Other Guitars

Sam Ash has an ongoing sale on those godawful 2015 Gibsons

1

So I took a flyer, bought a Les Paul DC Special and made a few changes. Replaced the nut, added a pick guard, replaced the tuners with grovers and added a B5. It's good wood and I really don't mind the neck. It worked out pretty well, I think... although I can't seem to get pictures to upload.

3

Or this, The bridge, as it turns out, worked perfectly. I'm not really sure why but it does.

4

I have (so far) resisted those deals. I like the look of the Gibson Traditional in the Ocean Blue but I don't need a heavy (9/10lb) guitar in my arsenal.

5

Very nice colour. But I still don't understand why they re-shaped the upper cutaway / horn area.

7

Confusing, ainit? That profile has been established for ... 60 years? It worked aesthetically from the beginning, and by this point is practically one of the archetypes for a mahogany slab guitar (along with the SG).

Gibson harasses "copy" builders for getting too close to the classic shapes, forcing them to slightly revise their profiles.

So what possible reason did what misguided soul at Gibson have to do the very same thing on their own guitar? It's not enough of a difference to make a functional difference, and it's not "better" (more proportional, harmonious, graceful, balanced, whatever) by any objective aesthetic standard (if there is such a thing). It's just ... different. I can't imagine it attracted any new buyers who might have had no more than a passing familiarity with the original and who thought this was "better" - and it could only put off buyers who, either by long familiarity or by intention to own a piece of the heritage, find it not just immaterial but a downright impediment to desirability. It's a potential buzzkill. It could harsh a guy's mellow.

We all know Gibson and Gretsch screwed with their body designs and fine-tuned profiles into the 60s and even 70s (Fender seemed to be immune to the temptation), rarely for the better. But since the vintage-veneration era began, with guitars "reissued" or at least hewing closely to original designs, most makers have realized the market-stupidity of messing with the classic recipes.

Of all the companies with a solid, evergreen heritage, deep in proven functional specs and classic shapes, whatever possesses Gibson to do some of the stuff they do?


None of which is to detract from the essential properties and qualities of this guitar. A doublecut mahogany Gibson slab with P90s is a unique and wonderful thing, and the color is right. With the addition of the Bigsby and replacement of the goofytuners, this particular guitar shows every sign of being a wonderful instrument. (I know I love my older matte-finish version - with original horns.)

And the new design isn't ugly on its own terms by any means. It's a nice-looking guitar.

Just...oh Gibson, what are you thinking sometimes?

8

I've actually got one of these '15 Gibson LP Special Double Cuts, and I do like it quite a bit, but yeah - I wish they had kept the classic shape..

This photo is really the classic shape, and I wish Gibson had kept it on the 2015's.

10

Agreed, agreed and agreed. I just saw it and envisioned the changes. When I found out that someone was already making pick guards for it, I decided to give it a go. You know what, the price was right, the changes weren't all that expensive and I'm happy with it. It's all good.

11

What were your thoughts about its original zero-fret nut? And the G-Force tuning system? Never had either, just curious.

(The DC Special deal looks good. And the Traditional Ocean Blue. I bought a 2013 Melody Maker a few years ago from Sam Ash, 2 P90 pickups, burgundy matte finish, single cutaway, bar bridge, new for $380. Manufacture date was a few years earlier, they probably found some misplaced boxes in the warehouse somewhere. Got it to take it with me when traveling.)

12

I wasn't fond of the nut and replaced it with a zero glide nut. I was interested to see how it worked and they make a replacement for this guitar. Much better, I thought. I don't play with enough different alternate tunings for the G Force to be a real factor. I just found it really odd to look at and it felt neck heavy (that may have been just me). The guitar seems better balanced with the bigsby and that may have nothing at all to do with the tuners. I think the guitar itself gets a little bit of a bad rap. The neck is a little different but I've owned lots of vintage guitar with necks that were much worse and much harder to play. Still, I have to agree with other here. I don't know what Gibson was thinking. I bought this because I thought some small mods would work well for it. If I wasn't going to change it, I wouldn't have bought it.

13

That Gibson nicely compliments your Corvette fxsctt.

14

I'm happy to say that I officially resisted the sale and now there are out of the Ocean Blue Traditional Les Pauls!

15

Gibson's 1970s Hamer copy? :) They didnt like that Hamer found gibson production crap so Danzig w his Arlington Heights crew built a better gibson.I was a hamer fanatic up until my first gretsch :)

16

Though not a double cut, this was a built in 2015 (no signature on the headstock- just the normal Gibson though the corners do seem "pointier") that made a nice platform when it was purchased on sale in 2016.

Just like others mentioned, the nut was crap. It felt weird and quickly cracked under the low E. it was replaced with a tusq one that I prefer. Also, no pickguard. I had to have pickguardian make one and he did an excellent job.

Quirks: the burst is only on the top. It's subtle but the slight red on the edge just is on the top and it's just plain mahogany on the sides and back. Also, the fretboard is bound and there is a small tummy contour on the back (actually nice but not like the original). Also, grovers instead of tulips.

It came with zebra burstbucker 3s and push/pull pots to coil tap. I swapped them for early 70s t-tops that I already had and some standard 500k pots. I also swapped some other hardware, mostly for aesthetics.

I'm not sure why Gibson made this guitar like this. When they make these guitars (mine and the OP's), they always do weird things with them like the horn on the doublecut or the weird burst on mine. They do things that cost them money without much improvement (like the binding on mine) but don't include or make pickguards for them. To me, both look much better with them installed. I wouldn't have purchased mine at anywhere near the original price since I was mostly looking for a mahogany vessel for those t-tops (I think I paid 450 for it because there was supposedly a scratch on it - I couldn't find it). I'm not sure how much money is really made by these models at the end of the day when they have to go on super sale two years later to clear them out.

17

I originally bought my '15 LP Special Double Cut (for $599.99) shortly after they first came out - at a GC Labor Day sale.

I wasn't planning on getting one of these 2015's at all - I just stumbled upon this one on sale, tried it out and loved the P90's. This one was feather weight as well. It was also set up the way I like, and the wide fretboard didn't bother me at all. I was surprised by how much I liked it, to be honest.

I thought I would definitely swap the G-Force tuners out for some Grovers or similar, but after two years, the G-Force still works perfectly on mine, so it has stayed on there.

Gibson sent me a titanium nut free of charge to replace the brass one.

I totally understand why some don't like these 2015's - But for me, I really enjoy playing this one.

18

I suspect they changed the shape so that they could put the neck pickup against the neck and get a better neck pickup tone. If you look at the original (and yes, better!) shape of the Special they have to use the wood above the neck pickup to hold the neck in place. Having the cutaway go right across the back, as PRS copied, leaves too little wood to hold the neck on a Special if you have the neck pickup against the fingerboard.

So the traditional Special has the neck pickup moved down away from the neck which gives you that 24 fret neck pickup sound. It's not as neck pickup-y. The '15 shape allows them to put the neck pickup where it should be. No, it doesn't look as good to me, but it probably sounds better.

20

Jimmy, excellent speculation. I hadn't considered pickup placement. I'd like to think you're right. I can accept change for valid functional reasons, and it's good to think Gibson had one.

(Of course which config sounds best is still a matter of taste.)

21

We all know Gibson and Gretsch screwed with their body designs and fine-tuned profiles into the 60s and even 70s (Fender seemed to be immune to the temptation)

For the most part, but Fender did screw up the telecaster silhouette pretty badly in the 70's. compare the shoulder of this 1975 tele to the original body shape.

22

I think I read somewhere that Gibson still is in trouble and has until 2018 to sort everything out. I hope they will find a way to make it all work.

23

I hope Gibson keep going. I know the management is kooky and people love to bash them, but they really do make some wonderful guitars. Let them make their nutty stuff - as long as they can make a great 335 I don't care.

24

Umm, I think Gibson invented this shape, or am I wrong.

PRS did not.

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