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Murphy lab yay or nay?

Kutt

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Jun 15, 2007
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284
They look rad and they should continue making them. I love looking at YOUR Murphy Lab. But if I were to choose one side by side with a Gloss or VOS model, I'd go for one of the later. Personal preference.
 

programmer

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Jul 2, 2021
Messages
25
Assuming you like relicing, they do the worn look really well. (scuff marks, dings, etc.) However, I've seen ML Les Pauls in store where the main feature was the finish checking like, the light aged/ultra light aged ML's. I think that's totally unnecessary, it does not take long for nitro finish guitars to develop finish checking naturally.
That's really not true. I have a guitar here from 1958 with essentially no finish checking.
 

Any Name You Wish

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Apr 15, 2021
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248
That's really not true. I have a guitar here from 1958 with essentially no finish checking.
I wonder what the ML guitars (with the finish checking done by razor blade) will look like if and when real checking sets in. It is basically the nitro finish shrinking and checking, so maybe nothing at all since the cracks/checking are already there.

The labor cost of doing all the ML aging work is probably significant, so naturally the prices are much higher. However, there are some ML painted custom shop historic LP guitars that have no aging whatsoever and they go for $10k MSRP. Extra $3k for special finish by Tom. Is it even Tom painting and finishing all these? I guess who cares. If you love it buy it, if you have the dough, and play it. They are beautiful, just forget about all this.
 

programmer

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Jul 2, 2021
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I wonder what the ML guitars (with the finish checking done by razor blade) will look like if and when real checking sets in. It is basically the nitro finish shrinking and checking, so maybe nothing at all since the cracks/checking are already there.
ML checking is not done by razor blade. That was the process used previously, before ML.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
30
That's really not true. I have a guitar here from 1958 with essentially no finish checking.
I hear ya, I've seen a lot of 50's Gibsons with no finish checking! I don't have vintage guitars myself, but most of my guitars develop finish checking about a year after purchase.
 

roxrob

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Mar 15, 2003
Messages
214
I’ve owned a number of Gibson’s. i started playing Gibson’s in 1969! My 1st & 2nd were both Melody Makers. The 1st one was a 1965 and the 2nd was a 1961 that was the best one I’d ever owned until 2009 when I found an incredible single cutaway/ dbl pickup. I’ve probably owned around 25 Melody Makers. I do own a 1959 dbl cut LP Special and a few other Gibson’s. My 2021 ML R-9 is as good as some of the original Les Paul’s that friends have owned and loaned me over the last 45+ years. I got spoiled and got a Travis Bean in 1975 and that guitar was amazing. I played it on &off for years.
My favourite guitar is my 1961 double-cut Melodymaker......beautifully aged finish, Honduras Mahogany and Brazilian Rosewood....rings like a bell and sustains like crazy...and I only paid £700 for it...absolutely the most resonant electric I have ever played in over 50 years of being a guitarist........
 

Imprimus

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Sep 8, 2016
Messages
13
Gibson is focused on heritage, or building guitars like they did in the 50s. Interestingly, with ML, they use secret Tom Murphy processes to age the guitars, which was not something they did in the 50s.

I disagree that Gibson has somehow discovered what makes a guitar sound, subjectively, great, given so many immeasurable and unquantifiable factors. If they had done this, they would market it to justify higher prices for their Guitars.

This is as laughable as PRS tone video.

Instead, their most expensive models are made to look a certain way, aged, or like a famous instrument.

They reverse engineer the nitro, use hide glue, measure the originals from their vault and copy their shape. The Korina models even copied the strap and guitar cable.

Yet, in the 50s, no two were alike.

Name me another company whose technological innovations amount to discovering how things were done 70 years ago.

What they didnt do in the 50s is age them. And now you see Gibson's hypocrisy, a company so focused on recreating inconsistent construction 70 years ago, while using proprietary new process to artificially age and relic guitars.

I cant go on a world tour, never letting the guitar acclimate, wrapping myself in sandpaper, smoking 5 cigarettes at once while wearing a belt buckle that would make the cast of Hee Haw envious, but I can buy a ML that looks just like I did this.

Ever seen Larry Carlton's number 1? Or his number 2? Here they are.

I’m not a collector,” Carlton explains, “I just have a few guitars I like to play.” For someone who has tracked as many sessions as Carlton, three Gibsons, two Fenders, and two Valley Arts 6-strings might seem like a modest number, but each one is very special.


How many sessions and gigs did those guitars see? Gibson would label them VOS.

So, I say screw ML guitars. I want my guitar made like the 50s, so I can play it thousands of hours and age it like they did in the 50s, without whatever artificial BS ML is doing now.
 
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Imprimus

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Tom Murphy chat with GuitarGuitar UK.

If you watch from 18:20, it sounds to me there is some sort of selection process for guitars that eventually go into the Murphy Lab.

He said they use a special nitro that checks easier. That is it. They did not use this finish on the coveted tone monster guitars from the 50s. So kudos to Gibson for developing a formula different from the 50s to artificially age their guitars and kudos to Tom for donning his lab coat for this interview and telling us this new finish is better. My FIL who is a Dr. wears a lab coat like that when he is at the hospital saving lives. F'ing hilarious.
 
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CAGinLA

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Jan 4, 2016
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478
LOL at how many of you guys are butthurt over the mere existence of ML guitars. Poor babies!!
 

Dilver

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Feb 17, 2016
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I have/have had some vintage Gibsons. They simply don’t age like that.
 
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CAGinLA

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478
I have/have had some vintage Gibsons. They simply don’t age like that.
Depends on the guitar. ML aging is inspired by guitars that were taken on the road and gigged non-stop for decades, not ones that were mostly kept under the bed and occasionally played by non-professionals.
 
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djcmusician

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Apr 29, 2015
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203
Name me another company whose technological innovations amount to discovering how things were done 70 years ago.

What they didnt do in the 50s is age them. And now you see Gibson's hypocrisy, a company so focused on recreating inconsistent construction 70 years ago, while using proprietary new process to artificially age and relic guitars.

I cant go on a world tour, never letting the guitar acclimate, wrapping myself in sandpaper, smoking 5 cigarettes at once while wearing a belt buckle that would make the cast of Hee Haw envious, but I can buy a ML that looks just like I did this.
Get over it



 

Wizard1183

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Jan 20, 2018
Messages
304
That's really not true. I have a guitar here from 1958 with essentially no finish checking.
That’s cause the temp and humidity stayed the same in its entirety. Basically a closet queen; it wasn’t gigged. But I prefer the checked look over the closet queen

As for the feel? Idk? I tried a ML ultra aged as Gibson garage? I wasn’t impressed. The feel didn’t feel like an old guitar to me regardless of the “reverse engineered” nitro that GIBSON has done and the aging. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with it? Cause the Slash Brazilian Dream I played had better tone. But even that one had 1st and 2nd frets dead as a doornail. You’d think a guitar there would be top notch? Nope
 

charliechitlins

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Nov 16, 2021
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Every time I see someone with a wad of keys hanging off his belt, I get a little private smile at the idea that he probably works for Murphy Lab.
Well...maybe not EVERY time.
 

garywright

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Aug 17, 2002
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14,900
Depends on the guitar. ML aging is inspired by guitars that were taken on the road and gigged non-stop for decades, not ones that were mostly kept under the bed and occasionally played by non-professionals.
if what he does looks authentic to you then those road pros must have kept a Red Devil paint scraper hooked on their belts ..’cause ML’s sharp, zagged non-beveled edge paint removing scraping looks like crap..not to mention the “weather-checking”
 

Wizard1183

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if what he does looks authentic to you then those road pros must have kept a Red Devil paint scraper hooked on their belts ..’cause ML’s sharp, zagged non-beveled edge paint removing scraping looks like crap..not to mention the “weather-checking”
Well I find the weather checking to be pretty good. I mean no 2 guitars will check the same anyway. My 74 LPC has wide checks. I’ve seen both wide and tight checking on 59s in pics. I agree with the scraping cause the wear at the picking arm should be fairly smooth tie in into the wood. Not non-beveled edge. So I agree 100% there. It’s like they chip the lacquer off and leave it thick. Wear would be smooth.

For instance Greeny replica? There’s no bevel on the wear marks which is kinda dumb. I mean they had the guitar up close and personal and couldn’t get it right? I could’ve gotten it right and I’ve never aged a guitar. But I’d assure you it’d have beveled into a smooth transition as original.

For as long as Tom has been aging guitars? He needs help from 8bomb customs. They do it right.
 
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CAGinLA

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478
if what he does looks authentic to you then those road pros must have kept a Red Devil paint scraper hooked on their belts ..’cause ML’s sharp, zagged non-beveled edge paint removing scraping looks like crap..not to mention the “weather-checking”
Look at any famous vintage Les Paul player's guitars (many of which Gibson Custom has cloned for artist releases and/or the Collector's Choice line). They got beat to hell on the road in the 60s-90s, before guys stopped taking them out as much due to the value of the guitars and their worn out condition.

My MLs look and feel like vintage Gibsons to me. In fat, I was shocked by how much my ML 335 resembles my old (regretfully sold) '70 335. Only thing it lacks is the tobacco smell and musty dust balls in the f-holes. I used to pine for that '70 335 but the ML is a much superior guitar, so I no longer hunt for the old one on Reverb.
 
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