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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

madrivermoco

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Sep 26, 2021
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26
Mat

If you “are planning to do a bit of a pickup re-launch/re-focus in Fall,” may I humbly suggest:
F7BE8610-F2F4-4F6E-B69F-005653F04C85.jpeg

and remember,

Respect is the Word at The Disco Party House…
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,263
It's just thirsty! Get some Howard Feed-N-Wax (or conditioner of your choice) and have at it. And show us the before & after! ~Mat
I have to say this was a very good suggestion as I just used it this weekend on my 2014 R9 and the results were awesome as it felt really great on the fingerboard and I can't say Thank You Enough . Howard Feed-N-Wax totally blows away Dunlop Lemon Oil , which after I applied this in the past the board still felt dry to me versus the Howard Feed-N-Wax which to me felt like silk and gave me a kind of really fast feel (if that makes any sense ) There is no way I would have ever found/discovered this most wonderful product . Mega Thank You Matt !!!!!!!!!!!
 

Midnight Blues

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Feb 20, 2011
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1,556
Hi Mat,

Were there any '54/'57 reissues done with a maple cap? Seems like I've seen them before?


Thanks and
cheers.gif

Matt
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
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340
Mat -

what do you guys at Gibson think of the secondary Guitar " re finishers" such as Historic Makeovers ?

has there been a situation where one of the shop guys has pulled you aside and said :

" look at the amazing job they did here refinishing one of our guitars - dang why are we not doing this ? "

anything on this subject I would find interesting
Well our primary concern is making new instruments, not refinishing used instruments. We're not competing with HM. But here's what I'll say about Kim....he is the nicest guy and I have the utmost respect for him and all he does. I'd be lying if I said his work didn't help pave the way for many of the improvements we've made to the Historic Reissue line, including Murphy Lab. And likewise Gibson's past offerings paved the way for Kim's business to exist.

Before I joined Gibson, I was the guy tweaking my R9s with proper inlays and replica parts and occasional refinishes...so I knew firsthand what Gibson was offering was not what *everybody* wanted. But since joining Gibson I have been able to help influence the changes I had fantasized about previously...from the neck profiles to the historic logo font to the inlays to the top carve and the finish options...and much more. And then the big one, Murphy Lab. We did everything the hard-earned way and it's no easy feat to make any of these changes at a big operation like GIbson...every little thing is like turning a giant ship, but with loads of paperwork before and after. Even so this role feels like my calling and I'm very proud of how we've been able to improve on every front in a relatively short amount of time. My personal belief of what constitutes a meaningful improvement and what is a bridge too far may differ from my peers...but it's fun to discuss and debate. I realize I've digressed a lot from the original question but I hope that helped answer it!
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
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340
Hi Mat!

Currently I am looking for a ‘59 or ‘60 Les Paul from the custom shop. I have found two great ones and will buy one of them shortly.

The ‘60 I’m looking at is from 2020, and the ‘59 from the end of 2021. The latter has a much brighter red color on the back, while the ‘60 is very dark red. In the shop the guy told me is is a ‘dark back’, but I can’t find any information about ‘dark back’ bursts. The brighter red looks a bit more accurate to a vintage burst, though the dark red looks beautiful.

Could elaborate on the red color of the back of custom shop Les Pauls? Why did Gibson use more dark red for a while? Thank you so much!
Great question! Establishing consistency with aniline dye is hard in a factory setting, as is training for it. BUT we have changed up the standard aniline dye back color spec from time to time based on dealer feedback. Some prefer darker red, some prefer lighter or even no red. Eventually last year I made the call to stick with a middle of the road red offering and make the other variations available in Made 2 Measure. Really just four aniline dye options -- Full Cherry, Medium Cherry, Faded Cherry and No Cherry. What we used in 2020 was Full Cherry. What we're using today is Medium Cherry. But you really can't go wrong...they all look great and they will fade with sun exposure of course...so if you get a darker one and you play it, it might look more like Faded Cherry before long. Hope that helps! -Mat
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
340
Hi Mat,

Were there any '54/'57 reissues done with a maple cap? Seems like I've seen them before?


Thanks and
cheers.gif

Matt
I assume you mean Les Paul Customs...not that I have seen but it could be possible through Made 2 Measure. On a related note, I remember reading something about how Les had specifically requested a maple cap on the Les Paul Custom model before its introduction in 1953...but little did he know, Gibson went with solid Mahogany...that is until '68 of course.
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
340
Congrats on the release of the new Lucille Legacy (wish there were southpaws)! Nice surprise... :cool:

Lucille Legacy in Transparent Ebony


Is this the first 'Lucille' with Super-400 inlays (just custom blocks and BB King script, IIRC) ..?

PS: got enough lighting for those kind folks... 😉
Thank you! Yes we worked with the King family on plans for a variety of models from Epiphone to Custom Shop, including some recreations of famous BB guitars (yet to come). For this Custom Shop core Modern Collection offering, the idea was to elevate the original Lucille concept in a classy, Custom Shop way. I suggested highly figured maple veneers for the body and Super 400 inlays for the fingerboard, and it stuck. And by the way, working on a BB King model was a dream come true...he is the G.O.A.T. in my opinion. Just trying to do him proud.
 

matkoehler

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Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
340
I have to say this was a very good suggestion as I just used it this weekend on my 2014 R9 and the results were awesome as it felt really great on the fingerboard and I can't say Thank You Enough . Howard Feed-N-Wax totally blows away Dunlop Lemon Oil , which after I applied this in the past the board still felt dry to me versus the Howard Feed-N-Wax which to me felt like silk and gave me a kind of really fast feel (if that makes any sense ) There is no way I would have ever found/discovered this most wonderful product . Mega Thank You Matt !!!!!!!!!!!
I did not discover it in a bubble! Special thanks to my friend Paul at Truetone music who suggested it to me many years ago. Anyway so happy it worked well for you! Thanks for the update!
 

lpthomas

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Mar 12, 2017
Messages
164
I sure hope James C. and the team at Gibson HQ knows what they have in you, Mat! Thank you for the insights and reflections. I had a very informative e-mail conversation with you a few years ago and am really glad to see that since then many new as well as long-term plans have come to fruition. Looking forward to more BB King models. And Custom Shop core Modern Collection does mean here to stay for the foreseeable future, right?
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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3,311
I know this was for Mat, I'll wager that designation is indeed a long-term sub-collection. My understanding is the LP Special DC Figured, and the Axcess, fall into "Custom Shop core Modern Collection" product architecture. While somewhat niche, these are really sweet in my eyes... just not at the top of my eventual M2M list!
 
Last edited:

Midnight Blues

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Feb 20, 2011
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I assume you mean Les Paul Customs...not that I have seen but it could be possible through Made 2 Measure. On a related note, I remember reading something about how Les had specifically requested a maple cap on the Les Paul Custom model before its introduction in 1953...but little did he know, Gibson went with solid Mahogany...that is until '68 of course.

That's correct Mat, Customs. I didn't know that? He obviously was alright with it in the end. ;)

Seems like I've seen at least the '54s somewhere with a maple cap? I could be dreaming though?


Thanks for the response,
Matt
 

jzcrozet

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Apr 19, 2017
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Thank you! Yes we worked with the King family on plans for a variety of models from Epiphone to Custom Shop, including some recreations of famous BB guitars (yet to come). For this Custom Shop core Modern Collection offering, the idea was to elevate the original Lucille concept in a classy, Custom Shop way. I suggested highly figured maple veneers for the body and Super 400 inlays for the fingerboard, and it stuck. And by the way, working on a BB King model was a dream come true...he is the G.O.A.T. in my opinion. Just trying to do him proud.
So there’s a good chance of a USA Production Lucille in the future? Thanks for the time!
 

CK6

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Feb 5, 2020
Messages
353
Hi Matt,

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions!

I have a 2010 Gibson Les Paul Junior that was part of a run where the faded-white models supposedly had ebony fingerboards. Could you please confirm? The serial number is 132201335 with a “Made in the USA“ stamped neck.

Thanks for your help!
 

Awall

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Aug 20, 2021
Messages
38
I know this is a custom shop thread but had to share. Picked up an incredible all original ‘75 Deluxe/Standard yesterday. While taking it down for a good cleaning I found a tag under the neck pickup that said W/RED with the name Roberta under that. Naturally the guitar will be called Roberta since it already clearly had a name hidden for the last 46/47 years. Clearly had never been opened and the spotless control cavity was evidence of that. Would be interesting to know who Roberta that working in Kalamazoo in the 70’s was!
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
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I sure hope James C. and the team at Gibson HQ knows what they have in you, Mat! Thank you for the insights and reflections. I had a very informative e-mail conversation with you a few years ago and am really glad to see that since then many new as well as long-term plans have come to fruition. Looking forward to more BB King models. And Custom Shop core Modern Collection does mean here to stay for the foreseeable future, right?
Yes, long life cycle for that one! Thanks for the kind words. Best, Mat
 

matkoehler

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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
340
So there’s a good chance of a USA Production Lucille in the future? Thanks for the time!
Not anytime soon...but yes there is a chance. I was more specifically teasing some potential Custom Shop runs of iconic BB instruments to come...
 
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