• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

Phoenician

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
71
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.
This statement is just blowing my mind. I’m a distant and devout disciple of Page and I had no idea of the linkage to him. My #1 guitar is Veronica which is a ‘14 “standard“ Historic 1960 reissue LPS. The guitar sounds epic even among my other LPs. I’ve got four sets of CBs including those in a True Historic 1960 LPS, a ‘61 335 reisue and a stray pair I bought off the TGP emporium.

It just makes sense I‘d love Custombuckers considering the massive impact Page has had on my playing and my life. Edwin Wilson is a new hero. Well done!!
 
Last edited:

citson

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2019
Messages
46
Thanks for the message and cheers. Great questions.

1) We will continue to cater to left-handed players as we always have. You can't expect us to make lefty versions of Custom Shop replica runs or anything that may require new tooling/fixturing/cases (only if demand covers the costs), but for other new product introductions we will always try to have lefty SKUs set up. The caveat is that we won't usually run the lefties as part of the original allocation...they would be scheduled many months later. One of the reasons it's difficult to plan around lefty runs is the forecasting is not a perfect science. There have been times when we've been saddled with an inordinate amount of left-handed inventory and there have been times where we're hand-to-mouth. But rest assured we are thinking of you and many of the employees here are southpaws as well!

2) I was hoping someone would ask this. We are in the thick of a major development project for both archtops and mandolins, and I have a meeting concerning banjos next week. Our existing range of archtops and mandolins doesn't really fall into Historic Reissue category nor a Modern category so they're incongruent with the current Custom Shop product archticture. And we don't even have them showcases on the website because there is nothing to market with such limited capacity. So we want to discontinue the current range, build all the current orders and incrementally introduce all-new models at a later time with way more capacity and many more skilled team members building them. An Archtop Historic Reissue collection. A Mandolin Historic Reissue and Modern Collection. A Banjo Historic Reissue Collection as well. It's going to take a lot of time but we're going to do it right, and I expect the first of the incremental new range to be released sometime in 2023. Stay tuned!
Yes! Excited to see the archtop revival. ES-175 here I go!
 

jimipaf

New member
Joined
Aug 6, 2002
Messages
11
Hi Matt, great to have you here!
My question is did the Collectors Choice Les Pauls have unpotted pickups? I have the #28A STP Burst.
Thanks, Pete
 

Awall

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Messages
38
I've got one for you Mat. I have a 2020 R8 VOS and a rep at Gibson sent be a spec sheet and the color is called "Believer Burst". I can't seem to find anything online about this color. Can you shed a little light on that for me? LPR8.jpg
 

el84ster

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
1,397
Hey Mat,
Regarding the arch tops, ever since 1970 the L5ces’ have had the wrong neck set (too high) compared to the earlier ones.

This puts the bridge too high up and makes the whole thing play much stiffer. You can see this easily by looking at the side where the fingerboard meets the body, it is much higher than 60s and earlier. Also they changed in 1970 to have a weird slant toward the fretboard necessitating turning the neck pickup ring reverse to keep the pickup at the right angle.

The earlier L5s with the right neck set are sooo much better feeling and sounding. I hope when these are overhauled that looooong standing change can be fixed.

also pre-‘70 L5ces’ have much thinner tops than modern.

Until these specs go back to the original I can only consider buying the pre-‘70 version and I know I’m definitely not alone. Sure loving my ‘64!
 

GreenBurst

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
742
I've got one for you Mat. I have a 2020 R8 VOS and a rep at Gibson sent be a spec sheet and the color is called "Believer Burst". I can't seem to find anything online about this color. Can you shed a little light on that for me? View attachment 15325
From the CC series.

 

Gregeatworld

New member
Joined
Aug 25, 2016
Messages
9
Was the nitro used at the Memphis plant for the reissue 335s a different formulation than what was used at the custom shop at that time?

Also, since the Memphis reissue guitars were made in the same area as production guitars, were the same parts, wood, templates, etc used in the reissues as the regular production models?

And what is the story behind MHS pickups?

Thanks Mat!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
394
Quick question for you (and no pressure): if I provide you my ML 58 LP Ultra Light Aged S/N, a guitar which has been sent back to the CS for repair/replacement over 8 weeks ago, are you able to get a sense of how long it may take until I get it back? I live in Canada and warranty claims are dealt through the sole Canadian distributor Yorkville Sound, and I cannot obtain the RMA # for customer support to give me an update. Also, it's weird that most people who were affected by the ML dark cherry back issue seem to have received replacements, but I keep being told that mine is getting repaired (which I would prefer given I fell in love with THAT one :p). I'm trying to stay patient, but I really miss my LP!! :p Any input would be really appreciated! Thanks in advance.
I can totally understand that you are missing your guitar! It is unusual that you would not get an RMA, and also unusual we would refinish a guitar instead of replacing, so I'm guessing that is the delay here...Yorkville may have pulled some strings outside of the RMA process. But I'm neither on the Customer Service side of things nor based at Custom Shop (anymore) so I don't have a lot of visibility on specific returns. Keep pressing your dealer contacts for updates...that is my advice! Good luck sir.
 
Last edited:

KeoRS

New member
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
3
I can totally understand that you are missing your guitar! It is unusual that you would not get an RMA, and also unusual we would refinish a guitar instead of replacing, so I'm guessing that is the delay here...Yorkville may have pulled some strings outside of the RMA process. But I'm neither on the Customer Service side of things nor based at Custom Shops (anymore) so I don't have a lot of visibility on specific returns. Keep pressing your dealer contacts for updates...that is my advice! Good luck sir.
Thanks for your time and input, Mat! Really appreciated!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
394
Hi Mat, really appreciate you sharing your time and knowledge. Which of the Collector's Choice 'aged' guitars sold out their allocations? I'm aware the limited edition totals varied by model (ie many were 300 units, CC01A was 125 units). Would be nice to understand the quantities built if you can share those details. Many thanks.
Thanks for the question -- I know I've seen this info somewhere but I cannot find it in my emails. I sent a few requests to team members and I'll reply again if it turns up! Best, Mat
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
394
Was the nitro used at the Memphis plant for the reissue 335s a different formulation than what was used at the custom shop at that time?

Also, since the Memphis reissue guitars were made in the same area as production guitars, were the same parts, wood, templates, etc used in the reissues as the regular production models?

And what is the story behind MHS pickups?

Thanks Mat!
Fantastic questions! Thank you for asking.

The lacquer was the same...the Memphis factory was actually established originally by the Nashville Custom Shop team so a lot of the layout, processes and vendors remained the same. Mike Voltz refined everything further in his time there and made advancements with binding roll, thermal aging and tap tuning...the Lloyd Loar of Memphis...I love Mike (he retired last year and he's still building guitars in his home workshop). Anyway, yes the non-Historic models shared the same construction techniques and the same veneers and rims pressed from the same forms as the Historic models. The differences were with the use of hide glue, specialty materials (thermal aged center blocks, cathedral maple, Holly veneers, etc), wiring assembly, thin neck binding, and probably a bunch of other things that I'm forgetting but you get the idea. MHS pickups were created by a real unsung hero at Gibson, Jim Lillard, who was Mike's right-hand man in Memphis and today a proud member of the Murphy Lab team at Custom Shop. In a nutshell, MHS pickups were variations of Custombuckers...underwound and unpotted. And each set had thoughtfully-paired 550K CTS pots which were not quite vintage-spec but they were really good. Jim Lillard deserves a lot of credit beyond the electronics, however...development of nearly all the artist models there, the way they aged parts, and the earliest experimentation with what became the Murphy Lab lacquer...and much more. So I hope both Mike and Jim get a big feature in the future Gibson history books because they were the heart and soul of Gibson Memphis product development.
 

gio

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2004
Messages
125
Hey Mat,

Awesome to see you on here. It’s great having access to this information firsthand. Props to you for doing this. Thanks for your time. I think the M2M configurer would be huge!

Are there any plans to do a USA line Double Cut Les Pail Junior similar to the current USA single cut and SG juniors?
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
394
Hi Matt, great to have you here!
My question is did the Collectors Choice Les Pauls have unpotted pickups? I have the #28A STP Burst.
Thanks, Pete
My gut says that they would have been potted. The spec sheet is from 2014 and just reads "Custombucker" in both pickup categories. I should point out that, in my opinion, potted pickups sound pretty much identical to unpotted pickups outside of the tendency to feed back. Just my observations. But that was the reason we went with unpotted, because feedback is part of the PAF experience. Thanks for the question!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
394
Hey Mat, Awesome to see you on here. It’s great having access to this information firsthand. Props to you for doing this. Thanks for your time. I think the M2M configurer would be huge!

Are there any plans to do a USA line Double Cut Les Pail Junior similar to the current USA single cut and SG juniors?
Hey Gio! Thanks for the question...is it a popular one and the answer is yes, we definitely want to offer double cut Juniors at Gibson USA. But with the current mix and capacity constraints it doesn't make sense to add them to the portfolio (unless we discontinued single cuts...which doesn't sound like a good plan). Again these demand-centered problems are good ones to have but they do push a lot of the good ideas and intentions down the road a bit. So we'll continue to reevaluate periodically and in the mean time stay vocal about what you want to see, to your dealers and otherwise. Hope that makes sense.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,016
Fantastic questions! Thank you for asking.

The lacquer was the same...the Memphis factory was actually established originally by the Nashville Custom Shop team so a lot of the layout, processes and vendors remained the same. Mike Voltz refined everything further in his time there and made advancements with binding roll, thermal aging and tap tuning...the Lloyd Loar of Memphis...I love Mike (he retired last year and he's still building guitars in his home workshop). Anyway, yes the non-Historic models shared the same construction techniques and the same veneers and rims pressed from the same forms as the Historic models. The differences were with the use of hide glue, specialty materials (thermal aged center blocks, cathedral maple, Holly veneers, etc), wiring assembly, thin neck binding, and probably a bunch of other things that I'm forgetting but you get the idea. MHS pickups were created by a real unsung hero at Gibson, Jim Lillard, who was Mike's right-hand man in Memphis and today a proud member of the Murphy Lab team at Custom Shop. In a nutshell, MHS pickups were variations of Custombuckers...underwound and unpotted. And each set had thoughtfully-paired 550K CTS pots which were not quite vintage-spec but they were really good. Jim Lillard deserves a lot of credit beyond the electronics, however...development of nearly all the artist models there, the way they aged parts, and the earliest experimentation with what became the Murphy Lab lacquer...and much more. So I hope both Mike and Jim get a big feature in the future Gibson history books because they were the heart and soul of Gibson Memphis product development.

Goo info Mat, thanks....

I had heard Mike Voltz moved to Acoustic products, but not that he had retired... hope he enjoys it and finds fun stuff to do, also hope Gibson can still tap his talents. "Lloyd Loar of Memphis" what a great moniker. Please wish him well for me! (Does he have a website?)

I picked up an ES-Paul, ES-275 Custom, ES-330, and '63 ES-335 Block - all Lefty! - under Mike's tenure. Great improvement and creativity out of Memphis, including the MHS/tone circuit.

Thanks for relating more about Jim Lillard, and thanks to him as well. Please let us know more about his doings where appropriate.
 

Awall

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2021
Messages
38
Agree with the other responses - the color emulates the DaPra Believer Burst CC#9. Here's my CC#9:

View attachment 15340
Makes sense, what I am hoping to find out from Mat is why is this color option impossible for me to find any info online. Was is a dealer specific or special order? Mine also has zebra custombuckers as you see in my picture. Any insight Mat?
 
Top