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  • New Gibson J-15

    Hello!

    I purchased online last Friday, and it arrived yesterday, a new Gibson J-15. The seller is a big store in the UK, not a private seller, and the price paid was the full price minus some minor discount you would expect to get off the list price anyway. The guitar arrived in a Gibson box that was stapled so I assume the guitar had not been out of its case since it left the factory in January (according to the date in the brochure) and it was in excellent condition. However I was really surprised to see the wood near the jack as in the pictures. What is going on here? First of all, the guitar should have walnut sides and back and walnut is dark, what is this wood that they used? Is the rest actually just painted on top? Did they accidentally cut it incorrectly and that is some random wood used to finish it? The guitar is going back but is this normal? I mean it is not a small defect....

    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Send it back. I want a Gibson acoustic anyway.
    looks like weather damage.
    Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 05-14-2019, 10:25 AM.
    He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France

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    • #3
      That looks like walnut to me - the lighter colored strip near the top? Probably still walnut but probably heartwood or something... the color is definitely off, and I'm surprised it's that inconsistent, but walnut can have some blonde streaks and areas in it.

      How's it sound?
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      • #4
        The lighter colored wood is "sap wood", not uncommon in walnut and sometimes prized when it can be book matched in the center of the back of a guitar. They just did a really poor job of matching the two sides - they probably were book matched but them one was shifted relative to the other when they were bent and glued up. Whether i bothers you enough to return it is up to you, it shouldn't affect sound, strength or playability

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        • #5
          I agree with Freeman Keller. This kind of discoloration is common with many woods. It should not affect sound, playability or durability. But, frankly, it shows the lack of care taken into consideration at Gibson's factory in Bozeman. They do a solid job, but they do it just by the book, by the numbers. With such strong discoloration, a bit more care and possibly a different alignment or cut would have produced a visibly better outcome. But it won't change sound, playability or durability ...
          .

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          • #6
            Others have already weighed in as to what's happening. Personally, if I paid Gibson prices I'd expect a better looking guitar than that. You might disagree. For now, Congratulations and Happy New Guitar Day.
            Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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            • #7
              Send it back. Stuff like that is simply poor quality control and if allowed to continue it will bode poorly for Gibson. The people involved with releasing that guitar for market sale need to be called out onto the carpet at Gibson so state your case well. They need to answer for their poor judgement with more than a shoulder shrug and a gee golly I'm sorry.
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              • #8
                Hi guys, thank you for your replies. The retailer agreed to swap it for a different J-15 so all is good. I didn't know about sapwood, this is my first acoustic, but personally and since all is OK build wise I wouldn't mind the mismatching too much although I do agree it is a bit of an eyesore. Given that I was given the opportunity to swap it, I went for it - new guitar arrives today. Thanks!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by nick1981 View Post
                  Hi guys, thank you for your replies. The retailer agreed to swap it for a different J-15 so all is good. I didn't know about sapwood, this is my first acoustic, but personally and since all is OK build wise I wouldn't mind the mismatching too much although I do agree it is a bit of an eyesore. Given that I was given the opportunity to swap it, I went for it - new guitar arrives today. Thanks!


                  Good cause that's not right.

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                  • #10
                    It's a J-15 and you can't expect the same quality control at gibson for their cheapos as for their (over)high priced models

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by t_e_l_e View Post
                      It's a J-15 and you can't expect the same quality control at gibson for their cheapos as for their (over)high priced models
                      "Cheapo" (by Gibson pricing standards) or not, it's still a $1700 guitar and I'd expect better.
                      Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeepEnd View Post
                        "Cheapo" (by Gibson pricing standards) or not, it's still a $1700 guitar and I'd expect better.
                        cheapo in the gibson universe, on the street you can get one for $1300.

                        if i would be in the market for a new accoustic and have a budget of $1300-$1500 i would not look at gibson and pay a whole bunch just for the brand
                        name. with this amount of money you can get a premium guitar almost custom shop quality from not so famous brands, with much better quality control etc....
                        i does not say gibson, but it sounds great and plays great

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by t_e_l_e View Post
                          cheapo in the gibson universe, on the street you can get one for $1300.

                          if i would be in the market for a new accoustic and have a budget of $1300-$1500 i would not look at gibson and pay a whole bunch just for the brand
                          name. with this amount of money you can get a premium guitar almost custom shop quality from not so famous brands, with much better quality control etc....
                          i does not say gibson, but it sounds great and plays great
                          A quick Google search showed them selling for $1500-1750 new, $1000-1100 used. I took something close to the upper end for a new guitar. I'm sure if I were sufficiently determined I could find one for less.

                          That's kinda the point though, isn't it? If I'm paying for a new Gibson I expect a halfway decent guitar at any price point. I don't necessarily expect a whole lot of "bang for the buck" though, because that's not where Gibson is focused. Instead, you get an expensive name.
                          Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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                          Member of the Schecter Society
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                          • #14
                            Walnut isn't so rare that they need to use pieces with sapwood like that....and if they do decide to do it for artsy effect, they should use it on the back to match the sides and bookmatch it better.
                            "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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                            • #15
                              When I play guitar, I don't notice the wood on the bottom of the guitar. The only decent Gibson acoustic I ever played (1 in about 7, I think) that sounded really good was a J-29. Would've bought it, too, if the dealer had offered a better deal.

                              Anyways, enjoy!
                              "The Philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it."

                              Karl Marx

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