Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
dhanners623

A purely aesthetic/ethical question....

Recommended Posts

Love my '16 J-35 but from an aesthetic standpoint, the historically incorrect banner headstock bugs me. Give me the plain black with white silkscreened script logo -- as the original J-35s had -- any day of the week.

 

I looked on the Tubes of the Internets and you can buy Gibson script logo stencils. So I'm wondering: Expense, vanity and common sense aside, are there any ethical considerations with having a repair person refinish the headstock and painting on the script logo?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No ethical considerations necessary if it is made reversible. The banner on the old '44-'45 maple was mostly obliterated long ago in order to do some "custom" fleur-de-lis inlay on the headstock. It's unique, but it's always a bittersweet laugh to wonder what that little mod did to its value. StewMac's Dan E. had a custom faceplate made up when he restored Ryan Adams red white and blue Buck Owens guitar- the video has been removed (most likely) following Ryan's troubles, but perhaps it could give you an idea for some sort of laminate over top of the headstock, if you wanted reversibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know where you are coming from. While the Banner once spoke to a specifc time and place it is now pretty much just a decorative doodad. It is your guitar and you can do anything you like with it. But if it were me I would leave it as is or maybe find somebody who could do a spot on period correct stencil rather than a decal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you contact Dan Erlewine at StewMac, he can help you access your local print shop to create a 'frisket' (stencil) for restoring period correct logos. I went through it with my J50 but decided on the shortcut waterslide decal for now. No ethics involved.

 

My headstock came stripped so I black lacquered it, laid the decal down and sprayed 3 clear lacquer coats over it. You have to look close to see the decal perimeters, so it's OK for now.

 

danerlewine@gmail.com

 

https://www.stewmac....0305_C_20180517

Edited by jedzep

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...yeah, olie, but this is for fun and enjoyment, and first world fun and enjoyment is the best kind. I'm grateful for the roll of the dice that placed me here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quintessential first world dilemma.

 

Thank you for the insightful response. I think I conceded as much when I wrote, "Expense, vanity and common sense aside, are there any ethical considerations...."

 

And given that this is a Gibson forum, and Gibsons ain't cheap, virtually any issue discussed here is "a quintessential First World dilemma."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you contact Dan Erlewine at StewMac, he can help you access your local print shop to create a 'frisket' (stencil) for restoring period correct logos. I went through it with my J50 but decided on the shortcut waterslide decal for now. No ethics involved.

 

My headstock came stripped so I black lacquered it, laid the decal down and sprayed 3 clear lacquer coats over it. You have to look close to see the decal perimeters, so it's OK for now.

 

danerlewine@gmail.com

 

https://www.stewmac....0305_C_20180517

 

I remember watching the video. I also remember the alacrity with which it was taken down....

 

I've scoped out some silkscreen shops in the area, but haven't approached any to get pricing, etc.

 

Here are the stencils I was referring to:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Gibson-SCRIPT-LOGO-STENCIL-1930s-1940s-/332980608326

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you'll look at my avatar, you'll realize I'm the wrong person to answer this question. That particular headstock in my avatar doesn't look anything like the original headstock details of the 1950 J-45 that wears it.

 

I understand your desire to have the parts go together properly. If you can get someone to do a proper job of it, why not? I think (but could be wrong) that I've seen a few J-35 special editions with the "proper" late-30's logo.

 

I only have one modern banner headstock Gibson. Since it's on a 1943 SJ re-issue, it's fine.

 

Like you, I'm not crazy about seeing a banner logo on a guitar where it doesn't belong, but it's sometimes hard to draw the line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you'll look at my avatar, you'll realize I'm the wrong person to answer this question. That particular headstock in my avatar doesn't look anything like the original headstock details of the 1950 J-45 that wears it.

 

I understand your desire to have the parts go together properly. If you can get someone to do a proper job of it, why not? I think (but could be wrong) that I've seen a few J-35 special editions with the "proper" late-30's logo.

 

I only have one modern banner headstock Gibson. Since it's on a 1943 SJ re-issue, it's fine.

 

Like you, I'm not crazy about seeing a banner logo on a guitar where it doesn't belong, but it's sometimes hard to draw the line.

 

I seem to want to recall that Gibson made some special J-35s for Chicago Music Exchange that carried the script logo on the headstock, without the banner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a photo/computer process in my case, but if this Ebay seller already has it done up you're lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love my '16 J-35

 

I guess these will be classics one day, and if that's your goal - keep it original, but I see it more as a tool of the trade, a nice tool of the trade, but a tool - so make it work for you. If the logo is something that gets to you, change it.

 

Someone on the forum chimed in to questions I had posted and replied something like this, 'it's your guitar, you're tool of the trade, over time your DNA will be all over it' - here's a chance to add a little more of your DNA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At my age I know that anything fairly new I acquire will not become a sought after vintage in my lifetime so I wouldn’t worry about it and do what I want. I always liked Nicks J45 with the L5 looking headstock. Just this past year, Gibson had two models that I know of with the flower pot that would not normally have it. A J45 Custom walnut and a L1 F hole.

Go ahead and customize it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always liked Nicks J45 with the L5 looking headstock.

 

 

It's definitely a one-off. Every time I look at it I remember those times, and what we did. Not that I live in the past, mind you. But as I recall, a lot of drugs were involved in that decision, and in the associated fretboard inlays.

 

Gibson had already turned my 1950 sunburst J-45 into a 1968 cherryburst J-45 adj, so there was nothing to be lost.

 

I say go for it.

 

Incidentally, Duluth Dan just posted a photo of his J-35 Vintage in the thread about his decision to buy a Martin Authentic D-28 instead of a vintage SJ. His J-35 has the 1930's headstock logo. Thought I had seen that somewhere.

Edited by j45nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your point of view exactly, and I think you should do it. As far as I can tell from looking at online pictures, Gibson went to the trouble of replicating the shape of the headstock on the new J-35, as compared to the shape of a normal J-45, but then they slapped on the "wrong" logo, one that historically was never on that guitar or headstock shape. I just don't get it. This is one of the many outright stupid, and extremely easily avoidable, mistakes of Gibson in the past. One can always argue, that Gibson can put together any set of features they want, and that it's not supposed to be a vintage replica guitar. However, that's not how 99% of the market sees it, and in my opinion exactly why Gibson in the past so often missed the boat.

 

I see what the new management has done to the line of Les Pauls and I'm hopeful for the future when it comes to these kinds of choices (I'm not much of an electric player, but the new 50's style Les Paul Standard looks super...).

 

Go for it and don't look back. You're just doing what Gibson should have done!

 

Lars

Edited by Lars68

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Gibson offered a J35 with period correct late-1930s bracing and a price tag a couple of thousand less than a Legend guitar, I would not care if they put Porky Pig on the headstock.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than a series of 'beater' guitars over the course of time, one of which I still retain, I own only one 'purchased new'. That's a Guild D-35SB from early 1978. 43 years hence, I still consider it new (until I really think about it) and realize I don't regret anything (decal to pearl for the logo/custom headstock inlay) I did to it within its first couple years. Doubtful to become a classic - although I never considered the matter at the time - and not an instrument netting much financial appreciation from then 'til now - I still enjoy playing it without benefit of remorse. It's a good'n☺ However, my older Gibsons aren't likely to be modified any time soon. At my age, if I were disposed to buy a current production high end Gibson or whatever, it's "let the next guy worry" over any aesthetic mods I'd care to make. That's my attitude and I'm stickin' to it😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your point of view exactly, and I think you should do it. As far as I can tell from looking at online pictures, Gibson went to the trouble of replicating the shape of the headstock on the new J-35, as compared to the shape of a normal J-45, but then they slapped on the "wrong" logo, one that historically was never on that guitar or headstock shape. I just don't get it. This is one of the many outright stupid, and extremely easily avoidable, mistakes of Gibson in the past. One can always argue, that Gibson can put together any set of features they want, and that it's not supposed to be a vintage replica guitar. However, that's not how 99% of the market sees it...

 

The thing is, while 99% of the non-vintage guitar market sees it as you say, 100% of the vintage guitar market sees it otherwise. As potentially counterfeiting or pretending it is presently an authentic vintage guitar or defacing a guitar that could one one day be a valuable vintage guitar if it were left in its original state. While you mention 99% of the market sees it the way you describe, that 1%, I think is likely much more than 1% as seems evident with any issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine or any large vintage guitar show. While it has been said that Gibson for unknown reasons didn’t make something on a guitar exactly period correct like it was on a new guitar, my understanding is that Gibson intentionally does not do so out of respect for the large vintage guitar market that Gibson is very much a part of in terms of reputation and price appreciation of its instruments. In my case I purchase both new and used as well as vintage instruments and appreciate Gibson being an honest manufacturer to play fair and enable its new instruments to be differentiated from the vintage market, even if it takes some expertise to know the difference on reissues. Researching and being able to spot the differences or modifications or authenticity makes it all that much more enjoyable. I and many others commend Gibson for its efforts in respecting and keeping the vintage market pure by paying tribute to it, but also preserving it with new model differences, even if slight. No one else on this particular forum seems to have yet expressed this in this posting string, but that’s not necessarily an indication of many more Gibson enthusiasts and vintage guitar enthusiasts viewing it this way.

 

My vote is let the new J-35 be what it is now and not try to pretend it’s not what it is. Buy a different one with the different headstock if ya want a different headstock is my suggestion. In other words, don’t modify a perfectly good headstock. (Appreciate and respect the instrument it is.).

 

I might add that I have no strong feelings about minor modifications where an original part is retained and can eventually be easily restored to the guitar to revert it back to its original state. But, changing a pickguard or tuners out while retaining the original is a whole lot different than irreversibly modifying a perfectly good headstock.

 

Just my perspective and one shared by many other used and vintage guitar enthusiasts that I thought needed to be shared here.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than a series of 'beater' guitars over the course of time, one of which I still retain, I own only one 'purchased new'. That's a Guild D-35SB from early 1978. 43 years hence, I still consider it new (until I really think about it) and realize I don't regret anything (decal to pearl for the logo/custom headstock inlay)

 

I think of any guitar built after the year I was born as just being a "used" instrument. Guitars built from the 1970 on are "newish" Guilds though were an oasis in a guitar desert in the 1970s. I owned a transitional D25 with the spruce top and arched back and an F50 during the decade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QuestionMark, you make a good point about respecting the vintage market, and make guitars that can not easily be misrepresented by shaddy individuals.

 

With that said, I really have a hard time believing this is the reason Gibson put a Banner logo on a J-35. Also, their most faithful reproduction acoustics, The Legends, don’t have such non-vintage correct features, put there on purpose.

 

In the case of the logo on the J-35s, there are numerous other ways to make it obvious that the guitar is a modern reproduction. There is after all a serial number stamped on the neck block.

 

Also, I don’t think the market value of vintage J-35 would be negatively affected, now or in the future, should Gibson have put the correct logo on the modern version.

 

In my view, Gibson made these weird design choices simply because they where not fully in touch with their own market, and didn’t fully realize how much that very same market valued and loved the company history. To Gibson, it was just an old logo that happened to look good on that particular guitar. That’s how I see it...

 

Lars

Edited by Lars68

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Legends, don’t have such non-vintage correct features, put there on purpose.

 

My J45 Legend has an ink stamp on the neck block that represents the modern day serial number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My J45 Legend has an ink stamp on the neck block that represents the modern day serial number.

 

Exactly, that’s the correct way to do a vintage replica, I think. All important features are there, and it’s easy to distinguish from its vintage counterpart.

 

Lars

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

QuestionMark, you make a good point about respecting the vintage market, and make guitars that can not easily be misrepresented by shaddy individuals.

 

With that said, I really have a hard time believing this is the reason Gibson put a Banner logo on a J-35. Also, their most faithful reproduction acoustics, The Legends, don’t have such non-vintage correct features, put there on purpose.

 

In the case of the logo on the J-35s, there are numerous other ways to make it obvious that the guitar is a modern reproduction. There is after all a serial number stamped on the neck block.

 

Also, I don’t think the market value of vintage J-35 would be negatively affected, now or in the future, should Gibson have put the correct logo on the modern version.

 

In my view, Gibson made these weird design choices simply because they where not fully in touch with their own market, and didn’t fully realize how much that very same market valued and loved the company history. To Gibson, it was just an old logo that happened to look good on that particular guitar. That’s how I see it...

 

Lars

 

But, what’s wrong with putting an old logo on a particular guitar just because it looks good? I have a 1994 Gospel Reissue that has the old Gibson script logo on its headstock. It looks different than the logo on the 1993 Gospel Reissue. Gibson put it on the 1994 version probably because it was their 100th anniversary year and it looked good. Yet, the script logo wasn’t on every 100th anniversary guitar model to my knowledge. It made the model I have distinctive from the 1993 and 1995 Goapel Reissues. And, it looked good. Yet, the 90s Gospel Reissues were different than the 70s Gospels (ie. The 70s models had maple backs while the 90s versions had mahagony backs.). Plus, my ‘94 one has light mahagony wood on its back and sides while every ‘93 and ‘95 one I’ve seen has dark mahogany back and sides. Why? Can’t say, but it sure looks good.

 

My 2015 Chevy Equinox has slightly different taillights than the 2016 model. Why did GM change them? To make the 2016 model distinct from the 2015 model? Cause it looked good? Probably. So? I doubt they did it as you say because they were not in touch with their own market. Likewise, the same likely can’t just be blankety said for changes Gibson did on a particular model or year of a model. Let’s give Gibson as well as GM a bit more credit. Now, whether you personally liked a change or didn’t like a model year or a model change is your right of course. It’s not like Gibson has made a major foul up in their models like Ford did with Edsel, since their Mark series. So they put a different logo on a guitar model. It probably peaked some temporary interest on a model that certainly didn’t represent itself as an exact replica of a prior model. It just used the same model name for marketing purposes. Much like a 2019 Mustang is not the same as a 1965 Mustang, except in vibe and general styling.

 

Just food for thought.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is, while 99% of the non-vintage guitar market sees it as you say, 100% of the vintage guitar market sees it otherwise. As potentially counterfeiting or pretending it is presently an authentic vintage guitar or defacing a guitar that could one one day be a valuable vintage guitar if it were left in its original state. While you mention 99% of the market sees it the way you describe, that 1%, I think is likely much more than 1% as seems evident with any issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine or any large vintage guitar show. While it has been said that Gibson for unknown reasons didn’t make something on a guitar exactly period correct like it was on a new guitar, my understanding is that Gibson intentionally does not do so out of respect for the large vintage guitar market that Gibson is very much a part of in terms of reputation and price appreciation of its instruments. In my case I purchase both new and used as well as vintage instruments and appreciate Gibson being an honest manufacturer to play fair and enable its new instruments to be differentiated from the vintage market, even if it takes some expertise to know the difference on reissues. Researching and being able to spot the differences or modifications or authenticity makes it all that much more enjoyable. I and many others commend Gibson for its efforts in respecting and keeping the vintage market pure by paying tribute to it, but also preserving it with new model differences, even if slight. No one else on this particular forum seems to have yet expressed this in this posting string, but that’s not necessarily an indication of many more Gibson enthusiasts and vintage guitar enthusiasts viewing it this way.

 

My vote is let the new J-35 be what it is now and not try to pretend it’s not what it is. Buy a different one with the different headstock if ya want a different headstock is my suggestion. In other words, don’t modify a perfectly good headstock. (Appreciate and respect the instrument it is.).

 

I might add that I have no strong feelings about minor modifications where an original part is retained and can eventually be easily restored to the guitar to revert it back to its original state. But, changing a pickguard or tuners out while retaining the original is a whole lot different than irreversibly modifying a perfectly good headstock.

 

Just my perspective and one shared by many other used and vintage guitar enthusiasts that I thought needed to be shared here.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

 

Trying to predict what may became a valuable collectible decades from now is a fool's game. We all know that irreversibly altering a guitar may someday impact on its value as a collectible, but we're not buying guitars today in consideration of something that may or may not occur 40 years from now, when many of us will be long gone.

 

I find it impossible to fathom that Gibson would intentionally incorporate details that were historically incorrect with the goal of making sure these cannot be passed off as vintage guitars. Anyone who cannot tell a J-45 Legend from a 1940's banner J-45 has no business investing in vintage guitars. You can just start with the fact that the serial number protocols are entirely different, and move on from there. Thirty seconds with a loupe examining finishes will tell you which one is 70 years old.

 

Could someone skilled do an effective job of turning a new Legend into a counterfeit vintage Banner? Maybe, but the difference in value wouldn't be worth the risk or effort.

 

Gibson can make a guitar with whatever features it wants, whenever they want. They don't have to replicate vintage features if they don't want to, but there are lots of people who buy a J-45 because of its long history. Guitars with correct features from the periods those guitars represent will have appeal to that segment of the market.

 

I bought an L-OO Legend because I wanted the characteristics of the 1930's original, but without all of the problems that most of the vintage ones I looked at came with. Granted, because I bought it used, Gibson didn't make a dime on it. But they also wouldn't have made anything if I had bought a 1937 L-OO instead of a used Legend.

 

Maybe I'm the exception, but I like "modern" guitars with vintage specs. I own a combination of "real" vintage Gibsons and very good modern re-issues, and I like both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yet, the vintage guitar market drove Gibson to make a L-OO Legend. And, the high prices of vintage Gibson L-00s caused Gibson to charge the high price it sold its Gibson L-00 Legend for when it was new and the L-00’ Legend’s resale price will influence Gibson’s future pricing of new L-00s. So, in a way, Gibson will make future money because vintage and used sales prices, as well as what the market will allow, their costs, and their own financial targets. The factor of the used and vintage guitar market should not underestimated. Gibson is vested in both the new and used and vintage market as they all interact on some level that impacts Gibson’s profits and reputation as well as, I would think, their planning on many levels. Gibson’s biggest competitor is in many ways itself in terms of its used and vintage markets and staying competitive and value driven in comparison to those markets...besides its 3rd pary competitors. Which is one of the very cool things about Gibson compared to some of its competitors. The only one in the same league is probably CF Martin and electric Fenders (with maybe Collings joining the same league only without the long history.. And, some would argue Taylor playing catch-up to get into the same resale factor league.)

 

Just more food for thought.

 

QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

Edited by QuestionMark

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...