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Murphy lab… plastic?

Hifi

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Dec 22, 2020
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17
I’ve noticed that Gibsons aged guitars don’t seem to get aged plastics even on heavy aged models.. What on earth is the thought process here?
I have a 2016 r8 and the metal parts have a nice patina, the plastic stuff is all brand new. This looks super cheap to me and although I’m getting good at aging stuff myself, it makes me wonder what they are thinking. If you have any insight please share
 

Pip

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Feb 26, 2011
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Yup drives me mad, some Fender CS jobs are better but again often wide of the mark.
 

AA00475Bassman

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Apr 26, 2016
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Ive been shopping Murphys online two years Murphys & lab my kriptoninte is as follows.

Truss rod cover white edge to white .

Pickup rings way way to new looking .

poker chip just does not have any vibe .

All the exposed metal on pickup selector switch way to new looking .

Various metal fasteners & screws to new looking .

Shafts on tuners to bright .

Tune-o-matic & thumb wheels to much shine .

And now street price on SOME Murphy Labs are north of $10,000.00 I believe IMO Im paying for a half done job .

My 2016 Historic Aged Firebird 111 is fabulous in its aging .

I also know going forward with this purchase I most likely will be aging all I mention above !
 
Last edited:

Hifi

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Dec 22, 2020
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Totally agree with your above comments! On the fender note.. I have a heavy relic strat that came with all parts meticulously aged evenly, great work from them. There’s only one problem..
All the rusted parts are not functional! The screws that hold the neck into the body.. Rusted and snapped. The bridge saddle screws? All rusted into place!
Can’t win them all though, at least it looks good lol
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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I think it's easy enough of a process for Gibson Custom to age metal , where plastic I bet is more complex ( this is only a guess ) . Now if they were able to come up with a technique to age plastic I bet there would be an increased price for that . Just a guess .
 

Flogger

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Sep 23, 2008
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Totally agree with your above comments! On the fender note.. I have a heavy relic strat that came with all parts meticulously aged evenly, great work from them. There’s only one problem..
All the rusted parts are not functional! The screws that hold the neck into the body.. Rusted and snapped. The bridge saddle screws? All rusted into place!
Can’t win them all though, at least it looks good lol
Muriatic acid, the gift that keeps on giving.
 

corpse

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Jun 9, 2007
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4,189
Not on plastic- on metal you mean.
Have a look at the sticky above on aging parts. My second vice is building plastic models- tanks in particular. We call the process of aging "weathering"- Gold medals at shows generally go to the model with the best weathering. The biggest thing with the new plastic parts is the patina. The stock Gibson color is quite good (but photography is tricky at best, and the real ones vary like night and day in terms of color) but they shine far too much for a well-played guitar, so taking them off the guitar and hitting them with 600 grit, and then 1200 grit, paying particular attention to the screw holes, will achieve most of the desired effect. I have gone as far as leaving pick up rings in the sun (very slow- with very marginal results) and applying highly thinned 'washes' of dark brown oil paint- letting it sit for a few minutes- then wiping it off with the cotton cloth. Brown shoe polish looks good but will not withstand handling and you are back to zero. But you have to do the original parts (I would say) as Gibson doesn't sell the CS plastics and the older Historic rings that are available are too Ivory and the PG is wrong. And if you go with Throbak you will already have aged parts...
FWIW my '18 R9 gets played a good bit- incl gigs, and still is pretty shiny. I gave up aging bits- too much work aging the plastic for me, and my sweat must be highly caustic as my metal parts look played-in. Play more- sound better.
 

DANELECTRO

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Feb 24, 2003
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6,200
I'd rather age the plastic myself than let Gibson do it. I had a 2005 Murphy R9 which had beautiful aging done to the husk, but the plastic looked like it was aged by a 4 year old with a sheet of sandpaper:

GibsonLesPaul0559Murphy047800.jpg


I polished the cover plate so that it looked a little more respectable:
GibsonLesPaul0559Murphy197a.jpg


From what I understand, Gibson would send the husk to Tom, he would do his aging magic, then the husk was returned to Gibson, so Tom never touched the plastic parts. Like I said, the aging on the body was excellent:
GibsonLesPaul0559Murphy7751024.jpg
 

fernieite

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Jan 3, 2010
Messages
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I'd rather age the plastic myself than let Gibson do it. I had a 2005 Murphy R9 which had beautiful aging done to the husk, but the plastic looked like it was aged by a 4 year old with a sheet of sandpaper:

GibsonLesPaul0559Murphy047800.jpg


I polished the cover plate so that it looked a little more respectable:
GibsonLesPaul0559Murphy197a.jpg


From what I understand, Gibson would send the husk to Tom, he would do his aging magic, then the husk was returned to Gibson, so Tom never touched the plastic parts. Like I said, the aging on the body was excellent:
GibsonLesPaul0559Murphy7751024.jpg
Man, that back plate looks way better! What did you use to polish it Dan?
 

Brek

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May 23, 2020
Messages
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There is a company line on this. Its because they don't have the time/budget/experience to age plastics like the aftermarket guys do. Also they state that its difficult to introduce changes to existing production. Which i understand, sometimes a change can turn out to affect something else and cause issues down the line. They say its in the route map, but not any date set for it.
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,101
The "Light Aged" Murphy Lab R-9 I got had No againg on the plastic parts or the metal parts. I'm kinda disappointed with them. the body looks amazing, the guitar sonically is amazing, it plays like "butta" but looks like someone took an old guitar and put new parts on it. For the friggin' price I expected way more. I complained about it to my guy a Sweetwater and they offered to replace the guitar.. I told them that I really liked the way it played and sounded and would keep it, but was hoping for some sort of compensation.. maybe a bit off of my account or an aged case.. I got Nothing! I have bought some aged metal parts and plastics. I dropped in a set of T-Tops from the late Sixties. It sounds incredible! I had a set of original vintage knobs, switch tip, switch ring/poker chip and a TRC and put those on. I got the Creamtone Vintage Bridge Stabilizing kit and a pickguard and I also have a set of ThroBak aged rings. So it's looking more aged now, but Sweetwater kinda f'd me over..
 

Pip

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Feb 26, 2011
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I think, assuming this is Gibsons premium offering they need to up there game, plastics, metal et-al should all look like a guitar that's many years old - depending on the strength of ageing - ie heavy ageing.
 
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Todd Louis

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Aug 7, 2002
Messages
14,512
Tom neva aged the plastic or metal. He did the body's then it was assembled. Thats why.
This Lab thing there doing now is no different.

Maybe they will change that.....
 
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