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Are Gibson USA Replacement Parts Authentic?


Bliggick
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That's what I have to ask myself from my experience. A few years back I bought a new black Gibson USA SG Standard. A marvelous guitar. Anyway, I managed to damage one of the black reflector volume knobs. No problem, I thought: the store where I bought the guitar carries lots of Gibson parts. I then bought a blister pack of 4 black reflector knobs proudly branded Gibson USA. When I got home and went to replace the knob I noticed something was off. On close inspection the knob didn't match at all. "Volume" printed on the reflector top didn't match, the font was smaller. And overall the quality of the plastic was less and the white numbering did not line up the same as the knobs already on the guitar. The space between the M and the E is too wide also. It was however a perfect match for the knobs on an Epiphone that I also owned. So what's going on here? Is Gibson selling cheaper import parts for Epiphone as Gibson USA replacement parts? I have to wonder. And you can't say the USA knobs changed over time because this was within 2 years after I bought the guitar. See photo. The knob that doesn't match is lower left neck volume. Note font and number alignment. Sorry, the guitar is also due for good cleaning and string change.

knobs.jpg

Edited by Bliggick
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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes, I guess I could do that if I could remove it without damaging it. Better still, remove the cap from the broken knob. Because as you can see, the font doesn't match the other knobs and you should be able to see the letters are not even spaced evenly. The whole point of my post is that I paid for Gibson USA quality and I suspect I was sold import quality parts, like somebody at Gibson just thought (to quote their classic phrase) that this "is good enough". It's like paying for steak and getting hamburger.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I ordered a set of knobs direct from Gibson about 2 months ago. Back in 1968 I lost one of the knobs on my '67 SG Standard and the only replacement I could find at the time was a generic knob which matched the originals perfectly (it was a Gibson) but had no legend (Tone) imprinted on it. The photo of the knobs on the Gibson website matched exactly my original, but what I received from Gibson did not. The reflector on the new knobs is not a smooth mirror finish like the originals, it has a circular 'spun' finish, like it was held against a steel brush and spun on it's axis until a concentric circular finish was achieved, and it's not as concave as the originals are. Since then I've found that accurate reproductions are available from Philadelphia Luthiers. Oh, by the way, I did contact Gibson about this and they said this was all they have.

Edited by jk60LPTH
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On 9/8/2020 at 3:26 PM, jk60LPTH said:

I ordered a set of knobs direct from Gibson about 2 months ago. Back in 1968 I lost one of the knobs on my '67 SG Standard and the only replacement I could find at the time was a generic knob which matched the originals perfectly (it was a Gibson) but had no legend (Tone) imprinted on it. The photo of the knobs on the Gibson website matched exactly my original, but what I received from Gibson did not. The reflector on the new knobs is not a smooth mirror finish like the originals, it has a circular 'spun' finish, like it was held against a steel brush and spun on it's axis until a concentric circular finish was achieved, and it's not as concave as the originals are. Since then I've found that accurate reproductions are available from Philadelphia Luthiers. Oh, by the way, I did contact Gibson about this and they said this was all they have.

 

So either the (in house) manufacturing process has changed, or if they are bought in items, the supplier has changed. I don't know, but it sounds like these are bought in. 

Few manufacturers can make everything in house. Gibson certainly buy in tuning machines from various sources. They use Switchcraft for electrical parts. 

I don't know about the knobs. Its not something that would concern me, but I know its important to many people. Perhaps a fresh set of aftermarket knobs would look better?

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