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The new Les Pauls - wow, times have changed!


HarpBoy

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Man, I was just at Long & McQuade today and picked up a new Gibson LP Goldtop (picked up to noodle with, not to buy). First, I was amazed at how light it was; very chambered. But what really surprised me was that on the back, the control cavity cover was translucent (that is, you could see through it, kind of smoked), but instead of wires there was a printed circuit board with soldered on pots that were definitely not what we're used to. The times they are a changin', that's for sure.

 

I can see it now. This will be the next great lament about the good old days, when there were wires, dammit! And the experts will be decrying the lousy tone of these rotten circuit boards, and why can't they make 'em like they used to!!???

 

Hand-wired guitars! True point to point! 20 years from now, they'll be a $3000 premium. Just watch (if any of us old guys are still alive then).

 

What do you want to bet next year's Epi's will all have PCBs?

 

Cheers

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My Ultra ll, which is not a typical Epi LP, has a pcb and an opaque cover, which means you cannot see through it, because it has a pre-amp and shielding on the backside of it, unlike the new Gibsons that have the tinted transparent cover. It is also chambered. The pcb would be more of an asset if you could acquire the connectors they use to connect the humbuckers to the pcb. Then you could put the connectors on different PUs and plug and play without having to solder. But no one seems to think the connectors can be had. :P

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The PCB's have been lamented on the Gibson forum for a few months now..........

one more thing for "ease of manufacture, and lower mfg. co$t as well".

 

Nevermind that 99% of regular consumers won't want it........they'll buy them, or buy elsewhere.

Heyyyyyyyyy....................

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The PCB's have been lamented on the Gibson forum for a few months now..........

one more thing for "ease of manufacture' date=' and lower mfg. co$t as well".

 

Nevermind that 99% of regular consumers won't want it........they'll buy them, or buy elsewhere.

Heyyyyyyyyy....................[/quote']

 

I somehow missed that conversation; this is this first I saw of them. And I don't really care one way or another. Gibson's a manufacturer, and they'll always being looking for ways to cut costs. Can't really blame them. I foresee a time down the road however, when guitar players will be adding "hand wired electronics" to the list of items like where the mahogany came from, nitro laquer, etc, that contribute to great tone. (A lot of which I think is hooey personally).

 

Cheers

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Be interesting to see how many people will spring for a re-wire job. PCBs... connectors... all great for ease of manufacturing but reliability takes a hit in return. The switch connector is the first thing to go when I buy an Epi... I hate the things. Considering the prices on these things, I don't think hand wiring is too much to ask.

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Be interesting to see how many people will spring for a re-wire job. PCBs... connectors... all great for ease of manufacturing but reliability takes a hit in return. The switch connector is the first thing to go when I buy an Epi... I hate the things. Considering the prices on these things' date=' I don't think hand wiring is too much to ask.[/quote']

 

Ya, I guess that's how I see it too. I'm not sure that functionally there will that much difference, if any (tone, mojo, whatever), but for a product that costs that much, it may not be too much to ask for wiring as opposed to PCBs. Others have brought up a good point about repairs, changes, etc, however. It won't be so straightforward to swap out a pot, for example, as it used to be.

 

And I must confess, I have a soft spot for hand wired stuff, just because I've done so much of it myself over the years, and it's easy to tinker with. I don't believe it necessarily contributes to a materially better product, but I like that kind of thing for sentimental reasons.

 

On a related note, I just bought the Traynor YGM-3 RI amplifier. What a beautiful amp! Haven't tried it out with my harps yet, but with my Riviera and Les Paul it is incredible. Not cheap, but a helluvalot cheaper than an equivalent Fender or Marshall.

 

How's this for hand-wiring?

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I aspire to replacing my Epiphone LP with a Gibson version but, as time goes by, Gibson seem to be turning me more and more off the idea. First the chambering, then the ditching of the '50s and '60s neck options and now these PCBs. They are slowly destroying what their number one product is all about. I want a guitar that has the feel, look and sound of this iconic product from the '50s and '60s. I don't care what machines or techniques they use to make it if it means that they can guarantee consistent quality, but I don't want the guitar itself to be modernised thank you very much. Whoever is in charge of marketing at Gibson needs to be shown the door IMO.

 

There you have it from me!

 

Edit: It now seems that the Epi LP is the more faithful reproduction of the iconic Les Paul than most of the current line of Gibsons.

 

Alan

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