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Are Gibson LP lovers snobs?

bluespckr

New member
Joined
Jun 8, 2005
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2,073
phil47uk said:
In the final analysis. If you are happy with the guitar you have... For whatever reason you bought it for and whatever make it happens to be, then you are a lucky man/woman. Be proud of it........ Until the next best thing since sliced bread comes along, which sadly to say invariably happens.

That's life.That's people.

Phil

I couldn't have summed it up better.
 

Zhangliqun

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Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
5,204
Frinky said:
Your guitar has no mojo, it's a piece of wood.

That is not entirely true. Of course, before we can go any further, we have to agree on as precise a definition of "mojo" as we can. Does it mean a guitar that has some sort of spirit dwelling in it, as Shirley MacLaine might suggest? Of course not -- as you said, it's a piece of wood, and dead wood at that.

Frinky said:
I've found in a blindfold test, *no-one* I know can work out which of those guitars was the real thing, and which was the copy. But, all of a sunder, when the names are revealed, because one isn't a Gibson, it's just not a good enough guitar. I was amazed that people who are supposed to be musicans would let themselves be willingly blinded by the name on the headstock. A lot of people on this forum are posers as much as they are players.


My definition of mojo is that it's part head-trip, part genuine measurable qualities. At the most absurd level of examples, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would say that a truly awful sounding guitar has "mojo", even if it said 'Gibson' on the headstock. In a nutshell, if a guitar sounds and plays great, and then looks cool on top of that, especially if it is the kind of guitar where the sound and aesthetics just flat-out transport you somewhere, either to some kind of nostalgia or some futuristic musical world you've never been before... In other words, if it simply speaks to you in some irresistible way, then to me, it has "mojo".

Sometimes having 'Fender' or 'Gibson' on the headstock is PART of that mojo for me, but far, far from all of it. But trust me, I've played plenty of Gibsons and Fenders that had ZERO mojo and I wasn't afraid to say so.



Frinky said:
How can a bunch of (seemingly poor these days) $9 per hour laborers and a load of CNC machines impart mojo or magic or voodoo or whatever it is that makes Gibson supposedly so much better? They can't, you just think they can.

You sure they're only getting $9.00 an hour at the Nashville plant? And besides, its not the machines that would give a guitar mojo, it's how they are used, and in the case of CNC's, how they're programmed.

Frinky said:
To answer your question, the same materials (and often, better materials) are present on these import guitars, but there's a willing blindess on a lot of musicans to only choose Gibson. Even if it's not good enough for them, they want other people to see them playing Gibson so they think they're good enough. It's faintly ridiculous.

And, not wanting to start anything, this attitude seems a lot more prevalent in the US, where Gibson is a very "patriotic" product. In Europe, people are much more open to the possibility of using guitars that aren't Gibson, and Yamaha and Tokai are held in very high regard.

It's this blindness and purchase based purely on image and assumed "mojo" that's let Gibson slip so far in terms of QC lately

I like Gibsons -- a lot. Not because they are made in America but because they are what they are. I couldn't care less if they were made in Siberia. Most Gibson lovers are that way. I've been playing for almost 30 years and I've tried a bunch of different brands from here/there/everywhere and while some have been very fine guitars, they don't give me the sound, look and feel of Gibsons. This doesn't mean I'd prefer a crappy Gibson over a top-notch Yamaha, who makes some damn fine guitars too. Those 70's double-cuts like Santana used to play are my favorites. (Never tried a Tokai.)

But all other things being equal, gimme the Gibson every time. I don't think that makes me blinded by image and assumed mojo because I've played long enough and hard enough to know a great guitar when I play one.
 

sinner

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
3,717
moonpie said:
Let's say a mechanic starts working on cars with a $99 Craftsman beginner set. If that mechanic ends up in a NASCAR pit with a Snap-On
box and enough Snap-On stuff to fill every inch of.....

there isn't a one amongst us who would fault him from moving up to the next cabinet till it's too full. One of these tool chests, EMPTY, can easily go for the price of an R9 and up.

Not one person here will fault them for that.

WHAT A BUNCH OF FUCKING MORON HIPOCRITES!!!!!!!

I make no apology for finaly being able to afford a Gibson, or two, or.....etc......

I paid dearly for what I know about guitars. Until I retired, the first quality my guitars had to pass was affordability and reliability. You buy tools to perform a task, and THE VAST MAJORITY of working musicians don't earn enough to support their families, much less buy the ax the big boys are playing. For many, many years, my guitars earned their way and then some.

Now I should feel guilty because I can afford Gibsons? Now I should feel like "Oh NO, with my playing, I don't deserve a Gibson."....
OH No...if I buy a Gibson people will think I'm a snob.......,

Now that I'm no more than a bump on the ass of society, asking and receiving nothing from the rest of you rashes, I don't feel I owe anybody an explanation...................


however.....I do feel I owe you fellows another photo of my most recent photo outing
A4.jpg
Love that '92 RI, Moonpie--just gorgeous!!! That guitar is plenty adequate for the snob in all of us!
 

les strat

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Aug 22, 2004
Messages
5,194
Chief O'Brien said:
Another factor seems to be that Fender players seem to tend to be more tone freaks than LP players and spend more time figuring out ways to get sounds they are after. For that reason, they are more into the sound of the guitar than its appearance or brand. LP players seem to be happy with the basic Les Paul sounds and don't fidget as much with different variables. Maybe that's because it's easier to get good tone out of an LP? I don't know.

Chief, I love Fender guitars, but in my experience, a majority of Fender folks spend time chasing down SRV's tone, not their own.
 

thunderkyss

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Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Messages
743
Frinky said:
To answer your question, the same materials (and often, better materials) are present on these import guitars, but there's a willing blindess on a lot of musicans to only choose Gibson. Even if it's nt good enough for them, they want other people to see them playing Gibson so they think they're good enough. It's faintly ridiculous.

And, not wanting to start anything, this attitude seems a lot more prevalent in the US, where Gibson is a very "patriotic" product. In Europe, people are much more open to the possibility of using guitars that aren't Gibson, and Yamaha and Tokai are held in very high regard.

It's this blindness and purchase based purely on image and assumed "mojo" that's let Gibson slip so far in terms of QC lately.

Now this is just plain ignorant, and has absolutely nothing to do with why people choose to own and love Gibson LesPauls. PRS makes guitars here in the U.S. out of quality materials, and just flat out awesome craftsman ship. Beautifully adorned, with very flexible electronics. There is not one thing wrong with his guitars, other than they are not gibson lesPauls, single cut or not. The PRS guy with the "my custom 24 smokes your R8" attitude gets the same treatment the tokai rocker would, the Yamaha(who also makes excellent guitars) owner would, the Ibanez lover, etc.....We are equal opportunity haters, and I resent any implication other wise.
The Ibanez may equal the Gibson LesPaul on paper, but it ain't the same.
Heck, the Standard isn't even considered by many to be an acurate representation of what the LesPaul is supposed to be.

Gibson is doing it's thing, protecting it's intellectual property. Keeping the wannabees in their place. If someone else is making a qualtiy guitar, then so be it. Let them make their niche, like PRS has.

Epiphone makes nice guitars, but they are what they are. Can you get good tone out of them.......yes, but you can get good tone out of Custom Classic Player strat, that doesn't make it a les Paul.
 

thunderkyss

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Nov 1, 2002
Messages
743
les strat said:
Chief, I love Fender guitars, but in my experience, a majority of Fender folks spend time chasing down SRV's tone, not their own.


No more than we chase Clapton's tone(beano that is) :biggrin: , or Rev Gibbons' tone, or Page, or Slash, or Duane, etc... :dude
 

Frinky

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Jan 13, 2002
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739
thunderkyss said:
Now this is just plain ignorant

Well, please explain to me why else people would chose to pay more than the guitar is really worth to end up with a guitar, which I'm now seeing, at least half of the time, really isn't up to the quality that it should be.

thunderkyss said:
PRS makes guitars here in the U.S. out of quality materials, and just flat out awesome craftsman ship. Beautifully adorned, with very flexible electronics.

PRS QC is way ahead of Gibson's, and that's coming from someone who doesn't really like them. There's every reason to pay the premium for a PRS, because you very rarely get a duff one. If Gibson could even come close to having some kind of consistent standard for Quality Control, then maybe they'd be worth the ridiculous premium. With a modern Gibson, you're paying for the name far ahead of anything else. I see it time and again - people go for the name over the guitar.

thunderkyss said:
The Ibanez may equal the Gibson LesPaul on paper, but it ain't the same.

Again, I don't agree with this. If it has the exact Les Paul shape, and built in the same way, it *is* a Les Paul, by any definition. Mine even says "Les Paul" on it (as a licensed model), and it's got higher appointments than your average USA Standard. It's more of a Les Paul than most LPs Gibson put out.

thunderkyss said:
Gibson is doing it's thing, protecting it's intellectual property. Keeping the wannabees in their place. If someone else is making a qualtiy guitar, then so be it. Let them make their niche, like PRS has.

Actually, Gibson are doing what they can to make sure they're the only manufacturer that makes a high-end LP style guitar, so there's no competition for them. So when they let thier quality slide, they're still the only choice. How else would you explain models being downgraded features wise, but price hikes going up? Do you honestly think it's right that a brand new Standard that costs around $1800 should pretty much need new pots from the off?

The niche market the other manufacturers should be going for is making a quality Les Paul without the ridiculous price for the name.

thunderkyss said:
Epiphone makes nice guitars, but they are what they are. Can you get good tone out of them.......yes, but you can get good tone out of Custom Classic Player strat, that doesn't make it a les Paul.

Whatever your point is here, it's not very clear. Are you trying to tell me that a Tokai that is built exactly like a Les Paul and looks exactly like a Les Paul with the same style of electronics won't sound like a Les Paul?

It just amazes me that people think that Gibson is the be all and end-all of guitar quality, and that you can go no higher. That's what I used to believe as a kid. Four Gibsons later (and now only keeping two), I realised I could do better for less, if only I could let go of the name "Gibson." I'm very happy I did.

People here have said that they're more than happy to pay for the name. I don't know how a name can make any difference to the way you sound or play, but it's your money, and you can do as you see fit.

Is that name even worth paying for? What's it synonomous with now? Brand dilution and poor quality output? How many complaints have you seen on here in the last year? I honestly can't see why you'd pay for that sort of thing.

I have a lot of respect for the people here who admitted that they are brand-name snobs, fair play to you. But in big business like this, especially with heritage or blue-chip companies, there's always someone out there who will do a better job for less.
 

Frinky

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Zhangliqun said:
That is not entirely true. Of course, before we can go any further, we have to agree on as precise a definition of "mojo" as we can. Does it mean a guitar that has some sort of spirit dwelling in it, as Shirley MacLaine might suggest? Of course not -- as you said, it's a piece of wood, and dead wood at that.

My take on it would be, I guess, "Something tangible, which, between equal guitars, would make the Gibson better"?

Zhangliqun said:
In other words, if it simply speaks to you in some irresistible way, then to me, it has "mojo".

Hrrrrrn... yes, I see what you mean, but surely that's an end user response, rather than Gibson Magic?


Zhangliqun said:
Sometimes having 'Fender' or 'Gibson' on the headstock is PART of that mojo for me, but far, far from all of it. But trust me, I've played plenty of Gibsons and Fenders that had ZERO mojo and I wasn't afraid to say so.

Well, you're honest and it's refreshing to hear that. But I think that name is a very big thing for a large number of people - again, why would people pay *that much* for a guitar that comes shipped with sub standard pots? Or, in what I'm seeing now as a frequent example, a badly cut nut? And poor fretwork? And glue on the board? Ill fitting pickup rings? Bad R/T switches? Can people really forgive that much for the name?

Yes, it appears they can, and that confounds me.

Again, I was that way when I was younger, I had it drilled into me - GIBSON GIBSON GIBSON. Then I came here, and had my Norlin that I'd worked for months to buy for torn to shit by you lot. So I listened, and then I learned about what makes a "good" Les Paul. Tennons, woods, neck angles, number of pieces in the wood - all those little things. And so, I saved for a Historic. I wanted the very best, because I figured I deserved it as a player. When the time came to buy it, I considered the cost, and, and looked elsewhere. (I kept that Norlin, BTW, as it's a great guitar, and it's my No2). I got a different brand Les Paul that had all the same structural and tonal appointments as a CS 57 RI. I tested it out against several of the real thing - resigned, deep down, to knowing that if the CS57 was better, I'd sell my "copy", and go for one of these, as I'd wanted one for *years*. This far down the line, there was no way I'd not settle for the very best I could get.

The CS guitar wasn't better, at all. None of the 7 (and you try finding 7 with any ease) were any better. Not on a superficial level, and not on a tonal level. No worse, certianly, but nothing better in any appreciable way.

It was £1200 *more* for just the name on the headstock. I couldn't do it. I really couldn't.


Zhangliqun said:
You sure they're only getting $9.00 an hour at the Nashville plant? And besides, its not the machines that would give a guitar mojo, it's how they are used, and in the case of CNC's, how they're programmed.

It's a figure I've read. And you're right, I'm a carpenter too and I have nothing against that kind of machinery - but as a carpenter, I know that fantastic machinery does not a fantastic product make - there has to be care and attention the whole way through the process. If Gibson were honestly doing that... then maybe, I'd pay the name difference. But it's an insult to pay all that extra money when they won't keep up thier end of the bargain and produce decent, consistant guitars. It was just me trying to see, again, why the name on the headstock is worth so much.

Zhangliqun said:
I like Gibsons -- a lot. Not because they are made in America but because they are what they are. I couldn't care less if they were made in Siberia. Most Gibson lovers are that way. I've been playing for almost 30 years and I've tried a bunch of different brands from here/there/everywhere and while some have been very fine guitars, they don't give me the sound, look and feel of Gibsons.

My guitar has a 57 Custom body, with a nearly correct top carve, and a good profile neck. It's got the same headstock shape and the same inlays. With an inch of masking tape over the name, no-one could tell the difference. The look is there. The feel? It feels different to my 21 year old Norlin, for obvious reasons, but it feels exactly like a shop fresh Les Paul. I know, that's subjective, as is your point, but this said guitar passes the blindfold test. Not commenting upon your skills as a player in any way, but I would be interested to see if you too would pass the test. :)

Don't get me wrong, I love Gibson designed guitars, but I don't see why I should still be buying them from Gibson.

Zhangliqun said:
But all other things being equal, gimme the Gibson every time. I don't think that makes me blinded by image and assumed mojo because I've played long enough and hard enough to know a great guitar when I play one.

And so, good Sir, we come full circle. :) So if things were equal, and I mean honestly equal, they were two identical guitars, you would pay the extra for the name? That's honest, fair enough.

I just don't think I'll be in that mindset ever again :)



I'm happy to pay for quality - I'll even pay over the odds if I am assured of real, tangible, unquestionable quality. But I'll never pay for a name.
 

moonpie

In the Zone
Joined
May 24, 2003
Messages
9,781
Thanks Sinner:ola
I grow a bit more fond of it every day.
Must be Mojo:yay
 

03LBurst

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Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Messages
445
GeeJay said:
The main trouble starts when you get a post like this.....

I just bought a (insert brand name here) Les Paul and it's just the same as a Gibson, but only xx% of the cost. Gibson is all about hype....

Some of the low(er) cost Les Paul copies are fine guitars in their own right and there are some copies (Poole for example) that are fantastic. But they ain't Gibson..

:2cents

Foreshawdowing and presage are my favorite literary tools. Nice use of it here GeeJay.... :biglaugh:


Pie, they look as good as they sound. Plenty of "mojo" indeed.... :dude
 

thunderkyss

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Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Messages
743
Frinky said:
The niche market the other manufacturers should be going for is making a quality Les Paul without the ridiculous price for the name.



Whatever your point is here, it's not very clear. Are you trying to tell me that a Tokai that is built exactly like a Les Paul and looks exactly like a Les Paul with the same style of electronics won't sound like a Les Paul?

It just amazes me that people think that Gibson is the be all and end-all of guitar quality, and that you can go no higher. That's what I used to believe as a kid. Four Gibsons later (and now only keeping two), I realised I could do better for less, if only I could let go of the name "Gibson." I'm very happy I did.

.


For every complaint you see on this board about Gibson Quality, how many do you see praising the exact same guitars.............does this mean anything at all??

The Price on the Gibson Les Paul will continue to rise, until people are no longer willing to pay for it. That's the way things work, supply and demand. Doesn't matter what causes the demand. Look at Harley's and Yamahas. The Yamaha is a much better bike, but as long as it's a copy of the Harley, it will never replace it. It will just continue to fan the fire for the real deal.

I personally don't think Gibson is the end-all be-all to quality. And I will never spend $2000+ to own one(well I say that now, but you know how that goes) But I don't have a problem with people spending whatever they want on them. I also would prefer to spend up to $2000 on a used Paul that I think has my mojo, than $900 for an Elite copy with the LesPaul on the headstock. If I can get a quality{whispers}replica{/whispers} made in that price range, I would, but I will compare it to the Historics which I think are top notch.

My whole point in this post, and my previous post, is that it has nothing to do with snobbery, it's just loving the guitar we love. It doesn't matter where the Epi was made, or the Yammy, or the Heritage, it just don't matter.......You think they're better quality guitars, you think they are the same(I don't understand how they could be the same and better at the same time) that's fine, but why do we have too??

I could buy an Agile LP copy. It could very well be a fine guitar, It might sound better than any LP I've ever Played. But it'll still be an Agile LP copy.

GM stopped production of the F-body platform in 2002, due to poor "sales". But people were and are buying Mustangs all day long. Is that because it's a better car?? Hell no. the Camaro has beaten the Mustang in every performance category since 1993. Ford reliability vs Chevy has always been 6 in one hand, half a dozen in the other. This is the performance car market, and the Camaro was betting performance data of the real deal '60 muscle car era, but people were buying Ford. I still drive my '96 Z on a daily basis, and I prove where my car is better on a daily basis. I don't go to Mustang Forums and call them snobs. I go to the Camaro forum, and tell people about my day. Does that make me a snob??
 

Indiana Erick

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Jun 11, 2002
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Not at all a snob, I dig my Les Pauls but my favorite Gibson guitars are my SG's. I have a Tele and a Strat at my desk as well.
 

BadAssBill

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Mar 10, 2003
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I'm with Moon on this one in that my opinion is like assholes....eveyone's got one and means very little in the scope of things. I have a Gibson LP Custom, a studio, and an Epi Custom LP. I interchange them regularly. My studio was all gunked up from the last outdoor gig, so I actually practiced with the Epi Sunday. The Epi cost me $350 used, I'm unsure if the pups have been changed...but it sounds damn good for a $350 guitar. I've never seen one like it, in that it looks like a 57 Custom RI. It's heavy, plays really well, and has quality as good as any of the LP's I've picked up. It's a little harder to play...but it sounds damn good. Good enough, that I would have a hard time distinguishing it sound wise from the others blindfolded.
Does that make me not want an R7? No. That does not make me a snob. What doesn't make a snob is prefering a Gibson over a copy. However, some of the sheer disdain written about these guitars is snobby. On the other hand, I also agree that the 19 year olds that say an Epi and say it's better than a historic are just not informed. Its more than sound...it's playability, it's feel, its sustain, it's woodyness.

P.S. If you don't believe in mojo...you havn't played enough guitars (especially the vintage "players").
 

vaportrail

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47
Come on, let the cat out of the bag! I have been looking for 25 years for a less expensive guitar that copies all things Les Paul. I have had no luck. Some say if a copy has the exact same design, and the exact same woods, and electronics as a Gibson, it would sound the same. I don't know of any copies that use exactly the same parts/design of a Gibson Les Paul. Tell me which brand is it? I am not too proud to own a copy.
I once told a salesman that the reason his Les Paul copy didn't interest me, was because of the woods used were inferior. He told me that he could play a real Gibson, and a copy through the same amp, and there is no way anyone could tell the difference. I told him that one person could tell them apart, and that would be the person playing them.
 

Zhangliqun

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Jul 16, 2001
Messages
5,204
vaportrail said:
Come on, let the cat out of the bag! I have been looking for 25 years for a less expensive guitar that copies all things Les Paul. I have had no luck. Some say if a copy has the exact same design, and the exact same woods, and electronics as a Gibson, it would sound the same. I don't know of any copies that use exactly the same parts/design of a Gibson Les Paul. Tell me which brand is it? I am not too proud to own a copy.
I once told a salesman that the reason his Les Paul copy didn't interest me, was because of the woods used were inferior. He told me that he could play a real Gibson, and a copy through the same amp, and there is no way anyone could tell the difference. I told him that one person could tell them apart, and that would be the person playing them.

Exactly.
 

codeorama

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Mar 22, 2005
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131
Frinky said:
Is that name even worth paying for?


I understand what you are saying, however, in my humble opinion, the name "Gibson" is worth paying for as I have found out several times recently. People in general are more willing to pay for the name. I have sold 2 Gibsons recently, one, I broke even on after having the guitar for a year, the other, I actually profitted on after having the guitar for a year. I have owned Ibanez guitars and they didn't get me the same money when I sold them.

Gibsons, PRS, both have amazing resale value and that's very important IMO, along with the playability and tone.

I had the opportunity to have a luthier custom build me a LP style guitar and I would have been to my specs and would have cost me less than half what I paid. But I chose the Gibson because I knew that IF the time came that I needed to sell, I'd get my money back.
 

mikey_guit

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BadAssBill said:
P.S. If you don't believe in mojo...you havn't played enough guitars (especially the vintage "players").

:lol If a guitarist claims that guitars have no mojo, he must be playing some monkeygrip axe :brow There you go... Gibson snobism par excellance. Well, I don't give a **** on that whole snob talk... :duke
 

BostonPops

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I've had no problems with this discussion except for the few intimations from our friends from across the pond that brand loyalty is a uniquely US trait. Sorry, mates, but people like what they like--all over the world.
 

Zhangliqun

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Frinky said:
My take on it would be, I guess, "Something tangible, which, between equal guitars, would make the Gibson better"?

That's a confusing way to put it. If we stipulate that they are "equal" guitars, then by definition one can't be better than the other. Sounds like a set-up or a leading question to me.

Frinky said:
Hrrrrrn... yes, I see what you mean, but surely that's an end user response, rather than Gibson Magic?

I thought I made it pretty clear that it's both.

Frinky said:
Well, you're honest and it's refreshing to hear that.

You've been around here long enough to hear plenty of us say exactly that and a lot more. We have had endless threads devoted to complaints about fret problems, badly cut nuts, and pots -- not to mention the business end of things where Gibson won't allow dealers to show pictures of individual guitars on the internet, their stiff-arming of the mom-and-pop dealers, etc., etc. So I don't get how what I said can be "refreshing" because it should make you yawn. Most of us in here really AREN'T mindless name-droppers.

Frinky said:
But I think that name is a very big thing for a large number of people - again, why would people pay *that much* for a guitar that comes shipped with sub standard pots? Or, in what I'm seeing now as a frequent example, a badly cut nut? And poor fretwork? And glue on the board? Ill fitting pickup rings? Bad R/T switches? Can people really forgive that much for the name?

To read this section of your post, one would think you never found a quality Gibson of any kind. I was half-expecting you to mention termites, pestilence, heartbreak of psoriasis and boogers on the fingerboard but thankfully you stopped short.

Poor fretwork and bad nuts I've seen, and admittedly far too often. But the rest of it -- ill-fitting pickup rings? Unless you've been running into some funny oval or triangular rings or something, a pickup ring is a pickup ring. They are all shaped THE SAME -- parallel and perpendicular lines made so by the injection mold they come from. You make it sound like they're individually carved or whittled on Jethro's back porch.

And I have yet to play a Gibson with a bad pickup switch.

Beyond that, I don't fully understand your argument. There is no need to forgive any of that "for the name" if you don't BUY a Gibson - or any guitar - with those problems in the first place. This is simply solved by picking the guitar off the rack, sitting down and playing it. (Anyone who does this and still can't tell a good guitar from a bad one deserves to be parted from his money.) Your posts seem to imply not only that the majority of Gibson enthusiasts really can't tell a good one from a bad one -- but that we're willing a keep and praise a crappy guitar just because it says "Gibson" on it. If that is what you really mean, then I find that a little insulting and I bet I'm not alone.

Frinky said:
Again, I was that way when I was younger, I had it drilled into me - GIBSON GIBSON GIBSON. Then I came here, and had my Norlin that I'd worked for months to buy for torn to shit by you lot. So I listened, and then I learned about what makes a "good" Les Paul. Tennons, woods, neck angles, number of pieces in the wood - all those little things. And so, I saved for a Historic. I wanted the very best, because I figured I deserved it as a player. When the time came to buy it, I considered the cost, and, and looked elsewhere. (I kept that Norlin, BTW, as it's a great guitar, and it's my No2). I got a different brand Les Paul that had all the same structural and tonal appointments as a CS 57 RI. I tested it out against several of the real thing - resigned, deep down, to knowing that if the CS57 was better, I'd sell my "copy", and go for one of these, as I'd wanted one for *years*. This far down the line, there was no way I'd not settle for the very best I could get.

The CS guitar wasn't better, at all. None of the 7 (and you try finding 7 with any ease) were any better. Not on a superficial level, and not on a tonal level. No worse, certianly, but nothing better in any appreciable way.

It was £1200 *more* for just the name on the headstock. I couldn't do it. I really couldn't.

The hard luck stories keep pouring in. You do seem to have the worst luck finding a decent Les Paul. Now part of it may be that by most accounts in here from our UK colleagues, Gibson seems to send the bottom of the barrel to England, and on top of that you guys pay a lot more for a Les Paul than we do here in the States. I feel for you on that count. But what was this mysterious Les Paul copy of "another brand"? If they're THAT good, I want one!

I suspect that given what a lightning rod the name is in here, the reason you won't give the brand name is because it's an Epi. If so, then they are NOT going to be "equal" guitars made from the same materials as you say below because they are not made from the same materials, and don't even use the same electronics.

Frinky said:
It's a figure I've read. ($9.00/hour)

Where did you read it? Maybe it was in reference to the janitors at the plant because skilled labor even in Tennessee is likely at least double that.

Frinky said:
And you're right, I'm a carpenter too and I have nothing against that kind of machinery - but as a carpenter, I know that fantastic machinery does not a fantastic product make - there has to be care and attention the whole way through the process.

Obviously. The finest tools in the world are worthless in the hands of an imcompetent woodworker. Just like the finest guitars in the world are worthless in the hands of a no-talent bum. All I was saying was that the fact that they use CNC's doesn't in and of itself compromise the quality. If anything, that should improve both quality and consistency.

Frinky said:
If Gibson were honestly doing that... then maybe, I'd pay the name difference. But it's an insult to pay all that extra money when they won't keep up thier end of the bargain and produce decent, consistant guitars. It was just me trying to see, again, why the name on the headstock is worth so much.

I have a feeling that one of these days, especially if you come to the States and try out the selection we get here, you're going to find a Historic or even a USA line model that will blow you away -- and you will be in here apologizing profusely and throwing yourself on the mercy of our little kangaroo court.

Frinky said:
My guitar has a 57 Custom body, with a nearly correct top carve, and a good profile neck. It's got the same headstock shape and the same inlays. With an inch of masking tape over the name, no-one could tell the difference. The look is there. The feel? It feels different to my 21 year old Norlin, for obvious reasons, but it feels exactly like a shop fresh Les Paul. I know, that's subjective, as is your point, but this said guitar passes the blindfold test. Not commenting upon your skills as a player in any way, but I would be interested to see if you too would pass the test. :)

I don't know if I would be able to tell which was which, but I would be able to tell you in a QUICK hurry if both or either of them were any good, and which one was the better of the two. And of course, this assumes that your individual Norlin is representative of overall Gibson quality.

Frinky said:
Don't get me wrong, I love Gibson designed guitars, but I don't see why I should still be buying them from Gibson.

And so, good Sir, we come full circle. :) So if things were equal, and I mean honestly equal, they were two identical guitars, you would pay the extra for the name? That's honest, fair enough.

If they are truly equal guitars in every way, then more trivial aspects come into play, like which one has the cooler-looking finish or color? Or not exactly trivial but more about individual fit: Which one has pickups in it that I like better -- not better pickups per se, but that I personally prefer -- so I don't have to buy replacements? Which one has the neck profile I prefer? Or in order to really come full circle, which one has that quasi-intangible thing called "mojo", which again is part substance, part head-trip? Does this guitar speak to me in a way the other just doesn't?

My point there is that you would never find two identical guitars, even if they were both Les Pauls made right next to each other on the line in Nashville. And this is because among many other factors, every piece of wood is different. But even there, the Les Paul as a design is unique -- and with two guitars of equal overall workmanship and materials, I might be willing to part with a few hundred extra for the Gibson if it has the classic Gibson tone, because that, sir, is what I CRAVE and what the other guitar more than likely lacks sorely. Not that the other guitar is a "bad" guitar -- I might buy it too, because maybe fits a certain niche of special tones I need that I can't get from the Gibson in question (this other guitar too, may have its OWN 'mojo' after all).

But I think at bottom you are on the verge of becoming an anti-Gibson snob. Instead of mindlessly BUYING a Gibson because of the name, as you accuse us of doing, you are mindlessly REJECTING all Gibsons because of the name. Again, this may have to do with the lousy selection England apparently gets from Gibson, but even so, I don't see why I should follow your apparent advice that I should refuse a guitar based only on the name.
 
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