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Old 07-30-2015, 03:37 PM   #1
samclayton19
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"Cheap'er Gibsons"

So Gibson has their "cheaper" guitars that are in the 1,000$ dollar price range. I've heard that they are horrible, bad tone, and cheaply made compared to guitars in the price range. But I've also heard that they are a workhorse of a guitar with passable tone. Anyone care to shed some light on this?

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Old 07-30-2015, 03:45 PM   #2
monwobobbo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclayton19
So Gibson has their "cheaper" guitars that are in the 1,000$ dollar price range. I've heard that they are horrible, bad tone, and cheaply made compared to guitars in the price range. But I've also heard that they are a workhorse of a guitar with passable tone. Anyone care to shed some light on this?


depends on which ones you are looking at. i wouldn't classify any of them as horrible just not as nice as their higher priced brethern. the Les Paul Studio is considered by many to be a solid guitar that plays well and sounds great. some of the recent J model guitars were kinda on the cheaply made side but again not horrible.
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:50 PM   #3
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I like the matte finishes of the cheaper Gibsons, like the SJs. Infact, I much prefer it to the gloss. I just can't get past the dot inlays. If they had proper inlays, I'd definitely buy one or a few.

Same goes for the Studios. I don't mind Gibson putting matte finishes on or skimping on things I can upgrade like the hardware and electronics, but I would never buy one of the Studios without binding or proper inlays. It's a stupid business plan IMO. As is calling a £400 guitar a melody maker. As if that will sell.
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Old 07-30-2015, 04:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samclayton19
So Gibson has their "cheaper" guitars that are in the 1,000$ dollar price range. I've heard that they are horrible, bad tone, and cheaply made compared to guitars in the price range. But I've also heard that they are a workhorse of a guitar with passable tone. Anyone care to shed some light on this?


You need to make your own experiences....

opinions based on hear-say are worthless, IMO

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Old 07-30-2015, 05:27 PM   #5
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I have one of the 60's Tribute Sg's and they are terrible. The fretwork rips your skin off, the sound is pretty meh and it's noisy as hell. It's extremely light though, you barely notice it hanging on your shoulder.
This guitar is in fact so sh*tty it somehow becomes that super ugly yucky thing you love because it's so ugly and yucky and it's yours..like a child you wanted but that lil sh*t didn't turn out as you wanted.
It did withstand a big load of stage rape, I really gave this guitar a hard time and it still works. Still..get a good Epiphone instead. The Epiphone Prophecy SG I have is better than most Gibsons I have ever played - same goes for the Prophecy Les Paul - just get rid of the EMG's and there you go.
I've always been a Gibson dude and a SG dude, but the fact that even my ''cheap'' Epiphone is better than the Standard I own makes me sad. And my 60's tribute is not even close to the my Standard.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:05 PM   #6
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When you get into any brand's lower end you may find the quality varies more. Doesn't mean you can't find a jem or an absolute dog, it means you may need access to several of the same model to increase your chances of finding a good one.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oh_My_Goth at #33524957
I have one of the 60's Tribute Sg's and they are terrible. The fretwork rips your skin off, the sound is pretty meh and it's noisy as hell. It's extremely light though, you barely notice it hanging on your shoulder.
This guitar is in fact so sh*tty it somehow becomes that super ugly yucky thing you love because it's so ugly and yucky and it's yours..like a child you wanted but that lil sh*t didn't turn out as you wanted.
It did withstand a big load of stage rape, I really gave this guitar a hard time and it still works. Still..get a good Epiphone instead. The Epiphone Prophecy SG I have is better than most Gibsons I have ever played - same goes for the Prophecy Les Paul - just get rid of the EMG's and there you go.
I've always been a Gibson dude and a SG dude, but the fact that even my ''cheap'' Epiphone is better than the Standard I own makes me sad. And my 60's tribute is not even close to the my Standard.

I own a Prophecy guitar as well. A Futura EX.

show


It's a very good guitar for what it is, but there's a reason it stays in the attic these days. My Gibson V just feels so much better to play. Even after I gave the Prophecy a full refret as the old frets wore out. After playing it a few weeks, I found myself putting it back in the attic again.

I'm thinking about selling it as my Gibson makes it more or less redundant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenG at #33525040
When you get into any brand's lower end you may find the quality varies more. Doesn't mean you can't find a jem or an absolute dog, it means you may need access to several of the same model to increase your chances of finding a good one.

This.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:16 PM   #8
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I like my SG special and Les Paul Studio quite a bit. I can't really find anything about them that I dislike. Both of them are more than "passable" when it comes to tone. And I'm primarily a Fender guy on top of that. As with anything in the guitar world, sometimes you get gems and sometimes you get duds. I think it would be absurd to say that all "cheap Gibson guitars" are bad quality in construction and tone. I'm sure there are some dud standards and above floating around out there too. When it comes to guitars - you don't always get what you pay for, no matter how expensive the item is. The few "faded/satin" Gibson guitars that I have played all seemed quite nice. Try a few out and try not to judge them by their price tag.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:41 PM   #9
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I have had a ton of gibsons lower end to high end. One person said it best and it is more about refinement as you go up the model lines. A lot more pro's tour with mid-> low level gibsons vs. super high end 59's or so.

Passable tone you say. Well the Gibson Studio LP has the same pickups as the Gibson Custom so I am not sure truly how much tone difference there really is (yes I know woods, body, etc, but stop being a cork sniffer)
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Old 07-30-2015, 08:03 PM   #10
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Low-end Gibsons range from awful to good. The biggest problem is poor fretwork-it's common for sub-$1000 Gibson fret ends to be worse than $99 Chinese guitars. The nut slots are usually too shallow and narrow. The finishes tend to have visible flaws and wear rapidly. They're not good guitars compared to similarly priced Asian models. IMHO Epiphone LPs and SGs are often better than Gibsons costing two or three times more.

But if you can get one used they can be a great deal. Especially if the previous owner has already paid to have the nut and frets cleaned up. I have three sub-$1000 Gibsons right now, and I love them. But none of them are worth more than the ~$400 I paid.
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:43 AM   #11
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Imo, if you plan on playing the shit out of it, and you're not a touring rockstar, a good, used, LP Studio or Special is one of the most efficient, effective, options available to a serious guitarist. (Alternatively, virtually all Fenders, MIM and up, as well.) Leave the gaudy LP for retirement.


I'm the type that, even with plenty of money, I wouldn't pay more than a couple grand for an electric guitar that didn't have some historical significance. But I feel a good Studio or Special has a pretty fair price tag. A few are duds, and disturbingly horrible, but most are quite nice compared to cheaper guitars.
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Old 07-31-2015, 03:25 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpnyc
Low-end Gibsons range from awful to good.

So do High-end Gibsons

The best guitar I ever played is my £600 Les Paul Studio Faded Satin. I played literally 100s of guitars, not just Gibson, but I was shopping with a £2k budget and tried everything from Studios to Customs from the Gibson range.

The best guitar I found was one of the cheapest. Some of the worst were the most expensive.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:06 AM   #13
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I have to say I'm not a big fan of most of the under-$1000 Gibson stuff.
In particular, the SGJ and LPJ (which are not "Juniors") are, IMHO, Junque. Especially compared to what the asian imports provide for less money. Besides the sad finishes and poor fretwork, the initial pickups provided were evidently an exercise in seeing how cheaply you could build a pickup and still have it hold together. Pretty much nothing about them upheld the Gibson reputation for quality, and in fact Gibson Marketing realized that they weren't gaining entry-level guitarists (as was the intention), but cannibalizing higher-end Gibson sales (most were going to people who couldn't afford a "real Gibson" and who were just buying for the headstock logo).

The OP stated that he heard they were a "workhorse of a guitar". I'm not sure that's NOT damning with faint praise. It's a chunk of wood with strings and pickups. I have $200 Agiles with better fretwork and a finish that will protect the guitar over time. Hardware is at least comparable (if not skewed in favor of the Agiles) and pickup quality, while always subjective, is at least as good. I have enough Gibsons that I don't need to buy for the logo, and I can afford to be objective about what they are as guitars.
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Old 07-31-2015, 09:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dspellman
I have $200 Agiles with better fretwork and a finish that will protect the guitar over time.


I've got a 20 odd year old $50 Jackson Performer that is better in most attributes than most low end Gibsons of all sorts, not just LP's. Its the same as buying $100 Nike shoes or a Porsche Boxsters, you get the label but not much else. Gibson starts at the Studio generally, you might find a gem in the rough in the lower end of town but don't bet the house on it.
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Old Yesterday, 08:45 PM   #15
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A guitar is only as good as it is. Stickers don't make guitars. Decades later I find the reliable instruments I kept after years of band work are all made in Japan.
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