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Honest Review - Gibson Murphy Lab Heavy Aged

Flogger

Active member
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
475
I found it informative.

There seems to be a lean to the Goldtop with the aftermarket pickups. To my ear it sounds newer, with a wider response and snappier attack.

The Murphy may be Gibson's take on an aged sound.

My ideal would be somewhere between those poles.
 

yeatzee

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
42
I found it informative.

There seems to be a lean to the Goldtop with the aftermarket pickups. To my ear it sounds newer, with a wider response and snappier attack.

The Murphy may be Gibson's take on an aged sound.

My ideal would be somewhere between those poles.
Thanks for watching! I think the ML does make the goldtop sound extra bright and snappy because of how much warmer it is at the same settings. It really was tricky trying to determine how to set up the amps for each test!
 

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,547
I watched the video , but I can't recall if weight was disclosed between the instruments . As I feel the heavier instruments have a much more deep mid range growl than the lighter ones which are more brighter ? ( I prefer a 9lb + Les Paul ) The lighter ones are okay and makes me think of the Tele on steroids sentiment .
 

kats

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
273
Sounded to me like the GT had more output. Perhaps if the covers were removed from the ML, you'd get a little ore of that output with the ability to brighten up the tone if desired. Bottom line, the human ear is always attracted to "brighter" so it's pretty relative as to whether or not the ML was a "dark" guitar. Good review BTW.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2009
Messages
738
Great job on the review. When most guitarists play a guitar they E.Q. the amp to get the best tone. I sometimes wish reviewers would do this instead of worrying about a strict A/B comparison as it would better reflect how people play guitar.
 

yeatzee

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
42
I watched the video , but I can't recall if weight was disclosed between the instruments . As I feel the heavier instruments have a much more deep mid range growl than the lighter ones which are more brighter ? ( I prefer a 9lb + Les Paul ) The lighter ones are okay and makes me think of the Tele on steroids sentiment .
So my goldtop is about 7lb 14oz, and the Murphy Lab we didn't weight but it was a nice weight. I'd guess mid low-8's.

Sounded to me like the GT had more output. Perhaps if the covers were removed from the ML, you'd get a little ore of that output with the ability to brighten up the tone if desired. Bottom line, the human ear is always attracted to "brighter" so it's pretty relative as to whether or not the ML was a "dark" guitar. Good review BTW.
The ML was definitely a darker guitar on the neck. The bridge I thought was fine overall, actually brighter than his other R0 if I remember correctly. We showed both in this intro video:


Unfortunately he couldn't leave both of his Les Paul's with me for the video, but the original plan was to include all 3 to give more context. Fwiw the ML pickups did read hotter in both positions. My Goldtop is 7.7k in the bridge and 6.9k in the neck. ML was 7.9k in the bridge and 7.75k in the neck. I think a big difference wasn't actually the output, but instead the compression. The goldtop is very uncompressed with those pickups, it was noticeably louder through the amps and had sharper transients whereas the ML was more rounded off and wasn't as dynamic.

And thanks!

Great job on the review. When most guitarists play a guitar they E.Q. the amp to get the best tone. I sometimes wish reviewers would do this instead of worrying about a strict A/B comparison as it would better reflect how people play guitar.
Thanks! I will say the amps were set very close to how I would for any of my guitars. I'm of the school of thought that you should need to do drastic EQ changes for every guitar you've got. Half of the amps were tweaked with the ML specifically in my hand so I tried to make it fair, but you can't really add what's not there so if it's lacking high end and clarity that's not going to really be remedied but normal amp EQ. Now that isn't to say the ML sounded bad, I honestly think if nobody heard the goldtop they'd probably think it sounded a lot better BUT I dont regret including the GT because context is helpful to get a good sense for the guitar. I wish I could have had a 3rd LP in there honestly!
 

dman_vegas

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
27
Well done review. My 58 with custom buckers also came setup as unbalanced. The neck PU is a monster, but also much louder than the bridge. I tried adjusting the height of the bridge but it doesn't sound as good as it did from the dealer (but is now more balanced). I understand that balanced PU volume is not expected and the neck will be louder all things being equal. I think I'll go back to adjusting each pickup for best tone, find the "sweet spot", and not worry about the imbalance.
 

Morgan24

Active member
Joined
Nov 1, 2020
Messages
107
Have you tried adjusting the pickup pole piece height? Setting the bridge poles with a 12" radius and the neck poles flat helps the overall balance between the pickups!
 

yeatzee

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2016
Messages
42
Have you tried adjusting the pickup pole piece height? Setting the bridge poles with a 12" radius and the neck poles flat helps the overall balance between the pickups!
I always adjust the poles, but I do it by ear. At the end of the day it makes very slight differences really
 

TM1

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,114
I dropped a set of original T-Tops from the late 60’s in my Murphy Lab R-9 Light Aged! Sounds so much better than those “custombuckers”! I put a ThroBak A-4 magnet in each one and a ThroBak aged cover.
my Murphy Lab had Zero aging on the metal parts. Looked like an old guitar with brand new parts.. This and the Brand New looking plastics are disappointing to me!
So close, but far away..
The Body/Neck look old, but the parts all look New…wtf Gibson?
 
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