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zigzag

NRGD- New Replacement Guitar Day

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The only reason I'm posting this here today is to express my appreciation to Gibson Customer Service for replacing a defective, 13 year old ES-335, honoring the lifetime warranty on all Gibsons for defects in workmanship. I really wasn't expecting them to replace the guitar, but they did, and for that I'm very grateful. The replacement guitar appears to be flawless in every way.  Thanks to customer service for supporting the integrity of the brand.

 

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Well, it's a long story, but to make it short, the neck binding/nibs were very sloppy, and the frets were tapered toward the nibs in a way that caused the strings to slip off of the side of the fretboard in a way that made it difficult to do pull-offs and vibratos. There were other defects, but these were the intolerable ones. Apparently, Gibson agreed that these defects in workmanship were severe enough to warrant replacement. What surprised me was, not that they acknowledged the defects, but that they would honor the warranty after 13 years.  

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Good deal Zig.  I am glad they took care of you and I hope you enjoy that thing.

rct

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And so far, I also prefer the "Calibrated T-Type" pickups to the 57 Classics. But I need more playing time with them. They are cleaner, more articulate, and perhaps not quite as warm.

The neck is slightly thicker than the thin neck on the original, but not significant enough to be an issue.

According to the serial number, the guitar was stamped on Sep. 8th, 2020 and made in Nashville.  The original was made in 2007 in Memphis. The new guitar was priced almost $200-300 higher, including the case, but the guitar was replaced at no charge, except for the shipping costs and insurance ($177) to send the old one back to Nashville.

Edited by zigzag
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That is really impressive that they would do that instead of blowing you off.

Enjoy that guitar and hats off to Gibson!

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Thanks for sharing that. That is a superb endorsement of Gibson commitment to customer satisfaction. Its good to hear.

oh yes, its a terrific looking guitar too 👌

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Nice Zig - glad it worked out.  What caused you do this now vs sometime in the past 13 yrs...  did it just get progressively worse.  And as said by all before, very cool Gibson stepped up.

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That is a very good question. The ES-335 was my third electric in ten years (the first was a 1996 Studio LP, the second, a 1999 AS Strat). I'd played others, but still a novice buyer even though I'd played mostly acoustics on and off since 1965. I went to GC (40 miles away) and bought one off the wall. Not being a confident buyer, I relied on a local tech/luthier to set the guitar up and find the defects. The first one had an irreparably twisted and unstable neck, so I returned it to the GC. They had the one I kept shipped directly to my house from a GC in Birmingham. I took that guitar back to the same tech, they did the setup, but did not report any defects. Honestly, I didn't notice real issues with the defects until after the return policy expired. 

At that point, I realized that I had made a mistake in not returning that guitar, so I decided to live with it. I played it, but every time I took it out of the case, all I could see was the defects, and I had to change my technique to be careful in the way I did pull offs and vibratos. I stabilized the (first and 6th) string with other fingers behind the ones doing the pull offs and vibratos, and made sure there was no pulling down at all on the first string. Dozens of guitars later, I just wasn't playing it.  I just got to the point where I didn't enjoy playing it, and finally decided that I would see what Gibson would do about it.

I sent pics of the defects to customer service, and they advised me to ship the guitar to them for a warranty evaluation. I guess they figure you're serious if it means enough to you to spend that much on shipping charges. Several days after it was received in Nashville, I was advised that the guitar would be replaced. (Oh happy day!) From that day, it took about three weeks to receive the new one. 

So, the reality is that Gibson allowed a sub-par to get out of the Memphis facility (actually, two that ended up in my hands), GC does not return bad guitars to Gibson (and in fact, tries to sell them off to inexperienced buyers like me), and I was so jacked about having a 335 (and disappointment from continually going through the inconvenience of the return cycle) that my judgment was clouded. A trail of bad decisions starting with Gibson manufacturing and QC in Memphis. 

Edited by zigzag
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Not many companies nowadays would replace an expensive item after 13 years, in spite of their claims of a "Lifetime Warranty".   Some guy in QC in Memphis had a bad day and let one slide - but their management stepped up and over compensated.  Methinks most companies would have just re-fretted it for you.       I wonder if Guitar Center  STILL  has a policy of not rejecting obvious defects from Gibson?  I wonder if they extend this flawed thinking to Martin ?    If I were Gibson,  I'd insist they do their job and help keep defective guitars with their name on it - out of the hands of customers who like them.    If I were me, I'd not buy from GC knowing they pass marginal goods on to customers.   And, yes, I've bought a few hi-end things with string from them in the past few years.  

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Yeah, I was expecting a re-fret, too. But really, it would have needed new neck binding with a re-fret. I guess they decided it wasn't worth the time and effort to do that.

It is also worth mentioning that the first guitar I returned ended up back on the wall at GC. It made me think that if you buy a guitar off the wall at a GC, there might be a good chance  it is a return.

I'll never buy another guitar from GC... won't even go into their store. Part of the problem is that where I live now is in a geographical oddity... two hours from any brick and mortar store. Sweetwater is the only place I'd order from, because it seems to me they do a thorough inspection of all guitars they handle. I'd trust them over any GC or Musician's Friend.

Edited by zigzag

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Congratulations, the best result possible.

- and to Gibson, very well done indeed !

[thumbup]

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One of the takeaways for me is that you need to keep all of the paperwork (esp. sales receipts) and fill out and return all warranty info. It may also be possible that if you buy a used guitar, that will void the warranty. 

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1 hour ago, zigzag said:

One of the takeaways for me is that you need to keep all of the paperwork (esp. sales receipts) and fill out and return all warranty info. It may also be possible that if you buy a used guitar, that will void the warranty. 

With Gibson, and perhaps most of the others... the warranty ends when the original buyer is no longer the owner

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1 minute ago, kidblast said:

With Gibson, and perhaps most of the others... the warranty ends when the original buyer is no longer the owner

Sony gave me that line when I tried to exchange a PlayStation 2 that was a gift.  I argued it.  I said they either stand by their product or they don't.  Then they exchanged it at no cost.  I doubt that would work with Gibson Corp but it should. 

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5 minutes ago, ghost_of_fl said:

Sony gave me that line when I tried to exchange a PlayStation 2 that was a gift.  I argued it.  I said they either stand by their product or they don't.  Then they exchanged it at no cost.  I doubt that would work with Gibson Corp but it should. 

That is a sticky sitch..  BTW  IF the guitar has a problem that would comply with the Warranty,  I believe it should not matter who owns it now, as long as it got registered for the Warranty service..  Which many people don't do..

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On the subject of quality slip ups. I have a theory dating back to when I shopped for my ES-339. It was in Andertons early 2015, and they only had 2014 models in the store (they had 2015 models at their warehouse). 

Seems to me they wanted to clear the 2014 stock before bringing in 2015 ones. There were issues with all these (3) 2014 ES-339s. Now these were the last ones they had. I think the reason these guitars were 'bad' was because all the better ones had been bought. Its a kind of customer 'natural selection'. 

I pointed out to one of the assistants '...this guitar has its neck out of true to the bridge'. He listened but was not interested. Its likely he knew this himself, but reasoned someone would buy it eventually. Probably a less experienced player again. 

I didn't figure this out at the time, but obviously I didn't buy any of those. It also made me despair of Gibson quality. I was waiting for the 2015 model I wanted to be ferried over to the shop. They unboxed it in front of me. Imagine my surprise to find was excellent. It feeds the theory.

Its made me wary of 'stock clearance offers'. Those sort of bargains are ones I need to try first. 

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Great news Zig, that new one is a beauty and I'm impressed that they replaced the guitar for a nib issue after 13 years.  

Here's a tip - don't leave that leather strap on the guitar when it's in the case, it could react with the finish and mar that brand new beauty.

As to Guitar Center I am pretty much done with them as well.  Some people have  had good experiences with them, but I rely on Sweetwater where I've never gone wrong and never had a bad experience.

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The issue was more with the frets, and the nibs and binding were mostly an aesthetic issue. Part of the binding issues might have been that when the neck has shaped, it was asymmetric and dipped in where there were binding issues. You couldn't see that issue in the neck as much as feel it. I also had to replace the bridge, because when I changed string brand and gauge, it wouldn't intonate. I also installed a bone nut and had the groves cut slightly closer to center to try to eliminate the string skating issue. The long and short of it is that it was a bad guitar, and I never should have kept it to begin with.

I kinda hate to badmouth Gibson at this point. They responded to my issue and went overboard to make sure I was taken care of. Kudos to them.

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There are dogs in every brand, it sucks when we wind up with one, I have had a few, and I know what a disappointment it is.

but  they did the right thing here and as a result, you're a happy guy.

That is a gorgeous 335....  now,, go rock it!

 

 

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I had a PRS CE24 Reclaimed Wood I bought new. It wouldn't set up quite as nicely as my other guitars and I thought I could get used to it. I couldn't though. I returned it under warranty after several months. PRS accepted my claim that the neck had a small twist. They built a new neck in MD from the correct woods and sent it over to uk for PRS europe to fit. 

It fixed the issue, but its a funny thing. I still don't pick up that guitar. 

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I had a 2007 ES-339 from Memphis.  That was the first year for the 339.  It had the intonation problem.  Had to put a Tonepros or something on there to get the bridge far enough forward.  The neck was lined up pretty well and it played fine.  The fretwork an the board was a little rough, but for the first model year, it was just fine.  I think they were making lots of guitars that year.

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