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I was at Guitar Center yesterday. There was a Gibson LP Standard Limited Edition for sale. Orig price listed was $3099 and it had been marked down to $1999, then to $1799.

Looked nice from a distance. I picked it up and had a look. It was heavy as a hog - body was not chambered. The guitar was new and was not worn or damaged.

However, I was very disappointed in the detail and finish. There were rough finish "nibs" you could easily feel around the neck heel. The binding didn't completely cover the maple top on the sides in a few places and the maple was clearly visible as a thin line above the mahogany. It wasn't uniform, just in a few places. The flame inlay on the headstock had finish gaps all around it - looked like the black had been scraped away before the clear was applied but not only was it visible but you could easily feel it. The block inlays on the rosewood fretboard were pretty good.

I was surprised. If I was going to pay $1799 for an LP or anything else (I'm not), I expect it to be finished perfectly.

What's the deal?

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hmm...interesting.

my studio plus 99 is perfect..with the exception of a roughly cut nut.

sometimes i think that guitar center gets sent a bulk set of crap guitars...maybe they push to get them quicker than they should.

like buying an appliance at wal mart...they just always seem to crap out before the same appliance from sears...believe it or not

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Is this a used Gibson? I have found several rather bad flaws in Gibsons made in the last 4 years but they don't seem to show up right away. Maybe they have had this one in stock for a while. And, yeah, a lot of retailers buy the near-seconds. Gibson is not the only one that will sell them but they sell the most of em. Funny, though, it is usually the mailorder people that try to use the "happy to get it" syndrome to pass off defects. Hmmm.

I almost forgot to add. With Gibsons, the edges of the fretboard are starting to look like they are pre-finished and just glued on. Rather disturbing trend.

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Wow, none of this is sounding good. I'm looking at getting a les paul custom made for me within the next 5 years.... Of course that will be a lot more expensive, but I don't want no standard that you see all the time.

Anyone know if the customs have quality issues?

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sometimes i think that guitar center gets sent a bulk set of crap guitars...maybe they push to get them quicker than they should.

like buying an appliance at wal mart...they just always seem to crap out before the same appliance from sears...believe it or not

I know that Guitar Center really strong arms companies into big price cuts to them for the mass quantities they buy.

Maybe the suppliers are hard pressed to meet the quantities asked for from GC so they really spit them out since the GC market seems to be aimed at first time buyers that don't know what to look for in a good guitar anyways. :D

If you have one commissioned, stay away from Litchfield Custom Gutars and research the builder so you don't get ripped off. B)

I'm sure you know that but I had to say it. :D

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I know that Guitar Center really strong arms companies into big price cuts to them for the mass quantities they buy.

Maybe the suppliers are hard pressed to meet the quantities asked for from GC so they really spit them out since the GC market seems to be aimed at first time buyers that don't know what to look for in a good guitar anyways.

yeah..i am thinking specifically of a bunch of les paul juniors that gc demanded very quickly and cheaply...i played one that a beginner bought for $400...the guitar was completely a total pos...the top was even unlevel....to an alarming degree...and the frets were horrid

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Funny thing, I'd been looking for a Les Paul for the last 8 months or so and all of the ones I found from either Musician's Friend or Guitar Center all had problems. The most common was finish bubbles around the area where the fretboard meets the top of the body. The Classic I wound up buying from a small dealer had no finish problems, perfect inlays, and a stellar fretjob. I chalk it up to the fact that when a smaller shop gets an instrument in that is utterly unsellable, they'll send it back, whereas GC/MF will go ahead and sell it to someone who otherwise doesn't notice or care as long as it says Gibson on the headstock and has a purdy maple top.

People seem to think that you should buy the first guitar you see instead of looking around a little. If I'm dropping that kind of a scratch on an instrument, I'm going to look around until I find the right one. It took me 8 months and about 30 LPs in five states, but I found mine sure 'nuff. And it wasn't at Guitar Center.

Funny how when MARS was around I don't remember their inventory having that many quality problems. Maybe my memory is just fuzzy, or I just miss MARS.

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I bought my '73 Les Paul Custom for five hundred bones from a guy who was getting married and buying a house with his new bride.

Don't know how that marriage ever worked out, but the guitar is doing just fine, 20 years later and still screaming. :D

But yes, I've been hearing these Gibson horror stories for several years now...to the point that I would never even consider buying a new one no matter what, their reputation is shot to hell now, and has been for several years.

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But yes, I've been hearing these Gibson horror stories for several years now...to the point that I would never even consider buying a new one no matter what, their reputation is shot to hell now, and has been for several years.

It happened to Harley Davidson before they woke up. I remember the time (God, doesn't THAT sound old :D ) when dealers would put cardboard underneath new Harleys in the showroom to catch the oil drips.

It would appear that Gibson needs the discipline of a very large and ravenous WOD of their own. Perhaps that would allow them to rediscover their identity.

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Sad times for a great company with a rich and long heritage.  :D

..."You don't understand, I could've had class, I coulda been a contender, I coulda ~been~ somebody... instead of a bum..."

Drak, seen "On the Waterfront" lately?

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A while back I played a LP DC Worn Yellow. Sounded great, felt like hammered crap. You could feel the line on the neck where the side of the fretboard was masked for paint. And what's up with the "worn" finishes, anyway? They look like a really bad rattlecan job.

For the money, I could build a couple and they'd look a lot better.

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I have a Les Paul DC Standard from 1998, and I love it. It's the best guitar I've ever owned. I understand that Gibson discontinued these for awhile, and then started making them again because of demand. I've heard several complaints about the newer ones.

I think it's a major quality control issue. I've gone into music stores and played a $700 SG that was great, and right next to it is a $1200 SG that really sucks. And don't even get me started on the plywood $h!t that is Epiphone LP copies. I think in the $300 to $400 price range, Fenders are ten times the quality of the Gibson Epiphones.

As for the faded finishes, they're not really my thing either, but that's always been the case with several guitar companies. They seem to follow whatever fad is going on at the time. I hated the hot pink stuff in the 80's, too, but the least they can do is apply it properly so it looks and feels right.

Something that really burns me up, and this happened on the above mentioned LP DC, is how a company can build such a great guitar, and put such cheap electronics in it. About a week after I bought it, the pickup switch started getting scratchy, and I had to wiggle it around to get it to make good contact. I replaced it myself for a few bucks, and it's been fine ever since. But the fact that I spent over 1K on a guitar and something as simple as the pickup switch failed in a week, that's really sad.

There are still good Gibsons out there, you just have to weed through all the crap to find them... But how many people want to go through the trouble of doing that?

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That's true, especially when you can walk into a PRS dealer and walk out with a near-perfect guitar for well under $2k. I liked the tone and feel of the Gibsons better, so that's why I held out for one, but I was tempted many times by the McCarty and the Dragon IIs on the CU22. Just a better value, overall.

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