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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

citson

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
46
Hey Mat, thanks for doing this!

Any plans to reissue some of the weirder, less traditional, Norlin era models? I know it’s not golden age, but there are some gems there and I’m sure you’ll make them better quality now.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Can you confirm whether anything has changed with the process on the dark cherry models to correct the issue?
Thanks for the message. Yes I can confirm we immediately identified the root cause and we changed the formula and processes after hearing of the lacquer issue in the field. Even stopped anything with Aniline Dye for a couple weeks to make sure we had it right. Personally I don’t the look of the super dark aniline dye anyway so I made sure we were going a little lighter in general going forward.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Matt what caused the finish to flake off the MLabs?

How many guitars were affected?

why does there appear to be so much disappointment in the customer service regarding returns or replacements.

if you were truly misquoted regarding your comments about the CC line, what did You actually say?
Hey there! I’ve answered that in previous replies…but as far number of instruments Tom Murphy thought maybe as many as 100. Not sure what you mean by disappointment in customer service…let me know and I will do my best to help. RE: My comments on the CC line, I addressed in another thread and apologized for the misunderstanding. What I was trying to say is the CC options were becoming more homogenized and less exciting over time. Basically it started to lose steam in a variety of ways. But the ones we did will stand the test of time and they’re awesome.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Hey Mat, thanks for doing this!

Any plans to reissue some of the weirder, less traditional, Norlin era models? I know it’s not golden age, but there are some gems there and I’m sure you’ll make them better quality now.
Thank you for your question! You know, we have a few Norlin-era artist models in the queue but outside of that nothing planned for core models. I agree there are some very cool options. Just need an major artist to champion a Les Paul Signature or L-5S! Ha.
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,215
Matt; Hi! My Murphy Lab R-9, Light Aged I've had about a month. According to the CoA it was made or Q.C'd June 29th. I thought that the guitar itself was well done and plays and sounds amazing, However.. All of the metal parts were shiny new looking. Kind of a disappointment for a guitar that's suppose to be aged. Looks like someone took a vintage Les Paul and stuck new parts on it. Is this the way they're suppose to come? I find this aspect a bit unnerving considering these are $8K!
 

citson

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
46
Thank you for your question! You know, we have a few Norlin-era artist models in the queue but outside of that nothing planned for core models. I agree there are some very cool options. Just need an major artist to champion a Les Paul Signature or L-5S! Ha.
Hahaha, guess I’ll have to swap the neck on a Jack Cassidy and fit my Standard’s neck
 

Pip

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 26, 2011
Messages
1,564
Hey Pip! Thanks for the question. Aging plastic hasn't been part of Murphy Aging repertoire in the past, only some replica runs we've done, and even those had mixed reactions. It's a fine line between aging something realistically and something that looks flawed/cheap/melted. And a fine line between too much and too little. But Tom is definitely aware of this popular request and it is on the list for sure.
Agreed but pup covers, pole pieces,screws, yup plastics et-al, are ok but a lot of hardware looks new?

I understand ageing is very varied in old lesters, but if I want heavy age, details are important.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Agreed but pup covers, pole pieces,screws, yup plastics et-al, are ok but a lot of hardware looks new?
All the Ultra Light and Light Aged Murphy Lab models just use the regular VOS patina hardware and all the Heavy and Ultra Heavy Aged Murphy Lab models have heavy aged hardware. Might be cool to have a separate thread here to get some consensus from the forum on what each of the four aging levels should look like. A vote perhaps? Market research!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Matt; Hi! My Murphy Lab R-9, Light Aged I've had about a month. According to the CoA it was made or Q.C'd June 29th. I thought that the guitar itself was well done and plays and sounds amazing, However.. All of the metal parts were shiny new looking. Kind of a disappointment for a guitar that's suppose to be aged. Looks like someone took a vintage Les Paul and stuck new parts on it. Is this the way they're suppose to come?
The spec for Light Aged is to use VOS parts. Everything should have a light patina. See above for ideas on how to incorporate your ideas! And thanks for the question.
 
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EpiLP1985

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2017
Messages
113
Hi Mat!

Let me preface my inquiry with this: I have no dog in this race but in the interest of picking your brain, I’ll ask my question with no reservations but also without any note of accusation or hostility.

It’s come to my attention, as I’ve been following developments surrounding the finish issues at Murphy Labs, that there are now documented, albeit isolated cases, of Gibson replacing defective ML instruments affected by the pore filler issues with ML guitars also exhibiting finish issues affected by the pore filler issues. In these isolated cases, the replacement guitars themselves seem to be ML guitars that were repaired and/or affected ML old stock and shipped to customers affected by the original pore filler issues.

Can you shed any further light on this?
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Hi Mat!

Let me preface my inquiry with this: I have no dog in this race but in the interest of picking your brain, I’ll ask my question with no reservations but also without any note of accusation or hostility.

It’s come to my attention, as I’ve been following developments surrounding the finish issues at Murphy Labs, that there are now documented, albeit isolated cases, of Gibson replacing defective ML instruments affected by the pore filler issues with ML guitars also exhibiting finish issues affected by the pore filler issues. In these isolated cases, the replacement guitars themselves seem to be ML guitars that were repaired and/or affected ML old stock and shipped to customers affected by the original pore filler issues.

Can you shed any further light on this?
Appreciate the question. Unfortunately this is outside my domain but the normal course of action for an RMA would be to replace the original guitar with the same SKU from inventory. As Murphy Lab guitars of all SKUs have been backordered for some time, it’s unlikely there would have been inventory from the original affected batch. But I suppose it could happen. It certainly wouldn’t be from recent supply.
 

Phoenician

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
71
Hey Mat! I’d love to order GCS/M2M guitar but the whole process is elusive. My “dealer“ sent me an Excel file which doesn’t really clarify the process or feel “custom” and I can’t find a current design or configuration guide. It’s discouraging. It feels like a Fender ”Mod Shop” guitar but harder to tackle.

I‘m presently working on a Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt. I’ve worked through the comprehensive design guide (link below) and I’m having a dialogue with Master Builder to iron out the remaining details for unique specs I’d like to have for my guitar. It’s been great so far.

I’m ready, willing and able to do the work to order a dream Les Paul…what am I missing?

 

yeatzee

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
52
Appreciate you coming on here and allowing people to ask you questions directly Mat. I've got a few, plus just some general feedback.... call it market research!

  • Murphy Lab Hardware
    • I was able to take a really close look at a heavy aged R0 Murphy Lab a friend bought and document it on YouTube. Thread on LPForum w/ video link is here: https://www.lespaulforum.com/index.php?threads/honest-review-gibson-murphy-lab-heavy-aged.217584/. One thing that I covered in detail was the hardware aging and how minimal it actually was even though it's a heavy aged model. For example, the strap buttons look identical to VOS ones, the switch's outer metal ring was shiny, the thumbwheels were shiny, the thumb bleeders were shiny, and the bridge and tailpiece looked like VOS aging, etc. I know you mentioned earlier that ultra light and light should be getting VOS aged hardware, which I guess makes sense, but why are heavy aged models not getting heavy aged hardware? Just out of curiosity i checked Sweetwater to see if there has been an update on this but every one I checked had the same issues. I actually looked to see if they had any ultra heavy aged models to see if those had different hardware but it's exactly the same which really surprised me:
s46PfPs.png


Is this something Gibson is planning to change or improve on in the near future? I know Gibson can and has aged hardware much more in the past, I've got a M2M goldtop from 2018 that's "lightly aged" and it's hardware is noticeably more aged (closeup comparisons shown in the youtube video in the thread linked above). So much effort was spent on aging the body and finish, not completing the rest of the guitar seems really odd. Plastics I know you mentioned earlier, but of course I and many others would love to see aged plastics as well.

  • Murphy Lab Checking
    • I Got the privilege of documenting and reviewing a new Jerry Cantrell Wino Les Paul, also on YouTube. I immediately noticed the finish felt (and smelled!) different to the R0, and the checking was quite different. Mostly vertical lines, little to no spiderwebbing, no signs of flaking or lifting of the finish. Good stuff. I imagine you can't tell us how the guitars are checked, but has there been any changes in how it's done recently or is this a product of the "updated" lacquer formula?
  • Murphy Lab Switch Tips
    • Is there a reason why some (most?) ML Les Paul's are getting white switch tips now? Shouldn't a 50's reissue LP have an amber tip?
  • Nylon Saddles
    • Is there any plan for Gibson to make authentic nylon saddles / maybe use the same nylon used for the nut for saddles? I've got a 64ri ES345 that I adore, it came with the plastic saddles and they're kind of junk. Obviously not close to the same as the vintage nylon ones and wear really quick. It would be amazing for Gibson to finally make good ones (and offer them for purchase as well!).
  • Sourcing Replacement Parts / Customer Service
    • I've got a 2019 M2M 54 Custom and the alnico staple V pickup's cover got slightly damaged. As I'm sure you know, nobody besides Gibson and Seymour Duncan make a vintage accurate replica of those pickups with the adjustable pole pieces. Unfortunately SD's is different, the screw sizes are smaller so their covers won't fit. I reached out to Gibson customer service to see if I can get a replacement cover and no response weeks later. I'm literally out of luck unless Gibson responds. That sort of stuff makes Gibson feel kind of like a lifeless corporation, when just about any other company in 2021 will respond to a customer email within 48 hours. I'm REALLY hoping I can get a response when I send another email so that I can get my guitar whole, it's a very simple / small request and something like that obviously goes a long way. I don't know what you can do about that, but I guess just feedback on customer service.

Appreciate you taking the time to respond to questions and comments here. It's a nice step. I think I can speak for most of us when we say we want Gibson to succeed and do incredibly well.
 

JoeC

Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
91
I agree that pots are and were huge part of the tone recipe, and when we redeveloped the wiring assembly ahead of 2019, we spent a lot of time on them. Lots of listening. Requesting changes to the construction from our preferred vendors was our first request -- to mimic the 50s Centralab design as much as possible. But that was not something they could accomodate. Where we landed is a CTS pot that has a specific 50s Gibson/Centralab taper and improved tolerance. They're fantastic! Most similar to the 500K CTS pots Gibson was using in the 1960s, of course. Best pots we have used since then IMO.
Mat, it sounds like the 2019+ Pots are a major differentiator, more so than unpotted pickups. Are these pots available as replacements?
 

akstrat61

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Messages
1,830
Mat, Any chance the Custom Shop will be doing tours soon? I'm traveling to Nashville to see Clapton in about a week or so and would love to make the CS a stop! Please DM if that is a possibility. Mark
 

Torshalla

Active member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
169
Mat, Any chance the Custom Shop will be doing tours soon? I'm traveling to Nashville to see Clapton in about a week or so and would love to make the CS a stop! Please DM if that is a possibility. Mark
Actually great question… I also would love to visit the CS next time I am in the area… (when the US start letting in Europeans again haha)
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,349
Appreciate the question. Unfortunately this is outside my domain but the normal course of action for an RMA would be to replace the original guitar with the same SKU from inventory. As Murphy Lab guitars of all SKUs have been backordered for some time, it’s unlikely there would have been inventory from the original affected batch. But I suppose it could happen. It certainly wouldn’t be from recent supply.
I have to compliment Gibson Custom and my Authentic and Authorized shop for there super help with the RMA process as I am personally affected times 2 . I was taken care of quickly and I feel the support without any hassle and that to me is wonderful how Gibson Custom and my Authentic and Authorized shop addressed this issue head on and the RMA process works . I just have to wait patiently and that is okay . Also to note that the shop offered me R series Les Paul's to use temporarily in the time being which I declined as I have a whole herd at home . Matt , please Pass my compliment on to your team . Also if you like you can send me a private Mail here on the forum if you want to know more details which I am not disclosing publicly .
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Hey Mat! I’d love to order GCS/M2M guitar but the whole process is elusive. My “dealer“ sent me an Excel file which doesn’t really clarify the process or feel “custom” and I can’t find a current design or configuration guide. It’s discouraging. It feels like a Fender ”Mod Shop” guitar but harder to tackle.

I‘m presently working on a Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt. I’ve worked through the comprehensive design guide (link below) and I’m having a dialogue with Master Builder to iron out the remaining details for unique specs I’d like to have for my guitar. It’s been great so far.

I’m ready, willing and able to do the work to order a dream Les Paul…what am I missing?
Hey there! Yeah this is something we have actively been trying to tackle...ten years of M2M existing only in theory is too much. But we've made some strategic hires and the goal is to get to a configurator of some sort. I'm sorry your dealer sent you an excel file...not very glamorous or helpful. I think the best thing to do is identify the starting platform and have bullet points for the specs. A dealer can send that on to Custom Shop and they will flag anything that can't be achieved. Without naming names, I do think some dealers are more proficient at M2M coordination than others. But the onus is on Gibson to lead the way with a new level of sophistication and intuitiveness. Stay tuned.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
392
Appreciate you coming on here and allowing people to ask you questions directly Mat. I've got a few, plus just some general feedback.... call it market research!
  • Murphy Lab Hardware
    • I was able to take a really close look at a heavy aged R0 Murphy Lab a friend bought and document it on YouTube. Thread on LPForum w/ video link is here: https://www.lespaulforum.com/index.php?threads/honest-review-gibson-murphy-lab-heavy-aged.217584/. One thing that I covered in detail was the hardware aging and how minimal it actually was even though it's a heavy aged model. For example, the strap buttons look identical to VOS ones, the switch's outer metal ring was shiny, the thumbwheels were shiny, the thumb bleeders were shiny, and the bridge and tailpiece looked like VOS aging, etc. I know you mentioned earlier that ultra light and light should be getting VOS aged hardware, which I guess makes sense, but why are heavy aged models not getting heavy aged hardware? Just out of curiosity i checked Sweetwater to see if there has been an update on this but every one I checked had the same issues. I actually looked to see if they had any ultra heavy aged models to see if those had different hardware but it's exactly the same which really surprised me:
  • I Got the privilege of documenting and reviewing a new Jerry Cantrell Wino Les Paul, also on YouTube. I immediately noticed the finish felt (and smelled!) different to the R0, and the checking was quite different. Mostly vertical lines, little to no spiderwebbing, no signs of flaking or lifting of the finish. Good stuff. I imagine you can't tell us how the guitars are checked, but has there been any changes in how it's done recently or is this a product of the "updated" lacquer formula?
  • Murphy Lab Switch Tips
    • Is there a reason why some (most?) ML Les Paul's are getting white switch tips now? Shouldn't a 50's reissue LP have an amber tip?
  • Nylon Saddles
    • Is there any plan for Gibson to make authentic nylon saddles / maybe use the same nylon used for the nut for saddles? I've got a 64ri ES345 that I adore, it came with the plastic saddles and they're kind of junk. Obviously not close to the same as the vintage nylon ones and wear really quick. It would be amazing for Gibson to finally make good ones (and offer them for purchase as well!).
  • Sourcing Replacement Parts / Customer Service
    • I've got a 2019 M2M 54 Custom and the alnico staple V pickup's cover got slightly damaged. As I'm sure you know, nobody besides Gibson and Seymour Duncan make a vintage accurate replica of those pickups with the adjustable pole pieces. Unfortunately SD's is different, the screw sizes are smaller so their covers won't fit. I reached out to Gibson customer service to see if I can get a replacement cover and no response weeks later. I'm literally out of luck unless Gibson responds. That sort of stuff makes Gibson feel kind of like a lifeless corporation, when just about any other company in 2021 will respond to a customer email within 48 hours. I'm REALLY hoping I can get a response when I send another email so that I can get my guitar whole, it's a very simple / small request and something like that obviously goes a long way. I don't know what you can do about that, but I guess just feedback on customer service.
Thanks for your questions and pardon my brevity in tackling these questions. In a nutshell, yes we always intend to improve our products and experience so this Murphy Lab feedback is helpful in mapping out the plan to do so. There are some parts that are not heavily aged because they need to function and some connected elements are prone to corrosion. But to my previous point, this is something we can try to plan around.

Cantrell lacquer -- the Murphy Lab lacquer formula has not changed. The isolated issue from earlier this year was caused by a specific filler, not the lacquer.

Cream switch tips -- I noticed this too. Apparently they were putting them on for shipping with the Catalin Amber switch tip in the case. Those tips are quite fragile and costly so I understand the intent. But I stopped it for the time being because it is totally confusing for customers IMO.

Nylon -- yes we are actively trying new materials for the nut and saddles...what we're using is supposed to be the same material spec as the originals, but based on feel alone the vintage material is much harder. I suppose it could shrink and become more brittle over time. But regardless I'd like to use a material that looks and feels closer to the original, regardless of chemical makeup.

Customer Service -- I can tell you this team is at it 24/7 and doing their best...but yes you may have to circle back a couple times and I'm sorry for the hassle. You deserve a response even if they're not sure how to remedy.

Parts in general -- as with our planned pickup evolution, we've made some hires to get is to an Automotive Industry-level place of sophistication with our parts. Every SKU has a Bill of Materials and every item has a part number. So with a little more planning and investment in parts inventory, we should be able to figure this out. Please bear with us! Good things ahead.
 
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