2015 Gibsons: Some Thoughts

wrvond

Gretschie
Mar 23, 2014
110
West Virginia
It's funny to me that the Min-Etune has been in production since 2007 on Gibson guitars, but everybody is acting like 2015 is the introduction year for them.
Folks, the Min-Etune systems works. It really does. And it is very reliable. It doesn't add weight to the headstock because the tuning pegs on this system are aluminum. The only thing holding it on are the nuts that screw down on the front of the tuning pegs. Remove those and the whole things slips right off. You can then install your favorite manual tuners if you so desire. Personally, I would prefer not having to deal with the little screw holes that never seem to line up with the locking tuners I want to install. Speaking of screw holes, if you want to go the other way, and update your LP or SG to Min-Etune, they have designed the PC board to cover up the empty holes left behind when you remove the manual tuners.
Are there ways you can make the auto tune not work? Sure. This puts me in mind of those late night television commercials where seemingly ordinary people make the simplest action appear to be impossible to perform, simply to convince you that you need whatever goofy invention is being marketed.
There are things about the 2015's I don't like - specifically Lester's hologram and his signature scrawled across the headstock. These are things I can't do anything about, and would be stuck with if I were to buy one. Of course, last year the prediction was that Gibson was going to go under because of that horrid 120th Anniversary banner on the 12th fret (the horror!). I have a 2014, and actually rarely, if ever, even notice the banner myself. I think the naysayers might have exaggerated just a bit.
As for the price increase. Well, I am never in favor of any price increase for any reason. But - I sat down and compared apples to apples. That is, I lined up all the various models of Les Pauls and all the models of Stratocasters and then compared prices. Surprisingly (or maybe not), the new 2015 prices were pretty comparable between the two manufacturers. If I had to guess, I'd guess an LP costs a bit more to manufacture than a Strat does, too.
Most "professional" players bring more than one guitar to a gig for a couple reasons.
1. a spare in case something goes wrong
2. to avoid having to retune mid-show when a song requires a non-standard tuning.
Now I don't pretend to know WHY Gibson put the Min-Etune on their guitars, but I suspect it might have something to do with being able to select quickly between tunings during a show. The thing comes with four (IIRC) tuning programmed in, and the ability to save six more tunings of your own. That's potentially like having ten guitars ready to go.
I do have one criticism of my own- the rechargeable battery. I would have liked to see it built so that disposable alkaline batteries (or my own rechargeables) could be used instead of theirs.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,571
Commack, NY
I love the new necks but really, there is just a limit to how much "innovation can be done to an LP. The tuning system isn't so much that it is but annoying to look at. Gibson just just b more concerned in stabilizing quality control.
 

drorwis

Electromatic
Nov 30, 2014
9
Israel
It well maybe that in 30 years, guys that are 16 years old today, will reminisce on "the good old days" when you actually had an automated tuning system involving physical mechanic pegs...
It's just the way the world works.
Since my guitar heros are from the 50's and 60's, i'm bound to like a certain look, sound and feel of guitars.
That is not to say that all other concepts are inheritingly wrong or misguided...
I don't own an automated tuning system, but if it works well, i have nothing against it. From a younger, and maybe a more open minded guitarist point of view, there is an advantage to fast tuning and an ability to change tunings at a push of a button.
Another example would be that a lot of the new LP'S these days, have coil split or tap: for me, the concept of a single coil sounding LP is mind bogling (herecy i say! ;)), but for the guitarist i mentioned above, this would "broaden the spectrum" and make the guitar more than a one trick pony.
My problem would be that fender and gibson make us weirdo's pay 4-5 times as much as those young guys, to get what we want, partly because they know that we are nostalgic and probably have more money to spend that an 18 year old.
fender is doing today, exactly what BMW does with the mini and VW with the beetle - that is demanding more money for nostalgic reasons when the original concept of those things (fender strat, austin mini and vw beetle) was just the opposite - delivering "a worker" for less money.
 

englishman

Gretschified
Apr 5, 2014
13,080
Detroit
I think it's more likely in 30 years that battery technology will have evolved so much that the rechargeable batteries of today will be unobtainable. That probably goes for the 9v unit that every pedal and gizmo active guitar likes to use.
Musicians of the future will likely regard these things in the same warm and fuzzy way that the Gretsch Rally's electronics are remembered and loved.
 

Bill

Country Gent
Oct 16, 2012
2,704
Cambs, UK
Horrible headstocks, enforced auto tune, price hike in recession times. Three mistakes far as I can see.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,707
Tucson
Horrible headstocks, enforced auto tune, price hike in recession times. Three mistakes far as I can see.

At times I can't but wonder if Henry will one day succeed in sinking his own ship.
 
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Rockabillybob

Country Gent
Aug 30, 2010
2,122
Lake of the Ozarks Missouri
Maybe I am just getting old and set in my ways but I am not sure I like the direction Gibson and some others are headed. self tuners, slip coils, db. boost, chips in Strats to change the sound or fret lite guitars. Modeling amps with two dozen knobs switches and dials and then you download your sound from the internet.

Hey just give me a good quality, plain old guitar and a good tube amp with just three or four tone adjustment knobs and let me find my own sound like the good old days.

Amen to that. I've always wanted a cherry red Gibson 335 and a J-45 acoustic, but never pulled the trigger. Gretsch, Fender, Squier and Epiphone have taken all my money. ;) As for brass nuts, I have a DSW and a DSV with brass nuts and favor those two Gretsch guitars above all others. I think a brass nut and Dynasonics are a perfect match. As for tuners, I like the sort that clamp on the head stock, or sit on the floor.
 

TC6119

Country Gent
Feb 10, 2013
1,523
Iceberg Alley
That's not really true, although I get where you're coming from.

I do all my own repairs unless said repair requires a piece of equipment or tool I don't own/can't get easily. I don't have an alignment rack, or a lift, or an AC purge/fill system...you get the idea.

In your example, all the pushbutton 4x4 stuff does is fire a solenoid that does the same thing that pulling the lever used to do.

In order to do repairs now, you pretty much have the factory shop manuals, occasionally need special tools, and have to understand the integration of electronic control systems with mechanical devices. I'm probably among the first generation (read: oldest) that was able to do that fairly naturally. My dad, for example, didn't make the jump.

Pining for the old days is fine, but you weren't going to get 500 horsepower and 30 miles per gallon without electronics.

Haha...you name one 4x4 vehicle that uses "just a solenoid" to engage four wheel drive off the top of your head without googling it for half an hour.
The last Chevrolet I had used a microprocessor based circuit, a number of pushbuttons, a position sensing switch and a drive motor mounted on the transfer case. It gave out on me three times. Every time it was a different part defective but gave the same symptom. The 4x4 light would flash and 4x4 wouldn't work. My Dad has a 77 Blazer with a shift on the floor that has never given any trouble.
There's not one out there that I know of that uses "just a solenoid"....a single solenoid....to make the selection between two wheel drive, four high, four low and neutral (some have an "auto" position also).
Ford uses a solenoid/pneumatic system (or at least they used to) but it isn't quite as simple as you make it sound.
Anyway...my point was things are getting more complicated. Overly complicated in my mind.
Just like the auto tuning system on Gibson guitars:)
 
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T simmons

Friend of Fred
Jun 5, 2013
5,413
California
I've not owned a Gibson, but I'd never drop that amount of cash on something that doesn't work right. In fact, I'm fast moving away from high end gear altogether, and right now I'm having a lot of fun making cheap guitars play well.

Im the same I have been buying less expensive gear and enjoying it.
 

Frank_NH

Synchromatic
Mar 25, 2013
857
Lebanon, NH
It's like Gibson's taking 90 % of their history and legacy and just dumping it in the trash and coming up with something completely ridiculos. The brass nut makes no sense at all, how are you suppose so able file the nut if it's made out of metal? I also feel lukewarm about that G-Force garbage.

My 6120 DSW's nut is brass...:rolleyes:

You can file brass pretty easily with most nut files. Whether it sounds better is another question altogether...:D
 

dinomium

Gretschie
Sep 1, 2010
161
Bremerton
I am by no means a Ledite and embrace bleeding edge tech where it makes sense. I like that my dryer can over ride the cycle when my clothes are dry or my car applies brakes when a wheel is slipping. Mini Tune is fine as well. What drives me batty is WHY HAVE a guitar in the line up called TRADITIONAL and then saddle with the latest bells and whistles? I have stricken a 2015 Les Paul from my xmas list. If I want all the latest and greatest gizmos the by crikey put em on the Standard and make that the vanguard of the R&D and/or drop the Classic and Traditional all together as they are hypocritical and further diluting the brand in the name of shelf space.
Even Coca Cola figured out that one...
 

Bill

Country Gent
Oct 16, 2012
2,704
Cambs, UK
At times I can't but wonder if Henry will one day succeed in sinking his own ship.

Indeed. It reminds me of small outfits run by one slightly eccentric person, who either has no steadying influences at all or doesn't listen to them.

Innovation's fine (good innovation that is), but maybe they'd be better creating a satellite brand or line; that way Firebird X and Dark Fire less-than-raging-successes wouldn't damage the main brand so much. And they could really go to town and develop new things, instead of conflicting their traditional guitars.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,707
Tucson
Indeed. It reminds me of small outfits run by one slightly eccentric person, who either has no steadying influences at all or doesn't listen to them.

Innovation's fine (good innovation that is), but maybe they'd be better creating a satellite brand or line; that way Firebird X and Dark Fire less-than-raging-successes wouldn't damage the main brand so much. And they could really go to town and develop new things, instead of conflicting their traditional guitars.
That's a good idea. It's like Toyota and Scion.
 

StJohn

Country Gent
Jun 5, 2008
2,210
North Louisiana
I would love to find a Les Paul from the late 80's to the early 00's, but I wouldn't be interested in a Gibson newer than that....just too many stories of poor QC along with rising prices. When I first saw the 29% price increase story, I thought it had to be a type-o, not to mention the other changes. I just can't justify paying 3 grand for a standard. Hell I can't justify it for a SSLVO or Falcon, although I'd love to have em. Add to that all the potential issues from newer Gibsons, and I'd just rather take my chances with a used LP or a new Gretsch.
 

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
26,707
Tucson
I would love to find a Les Paul from the late 80's to the early 00's, but I wouldn't be interested in a Gibson newer than that....just too many stories of poor QC along with rising prices. When I first saw the 29% price increase story, I thought it had to be a type-o, not to mention the other changes. I just can't justify paying 3 grand for a standard. Hell I can't justify it for a SSLVO or Falcon, although I'd love to have em. Add to that all the potential issues from newer Gibsons, and I'd just rather take my chances with a used LP or a new Gretsch.

According to what I've found on the 'Net, the reaction here at G-T is relatively muted.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cB0wi5-5wNU"]Hitler Reacts to Gibson Guitar 29% Price increase for 2015 - YouTube[/ame]
 

blc45

Country Gent
Aug 23, 2011
2,216
nc
Although I love the sound of Gretsches I have to admit I have strayed from the path for several years. Fender Stratocasters, several Telecasters, a couple of Les Paul's even a few Epiphone's. With all the new gadgets Gibson and Fender is putting out it is driving me more and more back into solid Gretsch territory. So far they seem to be staying fairly true to there heritage. I currently own four Gretsches and just placed an order for a Country Gentleman.

I was considering a Gibson ES-335 but Gibson's 2015 line up kind of turned my stomach so I went with the Gent. Plus I went thru all of this with Gibson before when I was playing banjo in a bluegrass band.

Henry, read this and weep!!!!!! Hire some help that knows quality and heritage and let him run the place!!!! Other manufacturers are not stealing your business away from you, you are running your own customers away to them.
 

Sharkblues

Country Gent
Aug 22, 2010
1,022
Texas
(chuckle) I never thought I'd say this but thank God for Epiphone keeping the greatness of Gibson alive. The newest high end Epis are really good guitars and they continue to improve all the time. Playing an Epi Les Paul Tribute with '57 Classics in it was a real eye opener. Lookout Gibson, you are eating yourself.

Epiphone and Squier are all I rally need. So I don't really care what Gibson does as long as they don't mess with Epi.

I love my cheapo Epiphone Artist acoustics, Valve Special Amp and VJ Cab. I like my Epi LP and Dot.
 

calvin lee

Country Gent
Jan 5, 2011
4,346
new york
if you like the look/sound of gibson guitars, epiphone is really where it's at.

they have some great guitars (my emperor swingster kills so many other more expensive hollowbodies. after a good setup, i'd put it right under a proline gretsch, and above plenty of gibsons.), you wont get screwed on the price (29% price increase on EVERY gibson guitar), or have to deal with the auto tune crap. i'd pick a nice epiphone over most gibsons any day. (though i do still love my gibby SG, because it's cool and i've had it for years. but it's ultimately just an alright guitar. nothing wonderful.)
 

StJohn

Country Gent
Jun 5, 2008
2,210
North Louisiana
I was lusting for a 335 too for several years.....until Gretsch came out with the Panther. I'd be just fine with it scratching the 335 itch!
 


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