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The build quality on my 08 Les Paul is excellent. It was one of the first Trads off the line. I've heard rumours Gibson made in 2009 aren't so hot. Maybe it has something to do with the Gibson factory being voted one of the worst places to work in the States.

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I find it interesting that all you guys can find different qualities in planks. Surely the only differences can be fretboard accuracy, action, fretboard width and similar purely engineering aspects...including pickups, of course. Nobody has mentioned the most important part affecting the tonal quality, drive, volume etc...the amplifier! As long as the plank is an accurate plank, you can make it sound like anything you want via the amplification.

Overdriven AC30's, anyone??

Not strictly true, the woods do make a difference so does the method of construction bolt on vs straight through vs glued in necks, fixed bridge vs floating tremolo etc. and obviously if the guitar is plugged into 4 Marshall stacks wound up full volume with a host of effects then yes the wood the guitar is made from aint gonna make much odds.

The biggest difference to the sound of any guitar is the player ;)

Jez

Mean Green S4s

I think therefore I am - Descartes

I'm pink therefore I'm spam - Eric Idle

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+1. In my experience, any electric instrument will sound like the same instrument through pretty much any amplifier. Individual amps may accentuate certain qualities of the sound in different ways, but the basic 'voice' of the instrument will still be recognisable.

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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There are people out there who will swear that, having spent thousands on speaker leads for their HiFi, they can tell the difference.....well, you'd have to for that money, or accept you're daft.... Amplifiers make a huge difference to sound quality; the biggest and most obvious being between valve and solid state. The old hot bottles have a certain something which silicon or germanium (remember that?!) don't give. However, as Pete says, you can emulate pretty much anything these days. The player is still the biggest factor, all things being equal...different techniques give discernibly different sounds, for sure. Django sounds like Django on a Selmer or a banjo....

I was watching a TV programme on Donovan, he mentioned the Isle of Wight festival as being the first time he'd played electric to a vast audience....with no monitor speakers (dark ages, then) ...he strummed a chord and heard nothing! Then it came..faintly...across the fields from two miles away!! "Ahh...going to be like THAT, is it?" he thought to himself....

Although I've been deliberately provocative by referring to "planks"....a solid electric guitar, for me, stands and falls by playability..action, accuracy,scale length, pickups, rigidity...Mayhap different woods do give different tonal qualities, but not to anywhere near the same extent as an acoustic or semi acoustic instrument. I do own an amplified instrument...it's an oldish Epiphone Emperor Regent f-hole beast with an Atilla Zoller pickup...very mellow it is, too! Most of the time, though, I use the Selmer Jazz guitar petit bouche copy that sits beside my chair in the lounge....

Just once in a while I have played the archetype Fender through a stack of amplification....completely different, but great fun for a change!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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My first real Electric was a Gibson Melody maker, studio model. Then came the 73 Les Paul which was the weapon of choice for me. At the time I did not like the maple necks on the Fenders or the sound quality. To me the Gibsons just had a fuller and cleaner tone. Later on i picked up a Fender with a Rosewood neck and have to admit that had it been around earlier I might have been swayed in that direction. My only complaint about the Les Paul was the weight. Slinging that beastie around three nights in a row took some getting used to.

Overall tho, I'm a Gibson fan first.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thought of this thread when I noticed the other day that Alex Lifeson has used both Fender and Gibson (and then both solid and hollow Gibsons) over the course of his career.

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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Interesting..

Do you think Gibson are trading on a past reputation and that quality in the last five years has been on the slide?

Can the same be said of Fender and are other brands stealing their thunder now? There's no doubt that a few of the Japanese brands are very good..

Hard to say but certainly it would be interesting to know how much has changed in the past 5-10 years let alone over the past 40-50. There's so many variables here too, materials both wood and the electronic components, tooling, manufacturing techniques, how much work is still carried out my skilled workers as opposed to machines, even time spent making the instrument. Then when you talk vintage and add the indefinable effects of ageing to the pot you're in uncharted waters!

Some tough choices here though....

http://www.newkingsroadguitars.co.uk/guitarshop/Gibson_Les_Pauls.html

Currently having an illicit affair with another marque, be back in the fold one day... B-)

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Me: 1970 Gibson LesPaul Goldtop Deluxe. My absolute favorite!!!! But I also love to play my vintage Hofner Telecasters.

My Dad: 1974 Sunburst Stratocaster, no whammy.

As amps go, I have a vintage AC30 and a vintage Marshall JCM800, played together through a vintage stereo chorus.

So I guess I'm a wanderer between the worlds, but for me in music there are no boundaries!

And I still miss my 1966 Hofner Beatle bass! :unsure:

PS: The Gibson factory is here in my hometown of Nashville. A buddy of mine applied for a job in paint quality control. He did our Elite paint job. Hope he gets the job, so there may be improvement...

PPS: Saw Buddy Millar with Robert Plant a short while ago. He is stellar, and has a very unique sound/style!!!

Edited by Musiccitylotus
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PPS: Saw Buddy Millar with Robert Plant a short while ago. He is stellar, and has a very unique sound/style!!!

Indeed he is.

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Been meaning to post something to this thread for ages, but maybe just throw some fuel on the fire first...

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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In case you're not aware of the depth of the connection between them, Steve's parents were the best man and maid of honor at Les's and Mary Ford's wedding, and this was recorded when Steve was 5 years old: https://files.me.com/mdelange/144kh4.mp3

More importantly, I'd like to be marooned on a desert island with Les's bassist, Nicki Parrott.

Edited by Moxie

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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In case you're not aware of the depth of the connection between them, Steve's parents were the best man and maid of honor at Les's and Mary Ford's wedding...

I didn't know that, but I did know that Paul gave Miller his first guitar lesson.

More importantly, I'd like to be marooned on a desert island with Les's bassist, Nicki Parrott.

*MmmmHMMMMMMMMMMM!*

"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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No offense to Manring, but I'm sure we'd both rather hang out with her than him any day!

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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  • 2 months later...

Just stumbled across this thread - has everyone seen that the Feds have closed down Gibson Guitars in Nashville over claims they're importing specialist woods in contravention of international treaties?

I'm a Gibson guy but am only a 'fun' player rather than a proper guitarist. Around 1990 I bought a new Gibson MIII, which is now pretty rare...it was their attempt at doing a Strat but is switchable to also sound like a Les Paul...tremendous instrument.

A couple of years before that I bought a Gibson Victory Bass (the price was right and I had some spare cash) which sat in its case for 20+ years until I realised 4 strings might be easier to play than 6 (and no chords!). I play that now in a local blues/rock covers band here in the Isle of Man and I also have a nice jumbo Epiphone acoustic.

PS: Check out local (now international) guitar hero Davy Knowles who stood in at this gig (all 3 parts on YouTube).

Edited by islandbloke

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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Mr Juszkiewicz said in a statement yesterday that the company has worked with environmental groups such as the Rainforest Alliance to ensure its wood imports are from sustainable sources.

He said: 'Gibson has complied with foreign laws and believes it is innocent of any wrong doing.

'(The government) has suggested that the use of wood from India that is not finished by Indian workers is illegal, not because of U.S. law, but because it is the Justice Department’s interpretation of a law in India.'

Above from the Daily Mail.... why do bureaucrats make such a pig's ear of things?? What else are you supposed to make guitars out of, other than proper tonewoods?

Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1WcQyQPRV

Sorry it's shrunk.....!

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Holy crap! To quote my friend who used to work for the Gibson Custom Shop: "so much to say, but how to say it without sounding disgruntled? I think Henry's karmic wheel is about to fly off the axle...and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy :}"

I think this is good timing since I was about to put this on eBay...

post-6978-0-83071400-1314923636.jpg

Points awarded for properly identifying it.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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That's a Gibson Dethklok Thunderhorse Explorer.

By the way, my Gibson's are collecting dust too. I'm all over my newly aquired 1982 Fender JV :).

4-6.jpg

Edited by Mark B
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Nice! Is it a '57 or '62 replica?

And yep, it's a Gibson Dethklok Thunderhorse Explorer.

Edited by Moxie

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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It's a '57 SST-50, Japanese Domestic and all original. It's a properly old guitar, the maple neck has gone a treakle colour and the plastic pickup covers / controls have gone yellow.

Always liked Explorers, but never owned one. Standing on stage with an Explorer and playing Sultans of Swing just isn't right.

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So true, although I've seen very old photos of Knopfler with an SG. I'm going to sell the Explorer and a bunch of other gear since it'll pay for an Evora premium pack. That's a seriously vibey looking Strat. Looks even cooler than the Blackies. I just finished the setup on my Franken Tele. It started out as a 2005 Nashville B-Bender Tele that I got on eBay, but I tossed the Strat pup and put in Kinman Broadcasters, which may be the best pickups I've ever heard. Then replaced the neck with a vintage-tinted Warmoth V-shaped neck with Sperzels. Sounds fantastic, but I'm making a complete ass of myself with the B-Bender. I can see this will be at least as difficult as getting the basics of slide down.

post-6978-0-12145100-1315355129.jpg

Edited by Moxie

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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  • 5 weeks later...
It does seem on the whole that Fenders do the lighter end of things (Eric Clapton, Hank Marvin etc) better, while the Gibsons do the heavier end more efficiently (Jimmy Paige, Slash etc). This is often down to the lower output of Fenders (traditionally), and the more powerful hum-cancelling pickups of the Gibson. The shorter scale length (vibrating string length) of the Gibson, glued on neck, fixed bridge and mostly mahogany construction should all add up to a fuller, darker sound. The Fenders, with single coil pickups, longer scale length, bolt on maple necks and alder bodies should produce a lighter, brighter sound.

That is not to say that Fender can't be used for the heavier sounds, Iron Maiden will happily demonstrate that Fenders make plenty of noise. Likewise, Gibsons can be subtle and delicate too (unbelievable, I know), as Mr Les Paul himself used to display beautifully.

They can also compliment each other perfectly as on the solo from Hotel California.

Spot on answer. Guitars are very personal things. There are so many different makers out there,producing top quality instruments that the old choice between Gibson or Fender is not as relevant nowadays.

Gibson quality control is not as good as it used to be, I have owned a Les Paul and a Strat. They both sounded great, but the quality of either was nowhere near as good as my Musicman Silhouette or my PRS.

Although I love the sound and shape of the Strat, and they are iconic guitars, they just feel slapped together(my humble opinion).

It's really all about the player. Eric Clapton or Jimmy page would sound fantastic playing a cheap student guitar.

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Anyone have any thoughts on the Moog Guitar? While I'm a dyed-in-the-wool analog guy, and think the Strat has yet to be beaten for it's timbral purity, functionality, beauty, and ergonomics, I think the next milestone in the solidbody's evolution is probably one step away from being realized. The Moog E1-M (that's the MIDI-enabled version) is, at least to me, the first truly significant breakthrough since the solidbody itself, since it's technical achievements yield not just gimmicky noise, but truly new musical possibilities, but if they were to team up with Line 6 and Fender and add the modeling capabilities of the Variax and put it all in a Strat body, I dunno...that's a huge leap forward. So much so that I think it would take years for players to really unlock the potential. Put another way, what couldn't you do with an axe like that? Thoughts? Opinions, Violent rebuttals? Nausea?

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Never heard of a moog guitar before though doing a bit of research it looks like an interesting instument and some unworldly sounds. It's very techy. a geeks paradise. Though I recon talentless people can probably sound good on it too. Have any of the guitar masters used it yet?

Edited by Mark B
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