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Gibson finish quality???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Suatie, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. I was thinking of adding a USA Gibson bass to my modest collection, I saw a few at the local GC (flying V and a reissue Grabber II) I just could not believe the poor quality of the finish and the paint job, especially for the price.
    My Musicman Stingrays and the MİA Fenders look like works of art compared to these.

    Did I fall on a particularly bad batch or is this the way Gibsons roll?

    Very disappointed.
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Nope. Gibson QC is probably one of, if not the, worst in the industry. The stuff they let $3,000+ guitars walk out the factory with is unbelievable sometimes.

    They do however, still produce gems, you just have to look closely when examining a Gibson.
  3. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Lots of finish blems on my Gibson. However, it is nitro on a relatively inexpensive bass, overall is beautiful, and plays great.
  4. loendmaestro


    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    I just got a Midtown & the finish is flawless. But, yes....I'm guessing my bass wasn't a "Friday afternoon job."
  5. You were looking at budget basses with "satin" finishes. These are under $900 and not comparable to a $1,500 MM. They could make the cheaper ones "look" better by using Poly like my Fender Am Sp for about the same price but the Nitro alledgedly halps the sound and longevity by allowing the wood to "Breathe". You are apples and oranges. A RI Heritage SG has a great clear finish, fret blocks and headstock inlays for $1,400 and is beautiful but you can also buy a Worn Brown version with the dull finishe and none of the aesthetic bells and whistles for $800.00. Price point dictates things like finish and fret markers as does country of origin. If you want a bells and whistles pretty bass which may be as good sounding you can buy an epiphone. Gibson basses are all US made there is no MIM so the Epiphone brand is comparable to the Squires and MIM Fenders. You can get a Jack Cassady which is nicely finished, good sounding, actually used by the artist and unlike anything Fender or MM for $700 new. It is made in Indonesia and is a great bass. The comparable Gibson model is the Midtown which is US made but does not have the block inlays, pickgaurd or headstock inlays for $1,200. I would gladly take the Epi and it may actually be a better bass but it also foes not come with a HSC which is worth at least $150 if you bought a a comprobale case bringing it close to $350.00 difference in actual cost. At that point you have to ask yourself how much you are willing to pay to know someone was paid a decent wage to make your bass. For me I pay the premium for the US but I can afford to (and I only have three basses) When I was young I played japanese and Korean made instruments. The bottom line is the Gibson bashing is pointless. We buy instruments for many reasons not one particular aspect so the "does this brand suck threads" baffles me. I have a fender and it has a beautiful finish but I am more likely to play my Gibson which I think looks "cooler", I like the tone better than my Fender for the type of music I play and the SS makes for easier playability. Would I say the Gibson is better than the Fender. For me it is but that is my opinion and everyone has a different set of criteria to measure what is better than something else. The bottom line is, if you do not like it base on any reason then don't buy it regardless of what it says on the headstock and if no one else buys it the company will change or go belly up. Otherwise what does your preference have to do with what others may like?
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    This is not a does Gibson suck thread, this is not a bashing thread. He asked a legitimate question. If Gibson didn't appreciate my comment on their QC sucking they would up their game, as I am not the first person to mention it. They have consistently poor QC even including their high end stuff. I don't think that anybody has a different set of criteria when it comes to basic standards like finishing. Nobody at any price point should be fine with shoddy QC.

    Nobody said Gibson only makes garbage, far from it. They make great stuff but their QC is garbage, it is not a debate it is a fact. In fact I remember one thread where people were talking about Gibson QC and a major Gibson supporter posted pics of his new T-bird to show off how awesome Gibson is and within a few posts somebody had pointed out how his bridge was missing washers. On a high end bass no less. Not even the guy who was trying to defend Gibson could justify his own picture.

    Also, please try and use some sort of punctuation for your next post. That was extremely difficult for me to read.
  7. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    ^ what he said. Especially about the punctuation.
  8. I've got 2 T-birds, one standard from 2011 and a Nikki Six model from 2012.

    The finish on the standard is OK, a little uneven in places, but the Sixx is nicely finished. Like it's been said the QC can be a little erratic, but they are still nice basses.
  9. I feel like 99% of the mid-level Gibson guitars and basses that I pick up with that 'satin' finish look like they've got Stevie Wonder brushing it on with a wadded-up paper towel. It's shocking.
  10. The Grabber 2 was list $3600 and the GC price was $1700. Hardly a 'budget' bass.

    I was also comparing all US made basses, and you bring up Indonesia, Asian manufacturers etc, totally irrelevant to my post.

    I looked at 4 basses and they all looked really bad, like a 5 year old painted them.
    If bad paint jobs improved sound maybe Alembic, Spector, Musicman are all missing out on better sound by doing a great finish.
    Plus I was using this forum to ask opinions with my open mind if I just fell on a bad batch, or If Gibsons have generally bad quality.
    I consider this a good use of a public forum, rather than keeping my opinions to myself.
  11. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    Have a Thunderbird SS. Love it, and it might be my most comfortable bass. Great sound, playability, neck, fret job, actually I like everything about it except for one thing. The satin finish. It is just not up to par for my way of thinking.

    Looks like they 400 sanded it, threw on a coat of sealer/primer and sprayed it black. Very grainy, uneven finish, not at all what I would expect. True, I've been told that they needed to cut corners on the finish to get it in at the $1,500 list $1,000 or so street price. But even if it wasn't black (a colour I detest on any guitar) I'd still be refinishing it.
  12. chee666


    Jul 24, 2008
    WOW I went to Gibson as i think all the new Fender (last 5 years) Feel like toys.
  13. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    No. Yes.


    Sometimes you luck out, but what they will screw up and still ship is just jaw-dropping, up to $4000. The stuff I've seen you wouldn't believe.

    "OK" is about as good as it's going to get.
  14. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    If seen both sub-par and excellent finishes on various brand-new Gibson guitars.
    The gloss-finish Les Pauls and ES-335s rarely seem to have finish blems. I've seen SGs and satin-finish Les Pauls sometimes have finish issues to where you would be better off with an Epiphone model.
  15. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    The worst finish flaws I have ever seen at any price from any manufacturer were on ~$4000 Les Pauls, and I've been working on gear for over forty years.
  16. cfsporn


    Aug 20, 2011
    New York City
    Gibson QC pales in comparison to Fender and even Epiphone. I played several Thunderbirds a few days ago and the best sounding and best finished one was an Epi.
  17. Bass, Where are the $4,000 bases that Gibson sells? Street for a gold top Les Paul is $1,800. Again apples and oranges, The mexican/Indonesian point is that the Flying V is comparable to the price points of instruments that are imports. As Far as the G-II I apologise as they have not been in production for a while and I can get a new G-3 right now for $729. As far as compared to other "High end Us manufacturers" it continues to be an issue of cost within a comparable price point. A MM Sub for example, American made, nice bass but the materials are not the same as a Big Al. I also remember the Gibson thread referred to earlier and the majority of Examples were of an instrument bought second hand on line. I in now way am saying that there are not Gibsons that have left the factory unacceptibly shoddy there obviously have been and I would say that the Henry years have not been stellar but the idea that the fit and finish as a rule is shoddy simply isn't the case and with any instrument check it out, put it in your hands and make a decision.

    As far as punctuation is concerned. Really? That is a big issue?
  18. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    This ^^^

    It boggles the mind how Gibson seems to be oblivious to its own QC. I searched a long time for my 335 sorting through what seemed to be factory seconds. Never buy a Gibson without inspecting every square inch of it first. Finish flaws, crooked tuners, mis-aligned bridges continue to be the rule rather than the exception. These are the QC problems that I continue to see at my local shop. These issues used to be the norm for Epiphone, but at least the price point reflected that. I wouldn't hesitate to buy an Epiphone sight unseen today. My how things have changed.......:rollno:
  19. starmann

    starmann Flats and Fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    I own six Gibsons as I've said before.

    The quality on mine are OK to Good. However, I've returned many and accepted some with flaws because I was able to fix them or "ignore" them.

    Modern Gibson Quality Control SUCKS.

    With Gibson it is the luck of the draw or what you are willing to accept. IT IS VERY SAD!

    Because truth be said, Gibson has GREAT LOW END and they are one of my favorite Basses when they infrequently get it right.:bassist:
  20. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    Yes. It affects your ability to communicate. Talk is half of TalkBass.

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