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  • #31
    I'm covering my ears.... every Casino pic is producing virtual feedback and I can't stand it any more! I'm also reminded... the E falls off. Keep that in mind if you don't already know.

    Random nothingness... the real-deal Casino in 1965 (for example mine), had an Epiphone/Gibson vibrato (option.. which I had) that had a little wooden E insert in one spot and.... a cotter pin instead of a spring for the vibrato/tremelo/whammy effect. It was a disaster. You didn't dare do too many whammies or the cotter pin would break.... often. Making the bar slam down to the wood and the guitar being unplayable. Facilitating a trip into the music store to get it fixed. After about five times of that, I just had them put an actual Bigsby on the guitar. Which is the way Beatles and other 196* Casino users seemed to be doing too.

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    • #32
      Gibson guitars were not inexpensive back in 1981-1982. You buy it right and buy in once.

      If the cost of goods doubles every 10 years or so, you crunch the numbers here on the MSRP's



      You could get a better discount off the MSRP back 35 years ago, but I hope you get the idea.





      Like Craig says, there's a ton of work that goes into building a nice guitar.

      I never in my wildest dreams, as a young guy would think I'd have as many instruments and guitars as I do. Lots of guys ave way more too.

      Back in the day, I wanted one nice Gibson Les Paul, and one nice Fender Strat, to play through one nice amp.

      My hard consistent work and by the grace of god, I have been blessed in spades to own some rather nice gear, including many many Gibson products.










      _____________________________________
      Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

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      • #33
        Amen...

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        • #34
          Originally posted by EmgEsp View Post


          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.
          As I pointed out, "It's also very important to note that all Gibson guitars use the PLEK process for dressing the frets and cutting the nut to ensure the best possible action." And of course Gibson uses tools like CNC machines; check out these videos if you want to see how Gibson guitars are made.






          As to expensive, I mentioned,Gibson has a lot of guitars that cost under a thousand, going all the way down to $399. I think it's hard to justify that kind of pricing as a "boutique item," but I guess "boutique" is in the eye of the beholder.

          Also the cost in materials isn't all that goes into making a guitar, there's also the labor, QC, support, etc. I'm sure the materials cost involved in making a nitrocellulose finish is negligible, but the work that goes into doing multiple layers and doing the buffing is what adds up.



          Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Anderton View Post

            As I pointed out, "It's also very important to note that all Gibson guitars use the PLEK process for dressing the frets and cutting the nut to ensure the best possible action." And of course Gibson uses tools like CNC machines; check out these videos if you want to see how Gibson guitars are made.

            As to expensive, I mentioned,Gibson has a lot of guitars that cost under a thousand, going all the way down to $399. I think it's hard to justify that kind of pricing as a "boutique item," but I guess "boutique" is in the eye of the beholder.

            Also the cost in materials isn't all that goes into making a guitar, there's also the labor, QC, support, etc. I'm sure the materials cost involved in making a nitrocellulose finish is negligible, but the work that goes into doing multiple layers and doing the buffing is what adds up.[/COLOR]


            Once again I'll bring up Kiesel. Made in the USA semi custom guitars that are on average at least half the price of a similar Gibson. The only big thing they don't offer is real binding. So, I think we can agree that a big part of why Gibson's prices are so high compared to smaller companies is because they can be, not because they have to in order to make a specific amount of profit. They could sell those $5K guitars at $3K and still make a healthy profit. People are just gullible and let companies take advantage of them. I own a real Gibson and I love it, but the prices on some of those guitars are crazy.


            Last edited by EmgEsp; 02-24-2017, 06:39 PM.
            "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."

            !!GEAR!!

            Crate GX130C
            Splawn 4x12 cab X-P V-30's & GT-75's
            MIJ Ibanez RG421 with EMG-81/60
            Charvel M1 with single EMG-81
            MIJ Jackson DK2M
            Gibson Gothic V with single EMG-81

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            • #36
              Originally posted by EmgEsp View Post

              Once again I'll bring up Kiesel. Made in the USA semi custom guitars that are on average at least half the price of a similar Gibson.
              Well, I checked out the Kiesel site and there are a couple of salient points. First, Gibson has several guitars that are less expensive than the least expensive Kiesel. Second, Kiesel sells direct. If you look at the MSRPs, they're about the same as Gibson. Any company could cut prices dramatically if they sold direct. There are pros and cons either way, and some people think that someday, all MI companies will be forced to sell direct. However as a rule of thumb, the larger the company, the more they need the support system of retailers, from GC to Amazon to mom and pop stores.

              I'm sure Kiesel makes fine guitars, but they exist in a very different situation compared to Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, etc. The reason why many smaller companies sell direct is because it gives them a competitive advantage in terms of pricing, but that model becomes increasingly difficult to sustain as a company grows.
              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                Well, I checked out the Kiesel site and there are a couple of salient points. First, Gibson has several guitars that are less expensive than the least expensive Kiesel. Second, Kiesel sells direct. If you look at the MSRPs, they're about the same as Gibson. Any company could cut prices dramatically if they sold direct. There are pros and cons either way, and some people think that someday, all MI companies will be forced to sell direct. However as a rule of thumb, the larger the company, the more they need the support system of retailers, from GC to Amazon to mom and pop stores.

                I'm sure Kiesel makes fine guitars, but they exist in a very different situation compared to Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, etc. The reason why many smaller companies sell direct is because it gives them a competitive advantage in terms of pricing, but that model becomes increasingly difficult to sustain as a company grows.

                Sure, Gibson does have some models lower than the least expensive Kiesel, but again Kiesel is a semi custom guitar company, so you have a ton of options at your disposal when placing an order. You can choose the body/neck wood, fret wire, radius, neck profile, scale length, bridges, pickup configurations, finishes, etc. With Gibson you are stuck with whatever options they chose for the specific guitar, unless you go through their custom shop which is going to cost a pretty penny.

                Gibson without question makes a quality product, but the truth is a good percentage of the price is reflected on the Gibson name.
                "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."

                !!GEAR!!

                Crate GX130C
                Splawn 4x12 cab X-P V-30's & GT-75's
                MIJ Ibanez RG421 with EMG-81/60
                Charvel M1 with single EMG-81
                MIJ Jackson DK2M
                Gibson Gothic V with single EMG-81

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by EmgEsp View Post
                  Gibson without question makes a quality product, but the truth is a good percentage of the price is reflected on the Gibson name.
                  Definitely a percentage of price is due to what the Gibson name represents in terms of quality etc. But I can guarantee you a much, much higher percentage of the price is reflected in the dealer margin. There are many reasons for that, and there are many reasons why companies choose going direct or going with retailers. As I mentioned, there are pros and cons to both, but going direct tends to favor smaller companies and going through retailers tends to favor larger ones.

                  I can also guarantee you that if any company can afford to cut their prices, they will do so in order to gain market share. I'm sure if Les Paul Standards could sell for $999, Gibson's market share would skyrocket. But the company could not exist selling Les Paul Standards at that price, so the point is moot.

                  If you want to know more about direct vs. retail and what it means to companies, do a search on Fender's (very) cautious foray into going direct. It's pretty interesting.


                  Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                  • EmgEsp
                    EmgEsp commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Well, doesn't the cost of materials go down the higher the bulk you order? I'm sure Gibson buys way more wood and general parts annually than Kiesel does.

                • #39
                  Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                  Well, I checked out the Kiesel site and there are a couple of salient points. First, Gibson has several guitars that are less expensive than the least expensive Kiesel. Second, Kiesel sells direct. If you look at the MSRPs, they're about the same as Gibson. Any company could cut prices dramatically if they sold direct. There are pros and cons either way, and some people think that someday, all MI companies will be forced to sell direct. However as a rule of thumb, the larger the company, the more they need the support system of retailers, from GC to Amazon to mom and pop stores.

                  I'm sure Kiesel makes fine guitars, but they exist in a very different situation compared to Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, etc. The reason why many smaller companies sell direct is because it gives them a competitive advantage in terms of pricing, but that model becomes increasingly difficult to sustain as a company grows.

                  Just for fun I put together a build for a Kiesel CS3 (LP Style) to match close to the price of the current Gibson Studio selling for $1500.

                  Spec comparisons.

                  Gibson Les Paul Studio 2017 MSRP $1500

                  - Chambered Mahogany Body with Plain Maple Top

                  - 1 Piece Mahogany Set Neck with Rosewood fretboard

                  - 22 Frets

                  - Non-Locking Tuners

                  - Block Inlays (Top) White Dots (Side)

                  - Choice of three body finishes


                  Kiesel CS3 MSRP $1600


                  - Chambered Mahogany Body and Plain Maple Top

                  - 5 Piece Mahogany Set Neck with Ebony fretboard and dual carbon fiber rods installed

                  - 22 Frets

                  - Locking Tuners

                  - Block Inlays (Top) Luminlay Dots (Side)

                  - Choice of 12 body finishes at no extra cost.


                  Objectively you get more for around the same price with a Kiesel. Comparing craftsmanship between the two companies is probably an Apples to Oranges comparison at this point. They both make generally high quality instruments with the occasional lemons now and then. Why someone would choose the Gibson over the Kiesel is probably really down to name recognition, neck profiles and general looks.
                  Last edited by EmgEsp; 02-24-2017, 09:54 PM.
                  "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."

                  !!GEAR!!

                  Crate GX130C
                  Splawn 4x12 cab X-P V-30's & GT-75's
                  MIJ Ibanez RG421 with EMG-81/60
                  Charvel M1 with single EMG-81
                  MIJ Jackson DK2M
                  Gibson Gothic V with single EMG-81

                  Comment


                  • #40
                    Originally posted by EmgEsp View Post
                    Objectively you get more for around the same price with a Kiesel. Comparing craftsmanship between the two companies is probably an Apples to Oranges comparison at this point. They both make generally high quality instruments with the occasional lemons now and then. Why someone would choose the Gibson over the Kiesel is probably really down to name recognition, neck profiles and general looks.
                    Note that the Gibson comes with a hard shell case (couldn't find case info on the Kiesel site, but it looks like it's another $200?), the Plek setup, and the cryogenic frets. The frets in particular are interesting, most people will never need to get a fret job. Also the Plek process does a great job on optimizing the setup. The case adds a couple hundred dollars to the price, as does the amortization on the Plek machines until they're paid off. You can get a non-Pleked guitar done, but it will cost you anywhere from $200-$300 so that and the case alone accounts for a significant part of the Studio's price.
                    Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                    Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                    • #41
                      I suppose some of the cost of paying for the cnc machines is reflected in Gibson prices. Are Epiphones made on those types of gizmos too? What was Norlin doing in 1974? I'm not familiar with the world of guitar-making machines. Was Norlin having to do things by hand? (Which could explain why I don't much like my Norlin era Pauls). In general, not knowing the world of cnc machines, my intuition is that they probably play a part in making really-good-guitars to the point I'd choose a computer-controlled machine to make my guitar rather than a great guy with a chisel and glue (or whatever). Not that the guy with the sandpaper isn't a nice guy........

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                      • #42
                        Originally posted by bookumdano4 View Post
                        I suppose some of the cost of paying for the cnc machines is reflected in Gibson prices. Are Epiphones made on those types of gizmos too? What was Norlin doing in 1974? I'm not familiar with the world of guitar-making machines. Was Norlin having to do things by hand? (Which could explain why I don't much like my Norlin era Pauls). In general, not knowing the world of cnc machines, my intuition is that they probably play a part in making really-good-guitars to the point I'd choose a computer-controlled machine to make my guitar rather than a great guy with a chisel and glue (or whatever). Not that the guy with the sandpaper isn't a nice guy........
                        I'm not sure when CNC machines became prevalent, but yes, they definitely improve consistency.

                        BTW the point of my posts isn't to be argumentative, but to point out that there are many, many costs that go into a guitar that aren't "visible to the naked eye." And yes, amortizing machinery like CNC or Plek factors into the equation. Then you have unpredictable things, like Gibson having to pay $3.5 million in legal fees (IIRC) to fight the government case, for which Gibson was ultimately exonerated. (Or as the editor of Music Trades summed up the government's conclusion: "You didn't do anything wrong, just don't do it again.") Unfortunately that gets passed along to consumers as well...it's part of the cost of doing business.

                        Another issue is the extent to which Gibson guitars are counterfeited. There are people at Gibson whose gig is to keep counterfeiters from getting the guitars to market, and a legal team that's constantly dealing with the repercussions. It's not just a question of "gee, we'd rather they buy our stuff" but the calls to support about "Your guitars suck!! I've only had my Les Paul for a month and the neck is unplayable!!" where it turns out the buyer bought a counterfeit. (One of my favorite memes while walking past a support person: "Yes, sir, it is indeed a serial number. However it's not a Gibson serial number.") Unfortunately, legitimate customers have to cover the cost of dealing with crooks (just like if you buy something at a big box store, you're paying for the losses caused by shoplifters).

                        In all my experience over the years consulting to dozens and dozens of companies, I've been involved in many pricing discussions. Almost invariably, the question is "how low can we go and still make money?" In a world where the margins for companies are pretty thin, market share is the name of the game; and market share is very price-sensitive.
                        Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                        Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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                        • #43
                          Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                          The frets in particular are interesting, most people will never need to get a fret job. Also the Plek process does a great job on optimizing the setup.
                          I liked watching those Plek machines at the NAMM show (there's usually one in Hall E) almost as much as I enjoyed watching the cassette loading machines that they used to show at the AES show.



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                          • #44
                            Originally posted by Anderton View Post

                            Note that the Gibson comes with a hard shell case (couldn't find case info on the Kiesel site, but it looks like it's another $200?), the Plek setup, and the cryogenic frets. The frets in particular are interesting, most people will never need to get a fret job. Also the Plek process does a great job on optimizing the setup. The case adds a couple hundred dollars to the price, as does the amortization on the Plek machines until they're paid off. You can get a non-Pleked guitar done, but it will cost you anywhere from $200-$300 so that and the case alone accounts for a significant part of the Studio's price.

                            Kiesel comes with a case standard as well. They also do fret crowning/leveling by hand at no extra price. Jeff says each guitar takes about 45 minutes to just over an hour for fret work. All plek process does is allows you to get level frets when your fingerboard isn't perfectly flat throughout the length. Jeff Kiesel commented on why companies choose the plek process and its really because its faster.
                            "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."

                            !!GEAR!!

                            Crate GX130C
                            Splawn 4x12 cab X-P V-30's & GT-75's
                            MIJ Ibanez RG421 with EMG-81/60
                            Charvel M1 with single EMG-81
                            MIJ Jackson DK2M
                            Gibson Gothic V with single EMG-81

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                            • #45
                              Good to know about the case, that's not obvious from the web site. If you have connections at Kiesel you might want to let them know it's not clear (at least from what I read) that cases are included.

                              As to Plek, that's exactly what it's all about - doing what an expert luthier does in much less time. Sweetwater has a very good description of what the Plek process is. I would add that several luthiers I've talked to say that the Plek process has a degree of accuracy in terms of tolerances that is difficult, if not impossible, for humans to attain. Whether or not the difference is something you'd notice...I don't know.
                              Simplicity, my new album project, is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

                              Subscribe, like, and share the links!

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