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Gibson Custom 57 Second Thoughts...


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I picked up a Gibson Custom 57 Les Paul Standard VOS Electric Guitar with Bigsby.  Amazing guitar, great pickups; styling is incredible. Almost the perfect guitar. I'm surprised at how much I love the Bigsby on this guitar and actually use it. 

What's giving me second thoughts is the neck chunkiness on this guitar. I wonder if I'll get used to it or whether I'll favor other guitars with slimmer necks (and lower investment)

I was thinking about at least three possibilities:

- Get the neck sanded down a bit (I don't are about the effect on resale value as this is something I plan to die with)

- Return and go for one of the 1960 model historics (though no bigsby)

eg:  https://www.guitarcenter.com/Open-Box/Gibson-Custom/1960-Les-Paul-Standard-PSL-Electric-Guitar-Level-1-Dirty-Lemon-L44213004001000.gc

or: https://www.guitarcenter.com/Blemished/Gibson-Custom/Historic-60-Les-Paul-Standard-VOS-Electric-Guitar-Level-2-Dark-Bourbon-190839657299-L20540005001001.gc

(I'd probably buy used)

- Return and buy back the 2019 ebony custom I sold to get this (though no bigsby - I believe there is a bigsby model but it is also the 57 neck profile)




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Pete, its hard to advise. Some people will adapt to an odd feeling neck and others wont. 

Personally, as long as it doesn't impede any technique, I can get used to pretty much anything, and have done. My favourite guitar has a massive neck. Its not my favourite neck for certain, but it doesn't hold me back.

Does the chunky neck stop you being able to do anything? Are you a player who likes to wrap your hand around the neck? Can you hold down the bass E with your thumb? Can you fingerpick it? Or comfort wise; does it make your hand ache after 30 minutes play? 

I would certainly not reshape the neck. Sometimes this goes wrong. It might even compromise the neck stability if you are too aggressive with removing material. Then afterwards you have to consider refinishing the neck. Filling, staining/painting and nitro.

Bottom line. If you cant come to terms with the neck, return it and find something else. 


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Thanks guys, appreciated. This is all helpful. I'm going to take advantage of GC's return policy a little while longer and keep an eye out for an ebony custom with chrome. I know I like that neck, just a matter of finding one. I think the last ones were made about 4 or 5 years ago?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some players say they can adjust to any neck - others not so much.  I have had a variety of Gibsons and each neck is slightly different, but I found that a couple with chunky sort of D shaped necks weren't as comfortable for me to play and they tended to get left in the case.

I think you are right to return it and get something that you love to play all the time.

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