custom (i think it's a 74) anyhow, he's broken the neck 4 times. one of them is thru-bolted under the fingerboard. the guitar looks like it's been through trench warfare. but it plays great, and sounds awesome. it handles 11 ga strings no prob

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Rabs, I don't know why I haven't picked up one of your guitars... I like the natural wood look that they typically have and I'd love to riff it a bit on one msp_biggrin.gif

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Hi @NighthawkChris

 

I'm pretty new here, but seen some wacky stuff when it comes to people talking about Gibson elsewhere. So essentially, OP made a huge fuss about the maple area under the binding inside the cutaway as shown here

R4kX7qF.jpg

It's almost funny. Oh well, more Gibson guitars for the rest of us. The only frustrating thing is the spread of misinformation. What is a bit sad is that I think they actually did pretty well regarding QC from 2016/2017 to 2019. Either that or I've been stupid lucky with every Gibson I pick up within the last three years.

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Rabs, I don't know why I haven't picked up one of your guitars... I like the natural wood look that they typically have and I'd love to riff it a bit on one msp_biggrin.gif

Cos you are in the wrong country. Or I am I the wrong country maybe :)

 

And yes.. I pride myself on making guitars that look and feel like wood.. Its what people like about them. I get comments like, that guitar looks like my parents coffee table, or this feels like I am playing a log :) I love that.. They also feel played in a bit.. I don't really do ultra shiny like a new car type thing, even though im sure I could if someone really wanted it...

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Excellent post on volutes Rabs.

I'm surprised teak is so far down the list.

 

D1ck Knight always carved a volute.

 

Knightblonderearheadstock.jpg

Edited by jdgm

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Short answer is YES.. A well repaired headstock break is usually stronger...

 

 

 

When you look at a cross section of the headstock and see how little wood there is on the neck heal, you have to wonder why they don't do something about it.. I really liked that Apex volute thing they were showing a couple of years ago.. they should do more of it

KQ7BI2q.jpg

 

Good post. Just for proper perspective though, it is only that thin only at that one (almost) point, and gets thicker immediately in all directions.

 

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Good post. Just for proper perspective though, it is only that thin only at that one (almost) point, and gets thicker immediately in all directions.

Yes, but that's where most of the breaks occur.. It depends on how the guitar is dropped..

 

Also I have to say, I have been playing Gibsons since about 1992, at one point I went a bit mad and had nine different Gibsons :) And I have never ever had a break, I don't even know anyone (in real life) that its happened too. But yet we know its an issue as so many people report it. So I think, they can do something about it, they should. On the other hand, Gibson pride themselves on their history (and so they should), all that amazing music made on them over the last 60 years or so. So they stick to tradition. I get it in one way but not in another.

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Ohh man! I’m so sorry missed out on all the fun! But you guys handled it hilariously.

 

 

Where do these ****tards come from?

 

 

Here is my cyber kick in the nuts for the op, and some other nonsense just because it makes as much sense as the complaint.

 

Glue makes it one piece.

 

4354-AC9-F-1281-4218-A9-B4-66-ED6-DE0892-A.gif

 

 

234-CCE80-E1-E7-478-A-9-A60-E935108-C9-D62.jpg

 

 

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70-D1-E110-CA4-B-4-DB1-887-B-9-CBF02112227.gif

Edited by AngelDeVille

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..........................So they stick to tradition. I get it in one way but not in another.

That pretty well says it all!

But in all fairness to Gibson (and other guitar makers), it is quite apparent to me one of the biggest problems they constantly face (seems more now that ever) is a fickle and totally self absorbed public. Everything they do is met with opposition. And it doesn't help that for some reason people get carried away with their POV on top of it. They think something is stupid if they don't like it. And they don't simply dislike a color, they think it is "hideous". Any attempt at change or innovation is not met with "not for me", it is "horrible management making worthless junk, what were they thinking?????"

 

I'm just glad to see Gibson hanging in there. It ain't easy, despite what all the Monday morning quarterbacks say.

Edited by Wmachine

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That pretty well says it all!

But in all fairness to Gibson (and other guitar makers), it is quite apparent to me one of the biggest problems they constantly face (seems more now that ever) is a fickle and totally self absorbed public. Everything they do is met with opposition. And it doesn't help that for some reason people get carried away with their POV on top of it. They think something is stupid if they don't like it. And they don't simply dislike a color, they think it is "hideous". Any attempt at change or innovation is not met with "not for me", it is "horrible management making worthless junk, what were they thinking?????"

 

I'm just glad to see Gibson hanging in there. It ain't easy, despite what all the Monday morning quarterbacks say.

 

Aren't customers, the ones that pay the bills, the ultimate arbiters of what are good things to attempt to sell? Do we just buy things because they are there, whether we want or like them or not?

 

I do agree that rabid disagreement is bad, but so is blind buying because it says Gibson. Fender. Martin. Whomever.

 

Do I just keep giving Starbucks money after they switch to Folgers?

 

rct

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That pretty well says it all!

But in all fairness to Gibson (and other guitar makers), it is quite apparent to me one of the biggest problems they constantly face (seems more now that ever) is a fickle and totally self absorbed public. Everything they do is met with opposition. And it doesn't help that for some reason people get carried away with their POV on top of it. They think something is stupid if they don't like it. And they don't simply dislike a color, they think it is "hideous". Any attempt at change or innovation is not met with "not for me", it is "horrible management making worthless junk, what were they thinking?????"

 

I'm just glad to see Gibson hanging in there. It ain't easy, despite what all the Monday morning quarterbacks say.

 

Some valid points [thumbup]

 

I think one of the biggest challenges Gibson is facing in today's music climate is that rock n roll is kind of dead right now. And guitar collecting has become more of a practice rather than practicing the guitar, and with the invention of social forums / media it appears people argue more and or pontificate over things that might be completely irrelevant to the gigging guitar player. :unsure:

 

And now more than ever people are buying guitars without playing or seeing them first and the poor instrument gets shipped all over the place in either freezing cold or blazing heat, and thrown around courtesy of the shipping carrier of choice... Wood under tension just doesn't like those environments [biggrin] So any previous set-up (if performed) before shipment, is completely different by the time it gets to the customer.

 

Secondly guys my age reference Gibson legacy products as a benchmark for quality, so anything built by Gibson in the 50's or 60's is superior to anything built in the 70's and 80's and so on and so on and so on. I've read all the stories about longer tenons versus shorter, solid bodies versus two piece / swiss-cheese bodies, two piece versus three piece tops and volutes versus non volutes.... To be honest until guitar forums came around I could care less about those aforementioned features, because if I couldn't make a guitar do what I wanted with my fingers and or amp it was either modified to suit my playing technique or sold or given to a friend.

 

In today's world everyone is an expert [biggrin]

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Yes, but that's where most of the breaks occur.. It depends on how the guitar is dropped..

 

Also I have to say, I have been playing Gibsons since about 1992, at one point I went a bit mad and had nine different Gibsons :) And I have never ever had a break, I don't even know anyone (in real life) that its happened too. But yet we know its an issue as so many people report it. So I think, they can do something about it, they should. On the other hand, Gibson pride themselves on their history (and so they should), all that amazing music made on them over the last 60 years or so. So they stick to tradition. I get it in one way but not in another.

 

I have had a neck crack. In fairness, its not a Gibson. Though it is a mahognany neck and a Gibsonesque design/build. Though only a hairline crack, the string tension was holding it open.

 

My luthier has repaired a lot of broken headstocks. He says that although mahogany is more susceptible to breakage, its fairly easy to repair, whereas maple can be a royal pain in the aisle.

 

After gluing it up (through the truss rod cavity) he asked if I wanted the crack covered and nicely finished. Of course I told him 'no, I don't care'. [flapper]

 

EvVvyFB.jpg

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I think the difficulty Gibson faces is how disperse their customers preferences are. For instance, regarding the volute, I think it would mitigate the rate of headstock repairs. However, I think that a bigger contributing factor is the 17 degree headstock break angle that makes the hedstock cross the body line of the guitar. My personal preference, is that I would be all for a volute, but I'm not too keen on drastically changing the break angle of the headstock. I conjecture, I'm not the only one. However, there seems to be a non-negligible set of customers that would be against introducing a volute. Another example is weight relief. There is a non-negligible group of customers that Gibson loses due to the weight of Les Pauls. When they started weight reliving Les Pauls, people started complaining. The same goes for PCB vs traditional wiring. I believe there are things, like robot tuners where it is clear that the best business strategy is scratch robot tuner (this is coming from a person who actually likes the G-Force tuners). However, there are many instances where there is no clear cut best option, as no matter what they do, they lose non-negligible market share.

 

Just to voice my own personal preferences:

  • Drastically Changing Headstock Angle: No However, I'd be open to changing the headstock break angle slightly.
  • Changing the Headstock shape: No. I want my Gibson guitars to look like Gibson guitars and my PRS guitars to look like PRS guitars. I believe the headstock plays a huge role in making Gibson look like Gibson.
  • Volute: Yes, but it's no deal breaker.
  • Weight Relief: Yes, up to ultra modern weight relief, but not fully chambered like they did in, I think, 2008. This is especially important if they are not handpicking the mahogany pieces for the back of the guitars, like they do, or used to do, with Gibson Custom RI in order to keep the weight of the guitars down. A guitar over 9 lbs or 10 lbs is a huge deal breaker to me. I prefer them to be under 8 lbs, like my LP standard HP (7 lbs 14 oz), but I'm willing to to go over 8 lbs a bit, say around the 8.5 lbs, like my R0/G0 (8.6 lbs), which is actually slightly lighter than my weight relieved LP Standard T (8.7 lbs).
  • PCB wiring: Yes, it allows me to change pickups in 5 min or less, plus the coil tap, out of phase thing are useful and I don't hear a huge difference compared to traditional wiring. According to video I saw from an Amp manufacturer, I believe it was Blackstar, but I'm not 100% certain, PCB only makes a significant difference when if affects the distance between components. However, in the wiring of a guitar, I don't think the distance between components would be drastically different. The drawback is fixing a faulty parts. If you have a bad connection on a PCB, there is a smaller chance that it is fixable, relative to traditional wiring.
  • Push/pull knobs for coil tap and out of phase: Yes
  • DIP switches: Marginal Yes
  • Heel joint access: Yes
  • Robot tuners: Yes, but I believe it is the wrong business decision, because I believe I'm a small minority.
  • Solid finish colors: No, but I don't think it's necessarily a bad decision. I just don't like finishes that hide the grain of the guitar. Although, I really like the specs of the modern/contemporary line that is coming this summer, the finish options are a huge deal breaker to me.
  • Solid vs multi-piece bodies: Indifferent
  • Neck angle: Indifferent
  • Nashville vs ABR-I bridge: Nashville
  • Tektoid vs Nylon nut: Tektoid
  • Adjustable titanium nut: Yes
  • Cryogenic treatment of frets: Soft Yes. It's good thing they're trying new things, but I hope it's not contributing to much to the cost.
  • Thin vs Thicker binding: Thin. It gives a more premium feel, like with their Gibson Custom RI.
  • Taller vs Shorter frets: Taller. I find it slightly more comfortable to play with taller frets. I think this is a big part of PRS's and Fender's playability and comfort claims.
  • Asymmetrical vs Symmetrical neck carve: Asymmetrical
  • nibs vs no-nibs: no-nibs
  • Locking Tuners: Yes
  • Vintage Kluson Deluxe vs Grover tuners: Grover

 

The interesting thing is that, like many of you, I'm excited about the 50's and 60's spec LP standards that is being released this summer. I was originally planning on getting a R9 for my 40th birthday. However, because I already have an R0/G0, I might end up going with a Gibson USA 50's spec Standard instead. Don't get me wrong, there is something about RIs that feel more premium and more precise, and there is no doubt that they are instruments crafted with more precision and attention to detail. However, there are a few things with Gibson USA guitars that modernize a some aspects of LPs that I like and find contribute to comfort, tuning stability, and intonation of the guitar, like the Nashville bridge, the Tektoid nut, the slightly bigger frets, and the rolled fretboard edges.

Edited by pauloqs

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Aren't customers, the ones that pay the bills, the ultimate arbiters of what are good things to attempt to sell? Do we just buy things because they are there, whether we want or like them or not?

 

I do agree that rabid disagreement is bad, but so is blind buying because it says Gibson. Fender. Martin. Whomever.

 

Do I just keep giving Starbucks money after they switch to Folgers?

 

rct

I said nothing contrary to what you're saying and I did not say or imply anything you are asking about. I'm saying that Gibson is not getting intelligent feedback about what to offer. They are literally damned it they do and damned if they don't.

 

 

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I said nothing contrary to what you're saying and I did not say or imply anything you are asking about. I'm saying that Gibson is not getting intelligent feedback about what to offer. They are literally damned it they do and damned if they don't.

 

I agree.

 

rct

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[*]PCB wiring: Yes, it allows me to change pickups in 5 min or less, plus the coil tap, out of phase thing are useful and I don't hear a huge difference compared to traditional wiring. According to video I saw from an Amp manufacturer, I believe it was Blackstar, but I'm not 100% certain, PCB only makes a significant difference when if affects the distance between components. However, in the wiring of a guitar, I don't think the distance between components would be drastically different. The drawback is fixing a faulty parts. If you have a bad connection on a PCB, there is a smaller chance that it is fixable, relative to traditional wiring.

e the Nashville bridge, the Tektoid nut, the slightly bigger frets, and the rolled fretboard edges.

 

We've performed tons of testing on soldered leads versus connectors that address bending beams with strain-gages. And the science proves to us every time soldering provides the best results. Connectors would improve our tact-time on products during assembly processes, but signal stability and durability suffers.

 

But I'm with you on quick-change pickups, because I'm the worst solderer east of Japan..... They call me Mt. McSolder in the lab <_< [thumbup]

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We've performed tons of testing on soldered leads versus connectors that address bending beams with strain-gages. And the science proves to us every time soldering provides the best results. Connectors would improve our tact-time on products during assembly processes, but signal stability and durability suffers.

 

But I'm with you on quick-change pickups, because I'm the worst solderer east of Japan..... They call me Mt. McSolder in the lab dry.gif[thumbup]

 

I'm in the same camp. How big of a difference is there between the two? Myself, I cant tell the difference. Is it a difference that cannot be heard?

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We've performed tons of testing on soldered leads versus connectors that address bending beams with strain-gages. And the science proves to us every time soldering provides the best results. Connectors would improve our tact-time on products during assembly processes, but signal stability and durability suffers.

 

But I'm with you on quick-change pickups, because I'm the worst solderer east of Japan..... They call me Mt. McSolder in the lab <_< [thumbup]

 

That's good to know. Well... its disappointing really, but I'm glad to have the truth is what I mean. Thank you!

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I'm in the same camp. How big of a difference is there between the two? Myself, I cant tell the difference. Is it a difference that cannot be heard?

 

I had a 2009 SG that had the PCB setup and to be honest I couldn't hear a lick of difference from the standard wiring... [confused]

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