Other Guitars

WHY?

1

To set this in motion properly, this is NOT a Gibson bashing thread. I actually love ES175s, but why so expensive? Yes it has a few upgrades in electronics and glue techniques but being generous to Gibson, the upgrades could not exceed more than a couple of hundred dollars.

The guitar is plywood as are all ES175s and if you want natural finished plywood, it costs an additional $500.00. No matter how I try to work out the math, this seems ludicrously overpriced.

I'm eager to read your comments.

2

I like how it's "laminated" when people are happy, and "plywood!" when they're not.

At least they went back and re-blueprinted some actual real Gibson ES175's for this fancy schmansy 59 reissue. Before that, the body shape and the cutaway had evolved to looking like a Chinese copy of a 175. The recent re-done hollowbodies Gibson has been doing (ES330's, these, ES 225's, ES295's) àre very nice guitars, I'll give them that. But yes, expensive.

3

Nope. This doesn't make a bit of sense for a player. The ES-175 has always been known as a working musician's guitar. You'd have to be playing a bunch of high-pay gigs to justify this one, and even then...

A quick check of ebay shows quite a few very nice used 175s priced way below five grand. Given the love folks seem to have for genuine old stuff (when it comes to guitars, anyway), the pricing seems to be upside down.

A new Martin D-28 at GDP sponsor Dave's Guitars sells for $2,500. This is a solid wood, handmade, nitro-finished standard of quality bluegrass guitar. A bragging point in the Gibson blurb about the 175 is that it has a "hot hide glue neck joint." Well, yeah. How else are you gonna hook the neck to the body? I know, some (all?) Taylors use bolts, but hide glue has been the standard forever.

What next? Is Gibson going to boast about using honest-to-god steel as a truss rod? Maybe there will be an up-charge for actual magnets in the pickups.

Once again, I detect that I'm not part of the target market for Gibson. Since I work for a living, dollars have some meaning to me. Luckily, I have an old Guild CE-100 that cost me just over a grand that scratches my ES-175 itch. New Gibson instruments aren't even on my radar screen.

4

Bear, you are starting a thread about Gibson overpricing their guitars? Come on. Three things in the music world are 100% certainties: Jon Bon Jovi's music will suck, you will hear "Freebird" on the radio every single day of your life, and Gibson will grossly overprice their guitars.

5

I'm sorry I don't have a direct answer for you but I can contribute that 175's with P90s are killer. I'm lucky enough to have a 1954 sunburst with P90's that is a true joy.

Not so sure that $500 is a common finish upcharge for any company, seems out of whack.

6

Just today I was looking at ES 335 pricing, mostly used, and concluded that Gibson is not a realistic option.

7

Why not?

Seriously...this can't lead to hardly anything BUT "Gibson bashing".....

They do it, because they CAN do it....as long as people will pay that price, they are going to charge that price.

And, to be frank....I was checking the "list price" of Falcon's today, and they were priced at $4,850 list (or, at least in that range)...so, how is this Gibson pricing any different than some of the Gretsch....and to be fair, lots of other companies....pricing? And,......AND...at least the Gibson is made in the good ol' USA (not to say that the quality of Gretsch is not on par or better).....Just sayin'.

(NOT trying to "beat you down" Steve....just proposing an alternate viewpoint)

8

Why not?

Seriously...this can't lead to hardly anything BUT "Gibson bashing".....

They do it, because they CAN do it....as long as people will pay that price, they are going to charge that price.

And, to be frank....I was checking the "list price" of Falcon's today, and they were priced at $4,850 list (or, at least in that range)...so, how is this Gibson pricing any different than some of the Gretsch....and to be fair, lots of other companies....pricing? And,......AND...at least the Gibson is made in the good ol' USA (not to say that the quality of Gretsch is not on par or better).....Just sayin'.

(NOT trying to "beat you down" Steve....just proposing an alternate viewpoint)

– Toddfan

This particular Gibson is also a Memphis Custom Shop guitar finished in nitrocellulose. How much does Stephen Stern and his group charge for custom guitars?

I'm not particularly fond of this particular Gibson though and would not personally pay that particularly high price for it.

I bought my chambered Gibson Les Paul Studio 50's Tribute with P90's for under $1,000. There are Gibson and Gretsch guitars in every price range.

9

That ES175 does look rather pricey. However, I'm just looking at the current stock of a major guitar store in South East England. A new "Gibson 2014 Custom Shop 1963 ES-335TD Block VOS" costs slightly less than a 6120.

10

I often ask myself: What does the term 'overprized' actually mean? More than it should cost? More than it is worth?

That sure is a hell lot of money but it probably is a #1 guitar for the buyer/player not a 7th or 10th in a horde. If I knew it was the one (or one of my top 3 maybe) I'd buy it instead of having others collecting dust. Many of us have way more guitars we actually need anyway.

Like you Bear, I don't get the price upgrade of $500 for a finish 'downgrade'.

11

Why not?

Seriously...this can't lead to hardly anything BUT "Gibson bashing".....

They do it, because they CAN do it....as long as people will pay that price, they are going to charge that price.

And, to be frank....I was checking the "list price" of Falcon's today, and they were priced at $4,850 list (or, at least in that range)...so, how is this Gibson pricing any different than some of the Gretsch....and to be fair, lots of other companies....pricing? And,......AND...at least the Gibson is made in the good ol' USA (not to say that the quality of Gretsch is not on par or better).....Just sayin'.

(NOT trying to "beat you down" Steve....just proposing an alternate viewpoint)

– Toddfan

List Price: Falcon - $4,850.00 Top of the line Gretsch hollowbody. Street price: $3,500.00

List Price: ES175 Natural - $5,399.00 Bottom of the line Gibson hollowbody. Street price: $5,399.00

12

I'd rather one of these at half the price. Different beast to the ES175, solid woods so it can howl like crazy. I put a couple sound posts in mine to fix that. https://reverb.com/item/298...

13

That 1959 reissue 175 is not the bottom of the line Gibson hollowbody Bear. It's a limited run specific reissue guitar. There's a standard 'non reissue" ES175 model too, that lists for $3999.

The "cheapest" fully hollow archtop in their current lineup is probably the ES195 at around $2600 list. http://www2.gibson.com/Prod...

It compares to Gretsch's Tennessee Rose, also kind of bottom of the line, laminated maple twin pickup medium depth hollowbody with a Bigsby. The Rose lists at $3179.

The Gibson being made in the USA and having a nitro finish all of a sudden makes the Tenny look on the expensive side from where I'm sitting.

14

List Price: Falcon - $4,850.00 Top of the line Gretsch hollowbody. Street price: $3,500.00

List Price: ES175 Natural - $5,399.00 Bottom of the line Gibson hollowbody. Street price: $5,399.00

– Bear

Korean worker wage: ????

USA worker wage: ????

Just sayin' that some folks might find it worth the price difference. That doesn't mean one way is right or wrong....just that some folks may see more value in the Gibson.

Also....I am absolutely sure that I would not pay the price advertised at MF for that guitar. I base this on having auditioned guitars at their Private Reserve facility and having pricing discussions with the sales person.

Would I pay that for that guitar...not likely....but, that doesn't mean that the guitar is not worth that to someone.

15

It does seem like a lot...at first. I'm sure if you called an MF "guitar advisor" you may be able to get the price down some. But the market for an American traditionally made guitar is going to be rare; too many people are happy with their "East" woods with modern (cheaper) construction techniques and muchwhat lower labor costs. The production runs on these are by nature going to be smaller making necessarily higher pricing. For all practical purposes, Gibson is the "custom shop" and Epiphone the everyday working musicians "gotta have one of everything" shop. As far as the natural being more expensive finish, that's always been the case, but with wood scarcity issues, today's price is going to reflect that scarcity.

16

The pricing comparisons between Gibson (Made in USA) and Gretsch (Made in Japan) have been discussed here before. The assumption is that "Made in Japan" should be LESS expensive. That logic doesn't seem to apply to other products made in Japan -- automobiles, for example.

I think a more valid point of comparison is Gibson vs. Martin both made in the USA. My bet is that Martin is located in a more expensive labor market (Nazareth, PA) -- I live in the area and I know about labor pay rates here. Martin uses solid woods, including some expensive woods, on their high end models. Gibson uses "plywood". So how is it that Martin D-28's sell for around $2500, $1000 - $2000 less than comparable level Gibsons?

17

I don't know if a D28 and J45 make for a fair comparison. Anyway, by scanning a few US dealers' websites, a new J45 seems to come in at maybe a couple of hundred dollars over a D28. Is a J45 really made of "plywood"? I would hope not.

In the UK, the J45 is cheaper than the D28 by a couple of hundred pounds. I'd happily have either of them if I could afford it.

18

I tried one of these on Saturday. I have an original '58, and I must admit they'd come awf'ly close with the reissue. But with a $3299 price tag, you'll have no problem finding a vintage one cheaper. The 225s were the cheap range of Gibsons when they were released. Today? Nope.

(Mine does have a tad slimmer neck, though, but it's a year older than the one they're reissuing, so I dunno... Wish I'd have brought mine in for an A/B test, but I may do it the next time I'm in Oslo, just for kicks.)

Anders

19

What senojnad said. I also checked the price of a Heritage H-575 made in Kalamazoo. The difference between the ES-175 and the Heritage is that the Heritage has solid wood CARVED back and top and solid wood sides. The maple used is also nicely figured, highlighted by a lightly stained natural finish.

The first example I found was at the Mandolin Brothers--an establishment known more for high quality than for rock bottom prices. Their cash price for a new Heritage H-575 was $2,985.

It's been said before: Gibson will charge what ever the traffic will bear. They own the Gibson trademark, after all. For some, the old Gibson slogan "Only a Gibson is good enough" still holds true.

Like I say, I'm just not part of their demographic group.

20

I don't know if a D28 and J45 make for a fair comparison. Anyway, by scanning a few US dealers' websites, a new J45 seems to come in at maybe a couple of hundred dollars over a D28. Is a J45 really made of "plywood"? I would hope not.

In the UK, the J45 is cheaper than the D28 by a couple of hundred pounds. I'd happily have either of them if I could afford it.

– Dave_K

I realize you were probably joking Dave, a J45 is all solid, of course. It's mahogany back and sides versus the D28's Rosewood though, so that way comparing it to a D18 would make more sense.

And about heritage 575's...Heritage builds some nice guitars, but if I want a 175, I want it laminated. A solid wood guitar sounds different, and to my ears and for my application not necessarily superior.

21

I have learned to wait until stores blowout their NOS Gibson inventory to buy one. I found a great Les Paul Traditional that way, and recently, an unbelievable ES-335.

I have no argument with you Steve. I have always questioned the pricing of Gibson guitars.

At the very least, the ES series is still behaving like the Gibson guitars that I have always loved. I am absolutely kicking myself on a daily basis for not buying an SG Standard (new) before they put that atrocity on the back of the headstock.

Dylan

22

That guitar costs more than I paid for my Jeep. Too rich for my blood, but it is a nice looking guitar. Does it have those electronic tuners?

23

Walter, I don't want to suggest that the Gibson and Heritage guitars are interchangeable. They are, however, comparable. Somehow Heritage, like G&L, has failed to inspire the desires of the guitar buying public. Much like the position long occupied by Guild, they are that "other" American guitar maker that we don't think about very much.

Heritage, as a survival strategy, needs to price their instruments at a level that reflects the cost of materials, overhead, and profit. Unlike some other companies, Heritage doesn't have the cachet to attach arbitrarily high prices to their instruments.

I don't really have a dog in this race. Gibson can charge whatever they want. Those who want a Gibson will find a way to pay for one. I've owned a couple in the past that I sold simply because I didn't really like them. I'm likely to own other Gibsons in the future if something comes into my hands at the right price. L-5 anyone?

A new ES-175 at five grand just seems shocking to me. I should add that until the last dozen years, I'd never paid more that $500 for any guitar, including Martins and Gibsons. It's a good thing I don't need any instruments these days.

24

here's my H575. Love it.

25

Korean worker wage: ????

USA worker wage: ????

Just sayin' that some folks might find it worth the price difference. That doesn't mean one way is right or wrong....just that some folks may see more value in the Gibson.

Also....I am absolutely sure that I would not pay the price advertised at MF for that guitar. I base this on having auditioned guitars at their Private Reserve facility and having pricing discussions with the sales person.

Would I pay that for that guitar...not likely....but, that doesn't mean that the guitar is not worth that to someone.

– Toddfan

Falcon is Japanese wage which is significantly higher than Korean, just to clarify.

Also, I'm not saying that those able to afford the ES175 and feel the price is fine should buy it if it trips their trigger. To me, even if I had no more room in my pockets for one-hundred dollar bills, I would still find it dramatically overpriced. Overpriced to me means how much bang for the buck. A popcorn fart on that one costs $50.00.

"I often ask myself: What does the term 'overprized' actually mean? More than it should cost? More than it is worth?" - Sascha

In my point of view, a combination of both.


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