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I thought the quality of the acoustics was a notch above...


ke3ee

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Hi, after buying my SG a couple weeks ago I decided to stop and play a few Gibson acoustics. I own a Martin 000-28ec so I wanted to try a dred size. I went to a local reputable dealer who has a great climate controlled room. I played a songwriter deluxe first, it was ok until I turned it over and there was laquer or varnish runs and drips all thru the back, you could feel them with your hand. 2nd a J-45 rosewood, it sounded good, I then looked at the saddle and the low e side was almost even with the top of the bridge and the high e was approx 1/16th high.. its like it needed a neck reset already, there was no room for any saddle adjustment and the action wasnt very low , just average. 3rd was a J-165 I beleive and it was the best of the bunch, but a jumbo isnt for me. I told the dealer I would return the other 2 to Gibson for replacement...I wasnt impressed.

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That's really strange. I've heard of these things before but I personally have never picked up a Bozeman acoustic and seen any of the things you've described. Not ever. I know other people have mentioned things like this from time to time but it can't be a common occurance.

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As a new Gibson owner I was aprehensive when I bought my SG having heard and read many of the stories. I was plesantly suprised with the quality of my SG and decided to look at the acoustics...I'm usually not a complainer and understand that anything handmademanmade can and will have small imperfections, thats what makes each one unique. I cant however overcome the fact that someone in QC at Gibson could and would overlook these obvious large issues and ship them to a dealer. I really was prepared to either buy outright or trade another guitar towards a Gibson... Ive looked at and played literally hundreds of Martins and never even once saw as bad an issue as these 2 of 3 that I looked at. The difference must and has to be the people and the pride in their products and jobs, once thats gone everything else goes fast.

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Sounds like your dealer is making some nice money on the side selling seconds or rejects as new guitars. I haven't come across anything other than excellent workmanship on the eight or so new Gibsons I've owned, or indeed the many i've played.

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I too have never seen a Gibson off the shelve with any significant defect. The pickguard on my J-45 was a little crooked...but Gibson replaced it in a flash. I've been looking for a new Gibson over the past 6 months and have played and examined dozens literally. I have a keen eye for set up and flaws. All were superb.

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I suppose guitars are like cars in that sometimes you get lemons, sometimes lemonade. As I have read elsewhere, Gibsons are finicky beasts......the good ones are exceptional and the not so good ones can be terrible. I personally think this is attributable to the nature of anything that has a lot of handwork involved in production. Taylors are almost sickeningly consistant from one to the next due to the automation used in construction. Martins are similar in this respect, though I think there is a bit more manual labor involved with these guitars. Gibson seems to have the most inconsistancies in their production, leading me to believe there is more handwork involved......more "human element". Stir people into the mix of anything and your going to have varied results. Some see this as a bad thing and perhaps it does not speak well of Gibson's quality control, but there is something magical about a Gibson that is "right". When the humans at Gibson Montana get it right there's nothing quite like it.

 

Sorry for your bad experience with the Gibsons you sampled, but if you really want something unique in the acoustic guitar world keep shopping...........you'll find the one that has that magic.

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Add me to the 'incredulous' side of the ledger. I never seem to run into these egregious affronts to one's aesthetic sensibilities. Even at the two local Guitar Centers, where all good guitars go to be thrashed and scratched to within a hairbreadth of neck joint fatigue, the Gibsons are cleanly built and good looking. (Initially)

 

As a matter of fact, for the price of a new acoustic Gibson, I'm surprised that you don't see a lot of issues with their guitars. There are certainly outfits that have a reputation for extra special attention to the fit and finish of their product, but you also pay a lot more for that product. Gibson has hit a nice balance in that regard--enough time to do the job and still keep things affordable.

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I have definitely seen quality flaws on some of the Gibson acoustics around here' date=' but almost all were small cosmetic defects- nothing close to what you describe.

[/quote']

 

This has been my experience, too, but I frankly feel that these minor flaws are part of the Gibson ethos, just like the generally good, solid feel, unique sound, etc.

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There is a love/hate thing. Some people love Gibsons (like me) and some people hate them (whatever). The ones that hate Gibsons can find 100 things wrong in the first ten seconds they are looking at it. Even those of us who love them have had to get more than one set up (perhaps), do some tweaking and adjusting until we had it "our way." (same for most other brands too). I'd say to those who hate them -- don't buy something you'll never like. You know there are love Ford/hate Ford people. Found On Road Dead types/ F-100 types. John Deere types/not-John Deere types. Army/Navy. Vanilla/Chocolate. Blonde/brunette/redhead. It takes all kinds.

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My SWD has some more than minor cosmetic flaws. Rather than get another one, since this one sounded so great, I took a discount instead of returning it. I'll try to get some photos of the flaws. They are flaws that I'm amazed got through quality control.

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i checked out a dozen or so gibsons before buying my j45 RW last year...most of them had MINOR cosmetic flaws (which i believe i *****ed about here for a while) such as broken kerfling (the train track wood inside)...glue splatter inside etc. but i didn't see anything like a sunken saddle. they we're all more or less tip-top minus some teeny nit-picky things that most people might not even notice.

 

having said that i don't really buy the idea of "lovingly handmade by luthiers in boseman montana adhereing to strict quality control etc" nonsense.

 

gibson makes classic axes but they let plenty of near-lemons out the door for sure.

 

hands may make 'em (sort of)...but it's assembly lined...get em out the door. if it ain't 100% perfect it still goes out the door (ive seen plenty) cuz chances are it'll get sold to someone.

 

but that saddle thing seems fishy.

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I frankly feel that these minor flaws are part of the Gibson ethos' date=' just like the generally good, solid feel, unique sound, etc.[/quote']

 

=P~

 

and thats why they keep shipping out less than perfect guitars.

 

we let them get away with it.

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Here are a couple of photos of the flaws which I feel should never have gone past QC at Bozeman. I had noticed a couple scuffs on the guitar at the store and had them knock off $100 but then discovered these flaws when I got home and inspected it. I decided to live with it as the guitar sounds killer. But how can a high end guitar get out of the shop like this without being marked a 2nd?

 

Here is the neck heel with some very disturbing finish issues:

DSCF1453.jpg

 

And here is the upper treble side bout with some sort of finish drip issue:

DSCF1454.jpg

 

There is also a finish divot on the abalone rosette that was impossible to photograph but very noticeable in reflection.

 

Again none of these are playability issues and are only detectable up close. However, I don't think I'd ever see a $2000 Larrivee with these flaws.

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Personally I'm looking forward to my new J-45 looks something like this ( and I don't mean morphed into a SJ=p~ ). These guitars arre tools' date=' not furniture!

pose

[/quote']

 

I have a J45 but I'll take the girl and the dodge...;)

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So I looked and I played and I looked and I played and guess what... I found the ONE... I have a J-185ec on the way in Maple. Traded My Martin 000-28ec for it. My wife is a bit upset, she loved my Martin sound but I love the way the 185 feels....Robb

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