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More Info On Gibsons New Fretboards

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ok, i assume we have all heard about baked maple by now... as well as obeche(which is oddly black), richlite, granadillo and Katalox

well they finally released a statement about them

http://www2.gibson.com/Support/FAQ-Tonewoods.aspx

my favorite bits:

Will Indian rosewood ever be used by Gibson again?

Yes, and it is actually being used now. At this time, Gibson is not using traditional Indian rosewood fingerboard blanks. The Gibson R&D team engineered a new process that is sonically virtually indistinguishable by layering two thinner pieces of Indian rosewood together with the grain of one in reverse direction of the other.

How good is a guitar with a layered fingerboard?

Very. Consider that guitar Gibson necks have always been layered - a fingerboard onto a neck. The body of a Les Paul guitar, for example, has always been layered; maple on top of mahogany.

reads a bit odd.   basically justifying laminated construction... and its an odd place to have laminated construction.  

i want to know more about the grain direction in these two laminates.  do they both run headstock/body?  or are they 90 degrees.   if both headstock to body are they cut from the same piece with one flipped round?   if so, why?  If 90 degress, will the fretboard not be less stiff than before?  will it tear out easier when refretted?

sounds odd either way.

Why is the Gibson Obeche black when, in its natural state, the wood is light in color, similar to maple?

Gibson uses Obeche that is specifically engineered in Europe to be used as fingerboard material. This material can be dyed many different colors as it is processed; we chose black for some current models. (We may use other colors in the future.) The surface of the wood is not stained; the color goes through the entire piece of wood. It will not rub off or lose its color.

sounds like i called this one.  i would bet its an acrylic polymer that is basically pressure cooked till all the way through the wood... i.e acrylised wood like larry davis provides at gallery hardwoods

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i want to know more about the grain direction in these two laminates. do they both run headstock/body? or are they 90 degrees. if both headstock to body are they cut from the same piece with one flipped round? if so, why?

I would say the first answer...because grain is rarely perfectly straight it would tend to be a stronger arrangement I would think and less prone to twisting,same as a laminate neck but smaller in scale.It would make no sense at all to flip one 90 degrees.

I would have complete faith in that method and have considered laminate fretboards myself of different colored woods just to look cool

Anybody want to call BS?

Not me.i currently own an SG standard and an Explorer and I love them both.IMO better workmanship and materials than most other production guitars of that price range...aside from Edwards and Ibanez' Japanese models

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i want to know more about the grain direction in these two laminates. do they both run headstock/body? or are they 90 degrees. if both headstock to body are they cut from the same piece with one flipped round? if so, why?

I would say the first answer...because grain is rarely perfectly straight it would tend to be a stronger arrangement I would think and less prone to twisting,same as a laminate neck but smaller in scale.It would make no sense at all to flip one 90 degrees.

I would have complete faith in that method and have considered laminate fretboards myself of different colored woods just to look cool

that is kind of my point. i can see how taking a piece of wood, splitting it and reglueing the opposite way round would make for a stronger fretboard. But i dont think that is what they are doing.

basically they cant get rosewood of the thickness they need so they are getting two thinner bits and glueing them. if they just said that my only concern would be the extra chipping risk when refretting.

but they say:

with the grain of one in reverse direction of the other.
this is easy to do when splitting one piece of wood and flipping one half, not so easy when you start with 2 thin bits of random rosewood.

i guess it all still works if they wood has been cut and consecutively stacked before exported from India, so maybe that is it. this is gibson though, and even if they are doing that now it wont be long before they start differentiating between face and substrate rosewood

but any pretences of extra strength doesnt hide the fact they simply cant get the material the way they want it

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Yeah,but the randomness of the grain overlapping is what is going to increase the strength(or counter any weak spots,if you prefer)IMO

But obviously like you say it is just to use pieces they otherwise could not...not such a bad thing.And of course they have to spin their viewpoint on it so instead of saying "we can't get the proper thicknesses anymore so this is the best we can do" they are saying "this is structurally sound and this is why"

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Honestly we all know the guitar building world is going to change as exotic woods get more scarce,and we all use laminates like crazy...so why shouldn't they do what they have to do?

It's really just conserving what they have available and finding a use for it instead of just throwing it out

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Anybody want to call BS?

Not me.i currently own an SG standard and an Explorer and I love them both.IMO better workmanship and materials than most other production guitars of that price range...aside from Edwards and Ibanez' Japanese models

Really? I don't own one, but I've heard such awful things about their build quality lately. And I guess I was thinking more about the Les Pauls, but still...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/gibson-sg-standard-electric-guitar

$1199

OR

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/parker-guitars-df522fr-maxx-fly-with-floyd-rose-electric-guitar

$1199

OR

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/schecter-guitar-research-dan-donegan-ultra-signature-electric-guitar

$1049

OR (and this would be my choice)

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/godin-xtsa-flame-electric-guitar

$998

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The body is made from a silverleaf maple center with poplar wings and decorated with a figured maple veneer on top.

this is from the Godin...really..workmanship and materials.Cheapest of both it seems

The Gibson SG standard is a much better guitar than those others IMO.Gibson haters always talk crap about Gibson "build quality",but most of those guys are buying the "faded" low end models....

Their best build quality seems to be on the LPs in my experience,but all of my Gibsons are and have been "heritage quality instruments"...meaning you will hand them down to your kids and they may hand them down to theirs,if any reasonable measures are taken to keep them out of bad weather.

Those 3rd world imports are a crap shoot

Seriously...you should look at Edwards guitars on ebay if you have some bias against Gibson(Gibson is not exactly a match for everyone),...serious build quality at great prices.Trust me on this...I have one and it is stellar...got it from mijsixstringkatana

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=edwards+guitar&_sacat=See-All-Categories

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Yeah...honestly I've always liked the Gibsons I've played. The necks feel good, and my first electric guitar was almost a Gibson LP Jr Special (which, in retrospect, I wish I would have bought). Instead, I got an American Deluxe Tele, which is nice, but I'm sure I'll sell someday. Like the Gibsons, I feel like a large portion of the price is printed across the headstock.

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Honestly we all know the guitar building world is going to change as exotic woods get more scarce,and we all use laminates like crazy...so why shouldn't they do what they have to do?

It's really just conserving what they have available and finding a use for it instead of just throwing it out

dont get me wrong, i am all for alternative materials which is why i have been following their struggles quite closely

i was a bit confused though, they were advertising guitars as having granadillo or obeche fretboards which looked very black in the pictures. they provided no explanation of how it got that way. :?

just seemd a bit off that they were obviously calling torrified maple 'baked maple' because people know maple isnt that dark... but most guitarists dont know what granadillo or obeche look like so they didnt bother confirming any other process... until people started moaning about it on forums :D

anyway, in my book alternative materials = great

veneer fretboards though... gonna have to see how they stand the test of time

if i was just moaning about gibson i would moan about the price of these

http://store.gibson.com/historic-spec-bumble-bee-capacitors-two-pack/

when they are made like this

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/historics-reissues/118027-historic-gibson-faux-bumblebee-caps.html

and just to prove gibson does respond to forum attacks, they did try to justify the construction. though they didnt ever try and justify why their new cap in an old shell is at least triple the price of any other alternative

http://ashbass.com/Gibson/GibsonCaps/GibsonStory/Response.htm

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Like the Gibsons, I feel like a large portion of the price is printed across the headstock.

Yes they are expensive,and the profit margin seems high,but you always adjust the price to keep demand at a level you can keep up with.

If Gibson cut the price of all of their guitars in half with no adjustment to build quality,demand would soon leave them struggling to keep up and quality would suffer.

If demand is so high you need to raise prices to keep it low enough to continue building at the pace you are comfortable with,then that is what you have to do.

As far as the capacitors we all know that is ridiculous,but it is a specialty product they really have no need to produce,and we sure don't need to buy it....let the suckers have those

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The constant problem I recieve whenever I work a Gibson Les Paul (studios, and ones that don't have the weight reduction), is the strap pin on the upper hump. I've been in repairs since 2004, and I've replaced at least 50. While it may lower the value of the instrument to not have original parts in it anymore, at least the thing will stay on using a screw with deeper threads...

Also, because of the laminations being applied to USA models, you guys' prelaminate models are going to go up in value.

Now, I've seen a lot of you build what I would consider to be leaps and bounds above the quality that Gibson cranks out of their Tennessee building. For the price, it seems worth it to buy here rather than there.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't want a late 80's SG Studio though :D

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I have only played once recent Gibson, a goldtop lp. I didn't care for it but it was setup with 8's a supper low action which is not my thing. The craftsmanship looked fine, nothing that grabbed me either way. One thing I will say against them is when I go into the local Sam Ash none of them have had even a basic setup. One glance and you know the intonation is bad. This says as much about Sam Ash as Gibson but for the $$'s they are asking they should leave the factory in playable shape.

I do worry with a laminate fingerboard about the ability to dress the board in the future. If the top laminate is too thin you could run into some problems when it comes to seating new frets.

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is the strap pin on the upper hump.

I have that problem on every guitar.I put straplocks on and it becomes an improvement...they come with larger screws.

Gibsons NEED straplocks anyway....nothing devalues an instrument like it hitting the stage,and those stock buttons are not good.

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I didn't care for it but it was setup with 8's a supper low action which is not my thing.

I had the same problem with a "friend's" LP...my fingers kept slipping off the strings...he got insulted when i told him the action was too low....Which was funny because the only reason I was playing it was at his request because he "wanted to hear what it was supposed to sound like" :D

I spent weeks trying to get the guy to my house because I heard he was decent and might be good enough to help me with double parts on recording,and then he punked out and would not play in front of me.. :D

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Check out Edwards on ebay...there is an import fee but it's worth it...if she won't spend that much on you the xavierre guitars at GFS are very good bang for the buck...better than epiphone IMO

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Gibson haters always talk crap about Gibson "build quality",but most of those guys are buying the "faded" low end models....

Their best build quality seems to be on the LPs in my experience,but all of my Gibsons are and have been "heritage quality instruments"...meaning you will hand them down to your kids and they may hand them down to theirs,if any reasonable measures are taken to keep them out of bad weather.

I'm not a gibson hater - but i've probably been guilty of spreading the above statement :D When I lived in nashville i'd go frequent the gibson showcase there at Opry Mills. I think gibson makes some fantastic instruments - but the problem is that you could walk through the store and pick up a $10k Paul that played like crap and then pick up a $1k Studio paul that played like a dream.. Go in the next day you might find something different. There is always something to be said for the in-store setup, however, on a 10k instrument, one would hope they spent some time with it before putting it out on the shelf. The problems I found weren't just set up related though - you know a guitar is solid when you pick it up. If a guitar doesn't "feel" right unplugged, it probably won't feel right plugged in either. Most of the big manufacturers are guilty of inconsistent quality. I would say the biggest reason Gibson gets singled out is that they cost so much more. Now you have Epi's that are up in the > $1k range.. hard not to scrutinize when an item gets so expensive.

As far as the new types of builds for their fingerboards.. I'm not surprised that Gibson is trying to figure out new ways to manufacture fretboards. Between the dwindling supplies of hardwoods and the threat of G-men breaking down their doors and taking their raw materials - i'd be looking for alternative building methods too. We can scour the web for individual pieces when we're building our own instruments.. these big guys have to buy palettes of material so it's a little harder sometimes to come by materials. I wouldn't be surprised either if the Lacey act goes through some major changes in the coming months - and maybe gibson won't be so scared of indian rosewood slabs anymore.

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I think gibson makes some fantastic instruments - but the problem is that you could walk through the store and pick up a $10k Paul that played like crap and then pick up a $1k Studio paul that played like a dream..

Agreed,you should always play before you buy...but IMO a good Gibson has a feel that just speaks to me like not much else.

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I think gibson makes some fantastic instruments - but the problem is that you could walk through the store and pick up a $10k Paul that played like crap and then pick up a $1k Studio paul that played like a dream..

Agreed,you should always play before you buy...but IMO a good Gibson has a feel that just speaks to me like not much else.

Here in the UK, it is very difficult to buy the guitar you try in the smaller shops. Take one off the wall, it feels perfect, looks perfect, plays and sounds exactly how you like it, but when you try and buy it, the answer is, "Sorry mate, you can't have that one, that's only the display model. I'll have to order one for you." The one he orders turns out to be crap, but they still expect you to pay for it :D

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orry mate, you can't have that one, that's only the display model. I'll have to order one for you

I walk out.If I want to order one i can do that online

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orry mate, you can't have that one, that's only the display model. I'll have to order one for you

I walk out.If I want to order one i can do that online

I only ever bought one guitar in a shop, a cheap Japanese Strat copy, and that was well over 30 years ago. It was the best of the bunch, and with a bit of time setting it up, it played pretty good.

I have, however, accompanied many friends to shops to try and buy a guitar, but most times the answer has been as above, and I've recommended the friends don't settle for having one ordered for them. It's better to travel to buy one directly, and mostly they have taken my advice. I made guitars for some of them for around the same price it would have cost them to buy a name brand, but they did get exactly what they wanted in the way of specification and setup, and of course, they had body shapes that couldn't be bought in shops :D

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