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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

Wizard1183

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Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
748
My ego would like to think that I am the only one to think of this and it is my magical idea but I know that is not true. So there really is no point in keeping this secret.

After giving up guitar 12 years ago I have decided recently to relearn guitar again, so I am a bit out of touch regarding what you guys have been up to over the last decade.

My goal for 2024 and maybe 2025 is too save up for a Gibson Custom Shop guitar. I accept as a guitar fan that I am not going to be able to afford an original 50's burst, it is just out of the question. So my dream is sort of to save up enough money where I could find someone who is the highest expert on vintage bursts and have Gibson Custom Shop build the most authentic as possible replica of a vintage burst that they possibly can make. Not aged, but have it be like someone found an untouched burst in a case in a warehouse somewhere.

A decade ago back when lots of original burst owners were on this forum one common complaint I used to read about the historic reissues was accuracy. I would read that the hardware wasn't 100% authentic, or the bridge height was wrong, or the neck profile was not authentic to original bursts. Or the neck angle was wrong, or the tailpiece/bridge angles weren't historically accurate. Or inlays, pots, wiring, etc, etc, the list goes on.

The more I think about what my dream Gibson would be the more I think that others would buy this and it could almost be a "Gibson Master Series" or "Gibson Heritage Series" or something.

Over the last decade you guys have done a number of reproductions of authentic vintage bursts. So you guys have the dimensions and the details and know the original neck profiles and body carves and everything of the authentic guitars.

If I spent a year or more saving my money would I be able to call up Gibson Custom Shop and get such a perfect accurate replica of a vintage burst with no aging have it like it just came off the 50's production line and have it so accurate that no expert out there would be able to tell the difference between it and an original one?

I would be highly surprised if there was not a line of willing buyers for a series of Gibson Custom Shop guitars that were that historically accurate. I know there are wood limitations and stuff but its 2023. With modern technology, I don't see why it can't happen. Id even love the paint to be the same so that it faded just like the originals.
Murphy Lab is closest you’ll get. Otherwise talk to a builder that’s not affiliated with Gibson
 

1allspub

Active member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
175
My ego would like to think that I am the only one to think of this and it is my magical idea but I know that is not true. So there really is no point in keeping this secret.

After giving up guitar 12 years ago I have decided recently to relearn guitar again, so I am a bit out of touch regarding what you guys have been up to over the last decade.

My goal for 2024 and maybe 2025 is too save up for a Gibson Custom Shop guitar. I accept as a guitar fan that I am not going to be able to afford an original 50's burst, it is just out of the question. So my dream is sort of to save up enough money where I could find someone who is the highest expert on vintage bursts and have Gibson Custom Shop build the most authentic as possible replica of a vintage burst that they possibly can make. Not aged, but have it be like someone found an untouched burst in a case in a warehouse somewhere.

A decade ago back when lots of original burst owners were on this forum one common complaint I used to read about the historic reissues was accuracy. I would read that the hardware wasn't 100% authentic, or the bridge height was wrong, or the neck profile was not authentic to original bursts. Or the neck angle was wrong, or the tailpiece/bridge angles weren't historically accurate. Or inlays, pots, wiring, etc, etc, the list goes on.

The more I think about what my dream Gibson would be the more I think that others would buy this and it could almost be a "Gibson Master Series" or "Gibson Heritage Series" or something.

Over the last decade you guys have done a number of reproductions of authentic vintage bursts. So you guys have the dimensions and the details and know the original neck profiles and body carves and everything of the authentic guitars.

If I spent a year or more saving my money would I be able to call up Gibson Custom Shop and get such a perfect accurate replica of a vintage burst with no aging have it like it just came off the 50's production line and have it so accurate that no expert out there would be able to tell the difference between it and an original one?

I would be highly surprised if there was not a line of willing buyers for a series of Gibson Custom Shop guitars that were that historically accurate. I know there are wood limitations and stuff but it’s 2023. With modern technology, I don't see why it can't happen. Id even love the paint to be the same so that it faded just like the originals.
The Made to Measure (M2M) program is your best shot from Gibson. You can spec it out exactly as YOU want it. Then they’ll build it. Whether or not it’s ultimately close enough for you to a vintage Burst will be up to you to decide (if absolute perfection is your end game though, prepare to be disappointed (as with all things in life)). But the point is, Gibson really does offer this service already and the beautiful part is, it puts all the choices and decision making power (in regards to build specs) in the buyer’s hand.

That, or commission a replica from a well respected luthier.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,204
Matt , You did a superb job in the Andertons visit and video to Gibson Custom !

Agreed, and thanks!

If you could comment more on the following it would be most welcome:

- How many neck profile scans are on offer now, and can you give a rundown of which styles?

- I caught mention of the double-carved dish. Folks believe this spec went away with the demise of the True Historic line; is it more correct to say the double carving process was retained and not explicitly marketed, or did it go away and then re-introduced with your catalog of scans (and when)?

- Finally, Archtops... what and when? OK: I realize you may be prohibited from leaking, but any soft leaks will certainly be appreciated. No harm in asking ;) Also, assume they will be available M2M?

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
 

Wizard1183

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
748
Just FYI for visibility: Mat relates the open book will be employed on Epiphone IBG/Custom Shop offerings after Greeny.
That’s great. But I’d still prefer a low budget Gibson over an Epiphone custom. But it’ll get some buyers cause from afar no one can read the headstock
 

dieselweasel

New member
Joined
Nov 8, 2023
Messages
8
@matkoehler Mat,
I’m curious about the hardware and plastics on the new Brazilian ‘59 LP Standard. I had the pleasure of handling one at Willcutt Guitars in KY.. and these things hit DIFFERENT. The finish was beautiful, but the aging seemed pretty standard for Murphy Lab- Except for the parts attached to it.

As far as I understand, Tom Murphy is a finish guy (he can’t/doesn’t really do this type of detailed work on hardware).. Question is, are these parts being sourced outside of Gibson? Maybe to a specialist ala Leo Scala or a boutique parts company?
Either way, they look great. I hope this represents a new direction for the Murphy Lab aging.
 
Last edited:

Les Paulette

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
94
@matkoehler Mat,
I’m curious about the hardware and plastics on the new Brazilian ‘59 LP Standard. I had the pleasure of handling one at Willcutt Guitars in KY.. and these things hit DIFFERENT. The finish was beautiful, but the aging seemed pretty standard for Murphy Lab- Except for the parts attached to it.

As far as I understand, Tom Murphy is a finish guy (he can’t/doesn’t really do this type of detailed work on hardware).. Question is, are these parts being sourced outside of Gibson? Maybe to a specialist ala Leo Scala or a boutique parts company?
Either way, they look great. I hope this represents a new direction for the Murphy Lab aging.
I watched one of Tom's videos..he has a shoebox full of old keys he uses to age/beat the guitars with..
 

Any Name You Wish

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Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
460
We have another thread with opinions about Murphy Lab treatment, and I doubt Matt wants to hear these opinions in this thread - respectfully.

Non Custom Shop question for you Mat - Will Gibson do another run of the Original Collection SG Special in Pelham Blue?

Thanks
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
481
Agreed, and thanks!

If you could comment more on the following it would be most welcome:

- How many neck profile scans are on offer now, and can you give a rundown of which styles?

- I caught mention of the double-carved dish. Folks believe this spec went away with the demise of the True Historic line; is it more correct to say the double carving process was retained and not explicitly marketed, or did it go away and then re-introduced with your catalog of scans (and when)?

- Finally, Archtops... what and when? OK: I realize you may be prohibited from leaking, but any soft leaks will certainly be appreciated. No harm in asking ;) Also, assume they will be available M2M?

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
For a Les Paul Standard, there are probably a hundred we have programmed. But for M2M program, we have consolidated the options with the widest variety. If you describe what you're looking for or even have a measurement in mind, CS will find the closest possible.

It's actually easier for us to do the double carve -- we don't have to worry about a hand sander influencing the nuances of the intended contours but also it just cuts down on hand sanding time a lot, in general. The issue in the past had been machine time and availability. We have improved that greatly in recent years.

I wish I had more news about arch tops...I've give you the honest truth. I have a whole lineup of Historic Reissues envisioned, releases spanning years and starting with a 1957 L-5CES Reisse (two different pickup styles possible that year). And my team has developed comprehensive engineering packages (based on scans and prints of originals) for these new reissues and handed them off to the Custom Shop crafty team to implement. But implementing them while we build through existing backorders has been slow going to say the least. We are at the mercy of the order book and the established priorities of production which limit how much and what newness we can bring to the table. These are very difficult instruments to build so I get it. They would be made with the historic dove tail construction and all that...it's important to get them right and not rush it, but like you I am eager to the point of impatience!
 

Cliff Gress

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Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
3,276
Thanks, that was sprung on me last minute so didn't feel like I could keep up with Lee & Pete's energy! And it was one of the shorter tours I've given so eager to go even more in depth in the future.
Kalamazoo got a nod too!
 

matkoehler

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Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
481
We have another thread with opinions about Murphy Lab treatment, and I doubt Matt wants to hear these opinions in this thread - respectfully.

Non Custom Shop question for you Mat - Will Gibson do another run of the Original Collection SG Special in Pelham Blue?

Thanks
I think debate is healthy and I respect that everyone has opinions but this is more of a place to come with questions for me, agreed!

Re: USA SG Special. Very likely that we will, yes. It was one of those that we retired because of demand and then once it was retired everyone was like "I wanted one of those, what the heck?!"
 
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