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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by kid335
    Groyniad,
    You are a great writer, a funny guy and really know how to stir it up. I'll bite.

    I can't speak to Campellone, but comparing an Andersen or Comins to an L5 is like comparing beef to fish. Just because you prefer the fish (Gibson), does not cheapen the quality of the beef. Given the amount of red meat thrown out in the previous post, I am going to gather that you would have preferred that the Gibson be compared to the beef. Sorry, its fish. Its always been fish and will always be fish.

    I own an L5 and a couple of archtops with superior acoustic qualities. I MUST have the fish AND the chicken. I could tell myself that the chicken is so good that I don't need the smelly fish. However, sooner or later I'm going to want a nice big plate of Pescato Frito.

    "This Comins feels cheep and nasty"....said no person, ever!

    Oh man ..... I just don't like fish enough to call a Gibson a fish ... probably comes from growing up in land locked places like Tennessee

    Maybe Gibson is a classic American chicken and dumplings ... whereas a Campellone is a nice Fettuccini con Pollo ... and Benedetto is a nice spaghetti con aglio e olio ... a nice Hofner could be a lovely Rahmschnitzel

    LOL

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    The hallmark of pro players appears to be in many cases endorsements. Every one is good enough to make a plank sound great.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger

    American labor costs more than Chinese slave labor.
    Does anyone know the starting wage for someone on the Gibson factory floor? Maybe $9/hr?

    there seems to be a lot of info on the tyrannical working conditions under Henry J.

    For a company that's supposed to be world class and charges a premium for their guitars I would like to see the wealth distributed fairly among its workers. That's how a company builds loyalty and quality.

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNAPPI
    The hallmark of pro players appears to be in many cases endorsements. Every one is good enough to make a plank sound great.
    The other side of that coin is that buying a $6k archtop is not going to make an amateur sound great. Imagine what a $1k ibanez and $5k worth of lessons and live shows would sound like!

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by drbhrb
    The other side of that coin is that buying a $6k archtop is not going to make an amateur sound great. Imagine what a $1k ibanez and $5k worth of lessons and live shows would sound like!

    And as much as I love my Gibsons .. .



    Ibanez has some guitars for under $1K that sound darn good .....

    when you plug them into the right amp

  7. #56

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    Chinese labor costs are rising, too...

  8. #57

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    There are other great jazz guitars than those made by Gibson.

    There are superb handbuilt guitars from D'Angelico to Monteleone that rival the best Gibsons in every way. Vintage Epiphones and Guilds are superb guitars. IMO, Ibanez, of all the import (non-American) brands has done the best job, particulary with their Japanese built guitars (I am old enough to remember when Japanese guitars were lousy. That has most certainly changed over the last 50 years).

    Some may have a preference for other brands, and that is OK.

    When labor and the environment are protected and respected in China, I will be less of a critic of their products.

    People who do well often have their detractors. I think Henry J. deserves kudos for pulling Gibson back from the brink.

    When I go to my gig tonight, there will be a guitar in my hands that says Gibson on the headstock. Just as there was on my gig last night. And the night before that. I bought my first Gibson in 1974 (a used 1970 ES-175 that cost me $330, which was a financial struggle for my then 16 year old self) and have owned a Gibson guitar (today I own 6 of them) ever since.

    For those who understand the magic of the Gibson guitar, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't (assuming they have played one), no explanation is possible.

  9. #58

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    This economics stuff is tricky...my last Subaru (WRX) was made in Indiana, and my last 2 BMW's made in Spartanburg, SC.

    Anyway, back OT I have had 2 Gibsons, a 1980's era 175 and a mid-2000's 135. They were both well-made instruments. The 135 in particular is a real gem and a real bargain. (Though admittedly a 175 bought for $900 in 1981 sounds a lot better than one at current prices...)

    Over the weekend I decided to take several of my guitars out for a spin. These included a 1960's Harmony (US), 2000's Fender partscaster (original body MIM I'm told, but now with a Paulownia body probably from Asia, Warmoth MIA neck, SD pickups), Gibson ES-125 and Peerless Sunset (Korea). It was quite fun to reconnect with all these guitars, in particular the Fender, having neglected the poor girl for awhile.

    I really like the Gibbie. It has a restrained attractiveness with simple appointments, binding, etc. It does what it does and does it well. I can't help but think of a Gibson as an aspirational instrument for a lot of us. I'm glad I have one in the harem.

    My original plan was to sell the Peerless when I got the Gibson. However, much as I try, I cannot find the Peerless to be one whit less wonderful than the Gibson. It is just a beautiful guitar to look at and to play. It has more attractive cream multi-ply bindings. It is super-light. I find Korean guitars like Peerless and Samick to have the most comfortable necks of any.

    So I guess my point is that there are a lot of good guitars out there. I have liked and will always like Gibsons, but I agree that the current new archtops are priced too high for my taste. There are so many economical alternatives out there that one can't feel bad for the "working musician".

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by drbhrb
    The other side of that coin is that buying a $6k archtop is not going to make an amateur sound great. Imagine what a $1k ibanez and $5k worth of lessons and live shows would sound like!
    I take your point here, but as one who taught guitar some, and as a long-term serious amateur player, I believe that the non-master needs a really nice instrument. Sure, Kenny Burrell could make a cigar-box guitar sound great.

    News Flash: I am not Kenny Burrell. I can't make a cigar-box guitar sound great. But if my ability is limited, it's hurt even more if I have to fight the guitar just to play. Or if I play well, to have a guitar that creates a B- tone isn't very rewarding.

    But when I get it right on my Gibson, the message is multiplied. People miss a step walking through the store if I'm playing there. They turn around and look.

    It isn't me. It was just an EbMaj9 chord. Played on a Gibson.

  11. #60

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    I can only echo what Lawson has said. I love Gibson guitars. I do think they are overpriced. I also have bought several really nice Gibsons lately and the dream guitar that I'm saving for is an L5. There really is something ineffable (pixy dust) about them. Can't tell you what it is. My Guild Benedetto has it in spades, but ALL of my Gibsons have it. I play better on them because they just feel and sound better than most of my other guitars.

  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by kid335
    Groyniad,
    You are a great writer, a funny guy and really know how to stir it up. I'll bite.

    I can't speak to Campellone, but comparing an Andersen or Comins to an L5 is like comparing beef to fish. Just because you prefer the fish (Gibson), does not cheapen the quality of the beef. Given the amount of red meat thrown out in the previous post, I am going to gather that you would have preferred that the Gibson be compared to the beef. Sorry, its fish. Its always been fish and will always be fish.

    I own an L5 and a couple of archtops with superior acoustic qualities. I MUST have the fish AND the chicken. I could tell myself that the chicken is so good that I don't need the smelly fish. However, sooner or later I'm going to want a nice big plate of Pescato Frito.

    "This Comins feels cheep and nasty"....said no person, ever!
    you're right. i got carried away. my comins never felt that way. 'its almost as if the gibson made those guitars feel cheep and nasty' would be better (but still a bit strong).

    i bet in five years time i'll want another andersen or comins etc. (and the campellones were all super too - very super).

    but fish..?

    damn beefy fish if you ask me
    Last edited by Groyniad; 05-09-2016 at 03:28 PM.

  13. #62

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    Any time someone I know tells me they're looking at a Gibson or a Fender, I tell them to play every one in the store. The quality is just so variable. Fender has gotten a lot better, and right now, they're pretty consistently good. Gibson is still very hit or miss. When Gibsons are good, they're sublime.

    For my own part, I don't think I'd spend a lot of money on a Gibson, unless I found one that REALLY spoke to me. I'm sufficiently infatuated with my Ibanez, that I can't see paying Gibson prices.

  14. #63

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    i played 5 new L5s across two stores and every one was just wonderful - and each one sounded basically the same just with less and less acoustic freshness as they got more electrified (i.e. going from an L5 p to an L5 wes to 3 L5 CES).

    i was really impressed by how consistent they were. the sound and feel was pretty much the same with each guitar.

    it seems to me that the level of finish is the same as with e.g. a Comins Classic or Andersen Model 17 or Campellone Special (i've had these instruments) - but the shading and coloring and the design itself seems to me to be much much more effective and striking. i've been very very smitten by the boutique offerings. they make the guitars look much more like classical instruments - and that is amazing. but the gibson art deco thing is just uber-cool - it looks jazz-cool to my eye - it looks like something made for the blues and the night.

    so from a purely cosmetic point of view they are very very strong competitors to their boutique rivals.

    so if a new comins classic is 9500 (it may be more) then to be able to get an L5CES or WES for 8500 (i did a lot better than that) is very very good value.

    i think its amazing that a massive company like gibson can produce the number of L5s they do and make them to that sort of standard (that is - the standard of a master luthier working alone with enough time) at that price, and with that sort of consistency in their sound and feel.

  15. #64

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    Sometimes it seems like Japan gets Gibson's best stuff ....

    The US gets the second best, but still pretty good stuff ..

    And Europe and the UK get the Gibson drabs that Guitar Center rejects ... at least that's what I think when I read Archtopheaven's posts

  16. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    Sometimes it seems like Japan gets Gibson's best stuff ....

    The US gets the second best, but still pretty good stuff ..

    And Europe and the UK get the Gibson drabs that Guitar Center rejects ... at least that's what I think when I read Archtopheaven's posts

    This is what I was told in person by Hanks the biggest Gibson importer in the country (uk). To quote

    "Yeh I used to get acoustic Gibson's arrive and we would send about 70% of them back. I know they didn't take them back to be smashed up, they forced them onto smaller shops with less clout outside the city. I feel really sorry for the suckers who bought those dogs and the shops that had to sell them"

    Many shops sell Gibson for the huge mark up. Its like a rigged game between Gibson and the Gibson sellers. All talk them up, sell them up and go home in a porsche.
    Meanwhile I'm looking at a rushed guitar with poor QC that Im being told is worth £3000

  17. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenwave77
    People get annoyed about minor fit and finish stuff---still it is the Gibson sound that is the real value, and distinction of the brand. If someone ever reverse engineers them, and figures out their sound formula, they are in trouble---the U.S. will never be the low cost producer. (For a long time the French monopolized high quality Red Burgundy...but frankly the quality control was spotty...some bottles were watery...I would splurge and pay $40 for just OK red burgundy and feel victimized. Also,the weather was inconsistent, and basically 1 in 3 vintages was good, whereas for Bordeaux it is more like 2 out of 3, and a lot more Red Bordeaux was, and is, produced. Basically, there was a lot less risk....now guitars with minor setup issues can be fixed....bad or disappointing bottles of wine cannot be....people just get annoyed. Now many areas of the world successfully grow the Pinot Noir (red burgundy) grape, and for a long time they could not....the French Burgundy producers I think have lost their edge, and are no longer as profitable as they once were. I no longer buy Red Burgundy...but there are now damned fine growers from Oregon and other locations.

    I think you over rate the gibson sound although I agree to some level. To say all Gibsons have a Gibson sound is to admit or accept that sound is also crap as well as awesome. Some of the worst sounding guitars I have played are gibson, so how do we square that circle?
    There is a Gibson sound but to state it has value that cant be touched by poor QC, over pricing and competition is optimistic imo.

    Gibson are going down, I give it 10 years before they sell to someone else. To say Gibson would disappear completely, is as you pointed out, not happing.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 05-09-2016 at 05:21 PM.

  18. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I think you over rate the gibson sound although I agree to some level. To say all Gibsons have a Gibson sound is to admit or accept that sound is also crap as well as awesome. Some of the worst sounding guitars I have played are gibson, so how do we square that circle?
    There is a Gibson sound but to state it has value that cant be touched by poor QC, over pricing and competition is optimistic imo.

    Gibson are going down, I give it 10 years before they sell to someone else. To say Gibson would disappear completely, is as you pointed out, not happing.

    We square the circle by accepting that no one hits the ball out of the park every time ... or sometimes even the best make an own goal .. or whatever your favorite reference is

    In the end its all subjective

  19. #68

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    And I've certainly played some lousy Gibsons that just didn't have what I like about Gibsons ... I didn't buy them

    Most of the 60s Gibson archtops I've played were rather disappointing


    When they're good, though .. they are my favorite ... so far

  20. #69

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    Here is a video of my friend Andreas Oberg playing my 96 L-5 Wesmo (I am playing rhythm on my Maple Dupont Gypsy guitar next to him. He was also using a Polytone Mini-Brute amp that I owned back then). Andreas told me that it was one of the best archtops he had ever played. I bought it used in 2002 for just under $3100 from a music store in Kansas.



    While it is true that Andreas could make a cigar box with strings sound good, the Gibson does sound great. I have used it on a lot of gigs and she has picked up a few dings along the way, but this guitar will not be for sale as long as I am on this side of the astroturf...

  21. #70

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    very SWEET !!! Not to mention the guy on your right too.

  22. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Archie,

    You remain my favorite Gibson basher on this forum.

    Your opinion counts with me, even when you are wrong.

    On one hand a gibson bash is acceptable and valid but inspite of what I say, I can tell you honestly that I respect your choices and I respect the choices of all you guys, Joe, Vinny, B2, others of course.
    You know what good tone is, I can hear that in your videos, I can see it in your weapons of choice.

    I tread a fine line here I dont want you guys to be offended. A good Gibson is unbeatable we all know that, thats like a given. perhaps i just need to remind you guys that I haven't forgotten that!

    Im a perfectionist; an A-hole and if Patrick were here, he'd say the same thing.

    Anyway i haven't said anythning bad about Gibson in months... ok that 275 thread like last week

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    And I've certainly played some lousy Gibsons that just didn't have what I like about Gibsons ... I didn't buy them

    Most of the 60s Gibson archtops I've played were rather disappointing


    When they're good, though .. they are my favorite ... so far

    That sums up my feelings exactly. You should become my spokesperson, I need some PR
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 05-09-2016 at 06:41 PM.

  24. #73

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    Rich.....we love you man ! Don't forget I have been known to bash Gibson's QC.

  25. #74

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    Thanks Tal

    Yeh you are bang on point, I highly trust your comments reviews, always have.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 05-09-2016 at 07:01 PM.

  26. #75

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    No no no, we buy them cheap and then bash them for once being too expensive for the quality ;-))

    Or someone gets a good one and we bash the other ones.

    It's complicated, I'd best stay clear

  27. #76

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    I love Gibson guitars, but I don't think I will ever buy a new one. They don't exactly represent good value for money...

    however--- I would gladly buy a used one! There is a reason why they're such a famous brand, they have made some of the best guitars. They have made some dogs too no doubt. Currently I'm on the hunt for a Gibson Les Paul Recording.

    I have no issues with buying guitars that are Asian made either. My Gretsch G400 is made in Japan and the craftsmanship is absolutely superb. The playability and tone is on par with many far more expensive instruments.

  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankLearns
    Sure, due to the inflated prices, Gibsons are great investments.
    Well, at least while the prices are inflated.

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by aboutIt
    @goldenwave77: my comment was less about guitars than casinos
    Perhaps, but as Henry Kissinger said in another context, "I only know what I read in the papers" [in your post].

  30. #79

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    Maybe someone can explain something to me.

    If Gibsons are so overpriced, and their quality is so lousy, then why doesn't every other mfg. follow this same strategy?

    What is preventing them?

  31. #80

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    A price signal is information conveyed to consumers and producers, via the price charged for a product or service, which provides a signal to increase/decrease supply and/or increase/decrease demand for the priced item.
    It’s a free market system in the western world, so Gibson can ask for their guitars whatever they want. I’d go only for their vintage guitars.

    Some individual points elicit comments:

    >> … (and it is hard to be humble when you are the best. I think the American made stuff is the best). There are no better motorcycles than a Harley and there are no better Guitars than a Gibson. If you cannot afford them, work harder (or smarter). The best things in life do not come easily.

    I have yet to play a production guitar that sounds better or plays better than a Gibson. For Jazz, Gibson, the inventor of the archtop guitar wrote the book.
    <<

    1. The best things in life are said to be free, hence come easily – unless you’re a follower of financialization.
    2. There are no better (production) guitars than a Gibson? Say what? Uh, if you cannot find a guitar that sounds better or plays better than a Gibson, search harder (or smarter).
    3. The Gibson Company was the inventor of the archtop guitar - from popular view. Others would put most of the glory to countless European violin and mandolin makers (since the 16th/ 17th century). The word "guitar" was adopted from the Spanish guitarra, which comes from the Andalusian Arabic qīṯāra , which in turn came from the Ancient Greek kithara. The Viennese guitar maker Johann Georg Stauffer invented "the arpeggione"around 1823. Some other European luthiers built similarly constructed bowed or plucked instruments, and I’ve seen at least one patent from Berlin/Germany that was preceeding Orville Gibson’s U.S. patent from 1896 by years. Eventually, it was mainly Lloyd Loar, a deep violin and mandolin worshiper who, between 1919 and 1924, achieved the first really convincing amalgamation of the archtop violin construction and materials with the elements of traditional plucked musical instruments. We all know that from the beginning the Gibson Company has been running by investors. Loar’s later developments at Gibson were considered to be too revolutionary; translated into the business language this means: too little profit promising. After they got what Lloar had developed, they kicked him off – similar to what the Selmer folks in Paris did to Mario Maccaferri some years later…
    Despite the devastating WW I and its consequences in Europe, soon thereafter, still in the 1920’s, the archtop guitar in Europe was just as often called ‘cello guitar’ like ‘Gibson guitar’.


    >> As much as I love America, I don't buy into this silly blind "American exceptionalism" crap. It is really to the detriment of the country, it prevents those believers from evaluating what is working best in other countries and adopting foreign ideas. You can argue about who makes the best motorcycle, guitar, car, whatever, but it is really all subjective and perspective is based on
    context.
    <<

    >> I don't know any great working guitarists in my area that play new Gibsons. <<

    That’s exactly my own view. Other than the Lloar design, skilled Gibson craftsmen built great guitars up to the late 1950s. In the 1960s, the average Gibson workmanship comparably dropped, similarly to the mass of European made archtops. In the Norlin period, up to the 80s, the quality and value_for_money of Gibson archtops, bought new in Europe, are said to be more hit or miss. The post 1985 archtops are still hit or miss, though to a much lesser degree a hit. IMO, there was a considerable loss of violin making knowledge when the new Gibson plant started; later on, the all-pervasive cost cutting thought or the maximization of profits became rampant. Using poplar wood for the neck like on the ES-175 1959 VOS, and so on – once unthinkable. I remember well the startled face of my guitar teacher, a dedicated Gibson L-5, D’Angelico (1940s) and Borys player, when he plucked my 1996 L-5WM, bought new at one of the then few reputable stores in Germany, for the first time: "this is a semi-acoustic, electric guitar – nice looking, though quite differently sounding!"


    >> Let's stick to the OP's claim that Gibsons are worth the money and not get sidetracked into a political squabble. <<

    Sorry, but this is not easy to achieve! The reason is the political squabble and acting of the Gibson CEO according to the motto ‘God bless America and the American workers!’ This motto would fit to the open, though persistent secret among professional Gibson players and potential customers that only the qualitatively inferior part of the Gibson production has been arriving in Europe for a longer period. In addition, there’s the limited warranty issue and customer service in Europe. A responsible, globally acting CEO certainly would be concerned. If true – and after all I’m inclined to believe it might be true – this is questionable behavior. Also, we can learn so much more from our critics, well-meaning or not, than from the yea-sayers, and I don’t see the actual Gibson management would bother in any way. Most jazz fans I’ve met in my life, feel, think and behave like cosmopolitans. I’ve never asked by now, so it’s a vague guess, but some non-American jazz guitarists might even feel embarrassed if they get seen with an axe that is charged with unnecessary political and national sentiment: today jazz music is a global language - and jazz guitars are global tools!


    >> i've had half a dozen purely american made guitars - from campellone, andersen and comins - they were just as expensive or more expensive than gibsons (i used think an L5 would be 2 steps down from the guitars i was playing) - and they were great

    but none of them could hold a candle to the gibson i now play (brand new L5CES)

    what the topic has to do with is the precise way that gibson make guitars

    god knows how they do it - but this L5 makes all the other guitars i've played sound and feel cheap and nasty - really. its just that good.
    <<

    This does happen in the production of hollowbody guitars, no matter where or by whom they are assembled: if you put together carved or laminated plates from the stocks, with tonebars from the stocks, and a neck from the stocks, etc., it could happen that the corresponding resonance modes fit really well in a few guitars, and that these will end up as exceptionally resonant and lively guitars. Well, Gibson don’t "do it", it just happens by accident! That’s why the potential buyers basically try to A/B as much as possible models at one point-of-sale, making the buying sort of a raffle, at least outside the country of origin.


    God bless America! I really love the Americans and their enhanced freedom (which, OTOH, demands more self-control of the individual), and their ultimate export: jazz and blues music that was born there, not always without violence! Unforgotten will be their help at great sacrifice to get rid of that Austrian monster that without massive fraud and trickery could never have been the German Chancellor, and survived at least 39 assassination attempts in the German Reich.
    God bless America: paradoxical as it may sound, but US bombs were directly responsible that some matchless jazz guitars emerged!


    Last edited by Ol' Fret; 05-09-2016 at 09:39 PM.

  32. #81

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    Can anyone justify this? Please make a good case for Gibson:

    Gibson True Historic 1960 Les Paul Aged Electric Guitar at zZounds

    Oh, and that's a savings of 29%! LOL

  33. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    On one hand a gibson bash is acceptable and valid but inspite of what I say, I can tell you honestly that I respect your choices and I respect the choices of all you guys, Joe, Vinny, B2, others of course.
    You know what good tone is, I can hear that in your videos, I can see it in your weapons of choice.

    I tread a fine line here I dont want you guys to be offended. A good Gibson is unbeatable we all know that, thats like a given. perhaps i just need to remind you guys that I haven't forgotten that!

    Im a perfectionist; an A-hole and if Patrick were here, he'd say the same thing.

    Anyway i haven't said anythning bad about Gibson in months... ok that 275 thread like last week
    Archie, in some strange ways, I can understand where you are coming from. I couldn't be offended with anything you say, even if my last name was Gibson. We need more of you. Don't be scarce..

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Here is a video of my friend Andreas Oberg playing my 96 L-5 Wesmo (I am playing rhythm on my Maple Dupont Gypsy guitar next to him. He was also using a Polytone Mini-Brute amp that I owned back then). Andreas told me that it was one of the best archtops he had ever played. I bought it used in 2002 for just under $3100 from a music store in Kansas.



    While it is true that Andreas could make a cigar box with strings sound good, the Gibson does sound great. I have used it on a lot of gigs and she has picked up a few dings along the way, but this guitar will not be for sale as long as I am on this side of the astroturf...
    Marco you never cease to amaze me.
    Proud of you for standing your ground. You are probably the only one here that could start a thread like this and not have it turn into an all out brawl.. Credibility and respect coming at you in waves..

    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Rich.....we love you man ! Don't forget I have been known to bash Gibson's QC.
    Aint that the truth! And you have every right.

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    Double-carved neck Hand sanded for playability and accurate profile

    Im glad they make the neck playable, god knows how annoying that is when they don't bother.

    The Gibson marketing department is the kind of place I would work if I was taking the piss for a day and I could say and come up with whatever I wanted.
    see what I mean? Archie, you Crack me up. And thanks for not pointing out that they just might sand the 2 little pieces of walnut just a little bit more than the other 3 pieces of maple...

    oh, I love this place..
    JD

  34. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by abelljo
    Can anyone justify this? Please make a good case for Gibson:

    Gibson True Historic 1960 Les Paul Aged Electric Guitar at zZounds

    Oh, and that's a savings of 29%! LOL

    If Gibson manages to sell these they don't have to justify it to any of us ..... They only have to sell a few of them ... and they are apparently doing so


    Have you seen the prices for Gil Yaron's LP copies or a Stevens LJ .... or a Gustavsson Bluesmaster ...

    Check them out and others here
    Destroy All Guitars - The Boutique Guitar Revolution Has A Home

    Gibson is following their lead and trying to get a piece of the $10K and above solid body action

  35. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Here is a video of my friend Andreas Oberg playing my 96 L-5 Wesmo (I am playing rhythm on my Maple Dupont Gypsy guitar next to him. He was also using a Polytone Mini-Brute amp that I owned back then). Andreas told me that it was one of the best archtops he had ever played. I bought it used in 2002 for just under $3100 from a music store in Kansas.



    While it is true that Andreas could make a cigar box with strings sound good, the Gibson does sound great. I have used it on a lot of gigs and she has picked up a few dings along the way, but this guitar will not be for sale as long as I am on this side of the astroturf...
    That's a very nice guitar sound. Makes me want to check out what the '90s boxes are going for... hmmmm....

    It's all in the specific guitar. Something hand crafted like an L5 is always going to have variations. You just have to play lots of guitars. Which is a terrible hardship of course :-)

  36. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    That's a very nice guitar sound. Makes me want to check out what the '90s boxes are going for... hmmmm....

    It's all in the specific guitar. Something hand crafted like an L5 is always going to have variations. You just have to play lots of guitars. Which is a terrible hardship of course :-)

    He does make that L5 sound good. I always liked the extra clarity (scale length) of the L5 over the 175.

  37. #86

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    Judging from the following video, high prices don't seem to bother German players much.


  38. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    If Gibson manages to sell these they don't have to justify it to any of us ..... They only have to sell a few of them ... and they are apparently doing so


    Have you seen the prices for Gil Yaron's LP copies or a Stevens LJ .... or a Gustavsson Bluesmaster ...

    Check them out and others here
    Destroy All Guitars - The Boutique Guitar Revolution Has A Home

    Gibson is following their lead and trying to get a piece of the $10K and above solid body action

    For the record, I don't thing solid body guitars are nearly as difficult to build as hollow body, or even semi-hollows for that matter. The corollary is---there is lot less "magic" inherent in them.

    So, my earlier post re: Gibson's distinctive sound did not mention solid bodies.

    I think anyone who pays huge money for solid bodies is just nutso....there was this pseudo-romantic, pseudo-flower child aspect to the Baby Boomer generation that has transmuted, or mutated, twenty years later, into really noxious consumeristic fetishism, and people who fetishize these instruments are just soft-headed, IMO. When you combine this with "individualized" marketing, that is now accomplished through digital media, the implications are frightening.

    There was a pretty good New Yorker cartoon that showed a "Woodstock reunion" with a huge crowd of people standing around, sipping cocktails---that captured part of the hypocrisy. The cartoon would now have to be updated to show everyone distracted as they pay attention to their smartphones, tablets, etc.
    Last edited by goldenwave77; 05-10-2016 at 08:41 AM.

  39. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klatu
    Judging from the following video, high prices don't seem to bother German players much.

    I have the same shirt that Larry has. Same hair too. Except mine grows mostly on my back..

    Great Video. Thanks, Joe D

  40. #89

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    Yes, I would agree that this whole Gibson Les Paul as collectors item and the resultant whole custom Les Paul as furniture thing is a product of this culture... But who can blame a company for trading on their name and going for the easy buck? But yeah, thousands on a Telecaster, say, it's a bit silly. Although I was tempted by a '67 Tele. Then I thought... Hmmm, I could get a nice archtop for that, and came to my sense. In the end I din't spend the money.

    My modern tele is a great workhorse and unlike a relic, I'm not afraid to take it out of the house. (Which is another argument for buying non-vintage, although used is turning into vintage more and more.... )

    Here's the thing - carved musical instruments such as cellos, violins and archtop guitars are hard to make well. They are expensive. The cellist in my group plays an instrument worth in excess of 10-12,000USD. I rent a handbuilt lute worth around 10,000. When you bear that in mind, paying out for an L5 or whatever seems pretty reasonable.

    While I love my Loar cheapo Chinese guitar (I know guys who own vintage Gibson acoustic archtops who play the Loar's on tours and pub gigs where their instruments might get damaged) I do wonder how clear my conscience is on the whole slave labour thing. I don't know about Loar's situation, but given you can get a carved archtop for under 500USD, I do wonder...
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-10-2016 at 09:09 AM.

  41. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg
    If Gibson manages to sell these they don't have to justify it to any of us ..... They only have to sell a few of them ... and they are apparently doing so


    Have you seen the prices for Gil Yaron's LP copies or a Stevens LJ .... or a Gustavsson Bluesmaster ...

    Check them out and others here
    Destroy All Guitars - The Boutique Guitar Revolution Has A Home

    Gibson is following their lead and trying to get a piece of the $10K and above solid body action
    What I mean by justify, I'm asking not for Gibson to justify, but for us to try to determine if there is real intrinsic value or is it a company being greedy and overpricing the value of a plank of wood with electronic components. Over-hyping their guitars and every year coming up with an even "more accurate" reissue and asking ridiculous prices. I'm not an idiot and I would never pay that much for a LP. It's just a BAD investment. I'm sure the idea came up in a meeting with a bunch of Gibson execs sitting in a conference room, trying to find ways to increase profit margins and sell snake oil to consumers. There is a fine line between legitimately pricing and selling an item and scamming consumers. I think Gibson at this point is scamming consumers. The fact that there are other scammers selling Gibson inspired guitars for high prices doesn't make it less of a scam. Snake oil!
    Last edited by abelljo; 05-10-2016 at 10:18 AM.

  42. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    (snip)
    Here's the thing - carved musical instruments such as cellos, violins and archtop guitars are hard to make well. They are expensive. The cellist in my group plays an instrument worth in excess of 10-12,000USD. I rent a handbuilt lute worth around 10,000. When you bear that in mind, paying out for an L5 or whatever seems pretty reasonable.

    While I love my Loar cheapo Chinese guitar (I know guys who own vintage Gibson acoustic archtops who play the Loar's on tours and pub gigs where their instruments might get damaged) I do wonder how clear my conscience is on the whole slave labour thing. I don't know about Loar's situation, but given you can get a carved archtop for under 500USD, I do wonder...
    If you're a luthier working on your own, and make only a small number of instruments a year, and want to make a decent middle-class income, you're going to have to charge a lot per instrument, maybe like $10k depending on local cost of living and how well you want to live. If you're Gibson, you have a completely different scenario. There is no way it costs them 6, 7, 8 grand more to make one instrument than another, especially not when it's just a fancier version of a production instrument. Nor do they "need" this price on their high end products to keep the doors open. That's covered by their mass production lines. The price they charge for these is what they think the market will bear, period, not manufacturing cost. It's about halo effect and tapping into extra profit in the luxury segment.

    As to the "slave labor in China" thing, there are good and bad employers in China. I doubt any of us knows where the Chibson makers fall on that spectrum, and I don't think it makes any sense to assume they're on the worst end (I say this from having only basic general knowledge about the more notorious industries in China, like mining, construction, food pricessing, and textiles. These are bad everywhere, but luthiery is not).

    John

  43. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    As to the "slave labor in China" thing, there are good and bad employers in China. I doubt any of us knows where the Chibson makers fall on that spectrum, and I don't think it makes any sense to assume they're on the worst end (I say this from having only basic general knowledge about the more notorious industries in China, like mining, construction, food pricessing, and textiles. These are bad everywhere, but luthiery is not).

    John
    Im sure exploitation of labour is high in China but then I could walk down to my local farm and ask the Romanians working for under minimum wage what they think?

    We like to think of places we dont know as dark, where women are raped when going to the shops, governments harvest baby organs, citizens have no rights etc.. yet when we go o these places we start to realise that the Golden Rule generally has a way of making somewhere with humans in, humane.

    Unless you live in NK or Somalia

    If half of the places we in the West were as bad as we thought, no one would live there.
    Last edited by ArchtopHeaven; 05-10-2016 at 10:23 AM.

  44. #93

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    "The price they charge for these is what they think the market will bear, period, not manufacturing cost. It's about halo effect and tapping into extra profit in the luxury segment."

    What, should they charge less than they can?

    Gibson is a business, not a social welfare agency.

  45. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatheelmusic
    "The price they charge for these is what they think the market will bear, period, not manufacturing cost. It's about halo effect and tapping into extra profit in the luxury segment."

    What, should they charge less than they can?

    Gibson is a business, not a social welfare agency.
    I guess if they are marketing to non gigging musicians, collectors and other high income buyers then it makes sense. I know they are a business, but it is unfortunate that real musicians can rarely afford a quality instruments and many talented guitarist are stuck with crappy guitars just because the guitar is so mainstream good ones are not affordable. But if clothing companies can charge thousands for a pair of jeans then Gibson can do the same with a guitar.

  46. #95

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    The cost is certainly quite high, but many of the companies selling the instruments to consumers do have zero or low interest payment options to get these instruments into the hands of working musicians. I want to delineate here, I am not speaking about going into massive debt to buy something, but rather a well thought out plan to make a purchase happen.

    A buddy of mine is a working musician (fantastic bassist) that is an artist with a boutique company ($7-$$$$k basses). While he does work during the week at a desk job, he still can't just pay $7.5k for a new bass. They offer a yearly payment plan while the instrument is being built so he can afford it. Certainly, not everyone can swing that kind of dough regardless of how many payment options are available, but it's still an option.

    Are Gibson's overpriced? Only if you either can't afford or don't want one. Sufficient sales volume is allowing the company to charge what they do (any company for that matter). If only X guitar is good enough, price is seemingly a secondary factor.

  47. #96

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    Pick your poison as far as new instruments go. Buy an expensive instrument that contributes to societies that perpetuate the advantages of the vast income divide, or buy a cheaper instrument that may or may be the result of labor and human rights exploitation. I think that the people at Gibson will say that they are altruistic because they off both.

    P.S. I like the sound and feel of a good Gibson. I don't have one anymore
    Last edited by lammie200; 05-10-2016 at 11:27 AM.

  48. #97

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    I'll buy and play instruments made in Countries that have laws respecting labor and the environment. My guitars were built in three Countries, the USA, France and Japan.

    All three are places that respect the rule of law, have multi-party elections and just happen to make some great guitars.

  49. #98

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    Gibson does have an artist program where performing artists get a deal on their guitars (as do most Guitar makers). The more high profile the player, the better the deal.

  50. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by boatheelmusic
    "The price they charge for these is what they think the market will bear, period, not manufacturing cost. It's about halo effect and tapping into extra profit in the luxury segment."

    What, should they charge less than they can?

    Gibson is a business, not a social welfare agency.
    I have no opinion on what they should charge. It's their business. I'm just pointing out that that manufacturing cost is not the main driver of their high end items' prices.

    John

  51. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Gibson does have an artist program where performing artists get a deal on their guitars (as do most Guitar makers). The more high profile the player, the better the deal.

    Gibson also has techs who specialize in setting up artist's guitars (and not ours).