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Has the smell of new USA Gibsons changed?

ajwain

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
70
I have 4 Gibson USA guitars which are all between 1989 and 2002 and none of them have ever had the sweet “nitro” smell you get with modern Gibsons (and Martins and CS Fenders).

They each have a subtly different aroma from eachother and none of them are unpleasant, but they don’t thave the distinctive vanilla tones we all associate with nitrocellulose.

Does anyone have the same experience?
 

guitartomy

New member
Joined
Oct 30, 2020
Messages
13
my '19 Special TV smells like cake. vanilla cake. i had a Fender Tele, Jr that smelled similar. is that the nitrocellulose paint? i never knew that. thanks, i just learned something.
 

sunking101

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
83
My recent USA guitars smell of solvents. Chemical nastiness.
My R7 smells lovely, a pleasant nitro smell and not room-filling either.
 

Bob Womack

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
1,987
Gibson is using TKL cases for their USA lines. TKL uses a vanilla-scented glue in their cases that gets caught in the lacquer. Frankly, I love that smell. Whenever I travel I pass by Oilville, VA, headquarters of TKL, and think of them. SKB uses a similar glue. My 1999 G&L, which has a poly finish, came in an SKB injection-molded case and still smells like that.

It's a first-world problem.

Bob
 

sunking101

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
83
Gibson is using TKL cases for their USA lines. TKL uses a vanilla-scented glue in their cases that gets caught in the lacquer. Frankly, I love that smell. Whenever I travel I pass by Oilville, VA, headquarters of TKL, and think of them. SKB uses a similar glue. My 1999 G&L, which has a poly finish, came in an SKB injection-molded case and still smells like that.

It's a first-world problem.

Bob
Gibson USA guitars don't come in TKL cases anymore. The guitars still stink.
My R7 came in a Lifton reissue case and the guitar smells of nitro but not a strong, overwhelming solvents smell like my USA guitars.
 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,105
When I sold Gibsons, |I really liked unboxing them. The smell of a fresh guitar was like nothing else. Those smells do fade and change over time, though.
a 20-year-old guitar shouldn't really smell of any of the lacquer at this point, possibly only the environment that it was kept in - if you smoke, it'll smell like that.
I remember one guitar we took in trade that the owners must have cooked a lot of curry all the time - that's what it smelled like.
 

Bob Womack

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
1,987
Gibson USA guitars don't come in TKL cases anymore. The guitars still stink.
My R7 came in a Lifton reissue case and the guitar smells of nitro but not a strong, overwhelming solvents smell like my USA guitars.
Interesting. My 2018 came in a TKL.

Bob
 

muddydunc

New member
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
18
I love the smell of a new Gibson, but maybe I've been lucky.? I've got 7 currently, and have had others that have moved on. For some reason - 2 always smelled (still do to some extent as it fades) even nicer than the others though. These include my SG Std in 'Classic White', That one smelled especially sweet from the off, and still does after 7 years, whenever I open up the case.

I seem to recall reading somewhere (probably on here. when I just was a long time 'lurker') that the white ones smell different as they have to use different buffing compounds on them (i.e. not the rouge red / yellow compounds). Maybe there's a resident buffer from Gibson or other luthiery-experienced folk who can confirm? Whatever my white one was buffed with; they should sell it as a Man-fume product! [Perhaps no VOS or Murphy-aged statements in the branding. or advertising though.....] :)
 

bratpack7

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2003
Messages
242
I have 4 Gibson USA guitars which are all between 1989 and 2002 and none of them have ever had the sweet “nitro” smell you get with modern Gibsons (and Martins and CS Fenders).

They each have a subtly different aroma from eachother and none of them are unpleasant, but they don’t thave the distinctive vanilla tones we all associate with nitrocellulose.

Does anyone have the same experience?
Did you buy the 1989 new? My 1985 Standard that I bought new had the most pleasant aroma I've ever experienced. Lasted for several years, but eventually faded away.
 

SpudleyDudley

New member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
9
My 1994 Gibson SG Standard still has that "brand new" fragrance from when I bought it new in October 1996. I love that fragrance! Now, my 2016 Les Paul Standard has that vanilla-ish scent that, to me, smells like pipe tobacco, lol. Not complaining however.
 

Bob Womack

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2002
Messages
1,987
My 1994 Gibson SG Standard still has that "brand new" fragrance from when I bought it new in October 1996. I love that fragrance! Now, my 2016 Les Paul Standard has that vanilla-ish scent that, to me, smells like pipe tobacco, lol. Not complaining however.
Troost tobacco.
 

ajwain

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
70
Did you buy the 1989 new? My 1985 Standard that I bought new had the most pleasant aroma I've ever experienced. Lasted for several years, but eventually faded away.
Hi. I bought them all new, and the ‘89 does indeed have a nice smell, but it’s not the vanilla smell that all the Gibsons have these days
 
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