New SG Jr: Ridiculous errors!! Should I write to Gibson?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Tom Dickinson, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. Tom Dickinson

    Tom Dickinson New Member

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    So I'm the proud new owner of a Gibson SG Junior, a guitar I've wanted to own for years! At nearly 70 years old, I decided the time had come, so I pushed the button and purchased a new one from Musician's Friend. While I can't say enough 'good things' about that company, sadly I can't do the same for Gibson. As someone who's been owning and playing guitars for over 55 years, it's pretty obvious to me that this guitar has some serious problems!!

    The unfortunate fact here is that Gibson needs to stop making just plain STUPID mistakes, and build a guitar that has the damn measurements correct! Case in point would be my SG Jr. This guitar suffers from bridge post body location that does not allow for proper set-up with respect to bridge placement for proper intonation. Simply put, the bass post needs to be back about 1/8" at minimum, and perhaps even 1/4" would be more appropriate. As it is, I have the set screw out to the end where it's actually falling out of the bridge at the post side, and it still needs to be pushed back further. This has created the additional problem of 'bridge roll', so now because it's pushed back so far it no longer sits snugly under the post heads and it's starting to roll upwards. I mean 'REALLY'???!!! How long has Gibson been building guitars of this basic design, 60, 70 years? When was the first LP Jr introduced, back in the 50s if I'm not mistaken?

    Anyway, it doesn't stop there. The construction of the guitar is done such that the bridge itself has to be 'angled' up on the bass side by a good 1/8" above the treble side in order to get the string placement 'level' across the fret board. This is not a 'twist' in the neck, it's more like the neck just got set in 'high' on the treble side. So, to compensate, the bass side has to be tweaked up. The treble post is all the way locked into the body, so if I wanted the action any lower, I couldn't do it! And, this is NOT a 'Custom Shop' guitar where maybe one could point the finger at some one builder and say; "Hey, get your act together or pack your bags and go home!!". This is a 'production' guitar, the result of design parameters and construction techniques prety much controlled by machines and programming. They use Lazer Measurements to make kitchen cabinets, so I gotta believe the same is true in the Gibson Factory! So, IMHO, there's really no excuse for this. Not being able to drill two holes in a piece of wood so the location for the bridge can be achieved properly, or having a neck set that is flat and level to the body, is simply unforgivable! And, the worse part of this is, I believe they know about this and are doing nothing about it!

    My guitar is a 2021, and I have the ability to compare it to a good friend's 2019. My guitar was clearly made differently, as mine came with a lightning bar bridge vs the older 'rolled' bridge.....the kind from back in the 50s and 60s. His 2019 has the bass post moved back further than mine which is more the 'vintage' style of construction. My Lightning Bar bridge required the posts to be essentially straight across from each other, as the compensating is done by the bridge saddles cast into the bridge. So WTF couldn't Gibson make this change and do so properly? They obviously changed it, so why is the 'production' guitar so far off? I just don get it!! And, I won't even get in to issues with neck shape and carve at the head stock. Or if the fret board itself is made correctly. Suffice it to say this guitar is an embarrassment to the Gibson name, and what's worse is that it seems to be that it's consistant with what's coming out of that company these days! It's only forgivable if they change.....and even then, that has to be done now, not 'down the road'.

    So that's the question: Do you think writing a letter to the Gibson Company HQ and it's new CEO is worth the effort, or do you think it would just be met with some 'form letter' response from some under-paid company spokes-person; a Customer Relations personnel who would dismiss the issue without it ever being laid on the CEO's desk? My guess is the latter, but then maybe there's a way to get through to the executive office that someone out there knows about that I don't? If so, lease let me know and I'll give it a shot....complete with photos!

    So endeth my rant!!!

    Tom D.
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Biddlin's butthurt balm.jpg
    If you don't like it, get rid of it. Gibson don't care.
    My question, having purchased a number of Gibson guitars from Sweetwater with no issues over the years, is why didn't you just send the guitar back? These kind of posts remind me of a friend who goes on vacation every year and then comes home with slides of torn carpet, scuffed furniture and sad looking taxis so he can have friends over to tell them how terrible it was.
     
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  3. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    Did you return it?
     
  4. Chuteboxehero

    Chuteboxehero Well-Known Member

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    This made me chuckle. I know a few people like this. As far as the disappointed new SG owner, send it back. Although the odds are against it, maybe you got a dud. From what I've read and witnessed firsthand, I'd say overall quality is better now than in recent history.
     
  5. Tom Dickinson

    Tom Dickinson New Member

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    Well, 'update' here: I decided to go ahead and contact Gibson and talk to one of their Customer Relations phone reps. After speaking with 'Bob', he seemed pretty confident that based on my description of the issues with the guitar, it ought to come back to the factory. So, an RA (Return Authorization) has been issued, and tomorrow I'll be packing up the guitar and sending it back. I also have to do a 'write-up' According to Bob the guitar will be directed to their Quality Control group who will go over it, as well as review the process of how it managed to get out of the factory with these kinds of issues. Clearly, it should not have!

    Biddlin: Gibson DOES appear to care!! Maybe you've been indulging in too much of your own BS, I mean 'Balm'..........

    Plankton: Going back tomorrow.....but to the Factory, not to Musician's Friend. I'm sure MF would have exchanged it, but that doesn't really address the issue of what's going on at Gibson that allowed this to happen in the first place. Frankly, I happen to give a damn about that! I view Gibson as an Iconic US company....the #2 oldest guitar manufacturer in the world....behind the Martin company! Seems to me that they'd want to stay in business! So, proper feedback from people who do truly know what they're talking about is a good way to stay on top of production problems......and/or design issues as well.

    CBH, while the 'dud' prospect does exist, I think it might be a bit more than a one-off type error. But, that's really up to Gibson to sort out. I doubt I'll ever really know.....and I don't honestly care. Just so long as I get a guitar back that is what it should be in terms of overally quality!

    So..... guess the next 'update' will come when I get it back from Gibson. If they give me any specific info regarding the issues with the guitar I'll post that info as well. Until then..... onward.........

    Tom D.
     
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  6. Westernrider

    Westernrider Well-Known Member

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    Please let us know how this problem gets sorted out.
     
  7. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Well, don't worry Tom D. I'm just here to read your puerile rants and tell you what big boys do when these things happen. Do let us know what Gibson says.
    It's called assembly line production. It's why the guitar only costs $1400 instead of $5k. I have spoken with a close friend who has one of these and could not be more pleased. Like my experience with every new Gibson in the last eight years, it came out of the box ready to rock.
     
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  8. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Member

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    The factory is probably slower than the retailer but maybe you’ll get a hand-picked replacement instead of a random from a warehouse.
     
  9. macdog

    macdog Member

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    My Junior is 2013 with the knobs in the wrong place, but it is a killer guitar. You were unlucky, these things are monsters.
     
  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    What you describe is Gibson not caring. They produce units (stuff in boxes - they don't care what). They say there is a quality control scheme and there is - it's called the customer. If they used an internal QC scheme, probably half of the "units" would be returned for repair. That costs. So they send them out to customers secure in the knowledge that ninety percent of the crap won't come back because the customer isn't sufficiently motivated to do more than gripe on a forum. The very few that do make an issue of it are treated well because the cost of that is minimal. You will probably get a new guitar. Yours will be returned to despatch for some other poor b*stard to decide whether it is worth the effort of returning it.
     
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  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if you think "the world" is the USA, which many do :facepalm:

    Epiphone was founded in 1873, 29 years before Gibson (1902). There are others like Yamaha 1887, Washburn 1883 ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2021
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    I have a guitar that was made in Germany in 1788. The parochial viewpoint of so many Americans can get depressing.
     
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  13. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    If it were my guitar, and I had purchased it from a place with a good return policy, I would have sent it back for a replacement.

    That is assuming there is a replacement to be had.

    That would be faster than dealing with warranty returns from the manufacturer, but I'm glad it's going to be resolved.
     
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  14. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    Here in the UK, manufacturers are not involved with the customer when it comes to warranties. The customer's contract is with the shop, then the shop's contract is with the manufacturer. If I buy a guitar from Fred Smith's Guitars and it's a dud, I take it back to Fred Smith's Guitars. Returning it to the manufacturer is then his problem. I don't like the idea of an implied contact that neither party actually agreed to. Sounds like a lawyer's paradise.
     
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  15. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this comment. I also would have sent it back to MF. That way I could exchange it, or better yet, her a refund and purchase with confidence in person at another location.

    the issue with dealing with Gibson, is it will be a slow process and you will lose the refund Avenue should you not be happy in the end.

    It is good for Gibson to get the feedback and an opportunity to make things right. But I think the above process would have been quicker with a better chance of customer satisfaction on your end.




     
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  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Fresh from the factory to the OP: One exactly like he has.
     
  17. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Non-Lightning Bar Wraparound was used from 1961-62 and installed at an angle in relation to the pickup.

    Lightning Bar Wraparound was used from 1963-1971 and installed parallel to the pickup.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
  18. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I have bought numerous Gibson online, including some customs. I have been happy with all of them. I buy with confidence In The fact that if i want to send it back, I can. Your basically trying before you buy. You just have to put a deposit.

    my Angus YoungCustom was my riskiest order, but I couldn’t be happier. It was impossible to find, and then I paid American dollars and import fees and customs etc. Not my cheapest purchase, and also there were fees associated that WERE non-refundable.

    I read these horror stories and wonder how picky folks are being sometimes.. not to say every guitar is perfect, but things like a proper set up may be required (maybe not). Gibson does a descent set up, but it may not be to your liking or playing style. Think if someone who plays slide, they don’t want a standard set up. They may want a higher or lower action. When I buy a guitar I expect it to be playable and reasonable set up. I also expect that I likely have to take it to a luthier for a proper set up.

    Again, when they are set up in the factory and shipped out, one guitar may end up in Arizona (dry) and another may end up in Florida (humid) requiring a new set up due to environmental conditions. That’s not necessarily Gibsons fault.

    I do hope it works out for you. But if your expectations were unrealistic I. The first place, you may well be disappointed again. Then again, maybe Gibson goes the extra mile for you.

    I admire you took the high road approach of directing the issue at Gibson. musicians Friend got a guaranteed sale because of it. I will be staying tuned to see how it plays out for you.

    Again, there is nothing wrong with high expectations. Especially on a premium guitar. But if you are being unrealistic you will be disappointed again. At the end of the day this is a production run guitar that is pumped out of a factory off of a CNC machine. In order to keep costs low, and yes, $1400 is low, they have to complete as much of the manufacturing with automation as possible. When You consider this, the difference between lower end guitars and premium comes down to materials and components. The Epiphone Les Paul CNC machine in China probably cuts the same dimension and tolerance as the Gibson one. Honestly not sure, but you start to wonder…

    Best of luck, honestly.
     
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  19. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Dude, what is your problem? You're acting like the guy is nit-picking tiny finish imperfections. The guitar can't intonate properly even when the adjustments are maxed out. That's a legit issue.

    Please keep your personal insults and bad attitude to yourself, it ruins the forum for everyone and makes newcomers feel unwelcome. This isn't supposed to be a Les Paul forum where everyone has a stick up their ass.
     
  20. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    What is the preferred tonewood for ass sticks? or should we start a new thread?
     
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