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Returned my "lemon" J45 RW : (


Andrew

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well all my questions about the buzzing on my new guitar are moot...it's gone.

 

I was getting a fair bit of buzz on the fat E and A strings up and down the neck..I took it back to the dealer, 2 of their luthiers checked it out...i figured they'd keep it for a while, fix it up, right? nope.

 

they changed a string, made a bunch of measurements, 'rapped' all over it, hammered down a fret or 2, sighted the neck, played it a bit, still buzzing....he's says 'well everything here looks fine, everything looks textbook and still it buzzes, i'd take it back over to sales and swap it with another one..sorry about the lemon'.

 

what?? really? wtf??

 

he said yeah they could spend and hour trying to fix it just to have it still buzz, better just to get a new one. he writes "return to gibson" on a card and says give it to the saleguy.

 

that sucks. and im thinking..hmm..did they really try that hard? or is this really the best thing?

 

anyway i take it back to the guitar area and give it back to the sales guy, show him the card...he says....hmm..ok. and processes my refund. meanwhile i check out the other j45 rosewood on the rack (i had played it before i got mine...but this one had the serial number stamp imprinted so lightly you could barely read it...a little thing but enough to make them bring me a new one...which they did...which i bought...which i returned.) so i play that other j45rw and sure enough..it has the SAME BUZZ!! (and i though it might be my technique...but hearing the luthier make mine buzz to confirmed that no, its the guitar)

 

how can this slip through Gibson's QC?? they check off "no buzzing" on the qc check list but i bet they dont even really check very closely...and if they find a buzz, i bet they ship it off anyway in the hopes that some sucker will buy it anyway. i really hope not. between the obvious buzzing on 2 guitars...the extra E string they put on instead on the A string (which could have dug into the nut slot over time) the little white glue drops inside, the halfassed serial number stamp on the other one, and the broken piece of kerfing i saw inside mine (i took pictures)...well hell...what can I say....I'm really pissed of at Gibson right now!

 

all my life i wanted a gibson guitar....this is not the proud american hand made by perfectionists guitar i thought i'd get.

 

sigh.

 

ok, im done..needed to vent.

 

having said all that..I WANT ANOTHER ONE!!! I loved that guitar!! im in withdrawl! it was tough to walk away from her after bonding for a month.

 

so now i begin the hunt. at least now i know what to look for and like they say; fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

 

or as dubya would say it:

 

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I think I'd find a different Gibson dealer. It's starting to sound more like a humidity problem if there's other Gibsons at the same store with the same buzz. They do check them for buzz at QC in Bozeman before they leave the factory and it's highly unusual to find one fresh from the factory with a buzz, let alone two.

 

From your description of the checks they made at the store, it sounds like they checked everything that could have found a buzz, but you didn't mention humidity checks. Improper humidity could also cause a buzz and would explain why there's more than one at the same store with the same problem. Bozeman gets guitars returned all the time because of improper humidity which occurs after they leave the factory. If everything was actually "textbook", it wouldn't buzz. I sounds to me like they just didn't want to spend the time to find the problem and it was easier for them to swap it out than to fix it.

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Pretty much what Strummer said. Note that Gibson's ship with a medium action, another reason pointing to the store. Or shipping. What did other acoustics in the shop play like? Might tell you something. A pal of mine who has a great hog slope was saying a few weeks ago it was playing like crap, but recently was back in gear. Things change, wood in particular.

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I had a guitar refretted recently. When I went to pick it up, there was a little buzzing on the low E. ( I have a 'heavy' hand on the bass notes, and settup can be a problem.) Anyway, the luthier who did the work said "no problem- everyone has different playing styles. Let's just tweak the relief slightly."

 

He did. The guitar now plays great -with no problems.

 

It really sounds like you should look for another store-

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One more thing......I guess the original post bothered me a little too because we'll never know the actual problem. Gibson will take it back, no questions asked, because of their policy of "the customer is always right". Meanwhile, Gibson gets trashed, but yet the dealer, who is probably the one actually responsible, will come out smelling like a rose. That's just not right.

 

They do play ever guitar before they leave the factory. That's why every new guitar has a Gibson Acoustic guitar pick included in the case. That's the actual pick that they use to play your guitar when it goes through the final QC check.

 

I have seen lots of guitars hanging in shops with humidity problems. Some dealers hope the customer doesn't notice and some dealers just don't care.

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"I have seen lots of guitars hanging in shops with humidity problems. Some dealers hope the customer doesn't notice and some dealers just don't care."

 

 

I was in GC the other day & the reading on the humidifier read 87, & it was still running!! I saw pick guards peeling off guitars, & a couple had buzzing noises.

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I could not agree more with Mike. Sounds like a serious dealer issue to me. I have seen plenty of problems like this in my local GC. It is not the guitar's fault if it was not taken care of properly and most of the so called "techs" really have no clue what they are doing. I played a J-45 at GC that had a buzz and one of the "techs"/salespersons offered to file the nut for me....uh, no thanks there Sparky! Gibson does not ship guitars with a buzz! I don't know how many times we have to beat that dead horse. What happens after they leave the factory is not Gibson's fault. Guitars are made out of organic material that does change. I played a gig a couple of weeks ago and it was so hot and humid that my J-45 was all over the place. My J is normally a very stable guitar, but any guitar is going to change depending on the environment. Gibson maintains the optimum temperature and humidity in the factory and that is the conditions the guitars are setup for. If they are placed into a different environment, things will change. It sounds like the "tech" that looked at your guitar was pretty clueless. My advice is to find a good setup/luthier and take their advice. I have learned how to do my own setups and if you are interested in that at all, or inclined to do your own work, it solves a lot of problems.

 

I'm with you Scott, the humidity stays optimal in my house without me doing anything. I monitor it, but if I had to run humidifiers and worry and fret about it, I don't think I would enjoy playing too much!

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"I have seen lots of guitars hanging in shops with humidity problems. Some dealers hope the customer doesn't notice and some dealers just don't care."

 

 

I was in GC the other day & the reading on the humidifier read 87' date=' & it was still running!! I saw pick guards peeling off guitars, & a couple had buzzing noises. [/quote']

 

i know what you mean! here's the new acoustic room at the shop by my place!

 

polar-bear-in-sauna.jpg

 

in all seriousness andrew, i feel for you. i am very picky myself and it took me to arrive at a new guitar decision even though there was never a QC issue. these guys here may be right - the store might be lax in the overall care dept. there was a martin at a shop here in town that just exploded one day. the bottom binding at the end pin just let go. there was shrapnel everywhere and it was all due to environment issues. especially if a guitar is around for a while. the j45 hog at mcquade's here in windsor has been there for several months and it is well neglected. good luck with whatever you find. gibson is a fine maker (the best IMHO) and there is one right for you. you will get to a point in your gibson life where you're fuming about pins and saddles and polishes and whatnot and then, in a moment of realization, you'll stop and say "wow, life's pretty good."

.....and then the obsessing will start all over again.

keep on rockin' in the free world.

bon chance.

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just so you know, the one i bought came straight out of the box and into my hands (took a while for me to really accept that there was a buzz)....temp and humidity at my place were perfect.

 

They are a big dealer and the showroom is temp and humidity controlled...and their techs are supposed to be good (i couldn't say).....theyre opinion was that since everything was up to spec and it still buzzed there's nothing they could do.

 

I truly believe this is a Gibson issue and not the dealer.

 

Also I was at another store today..tried another j45 rw...the factory action was quite a bit lower than the other 2 i played (those were '08s this was an '07)....the regular j45 sounded fine. only the rosewoods ive played have had issues.

 

could it be that Gibson is simply inconsistant?

 

Am i being too picky? do all guitars have a bit of buzz??

 

I just want a guitar!! and I don't want to spend 2 grand on a buzzy guitar!

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just so you know' date=' the one i bought came straight out of the box and into my hands (took a while for me to really accept that there was a buzz)....temp and humidity at my place were perfect.

 

They are a big dealer and the showroom is temp and humidity controlled...and their techs are supposed to be good (i couldn't say).....theyre opinion was that since everything was up to spec and it still buzzed there's nothing they could do.

 

I truly believe this is a Gibson issue and not the dealer.

 

Also I was at another store today..tried another j45 rw...the factory action was quite a bit lower than the other 2 i played (those were '08s this was an '07)....the regular j45 sounded fine. only the rosewoods ive played have had issues.

 

could it be that Gibson is simply inconsistant?

 

Am i being too picky? do all guitars have a bit of buzz??

 

I just want a guitar!! and I don't want to spend 2 grand on a buzzy guitar!

 

 

[/quote']

 

I think all larger companies have some inconsistancies from time to time. Gibson is no acception. That said, I have to believe that the store is more at fault. A good tech should have been able to eliminate the buzz and make the guitar playable for your style. If the other guitars in the store seem to have the same problem, it is my feeling that it is something in the enviornment the guitars are in. If the tech can't diagnose the problem and correct it, I think the tech needs some more experiance.

 

I would suggest finding a good AJ in a different store and going that route...

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Do you know the best sound a banjo ever makes? When it hits the bottom of the dumpster :-)

 

There was a guy on the way home from a gig who decided to stop at the local watering hole on the way home. He pulled up and went inside and ordered up. He was half way through his second cold one when he realized he had left his truck unlocked with his banjo sitting in plain view on the seat. He ran outside in a blind panic to lock the truck. When he got to his truck he was too late...sure enough, there were already two more banjos sitting next to his on the seat :-)

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just so you know' date=' the one i bought came straight out of the box and into my hands (took a while for me to really accept that there was a buzz)....temp and humidity at my place were perfect.

 

They are a big dealer and the showroom is temp and humidity controlled...and their techs are supposed to be good (i couldn't say).....theyre opinion was that since everything was up to spec and it still buzzed there's nothing they could do.

 

I truly believe this is a Gibson issue and not the dealer.

 

Also I was at another store today..tried another j45 rw...the factory action was quite a bit lower than the other 2 i played (those were '08s this was an '07)....the regular j45 sounded fine. only the rosewoods ive played have had issues.

 

could it be that Gibson is simply inconsistant?

 

Am i being too picky? do all guitars have a bit of buzz??

 

I just want a guitar!! and I don't want to spend 2 grand on a buzzy guitar!

 

 

[/quote']

 

Was it delivered to your house? If not, you don't know how long it sat in the store in the box. Especially if it was a larger store. They probably don't put them all out the minute the arrive.

 

You've never said who the dealer was. Just because they're large, doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

 

Just J-45 RW with the problems? I've played many J-45 RW at dealer's stores and have never heard them consistently buzz. My AJ buzzed when I bought it last month, but it was a quick (2 minute) fix.

 

Gibson's inconsistent? Only if you listen to some of the talk on other forums and believe it.

 

Too picky? Perhaps. All guitars have a bit of a buzz? No

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Was it delivered to your house? If not' date=' you don't know how long it sat in the store in the box. Especially if it was a larger store. They probably don't put them all out the minute the arrive.

 

You've never said who the dealer was. Just because they're large, doesn't mean they know what they're doing.

 

Just J-45 RW with the problems? I've played many J-45 RW at dealer's stores and have never heard them consistently buzz. My AJ buzzed when I bought it last month, but it was a quick (2 minute) fix.

 

Gibson's inconsistent? Only if you listen to some of the talk on other forums and believe it.

 

Too picky? Perhaps. All guitars have a bit of a buzz? No[/quote']

 

 

hmm...what'd they do to fix it? mine buzzed when playing single notes on the fat strings with a pick. less noticable with chords. im going back on thursday...have them pull another out of a box.

 

so what im hearing is that i should hear zero buzz on a new guitar. ok. for this kind of money it should be more or less perfect no?

 

p.s. that guitar was made in april...so it was fairly new (i guess).

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Andrew, what you have explained is not a defect, not a malfunction, not a manufacturing error. Buzzes happen and yes most of them are easily taken care of with a simple tweak. Anyone with any experience at all should be able to quickly locate a buzz and make a correction. I can see a complete noob needing an hour to find a buzz, but someone who calls themselves a tech? That is not a person I would want getting anywhere near my guitars! I would be spending my money at a shop that knew what they were doing and were going to be able to provide knowledgable and skilled service to me down the road. Is their fix always going to be "send the guitar back to Gibson"? If you go in for a string change are they going to send the guitar back to Bozeman? Look for a new dealer with some skills...

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Andrew-I have a 2004 J-45 'hog and it developed a slight buzz last year in the bass E string and the D string. I think it was about the time the season was changing from fall to winter. I took it to my local tech who plays pretty much all stringed instruments and he had it fixed in more time than it took guitar strummers. I think it took him 4 minutes instead of 2! Also, I've never picked up a guitar in a shop that buzzed when I played it. The humidity theory just might have some hair to it. Good luck, the J-45 is a mighty fine guitar and you should own one!

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hmm...what'd they do to fix it? mine buzzed when playing single notes on the fat strings with a pick. less noticable with chords. im going back on thursday...have them pull another out of a box.

 

so what im hearing is that i should hear zero buzz on a new guitar. ok. for this kind of money it should be more or less perfect no?

 

p.s. that guitar was made in april...so it was fairly new (i guess).

 

Mine only required a slight truss rod adjustment.

 

I'm not saying that you will not hear a buzz on a new guitar, but what I'm saying is that if you do, it's certainly correctable. It may just be your playing style too.

 

If you look at the worst case possibilities, if it was made in April and perhaps sat in the back of your dealer's hot warehouse for three months, anything could happen. Even if it arrived directly from the factory, there may be changes when a guitar is shipped some distance in the heat of the summer. But again, it should be something that a good tech should be able to correct.

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My first instinct if I come across any buzzing is to go up a gauge of strings on the instrument in question-if this cures it, it's usually a neck relief or fret height issue which is easily sorted by a good tech.

 

The only thing I'd be wary of long-term is if the buzz was caused by a wavy neck. I once very nearly bought an '80s (whisper it) M*rtin HD28-fabulous sounding guitar, but a little buzzy. One look down the neck from nut to bridge told me that this wouldn't be an easy fix-the neck vaguely resembled the green, rolling hills of West Virginia. If sortable, it would have taken heat presses, steaming and God knows what else to get it right and, even then, there was a good chance the problem would reoccur, such being the nature of wood itself.

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Andrew-I have a 2004 J-45 'hog and it developed a slight buzz last year in the bass E string and the D string. I think it was about the time the season was changing from fall to winter. I took it to my local tech who plays pretty much all stringed instruments and he had it fixed in more time than it took guitar strummers. I think it took him 4 minutes instead of 2! Also' date=' I've never picked up a guitar in a shop that buzzed when I played it. The humidity theory just might have some hair to it. Good luck, the J-45 is a mighty fine guitar and you should own one![/size']

 

what did he do to fix it?

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