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Hey it's Mat from Gibson Product Development - AMA

jonspace

New member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
14
All this being said, I am going to hazard this is not in Mat's wheelhouse, respectfully.
Agreed. I was just answering another user's question. My initial question to Mat was regarding contacting the CS directly versus the current path I'm stuck on in having a customer service person in the middle. As far as the dealer, it took so long that I missed my return window and they cannot take back a guitar once its been replaced by Gibson. I did try to force the issue of keeping the first guitar and getting it authenticated but Gibson insisted on having the guitar returned to them directly. I did receive a nice discount from the dealer for all the trouble, so a refund/repurchase would end up costing me more at this point.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,679
[Hey all: I don't want to go down the rabbit hole or rat hole from before. Please don't go there.]

Hey Mat - With all the prior talk about plasticizers and finish formulation differences between CS Reissues and ML relic'd Reissues, questions sprung to mind.

Perhaps a bit theoretical but testing the limits of what constitutes a M2M, and a ML ordering process...

Say you are absolutely convinced the ML finish is best thus imparts some mythic mojo and sonic magic which the CS finish formulation does not. But you're not a fan of relic jobs... in fact, you prefer Gloss and when pressed even draw a bright line with VOS that can be cleaned up, even with newish HW.

What's are the specific path, what would viable options be?

- ML, spec with instructions for an "Amazingly Super Duper" approach to the 'Ultra Light Aging' option with no marks, dings, chips, etc. to effectively arrive at a VOS approximation?

- ML, spec without relic? Is it even possible to leave MLs Gloss (albeit a probably pricey option since ML pricing assumes some effort for the relic'ing)?

- M2M, and specify ML finish in Gloss or VOS?

-- the only appreciative difference between the last two, is perhaps you can't spec a ML finish using M2M? That is, there's a hard product path fork between M2M and the ML.​

Related to the above paths of thinking:

I am under the assumption under ML, there are no M2M options available beyond the aging levels, and color choices, maybe a top choice? Hence can't chose pickups, neck profile, etc.? Or do I have it wrong?

If wrong, well then what M2M option are valid on a ML order, would you please then outline? Could you go 'crazy' under MK and spec a chambered R7 in a Custom Color? Yada yada.

Finally, do you belief dealers are clear on these aspects? Are there formalized checklists and decision paths for all of this, or is it more of a discussion / negotiation?

Hope things are well for you and the folks in the CS, and ...

Thanks for indulging the thought experiment!
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,249
Not even close to anything Gibson was doing in the golden years.
 

deytookerjaabs

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2016
Messages
1,536
It looks more like a Sixties Epiphone sunburst pattern!


Yep, here's a 1960 (modded pickups):

tCki5rLh.jpg


m5g0ekSh.jpg



That's a 'burst sprayed by grown-ups.

Still done well into the 60's:

1968-epiphone-riviera.jpg
 

mbjork

New member
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
4
Hi Mat! Longtime reader of this topic, first time poster. This thread is a actual goldmine of information and great to take a part in the deep end guitar nerdery! Thank you very much for your effors and patience answering!

My question involves a bit off an oddball Gibson Memphis ES-345 Historic model which is likely an one-off from the factory as it's the only one I've seen of this configuration. The serial number refers to a reissue which was likely built around 2014-2015. Now the interesting part, I contacted the Gibson Customer Service about this model and asked about the specs and if they have any records of the guitar. There was no info they could find.

This model has been originally ordered from the Memphis factory by an touring artist. No COA or info for that matter. There is a handsigned note in the pickup cavity which reads "Built by (person's name)" and some sort of a number, maybe a R factory number or a date, it's hard to tell. I have been searching and adding up the O's on the google search page but there is absolutely no info found with the persons name or the guitar specs, or even handwritten notes in modern Gibson guitars for that matter. It would indicate that this guitar is built by a one specific person at the factory which seems unorthodox by Gibson.

What I would like to know if there is any info available on the guitar or the builder for that matter and what are the specs. This has been on my mind for years and finally I think I've found a way to get closer to this information. For privacy I decided to not involve the information and the builders name on this message but I'm happy to dm them to you along with photos of the guitar. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

wmachine

Active member
Joined
Mar 17, 2016
Messages
269
Hi Mat! Longtime reader of this topic, first time poster. This thread is a actual goldmine of information and great to take a part in the deep end guitar nerdery! Thank you very much for your effors and patience answering!

My question involves a bit off an oddball Gibson Memphis ES-345 Historic model which is likely an one-off from the factory as it's the only one I've seen of this configuration. The serial number refers to a reissue which was likely built around 2014-2015. Now the interesting part, I contacted the Gibson Customer Service about this model and asked about the specs and if they have any records of the guitar. There was no info they could find.

This model has been originally ordered from the Memphis factory by an touring artist. No COA or info for that matter. There is a handsigned note in the pickup cavity which reads "Built by (person's name)" and some sort of a number, maybe a R factory number or a date, it's hard to tell. I have been searching and adding up the O's on the google search page but there is absolutely no info found with the persons name or the guitar specs, or even handwritten notes in modern Gibson guitars for that matter. It would indicate that this guitar is built by a one specific person at the factory which seems unorthodox by Gibson.

What I would like to know if there is any info available on the guitar or the builder for that matter and what are the specs. This has been on my mind for years and finally I think I've found a way to get closer to this information. For privacy I decided to not involve the information and the builders name on this message but I'm happy to dm them to you along with photos of the guitar. Thanks!
I can't understand you being better served by your pseudo secrecy here. After all, this is a forum.
 

Jericho-79

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
35
Hi Mat!

jb_abides referred me to you in this thread.​


I want to submit a M2M order through the CS.

I'm looking to get a LP Axcess Custom with a Floyd Rose in a purple/violet finish.

I've been in contact with the staff at the Gibson Garage in Nashville.

Last month, the folks at the Gibson Garage told me that the CS does NOT offer finishes in shades of purple.

Is that at all possible?
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
[Hey all: I don't want to go down the rabbit hole or rat hole from before. Please don't go there.]

Hey Mat - With all the prior talk about plasticizers and finish formulation differences between CS Reissues and ML relic'd Reissues, questions sprung to mind.

Perhaps a bit theoretical but testing the limits of what constitutes a M2M, and a ML ordering process...

Say you are absolutely convinced the ML finish is best thus imparts some mythic mojo and sonic magic which the CS finish formulation does not. But you're not a fan of relic jobs... in fact, you prefer Gloss and when pressed even draw a bright line with VOS that can be cleaned up, even with newish HW.

What's are the specific path, what would viable options be?

- ML, spec with instructions for an "Amazingly Super Duper" approach to the 'Ultra Light Aging' option with no marks, dings, chips, etc. to effectively arrive at a VOS approximation?

- ML, spec without relic? Is it even possible to leave MLs Gloss (albeit a probably pricey option since ML pricing assumes some effort for the relic'ing)?

- M2M, and specify ML finish in Gloss or VOS?

-- the only appreciative difference between the last two, is perhaps you can't spec a ML finish using M2M? That is, there's a hard product path fork between M2M and the ML.​

Related to the above paths of thinking:

I am under the assumption under ML, there are no M2M options available beyond the aging levels, and color choices, maybe a top choice? Hence can't chose pickups, neck profile, etc.? Or do I have it wrong?

If wrong, well then what M2M option are valid on a ML order, would you please then outline? Could you go 'crazy' under MK and spec a chambered R7 in a Custom Color? Yada yada.

Finally, do you belief dealers are clear on these aspects? Are there formalized checklists and decision paths for all of this, or is it more of a discussion / negotiation?

Hope things are well for you and the folks in the CS, and ...

Thanks for indulging the thought experiment!
I think you are well down the rabbit hole. Haha. But seriously, I think I can cover your questions briefly and if I miss any key component please forgive me...a lot to unpack.

1) We have no way of making a Murphy Lab instrument without checking and at least some small degree of distressing. No Murphy Lab Gloss or VOS. The core lacquer VOS option is going to be the best way to get a vintage sheen without any aging.

2) Your assumption is incorrect; you can spec a Murphy Lab instrument as you would any other. Or putting it another way, ML aging levels are M2M options.

3) Because of the number of orders for M2M products and our desire to cut down the wait times as much as possible, some M2M requests that may have been accepted in previous years may not be possible at this time. Have to streamline and focus on order conversion before branching out. We also have a team of people dedicated to making a M2M configurator for both dealers and customers...as you can imagine, it is a very large undertaking.

4) Most of our major dealers are very familiar with M2M even though the program has not been neatly defined and visible. They know the limitations better than me these days (but to be clear I have not been at Custom Shop or overseeing M2M in years).

Hope that helps answer your Qs. Thank you for them.
 

matkoehler

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 12, 2014
Messages
365
Hi Mat! Longtime reader of this topic, first time poster. This thread is a actual goldmine of information and great to take a part in the deep end guitar nerdery! Thank you very much for your effors and patience answering!

My question involves a bit off an oddball Gibson Memphis ES-345 Historic model which is likely an one-off from the factory as it's the only one I've seen of this configuration. The serial number refers to a reissue which was likely built around 2014-2015. Now the interesting part, I contacted the Gibson Customer Service about this model and asked about the specs and if they have any records of the guitar. There was no info they could find.

This model has been originally ordered from the Memphis factory by an touring artist. No COA or info for that matter. There is a handsigned note in the pickup cavity which reads "Built by (person's name)" and some sort of a number, maybe a R factory number or a date, it's hard to tell. I have been searching and adding up the O's on the google search page but there is absolutely no info found with the persons name or the guitar specs, or even handwritten notes in modern Gibson guitars for that matter. It would indicate that this guitar is built by a one specific person at the factory which seems unorthodox by Gibson.

What I would like to know if there is any info available on the guitar or the builder for that matter and what are the specs. This has been on my mind for years and finally I think I've found a way to get closer to this information. For privacy I decided to not involve the information and the builders name on this message but I'm happy to dm them to you along with photos of the guitar. Thanks!
This is a forum thread so if you want my help here, please post some photos of the guitar in question. I worked at Memphis for a time and I know all the people who would be able to tell you more about your guitar. If you are concerned about privacy, maybe just give us the first name and last initial and I can verify if that person was on the final assembly staff? Don't think it's a big deal either way. :)
 

matkoehler

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

jb_abides referred me to you in this thread.​


I want to submit a M2M order through the CS.

I'm looking to get a LP Axcess Custom with a Floyd Rose in a purple/violet finish.

I've been in contact with the staff at the Gibson Garage in Nashville.

Last month, the folks at the Gibson Garage told me that the CS does NOT offer finishes in shades of purple.

Is that at all possible?
We don't have a base color option that is purple, BUT when we get requests from a dealer (even the Garage) for unique colors, the process is to check with the CS team and see if the request is possible. If you submitted a color sample, that may narrow your possibilities more than asking what may be available in those shades. But it's also possible that we just don't have purple stain or transparent purple paint on hand, and for that reason the request was denied. Best thing to do is make sure they have asked Custom Shop and they're not just shooting from the hip. Hope that helps. -Mat
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,679
We don't have a base color option that is purple, BUT when we get requests from a dealer (even the Garage) for unique colors, the process is to check with the CS team and see if the request is possible. If you submitted a color sample, that may narrow your possibilities more than asking what may be available in those shades. But it's also possible that we just don't have purple stain or transparent purple paint on hand, and for that reason the request was denied. Best thing to do is make sure they have asked Custom Shop and they're not just shooting from the hip. Hope that helps. -Mat

FWIW - on the original @Jericho-79 we've discussed Heather Poly, Lavender Sparkle, Purple Sparkle, and Trans-Purple, all with recent examples of instruments from the CS, although mostly from the HJ-era...

Conjecture being that the Garage wasn't talking to the CS, and that other M2M dealers might have a better 'key' on how to get some of these going.

Of course, "On Hand" is always an issue. Perhaps there's a way to determine timing?
 

Jericho-79

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
35
We don't have a base color option that is purple, BUT when we get requests from a dealer (even the Garage) for unique colors, the process is to check with the CS team and see if the request is possible. If you submitted a color sample, that may narrow your possibilities more than asking what may be available in those shades. But it's also possible that we just don't have purple stain or transparent purple paint on hand, and for that reason the request was denied. Best thing to do is make sure they have asked Custom Shop and they're not just shooting from the hip. Hope that helps. -Mat

Hi Mat.

Well, first of all, the Gibson Garage texted me in early July that the CS "can match most shades".

Then I emailed the Garage staff a photo of a Kramer SM1-H in "Shockwave Purple".

Finally, at the end of last month, the Garage staff emailed me the following:

I just heard from our friends at Gibson Custom. unfortunately, we are not able to offer that finish. If there are any other colors you would like to consider, please let me know.

I really don't know if they're being honest with me or not. Last week, I emailed them back regarding what shades of purple that the CS can provide, and I have yet to hear back from them.

I'm inclined to go through a different dealer, like The Music Zoo on Long Island.

I'm very hellbent on getting a purple or violet CS LP Axcess Custom.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
3,679
I think you are well down the rabbit hole. Haha. But seriously, I think I can cover your questions briefly and if I miss any key component please forgive me...a lot to unpack.

1) We have no way of making a Murphy Lab instrument without checking and at least some small degree of distressing. No Murphy Lab Gloss or VOS. The core lacquer VOS option is going to be the best way to get a vintage sheen without any aging.

2) Your assumption is incorrect; you can spec a Murphy Lab instrument as you would any other. Or putting it another way, ML aging levels are M2M options.

3) Because of the number of orders for M2M products and our desire to cut down the wait times as much as possible, some M2M requests that may have been accepted in previous years may not be possible at this time. Have to streamline and focus on order conversion before branching out. We also have a team of people dedicated to making a M2M configurator for both dealers and customers...as you can imagine, it is a very large undertaking.

4) Most of our major dealers are very familiar with M2M even though the program has not been neatly defined and visible. They know the limitations better than me these days (but to be clear I have not been at Custom Shop or overseeing M2M in years).

Hope that helps answer your Qs. Thank you for them.

Thanks. Yes, this helps my understanding for my order planning, thanks so much!

A logic-based, decision tree configurator would indeed be a big task, although most helpful. Good luck!

An interim step towards such a beast might be to publish the M2M "options guide" as I've seen with Fender. Please correct me if I am wrong: I've never seen one from Gibson CS. It may exist but more closely held by dealers...? Whereas the Fender CS guide has 'gone public' [perhaps unintentionally, via leaks], although dealers have placed Fender CS options on websites.

Just something to consider. It seems even most knowledgable die-hard Gibson guys have to 'go fishing' with time and effort engaging with a dealer. Not a bad state of affairs, perhaps even desirable, but arriving at their door armed with information about the viability of one's dream guitar, versus the limits of possible options, is a better place to start.
 

Jericho-79

Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
Messages
35
FWIW - on the original @Jericho-79 we've discussed Heather Poly, Lavender Sparkle, Purple Sparkle, and Trans-Purple, all with recent examples of instruments from the CS, although mostly from the HJ-era...

Meh.

I don't like sparkle or trans finishes. The the heather poly finish looks more pink-ish.

Like I mentioned, I'm in search of a finish similar to that on the Kramer SM1-H.

Conjecture being that the Garage wasn't talking to the CS, and that other M2M dealers might have a better 'key' on how to get some of these going.

I'm pretty much losing patience with the Garage staff. I might try my luck with The Music Zoo this week.
 

mbjork

New member
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
4
This is a forum thread so if you want my help here, please post some photos of the guitar in question. I worked at Memphis for a time and I know all the people who would be able to tell you more about your guitar. If you are concerned about privacy, maybe just give us the first name and last initial and I can verify if that person was on the final assembly staff? Don't think it's a big deal either way. :)
Thank you for the quick answer! I quess I had a fear of my questions left answered with a bunch of overshared info. These photos definitely tell more about the guitar than my rambling.
 

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