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  • #16
    Just to add - there are lots of inflation calculators online. I used this one (it's based on the Consumer Price Index - so it's a purchasing power yardstick) to pull the following:

    $500 in 1965, same value in 2016 dollars = $3,790.46

    $700 in 1970, same value in 2016 dollars = $4,391.71

    $1,823 in 1970, same value in 2016 dollars = $11,437.27

    Hard to believe, but true anyway, that inflation rate in the late 70s, hitting around 14% annual.

    I would also just point out that current vehicles are light-years better than the (relative) junk we drove in the 70s. In case you've forgotten just what a pain cars used to be compared to their reliability, longevity, and general comfort and amenities today. Oh, I'm very sentimental about my first vehicle which was a 1968 Ford F100 stepsides pickup with a wooden truckbed - but I had to work on it every weekend just to keep it on the road. By the time I sold it, I had replaced probably 80% of the thing not including the body and frame.

    nat








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    • #17
      Originally posted by Anderton View Post

      Recently I got turned on to Richlite. My knee jerk reaction was (of course) how could that be better for fingerboards than real ebony? Scanning forums, though, it seemed that people who didn't know much about guitars were against it while actual luthiers thought it was great. So I looked into it further. I liked that it was a totally renewable resource, but that was more like a bonus. Luthiers told me what they liked best about it, aside from the uniformity and knowing that every fingerboard was as good as every other fingerboard, was you could refret a guitar with a Richlite fingerboard without destroying it. With Gibson, that's not so important because of the cryogenic frets, but it did tell me that what is "traditional" is not always best.

      I hate to admit it, but it took me a couple of weeks with a guitar with a Richlite fingerboard before I even noticed that it wasn't ebony. IMHO, the feel and look are nearly indistinguishable. And like you said, it's renewable, more stable (it won't crack) and more durable. It also won't chip when you refret it based on the comments from the luthiers I've heard discussing it.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

        I hate to admit it, but it took me a couple of weeks with a guitar with a Richlite fingerboard before I even noticed that it wasn't ebony. IMHO, the feel and look are nearly indistinguishable.
        Is this the stuff made of compressed paper? I talked with those folks at NAMM and mentioned it in my daily dribbles, though decided to leave it out of my full report and let the people who know more about guitar technicalities talk about it if it's worth talking about.

        What did you notice about it that made you realize that it wasn't ebony? Feel? Or that it looked too perfect? Or something else?
        --
        "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
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        • #19
          Originally posted by MikeRivers View Post

          Is this the stuff made of compressed paper?
          Yes - I believe it's recycled paper (65%) and phenolic resin (35%) which is compressed and heated to form a solid material.

          http://www.richlite.com/what-is-richlite/

          I talked with those folks at NAMM and mentioned it in my daily dribbles, though decided to leave it out of my full report and let the people who know more about guitar technicalities talk about it if it's worth talking about.

          What did you notice about it that made you realize that it wasn't ebony? Feel? Or that it looked too perfect? Or something else?
          I noticed when I started doing photos and was getting really, really close and doing a detailed survey of the guitar. There's no pores or grain in it. Ebony is extremely tight grained and smooth (and Richlite is also smooth), so unless you look very close, you probably wouldn't notice.

          Like I said, feel is nearly indistinguishable. The Richlite may be just a touch smoother and a bit easier to bend strings on, but IMHO any differences are pretty negligible. I honestly didn't notice it wasn't ebony and just assumed it was.

          I looked into Richlite once I knew they used it on the guitar, and it has some very interesting properties that seem to make it an ideal replacement for ebony. It's sustainable. It doesn't crack like ebony can. It is much more stable and could help the guitar neck to be more warp resistant. It doesn't crack or chip when you try to refret it. In fact, I can't find a single thing to fault it for... except that it's "not ebony" - and yeah, that's still going to make an emotional difference to some folks, despite the fact that it appears to be the superior fretboard material.
          **********

          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

          - George Carlin

          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

          Comment


          • #20
            I'm late to the party (been gigging a lot) so I haven't read all the previous posts, so please forgive me if I'm repeating. Also, I'm on the outside - looking in so my guesses can be totally wrong. But here is how I'm figuring it:

            1) Made in USA. Labor is more expensive here than it is in many other countries

            2) Quality woods and parts. None of those cheap pickup switches that break in a year or so - and so on

            3) The name - Gibson has worked very hard to have a good name in the business and that is worth a lot of money.

            4) Every business charges whatever the market will bear. That only goes for the "Gibson" name but for their models as well. If people will pay a thousand dollars more to get a facsimile of a famous guitarist's signature on the guitar, the manufacturer will charge it.

            Fender does the same thing. I remember when Fenders were relatively cheap guitars, but the reputation and brand building has taken the humble starter guitar - the tele - and made it a desired and pricey guitar.

            My Epiphone Casino is IMHO 95% as good as my Gibson ES330 but at about 1/4 the price. It was made in Korea (Peerless plant), has MOT inlays instead of MOP, poly finish instead of nitro, and the wood must not be as good because when not plugged in, the Gibson has a fuller tone.

            Is the 330 worth 4 Casinos? That depends on the player.

            Insights and incites by Notes
            Bob "Notes" Norton
            Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
            Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
            The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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            • #21
              Notes, just out of curiosity, do you have a picture of your Peerless Casino? What year was it made?

              Mine is a 2001, also from the Peerless factory, and it's one of my favorite guitars.
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                Yes - I believe it's recycled paper (65%) and phenolic resin (35%) which is compressed and heated to form a solid material.
                So it's not "paper or plastic," it's paper AND plastic!
                N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post
                  3) The name - Gibson has worked very hard to have a good name in the business and that is worth a lot of money.
                  Part of the reason for that is Gibson stands behind their products. If you have a problem with the guitar, Gibson will make it right. Of course Gibson is by no means alone in that respect, but is one of those brands where people can have confidence in buying the product.

                  Is the 330 worth 4 Casinos? That depends on the player.
                  I also think the law of diminishing returns comes into play here. A $100 speaker could very well be 10 times better than a $10 speaker, but it's unlikely that a $10,000 speaker is 10 times better than a $1,000. With something like a Les Paul Standard, going "the extra mile" is a lot more expensive than going the first mile.

                  I bought a limited edition Epiphone Swingster Royale yesterday (couldn't resist the blue finish and gray sparkle binding) and damn, it's one fine guitar. Yes, it lacks some of the finesse of a Gibson, but it's very playable, affordable, and sounds great.

                  This reminds me of the question "how many guitars is enough?" And of course, the answer is "one more."
                  N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                  Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                  • #24
                    I've never had a problem with a Gibson guitar, but I've read enough stories to know they will make it right.

                    I did have a problem with a Parker. They fixed it at their expense. It broke again (a minor crack) and the replaced it for no charge to me.

                    Better companies know that service means repeat business - lack of service means no repeat business.

                    The Gibson vs the Epiphone with the same body is like the Lexus vs Toyota with the same body. Some people think the extras are worth the money, others don't.

                    And I do like the diminishing returns statement Craig.

                    Insights and incites by Notes
                    Bob "Notes" Norton
                    Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                    Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                    The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                      Notes, just out of curiosity, do you have a picture of your Peerless Casino? What year was it made?

                      Mine is a 2001, also from the Peerless factory, and it's one of my favorite guitars.
                      2000 (I think) and it's a well built guitar.

                      I did replace the pick guard with a black one and put witch hat knobs on it.

                      I think the black pick guard brings out the wood grain better, and I got so used to the witch hat knobs on my Gibson that I find them easier to see.

                      I bought the Casino to take on the gig. The 1970 Gibson is now a collector's item, and I didn't want to ruin it. I play sax, flute, wind synth, guitar, sometimes keyboard, sometimes electric drums, and switching instruments in a hurry is a sure way to put excessive wear on an instrument and a possible accident waiting to happen.

                      All in all I'm as happy with the Casino as the Gibson. I wish it had higher fret action, I actually like the poly finish better for gigging, but I wish it had a smaller headstock *perhaps the Bikini headstock). I'm not opposed to the Epi headstock, it just looks too long for this guitar to me (minor thing).

                      I ended up getting a weekly afternoon gig on a quay over a salt water lagoon, and I don't want to take a hollow guitar to that gig, which is why I bought a Parker solid body. I'm a big P90 fan so I put P-Rails in my Parker.

                      OK, I showed you mine, let's see yours

                      Before:


                      After:


                      Bob "Notes" Norton
                      Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                      Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                      The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                      • Phil O'Keefe
                        Phil O'Keefe commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I agree - the black pickguard does look very nice on that Casino!

                    • #26
                      Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                      This reminds me of the question "how many guitars is enough?" And of course, the answer is "one more."

                      lol - may I quote you on that? It may come in handy sometime when I need to justify a new guitar to the wife...
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment


                      • #27
                        Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post

                        OK, I showed you mine, let's see yours


                        That's only fair.

                        As I said, it's a 2001, which I purchased new online (Ebay, IIRC) and hoped for the best... and totally lucked out. It's one of those lifelong keepers you're lucky to occasionally find...

                        I did pull the pickguard off of it - I like the way it plays and looks better without it. Outside of that and a replacement three-way switch (the stock one died and was replaced with a Switchcraft), it's totally stock.





                        And here's another picture I took of it - this one was for the Casino Coupe review I did a while back - I wanted to show the size difference between a regular Casino and the smaller (ES-339 sized) Casino Coupe. The Coupe was a review unit and is not mine.





                        About the only thing I don't like about my Casino are the neck inlays. They are acrylic, and unlike some other acrylic inlays I've seen, they don't really look anything at all like mother of pearl - they're "swirl-less" and almost completely uniform. Their grayish color is also kind of weird. But hey, that's just bling and visuals - it's a great guitar where it counts - it plays and sounds fantastic, and it has one of the sweetest necks of any guitar I've ever owned on it.
                        **********

                        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                        - George Carlin

                        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                        Comment


                        • Notes_Norton
                          Notes_Norton commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thanks. I like the color a lot.

                          I agree with the inlays, but also that they are just bling. When playing the guitar I can't see them anyway. My Casino does have good binding and fret markers on the top of the neck.

                          I bought my Casino used. I tried my local M&P shop but they couldn't get Gibson products (too small) so I drove 50 miles to Wes Palm Beach. At a Guitar Center store there were some new ones, and a couple of used ones. This used one actually sounded the best. Later on I found it had aftermarket P90s (I think Duncan from the description I put on the Gibson/Epiphone forum years and years ago). The previous owner also put Grover tuners on it.

                          My 1970 Gibson ES-330 is totally stock. The only thing I've change on it is the strings. It sounds much better as an acoustic, plugged in the Casio with the aftermarket pickups sounds a little better, and both are great guitars.

                          I could live with my Gibson, Epi, and my two Parkers and not need another guitar. In fact, I gave away one to a disadvantaged student who seems to have the passion but his family fell on hard times due to an illness. I'll probably sell the others eventually, but I tend to hoard.

                          Notes

                      • #28
                        Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                        So it's not "paper or plastic," it's paper AND plastic!


                        Here in California, instead of asking you if you want paper or plastic at the supermarket, they now ask you if you want a bag or not. I'm serious. They have to charge you ten cents per bag, per a new state law designed to cut down on the use of plastic bags. We have a bunch of reusable bags we now take to the store whenever we go shopping.
                        **********

                        "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                        - George Carlin

                        "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                        - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                        "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                        - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                        Comment


                        • Notes_Norton
                          Notes_Norton commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Here in Florida there are no restrictions. We bring reusable cloth bags because we think it's the right thing to do. If going into the store for one or two items, we tell them we don't need a bag and carry them out 'naked'.

                          When I was in the UK quite a few years ago, I heard people call the plastic bags that eventually blow into trees and get snagged there, witches' knickers which I thought pretty cute.

                      • #29
                        Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                        Well...I really don't think $399 (the lowest-priced model in the 2017 lineup) is that expensive. AFAIK it's not possible to make a decent guitar in the USA for less. The Les Paul Faded for $799 is very sweet, and there are quite a few guitars in the sub-$1,000 range.

                        So I think your real question is why are Gibson's expensive guitars so expensive...like the Les Paul Standard, which lists for $2,799. There are multiple aspects to the Standard that fall into the "you get what you pay for" category.

                        First, all Gibson guitars are hand-made in the United States using almost exclusively American-made parts, so that leads to a higher price (and higher quality) from the gitgo. This makes a significant difference when you have something as labor- and time-intensive as, for example, the finish (which requires multiple applications over a long period of time). There's a definite dividing line in terms of price between, for example, high-gloss and satin finishes; high-gloss finishes are buffed at each stage, by hand, by humans who are paid American wages. (Also note that for some consumers, it's important to "buy American" and they know they can do that with Gibson.)


                        No they aren't. They are run through CNC machines like the majority of other electric guitar companies. They are hand finished, but so are Kiesel guitars which offer even more features than Gibson at less than half the price. The main reason Gibson guitars are really expensive is because they market their guitars mainly as a boutique item. They want the high price tag to make their guitars seem more special than they really are. In truth their $5K guitars probably cost $500 in materials. I'm not saying they aren't high quality guitars, but they aren't any more high quality than a Kiesel, Ibanez Prestige or Jackson USA model.
                        "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."

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                        • #30
                          If you want that 'special' logo on your polo shirt, you pay more.

                          Same for lady's handbags

                          Same for t-shirts or hats with a major league team logo

                          Same for cars

                          Same for guitars

                          It's the dream of most corporations to get a reputation big enough so that people identify with the brand and will pay more for that logo.

                          If I bring my Gibson to the stage more people notice that than if I bring my Parker. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my Gibson, it's a great guitar, but my Parker suits my gigging needs better so I bring it. I'm into performance more than prestige.

                          Insights and incites by Notes
                          Bob "Notes" Norton
                          Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                          Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                          The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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