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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

stumphead

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
406
Mat -

here are two that I have always wondered about :

1) does JAPAN get special treatment in receiving higher quality tops then the USA - on the idea that they are a more detail oriented customer base ?

2) on the reverse does Guitar Center get the less exceptional examples for the opposite
reasoning ...... true or absolute falsehood ?
 

somebodyelseuk

Active member
Joined
Jun 10, 2020
Messages
291
Ha! Point taken. I think the idea there is to move away from the traditional business lingo and speak to customers' passions without condescension...but I can see how it would feel condescending when you consider a customer is someone that has paid for a product/experience. Thanks for the feedback. -Mat
Thanks for listening...
Now, one for you.
Are there any plans/has it ever been considered, to do a run of 'all gold Goldtops'?
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,577
I'm not quite sure what you mean...the idea of purchasing or leasing what's left of the original factories in Kalamazoo and literally going back into production there? We would have to bring all the original Kalamazoo machinery from Nashville...I'm not sure that makes any sense at all. But if you mean just making every element of the reissues *exactly* like in 1959, that's a well-trodden rabbit hole...and a sliding scale to boot, filled with supply chain and safety impossibilities. The question is what is a bridge too far? I do feel we are making every effort to replicate the details...from the contours scanned from originals, butyrate parts scanned from originals, Mazzuchelli inlays, correct fonts, vintage tone circuit, etc. As I've said for years, the current reissues are truly 99.9% of the originals for 1% of the price.

But as a fellow anachronist and vintage enthusiast, I'm not adverse to the fantasy of going back in time, especially to visit the original factories in the 1950s (or to buy Bitcoin in the 2010s)...but I think one way of recreating the magic is by offering a thoughtful and faithful vintage ownership experience. I think we've done that with the look, the feel, the sound and the vibe...to an extreme but maybe not the extreme you are imagining. Still going to push the limit as much as I can, as detailed in my previous posts, but I think we are very close to that limit from a practical point of view. Thanks for the note!
I agree 1000% . Exactly as you have clearly stated and the only thing missing is the vaunted PAF's and as far as the Brazilian Rosewood boards goes that has already been covered with the 2018 run along with 2003 ( which I snagged 2 of them -Lemon Burst , Ice Tea Burst in 2018 ) I think with all of the progress that Gibson Custom has made of the past few years that there has never been a better time to spend the $ and get an R series Les Paul . Since 2018 I have purchased 6 R series Les Paul's of which 3 are M2M R9's and the other 3 are 2 R9's and a R8 . I vote with my wallet that Gibson Custom is building the best instruments in the world PERIOD .
 

luizhmax

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2020
Messages
32
A cork sniffing question: in your interview to Guitar magazine back in May, when talking about the introduction of the Murphy Lab, it says Gibson even considered bringing back the Centralab brand. That's a really cool idea. Is that something we can expect in the near future? A more cosmetically and technically period-correct set of potentiometers?
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
184
Mat -

here are two that I have always wondered about :

1) does JAPAN get special treatment in receiving higher quality tops then the USA - on the idea that they are a more detail oriented customer base ?

2) on the reverse does Guitar Center get the less exceptional examples for the opposite
reasoning ...... true or absolute falsehood ?
No and no. Our dealers in Japan are extremely picky and obsessive...I've learned a lot from them! They have great taste and until recently they all traveled to Custom Shop twice a year to pick tops -- now it is done remotely.

GC will do runs here and there of handpicked tops, but for the most part they order core models. All core R9s are created equal and they receive tops of the same highly figured grade. If you are noticing more mundane tops at GC, it could simply be a function of more inventory -- they are our biggest dealer by far.
 

matkoehler

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Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
184
Thanks for listening...
Now, one for you.
Are there any plans/has it ever been considered, to do a run of 'all gold Goldtops'?
We did a run of all gold '57s for the 60th Anniversary in 2017. But we can do custom orders for all gold finishes at any time through M2M. I suppose a '54-'56 reissue is most appropriate for that option!
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
184
I think with all of the progress that Gibson Custom has made of the past few years that there has never been a better time to spend the $ and get an R series Les Paul . Since 2018 I have purchased 6 R series Les Paul's of which 3 are M2M R9's and the other 3 are 2 R9's and a R8 . I vote with my wallet that Gibson Custom is building the best instruments in the world PERIOD .
Hear hear! Thanks for your support!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
184
A cork sniffing question: in your interview to Guitar magazine back in May, when talking about the introduction of the Murphy Lab, it says Gibson even considered bringing back the Centralab brand. That's a really cool idea. Is that something we can expect in the near future? A more cosmetically and technically period-correct set of potentiometers?
Well for 2019 when we dove into the wiring harness, the first move was to study the original Centralab 500k pots. They were made in a unique way compared to current day vendors so we explored all options to reproduce them in mass...I had delusions of grandeur to replicate them exactly down to the scuffing pattern on the exterior. But alas there is no vendor currently equipped to provide the specific construction and aesthetic. Meanwhile Jim DeCola was working with CTS to achieve the same taper and tolerance as found in the Centralabs as well...so he gets the credit for what resulted in our new and improved Vintage Taper CTS pots. They are night and day from what we had been using. I think they're killer! And you can actually roll all the way down to 1 and hear something...
 

lare65

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
98
Great thread Mat!
How do you like Tim Shaw pickups? Do you know what kind of alnico magnets where in those? I have a ´84 es 335 (black) which have those and they have very low KOhm readings (7.1 something..). Killer pickups though, and guitar. It sounds very Les Paul like on the higher frets. It doesnt thin out like some es can do in the higher registers.

So great to hear this stuff from the mouth of the horse!
 

stumphead

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
406
Mat -

how many countries have Gibson dealers ?

And just for fun - can you tell us the most exotic locations where they are located such as a small African nation or exotic island .....
 

Strum lord

New member
Joined
Oct 12, 2021
Messages
1
Hi Matt

I purchased a 58 a heavy relic Murphy Lab Les Paul. It is such an amazing instrument, Gibson is doing great work. In fact, I’ve been so impressed I started looking for a 59 to compliment my 58.

However, while searching I noticed that every heavy relic LP has the same wear pattern which I find odd. (Nicks in the same spot under the bridge and the lower corners.

My question is when will Gibson change the wear pattern, I want to purchase another Murphy Lab but I don’t want two guitars with the same wear pattern.

Thanks
 

Phoenician

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
52
I have a couple R0s and they are fantastic. I think it’s interesting that the customer (fans!) of the 1959 era Sunbursts want Gibson to close the gap on the originals from 99.9% accurate to 100% accurate reproductions. I’m kind of the opposite. I’d like to see Gibson take the position that they made outstanding guitars during this era but there is room for important rather than be frozen in time. I’m sure they could make those guitars 1-3-5-10% better by making some modifications to those designs and production techniques. In example, use Grover tuners or improve the bridge design or improve the headstock design and angle or use Schaller strap lock buttons or provide the guitar without the pick guard and associated holes in the top and side or include push-pull pot options or possibly a 100 ideas.

Maybe Gibson has done this already and I’ve missed it. I do own a 2013 Les Paul Standard at it’s got a lot of really great modern features (asymmetrical neck, push-pull pots, Grover tuners, et cetera) and I believe the recent “Modern” is quite similar but I’d love to get those kinds of features but with the range of Sunburst tops or Custombuckers.
 

Awall

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Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Messages
25
I have a couple R0s and they are fantastic. I think it’s interesting that the customer (fans!) of the 1959 era Sunbursts want Gibson to close the gap on the originals from 99.9% accurate to 100% accurate reproductions. I’m kind of the opposite. I’d like to see Gibson take the position that they made outstanding guitars during this era but there is room for important rather than be frozen in time. I’m sure they could make those guitars 1-3-5-10% better by making some modifications to those designs and production techniques. In example, use Grover tuners or improve the bridge design or improve the headstock design and angle or use Schaller strap lock buttons or provide the guitar without the pick guard and associated holes in the top and side or include push-pull pot options or possibly a 100 ideas.

Maybe Gibson has done this already and I’ve missed it. I do own a 2013 Les Paul Standard at it’s got a lot of really great modern features (asymmetrical neck, push-pull pots, Grover tuners, et cetera) and I believe the recent “Modern” is quite similar but I’d love to get those kinds of features but with the range of Sunburst tops or Custombuckers.
I like the way you're thinking. Question I have is if you take a random original Les Paul 58, 59 or 60, is it actually a better guitar than one made today? With modern and more precise manufacturing methods mixed with certain old world ways, I really wonder which is best. My 2020 '58 is an absolute gem and I cannot imagine it not being as fine an instrument as an original.
 

el84ster

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Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
1,388
I like the way you're thinking. Question I have is if you take a random original Les Paul 58, 59 or 60, is it actually a better guitar than one made today? With modern and more precise manufacturing methods mixed with certain old world ways, I really wonder which is best. My 2020 '58 is an absolute gem and I cannot imagine it not being as fine an instrument as an original.
I honestly think the only differences now between a good modern historic and a good burst is the age of the wood/finish, PAF pickups and the brighter sounding metal parts on the modern ones.
 

madrivermoco

New member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Messages
10
I'm right there with you. I've been trying to get the "Archive Collection" going for 4-5 years now and I'm happy to report the first offering is coming in March and it will blow the mind of every guitar geek. Starting with a bang. Stay tuned! Best, Mat


I’m tuned in and tuned up. So stoked to see this kind of interaction. Don’t be afraid to suggest opening your mod shop and outside luthiers like Banker into doing factory Mod work either. Kind of surprised the untapped upgrade market hasn’t found a factory outlet… C2D51553-5BF1-4AA5-AE62-3CC6067CB983.jpeg
 
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JoeC

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
85
I honestly think the only differences now between a good modern historic and a good burst is the age of the wood/finish, PAF pickups and the brighter sounding metal parts on the modern ones.
Well that is saying a lot. I had the pleasure of playing an original 59 and switching back and forth with a 60th anniversary. Same amp, same settings. The difference was minimal but there was a difference. Both amazing instruments with an edge on the original. Within the original bursts, some are better than others as they say. I dont think I had a prime sample. The original burst has older wood older magnets , yes. perhaps old wood to start. Two points: 1) the new CS LPs will get better with age and if played v. sitting in a case. No doubt. 2) Can the best of the modern CS LPS, surpass the worst of the original LPs over time, likely.
 

JoeC

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
85
Not a Les Paul but still a Custom Shop, my Chuck Berry ES-355 will be arriving today and I don't think I've ever been this excited for a new guitar! No one around me could give a shit so I figured I'd tell you guys :LOL:
Send Pictures
 
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