• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,321
Hi Matt,
Ive purchased a couple of new (2020-2022) VOS aged Gibsons and would like to ask about the technique used to age the pickup covers and to raise the question: is the aging department going too fast?
Is anyone making sure that the technics employed to get the desired effects of aging, are not watered down by a quest to turn out the most product in the least amount of time?
So many people have worked so hard to get the great Les Paul specs back to their former glory that it seems a shame to go with aging technics not of the same quality.
Gibson finally got the necks calibrated to correct specs, likewise body carve. Hyde glue. Redone knobs, pu rings, finish etc. Everyone obviously putting in a lot of hard work to get the specs right.
I understand that custom shop has re-designed bridges coming. Great! We’re on our way! And Im sure everyone has and is working their hardest and striving for the best results. Excellent.
So why allow aging techniques that are clearly not on par with the other upgrades Gibson has been doing? It seems like Gibson sometimes takes two steps forward and one step back.
In 2015 when the new pickup covers debut, I thought they were perfect. Time would add the patina I wanted. Time would oxidize the shine like real ones in the old days. The dullness of the corner edges shape, the screw holes, the nickel are all perfect and amazing.
Now, it seems, to achieve some sort of “aged” look, a chemical looks to be brushed on to deteriorate the nickel. To my eyes and experience, it looks like nothing I’ve seen commonly in the wild.
I ”get“ the look Gibson is trying to achieve, but it is permanent and it’s not very convincing. Most old nickel covers may be scratched, but they aren’t chemically etched.
Which leads me to the headstock aging of the Murphy Lab ultra-aged Les Pauls. I don’t own one, but when I shop for one I notice the incredibly obvious sand paper marks used to age/reduce the les Paul decal. I have to ask myself that if it can so obviously be seen, why doesn’t QC not take a break and re-exam their process? The aging needs to stay on par with all the other upgrades being done at the custom shop. Like they say, you‘re only as good as your weakest link. And right now, the aging is your weakest link.
I think Gibson needs to slow down and get some unbiased inspection. There is a difference between natural aging and aging something to where it looks like a movie prop. Subtle not loud. Thanks for checking in here. I appreciate your time.
I think the folks voting with there wallets $ would disagree with you . Plus a corporation such as Gibson knows a thing or two about there business model and would not invest time and money in a campaign that isn't bearing the fruits (not just the low lying ones also )
 

Coachmoe

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Messages
1,103
Hi Bob, beautiful guitars. The Gibson USA case you have with your 2002 Gibson Custom Shop Firebird is the correct on for the era; these had just been developed for CS on a custom order basis at that time, and a Custom Shop branded case had not been made yet.

We do intend to offer our latest and greatest Historic Reissue Firebird cases aftermarket...just trying to steady the supply chain from our vendor before we do so. Hope that helps!
Matt,

Thank you sir. Good info to know.

Bob
 

Dport

New member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
20
Mat,

Disregard if this question has been answered already. I own a Wildwood ML 1958R in VOS finish. It's wonderful. My question is about the ML lacquer.

Is the intention of the ML guitars to wear normally as if it was a burst? Or is it supposed be and remain a static representation of a burst that is already old? Basically, will my VOS ML lacquer harden and crack/check (given the right environmental conditions of course)? Is the intention for ML guitars to continue their aging?

I get that over decades of use, a guitar is going to age, wear, and tear regardless. Just, what's the vision?
 

MrNubs

Active member
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
125
Mat,

Disregard if this question has been answered already. I own a Wildwood ML 1958R in VOS finish. It's wonderful. My question is about the ML lacquer.

Is the intention of the ML guitars to wear normally as if it was a burst? Or is it supposed be and remain a static representation of a burst that is already old? Basically, will my VOS ML lacquer harden and crack/check (given the right environmental conditions of course)? Is the intention for ML guitars to continue their aging?

I get that over decades of use, a guitar is going to age, wear, and tear regardless. Just, what's the vision?
that is a great question
typical gloss and vos prior to ML were the more plasticized nitro but i see wildwood selling ML as gloss and vos also. so is a murphy lab gloss and vos using the same nitro as the ML aged guitars and if so, just like you asked, will they wear, aged and fade like the old school nitro guitars of the 50's
 

Dport

New member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
20
that is a great question
typical gloss and vos prior to ML were the more plasticized nitro but i see wildwood selling ML as gloss and vos also. so is a murphy lab gloss and vos using the same nitro as the ML aged guitars and if so, just like you asked, will they wear, aged and fade like the old school nitro guitars of the 50's
Thanks. If I recall, Mat has previously answered that the ML Gloss/VOS lacquer is the same ML lacquer used on the aged models.
 

GreenBurst

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
742
Hi Mat, I own numerous Historic and CC Les Pauls, but I also just recently acquired a 2014 Standard Premium Quilt top. The one where the Gibson employee that book matched the top signs the back control cover plate.

My question is does Gibson offer replacement pickups with an option for the modern wiring using the quick connect system? I could not find this on the Gibson website. My LP has push/pull pots and I would rather not have to remove the circuit board assembly and replace with hand wired pots. My model is in the Legacy webpage link below. I am aware of the pending new pickup offerings you had previously mentioned and am tempted to select something from this for an updgrade if I can resolve the quick connect issue.

What options do I have to address replacement pickups? Does Gibson have a cable adapter plug set that can be purchased allowing the user to solder to after market pickups? I could purchase the quick connect connectors (Molex) from an electronic components distributor along with the terminals and wire but I'd rather not have to purchase the specialized crimping tool.

I would appreciate any input you have as I'd like to avoid having to replace all of the electronics at this time.

Also, it appears this model has a long tenon according to the legacy webpage. Is that accurate? I wasn't aware a long tenon was available on USA LPs.


Thanks in advance and also for making yourself available to all at the forum. Much appreciated.
 
Last edited:

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Hi Matt,
Ive purchased a couple of new (2020-2022) VOS aged Gibsons and would like to ask about the technique used to age the pickup covers and to raise the question: is the aging department going too fast?
Is anyone making sure that the technics employed to get the desired effects of aging, are not watered down by a quest to turn out the most product in the least amount of time?
So many people have worked so hard to get the great Les Paul specs back to their former glory that it seems a shame to go with aging technics not of the same quality.
Gibson finally got the necks calibrated to correct specs, likewise body carve. Hyde glue. Redone knobs, pu rings, finish etc. Everyone obviously putting in a lot of hard work to get the specs right.
I understand that custom shop has re-designed bridges coming. Great! We’re on our way! And Im sure everyone has and is working their hardest and striving for the best results. Excellent.
So why allow aging techniques that are clearly not on par with the other upgrades Gibson has been doing? It seems like Gibson sometimes takes two steps forward and one step back.
In 2015 when the new pickup covers debut, I thought they were perfect. Time would add the patina I wanted. Time would oxidize the shine like real ones in the old days. The dullness of the corner edges shape, the screw holes, the nickel are all perfect and amazing.
Now, it seems, to achieve some sort of “aged” look, a chemical looks to be brushed on to deteriorate the nickel. To my eyes and experience, it looks like nothing I’ve seen commonly in the wild.
I ”get“ the look Gibson is trying to achieve, but it is permanent and it’s not very convincing. Most old nickel covers may be scratched, but they aren’t chemically etched.
Which leads me to the headstock aging of the Murphy Lab ultra-aged Les Pauls. I don’t own one, but when I shop for one I notice the incredibly obvious sand paper marks used to age/reduce the les Paul decal. I have to ask myself that if it can so obviously be seen, why doesn’t QC not take a break and re-exam their process? The aging needs to stay on par with all the other upgrades being done at the custom shop. Like they say, you‘re only as good as your weakest link. And right now, the aging is your weakest link.
I think Gibson needs to slow down and get some unbiased inspection. There is a difference between natural aging and aging something to where it looks like a movie prop. Subtle not loud. Thanks for checking in here. I appreciate your time.
I appreciate your feedback and suggestions. Our order book for VOS & Murphy Lab products is the largest ever in Custom Shop's history, so we must be doing something right. But yes I would be lying if I said I thought the process and the results were perfect. Unfortunately we are at the mercy of safety regulations, environmental regulations, production-friendly processes, and time versus target QTY. I think even with all that what I've been seeing looks great. Is there room for improvement? Absolutely. Thanks again!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Hi Mat,

What strings did Gibson use on the 2006 Jimmy Page double neck EDS-1275 - I want to restring the guitar. Due to the headstock the strings for the d & g are short. Thank you !!!
This is a great question but I'm afraid after searching I didn't come up with much. Not sure if you tried Gibson's 6/12 string sets but it may be something where you have to try a few different makes...or contact them to inquire about string length specs. Sorry I can't be more help!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
I took a while to say anything but this did go without comment so…
View attachment 17972
Ha, Cesar loves to rile 'em up! So here's the story on this. The one real Futura -- shipped to San Antonio Music on December 4th, 1957 and sold to local musician Ponty Gonzales -- was acquired by Kurt Linhof in the 1970s as many of you know. One of Gibson's long-tenured employees worked for the shop that Kurt took the guitar to for refurbishment, and while it was there, they got the approval to take measurements of the exterior dimensions and routes. This is the FIRST mock-up of the Futura made with those measurements, and it is extremely helpful as a reference. We even compared its dimensions and scale to the concept art drawing and patent drawing, and the shoe fits! Unfortunately good intentions sometimes lead to bad things, so I know that these dimensions almost immediately fell into the wrong hands and replicas were made and sold as real. All are completely bogus except the Linhof Futura. Honorable mention for the Rick Derringer split headstock Explorer, which is real IMO.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
@matkoehler

Is it possible to order the current spec gold bonnet knobs that come on the R Les Pauls? I have a 2022 M2M R7 that for some reason was spec’ed with black bonnet knobs. Want to get gold.

We are not selling True Historic parts aftermarket currently, but hopefully within the next year. In the mean time you may want to check with Gibson Repair & Restoration at 1-800-444-2766 extension #6. Hope that helps!
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Hey Mat, hope you're doing alright. Not sure if it's been asked before, but I always wondered why the tailpiece location on reissues doesn't match the originals? Modern = perpendicular to strings; Vintage 50s/60s = slight angle/not perpendicular to strings...

43631074gj.jpg



Thanks and please ignore if it's been covered before ;)
cheers, chris
Hi Chris, this has indeed been covered earlier and long story short, we did do some runs with the offset stop bar placement in the past and dealers & consumers flagged many as being installed incorrectly. To the uninitiated, I agree that it looks like a QC issue. But the point remains that it is historically correct, so I do think it's worthy of bringing up this again . It just usually gets shot down by QC/Commercial/Engineering teams. One potential solution is to implement as a M2M option, or to go with an offset stud modification (Retrospec used to sell these...not sure if they still do).
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Mat,

Disregard if this question has been answered already. I own a Wildwood ML 1958R in VOS finish. It's wonderful. My question is about the ML lacquer.

Is the intention of the ML guitars to wear normally as if it was a burst? Or is it supposed be and remain a static representation of a burst that is already old? Basically, will my VOS ML lacquer harden and crack/check (given the right environmental conditions of course)? Is the intention for ML guitars to continue their aging?

I get that over decades of use, a guitar is going to age, wear, and tear regardless. Just, what's the vision?
Hi and thanks for the question. Yes the Murphy Lab lacquer will absolutely continue to age and check just like a vintage guitar (if not moreso because they are already pretty checked at every level). The intention of Murphy Lab is to offer something closer to the look of vintage instruments as well as something closer to the vintage ownership experience. Tom frequently uses the comparison to bluejeans -- some like their jeans completely new and unfaded, some like them faded, some like them worn, etc. But whatever you choose it will continue to age with use.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Well Gibson should use this type of lacquer regardless of ML or not
Thanks. If I recall, Mat has previously answered that the ML Gloss/VOS lacquer is the same ML lacquer used on the aged models.
Incorrect; two different lacquers but this idea that our Gloss/VOS lacquer is inferior because of plasticizers comes from a video circulated over a decade ago...and it's not true. All lacquer, even ML, has plasticizers, and the video completely embellished the effects. It is not some rubbery/plastic type of lacquer...it is classic nitrocellulose lacquer finished very thinly (even under the historic thickness spec on average) and it will breathe and continue to get thinner over time and yes, check (though not designed to do so like ML lacquer). Hope that helps.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Hi Mat, I own numerous Historic and CC Les Pauls, but I also just recently acquired a 2014 Standard Premium Quilt top. The one where the Gibson employee that book matched the top signs the back control cover plate.

My question is does Gibson offer replacement pickups with an option for the modern wiring using the quick connect system? I could not find this on the Gibson website. My LP has push/pull pots and I would rather not have to remove the circuit board assembly and replace with hand wired pots. My model is in the Legacy webpage link below. I am aware of the pending new pickup offerings you had previously mentioned and am tempted to select something from this for an updgrade if I can resolve the quick connect issue.

What options do I have to address replacement pickups? Does Gibson have a cable adapter plug set that can be purchased allowing the user to solder to after market pickups? I could purchase the quick connect connectors (Molex) from an electronic components distributor along with the terminals and wire but I'd rather not have to purchase the specialized crimping tool.

I would appreciate any input you have as I'd like to avoid having to replace all of the electronics at this time.

Also, it appears this model has a long tenon according to the legacy webpage. Is that accurate? I wasn't aware a long tenon was available on USA LPs.


Thanks in advance and also for making yourself available to all at the forum. Much appreciated.
Hi there, good questions and put simply, no, offering quick connectors or adapters aftermarket was not on our radar but I agree that this would be a good thing to offer so I'll work it into the longterm plans. We probably don't have enough demand for pre-wired quick connect pickups to justify having versions on our pickup price list, but some sort of adapter could be cool assuming it is relatively intuitive. I don't think we have intentions of returning to the circuit board era because of market perception, but we still need to service the aftermarket that exists to the best of our abilities.

RE: neck tenon, I'm not seeing that listed in the specs -- only that it is a mortoise & tenon joint. But it would be easy enough to tell just by removing the neck pickup. Yes, at various times some USA models were made with a longer tenon. Just not sure if this is one. Thanks again!
 

GreenBurst

Active member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
742
Hi there, good questions and put simply, no, offering quick connectors or adapters aftermarket was not on our radar but I agree that this would be a good thing to offer so I'll work it into the longterm plans. We probably don't have enough demand for pre-wired quick connect pickups to justify having versions on our pickup price list, but some sort of adapter could be cool assuming it is relatively intuitive. I don't think we have intentions of returning to the circuit board era because of market perception, but we still need to service the aftermarket that exists to the best of our abilities.

RE: neck tenon, I'm not seeing that listed in the specs -- only that it is a mortoise & tenon joint. But it would be easy enough to tell just by removing the neck pickup. Yes, at various times some USA models were made with a longer tenon. Just not sure if this is one. Thanks again!
Mat,

Many thanks for your input. I'll take the Molex approach for now.

Regarding the long neck tenon, I will check when changing pickups. But, the Gibson legacy weblink I provided in my original post (and here again for convenience) shows the mahogany body with weight relief and the mortoise into the neck pickup cavity rout. Pic insert below.

featureChambered.jpg

 
Last edited:

Dport

New member
Joined
Nov 9, 2020
Messages
20
Incorrect; two different lacquers but this idea that our Gloss/VOS lacquer is inferior because of plasticizers comes from a video circulated over a decade ago...and it's not true. All lacquer, even ML, has plasticizers, and the video completely embellished the effects. It is not some rubbery/plastic type of lacquer...it is classic nitrocellulose lacquer finished very thinly (even under the historic thickness spec on average) and it will breathe and continue to get thinner over time and yes, check (though not designed to do so like ML lacquer). Hope that helps.
Apologies, I meant on a Wildwood Spec Murphy Lab VOS. Sorry for the confusion.

In post #474 in this thread I had asked:
Is the lacquer on all of the Murphy Labs the same? I have a 2021 Murphy Lab 1958 Reissue VOS.

In post #478 you replied:
No problem! 1) yes it is the same lacquer used on everything from Murphy Lab.
 

0 2339

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2017
Messages
165
Hi Chris, this has indeed been covered earlier and long story short, we did do some runs with the offset stop bar placement in the past and dealers & consumers flagged many as being installed incorrectly. To the uninitiated, I agree that it looks like a QC issue. But the point remains that it is historically correct, so I do think it's worthy of bringing up this again . It just usually gets shot down by QC/Commercial/Engineering teams. One potential solution is to implement as a M2M option, or to go with an offset stud modification (Retrospec used to sell these...not sure if they still do).
Thanks Mat for taking the time to answer! It would be awesome to have this as a M2M option :)

edit: would be even greater to have this as custom shop standard :p
 
Last edited:

madrivermoco

Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2021
Messages
27
Ha, Cesar loves to rile 'em up! So here's the story on this. The one real Futura -- shipped to San Antonio Music on December 4th, 1957 and sold to local musician Ponty Gonzales -- was acquired by Kurt Linhof in the 1970s as many of you know. One of Gibson's long-tenured employees worked for the shop that Kurt took the guitar to for refurbishment, and while it was there, they got the approval to take measurements of the exterior dimensions and routes.
Someone’s got Futura fever…

92457D70-552B-417E-9EAA-4B9327272796.jpeg


Only one cure…

Moar Futura!
 
Top