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  1. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donplaysguitar
    We've been through this at least 5 times here on JGF. It has been true that they don't show them on their website, and have been sold via "build to suit".


    Gibson Custom L-5 CES Hollowbody Electric Guitar | Musician's Friend

    Gibson Wes Montgomery Hollowbody Electric Guitar | Musician's Friend
    I’ve observed how you troll this forum. I refuse to engage with you.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #77

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    Whatever, they haven't stopped.

    It's understandable that people assume that they are discontinued given that one can't see them online in the "lineup", but as those links show you can order one from Musicians Friend or Guitar Center and Gibson will make it. (Granted, the maple figuring ain't what it used to be under Henry, so there is that).

    Vinny1K had the same point a few years ago, and it was resolved to the same point (no offense to Vinny1K). A forum member who knew someone at Gibson posted a brand spankin' new Super 400 in natural with a floater, sitting in the middle of the factory floor, with the Gibson person quoted as saying "we're making them every day".

    Cheers.

  4. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    What? Who are you? I don’t recall even reading your comments.
    I initiated the thread and I'm referring to your post, which I quoted and re-quote here for your reference:

    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop View Post
    Typical Gibson noise thread. All the Gibson bean counter did was throw you a bone, and you’re off and running with hypothetical’s about this guitar and another. They’ve not built an archtop in what 3-4 years? I’ll believe it when I see it. Don’t talk about it, be about it!

  5. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues
    More on the subject:

    “Hey Mat,
    Regarding the arch tops, ever since 1970 the L5ces’ have had the wrong neck set (too high) compared to the earlier ones. This puts the bridge too high up and makes the whole thing play much stiffer. You can see this easily by looking at the side where the fingerboard meets the body, it is much higher than 60s and earlier. Also they changed in 1970 to have a weird slant toward the fretboard necessitating turning the neck pickup ring reverse to keep the pickup at the right angle. The earlier L5s with the right neck set are sooo much better feeling and sounding. I hope when these are overhauled that looooong standing change can be fixed. also pre-‘70 L5ces’ have much thinner tops than modern. Until these specs go back to the original I can only consider buying the pre-‘70 version and I know I’m definitely not alone. Sure loving my ’64!”

    “Hey there! Thanks for the message. Yes all of these reasons and more are why we want to discontinue the range and start fresh. The current range is great, but as I said before the problem is they don't have a logical home in the current product architecture...they are neither Historic nor Modern...kind of an in between rooted in the 1970s techniques. So we will be taking the same approach with archtop reissues as the recent Korina reissues. Regarding top thickness, we are planning on getting CAT scans to study the graduation of the top and back carves underneath. What I've proposed is to start with a 1957 L-5CES Reissue...for that year a variety of pickups would be applicable to the platform.”


    Why were the specs changed back in the 70ies in the first place, if the old specs felt and sounded soooo much better? Now that's the kind of Gibson marketing babble I am tired of hearing. My 2016 L5 CES is the least stiff playing 17" / 25.5" scale archtop that I have ever played, and I have played a few. True, it's acoustic tone is limited, the old specs with thinner tops may have a serious advantage in this regard, but amplified the new specs couldn't sound any sweeter, at least to my ears. I have owned a few Heritage Golden Eagles with set-in pickups and thinner tops that sounded much nicer acoustically but couldn't compete amplified.

    I really welcome the prospect of seeing L5s with P90s and Alnico V staple pickups. And an all acoustic L5 Premier with a thinner top. But if Gibson will try to induce GAS by telling me that my L5 CES is all wrong and therefore I need to buy one of the new historic range, I'll quickly turn my back.

  6. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter
    Why were the specs changed back in the 70ies in the first place, if the old specs felt and sounded soooo much better? Now that's the kind of Gibson marketing babble I am tired of hearing. My 2016 L5 CES is the least stiff playing 17" / 25.5" scale archtop that I have ever played, and I have played a few. True, it's acoustic tone is limited, the old specs with thinner tops may have a serious advantage in this regard, but amplified the new specs couldn't sound any sweeter, at least to my ears. I have owned a few Heritage Golden Eagles with set-in pickups and thinner tops that sounded much nicer acoustically but couldn't compete amplified.

    I really welcome the prospect of seeing L5s with P90s and Alnico V staple pickups. And an all acoustic L5 Premier with a thinner top. But if Gibson will try to induce GAS by telling me that my L5 CES is all wrong and therefore I need to buy one of the new historic range, I'll quickly turn my back.
    That’s a very good question Drifter, one I would be happy to pose on the other forum if you’d like me to?



  7. #81

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    MidBlue
    Which other forum are you referring to? Is it the lespaulforum?
    I would like to see these Matt quotes in their context.
    ty!
    jk

  8. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter
    Why were the specs changed back in the 70ies in the first place, if the old specs felt and sounded soooo much better?
    It was in 1969 that a South American conglomerate best known for beer and cement bought Chicago Musical Instruments (the parent company of Gibson since WW2). The two CEOs merged their names into “Norlin” and created the new Gibson under its ownership. Everything went to hell when that happened. The new owners had no idea how to run a high end guitar business and pretty much ruined everything they touched. Remember that Heritage arose from the core of Gibson as we knew it - the Kalamazoo crew saw exactly what was happening and wanted nothing to do with it.

    I bought a late 1969 production L5CN brand new. It had a splice in the binding, bare wood on the top under the Cupid’s bow, multiple minor blemishes, and a disappointing sound & feel that led me to return it with days. I later bought a new 2 pup LP custom in 1973. Along with a truly ugly top (which was the better of the two at my dealer), it had multiple blems and was not a second. The binding came off the treble side of the neck despite proper humidification and storage. That was the last new Gibson I ever bought.

    It was heartbreaking to me. My first good guitar was a new 1957 LG1. That was followed by a ‘59 or ‘60 345 and a ‘60 175, which I sold to buy that L5 and couldn’t get back.

  9. #83

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    I'm more than happy to watch what all comes out of this, and maybe get a chance to play one of these thinner topped L5s someday, but I'm on Mark Campellone's list now and that's all I'm looking forward to in a new guitar.

  10. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    It was in 1969 that a South American conglomerate best known for beer and cement bought Chicago Musical Instruments (the parent company of Gibson since WW2). The two CEOs merged their names into “Norlin” and created the new Gibson under its ownership. Everything went to hell when that happened. The new owners had no idea how to run a high end guitar business and pretty much ruined everything they touched. Remember that Heritage arose from the core of Gibson as we knew it - the Kalamazoo crew saw exactly what was happening and wanted nothing to do with it.

    I bought a late 1969 production L5CN brand new. It had a splice in the binding, bare wood on the top under the Cupid’s bow, multiple minor blemishes, and a disappointing sound & feel that led me to return it with days. I later bought a new 2 pup LP custom in 1973. Along with a truly ugly top (which was the better of the two at my dealer), it had multiple blems and was not a second. The binding came off the treble side of the neck despite proper humidification and storage. That was the last new Gibson I ever bought.

    It was heartbreaking to me. My first good guitar was a new 1957 LG1. That was followed by a ‘59 or ‘60 345 and a ‘60 175, which I sold to buy that L5 and couldn’t get back.
    This post contains hyperbole that stems from the posters bad experiences. Things did not fall apart at Gibson under Norlin ownership, but they changed. Many changes were made to reduce warranty issues, some were actual improvements. Quality control decreased as guitar demand drove production up. Having owned some excellent Norlin era Gibson's, I would advise caution buying instruments from that era. IIRC, the Heritage guys were offered their jobs when Gibson moved to Nashville but decided to stay in Kalamazoo. If they wanted nothing to do with Gibson/Norlin, they would not have stayed with Gibson all of those years.

    Gibson archtops began to be built heavier in the 70's partly because old wood supplies were gone and the newer woods were heavier, and partly because music was being played louder and more feedback resistance was demanded by the marketplace. There is a difference between the older lightly built archtops and the modern heavier built ones. Neither is better and the difference is a matter of taste.

  11. #85
    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    MidBlue
    Which other forum are you referring to? Is it the lespaulforum?
    I would like to see these Matt quotes in their context.
    ty!
    jk
    Hey jk,

    Yup, that’s the one. I copied the questions that were posed to him and then copied his responses to post here.

    Here’s the Thread:

    Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA | The Les Paul Forum

    See posts# 130 (question), 134 (Mat’s response), 146 (question) and 167 (Mat’s response).

    Naturally, most of the questions relate to LPs of course and I think it’s cool that he’s taking the time to answer them. IMHO, it’s been pretty informative.






  12. #86

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    =Midnight Blues;1146712]I initiated the thread and I'm referring to your post, which I quoted and re-quote here for your reference:
    Again, I didn’t read your comments. But what if I had? What difference would that have made? It’s a forum that everyone has the capability of contributing whatever comments they wish. No one stands in judgment of them, including thread starters.

  13. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blues
    That’s a very good question Drifter, one I would be happy to pose on the other forum if you’d like me to?
    Please feel free to do so if you wish. The replies could be interesting.

  14. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim777
    I'm more than happy to watch what all comes out of this, and maybe get a chance to play one of these thinner topped L5s someday, but I'm on Mark Campellone's list now and that's all I'm looking forward to in a new guitar.
    Very wise decision. It will be a superior guitar. If you can get past the "G" stigma on your headstock you will be greatly rewarded with the "C" instead.
    I love my Gibson archtops but my Campellone's are just better in every way. Cheaper too.
    A total win-win IMO.

  15. #89

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    Just as Harley is an image, not a motorcycle, Gibson has become an image, not a guitar.


    In response to stringswinger..

    (I lived in Pacific Grove for 40 years and Aptos for 3)

    My fifth or 6th motorcycle was a 1971 Norton Commando drum breaker bought new. I have owned 53 motorcycles and co-founded (with Jim Brewer of Ducati 900SS fame R.I.P.) the Monterey Bay European Motorcycle Club in 1982.

    Norlin built their guitars with a very specific focus of warranty costs in mind.. and the very reason that the majority of their flat-top guitars went to .125 thou tops and double bracing.. and those goofy tone killer bridges. They occasionally screwed up and built a flawless guitar with excellent tone and playability.

    In my opinion Gibson is not alone. The current regime at Martin guitar is now producing image rather than substance at obscene prices. I have owned at least 15 since 1961.

  16. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by bohemian46
    Just as Harley is an image, not a motorcycle, Gibson has become an image, not a guitar.


    In response to stringswinger..

    (I lived in Pacific Grove for 40 years and Aptos for 3)

    My fifth or 6th motorcycle was a 1971 Norton Commando drum breaker bought new. I have owned 53 motorcycles and co-founded (with Jim Brewer of Ducati 900SS fame R.I.P.) the Monterey Bay European Motorcycle Club in 1982.

    Norlin built their guitars with a very specific focus of warranty costs in mind.. and the very reason that the majority of their flat-top guitars went to .125 thou tops and double bracing.. and those goofy tone killer bridges. They occasionally screwed up and built a flawless guitar with excellent tone and playability.

    In my opinion Gibson is not alone. The current regime at Martin guitar is now producing image rather than substance at obscene prices. I have owned at least 15 since 1961.
    It sounds like you have experienced the gasoline soaked fingers of Amal Carbs and the stoplight darkness of a Lucas charging system. I set one of my panheads up with a suicide clutch/shifter and a weak front brake (mechanical drum). Lots of fun on a San Francisco hill. I have only owned 13 motorcycles myself (still have 2 of them). Gibson and Martin guitars along with Harley-Davidson motorcycles sure have done well on the image front. I have done well enough in life to buy just about any guitar or motorcycle I want and Harley's and Gibsons have worked for me. Martins? I don't like the 16 inch radius or the V necks. I admit that Norlin and AMF (my old pals in the Red and White used to call AMF "another motherfucker". I am guessing that the newer Red and White fellows do not remember AMF) put out some less than stellar guitars and motorcycles during their tenure, but I have played and ridden quite a few of their "screw ups".

    For guys like you that don't like Harleys, Gibsons or Martins, my advice is simple: Don't buy one!

    PS: The traffic on Highway 1 south is so bad these days that I only go through Aptos or down to PG if I have a very high dollar gig. How long have you been gone and where did you move to?

  17. #91

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    I truly appreciate your input and opinion, and I don't mean this to be a rant. But there are still major lessons to be learned in what Norlin did to Gibson. I hope you're correct and that this is just sour grapes from a disappointed customer. After 5 great Gibsons bought from dealers and a '34 L5 I bought from a college classmate, I never imagined that I'd play anything but Gibsons for the rest of my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    This post contains hyperbole that stems from the posters bad experiences.
    Actually, it stems from the bad experiences of the poster, many of his friends and fellow guitarists, and the authorized Gibson dealers with whom he socialized / worked / played. After having to return my new L5, I and my dealer friends examined every high end Gibson in the stocks of their stores (the 5 best in the Philadelphia area) over the next few weeks. We found multiple flaws among those delivered in the last few months of 1969 (I bought that L5 in December of that year). The acoustics sounded less alive by far and played stiffly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Things did not fall apart at Gibson under Norlin ownership, but they changed. Many changes were made to reduce warranty issues, some were actual improvements.
    I can't imagine that they had to change their approach to design and build of the L5 because of warranty issues. They delivered a new CN to a high volume, high end authorized dealer with spliced binding and unfinished wood visible on the top, among other problems. These are obvious QC and warranty issues that were unaddressed by the changes made in '69 and '70. Personally, In my experience and that of many acquaintances, old problems were made worse by the transition to Norlin and new ones were created.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Quality control decreased as guitar demand drove production up. Having owned some excellent Norlin era Gibson's, I would advise caution buying instruments from that era.
    Caution is essential when considering a Norlin-era Gibson now. No caution should have been necessary in 1969, and neither the dealer nor I expected to find what we did. I actually took it home without even looking at it closely - we opened the case, I played it, and I was off to get ready for a gig that night. It's hard to imagine that they willingly sacrificed the quality of L5s and 400s to increased production of the big sellers. Top winemakers do not release a vintage that isn't excellent, and Gibson should have done the same. It was unconscionable for them to deliver even one flagship guitar in that condition. They halted production and delivery of many models for years at a time for various reasons. Not wanting to drive buyers of their best and most expensive guitars away should have been reason enough to temporarily halt production and make them right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Gibson archtops began to be built heavier in the 70's partly because old wood supplies were gone and the newer woods were heavier
    I think they also switched to less expensive wood and shorter production times in the interest of their profit margin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Gibson archtops began to be built heavier...partly because music was being played louder and more feedback resistance was demanded by the marketplace.
    They delivered a total of 1375 acoustic L5s between 1948 and 1979 (an average of 44 per year). From 1951 to the middle of 1969, Gibson delivered 1155 L5 electrics. From the second half of 1969 to the end of 1979, they delivered 2051 (per Van Hoose). So they averaged 65 electric L5s a year up to the middle of 1969 and gradually increased that to about 200 a year after Norlin took over.

    It’s hard for me to imagine that they couldn’t make, inspect and deliver less than 4 dozen acoustic L5s a year with consistent quality deserving of their reputation. And the sales rate and market for electric L5s seems far too low for them to have made major changes in what were among the best jazz guitars in the world for decades just to reduce feedback a bit, especially as most of them went to jazz, studio, and commercial guitarists plus a few well heeled enthusiasts. I'm sure you're right about the more popular guitars that sold in the thousands every year, but I'm more than a bit skeptical that they changed the L5's woods primarily to reduce feedback.
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 09-18-2021 at 03:58 PM.

  18. #92

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    Nevershouldhavesoldit, I am truly sorry for your L-5 experience. That should never have happened. Big corporations have certainly done a disservice to many of America's iconic brands. My last Harley-Davidson purchase was worthy of a lawsuit, but I was too busy doing 200 gigs a year to be bothered (and I am still a licensed lawyer, so I could have taught them a lesson had I wanted to) so I just fixed the problem (that they would not) myself.

    BTW, I was born and raised (to age 10) in Philly (West Philly, where my Mom was from, my Dad was from South Philly). I still miss the pretzels, water ices and cheesesteaks.

  19. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I was born and raised (to age 10) in Philly (West Philly, where my Mom was from, my Dad was from South Philly). I still miss the pretzels, water ices and cheesesteaks.
    Cool! Then, depending on how old you are, you knew some or all of the dealers who received problematic high end Gibsons in 1969. Only 8th Street Music remains, and it’s still my go to shop (since 1961). But they didn’t have what I wanted when I wanted it.

    I bought the L from Zapf’s on N 5th Street when another sideman at Music Associates (a big society and commercial office with 14 leaders and about 200 sidemen - my employer at the time) who taught there told me they’d just gotten a new L5CN, which was my dream guitar. I bought it the next day.

    The other dealers were Music City, Cintioli’s, and Medley, none of whom had a new blonde L5 or 400 for me but all of whom had other models with problems. There were a few J200s, CESs, J45s, etc.

  20. #94

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    Sorry if it hasn't been mentioned earlier, but how about a traditional ES-350, and then a 16" 24-3/4 version that looks that same.

  21. #95

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    I have a few Gibson guitars. These days, any guitar I look at that has "Gibson" on the headstock doesn't get a second glance from me.

  22. #96

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    All through this thread I have been remembering how gibson went in the toilet when they got taken over by Norlin, the crap that they were putting out. Rearing the stuff here that gibson is saying doesn’t sound encouraging to me at all.

    All along reading the thread I’ve been thinking the same thing why not just buy a Mark Campellone Built guitar. even if it’s a used one it
    is still going to give you that old 50s tone and impeccable workmanship and materials

    God bless Mark Campellone

  23. #97

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    Heres a question nobody has really mentioned or asked. How many, if any, of you would actually buy a new Gibson archtop or even desire a brand new one as opposed to a similarly priced, excellent conditioned, played-in model from let's say late 90's or 2000s?

  24. #98

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    DM: I seriously doubt I'll ever buy new. I've owned a few G's. The only guitar I bought new was the Kingpin. Newness doesn't matter to me at all.

  25. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Drifter
    Please feel free to do so if you wish. The replies could be interesting.
    Hey Drifter,

    Here's Mat's response:

    "Oh man. A lot to unpack here. Why did Gibson products change over time (and they ALL did...even year to year sometimes)? A combination of supply chain, engineering changes, a rapid life cycle philosophy, and a lot of things that were considered improvements for the player and/or for the construction of the instruments. The sales team dictated a lot of the product changes (the switch to the thin nut width in '65 for instance). But with regards to archtops, as I mentioned previously, what we are building now and the instruments in the 1970s are fantastic instruments. Truly. I have no doubt about that. And if we are going to create a Historic Reissue archtop collection to fit in the rest of our current product architecture, which is my intention, I'm going to choose to reissue the most collectible and valuable era. I'm not a marketer. If it sounds like I am trying to convince you that your guitar is bad or inferior to anything new, I'm not. My goal is to provide options, namely the ownership experience of owning one of the most valuable and collectible vintage instruments. There are NO late 1950s L-5CES models listed for sale currently even if you wanted to buy an original...so more reason to create Historic Reissues of them. Thanks for the note."


    LMK if you have any follow-up questions:
    MB

  26. #100

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    I sense a disturbance in the force price lists.

    I'm going to choose to reissue the most collectible and valuable era.
    and…
    There are NO late 1950s L-5CES models listed for sale currently even if you wanted to buy an original...so more reason to create Historic Reissues of them.

    I dunno about you but his words even sound expensive.



    jk