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Could had been a great NGD but...

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by gilmourstrat, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Hi guys,

    just wanted to shared my personal experience with this last purchase. On a previous note: I always wanted a Gibson Les Paul - it's one of those guitars that filled my imagination all these years. When people started reporting QC problems, etc I avoided buying one but, as of 2019, I thought "Well people are reporting more consistency on the QC and the guitars have great reviews, I have the money from a previous sale put aside for a new guitar so why not?"

    And so I did it: Gibson Les Paul Studio 2019 Ebony (Limited Run) with OHSC.

    Although its a Studio these guitars sit at a 1200/1300 EUR price range in Europe so I would expect an almost flawless guitar, at least with a great level of quality control.

    Once arrived I inspected and noticed immediately some red spots on the neck white binding (this 2019 models have neck binding). Looked like something had spilled on the binding (some spots as well on the frets on that area). This alone already putted a bit down but "OK maybe not Gibson's fault, but someone at the shop, I will contacted them about this to see what happened, if it plays great it's just a cosmetic issue I can deal and maybe correct later".

    On with the playing: on some strings (D and G) I noticed that, as I turned the Grover tuners, the string pitch didn't change - after a couple more turns then it finally started moving - strange as I have another guitar (a Brian May Red Special) with these exact tuners and they are perfect!

    Intonation: when playing double stops with G/B combined WAY out of tune - just dreadful - same thing on chords after 12th fret.

    I know that guitars can be setup - I do this on all my guitars but DAMN - at this price I would expect, at least, that the guitar would be playable at least, even with some minor intonation issues here and there but, overall, IN TUNE! Open chords are OK.

    Sound: just "meh"... I don't know if its the pickups heights or whatever but the guitar sounded sterile.

    I'm very disappointed because it was always one of my dream guitars - unfortunately maybe I was just unlucky and got a "lemon" but it's just hard to accept. Needless to say it's getting returned... :(
     
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  2. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Senior Stratmaster

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    Sorry that your new Les Paul turned out to be Lester the Lemon. I wouldn’t order a Gibson sight unseen. Every Gibson I’ve ever had, save a black Custom, has had annoying QC issues. That’s why I play strats. And a Brian May replica.

    In other news, there is a thread under Guitar Owners Clubs that is for Brian May guitars. Please go there and post pics of your Red Special. If you haven’t already.
     
  3. guitartwonk

    guitartwonk Senior Stratmaster

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    Sounds like all that could be fixed with a setup, but I think you're right that, for that price, a basic setup should have already happened before you get hold of it. In particular, the nut should at least be cut properly, which sounds like the root of your issue when tuning the D and G strings.

    As to the mess on the binding, I'd just return the guitar on that basis and get your money back. That could be your best way out of the situation. Then save your money for when you get to try a LP in a shop.

    Incidentally, you can probably find an early 90s studio LP for quite a bit less than that price-point, and they are outstanding guitars for the money. I tried one belonging to a mate and I was almost sold on getting one myself. I'm a died-in-the-wool Fender/Jackson guy, so that's saying something.

    Either way, I hope you get the outcome you want in the end. :thumb:
     
  4. Supernut

    Supernut Strat-Talker

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    I hate when I pay that kind of money for something and it feels like the manufacturer threw it together, threw it in a box, and shipped it without a second look. The spots on the binding alone should have been enough to not send it.
     
  5. Cerb

    Cerb Anti conformist reformist Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My 2019 (built October 2018) SG also has some issues, nothing too severe though. Regarding setup, I don't think Gibson set them up at all. The frets on mine are perfect, I've never owned a guitar with frets this good but the truss rod was unused. How do I know that it was unused? Because I basically had to hammer the adjusting key onto it to crack the thick layer of finish it was covered in, no one ever used it at the factory, unless they first slacked it off completely and then covered the nut in laquer...
     
  6. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

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    You have to play them before you buy.
    Some are absolute gems, some are turkeys.
    As far as the binding, if you buy a different one, opt for a year without the binding.
    Binding on the neck of a les Paul (with the little fret nubs) is rather annoying to me. Most years of the studio model they didn't use binding on the neck.
     
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  7. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member

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    It's 2019....pics
     
  8. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-O-Master Strat-Talk Supporter

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    You're doing the right thing returning it as you'll likely never be happy with it due to the disappointment you've had on first getting it.

    HOWEVER I think that this is more a lesson in cost vs finish/QC and also model knowledge especially when referring to Gibson. The Model you bought is (regardless of price) one of their lower end models as crazy as it sounds. Even though it's a lot of money to punt on a guitar, the work that goes into making a Les Paul and specifically one with binding is significantly more than a strat or tele. I honestly think that the issues you have could be sorted in about an hour with a tech. The sound which you're unhappy with is more expensive to sort but is common at any level of guitar if you're not used to that style. There is a learning curve to understanding what that model of guitar sounds like in it's different guises, for a Les Paul it would be Standard, Custom, Studio, Reissue, P90 etc.

    On top of the above, and as has been said before, not all guitars are made equal. One which might be a dog to you may be perfect for someone else.

    Basically, I'm trying to say, try not to feel too gutted, this happens a lot and you'll be more prepared next time. As already stated, perhaps go and try a few in a shop or find friends who have one. Then if you still need to order one online, you'll be more prepared to know what to look for :) I hope this makes you feel a bit better :)
     
  9. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    I've been in your position @gilmourstrat with a Gibson LP. The LP of my dreams was one in Ebony with zebra pickups and cream colored binding. In 2013 they made a Trad Pro ii with just this configuration...and I bought one. When it arrived, the setup was absolutely terrible and the bow in the neck was so bad it was like a ski jump. To quote my guitar guy, the nut "looked like it was made by a pre schooler".

    I seriously considered returning it but my guitar guy said he might be able to get it all fixed up under warranty. Normally they don't cover setup issues under warranty, but it was SOOO bad, he convinced his Gibson rep to let him fix it up under a warranty claim.

    Once he fixed it up, it was a dream to play and I was a happy camper.

    At the prices they charge, you should be happy right out of the box. PRS manages to do it and so does Fender from my experience. It's not the way it is so like others suggested, with Gibson LPs it's probably best to "try before you buy".

    Regarding the binding, my ebony LP is a lower grade model then my Standard Plus. Though the binding is fine on both, there is a definite difference in craftsmanship between the two with the Standard Plus being much smoother and more refined. The street price on the Standard Plus was almost double that of my Trad Pro ii.
     
  10. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Thank you for all the replies.

    Gave it one last go last night: although I agree a setup would address most of the issues it just doesn't feel right to me, I guess it was the disappointment of realizing that so many things weren't right out of the box. All my other guitars needed a setup (except the Brian May - that came PERFECT!) but none of them had this degree of bad adjustment, including the unacceptable cosmetic flaws in such a price range IMHO.
     
  11. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    The d and g strings on a Les Paul always stick - it's a design "feature" due to the angle of the strings through the nut. Some careful work with a nut file will help adjust the slots depending on the string gauge you prefer, but it never fully goes away - you just live with it.

    Intonation is really easy to do, and you may also want to play with the stop tail height - raising it gives less of a break angle, which makes bending feel easier and can help with intonation if you press hard.

    If the pickups are Burstbuckers, I agree they are a bit sterile. I think all Les Paul's benefit from lowering the pickup heights - gives more top end. Give it a try.

    I've rarely found an LP I fell it love with straight away (other than an Eastman I tried a while back). Most of them take a bit of work to get them the way you want them.
     
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  12. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Senior Stratmaster

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    Don’t return it just yet! Some graphite in the saddles, adjusting pickup heights… it might be a great guitar that’s just in need of a set-up! It always takes some patience with these girls that come right out of the box, no matter the price point!

    The only “flaw” I can see reading through your post is the red spots. That would annoy me a bit. Take it up with the shop that sold the guitar to you and see if they can clean it away or offer some sort of compensation if you can live with it.
     
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  13. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Fuzz Meister General Strat-Talk Supporter

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    All the 2019 LP's and ES's I have seen have some pink in the fretboard binding. This is what happens to vintage ones and I think they are trying to replicate that look.
     
  14. integra evan

    integra evan Strat-O-Master

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    Can you show pics of the red spots? Ask your dealer if they can do a setup free of charge. The nut slots just need to be cleaned up
     
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  15. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    I understand what you're saying and I know that a setup would solve most (if not all) flaws. The problem, for me, is that the guitar is unplayable as it is - nothing sounds right no matter how I try and, besides the always needed "out of the box setup", it shouldn't on a 1300 EUR guitar. At least be a "decent" player (and with a setup take it to a proper level).

    My PRS S2 Singlecut arrived with no issues at all, perfectly setup'd, no worries whatsoever, could use in on stage the SAME DAY! I think it should, at least, arrived "decent", not almost unplayable... :)

    This is why it just doesn't feel right anymore, because, even after the setup, I would be probably hearing/seeing defects even if they weren't there... :(
     
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  16. Smokey3

    Smokey3 Strat-O-Master

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    I would just return it, They should have never sent this Guitar to anyone. I hope you get one that you like because they are great guitars. I wouldn't wait to do it either because the sooner the better when you are going to send one back. Good luck
     
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  17. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    I can't - guitar is already pack'd for returning :( Dealer is online store in another country...
     
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  18. BallisticSquid

    BallisticSquid Senior Stratmaster

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    Given how you are feeling about this guitar, I think you made a smart move returning it. I think you are right...you would forever being looking for and finding problems with it. No sense dumping that much money on something you'll probably never bond with.
     
  19. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    Already on its way to the store - they do have a fantastic free return service if the return is made within the 14 days of receiving the item. So full money back and no shipping costs. I guess it was better this way. Like @BallisticSquid said it would never feel right to me.

    Waiting for the money to be back and on with the search! :)
     
  20. integra evan

    integra evan Strat-O-Master

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    Ahh, ok. Well good luck with the search. I like the look of the 2019 Studios with the neck binding.
     
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