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Gibson/Baldwin "Signature Series" guitar: Worst Idea Ever?

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  • Gibson/Baldwin "Signature Series" guitar: Worst Idea Ever?

    I had the misfortune of fixing one of these up last month. These are the guitars that Gibson sells in cardboard boxes in department stores to compete with the cheap First-Acts and other sub-$100 impulse-buy guitars.

    What a piece of junk!!! Uneven, poorly-seated frets, cheap bolt-on neck, dirt-cheap hardware throughout, and awful pickups.

    With a neck shim, some new pickups, and a ton of work filing, leveling, and dressing the frets, and a complete setup, I was able to turn it into... a guitar I still wouldn't buy, but at least it won't interfere with a beginner's progress, and he can pull the pickups and use them on his *next* guitar, which he should be ready for within a year or two.

    Now why, after many many years of insisting on fiercely preserving the "Gibson" brand's reputation by only putting "Epiphone" on the headstock of their more-affordable instruments would the even consider releasing this TOY GUITAR and slapping their name on it???

    If you see one floating around on Craigslist, don't offer more than $40. The quality doesn't even rise to that of an Epiphone "Special II".
    This is my signature file. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

  • #2
    I haven't had the misfortune of playing one, but I've noticed that these, along with Fender's Starcaster guitar, is quickly becoming the blurry picture craigslist scam guitar du jour. I guess for the companies the assumption is that they won't hurt the brand image since anyone that actually knows anything about guitars understands that they shouldn't expect a real guitar from a department store.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree about the dilution of the Gibson brand-name by putting it on these low-end guitars.

      It obviously sells guitars to entry-level buyers (and their parents) because even unsophisticated buyers have heard of Gibson guitars. But to me, it brings-down my brand-awareness of their entire line.

      And now we've all seen how people are selling these Baldwin and Epiphones on CL and calling them "Gibsons". I'm not saying that they are trying to pull something shady--just that for a generation Gibson, Epiphone, and now Baldwin have become all the same.
      There's only two things I'm afraid of---women, and the the C7+9+11 Chord.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree about the dilution of the Gibson brand-name by putting it on these low-end guitars.

        It obviously sells guitars to entry-level buyers (and their parents) because even unsophisticated buyers have heard of Gibson guitars. But to me, it brings-down my brand-awareness of their entire line.

        And now we've all seen how people are selling these Baldwin and Epiphones on CL and calling them "Gibsons". I'm not saying that they are trying to pull something shady--just that for a generation Gibson, Epiphone, and now Baldwin have become all the same.


        I almost flipped the other day when I saw a "Gibson SG" on CL for $300 until I noticed it was bundled with a Fender Frontman 15-watt amp.

        Comment


        • #5
          Who cares? Most big brands have a department store edition of their models.
          spam:
          none at the moment

          I am on the good traders list
          great deals with InertiacSKS, Misle, OldCrankyDouche, DigiTechRep, and more that I forgot about

          If you don't like what I like, I don't like you. fight me.

          Comment


          • #6
            They are truly dreck- they are ditching them at the going out of business sale at FYE-record store-at the Mall. Only use was if the wrap tail SG got cheap enough I thought maybe a slide guitar, or a piece of wall art.
            Good deals with:
            FineYoungFool,adark_one,Gibson2687(x3)tubedrt,tomh 777,Koflan,hvymtl939,shy,dcindc,vangkm, Mr.Pocket,baja85,jjpistols,pinchegordo,Norton666,
            ny300percent.com,paulderlunas,Carbohydrates,GarysB lues,XMahkaihX,JeepDriver,Rokket2005,walleyealx,
            AlleyTrash,BigPimpin'T,frankthomson,Bengal,tobildt eleez,lkdog,slappymcfinkles,Mbomn8r,teleblaster, taylorman22,vidiot72,abrasive,heartben,fretnwail,
            downer01,bobonblonde, KingEdB,andrewemmel,solarpimp,tdepaul1313,kjrocks, suntired, RG 76

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            • #7
              They have a better engineered bridge than what they put on the Epiphone, except for the crap pot metal they make it with.
              60's Classic Vibe Jazz Bass
              Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass
              Acoustic B200/115
              Sansamp DI/Boss TU-3
              Marshall MGHDFX-100/a
              Digitech RP-355

              Comment


              • #8
                They have a better engineered bridge than what they put on the Epiphone, except for the crap pot metal they make it with.


                The bridge was a clever design, I gotta give it that.
                This is my signature file. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  pics?
                  Gear:
                  Cort m200 (with SD 59/JB combo)
                  Ampeg Dan Armstrong
                  Gibson Firebird Studio
                  Gibson Explorer x2 (natural/white)
                  Gibson LP studio
                  Squier Tele Custom II
                  Godin LG EMG
                  Hello Kitty Strat
                  Edwards LPC
                  Jackson COW 6
                  Jim Root Strat
                  ESP Eclipse I DBSB
                  Billy Corgan Strat
                  50s Tribute Goldtop HB
                  Squier Mini Strat
                  Fender Cabronita Tele

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What a piece of junk!!! Uneven, poorly-seated frets, cheap bolt-on neck, dirt-cheap hardware throughout, and awful pickups.

                    With a neck shim, some new pickups, and a ton of work filing, leveling, and dressing the frets, and a complete setup, I was able to turn it into... a guitar I still wouldn't buy


                    I sure hope that was all pro bono....otherwise, that poor bastard just threw good money after bad.
                    spam:
                    GFS Classic Alnico Tele neck pickup - $15
                    GFC Classic Alnico 62 Tele bridge pickup - $15
                    Trade offers welcome

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They are the guitars of choice for the UK education system - I hate to think how many potential guitarists they might be putting off. Especially when, given the price in the education catalogues, a Yamaha could be had for the same.
                      http://www.donaldsimone.com
                      Gear list:
                      Fender Telecaster
                      Brook Torridge
                      Line 6 Variax
                      Cort NTL50
                      Fender DG8S
                      Fender Classic Player Strat
                      Epiphone SG
                      Yamaha CM40
                      Marshall Class 5 combo

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Created for the sole purpose of clogging up ebay with endless listings of "Gibson Les Paul ... $99.00".
                        "I've got a briefcase of thin air. I can play some tricks on you, pretend that I don't care." The Contrast

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I sure hope that was all pro bono....otherwise, that poor bastard just threw good money after bad.


                          I charged him a few bucks (nothing like what a pro tech would charge him. This is my hobby.)

                          When I was done with it, it played like BUTTER. I spent a ton of time on the frets & the nut, I got the intonation set really nice, I cleaned up the electronics a bit, and I dropped in a pickup upgrade (JB/Jazz).

                          Before you say, "a set of Duncans in that POS!?" let me just say this:

                          1. He got the guitar as a gift and really wanted to make the best of it for a couple years.

                          2. I caught them on sale.

                          3. I gave him back his old pickups in a box when I was done. When he's ready to step up to an Agile or Epiphone or whatever, he can drop the old pups back into the cheapie and keep the Duncans to upgrade his next guitar. Heck, I'll probably do the swap for free. The control cavity was really easy to work in so I can probably do it in a matter of minutes.

                          Sooner or later some of the cheap hardware on that thing is going to drive him nuts. Either the frets will wear out way too fast, or the cheap jackplate will go bad, or who-knows-what. But for a couple of years, he's got a guitar that plays as well as pretty much any Epiphone off the shelf and has a rather nice tone to it as well.

                          This is what I do. I rehabilitate guitars. I am... the turd whisperer.
                          This is my signature file. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You are a good man!

                            I am... the turd whisperer.


                            I've always thought of myself as a turd midas. Everything I touch turns to...
                            http://www.donaldsimone.com
                            Gear list:
                            Fender Telecaster
                            Brook Torridge
                            Line 6 Variax
                            Cort NTL50
                            Fender DG8S
                            Fender Classic Player Strat
                            Epiphone SG
                            Yamaha CM40
                            Marshall Class 5 combo

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You are a good man!


                              <----- Not a man, but I appreciate the sentiment.
                              This is my signature file. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

                              Comment



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