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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

matkoehler

Active member
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Sep 12, 2014
Messages
162
What would the appropriate designation be for that to speak to a dealer? V1 LPC Black Beauty or ??? To dispel confusion over R4 LPC, etc.... thanks.
It's just the current generation 1954 Les Paul Custom Reissue. I revised the specs personally, so if you order that, you'll get the new specs! Good luck and thanks for the question!
 

matkoehler

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
162
I know this is the Historic/Custom shop Pub but I just read your response about the USA Firebird.

You know, I really like my Firebird and I know they are difficult to make, but I didn't know the white was also difficult to mix. Hey just wanted to let you know I get compliments from people when they see my Firebird. What a nice guitar. Thanks guys for making it. I guess I timed it right and grabbed it when this one was available.
I love hearing this...yes I think most have no idea the degree of difficulty and number of things that can go wrong building some of these instruments. They really are works of art. Congrats!!! PS - the white paint is not difficult to mix, it's difficult to paint without dust or particles in the air getting into the finish and it's also difficult to get through production without getting contaminated by other colors/stains. Same goes for all light-colored opaques. This is typically why these colors have been "Custom Colors" for Gibson over the years...not core model colors for any length of time with the exception of the SG Customs in the 60s.
 
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matkoehler

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
162
Also, for Nashville, have you been in contact with @Strings Jr. who has personal records and a on-going thread regarding production during the 80s, etc.?

This will probably garner lots of information in that regard, cheers. 🍑
No! But I am definitely going to devour that thread. Would be fun to compare notes. Very cool, thanks for letting me know.
 

Phoenician

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
48
The next Gibson historian was Walter Carter, who wrote the 100 Years of Gibson book and had an "Adventures in Archives" column about his many discoveries and observations. The 100 Years book is still one of my favorites and every time I read it I see and learn something new. LOTS of content in that book which doesn't get nearly enough attention...like the 'Modernistic' acoustic concept drawings from 1955.
Hmmm…your answer rang a bell and I did a little digging into the archives….whatcha know…I’ve actually got that book. I must’ve bought it a long time ago.

A7D0F66A-0E1A-4439-9AFE-4345A1E43628.jpeg
 
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citson

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Feb 6, 2019
Messages
13
Absolutely. Julius Bellson was the first Gibson historian (treasurer before that) and he worked with the company over 50 years before writing "The Gibson Story," a now rare and out of print book with his unique oral history of Gibson. Highly recommend finding a copy. The next Gibson historian was Walter Carter, who wrote the 100 Years of Gibson book and had an "Adventures in Archives" column about his many discoveries and observations. The 100 Years book is still one of my favorites and every time I read it I see and learn something new. LOTS of content in that book which doesn't get nearly enough attention...like the 'Modernistic' acoustic concept drawings from 1955. Thanks for the question!
Have you thought of reissuing some of those books? I would for sure buy a copy of each.

And a follow up question, Mat. What’s your favorite model from Gibson’s past or present?
 

Midnight Blues

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Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
1,375
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!
Hey there! Thanks for the message. Yes all of these reasons and more are why we want to discontinue the range and start fresh. The current range is great, but as I said before the problem is they don't have a logical home in the current product architecture...they are neither Historic nor Modern...kind of an in between rooted in the 1970s techniques. So we will be taking the same approach with archtop reissues as the recent Korina reissues. Regarding top thickness, we are planning on getting CAT scans to study the graduation of the top and back carves underneath. What I've proposed is to start with a 1957 L-5CES Reissue...for that year a variety of pickups would be applicable to the platform.
Hi Mat,

I posted your exchange with el84ster on another forum that I'm a member of and one of the members has the following question:

"Why were the specs changed back in the 70ies in the first place, if the old specs felt and sounded soooo much better? Now that's the kind of Gibson marketing babble I am tired of hearing. My 2016 L5 CES is the least stiff playing 17" / 25.5" scale archtop that I have ever played, and I have played a few. True, it's acoustic tone is limited, the old specs with thinner tops may have a serious advantage in this regard, but amplified the new specs couldn't sound any sweeter, at least to my ears. I have owned a few Heritage Golden Eagles with set-in pickups and thinner tops that sounded much nicer acoustically but couldn't compete amplified.

I really welcome the prospect of seeing L5s with P90s and Alnico V staple pickups. And an all acoustic L5 Premier with a thinner top. But if Gibson will try to induce GAS by telling me that my L5 CES is all wrong and therefore I need to buy one of the new historic range, I'll quickly turn my back."

Thanks and
cheers.gif
,
Matt
 

matkoehler

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
162
Have you thought of reissuing some of those books? I would for sure buy a copy of each.

And a follow up question, Mat. What’s your favorite model from Gibson’s past or present?
Yes although I'm not really in the publishing business...we are working to digitize archival materials so we may scan and make available digitally.

My favorite Gibson! Probably a pre-1965 ES-335/45/55. But I've got a lot of favorites...127 years of guitars to consider there.
 

matkoehler

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
162
Hi Mat,

I posted your exchange with el84ster on another forum that I'm a member of and one of the members has the following question:

"Why were the specs changed back in the 70ies in the first place, if the old specs felt and sounded soooo much better? Now that's the kind of Gibson marketing babble I am tired of hearing. My 2016 L5 CES is the least stiff playing 17" / 25.5" scale archtop that I have ever played, and I have played a few. True, it's acoustic tone is limited, the old specs with thinner tops may have a serious advantage in this regard, but amplified the new specs couldn't sound any sweeter, at least to my ears. I have owned a few Heritage Golden Eagles with set-in pickups and thinner tops that sounded much nicer acoustically but couldn't compete amplified.

I really welcome the prospect of seeing L5s with P90s and Alnico V staple pickups. And an all acoustic L5 Premier with a thinner top. But if Gibson will try to induce GAS by telling me that my L5 CES is all wrong and therefore I need to buy one of the new historic range, I'll quickly turn my back."

Thanks and
cheers.gif
,
Matt
Oh man. A lot to unpack here. Why did Gibson products change over time (and they ALL did...even year to year sometimes)? A combination of supply chain, engineering changes, a rapid life cycle philosophy, and a lot of things that were considered improvements for the player and/or for the construction of the instruments. The sales team dictated a lot of the product changes (the switch to the thin nut width in '65 for instance). But with regards to archtops, as I mentioned previously, what we are building now and the instruments in the 1970s are fantastic instruments. Truly. I have no doubt about that. And if we are going to create a Historic Reissue archtop collection to fit in the rest of our current product architecture, which is my intention, I'm going to choose to reissue the most collectible and valuable era. I'm not a marketer. If it sounds like I am trying to convince you that your guitar is bad or inferior to anything new, I'm not. My goal is to provide options, namely the ownership experience of owning one of the most valuable and collectible vintage instruments. There are NO late 1950s L-5CES models listed for sale currently even if you wanted to buy an original...so more reason to create Historic Reissues of them. Thanks for the note.
 

J T

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
10,142
Hey Matt. Is Gibson still microchipping guitars?

What in the world was that all about?
 

marshall1987

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Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
3,222
If you haven't done so already, I'd like to see Gibson Custom return to finishing the Historic Les Paul Goldtop models with the "historically correct" lacquer formulation.... which utilized BRONZE powder. Thanks.
 

Torshalla

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2020
Messages
59
Regarding the microchips… can these be used to authenticate guitars and are Gibson thinking off letting agents / service partners use these for authentication?
Would be pretty cool for the service guy to read the chip, get the original specs, and know what to use to keep to such original specs…
 

DANELECTRO

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
6,201
Hey Matt,

Do you know if records exist for repairs done by Gibson? I am the third owner of a 1960 Black Beauty that was renecked by Gibson in 1972. The replacement neck has a long tenon, so it was custom-made for the guitar,not pulled off of the production line, however it is stamped with 1972 serial number so I assume that the original serial number was lost. The person who I bought the guitar from was a friend of the original owner, who he said was a friend of Les Paul himself. He said that Les put him in contact with Gibson to arrange for the repair. I’m just curious if any record or documentation might exist regarding the work.

Thanks,

Dan
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
31
Hi matt, I have a small collection of 50’s gibson amps. There was a story going around regarding the redwood that was used in early Gibson amps. It was said Gibson may have bought a redwood bridge which had collapsed during a storm…. is the story true? Plus when did they start using it? Thanks!
 

RocknRollShakeUp

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Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
646
Sure thing! It's simply a Custombucker that is underwound 10-15%. The origins go back to the "E-bucker" which is essentially the same concept...it was only available to E-Commerce dealers for a time, hence the name. Hope that helps!
Is this basically the same as the Wildwood spec under wound Custombucker?

Are the ohm readings in the mid 7’s with these underwound custombuckers ?

And these were wax potted correct? Did they have a light wax potting or a more extensive waxing?

I have a 2014 Wildwood featherweight spec LP and I’ve always wondered what the spec’s of the pickups are. The guitar sounds fantastic.

Thank you!
 
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Midnight Blues

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
1,375
Oh man. A lot to unpack here. Why did Gibson products change over time (and they ALL did...even year to year sometimes)? A combination of supply chain, engineering changes, a rapid life cycle philosophy, and a lot of things that were considered improvements for the player and/or for the construction of the instruments. The sales team dictated a lot of the product changes (the switch to the thin nut width in '65 for instance). But with regards to archtops, as I mentioned previously, what we are building now and the instruments in the 1970s are fantastic instruments. Truly. I have no doubt about that. And if we are going to create a Historic Reissue archtop collection to fit in the rest of our current product architecture, which is my intention, I'm going to choose to reissue the most collectible and valuable era. I'm not a marketer. If it sounds like I am trying to convince you that your guitar is bad or inferior to anything new, I'm not. My goal is to provide options, namely the ownership experience of owning one of the most valuable and collectible vintage instruments. There are NO late 1950s L-5CES models listed for sale currently even if you wanted to buy an original...so more reason to create Historic Reissues of them. Thanks for the note.
Thanks very much Mat, I really appreciate it and I'll pass your response along!


cheers.gif

Matt
 

DutchRay

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Joined
Mar 15, 2015
Messages
369
I am pretty sure it is an anti theft protection in order to be able to identify an instrument beyond a shadow of doubt .
I think it's for keeping track of production. Otherwise every new owner would get his chip# to file in case of theft.
 

matkoehler

Active member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
162
Hey Matt. Is Gibson still microchipping guitars?

What in the world was that all about?
If you mean the RFID "grain of rice" that was inserted into the neck block of Custom Shop models for a time, no, we are not doing that anymore. The original intention was authentication...but you would need an RFID scanner to authenticate it, and that didn't exactly catch on among dealers. Now, with modern technology we are considering NFC as a means of interaction with fans, pulling up a digital profile and repair history kind of like CarFax. And you could do it with any smartphone. If we ever did adopt such a thing, it would have to be completely unobtrusive within the build. But the technology keeps getting smaller and smaller which makes it more and more appealing.
 

Awall

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Aug 20, 2021
Messages
23
Hi Mat, I ordered an Olive drab LP Special from the USA Exclusives line over the weekend (beyond excited to get it!). Any idea how many they produce and how long production runs for on the exclusive models?
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