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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

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Subliminal lanimilbuS

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I understand the M2M guitars can give you what you want, but it just doesn't seem fair to the purist's and those that prefer something a little larger than the Carmelita, etc. necks that they are forced to have to go that route money wise. Many people I know prefer the chunkier necks. There is nothing really for them. Prior 58 necks can be chunky, but there is way to much meat on the shoulders. Too heavy C or D shaped. I have let many people try my old 1937 ES-150. Several have commented on how they would love that neck on a Les Paul. It is more narrow bottom U or V shaped. If there was even just one Burst like looking guitar with that neck available I am sure it would be a big seller.
 

ADP

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In my experience, they've never been able to make ANY thing I've requested via M2M. They won't even Murphy Lab Age a regular Explorer. It's really some bullshit.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

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In my experience, they've never been able to make ANY thing I've requested via M2M. They won't even Murphy Lab Age a regular Explorer. It's really some bullshit.
Good to know. I am very particular about neck shape. That is most definitely the reason companies like Musikraft have done well.
 

matkoehler

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Aren’t all reissues from the 2015 TH series to now based off scans? So which originals were scanned and which new guitars get what neck profiles?
No, they're not. Yes on the Collectors Choice models obviously. The core models were not based off of particular scans, just generalized depths and shapes. One of the first real wide-scale decisions I made was to change the core reissue neck profiles in 2017 but at that time it was only the '59 that got a specific profile, the '58s and earlier adopted the former '59 profile instead of the huge baseball bat necks.

We have databases of hundreds of neck scans but not every reissue uses a neck profile of an original, and even when we do, concessions must be made. For example. we used Big Ed as the reference for the '58 Explorer Reissue (and the '57 Theodore)...but Ed's thumb wore a big divot in one specific area, so we had to reshape the scan data. But that's an example of major cleanup -- lots of minor inconsistencies and anomalies still have to be smoothed out by our engineers...tens of thousands of data points taking weeks for each neck profile.
 

matkoehler

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No kidding. There is such a wide range of shapes during each year of the Bursts. More dependence should be placed on finding the shape that fits your hand best. I personally kept an older R9 just because it was fatter and I really liked the shape. If Gibson built their guitars with neck shape options like Warmoth or Musikraft this correct to the year issue would become mute. For example have 4 or 5 different 59 shapes so big hands and small hands alike could enjoy having an R9.
For core models, our current philosophy is that we are going to select the shapes that are most representative of the year. Yes there are anomalies and every one was a little different. But we'll select the middle of the road shape and then you can order whatever shape you like through Made 2 Measure for a couple hundred bucks more...you can get the fattest C-shape (1.0"-1.15") to the thinnest D-shape (0.77"-0.85') and everything in between. Major dealers and the Gibson Garages will have samples on hand of just some of the available neck profiles.
 

matkoehler

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In my experience, they've never been able to make ANY thing I've requested via M2M. They won't even Murphy Lab Age a regular Explorer. It's really some bullshit.
Well, that example has a very specific reason behind it -- we were not yet equipped with Tom Murphy-approved samples of the various aging levels on Korina models. That is changing this Fall. :)
 
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Wizard1183

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No, they're not. Yes on the Collectors Choice models obviously. The core models were not based off of particular scans, just generalized depths and shapes. One of the first real wide-scale decisions I made was to change the core reissue neck profiles in 2017 but at that time it was only the '59 that got a specific profile, the '58s and earlier adopted the former '59 profile instead of the huge baseball bat necks.

We have databases of hundreds of neck scans but not every reissue uses a neck profile of an original, and even when we do, concessions must be made. For example. we used Big Ed as the reference for the '58 Explorer Reissue (and the '57 Theodore)...but Ed's thumb wore a big divot in one specific area, so we had to reshape the scan data. But that's an example of major cleanup -- lots of minor inconsistencies and anomalies still have to be smoothed out by our engineers...tens of thousands of data points taking weeks for each neck profile.
Thanks Mat, True Historic models were off of scans though right? So you happen to know which were used then?
 

matkoehler

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I understand the M2M guitars can give you what you want, but it just doesn't seem fair to the purist's and those that prefer something a little larger than the Carmelita, etc. necks that they are forced to have to go that route money wise. Many people I know prefer the chunkier necks. There is nothing really for them. Prior 58 necks can be chunky, but there is way to much meat on the shoulders. Too heavy C or D shaped. I have let many people try my old 1937 ES-150. Several have commented on how they would love that neck on a Les Paul. It is more narrow bottom U or V shaped. If there was even just one Burst like looking guitar with that neck available I am sure it would be a big seller.
There was an overwhelming consensus from purists of vintage guitars that the older reissue neck profiles were inaccurate to the originals...and the data showed that was indeed the case. Is it appropriate to offer a wide V-shaped 1930s archtop neck on a '59 LP? I'm not going to yuck your yum. However it may not be possible to translate it in a way that feels like your ES-150...there would be a lot of creative interpretation due to the fingerboard width and heel location.
 

jb_abides

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Hi Mat - thanks for coming back around, hope all is well!

1. My favorite profile remains the "Real Feel" from the former dealer Music Machine. Is this available thru M2M?

2. Are their any current or planned profiles based on the once highly popular '30-over-60' profile which I understood comes from some ES-335s of yore?
 
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matkoehler

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That was back in 2020... Glad you guys are finally getting around to it.
We didn't have Murphy Lab until early 2021 and didn't have core Korina Explorers available until almost a year later, but what do I know...

Was hoping for a constructive dialogue on this forum; if your concern is price gouging, let's get into it! Happy to breakdown material, labor, overhead, and market dynamics for you...our dealers make more margin on our products than we do but thankfully we understand the importance of a sustained demand curve and a large order book, and I'm very proud that we've accomplished both while keeping prices near the same for virtually every product pre- and post-pandemic.
 
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ADP

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Let me rephrase - the M2M program has not been able to produce a simple Aged Explorer of any kind. Whether you call it a "Lab" in 2020 or not. I've been asking since 2019 with money in hand, and was a dealer myself, but what do I know.
 

matkoehler

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Hi Mat - thanks for coming back around, hope all is well!

1. My favorite profile remains the "Real Feel" from the former dealer Music Machine. Is this available thru M2M?

2. Are their any current or planned profiles based on the once highly popular '30-over-60' profile which I understood comes from some ES-335s of yore?
If you can describe the profile (V-shape, C-shape, etc) and know what first and twelfth fret depths you prefer, chances are there is a current program that matches. But I'm not confident that we will have a 20+ year old program on file for M2M...or one from 2008 Gibson Memphis like the 30/60. Doesn't hurt to ask but you have to be specific about shape and dimensions you are looking for...carving programs are not saved with their external nomenclature.
 

matkoehler

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Let me rephrase - the M2M program has not been able to produce a simple Aged Explorer of any kind. Whether you call it a "Lab" in 2020 or not. I've been asking since 2019 with money in hand, and was a dealer myself, but what do I know.
I am wondering the same thing. We absolutely did offer aging on our '58 Mahogany Explorer in 2019 and 2020, and I've found multiple examples with a brief search. Who were you working with at Custom Shop at that time?
 

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ADP

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Other than a small run for the Music Zoo which I was directed to select from - no Explorer was an option for me. Try to save face all you want, it was simply not available. Post a link of a 2019 or 2020 Aged Explorer for sale for me if you get the spare time.

*Also how were you able to even Age those? Were you equipped with Tom Murphy-approved samples of the various aging level "mahogany" Explorers from 1958?
 

matkoehler

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Other than a small run for the Music Zoo which I was directed to select from - no Explorer was an option for me. Try to save face all you want, it was simply not available. Post a link of a 2019 or 2020 Aged Explorer for sale for me if you get the spare time.
The above example is from October 2019 and not part of that run. What you are saying is not consistent with how anything works with dealers at Gibson Custom Shop...I ran the M2M program...we would not direct you to select from another dealer's PSL run, nor would that dealer be OK with it. And if you were a customer working with a dealer, the dealer would simply request a quote. Obviously you have some aggression towards me and/or Gibson which I don't think is helping matters. We can agree to disagree. Let's move on.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

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There was an overwhelming consensus from purists of vintage guitars that the older reissue neck profiles were inaccurate to the originals...and the data showed that was indeed the case. Is it appropriate to offer a wide V-shaped 1930s archtop neck on a '59 LP? I'm not going to yuck your yum. However it may not be possible to translate it in a way that feels like your ES-150...there would be a lot of creative interpretation due to the fingerboard width and heel location.
Talking about neck shape not putting an accurate es-150 neck onto a Les Paul body. That would be non-sensical. As well, I said Burst like guitar not 59 reissue. That would also be non-sensical. For simplicity lets just say a nice book matched flame top with some other neck choices other than current 50's and 60's Standard shapes for comfort. Good feel and look, the things a player can appreciate. I can't begin to tell you how many players I know that love that 56'ish Strat neck shape. More V'ish with less meat on the shoulders. Same thing goes for early Tele's that are more U'ish, also with less meat on the shoulder's. I better clarify I don't mean making a bolt on Les Paul. Every player I know that switched to playing a Fender over the years switched for one of two reasons. Neck shape and weight. Feel is more important to most people than looks. Gibson has many different guitar body designs and colors yet has never evolved neck shapes to include anything but a few choices.
 

jb_abides

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Just FWIW: my Aught-era R7s have the Soft-V which is akin to my 57 AVRI Strat, my R6 has the more pronounced U.

It could well be Gibson's sales data bears out these reissue profiles were not selling. And the new reissue carves Mat describes are, so making the old-regime optional thru M2M [versus explicitly tied to a R-Year] seems sensible on that basis; features like gold top, TOM, and P-90s trumped said notion of assigned neck profile. Unless, your view of 'historic accuracy' includes such specific R-Year profile; however, from what I've gleaned lately that's not the case. The proffered notion of being 'representative' to the Year has undergone a sea change, either with more or less fidelity, depending on your preconceived biases and sample sets.

So having a standard offering, plus M2M option remaining, doesn't seem too bad all considered. Again, I think you'd need a 'special' tranche with fairly good sale projections like a 60th Anniversary R0 to offer 2-3x production options per model. And dealer, special runs are always an option. If there's enough market impetus, I am sure you'd see runs of Wildwood or CME 'fat neck' reissues... IIRC one of them did so, maybe CME. I cannot recall.
 
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matkoehler

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Talking about neck shape not putting an accurate es-150 neck onto a Les Paul body. That would be non-sensical. As well, I said Burst like guitar not 59 reissue. That would also be non-sensical. For simplicity lets just say a nice book matched flame top with some other neck choices other than current 50's and 60's Standard shapes for comfort. Good feel and look, the things a player can appreciate. I can't begin to tell you how many players I know that love that 56'ish Strat neck shape. More V'ish with less meat on the shoulders. Same thing goes for early Tele's that are more U'ish, also with less meat on the shoulder's. I better clarify I don't mean making a bolt on Les Paul. Every player I know that switched to playing a Fender over the years switched for one of two reasons. Neck shape and weight. Feel is more important to most people than looks. Gibson has many different guitar body designs and colors yet has never evolved neck shapes to include anything but a few choices.
Right, I am saying to get that feel we’d have to make several concessions during 3D translation which may lead you far from what you love about that neck. If it’s just a slight V-shape thing you’re after like a 56 Strat, you would probably love our core Les Paul Standard 50s necks nowadays and definitely our current ‘59 Reissue neck. Murphy Lab models have even less cheek because you can break the lacquer line on an aged guitar, so roll the binding to an extreme.

Regardless, you can get all of those things via Made 2 Measure program. Even a book-matched top if that’s your thing. As for never evolving neck profiles…everything changed for 2019 model year and we expanded core options in every direction, certainly more today than ever before. And for the record the USA 50s LP Standard has a slight V to it now as well as the 59 Reissue.
 
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