Anyone hands on with the 2019 line. Has the QC improved?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Boy_Narf, May 1, 2019.

  1. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    In a traditional ABR-1 setup the ABR-1 bridge sits on posts that are drilled into the body of the guitar. In this modern imitation instead of mounting the posts directly into the body, they are mounted into studs which have been inserted into the body. So it went from a firmly mounted single pair of posts to posts within studs which are presumably firmly mounted. But my guess is the movement is from the posts and in an old one they wouldn't move as much. Can't run an experiment since I don't have a vintage one to check it on.
     
  2. ChrisM84

    ChrisM84 Member

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    I just got a 61 with Maestro. If its an indicator of where their QC is at and going, they are on the right path. Binding, paint finish, wiring cavity, all about as good as you can get. The action is a little high for me but I’ll be setting it up for .9s this weekend anyway.
     
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  3. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    I'm hopeful that JC will get the QC back on track. I've photos and videos of fretboard tooling, binding issues and other weird things like everyone else has.

    Personally I'm concerned about the quality or stock of Rosewood they're currently using. A lot of the photos, videos and reviews I've seen over the past two years have some of the most dried fretboards ever I've seen. It was never like this before.

    I bought one of the new Les Paul Junior Double Cuts several months ago and out of the box the fretboard was an ashen chalky grey. It took several coats of fret doctor to get it looking like normal wood. It is concerning.

    Before:
    before.jpg

    After:
    after.jpg

    I also installed an intonatable wraparound bridge but hadn't intonated it yet when I took the after photo.
     
  4. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    I mean, no '60s SG will have the same neck profile as the next one; they were sanded by hand. The entire concept of the "60s Slim Taper neck" was invented by Gibson in modern times.

    He complained about the cavity being rough? LOL

    Well, the thing about the tenon cover on an SG is that it's wedged between the pickup ring and the neck, and any set neck guitar will have some tolerance for the neck's fitting. You just can't get that machine perfect like a bolt-on neck. For example, Gibson listed their joint angle tolerances in 2015-'16 and most were around 0 deg 0 min 15 sec. Which is a pretty tight tolerance, but it doesn't take much to throw things off.

    Actually, you want the bridge to wiggle with it. That's why '60s SGs had domed thumbwheels, to facilitate wiggling. However, roller saddles would serve the same purpose. Because think about it, regular saddles are never going to let the string slide through easily, they're just not designed for that. So that would essentially be the same as binding at the nut causing it to go sharp or flat. If the bridge moves with the trem, the strings are staying put in the saddle slots and should theoretically return to the same pitch, then.

    I don't think any manufacturers are oiling fretboards from the factory. The thing is, they have to kiln dry their woods to ensure stability in the building process.
     
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  5. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    He complimented them on the cavities being routed well, actually. In prior year models (last few years) he'd open the cavities and find it all rough with splintered. He's bought and sold hundreds of Gibsons from all eras, including some pretty high end ones from early periods and the Norlins ones people think were shoddy junk (check out his youtube channel to see many of them) and he's seen a lot of cavities. Apparently the ones from this least few years have stood out as being especially sloppy looking workmanship. He considers it a sign of overall attention to detail and quality or skill of the workers. Anyway this years one was perfect which he viewed as a big positive.
     
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  6. Herbie74w

    Herbie74w Active Member

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    I have seen his videos and while I think they are well done. He is a little harsh on his assessment of QC.
     
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  7. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    I was laughing at the fact that he ever cared about that at all. I mean, they're not routing cavities by hand. Any differences are more due to the wood itself than the way it was routed.
     
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  8. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    It isn't about oiling before leaving the factory. Out of the box fretboards from Gibson over the last two years or so are very dry. Considerably drier than they used to be out of the box and / or when compared to out of the box guitars from other brands. It is a very noticeable difference.

    Has their manufacturing process changed in the last couple of years?
     
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  9. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    So, thinking about this new hybrid ABR on the Standard with vibrola - what part of it is designed to move back and forth, how does it get to flex so much? I'm just curious, as I can't see anything about the design that might intentionally facilitate this movement. A part that's not designed to move getting forced to move doesn't sound like a good idea to me, and the pinging and tuning issues he was experiencing seems to be evidence of this.

    With a roller bridge, you know what part was designed to move. ;)
     
  10. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    I just recently replaced the bridge on my Firebird with a true ABR-1, where the studs go into the wood. Now, while I did it for aesthetic reasons (mostly), I had the same aforementioned issues as that SG. If my hunch is correct, the company Gibson uses for the hardware (I believe it is Advanced Plating) doesn't have as tight as tolerance as much as it should. The bridge rocked, and didn't return to zero because the Nashville bridges aren't fit into the posts properly.
     
  11. ChrisM84

    ChrisM84 Member

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    Pretty happy with this one.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  12. Logan

    Logan Well-Known Member

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    Hey man, you need to reset the permissions. We can't see them :ohno:
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
  13. ChrisM84

    ChrisM84 Member

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    ^Done!
     
  14. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Good question. In that video, it looked like every part was rocking a little. I know a lot of my guitars have considerable play between the posts and bushings, as well as between the bridge and posts.
     
  15. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I have a 14 SG Standard, a 17 SG Standard an 18 SG Special and a 17 Les Paul Traditional. All have been pretty decent. A couple nuts needed a tweak on a couple and the binding on fretboards had chatter. The 14, with fret over binding, had nice binding and I think that would be the way to go.
     
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  16. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    I will say that my 2018 SG Special had great build quality and setup right out of the box, not a single thing off in it other than the fret ends being a tad sharp. Certainly prior to this year you could get a high quality Gibson. I think the issue is consistency. A huge part of quality is consistency. You expect every Rolex to be perfect, a timex can be a bit wonky and it’s still okay. Gibson aspires to be more like Rolex than Timex, so inconsistent quality is really really bad. So while Trogley reviewed what looked like a good one, the prof will be if they at all good, or at least most of them.
     
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  17. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I think Gibson Custom Shop aspired to be Rolex. I think the USA line is more an upper end Timex in this analogy.
     
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  18. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Well, when you can buy an SG Special for under $700 (last year they were going for as low as $500 at times) then the barrier of entry to own a Gibson is far more achievable than to the barrier to own a Rolex so I'll accept Custom Shop = Rolex (in their view) but then Epiphone = Timex. Then Gibson = something in between, something that aspires to be sort of premium, a bit exclusive in theory but not really.

    It does feel like the new CEO is going down a path of compressing the range of prices for Gibsons, offering fewer models without the spread of really cheap to really expensive that they had in recent years. It feels like his strategy is to (1) simplify the product line so they can get quality up and costs down (2) get rid of the cheapo models that watered down the premium perception of the brand and (3) keep Gibson distinct as a mid-range brand between Custom and Epiphone, service the working musicians vice beginners or collectors.
     
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  19. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Steve D I agree.
     
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  20. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    I'd argue that if the Custom Shop can be likened to Rolex then Gibson USA is much more aligned with Tudor, not Timex. Rolex and Tudor: Same company, same level of functionality, slightly different levels of finishing and attention to detail, but in the end both prestigious and considered an aspirational purchase.

    Edit: actually, I'm going to revise that and say that I believe Gibson USA is closer to Rolex (the well made, reliable and stylish tool watch) and the Custom Shop is more of a true high-end piece...An Audemars Piguet, Jaeger LeCoultre, Patek Philippe or A. Lange & Sohne (the haute horlogy statement piece).
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2019
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