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repeat of norlin era


ckledzepplin

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There is no perfect.

 

I think Henry saved Gibson, but am leary of some things. I don't own the Company though.

 

Fender watered down the Teles and Strats to the point that there are too many to number. I fear Gibson is following that lead, why, I don't know.

 

If constant changes are an improvement, why are the reissues and Traditionals such big sellers?

 

The "Originals" are so legendary, the competition can't compete with any other product. Fender and Gibson can't introduce any new products that will stick. So they continue to change and "improve" the old product, but the majority of buyers actually want the original product, so there ya go.

 

The new Tele string guides, the new Les Paul chambered, the new thinner Fender undercoat, ect., ect., bla, bla, bla.

 

It's an amazing market, for sure.

 

Murph.

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I own a '70 Norlin LP Deluxe, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

People tell me that it's inferior: pancake laminated body, volute, shallow top carve...

 

...and I say, listen to it, and then shut up.

 

Once you start sorting guitars (especially LPs) by anything other than their sound and playability, you're off in La-La Land.

 

Norlin had some legendary self-inflicted difficulties, but sorry, I don't subscribe to the notion that their sound is inferior -- and if it is, in an individual guitar, then don't buy that guitar!

 

There are plenty of "golden era" Martins and Gibsons and Gretsches and Fenders that are turkeys, and lots of instruments made during periods of corporate cluelessness that are totally cool sounding.

 

Generalities are meaningless, especially with something as personal and capable [or not] of self-expression as an electric guitar.

 

My Norlin Gibson sings to me. If yours doesn't, maybe you ought to be more careful when you buy a guitar.

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I would like Eric Clapton to weigh in in these discussions, after all he is the one that discovered those discountinued guitars that not a lot of people seem to like in the late 50's.

 

I would like to hand him a good 2008 standard and ask him: waddayathink?

 

I think a good guitar that you like is all that matters, after all that is what Eric did. I am pretty sure he was not after the sunburst or the flame...

 

If all 59's are so good why do the ones with more flame are more valuable? collectors that is why.

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There is no perfect.

True' date=' but there are some issues with my LP that really have no room for excuse.

 

* The fretboard isn't set right on the neck; there is a hair of overlap on the bottom and the opposite on the top which means that whoever glued the two together didn't get it right. Very sloppy for a [b']Custom Shop[/b] guitar.

 

* There is some small chipping in the finish around where the stop tailpiece bolts into the body.

 

* The jack wire was so kinked inside the cavity that it eventually just gave out so that I had to resolder it correctly so that it wouldn't snap again.

 

The saving grace is that, aside from those issues, it's an awesome guitar that I cherry picked for it's playability over the course of a month while working in a music store. That is, it's an exceptional player guitar but I still don't believe that excuses the problems with it that I consider to be shoddy workmanship on what is an expensive guitar.

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i think in 30 years usa les pauls are gonna be seen like norlin era les pauls because gibson is trying some wacky stuff with the new 08' std. and 95% of lesters being chambered

When I first read this, I couldn't disagree with it...

What will current LPs be called, though? They need a catch name, like Norlin.

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There is no perfect.

 

I think Henry saved Gibson' date=' but am leary of some things. I don't own the Company though.

 

[/quote']

 

That's a tough statment to prove. Only thing Henry Jerawhatever did was jack prices and fire half of the staff. The guy's a beancounter who never built a guitar with his hands in his life. He's no Steve Jobs, I'll tell you that. It might be interesting if way back then, somebody (or a team of somebodies) that knew something about building guitars would have bought the company. Instead we got a guy that put the inverse price curve to 'bad work'. What you see now is a company that makes 57 versions of the same damn Les Paul.......WTF is up with that.

 

USA Today Interview

 

I'll tell you who saved the company. It was John Sykes and Randy Rhodes and Jimmy Page and Zakk Wylde and the guy from Scorpions with the striped Explorer and BB King and Slash and everyone else that was hopping around on (or off) MTV playing Gibson guitars. That point in time, the middle to late 80's, MADE companies. It took everyone up one or two levels. Smaller companies like Kramer or Jackson got big. Bigger companies like Gibson, that were established, went huge. I suppose you could say that same thing about turntable companies in the mid 90's when the DJ kraze hit -everybody wanted to scratch vinyl. Thank God that's over!

 

i think in 30 years usa les pauls are gonna be seen like norlin era les pauls because gibson is trying some wacky stuff with the new 08' std. and 95% of lesters being chambered

 

I think Gibson finally smelt the the lacquer stinking. Most of those 'kids' that got hooked in the 80's are bringing home money. They can afford a $4000 guitar, or a few of them. Gibson's already choking the dung out of the RI market. Look at a '59RI. Sorry, somebody NEEDS to tell me why it goes for 3X the price of a plain old USA Standard or 2X the price of a Custom shop '58...seriously. Everytime I run across a '59RI I pick it up trying to find the"magic"...sorry the only magic I hear is Tom Murphy going "chaaaaa-ching beyatch...whaaaaa-haaahaaaaaaa. I'm going to Disneyland". Sorry Tom, I think your a mouthpiece for hype, circumstance and just plain bullsh*t. Show me '59RI tone on an objective analytical test...really can you, please?

 

No. It's time. It's time to take all of the bloat and the fat and the lethargic and the lazy and turn it into some level of innovation. Okay, maybe chambering is a pimp-*** move to pass off heavy wood for good. BUT...there's always a but. The 2008 neck joint is a nice move. Think of all the pissing, moaning and kackling the Comic Book Guys on the Les Paul Forum will being doing over short or transitional tenons now. "Owe, owe...Mr. Kottah, my tone is less now because I'm missing 1/8" of glued-dead wood". Over the last 15 years Gibson reminds me of a deadass lump of RI waste. They've been a 12mpg Pontiac company in a 48mpg Toyota Prius world. The only thing that has been keeping them afloat is that fat 50 year old clugged LAD semiretired concrete contractor that's wants to say "I spent $5700 on this guitar. It's looks like Jimmy Page's with all these crazy cracks and the one knob goes to 11!"

 

No. no. I don't think were heading for Norlins again. I think we might be making a move from 'leaving it'. Lets se them work through this. It's about time they did somethig more innovative than the (attention bean counters) "No Pics policy", "Authorized Gibson Internet Dealers" and "MAP Pricing".

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Gibson hedges their bets on the USA models with their Custom shop RI's and the like. They can afford to experiment with the USA line - if a model bombs, it just makes the CS model that much more attractive.

 

Not every recent USA model is a turd. I own four that are really good guitars.

 

And I have never held or played a "perfect" guitar................................

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I own a '70 Norlin LP Deluxe' date=' and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

 

People tell me that it's inferior: pancake laminated body, volute, shallow top carve...

 

...and I say, listen to it, and then shut up.

 

Once you start sorting guitars (especially LPs) by anything other than their sound and playability, you're off in La-La Land.

 

Norlin had some legendary self-inflicted difficulties, but sorry, I don't subscribe to the notion that their sound is inferior -- and if it is, in an individual guitar, then don't buy that guitar!

 

There are plenty of "golden era" Martins and Gibsons and Gretsches and Fenders that are turkeys, and lots of instruments made during periods of corporate cluelessness that are totally cool sounding.

 

Generalities are meaningless, especially with something as personal and capable [or not'] of self-expression as an electric guitar.

 

My Norlin Gibson sings to me. If yours doesn't, maybe you ought to be more careful when you buy a guitar.

 

 

Hi Your so Right!!!

In 30 yrs playing and repairing guitars I`ve never seen a "perfect" Gibson but boy,can they play and sound fab!!

If you want perfection go to PRS then you will have a cool looking guitar with the same sound as the next PRS and a guitar with no soul??

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Probably with some of the stuff they've been putting out lately. But' date=' I think more from a QC point; my 91 Custom is a Custom Shop guitar and, IMO, it should not have some of the flaws that it has - awesome player, but definitely not close to perfect.[/quote']

 

I totally agree. A couple weeks ago I purchased a brand new R8, and after a couple of days I noticed a little nick in the back of the neck that my hand kept scraping against when I'd slide on the neck. I actually didn't notice it until the light caught it at a certain angle and I could see it - but once I could see it I could feel it (probably somewhat of a mental thing). I went to exchange it and found that the one for which I was exchanging it was in even worse shape - including a nick on the back of the guitar as well as the plastic around the input jack having been screwed in sloppily (wasn't flat against the body of the guitar but was actually "pinched" and raised up around it a bit on all sides). Yes, these were both NEW guitars.

 

They ordered me a new one which I'm told will come directly from Gibson - it's going to be in the shop on Sept. 8th, so I'll be making what I hope is my final exchange on that day.

 

I guess the reason I'm chiming in on this thread is that the QC at Gibson - including the Custom Shop - is far below where they should be. I mean, really, it's almost a reckless disregard for the customer base. Something as simple as screwing a piece of plastic around an input jack should not be a difficult task to get right - and if it isn't done properly, it should never have left the shop in the first place.

 

I've heard a number of people on here say you can't anticipate getting a "perfect" guitar - well, I'd suggest that it is this attitude that contributes to the shoddy workmanship we see and read about far too often. Looking at it from a Gibson point of view, if you constantly hear from your loyal customer base that you can't expect to get good QC, then what is their motivation for improving it? Really, I have a hard time believing they didn't notice that the plastic surrounding the jack on that guitar was installed sloppily - what they figured, and partly from reading this forum I'd guess, is that we, the customer base, would just overlook it and chalk it up to realizing we can't get a "perfect" guitar. I don't think that it's unreasonable by any stretch of the imagination to expect receiving a guitar that was assembled properly and is free from scratches and dents/nicks. This is particularly true at the prices we pay for both the USA and Custom Shop lines.

 

If the Chinese / Japanese / Mexicans can assemble cheap guitars free from defects, then certainly "the world's best" at Gibson USA/Custom can do the same. Really, how many times have you read on this forum about someone who just purchased a BRAND NEW guitar, where you find yourself giving them advice on repairs? If you're honest w/yourself right now I'd imagine it's more often than you feel comfortable enough admitting.

 

I'm not tossing anyone under the bus here - people have their own standards of quality and what they are willing to accept. I've worked very hard over the course of my life to be in a position where I can afford, within reason (while the money may be there I'm not spending several hundred thousand on a vintage guitar), any guitar I want - in return, I don't think it's too much to ask that Gibson QC work just as hard at supplying us with guitars that justify the price tags. I mean, for Christ sake, my monthly rent here in NYC is more than the cost of a new Gibson USA Standard - so it's not the cost that bothers me - what bothers me is that we seem to work harder to afford these "top end" instruments than the people crafting them work at getting the job done right.

 

Sorry for the long rant, but I believe my frustration is justified. I've been playing for 23 years - my first guitar was a Gibson - I love the company, the guitars, the history - I'm not suggesting that I'm looking to strike up a relationship with a new company - I have always played Gibson's and always will. That being said, I'd prefer to be playing my new R8 rather than waiting for the arrival of the 3rd one in the hopes that it's a job well done.

 

This is an often repeated discussion topic which quite frankly should not be so. In the meantime, I'm looking ahead to September 8th with my fingers crossed [-o<

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If you want perfection, live an exemplary life and go to heaven when you die.

 

Down here below, nothing's perfect. I hate to think how you guys who obsess over nicks would react to my old road warrior Deluxe. It's got finish missing in patches on the back of the neck, belt buckle rash, wear on the gold finish on top, and some corrosion on the hardware.

 

But I made up my mind years ago that only the music was worth fretting about. Lester's worn because he sounds so good, so that a succession of owners were not able to stop playing him.

 

Pristine = soullessness.

 

But there are two totally different issue with Gibsons: first, as many chroniclers of the Gibson company have pointed out, the people who actually make the guitars don't suddenly lose their craftsmanship when a company changes hands. The management decisions show up eventually in the product (Norlin's practice of essentially gutting QC, for example) but just because more seconds made it into shops does not mean they were all seconds. Second, the key to Gibson sound and playability is the design decisions that were made, mostly by Ted McCarty's team. My Deluxe is the heir to the careful and canny development that went on in that era, and my other electric, an Epiphone Sheraton II, is also a child of Gibson's R&D quality.

 

I speak as the former owner (and, more importantly, player) of a '63 Gretsch Chet Atkins Country Gent and it was a nice guitar...but the peculiarities Gretsch had to incorporate to differentiate their electrics from Gibson's made it much less ergonomic than the Sheraton or the Deluxe (I clearly remember the epiphany when I got my hands on the LP in '97: OMG! You can play all the way up the neck on this thing!).

 

For all the criticism of Henry J, we all owe a debt of gratitude for his bringing Gibson back from the near-dead. The fact that he and his partners got it for a mere $5M (about the same time, an equally depleted Fender sold for $12M) is an indication of how far down the outfit had sunk. I don't doubt that Gibson would have been liquidated had Henry et al not stepped up.

 

And in that case, we'd all be bidding Norlin LPs up into the 6 figures, because there wouldn't be any more coming down the line -- and that would be a shame.

 

My virtual $0.02 worth.

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I couldn't agree more lpdeluxe, in fact I'm sure the precious '59 Les Pauls had plenty imperfections when they came out

 

Two thoughts come to mind regarding this;

 

1). What should be considered acceptable for the amount of money paid.

2). What bothers me may not even be an issue for someone else.

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LP,

 

all fair points - we'll just agree to disagree with what we find acceptable workmanship on a new instrument. purchasing a used instrument? yes, expect dents, etc. a new one? no.

 

as for dents in my guitars, that's part of the character - I can, for the most part, remember how all of the dents, scrapes, etc., got there to begin with. I prefer a guitar that's been played and has some wear and tear to it - but I want the wear and tear to be a result of my playing rather than a result of sloppy craftsmanship. what is more troubling though is the fact that a guitar would leave the Custom Shop with the plastic surrounding the input jack having been screwed in crooked and pinched up - I'm sorry if we disagree, but there is simply zero excuse for that. It's just plain out laziness and lack of attention to detail or focus on the craftsmanship at hand.

 

Again, I'll just point back to my comment about people coming on this forum complaining of defects in craftsmanship, and the resulting suggestions on what the purchaser has to do to fix it. Again, I'm sorry if we disagree, but unless you have a financial stake in Gibson sales, you can't possibly come up with a rational explanation of why this is acceptable.

 

I'm looking forward to the new one coming in. My sense is that the 3rd one will be a charm and be in in the condition as well as playability and sound that I want. If so, the dents will come - by me.

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I think Gibson made a huge mistake releasing the Traditional as a seperate model. They should have kept it under the Standard brand. They could have released it as the Standard--Modern and the Standard--Traditional.

 

What Gibson faces now is the prospect of having to killing the Standard name, which would be a real shame. I also don't understand why Gibson produces so many models of the LP--Classic, Standard, Traditional, Studio. It makes no sense. It just creates a ton of confusion in the market.

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