Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Amazing line-up - the new Gibson historic collection..


Lars68
 Share

Recommended Posts

It is an impressive line-up, particularly the Historics. There has long been a parallel in the electric divisions, where you could (can?) buy everything from "stock" modern standard versions to historic re-issues of guitars such as the ES-335.

Because of their substantially higher prices, the original/historics will probably be small runs compared to "standard" versions, but they give people like me an incentive to buy new rather than vintage in some cases.

I love vintage guitars, but sometimes they are out of reach price-wise. Examples would be the rosewood-bodied SJ banner like the one Tom Barnwell has, or a vintage herringbone D-28. Historic re-issues get you as close as possible to the original at a fraction of the cost. The torrefaction process may get you even closer when it comes to tonewood character.

That works for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was skeptical when Gibson announced hiring a CEO from LEVIS in San Francisco,  but this is  a master stroke !   Building on their heritage (brand recognition) won't require they build and sell sell hundreds of thousands of these Historic Collection guitars every year -  this just shows they have the commitment and expertise to produce the best quality acoustics  at the best price (IE "VALUE") of any maker.  Wish I were younger and richer.  

Edited by fortyearspickn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, fortyearspickn said:

  Wish I were younger and richer.  

 

Wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that !

I'm getting comfortable with this old age. I get away with being grouchy, forgetful, biased, crazy.

There are a few disadvantages...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gibson seems to be taking the same approach in the electric division, with standard versions plus historic re-issues. As with the acoustics, the historics are considerably more expensive, but not quite as expensive as the previous Historic models that came out of the Custom, Art, and Historic shop.

This would appear to be consistent with the approach taken in the acoustic division, where the new Historics are cheaper than the Legend series (and do not have a few of their specs, such as all hide glue construction), but a lot more expensive than "standards."

Realistically, it shouldn't cost much more to produce the Historic versions. There may be a few more hours in them, and torrefied woods such as red spruce add slightly to the cost compared to a standard version. Maybe wood selection is a little more thoughtful, but the wood Gibson uses seems to be good up and down the line.

My initial reaction is that it's good marketing, but I would like to see/hear/play the Historics before buying.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Lars68 said:

One strange thing, though, there is no J-45 Standard anywhere among the acoustics on Gibsons web-page. I hope that is an error, and soon corrected.

Lars

The website doesn't show much in the way of "standard" models. Maybe things are still under development.

One thing that I noticed in the Historics I looked at was bone for nut, saddle, and even pins. That's nice, even though I like shopping for my own pins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it's the pictures, but it doesn't appear that the headlock depth is tapered from top to bottom the way the originals were in models like the J-35, J-45, Jumbo, AJ, etc.  Very curious for "historic" models, but a detail Gibson has oft-missed in the past. On vintage guitars, the depth of the headstock is less at the tip than it is toward the nut; modern Gibsons usually have a uniform depth. It's bizarre to me that Epiphone can do it on their relatively inexpensive but well-built Masterbilt line, but Gibson ignores this so often. Maybe I am wrong. The pictures don't seem to let me expand them for a closer look.

Yes, I know it is a small detail, and maybe doesn't amount to much sonic-wise, but does effect how the strings break over the nut; the taper has the effect of making the strings toward the back of the headstock come from a slightly higher place than the middle two, and even higher than the two closest to the nut. They did taper the depth of Legend J-45 headstock, but I've not personally seen the taper in other reissues, though I don't discount it may be present in some 'cause I haven't seen every reissue! 

I once asked someone at Gibson about it (I think it was Ren), who said (at that time) they were unaware vintage Gibsons had that taper! It makes sense, since when they started building in Bozeman, how many of the luthiers or workers had even a seen a vintage Gibson acoustic? They were working from photos and old catalogs and such.

That small reservation aside, that's a wonderful lineup.  Epiphone's Excellente and Frontier models also look very interesting. We Gibson and Epiphone fans are in for some real treats this year.

Red 333

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Red 333 said:

Maybe it's the pictures, but it doesn't appear that the headlock depth is tapered from top to bottom the way the originals were in models like the J-35, J-45, Jumbo, AJ, etc.  Very curious for "historic" models, but a detail Gibson has oft-missed in the past. On vintage guitars, the depth of the headstock is less at the tip than it is toward the nut; modern Gibsons usually have a uniform depth. It's bizarre to me that Epiphone can do it on their relatively inexpensive but well-built Masterbilt line, but Gibson ignores this so often. Maybe I am wrong. The pictures don't seem to let me expand them for a closer look.

Yes, I know it is a small detail, and maybe doesn't amount to much sonic-wise, but does effect how the strings break over the nut; the taper has the effect of making the strings toward the back of the headstock come from a slightly higher place than the middle two, and even higher than the two closest to the nut. They did taper the depth of Legend J-45 headstock, but I've not personally seen the taper in other reissues, though I don't discount it may be present in some 'cause I haven't seen every re-issue

Red 333

Other than the Legend series, modern Gibsons have untapered headstocks. The tapered headstocks went out in about 1952, I believe. The online photos aren't good enough to tell, but I suspect the new Historics have non-tapered headstocks.

The taper is approximately 1/8" over the length of the headstock. On the three Gibsons I have with tapered headstocks--two 1950 J-45's and an L-OO Legend--there are slight differences in thickness and taper, but we're talking second decimal place differences.

This only impacts on string break angle at the nut if you put enough wraps on the stringpost to get the last turn down to the bottom of the post, since there is more post exposed with a tapered headstock, particularly on the D and G strings. The actual height of the stringpost hole relative to the nut is the same on a tapered and non-tapered headstock, as the taper appears to be on the face of the headstock, rather than the back.  (I haven't measured this accurately, but will at some point.)

If you want a more extreme break angle at the nut, you have to put a lot of wraps on the posts, and wind them down carefully.

While I appreciate the tapered headstock as an historical detail, it isn't clear that it has any practical impact on things. 

Remember that these Historics aren't exactly Legend equivalents in detail and price, since they only use hide glue on neck joint and top bracing, among a few other things that may be non-historic, like a bound fretboard on the SJ.

None of these "shortcomings" is a show-stopper for me, especially if you look at the prices of a vintage AJ, one of the banner rosewood SJ's, or even a banner J-45 in excellent condition (if you can find one of any of these in fine condition).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

44 minutes ago, Red 333 said:

Epiphone's Excellente and Frontier models also look very interesting. We Gibson and Epiphone fans are in for some real treats this year.

 

Yes, I was quite pleased to see the Excellente in particular, and there apparently will be a USA-made Casino, which helps make up for the lack of an ES-330 in the current lineup.  Oh, and then there’s the USA-made Texan.

Lots of good stuff happening at Gibson!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, tpbiii said:

This is sort of surreal.  They seem to have reissued -- same year or one year off -- a lot of my collection.  Except the Super Jumbos -- I was never into those.  I don't know if this is good or bad.

-Tom

Has anyone from Gibson ever talked to you about your collection?

After all, you do have some of  the finest vintage Gibsons and Martins anywhere. The models they have picked for this series are certainly most of  the classic Gibson flat tops, which is pretty astonishing in itself for a company that at times has seemed to have only a casual acquaintance with its history.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not reall

2 hours ago, j45nick said:

Has anyone from Gibson ever talked to you about your collection?

After all, you do have some of  the finest vintage Gibsons and Martins anywhere. The models they have picked for this series are certainly most of  the classic Gibson flat tops, which is pretty astonishing in itself for a company that at times has seemed to have only a casual acquaintance with its history.

Not really.  I know my 4th cousin, Larry Barnwell, who originally ran the mandolin division in Boseman in the 1990s (and he still lives there).  But he left Gibson years ago to become the western US sales manager for Martin and retired last year as the e-commerce director for Martin.  We talked quite a bit about guitars over the years, but also a lot about family history.  He also has some nice old guitars and plays bluegrass -- maybe it is genetic😎.

Best,

-Tom

Edited by tpbiii
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Lars68 said:

One strange thing, though, there is no J-45 Standard anywhere among the acoustics on Gibsons web-page. I hope that is an error, and soon corrected.

Lars

Yeah-it seems that you go for either an expensive Historic or the "entry level" Generation line.The Standard kind of fits in the middle.Should be interesting for the used sales a few years down the road.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

The Historics are crying out for for a Stage 3 relic job from Pre War Guitar Co....

 

I am a little confused by the specs on the Gibson site..........I naturally gravitated to the 42 Banner J45, the LG2 Banner and then the 50s J45, but the specs say the Banner 42 J45 has the 1.72 nut.

Neck

 
Nut Material
Bone
Nut Width
1.72" / 43.81mm
 
 
Then the LG2 Banner has 1.69:
 
Nut Material
Bone
Nut Width
1.69" / 43mm
 
 
And then I was keen on the 50s J45 but that has the same neck/nut specs:
 
Nut Material
Bone
Nut Width
1.72" / 43.81mm
 
 
 
BluesKing777.
 
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/19/2020 at 2:26 PM, Lars68 said:

One strange thing, though, there is no J-45 Standard anywhere among the acoustics on Gibsons web-page. I hope that is an error, and soon corrected.

Lars

https://www.gibson.com/Guitars/Round-Shoulder

Under J Series First one top left. Scroll down a bit till you get to J Series.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper
Link to comment
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.

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...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...