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Gibson Basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jennings, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. jennings


    Nov 21, 2007
    Anybody know why Gibson has (basically) quit making basses? Are they going to just let Epiphone/Tobias/Steinberger make them from now on? According to their website, they (Gibson USA) only currently make 2 models: the SG Reissue and the T-bird. I've been Jonesing for a Honeyburst LP(Standard) Bass for the last 10 years, and now that I can finally afford one, they stop producing them!!:scowl:
  2. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    It would seem that the geniuses behind Gibson's master marketing plan (acquiring other companies and systematically trying to destroy their reputation and/or quality to the point where there is really no reason to continue building and marketing them anymore) have turned their attention inward.

    Why don't you buy a used one?
  3. envika


    Nov 27, 2007
    Bronx, NY
    Because Gibson basses don't sell well, except for the occasional Jack Bruce-head SG bass guy and the guy that has $1750 to blow on a Thunderbird.

    Also I don't the LP bass has been made for years.
  4. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    The quality control on their new basses is terrible at best. You're better off buying an old one.
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I would say "terrible at best" is a extremely broad generalization with no real basis in fact.:rolleyes:

    Can build quality be suspect from time to time? Yup
    Are Gibson basses boring? Yup
    Are Gibson basses overpriced for what you get? Yup
    Are Gibson basses versatile? Nope

    Totally just my opinion, but I have owned 4 Gibson basses and sold my 3 month old SG reissue last month as it was just collecting dust.

    Gibson basses in general are great for older rock like the Stones, but they do not give you the tonal range of an EBMM, Lakland, Fender Jazz, etc, etc, etc.

    BUT... If you can find a good used Les Paul Standard.. that is a nice bass. Expensive ($1500+) but something you may get more use out of depending on what you play music-wise.

    Try before you buy is very important with Gibsons. My SG was as good as my Sadowskys as far as fit and finish went, but I have played a few that were amazingly poorly put together.
  6. jennings


    Nov 21, 2007
    OK... I've lived in Nashville all my life, so "Gibson" holds a certain mystique (probably not the right word), and I don't even play that much country. That said, what would you say Gibson basses lack that others don't? What makes them boring, un-versatile, etc.? (not rehetorical... genuinely curious).
  7. SoLongJake

    SoLongJake Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2007
    Des Moines, Iowa
    My statement was based on MY personal experiences, and was based on facts as i witnessed them. Of the 10 or so newish( last 5 years) all of them had piss poor fretwork, and dodgy finishes. By dodgy i mean, cracks, drips, runs. Is it possible that Gibson still puts out some quality instruments? absolutely. Have i seen any? no. Certainly no instrument worth over $1000.
    All that being said, I love my gibson grabber, and it saddens me that they no longer make some of the other quality instruments they've made over the years.
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I play Gibson electric guitars only. I have an SG and a Les Paul. I wouldn't bother playing anything else.

    IMO..... Most of the Gibson mystique is due to people associating the brand to BB King playing Lucille, Jimmy Page playing his Sunburst Les Pauls and SG doubleneck, Angus Young and Tony Iommi playing SGs and many top country and folk players playing Gibson acoustics. And many others.

    Gibson bass mystique? Jack Bruce and his EB-3? Nikki Sixx and his TBird? And.......?? I'm sure there are many others, but you get my point.
  9. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Gibson has always been awkward when it comes to basses, im not saying there arent any good gibson basses, but overall, i think the word awkward describes gibson relation with bass.
  10. It's funny cause it's true.
  11. I have tried out a number of Gibsons current basses---they are rather ordinary. The Tbird is the only one that has really good features including a more modern brightness. It is the only in the current line I would own.

    However, the statement above saying they might be fine for classic stuff, but don't have the range of current basses applies to current basses in general, but one bass they came out with in the late 70's and early 80's stands up, tonally, to anything current. It never acheived much popularity, probably because it was too far ahead of its time---I am speaking of the RD Artist. If you can get ahold of one of those, I think you would be pleased with it. there are a few for sale on gbase.com.
  12. KenPng


    Mar 8, 2007
    Firstly I agree with many of the points brought up here by all the fellows with regards to Gibson as a brand and bad QC bunch.

    I myself own 8 Gibsons, three of which are bases.

    While I lament the fact that the QC is never really consistent, i must say that Gibson Thunderbirds and LP basses are great for rock.

    The deep lows and cutting mids are very useful in a band that goes full out.

    Unfortunately, you have to try every piece out to make sure you get a nice one.

    And yes, they are not as versatile for most other things, though I think with the right setting, it probably can outdo a Fender P bass when it comes to funky thumpy finger style mojo. ( But then, I never bet on just having a Gisbon Thunderbird. Its not enough if you are eclectic in your playing styles)

    My personal opinion of course.
  13. +1 Have two Gibson Basses; Ripper 79 fretless and Graber G3 75, both are lovely. Haven’t bought a new Gibson bass due to their recent poor quality reputation.
  14. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    jennings, look for a used one in good shape. they just stopped production in late 2007, iirc. you can always find them on ebay for a good price if you're patient. the newer money bass can be had for crazy cheap, just replace the truss rod cover and forget the name. the biggest problem with Gibsons is that they don't sound like Fenders, which is what most of the people that don't like Gibsons are looking for. I have several Gibsons including a '94 LP and I never have any problem getting them to sound like a bass or how they sit in a mix. I <3 'em!
  15. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    It's my experience as Aquateen pointed out, they do not sound like Fenders, but you can't lump all Gibson basses together EVER, other than they were always comercially unsuccessful, but always tried to be different.

    Mudbucker basses-Where Gibson sounds muddy comes from, but when not set at Fender amp settings, are amazing, but limited basses for today's more modern music. Used on so many classic rock icon recordings from David Bowie, Cream to UFO Radar Love. If you can't get a good sound from one YOU are doing something wrong as Recordings from early classic rock are filled with them, go listen on how they can sound.

    Maple Gibsons - RD's - Grabber, Ripper, G-3, Victories - Well built basses, although the lowest end Grabber's Fender style bridge was crap. Maple Gibsons are as good as any massed produced bass quality wise from anyone at the time. 30 years have passed and they are still holding up, just look on Ebay. RD's with the huge complex electronic boards are still going strong for 30 YEARS!

    Every Gibson bass sounds different from any other bass. If you want a Fender sound, by a Fender or any modern based copy of one, as most bass manufacturers sound like Fenders. If you want something unique, buy a Gibson.

    LP Standards are some of Gibson's best quality MODERN basses (at least as good as the Guitars). Gibson Lp's & Tbirds are very similar in sound, the lp Maple tops have more "bite" or treble than T birds.

  16. play4zero


    Dec 29, 2005
    Edorsing Artist: Eden
    The real money sound for a Gibson is the classic thump of an EBO. A wonderful, if limited sound. Unfortunately, now days much of what we do is reinforced by a PA system and sound men hate that sound because it is horribly muddy and made worse by these giant bass bins they love to show off.

    At the time, it made a big fat bass sound when the amplifiers weren't really up to snuff, but now that bass equipment can accurately reproduce the sounds our instruments make the deficiencies of the old EBOs and 3s really show through.

    I love them and have 2 60's EBOs, and a70's EB3 along with a Guild Acorn with a Humbucker and an Allen Woody signature bass, but they rarely go out to play.

    As for the current crop, the electronics just don't seem to be there. The old ones really thumped, and I don't hear that in the new ones.

    As for the RD Artist, aside from weighing more than a small speedboat, it is an awesome instrument, but again, we're talking many years back.
  17. mccartjm


    Oct 10, 2006
    are gibsons really "muddy", i've nver played one?
  18. they suck :bag:
    and they are hilariously priced....
  19. IMHO, I never really consider them a company that invests much time in considering what a bassist needs. You can't just throw a long neck on a guitar and call it a bass. Their bassists might look cool, but a neck-diving bass is virtually unusable to players like me. ...but they're only gonna do what the market tells 'em. They sell a lot of guitars and their basses do alright despite a lack of innovation.
  20. dude even their guitars are a joke these days... i SHUN gibson...

    the price you pay for ANY gibson is laughable.. you buy the name on the headstock, and you get a mediocre instrument that has nothing particularly special about it.

    hmm a les paul standard? or a sadowsky metro? which has more value? SAME PRICE

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