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

alex1fly

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Haven't seen the guitar, but I suspect the OP's point is valid based upon: had a 2018 junior with the angled uncompensated bridge - worked perfectly; have a 2019 special with the lightening bar which arrived with problems (studs and bridge), got 100 euros refund on warranty then got non-Gibson replacement locking studs and bridge - far better, a stable bridge with decent intonation; spoke to several very experienced special/junior players who also had problems with 2019 (and after) lightening bars who made similar bridge/studs changes.

The lightening bridge has always had issues, the majority of specials on ebay/reverb from the 60s onwards have had bridge upgrades, so it's a shame that Gibson put them on the new Juniors (I didn't realise they had...) because an angled bridge (especially the aftermarket compensated bridges, non-lightening...) work great, imho.

Hope the OP gets a replacement he's happy with because a good SG Junior is as good as it gets.
...all this...and not a blinkin' picture of it...>sigh<

No photos nor confirmation that OP did anything besides fiddle with the bridge. I'm standing by my assumption that something else was off with the setup, rather than that a brand new guitar was manufactured incorrectly. As much as people like to complain about Gibson's QA/QC, there are still standard practices that everyone should take with their guitars, ESPECIALLY NEW ONES, before blaming the manufacturer. A $100 visit to a tech could have solved this issue on Day One. Or not. If his replacement is also screwy, I hope for his sake he takes it to a professional.
 

alex1fly

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It IS clear Gibson doesn’t care about customers, their desire to have a decent guitar, and their QC/QA are non existent. Send the guitar BACK and NEVER buy another guitar without PLAYING it in a music/guitar store. It IS how you find “that magical” guitar “you can’t live without”.

Also +100000

Been at this 20 years. Buying guitars online is a slippery slope of hopes and what-ifs. Nothing compares to feeling an instrument your hands. The magic isn't in the product line or the model or the brand... it's in the connection between you and the individual instrument.
 

PermissionToLand

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No photos nor confirmation that OP did anything besides fiddle with the bridge. I'm standing by my assumption that something else was off with the setup, rather than that a brand new guitar was manufactured incorrectly. As much as people like to complain about Gibson's QA/QC, there are still standard practices that everyone should take with their guitars, ESPECIALLY NEW ONES, before blaming the manufacturer. A $100 visit to a tech could have solved this issue on Day One. Or not. If his replacement is also screwy, I hope for his sake he takes it to a professional.

Unlikely a setup would fix intonation being beyond the adjustable range unless he had the action set super high. Relief couldn't make that significant a difference unless the neck was badly bowed. And needless to say, Gibson shouldn't be sending out guitars with bowed necks and high action if that's the case. That said, I agree that everyone who doesn't do their own work should get a setup on any new guitar.
 

PermissionToLand

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It IS clear Gibson doesn’t care about customers, their desire to have a decent guitar, and their QC/QA are non existent. Send the guitar BACK and NEVER buy another guitar without PLAYING it in a music/guitar store. It IS how you find “that magical” guitar “you can’t live without”.

More like "how you find the guitar that happens to have the nicest setup". I've bought a bunch of guitars sight unseen and all they needed was a setup. Most "dogs" in a shop just need the same.
 

Go Nigel Go

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Yup. I love checking out the used guitars wherever I go. Odds are good if it was owned by a player who fine tuned the set up over a period of years it won't matter what brand or model it is, that will be the one that plays the best. I have played $300 guitars that rocked the socks off other guitars on the wall costing many times that figure. In all cases the difference is what was done (or not done) after the instruments left the factory that leads to a standout axe.
 

cerebral gasket

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The other great thing about purchasing second hand guitars is that some will already have whisky dents, so accidentally adding a few more in the future doesn’t sting as much compared to the first one on a new guitar.
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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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.
When you contacted Gibson and described in detail (as you did in your original post) what the instrument's issues were, the message you delivered was perceived to be coming from someone who is articulate and knows the geometry and mechanics of guitars. A guitar whose action cannot be adjusted because of physical limits, and also cannot be "intonated", is an incorrectly built one. Glad to hear that they agreed to accept it for repair or replacement. I've had dealings with them when my '68 SG Standard needed a neck reset back in 2006 because of a sideways fall which broke the glue bond at the body joint, they repaired it. It wasn't cheap and took 8 weeks to get it back, but they do fine work. Your return (in warranty) should be done at no cost to you, including the shipping return. Let us know how it went, and Good Luck!
 

Brooklyn Zeke

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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.
If you'd read what the OP wrote, it should have been obvious that he knew what he was talking about. Mr. Dickinson wasn't being "picky". He was sold what should have been an abortion. A "proper setup" is impossible to perform on said guitar. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when spending $1,400 is considered cheap, and a customer should have no expectation of receiving a quality item at that price level. If you'd said that to me, I'd have set fire to that guitar and launched it up some place on your anatomy where the sun don't shine.
 

Decadent Dan

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Actually warranty work shipping is at the owners cost. Non-warranty repairs get free shipping. Of course it’s wrapped up in the repair pricing. Nothing is free.
 

pancake81

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If you'd read what the OP wrote, it should have been obvious that he knew what he was talking about. Mr. Dickinson wasn't being "picky". He was sold what should have been an abortion. A "proper setup" is impossible to perform on said guitar. It is indeed a sad state of affairs when spending $1,400 is considered cheap, and a customer should have no expectation of receiving a quality item at that price level. If you'd said that to me, I'd have set fire to that guitar and launched it up some place on your anatomy where the sun don't shine.

I think, perhaps, you misinterpreted my message. Many of my comments were broad and not specific to the OP, but rather observations with Gibson and guitar purchasers in general. No disrespect intended to anyone. Including yourself

On that matter, I think you perhaps are the one posting comments a bit sharper than necessary. I am grateful I didn’t make those comments to yourself, because as you said, you would have sent a flaming guitar up my arse.

Not sure my comment warranted that…
 

Biddlin

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Not sure my comment warranted that…

Funny how the dung tossers are accusing everyone else. You wouldn't believe the completely illogical response I got for reporting a personal insult from someone with whom I've never had interaction.
 

Super fuzz

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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.
5 paragraphs and not a single photo???
 

papagayo

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I suspect it was a monday morning or a friday afternon made SG Junior... :rofl:
 

Sootio

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Seeing as how the bodies are done by CNC, the chances of the bridge location being off are infinitesimal.
 

Bettyboo

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Biddlin is a cool guy - I've learnt a lot from him about SGs over many years. OK, he can be grumpy, but he knows his stuff and has added hugely to this forum.

Yeah, the opening post was a bit whiny, bu we've all been there, and at 70 years old and buying a new Gibson, he has every right to be.

I'm open to all ideas here because we haven't seen or handled the guitar.

But, the fact remains: on a Junior/Special if the neck isn't set right then you are f%^k3d.
(Of course, that can move once it's outside the factory, so it isn't always Gibson's fault.)

I was thinking about SGs, as you do, and the years 2011/2012 (owned one), 2013 (owned one), 2016 (wish I owned one, especially the P90 standard with batwing...), 2018 (owned one), 2019 (own one)... have been pretty good guitars, imho.

But, they are not perfect and do have issues (the Gibson lightening bridge, imho, is rubbish, always has been and always will be, especially when not properly sun k into the body like most years since its introduction...).


:io:
 

Go Nigel Go

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I will just say that a guitar that can not be intonated using the provided adjustments is a problem. If that is the case as stated in the original post, Gibson needs to be aware of it and do something about it.

That said, intonation adjustments are a part of the overall set up process, by which I mean there is a certain basic level of understanding of guitar geometry and the order of steps and checks that are necessary to do the job correctly. If you don't understand the process it is entirely possible to get farther out of adjustment with every change rather than closer to correct.

My first recommendation to someone having trouble setting up a new Gibson guitar would be to make sure they understand the process. It isn't super difficult, but you do have to do things correctly and understand and verify the desired results of each adjustment before moving on to the next step. I would assume that Gibson would verify some of this knowledge with the owner before issuing a return authorization, so there may indeed be a problem with this guitar. CNC does not preclude errors, it just means the machine will precisely follow the instructions given without any judgment or care for the final results. As such, if someone grabbed the wrong body, or instructed the wrong dimensions, it is still possible an error could occur. It is just more likely for an error to occur with the end user making the adjustments, so that should be ruled out first.
 

donepearce

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There is a huge assumption here - that Gibson's aim is a fine guitar. It isn't. Gibson's duty as a limited liability company is to maximise profits to its shareholders. Every extra process is another few bucks off that bottom line and Gibson, like every company, has to find a balance between the cost of production and the cost of warranty. It has, and this is the result. Gibson's business is gluing together bits of wood and drilling holes in them. Time and time again it has proved this to be a sloppy, hit and miss process. And I guarantee that all the crap happens wherever there is handwork.
A well-run automated machine line is the key to quality. And of course, stop making the stupid things out of wood. That is a disaster waiting to happen.
This is how the model works

cost model.gif
 
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