#1
So I've been wanting a new guitar for a while. Given I already have a strat and a tele that I'm set and happy with, the logical way to go was something with humbuckers(I have a decent HH guitar, but it's nothing to write home about. Now that I have this, I can experiment with that one and maybe give it new life, but that's another purchase for another day). I set aside a bit of money from my pay for a few months, added my tax return to that, and headed to a local shop with a day to kill and a very vague goal to spend hours working towards, likely pissing off the sales guy in the process: Try every guitar with humbuckers that's $2,000 or below, new or used, until I find one that feels and sounds right.

After about an hour, I had put about a dozen guitars through their paces, and didn't really come away impressed. Some were flat-out disappointing, some were good, but nothing that really wowed me or felt worth the money. I had always been really underwhelmed by Gibson's Studio guitars in years past, so I skipped over the lower-end Gibsons at-first, but I figured I didn't have anything to lose, and I did want to go in completely unbiased and give every guitar in my budget a shot, right? First one I tried was about as underwhelming as I expected. The second one though was a different story entirely. Gibson's quality control is as weird and inconsistent as ever, but while that means a lot of their higher-end guitars can disappoint, it also means that occasionally you get a diamond in the rough at a lower price. The neck felt better, thicker without being bulky, and acoustically it was surprisingly lively. That just left one last test: Plugging it in and hearing how it actually sounded. After a great first impression, it was one of the two guitars I came back to pick a winner from yesterday, alongside a PRS.

Long story short, the Gibson won out












I'll upload some clips once I'm more used to it - this is the first guitar in about a decade that I've played for any significant stretch of time that doesn't have a bolt-neck, a 25.5" scale length, and a flat slab body, so needless to say I'm experiencing a bit of an adjustment period to get totally comfortable on it - but I'm really happy and surprised with it.

Like I said, I've always had a very negative view of Gibson's lower-priced options because they were always underwhelming up until now, but this guitar was head and shoulders above the rest of the lower-end Les Pauls I tried, and even beat out most of the full-fledged Standard and Classic Les Pauls I put it next to. My budget was $2,000, and I was fully expecting to spend $1,500 at the absolute least, so I didn't pick it because of its pricetag. This low-end goldtop legitimately outperformed guitars that were two or three times as expensive. Looked prettier than a lot of them, too!

Now I just need to learn how intonation works on a tune-o-matic bridge so I can actually change the string gauge
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

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#2
Beautiful.

Is the body on these tributes actually bound or is it faux binding created by just scraping the gold off?

We will also require pictures of the back sir. Otherwise it would be a terrible shame if I had to close this thread.

Don't forget the weigh it too.

Does this guitar also have the PCB in the control cavity?
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#3
In a different context, Fee Waybill sang a few words that sort of apply...

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#4
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Beautiful.

Is the body on these tributes actually bound or is it faux binding created by just scraping the gold off?


Pretty sure it's the latter. Wish it was actually bound, but it looks better than no binding and going straight from the top finish to the natural back IMO.

We will also require pictures of the back sir. Otherwise it would be a terrible shame if I had to close this thread.

Don't forget the weigh it too.


I'll be happy to get them when the sun's back up, but right now I'm not sure I could get enough light Will check on the weight too. It was heavier than I was expecting for a chambered Les Paul, but it doesn't feel massively heavier than my telecaster, so I think it's on the light side overall for a Les Paul.

Does this guitar also have the PCB in the control cavity?


Unfortunately. That's probably the one thing I wasn't particularly thrilled about with it; the stock pickups are four-conductor, so I was planning on buying a set of push-pull pots and rewiring it for coil-splitting ASAP, but doing that would require replacing basically all of the electronics, pickups included since the wires were cut so short for the connection that I doubt they'd reach for traditional wiring. The tone and feel are good enough that it wasn't enough to dissuade me from it overall, but I was sad that it's wired up like that. Solderless wiring is an amazing idea in-theory, but until there's an industry standard connection type that everyone starts using, it's more of a nuisance than anything. Gibson, Fender, Seymour Duncan, EMG, DiMarzio, pretty much every brand off the top of my head has their own solderless system, so you're basically locked into that specific pickup manufacturer's pickups and pots. Again though, it's a great idea, so if by some miracle enough of the big-name brands can come together and agree to a standard connection type that'll get everyone doing the same type, I'd be all for it.

Quote by dannyalcatraz
In a different context, Fee Waybill sang a few words that sort of apply...



I've always been a sucker for goldtops. I actually almost skipped this one because the first Tribute I played was the usual underwhelming low-end Gibson experience, but I gave it a shot because it was the first goldtop Gibson in the store that wasn't over $2,000 Wanted one since I was a kid, and happy to finally have one!
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 75-87
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 3-3
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 52-39
#5
Quote by necrosis1193
Pretty sure it's the latter. Wish it was actually bound, but it looks better than no binding and going straight from the top finish to the natural back IMO.

Agre. I don't like unbound LP's either.

Faux binding can look cool though, given that the grain of the top can be seen through it along with any figuring that happens to be there. I wonder why it seems like nobody has ever done mahogany faux binding before. I think that would look pretty neat.
I'll be happy to get them when the sun's back up, but right now I'm not sure I could get enough light Will check on the weight too. It was heavier than I was expecting for a chambered Les Paul, but it doesn't feel massively heavier than my telecaster, so I think it's on the light side overall for a Les Paul.
I'll be looking forward to it. I think these guitars have cheese holes. Normally they weigh about 9.3 lbs, but they can vary quite a bit.
Unfortunately. That's probably the one thing I wasn't particularly thrilled about with it; the stock pickups are four-conductor, so I was planning on buying a set of push-pull pots and rewiring it for coil-splitting ASAP, but doing that would require replacing basically all of the electronics, pickups included since the wires were cut so short for the connection that I doubt they'd reach for traditional wiring. The tone and feel are good enough that it wasn't enough to dissuade me from it overall, but I was sad that it's wired up like that. Solderless wiring is an amazing idea in-theory, but until there's an industry standard connection type that everyone starts using, it's more of a nuisance than anything. Gibson, Fender, Seymour Duncan, EMG, DiMarzio, pretty much every brand off the top of my head has their own solderless system, so you're basically locked into that specific pickup manufacturer's pickups and pots. Again though, it's a great idea, so if by some miracle enough of the big-name brands can come together and agree to a standard connection type that'll get everyone doing the same type, I'd be all for it.

They use proprietary connectors in an attempt to dissuade people from using pickups from other brands, so a universal standard just isn't going to happen. And then they purposefully don't leave you with enough wire to work with after you cut the stupid connectors off and solder the pickups in like a normal guitar. Splicing in new wire solves the problem, but they deliberately make it as much of a pain as possible.

If you're shopping around for push-pulls, in my experience the nicest ones I've ever used are the CTS full-sized ones. They're much, much better quality than the el cheapo Alpha mini pots.

http://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Electronics/Components_and_Parts/Potentiometers/CTS_Push_pull_Pots_DPDT.html

They're initially confusing to wire because instead of the lugs that normal mini push-pulls use, these have a mini PCB that has holes in it which correspond to all of the pot's functions. But this link is really helps in making sense of what each hole does. Once you do work it out, they're actually easier to wire than the normal ones.

http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Guitar_Pickups_and_Electronics_and_Wiring/Wiring_the_CTS_DPDT_Push-Pull_Pot.html

But if you have to go for the regular style of push-pulls, the Bournes ones are a good alternative.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#6
Just thought I'd toss this in: I have a guitar with a push-push pot for coil splitting. Instead of having to grab (or in some cases, pry) the knob up, a quick slap/tap will do the trick.

Not sure it's better, per se, but it can be faster.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Just thought I'd toss this in: I have a guitar with a push-push pot for coil splitting. Instead of having to grab (or in some cases, pry) the knob up, a quick slap/tap will do the trick.

Not sure it's better, per se, but it can be faster.
Well, on my old PRS SE Custom, the knob on the push/pull pot kind of stripped away on the inside, so you had to pull it up while pushing sideways to actually split the coil, or you'd just pull the knob off.

The first time I found out about that, it was a bit of a shock.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#8
that's a nice tribute right there.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#9
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Just thought I'd toss this in: I have a guitar with a push-push pot for coil splitting. Instead of having to grab (or in some cases, pry) the knob up, a quick slap/tap will do the trick.

Not sure it's better, per se, but it can be faster.


Yamaha used push-push for years, but they had some issues with longevity.

I know folks get all whiny about putting holes in their LPs, but I really *really* prefer mini-switches. Most of my Carvins have miniswitches, the AR300 has "Tri-Sound" switches, and the '78 vintage Gibson 25/50 Anniversary LPs have a miniswitch (ditto the M-IIIs) and the early '80's guitars like the 335S, etc.

My issues with push-push (and push-pull, for that matter) include that you can't see at a glance where you're set. With push-pulls, there's always the opportunity to pull the knob clean off (been there, done that) and launch it into the audience (again...). And if you're set somewhere specific on the rotary end of things, there's always the opportunity to move the knob out of position while you're pushing or pulling. For me, mini-switches are far more positive.
#10
Nice!
You're lucky.usually with Gibsons the colour i want is the dog and i end up with a different one.
#11
dspellman

You make good points about the mini switches. If I ever do another custom, I'll have to give them serious thought.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#12
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
I'll be looking forward to it. I think these guitars have cheese holes. Normally they weigh about 9.3 lbs, but they can vary quite a bit.


Unfortunately, the only scale that I have in my house that isn't a little countertop scale for measuring ingredients isn't giving me a consistent reading. One time it gave me 9 lbs., one time it gave me 12 lbs., but basically every time I tried to weigh it again to confirm my first result, I got a new number that was three or four pounds different.

On the bright side, I did get the back pictures! ...Well, picture. The battery in my camera died, and by the time it finished charging, the sun had set. It's supposed to be cloudy tomorrow, but if there's a point in there where the sun's unobstructed I'll grab some closer shots.



They use proprietary connectors in an attempt to dissuade people from using pickups from other brands, so a universal standard just isn't going to happen.


A man can dream

And then they purposefully don't leave you with enough wire to work with after you cut the stupid connectors off and solder the pickups in like a normal guitar. Splicing in new wire solves the problem, but they deliberately make it as much of a pain as possible.

If you're shopping around for push-pulls, in my experience the nicest ones I've ever used are the CTS full-sized ones. They're much, much better quality than the el cheapo Alpha mini pots.

http://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Electronics/Components_and_Parts/Potentiometers/CTS_Push_pull_Pots_DPDT.html

They're initially confusing to wire because instead of the lugs that normal mini push-pulls use, these have a mini PCB that has holes in it which correspond to all of the pot's functions. But this link is really helps in making sense of what each hole does. Once you do work it out, they're actually easier to wire than the normal ones.

http://www.stewmac.com/How-To/Online_Resources/Learn_About_Guitar_Pickups_and_Electronics_and_Wiring/Wiring_the_CTS_DPDT_Push-Pull_Pot.html

But if you have to go for the regular style of push-pulls, the Bournes ones are a good alternative.


Honestly, I'm probably just going to leave it alone for now. It sounds good enough with humbuckers that I'm happy, and if I really need a single-coil, I have my strat and tele. If I were playing live more it'd be more pressing, but most of what I'm doing right now is at-home recording and jamming. Kind of holding off in the hope that these boards become more common aftermarket, so I can buy one from a Les Paul that did have push-pull splitting and just plug the pickups into that.

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Just thought I'd toss this in: I have a guitar with a push-push pot for coil splitting. Instead of having to grab (or in some cases, pry) the knob up, a quick slap/tap will do the trick.

Not sure it's better, per se, but it can be faster.


One of my other guitars has push-pulls, as well as a few mini-toggles. The toggles are more convenient, but given I just got this guitar, I'm not quite ready to drill holes into it yet

Quote by gregs1020
that's a nice tribute right there.




Quote by EyeballPaul
Nice!
You're lucky.usually with Gibsons the colour i want is the dog and i end up with a different one.


Honestly, I lucked out with the finish. I wasn't going to let aesthetics influence the decision at all, trying to make the decision as much with my hands and ears as possible, so if it was an ugly finish, I'd just live with that. The fact it ended up being a nice goldtop is a great bonus though
THE FORUM UPDATE KILLED THE GRADIENT STAR

Baltimore Orioles: 2014 AL Eastern Division Champions, 2017: 75-87
Baltimore Ravens: 2012 World Champions, 2017: 3-3
2017 NFL Pick 'Em: 52-39
#16
I like the color and Gibson have always prided themselves on build quality. I have a friend who has a Gibson and he is in love wit it.
#18
Congrats she is a beautiful guitar.

Seeing guitars propped up against trees always makes me cringe though, I always imagine a small piece of the bark giving way under the headstock and letting the guitar slide gouging the finish. I'm not sure if there is a phobia for that but those pictures always freak me out a little.

Anyhow congrats on your new Gibson rock on
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

#19
Pfftt, who would play a crappy guitar like that? ME!!!



I put a G-Force system on mine, but I held onto the original tuners. I like the G-Force system (here come the peasants with their torches and pitchforks!), and I have it on both guitars. Works well for me, I can't speak to the problems others have. I have a 2015 Les Paul Traditional as well.

I have a non-weight relief as well with the baseball neck.



Believe me, the weight difference is significant, though I don't have an exact number. I really love this guitar. I'm thinking about doing the push/pull thing too later. I don't really miss the binding the way they finished the sides of the maple cap.

Congrats, and happy new guitar day!
Last edited by GoldJim at Feb 21, 2017,
#20
Quote by GoldJim
/snip
I put a G-Force system on mine, but I held onto the original tuners. I like the G-Force system (here come the peasants with their torches and pitchforks!), and I have it on both guitars. Works well for me, I can't speak to the problems others have. I have a 2015 Les Paul Traditional as well.
/snip
Just wait until the gears strip, and you're left with a string you can't even tune manually.
Quote by Diemon Dave
Don't go ninjerin nobody don't need ninjerin'
#21
What a beautiful guitar! Congratulations!

...thanks for reigniting my Les Paul GAS after just blowing a bunch of money over the weekend on new furniture/appliances!
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
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