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"Custom Shop" quality???


charlie brown

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Was very disappointed, in an observation I made, yesterday, at my local dealer.

Was in there, to pick up another guitar I had repaired, and while waiting, I

was looking around (as usual), at the Gibson's, PRS, and Fender offerings. I

noticed 3 Custom Shop LP's (R-6, and 2-R7's), and I have to say, the tops, on

All of them, were...what I could only describe as poorly prepped, before painting.

The paint finish was fine (no "orange peel," or dust, but the prep sanding/finishing

was rough/wavy, and not at all, what I would have expected, from a CS Gibson model,

and price-range. [crying]

 

Directly below, on another rack, were 3 Gold-Top Traditionals...standard, non-CS,

USA Gibsons, that were flawless. I was very surprised, and almost "embarrassed,"

for Gibson, to put out a CS version, with the tops, so poorly done...even especially,

at those prices. The backs and sides, were fine...but the tops were rougher looking

(under the paint) than either one of my "Tribute" Gold-Tops. Very disappointing, to

see. [confused]

 

BTW...The PRS (USA & Asian), Epiophones, and Fenders (all models/prices) were flawless,

and certainly by comparison.

 

Edit: I asked my dealer, if that was "typical" for those CS models, and

he said: "As of late...Yes, unfortunately!"

 

CB

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Took me two years driving all over the South of the U.K. every weekend to find my first Les Paul.

That was back in 1990 and 1991 but a Gibson was a (well, supposedly) Gibson.

I found loads over here back then that all had something or other wrong with them.

 

Having said that, I ordered a 2010 Limited back in January expecting to have to go through the same rigmaroll and possibly not ending up with anything, and bought the first one I tried.

It is perfect in every way.

Could have been set up just for me.

There's no marks on it and everything's been finished very well.

Things seem to have moved on.

Haven't looked under the truss rod yet but, hopefully, I'll never need to and, if I do, I won't find any little surprises.

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Not pretending to dispute of know precisely what you are referring to, but what you may be seeing is the ripple effect of the grain of the wood.

 

When the wood ages, what starts off as totally flat will shrink more in spots than others, according to the grain. If you look at any old guitar, it mat appear to be not as finished as nice as it once was.

 

Not sure if they are trying to simulate the appearance of an older LP or if the wood they used has already taken on that in the newer ones, but to me I agree it seems a little extreme to reality.

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.

While well meaning, explanations and excuses that involve trashing someones knowledge are in bad form. I've seen many of CB's guitars via posted pics here on the forum, and I've seen plenty of his posts - he knows what he's talking about and I believe him. There are plenty of reasons for finish problems after the guitar leaves Gibson. It's possible this might fall into that category.

 

But one source of irritation about Gibson is that they accept no responsibility whatsoever for finish problems, per their warranty - no coverage for finish problems of any kind, for any reason. Any reasonable person can see this is done to limit the cost of warranty repairs, BUT, realistically it also limits the likelyhood that problems will be pulled out of the production line and fixed (which would also add to the cost production). Keeping production and warranty costs down is a good money making strategy, but not so good for keeping customers happy.

 

I find it quite disturbing that an experienced and knowledgeable Gibson aficionado has noticed this going on, AND the dealer indicates the problem has been going of for some time.

 

Just as always - it's a crap shoot in more ways than one when you roll dice buying any guitar sight unseen. Buyer beware.

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what i dont understand is if all these new guitars are so bad, why doesn't the dealer ship them right back to gibson instead of hanging them up for sale.

 

Well, in the case of my dealer, they DO ship the "bad" ones back!

And, only hang out, the better ones. Makes me wonder, what the

Bad ones looked like? ;>b And, admittedly, I'm known to be

a bit "nit picky," too. So...maybe "I'm" making more of this, than

should be??! It just seemed really odd, to me, that those CS models,

had that "flaw"...and the Gibson USA Gold Tops, didn't. The CS models

Are carved more, have more of a noticable rise, or "belly," if you like.

So, Maybe, the waviness and rougher wood appearence IS due to that...???

But...It just didn't really look "right" or attractive, to me. Maybe

I expect "too much," from a 3,000 dollar (street price) guitar, these days?

 

They just looked "hurried," and not with the attention to detail, I would

have expected, especially for CS models.

CB

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if im going to drop 3,000 on any brand of guitar i expect it to be flawless thats just me. and myself would never buy one without seeing touching and playing it.

 

my question about the dealer shipping them back was meant in general, not just the one c b goes to.

 

i dont care what the price of the guitar is actually if im buying new my expiations are allot higher than if buying used.

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Well, guys...I own several Gibson LP's, 2 of which are 31 and 35 years old,

and they (still) have flawless finishes, save very minor polish swirls, or a tiny nick,

that I've managed to put there, accidentally. As I said, the actual painting

was good...it was the surface under it, that I question was properly prepared

(possibly rushed?), for painting. And, why those 3 (1-R-6, 2-R-7's) Gold Tops,

all with the same problem? Having a gloss finish, too, would/does accentuate

any flaws, so one would think they'd still give extra care, Gold-Top, or not.

 

Out of my own curiousity, I made a point, to check the remaining LP's (CS or not),

in the store...to see if it was obvious, on them, as well. None of the other's

had it. Aside from the 3 USA "Traditional" Gold-Tops, which were all fine, the rest

were bursts, of varying colors, and both CS and USA versions, at that. So...???

 

I'll try to clarify, what I saw. The carved area, in the upper bout, where the toggle switch is,

was wavy, and had a noticable, slightly rough, "dip"... between where the switch is located,

and the neck binding is, against the body.

 

CB

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I've seen similar things but not three in a row. This is precisely why I have never ordered a Gibson sight unseen. I do like the "variation" of each one though (tone and feel wise), but QC is an age old subject with Gibson. You did reinforce my belief in PRS. I have never seen a single flaw in any one. That's why I had no problems buying one without seeing it first. As I expected it's flawless.

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CB, are you sure it wasn't this ugly thing? [biggrin]

http://www.themusiczoo.com/product/8462/Gibson-Custom-Shop-57-Les-Paul-Worn-Goldtop-with-Mini-Humbuckers/

 

OK, in all seriousness, I've read a few posts from old Gibson employees and they sometimes receive very large orders with short deadlines. When they do, QC takes a backseat. Maybe that's what happened here?

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CB, are you sure it wasn't this ugly thing? [biggrin]

http://www.themusiczoo.com/product/8462/Gibson-Custom-Shop-57-Les-Paul-Worn-Goldtop-with-Mini-Humbuckers/

 

OK, in all seriousness, I've read a few posts from old Gibson employees and they sometimes receive very large orders with short deadlines. When they do, QC takes a backseat. Maybe that's what happened here?

 

[scared] That's just Wrong/Sad!!

 

And, I too think, by the looks of those I mentioned, it was "haste," more than anything, R9. It's just

very odd, to me, that 3, with the same problem, would end up at the same dealer. So, I had to wonder...you know? [confused]

 

CB

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When I discuss the price of guitars with people they nearly fall over.

Yet they pay £1000 for a garden table and chairs that is rough all over.

I've just looked at a private sale LP custom. A 91 mint model in black. The pickups are still gold.

Only £1600. I just haven't got it at the moment, Grrrr!

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This is precisely why I have never ordered a Gibson sight unseen.

Me too.

When I ordered the 2010 Limited (unseen/played), I was fully expecting to go through the performance I had with the Standard twenty years ago and possibly end up not ever buying one.

I was pleasantly surprised because it plays perfectly and exactly as every Gibson should, straight out of the box.

It took me ten years to get my Standard set-up properly (3rd attempt), which involved a shooting the neck and re-fretting it.

I don't mind because I loved the guitar anyway.

Just think it's strange that for ten years it wasn't the perfect guitar I thought I was buying and, in the ten years since that service, it's needed nothing doing do it.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love Gibsons (I persisted, playing around ten every weekend, for two years when I was looking to buy my first).

If I owned a Fender, a PRS, or any other guitar, I'd still rather have a Gibson with a (small) defect.

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if im going to drop 3,000 on any brand of guitar i expect it to be flawless thats just me. and myself would never buy one without seeing touching and playing it.

 

my question about the dealer shipping them back was meant in general, not just the one c b goes to.

 

i dont care what the price of the guitar is actually if im buying new my expiations are allot higher than if buying used.

 

I couldn't agree with you more! We are talking about an iconic instrument here, I had to view, and try many before I found mine. In fact, I first bought a Melvin Franks model, Peter Green's spec, and this was, appalling, as much as I wanted this guitar, I couldn't live with the terrible build quality and finish, there was even an overlap of the maple top and the mahogany...... the two were not the same size.......!!! And this was a run of 300 or so models..!

 

While custom shop guitars should vary, in that they should all be unique, possessing a character of their own, different in subtle ways, there shouldn't be issues with quality. Mine I have to say is flawless, and a truly wonderful creation to behold; shouldn't all custom shop LP's be like this? My only criticism with my own 59 reissue is that the pickup tops are dull and sticky, and the whole guitar's lacquered finish was sticky and dull; that's not acceptable for a new and expensive guitar; the aged concept is quite out of step with modern thinking, no 59 looked like this when it was new. This however is just the outside, Gibson should take some lessons from PRS and pay more attention to the inside (the wiring and electronics, for quality and authenticity), because this is even more important than the lacquered finish.

 

Perhaps I'm a bit odd, I have a job where I have put my career on the line to produce quality without compromise, and my customers recognise this, and pay for it...... I also don't mind paying for quality, but the standard has to be there,

 

My gosh! A well made LP, is a beautiful thing to behold!

 

 

 

 

 

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Sure, there are some bad apples out there. But i still think Gibson makes the best guitars out there period.

Jazz to death metal to blues to rock. They can do it all.

 

Absolutely! I think that we are all confirmed believers that Gibson are best, we are Gibson addicts, it's because we are so serious about this guitar, that we are concerned about production standards. Yes, it's amazing that what was originally designed as a jazz guitar, and was deemed old-fashioned in 1960, has become in the 21st century, the world's most sought-after and versatile guitar!

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Well, in the case of my dealer, they DO ship the "bad" ones back!

And, only hang out, the better ones. Makes me wonder, what the

Bad ones looked like? CB

 

In other words, the dealer is "settling" and accepting these, because

that's the best being offered? Which means the QC bar has been lowered

to maybe "Average"? Or considering the price, less than average?

 

This, in my view, makes finding a used one in good shape the better choice.

It may have a few imperfections,but so do the new ones. And used will have

already depreciated a bit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Two words

 

"Hand built"

 

Built with human hands. I dare any one to do anything artistic with wood and plastic and metal and not have some minor inconsistencies when repeating the same exact design again and again even with the CNC starting points. The time on the belt sander all the way to the scraper can affect your Les Paul's final finish and shape and trim detail. I'm surprised people have to have "robot like" quality. When you're in the middle of a sweaty set the finest details matter a lot less. If you haven't had the pleasure of playing instruments live on a regular basis I suggest you do as it will make you think less about tiny flaws. I would much rather a unique finish or characteristics than complain.... "My binding is .000000100405 mm thinner around the cutaway, sniff..."

 

See the Forest, Not the Trees grasshopper......

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Guest Farnsbarns Wunterslausche

I'm yet to see a Gibson with a finish flaw in a shop. It must happen but if that shop puts them on the shelf to sell them you've got to ask yourself what the hell is going on with that shop. Are they a low volume dealer that doesn't want to make waves or do they just not care.

 

If Gibson really do send out large numbers of flawed guitars and the dealer just sells them the issue won't go away. Sorry but whether Gibson have a QC problem or not, the onus is with the dealer on this one. And what drives Gibson to improve QC procedures if the dealers just sell a flawed a instrument?

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Well, I don't think it's just "low volume" dealers, that have this problem.

I've seen "finish flaws," on Gibson's in Mom & Pop shops, and also, in Huge chain

stores, that stock hundreds, of Gibson guitars. So...??? As to the numbers,

that are flawed? I'm sure it's low, to very low. But, it happens. And, as I

stated previously/initially, the flaw was under the finish...not the finish itself,

in this case. Some folks might not even notice that. I just thought it was odd,

that 3 CS Gold Tops, had the same type of "flaw," in the same exact area, on the

guitar.

 

CB

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Charlie, I have yet to play a CS Gibson that compares to what I expect from a CS instrument with that price tag. I have found most of them to be equivalents to USA models tops... and some to be less than a USA model.

 

I know some people will say "you gotta try lots and find THE ONE" but for the price they sell for, you should be able to pick one up blindly and it should be perfect. THE ONE should be perfect AND magical.

 

We (the consumer) settle for less than perfect and magical and so Gibson keeps on doing this.

 

 

There's no single USA Fender I've tried that had GCS issues, and they costed way less than G-USA guitars. [cursing]

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Guest Farnsbarns Wunterslausche

Well, I don't think it's just "low volume" dealers, that have this problem.

I've seen "finish flaws," on Gibson's in Mom & Pop shops, and also, in Huge chain

stores, that stock hundreds, of Gibson guitars. So...??? As to the numbers,

that are flawed? I'm sure it's low, to very low. But, it happens. And, as I

stated previously/initially, the flaw was under the finish...not the finish itself,

in this case. Some folks might not even notice that. I just thought it was odd,

that 3 CS Gold Tops, had the same type of "flaw," in the same exact area, on the

guitar.

 

CB

 

Oh, OK, sorry. It was just that here...

 

Yeah, there were other Gibson's there, that were great, all the way around.

But, those 3 particular CS Reissue Gold Tops, were not, unfortunately. I

had heard stories, about this, but had never (before) seen any, up-close!

 

;>(

 

CB

 

you seemed to mean you hadn't seen it before so I thought you meant it was rare. If you are seeing a lot of them it's bad news and worrying.

 

I just don't see them, as I say, I have only ever go to one place that sells Gibsons for 10/12 years and it is the UK's biggest dealer but I have never noticed anything wrong with any. I have, of course, picked up guitars that just didn't feel right to me but that's about personal preference.

 

I just don't understand why a shop would put a shoddy guitar on the shelf. As I said I s'pose I can see it if they are low volume and don't want to be sending guitars back and fall out of favor but even that would be the wrong thing to do really. They should send them back if they are visibly wrong, not pass them on to customers for a profit, that'll create work, bad feeling and extra cost in the long run and wont do their rep any good either.

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Two words . . . "Hand built"

 

If you haven't had the pleasure of playing instruments live on a regular basis I suggest you do as it will make you think less about tiny flaws. I would much rather a unique finish or characteristics than complain.... "My binding is .000000100405 mm thinner around the cutaway, sniff..."

 

See the Forest, Not the Trees grasshopper......

 

 

Very poor form dismissing the concerns of knowledgeable, experienced players with a statement like that.

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