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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
411
Hey Matt,

TL;DR: Are the BB 61T and 61R the same as the 60’s BB?

I just noticed something and I was wondering if you could clarify. Looking at the Pickup Shop I didn’t see the Burstbucker 61T and 61R. Instead I found the 60’s Burstbucker without a treble and rhythm (T & R) denomination. I also noticed that in the specs for gloss LP Standard 60’s (classic too) and ‘61 SG lists 61T and 61R as their pickups, whereas in the faded LP 60’s and ‘61 SG, we find the 60’s BB listed. Are these, the BB 61 and 60’s BB, the same pickups? Were the 61s renamed and dropped the T & R specification (they tended to have the same output anyway)? Are their output still measuring around 7.7, 7.8? I had a 61 SG in that sub 8 output range that I couldn’t get a bad tone from it.
Phoned a friend for this one -- answers courtesy of Jason D, our Prod Dev Director for Parts and Pickups:

“Are these, the BB 61 and 60’s BB, the same pickups?” – Yes! These are indeed the same pickups, only the name was updated for a better fit within our product architecture. Note that the “R” and “T” designations for the 61 BB as indicated on the LP Standard 60s specs are there to indicate to the factory the lead wire length and the pickup ring that is pre-installed at the Pickup Shop, the raw pickups themselves are the same. The specs for guitar models listed with the 61R/61T BBs will be updated to 60s BB soon.
 

jonspace

Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
35
I've already weighed in on that one. There are two options -- we can re-serialize it to be congruent with the specs and SKU designation. Or we can replace it. We will not provide authenticating documents for an error -- we want to correct the error. :)
Hello. I'm the one with the R4 issue. According to the Gibson rep, re-serializing would have meant a refinish and they told me at the time they were too backed up to give me an ETA and it could be several months to a year before I'd see the guitar again. They tried to replace it, but the replacement had jagged razor lines cut into the binding and had really sloppy finish work. Gibson agreed with me and took that one back. The new replacement was cut a thin neck (not 54/56 spec) and has other issues with the fretwork and neck angle. In my other thread, I'm asking for advice on what to do next and what others would do in my situation. Another replacement is going to take a long time (Gibson would not provide an ETA because they said they are not making them right now and the ones coming are for dealers). I'm outside of my return window with the dealer because of all the back and forth with Gibson, and local guitar shops are only offering a small fraction of what I paid for it because at minimum it needs a fret level to correct the bad and incomplete Plek work. I need to get out of this situation. And no, I'm not a Gibson hater. I have several Gibson USA guitars, half a dozen ES guitars (50s and modern), and an older R4 from a different era of the CS. I recognize I'm caught up in a unique messy situation.
 

pqs

Member
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
97
Necks on USA vs R9 (2019-present).

I did a little statistical exercise and found that the necks on Standard 50’s are in the same ballpark range as R9s, both at 1st and 12th fret. However, people keep saying that Standard 50’s are closer to R8s. Although I was able to find 50’s necks in the R8 (2019-present) range I found that the vast majority falls around the R9 range. It is also my understanding that the difference between an R9 and R8 necks have significantly decrease, about a 10th on an inch if I remember the figures correctly.

Here is what I think based on my experience with these necks, 50’s and R9: They measure very similarly on average, but the R9s have slimmer shoulders, which give them the sensation of being an overall slimmer neck. Another neck in that range is the ones used on 64 reissues (SG and ES-335s). I’d rank them as 64 most shoulder as they are truer rounded C, 50’s an in between neck, and R9 hinting on a Gibson soft V, not to be confused with the relatively more drastic Fender soft V.

I’m on my 3rd Standard 50’s, 4th if you count a Slash, and all those four guitars were in range on my 60th Anniversary R9. The statistical exercise I did used the measurements published by Wildwoods. I used a sample of 71 Standard 50’s guitars.

My question: Is my conclusion in line with what you guys are shooting for at the factory? Is Gibson going for an R9 neck on the 50’s model with a bit more shoulder?

The reason I as is because there is this claim going around that Standard 50’s have essentially R8 necks. However, despite the very marginal difference between R8 and R9, both the little stats exercise with actual playing experience says 50’s necks are on average more similar in depth to R9 necks.
 

Pat Boyack

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2011
Messages
4,504
Hello. I'm the one with the R4 issue. According to the Gibson rep, re-serializing would have meant a refinish and they told me at the time they were too backed up to give me an ETA and it could be several months to a year before I'd see the guitar again. They tried to replace it, but the replacement had jagged razor lines cut into the binding and had really sloppy finish work. Gibson agreed with me and took that one back. The new replacement was cut a thin neck (not 54/56 spec) and has other issues with the fretwork and neck angle. In my other thread, I'm asking for advice on what to do next and what others would do in my situation. Another replacement is going to take a long time (Gibson would not provide an ETA because they said they are not making them right now and the ones coming are for dealers). I'm outside of my return window with the dealer because of all the back and forth with Gibson, and local guitar shops are only offering a small fraction of what I paid for it because at minimum it needs a fret level to correct the bad and incomplete Plek work. I need to get out of this situation. And no, I'm not a Gibson hater. I have several Gibson USA guitars, half a dozen ES guitars (50s and modern), and an older R4 from a different era of the CS. I recognize I'm caught up in a unique messy situation.
It took you over 45 days to communicate with Gibson about this?
 

jdto

New member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
3
Hi Mat

I know earlier in the thread you mention that Custombuckers were a sonic pursuit to sound like Jimmy Page's #1
Really the Custombucker development was a sonic pursuit by Edwin Wilson based on the pickups in Jimmy Page's #1. It was not so much a historically-accurate PAF clone project as it was a tone quest, and in my opinion Edwin nailed it

That said, in the recently-released video about the Pickup Shop, Dinesh Lekhraj says they "cracked the code on these real PAF pickups from the '50s". I'm guessing these are still the same Custombuckers from recent years. I guess nothing he says in the video precludes the Jimmy Page angle, but as a guitar spec and history geek, I'm curious. I'm not trying for a "gotcha" here or anything, just asking for clarity's sake :)

 
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ourmaninthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
6,965
There seems to be an obvious way forward, am I missing something?

Someone at Gibson needs to take personal responsibility and get this Guy a replacement (making it the 3rd guitar?) that passes his QC.

The time frame needs to represent the personal touch that is required to solve this.

The optics on this are terrible, but eminently reversible.

Gibson - do yourself some good, sort this customer out...soon.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
411
Necks on USA vs R9 (2019-present).

I did a little statistical exercise and found that the necks on Standard 50’s are in the same ballpark range as R9s, both at 1st and 12th fret. However, people keep saying that Standard 50’s are closer to R8s. Although I was able to find 50’s necks in the R8 (2019-present) range I found that the vast majority falls around the R9 range. It is also my understanding that the difference between an R9 and R8 necks have significantly decrease, about a 10th on an inch if I remember the figures correctly.

Here is what I think based on my experience with these necks, 50’s and R9: They measure very similarly on average, but the R9s have slimmer shoulders, which give them the sensation of being an overall slimmer neck. Another neck in that range is the ones used on 64 reissues (SG and ES-335s). I’d rank them as 64 most shoulder as they are truer rounded C, 50’s an in between neck, and R9 hinting on a Gibson soft V, not to be confused with the relatively more drastic Fender soft V.

I’m on my 3rd Standard 50’s, 4th if you count a Slash, and all those four guitars were in range on my 60th Anniversary R9. The statistical exercise I did used the measurements published by Wildwoods. I used a sample of 71 Standard 50’s guitars.

My question: Is my conclusion in line with what you guys are shooting for at the factory? Is Gibson going for an R9 neck on the 50’s model with a bit more shoulder?

The reason I as is because there is this claim going around that Standard 50’s have essentially R8 necks. However, despite the very marginal difference between R8 and R9, both the little stats exercise with actual playing experience says 50’s necks are on average more similar in depth to R9 necks.
Great questions and in a nutshell, there have been all sorts of Reissue neck profile changes over the past decade but yes -- they used to be huge and generic and now they are just transposed directly from scans of originals. The R8 is chunky and rounder, measuring 0.910" to 1.013" and the R9 is almost a soft V feel, measuring 0.962" to 0.861" deep. For the 2019-on Gibson USA Original Collection necks, we DO NOT transpose them from scans of originals but YES we are trying to get similar "realistic" depths with perhaps a little more cheek than you might see on a current Reissue. Original Collection 50s = 59 inspired, Original Collection 60s = 1960 inspired.

Two necks with the same depth measurements can feel totally different when shaped differently, for the record. And yes we are talking about tenths and hundreths of an inch here...pretty amazing that it produces such a different playing feel.

Hope that helps!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
411
Hello, I have these two es335s below and would like to know why the differences regarding cutaway depth. The 2018 has a COA signed in Memphis.

2018
View attachment 19790

2022
View attachment 19791
After moving out of Memphis, we re-did our rim shapes and recut the press plates with the historically correct contours (they were wearing out). So that is likely the reason for the difference as well as the fact that ALL set necks incorporate a small degree of placement variety between instruments. I also want to point out the slippery slope that is comparing photographs...really hard to draw hard conclusions when you account for minute perspective shifts. Not saying that is the case here, just something for everyone to keep in mind! :) Thanks for the questions.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
411
Hello. I'm the one with the R4 issue. According to the Gibson rep, re-serializing would have meant a refinish and they told me at the time they were too backed up to give me an ETA and it could be several months to a year before I'd see the guitar again. They tried to replace it, but the replacement had jagged razor lines cut into the binding and had really sloppy finish work. Gibson agreed with me and took that one back. The new replacement was cut a thin neck (not 54/56 spec) and has other issues with the fretwork and neck angle. In my other thread, I'm asking for advice on what to do next and what others would do in my situation. Another replacement is going to take a long time (Gibson would not provide an ETA because they said they are not making them right now and the ones coming are for dealers). I'm outside of my return window with the dealer because of all the back and forth with Gibson, and local guitar shops are only offering a small fraction of what I paid for it because at minimum it needs a fret level to correct the bad and incomplete Plek work. I need to get out of this situation. And no, I'm not a Gibson hater. I have several Gibson USA guitars, half a dozen ES guitars (50s and modern), and an older R4 from a different era of the CS. I recognize I'm caught up in a unique messy situation.
I apologize for the original error as well as the winding path to a solution. For the record, reserializing does not require a total refinish -- just a spot repair and it should be completely undetectable when done, just like any production repair we do. Re: replacement, I can't speak to ETAs for replacement but our team is not requiring you to return your guitar until you receive said replacement, correct?

I can think of no better solution here than to repair it or replace/exchange. And we can work with the dealer to do a straight return as well. Our head of Customer Service is going to give you a call. :)

Update: I'm hearing that we set up the RMA last week Friday and sent out the return label today. So sounds like a solution is in place!
 
Last edited:

Elmore

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Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Messages
1,812
Mat, long time Gibson player here. Do you know the source of the Vanilla smell from Gibson guitars and their cases? I have heard it is the glue in the case, I have heard it is the laquer on the guitars. Many of us have wondered for years.
 

ourmaninthenorth

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
6,965
I apologize for the original error as well as the winding path to a solution. For the record, reserializing does not require a total refinish -- just a spot repair and it should be completely undetectable when done, just like any production repair we do. Re: replacement, I can't speak to ETAs for replacement but our team is not requiring you to return your guitar until you receive said replacement, correct?

I can think of no better solution here than to repair it or replace/exchange. And we can work with the dealer to do a straight return as well. Our head of Customer Service is going to give you a call. :)

Update: I'm hearing that we set up the RMA last week Friday and sent out the return label today. So sounds like a solution is in place!
That's exactly the personal touch I humbly believe this needed. Bravo.

Very well done indeed Mat.
 
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