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  1. #1

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    OK as you all know I recently bought a 2016 Gibson Tal Farlow with a horrible tail rise rendering it unplayable. I believed it to be a fluke.....NOT. Today I bought a 2016 L5 with a neck just as bad. Frets pleked to almost zero fret height, unplayable past the 10th fret. Gibson even had the nerve to use a file on the fretboard to try and bring down the rise. Why would Gibson even have the nerve to send this out ? Needless to say Gibson just lost one of their best customers. I will NEVER buy a Gibson ever again. This not only causes lost customers but hurts Gibson dealers as they are out shipping costs both ways.
    Henry J....I hope you read this post ! A $8K guitar shouldn't have to have action like a $100 acoustic in order to not have the strings flat out past the 10th fret.
    Last edited by vinnyv1k; 08-09-2016 at 09:07 PM.

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  3. #2

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    ​Sorry to hear that Vinny, makes me real glad I went after a bunch of Heritages...
    So what you gonna get to comfort yourself after this disappointment.

    Big

  4. #3

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    sorry to hear that, and after you've paid retail for a few of them on top of it.

  5. #4

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    Vinny,
    I cannot believe your bad luck. I will say that the dealer(s) must also
    bear some responsibility here. Surely a reputable main Dealer must
    carry out a thorough check particularly on a top of the range L5 before
    the customer receives it either personally or by a shipping method.
    It is a very unsatisfactory affair, and suggest that you contact Henry J to
    make him aware of the current situation, and that there are approx
    47,500 + members here who read of these instances, to their dismay, which
    will have a serious detrimental effect on Gibson's reputation. I would
    expect the dealer to also tell the Company of their concerns regarding
    these unacceptable instances, which have manifested on more than one or two
    occasions recently.



    Alan

  6. #5

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    You should contact Gibson customer service about this.

    Danny W.

  7. #6

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    I think you should also post this on the Gibson board.

    My 2003 L5 which i bought brand new had a TOM with some screws not working properly. Any cheap student guitar would have a better working TOM. After posting this "bad experience" on the Gibson board i got a replacement in no time.

  8. #7

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    That sucks big time, Gibson is definitely in trouble when even its Custom Shop QC is that bad...
    That guitar should not have left the Custom Shop and probably should have been sent back by the dealership and definitely not sold to long time faithful knowledgeable buyer...
    If dealers don't send back their duds Gibson will keep producing them...

  9. #8

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    Hate to hear this

    The Crimson stuff I've had my hands on seemed to be top notch to me

    I expect to have my hands on another Crimson guitar later this week ....

    Hopefully it won't be in such bad shape ...

    if it comes home with me it will at least have the Guitar Center return policy attached to it


    Yikes

  10. #9

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    I am also really really sorry to heqr that Vinny. That is so much bad luck. That should not happen to a premium Gibson customer such as yourself. I really hope Gibson is doing something generous to fix it for you. I would still like to believe that this was bad luck twice and is not the norm in the custom shop these days. I never had a brand new Gibson archtop from the custom shop, but several Les Pauls and semi hollows they were all great. I truly hope the next one will be a real winner for you!

  11. #10

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    Try to buy your guitars from a reputable dealer like Dave's Guitar,Lavonne Music,Wildwood, Music Zoo to name some good ones.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by silverfoxx
    Vinny,
    I cannot believe your bad luck. I will say that the dealer(s) must also
    bear some responsibility here. Surely a reputable main Dealer must
    carry out a thorough check particularly on a top of the range L5 before
    the customer receives it either personally or by a shipping method.
    Just what I was thinking. The dealer is either:

    incompetent
    ignorant
    dishonest

  13. #12

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    The dealer certainly must have his/her back against the wall, at this point. To send out two top of the line instruments to the same customer that are way off...

    That dealer just lost an excellent customer for top-shelf guitars. AND, Gibson is eating its seed corn. You just don't send out a new guitar that has had its neck mangled like that. Heritage would have re-necked that guitar, I feel certain of it. Then, again, Heritage is a much smaller company and would have caught the error.

    If Gibson cannot get archtops right anymore, they should concede the market to those that can do so. It pains me to suggest this because Gibson invented the archtop guitar market in the first place.

    +1 on contacting customer service with the "two strikes" story. Gibson needs to know that they are bailing by throwing the buckets full of water back into the boat.

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Try to buy your guitars from a reputable dealer like Dave's Guitar,Lavonne Music,Wildwood, Music Zoo to name some good ones.
    I did.

  15. #14

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    Let's be fair, the dealers have kids working there that sweep, clean, do the stock, even clean the bathroom for what $8.00 an hour? If I worked there I'll be damned if I'd give them $25-$50 an hour labor for free.

    That said Ibanez knows how important the market is and from what I read every git gets setup on the destination shore b4 being delivered to dealers.

    So my take is, it's smack on Gibson's shoulders to stop this idiotic slide into an abyss of customer discontent like the U.S. auto makers did in the 60's and 70's.

    Vinny, my last new Gibson was a CS ES330 that was so horribly messed up, the dealer could not sell it. Luckily I had the parts and know how to straighten it out but I blamed Gibson not the dealer.

  16. #15

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    This feeds my theory that when bean counters take over a company, then revenue instead of quality becomes the priority.

    The same is true of a company that is just struggling to remain profitable. If what they say is true about Gibson and Fender financial distress, then I guess I should not be surprised.

    I just can't believe your recent experiences have all been coincidences.
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 08-10-2016 at 07:58 PM.

  17. #16
    I am going to email Henry J. Let's see if he answers.

  18. #17

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    Gibson is not what it once was.
    Since you owned one of Jimmy's guitars, you might want to check out a Borys.
    Just tell him some of your Jimmy stories, and he'll probably give you one of his guitars for free.

  19. #18

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    Vinny, this is just so unbelievable. Best of luck to you in getting this unacceptable situation settled.

    I mean, jeepers!

  20. #19

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    Bro,
    You don't need to buy another guitar for a while. Now you can be selective. Visit guitar shops who sell the guitars you like. If you see a good one that you like, buy it.
    That guitar should NEVER have left that shop. They make make a lot of money dealing guitars. They need to add value. Shipping out guitars like that is irresponsible. I'm sorry bro.
    Joe D

  21. #20

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    Vinny,
    Very disheartening to hear about your ongoing quality issues with Gibson guitars. It must be extremely frustrating to receive something that is so blatantly incorrect on an 8k brand new instrument.

    For future purchases I would like to suggest making a checklist of questions and have someone answer them over the phone ( speaker ) while going over the guitar - no text or email.

    Your senses will pick up on issues (in many cases ) by responses received. Any evasive or hesitant answers, or nonchalant responses are warning signs.

    Of course you should not have to do this on an 8k new guitar, but based on your prior experiences it's the only way to have some assurance of what your buying.

    I always make a checklist after reviewing a guitar of interest (that I cannot evaluate in hand ) and in most cases I wind up passing on the purchase - because of warning signs .

    Just something to think about - and I'm hoping you get this resolved to your satisfaction.

    Keep us posted on your communications with Gibson.

  22. #21

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    don't want to go too much out on a limb, but I have a feeling this is going to work out one way or another.
    yeah, Gibson is the mothership, but they can't be flat out stupid when it comes to PR.

    as we know, when Henry took over there was kind of a pall of apathy over the company.
    like some of things he did or not, he helped them regain their rep of making fine guitars.

    now let's se how this is handled today, when quality control issues are popping up.
    as silverfoxx stated, there are a lot of folks on this forum that buy enough Gibson archtops [as well as other models of course] that it should get their attention.

    if Gibson doesn't make things right here, there could be consequences. for example, do a google search and this forum pops up immediately.

    vinny's a great customer and doing the right thing to contact them, we'll see how they handle it..

  23. #22

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    its hard to know what to make of this sort of thing

    after having nearly new boutique archtops for ten years i got a brand new L5 CES from lucky music in Italy

    it was at least as well set up as any of the boutique guitars i've had and the fit and finish was absolutely perfect

    so i got a guitar that was WAY cooler and cheaper than the guitars i had been buying (none are a PATCH on the art deco heaven that is the L5) and it was ready to go. a year later (nearly) and it still plays absolutely perfectly with not a single issue in sight

    (or course you have to be a genius to stop the buzzes and rattles coming from both pickups - and that was not true of the boutique guitars - but i'm on top of that)

    my experience doesn't prove that gibson custom crimson qc is great; and vinny's experience does not prove the opposite.

    i would certainly never use that dealer again.

    you can send it back of course - can't you?

    don't give up on the new L5s....

  24. #23

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    Yet one more reason why I have no interest in owning a Gibson.

  25. #24

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    I think different guitar companies went through phases like this. I distinctly recall in the 70s when Fender shipped guitars and basses that were pretty flakey. I wanted to buy a Precision Bass in about '73. I walked into Veneman Music in Northern Virginia, IIRC, and took a sunburst P-bass down from the wall. The G-string was not even on the fretboard, due to the position of the bridge and the neck/body alignment. Yikes! It was important back then to try a bunch of Fenders (and Gibsons) to find a good one.

    Quality control seems to go in phases at some firms. The analogy to American auto makers is apt.

    One thing is certain: the US makers better not slack off this much on a routine basis or they will get clobbered by Asia--again. In the 70s/80s it made sense to buy a Japanese guitar rather than a US guitar. We may be right on the cusp of tipping the decision to Chinese guitars versus US guitars. QC seems to have gotten demonstrably better out of China of late.

  26. #25

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    I'm sorry to hear this story. Two strikes like that would definitely turn me off on the idea of buying another Gibson AND on the idea of repatronizing that dealer.

    I wonder how much of these problems is attributable to scaling up production using the Plek machine. I think we may be witnessing the era in which Gibson no longer has luthiers making decisions about craftsmanship. Instead, somebody just sticks a guitar into the Plek machine and a computer decides what to do. As we've seen, the results can be pretty bad.

    This story doesn't do much to instill my faith in the dealer, in Gibson, or in the Plek machine. When the Pleks first came out, they were touted as the answer to all of our neck problems. Maybe not. I'm beginning to think that maybe it's a good idea to avoid anyone who has a Plek machine, as it's obvious that the Plek will pass a reject guitar and people don't seem to be doing much supervision of what the machine is doing.

  27. #26

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    this is why many folks such as myself won't waste time with a new gibson. It's ironic that in this day and age of CNC manufacturing, they still can't get it right.

    I would not buy a gibson made after 1989 unless it's been "fixed". Many times the fixes include neck resetting, fingerboard planing, refretting, etc.

    Not to say the older instruments won't need that also but at least they got that way over time and were originally made very well unlike the new stuff.

    And on top of that, the new stuff doesn't sound very good.

  28. #27

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    To Groyniad's point. I purchased a new 2014 Crimson shop L5p from TMZ last year and it's perfect in every way. workmanship , fit , finish , neck angle , fret plane , fingerboard straightness etc, etc . The instrument is superb- and I'm a very particular customer.

  29. #28

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    It sounds like that's 2 with neck trouble. Problems in the upper register may stem from neck joint creep or folding of the fingerboard extension or a little of both. Gibson needs to find the cause and try to prevent whatever is behind this. Maybe they should dovetail the fingerboard extension to the neck, D'Angelico style. That's what I do.

  30. #29

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    I don't know that much about Plek machines. Is it possible that the machine can take measurements and "decide" to do something radical, i.e., plane the fingerboard and file frets like mad, when a much more minor adjustment at the other end of the board or a neck set would get things right without all that shaving? The human mind might react to the measurements in a superior way.

  31. #30

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    Resetting a neck is _much_ less radical than going crackers on the fretboard--unless you are dealing with a poly finish.

  32. #31
    I am not saying I don't have some great Gibsons but 3 bad in a row ? Though the LeGrand I just got had a perfect neck the top was carved so thin I was afraid to rest my arm on the top in fear of it cracking. I sent Henry J. a polite but very concerned email. If is doesn't reply I will never buy another Gibson. I am a very forgiving person. A simple apology will turn me around completely.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    I am not saying I don't have some great Gibsons but 3 bad in a row ? Though the LeGrand I just got had a perfect neck the top was carved so thin I was afraid to rest my arm on the top in fear of it cracking. I sent Henry J. a polite but very concerned email. If is doesn't reply I will never buy another Gibson. I am a very forgiving person. A simple apology will turn me around completely.
    Well Done Vinny.
    You are a very tolerant and extremely kind guy. I know that.
    The statement "the top was carved so thin I was afraid to rest my arm on the top in fear of it cracking" is it an exaggeration or are you serious?

    Hopefully in your Email to Henry, you pointed out that in the past 5 years, you bought "X" amount of NEW guitars at retail price and had to return X amount because of defects. That will give him a solid frame of reference so he could determine that this is no joke.

    I hope your luck changes my man. Its not fair.

    Joe D.

  34. #33

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    I would suggest posting this to Gibsons facebook. Companies tend to resolve those posts because so many people see them in my experience.

  35. #34

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    Good grief, Vinny! Lucie is pulling the football away from you every time you try to kick the extra point! Aauugghh!

    (If you are under 40, just ask...)

    That's three strikes--LeGrand, Tal, L-5CES. Mr. J. could show up at my door with the sweepstakes winnings and I'd still become a Guild player, at this point. (or Heritage, etc.)

    Put these words from Merle Haggard in your note to Gibson:

    "And putting you down don't square no deal
    At least you know the way I feel
    Take all the money in the bank
    I think I'll just stay here and drink"

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Good grief, Vinny! Lucie is pulling the football away from you every time you try to kick the extra point! Aauugghh!

    (If you are under 40, just ask...)

    That's three strikes--LeGrand, Tal, L-5CES. Mr. J. could show up at my door with the sweepstakes winnings and I'd still become a Guild player, at this point. (or Heritage, etc.)

    Put these words from Merle Haggard in your note to Gibson:

    "And putting you down don't square no deal
    At least you know the way I feel
    Take all the money in the bank
    I think I'll just stay here and drink"
    How did I know the outcome would include some form of alcohol consumption..

  37. #36

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    Vinny, my new Harley has some issues that I am working out. Quality and workmanship are not part of today's culture. Between that and the regulations of our overly governed system, our best bet is buying the quality of years past.

  38. #37
    OK a bit thicker than a potato chip. I posted a pic here. The F-hole thickness at it's thinnest wasn't much thicker than 1/16 and most definitely not 1/8 thick. Way too thin in my book. Of course the rise was thicker. Sounded horrible. Piercing treble, no mid, bass was OK. Feedback was uncontrollable. Not what a $8.5k instrument should be.

  39. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Vinny, my new Harley has some issues that I am working out. Quality and workmanship are not part of today's culture. Between that and the regulations of our overly governed system, our best bet is buying the quality of years past.
    Bummer about the new scooter bro !

  40. #39

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    [QUOTE=GNAPPI;680123]Let's be fair, the dealers have kids working there that sweep, clean, do the stock, even clean the bathroom for what $8.00 an hour? If I worked there I'll be damned if I'd give them $25-$50 an hour labor for free.

    That said Ibanez knows how important the market is and from what I read every git gets setup on the destination shore b4 being delivered to dealers.

    Gary, I can confirm your statement regarding Ibanez, I have purchased a JP20, 2 GB10's ,a GB100. a PM100 and
    recently a PM200. in the last 30 years, without exception all have arrived in perfect condition, no flaws or
    problems at all, able to be played straight from the box. I wish that I could say the same of Gibsons bought
    over a longer period. I won't bore you with the list of Lemons. but these have occurred only in recent years.
    However, having recently reduced the number of guitars I own to five only , 4 Gibsons + I Ibanez . I have
    to say the keepers are an L5CES. a Tal Farlow, a Byrdland ( all built 2013) and a ES275 (2016)
    and the PM200 (2016) . The first three Gibson Archtops are superlative, no issues, all three signed off by
    Bruce Kunkel on the warranties. These were purchased from a Gibson main dealer, separately, and new,
    ( old stock) each required a 100 mile trip in order to ensure there were no apparent problems , and that
    I would be happy to buy. I have used this trusted dealer for many years and know the owner. It is very
    worthwhile making the trips, I know beforehand by asking ( just as Steve Longobardi suggests here) if
    there are any issues . The big plus is that on my PX deal for the Byrdland I was given a £2k discount
    on list, brand spanking new condition. There's probably a moral in here somewhere .
    I sincerely hope that our friend Vinny receives a sympathetic reply, and perhaps financial recompense for
    the unbelievable problems he has encountered with a number of new Gibson Archtops
    Last edited by silverfoxx; 08-10-2016 at 04:38 PM.

  41. #40

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    So, do you get your money back, Vinny? Or is it "store credit" only?

    What's next after you return this one? UPS must be very glad for the business. Another $250 of unnecessary freight. Thus far, it has been $1000 worth of freight, moving 4 boxes round trip.

    I note that none of the Gibsons you returned showed up in the online inventory. Is there a reason for that? Will there come a time when TMZ rescinds return privileges or refuses to sell you a guitar?

    The can doesn't get kicked down the road, I hope.

    By the way, the Lemonburst Legrand is back in the inventory. I thought that it was sold the same week you received yours. Hmm...
    Last edited by Jabberwocky; 08-10-2016 at 04:08 PM.

  42. #41
    Yes I asked about the return of the Lemonburst. Apparently it is appropriately named. The customer who bought it didn't like it. Yes UPS must be loving all this business. Hoping to get my refund soon ??? and lick my wounds for a while and if I ever buy another Gibson it will be from Danny W. unless big Henry gives me a sincere apology.

  43. #42

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    If anyone does not deserve this, it's Vinny. So sorry to hear about this problem, again! To be honest, it doesn't sound like a QC issue. This guitar did not slip through QC without them noticing, it must be pure intention from Gibsons side to try and sell even a guitar like this. Nothing about a risen neck, filed down fretboard and nearly completely pleked down frets can ever be a coincidence or mistake and go unnoticed. Maybe they were hoping it would end up in a collectors display case, unplayed by the owner who isn't even aware of the issues. To Henrys surprise, even their most expensive guitars are actually played by people who know what they're doing. Who would have thought it!

    The luthiers at the Crimson Shop are good in what they do, very good even, but I guess they are under high pressure to deliver. My guess is they have to work much faster than they would like to and the reject rate probably has to be as low as zero or close to zero. So they really produce wonderful guitars but every once in a while they build a guitar with a twisted or risen neck. Which is not surprising when they use wood not properly dried or not carefully enough selected. Todays wood reserves just aren't what they used to be, dried for centuries. Hand selected maybe, but relatively fresh timbers are always prone to sudden changes for many years.

    Gibson must go through tough times that they aren't willing or able to rule out imperfections like this, even with their crown jewels. It will not surprise me at all if the company will go through major changes in the near future.


    On the other hand, there's my brand new L5 CES. I bought it online a few months ago when a big dealer had a very special price I just couldn' refuse (started a thread with link in the for sale section back then). It took a while before it was delivered and I received it less than two weeks ago, unfortunately two days before I started on a new job, so I didn't spend as much time with it as I would have liked to but I can already say that this L5 is pure perfection. It dwarfs every archtop I have owned or still own, which includes two Golden Eagles, several (laminated) Guilds, Memphis Gibsons, Eastmans, Ibanez, Peerles, Gretsches etc. I have been lusting for an L5 for many years and this is a dream come true. Tone and playability are the best I could ever dream of. Built quality is free of issues. Oh wait, the neck pickup ring seems to be mounted the wrong way around so I'll rotate it 180° if it ever distracts me. Now that's a QC issue, although not a serious one. What Vinny has to endure is nothing less than a barefaced rascality. Vinny, more than me you would have deserved an L5 as spectacular as mine. I hope it will turn out to your advantage and satisfaction in the end.

    Here is mine, with my Gretsch G400C:
    Gibson Crimson shop Quality Control-gg-jpg
    Last edited by Drifter; 08-10-2016 at 05:31 PM.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter
    Oh wait, the neck pickup ring seems to be mounted the wrong way around so I'll rotate it 180° if it ever distracts me. .
    They always look as if mounted the wrong way around. I did rotate mine but rotated it back soon because it didn't convince me to be better that way.

  45. #44

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    What's the world coming to if one can't trust a new $8k L5CES? Sorry Vinny, you truly deserved better. After receiving that 'CES I can't even imagine the phone conversation between you and that dealer - Again.

    Chin up, all this means is something very good is coming down the pike for U!

  46. #45

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    2b,
    when our boy Vinny buys it, in 40 years, riding his motorcycle from San Francisco down to Rainbow guitars to pick up his 18th L5 and the fault line finally gives out.. On his way up to heaven something unusual will happen.. Instead of St Peter greeting him at the pearly gates, Jimmy D'Aquisto will be waiting for him. Jimmy is gonna say, " Vinny! What da F--k took you so long? Come on let's go, we got a job to do. You are gonna be heading up the Q.C. Department of the Loar-D'Ang-D'Aq guitar company up here in heaven.
    Hang in there brother. Better times ahead.
    Joe D

  47. #46

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    Shake my doggone head reading this again Vincenzo... Damn buddy, can you catch a break. Sure scares me a little being I just bought a 2004 Byrdland from Tom Gould. That guy thank God is so particular...

    Come on God, give Vinny a break. How about a Johnny Smith owned Artist Award ?? Is that asking too much Lord ???

    Big

  48. #47

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    I have to say that nothing has changed with Gibson. This has always been the story. They make some incredible guitars and unfortunately some duds. They shouldn't make it out of the factory or the dealer but they do. For me they are still worth picking through.

  49. #48

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    Greentone said "The analogy to American auto makers is apt."

    Very true, and millions of auto buyers "switched" to buying foreign cars, never to return again to Ford and GM products. They bought their first Honda/Toyota/what have you, and when it was time to buy another car, they never even considered going back to the brands that sold them junk decades ago. My dad bought a Nissan in '86, he came home and said out loud "I can't believe I bought a foreign car". I have 3 brothers and not a one of us has purchased an American made auto in the last 30 years, never even looked at American made cars. Gibson should know the history of American consumers; when you loose a customer, you may well loose them forever.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    I don't know that much about Plek machines. Is it possible that the machine can take measurements and "decide" to do something radical, i.e., plane the fingerboard and file frets like mad, when a much more minor adjustment at the other end of the board or a neck set would get things right without all that shaving? The human mind might react to the measurements in a superior way.

    I've had a few Plek'd Gibsons since 2010 that were in desperate need of a fret leveling, 2 were 2010 ES-335's that were unplayable. Either the Plek was set to 'roller coaster', Gibson doesn't know how to program/operate a Plek, Gibson is not really Plek'ing, or Gibson is using wood that hasn't dried and settled yet.

    A couple Gibson's I have from 2002/2003 have me believing Gibson isn't properly drying and storing their fingerboard wood: The ebony shrunk slightly in width at the wide end and lifted from a maple neck in the first year.

    My tech got a good laugh out of the 335's and said he's "glad to see that technology can't approach the quality of a hand done fret leveling by a competent tech". The guitars were all fixed and now play great.

  51. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe DeNisco
    Someone from out in the Chicago area please gather as many shackles as you can find and go to Mikes house. Please. Tie him up and hide his checkbook.
    JD
    Big Mike's wild ride through Archtop heaven. Strings and Beyond are just sitting back smacking their lips waiting for the duffle bag order that's a coming soon. :-) Mike you will love the Byrdland.....trust me bro. Great axes !