To Whom This May Concern:
Upon Inspection of Gibson Custom Shop
Les Paul # 076238 belonging to Robert Fausner I have discovered
numerous anomalies in the construction, fit & finish & actual
Architectural design flaws that make this
guitar unusable for today's music. This actual guitar with
it's inherent static problems is absolutely impossible to use in any
This guitar, while being very
attractive in an old school motif, is one of many we have seen like
it, from Gibson that has totally eroded our confidence in Gibson's
ability to build a quality guitar anymore.
The loud obnoxious static charge, that
seems to amplify itself even louder, as you move your hand up and
down, alone disqualifies this as an instrument that we could or
would ever sell. We collectively tried to figure out what is
actually causing it. We could not come close to figuring it out. The
static buzz is extremely loud and would easily be audible to anyone
who heard or played this guitar !!!!
The almost unbelievable dead spots on
the G string of this guitar are deplorable at best. If anyone wants
to argue with my findings. I suggest that they view the video tape
filmed on 03/09/10 that Robert Fausner recorded at our facility in
Las Vegas. (See Above)
It is important to understand that,
these guitars were first built in 1952, some 58 years ago. They
resemble in looks & design the popular guitars that came out in the
1930's. The guitars I am speaking of is, the traditional old school
jazz style guitar. The Les Paul is almost an exact copy from that
antiquated old body shape, heel shape, neck joint, headstock and
basic overall style except it has been made smaller by 2 inches and
instead of leaving the body hollow it has been made solid. If you
turn the guitar over and inspect the heel, It becomes immediately
obvious that this guitar is built like an acoustic jazz guitar.
These guitars were never designed as
lead instruments, they were designed for guitar players sitting in
the back of the orchestra pit chording their guitar.
Today a guitar is considered the lead
or first instrument and therefore the need for a longer neck & easy
reach up to the higher frets is imperative.
Gibson actually addressed the problem
in 1960 by completely discontinuing the Les Paul and replacing it
with a completely new and totally different model of guitar,
(Ironically the designer of the new guitar was Lester Polfus "Les
Paul" himself who had little or nothing to do with designing the
original famous model that was named after him.) It is a very
common un-ethical marketing ploy in our industry to name a model
after a famous guitarist.
This new improved SG (Solid Gibson)
guitar was originally called "The Les Paul
Model" also. The new model was lighter, had a much longer
neck, it sounded better, played better and the headstock wasn't
prone to breaking off anywhere near as much as the original Les
Sadly but probably for financial
reasons Gibson did not heed all of Les Paul's design changes. The
guitar was less than perfect. Neck stability was incredibly poor &
caused problems in tuning & breakage at a different place than the
Original Les Paul.
All The Original Les Paul's Break right
behind the headstocks where they failed to put a volute. All
The SG's broke where the body connected to the neck (I don't know
which was worse) See
This Link For Details On Breakage.
Gibson addressed the problem by using one band-aid after another to
try to make the guitar neck stabilize. None of them worked too well.
Worse than that, the original shape became distorted, the instrument
went through numerous slight, and some not so slight, body
re-shaping's. At one point the neck heel was so large that these
instruments had to be some of the worst guitars Gibson or anyone
else ever made. There are so many differently shaped Gibson SG's out
there that I would or could not venture a guess as to how many.
In 1961 Les Paul
himself insisted that Gibson remove his name from the guitar.
Les Paul did not want to be associated with any substandard
products. This is presumably why he redesigned the guitar in the
first place. There were lawsuits, numerous, recalls & finally Gibson
gave in and changed the designation to "The SG" this resulted in
them no longer having to pay the design royalty to Les Paul.
(Don't Ya Just Love Big Corporations)
Over the last 58 years Les Paul made a
tremendous amount of money with his association with Gibson, It was
in his better interest not to let the general public know his true
feelings for the substandard product that the company was
manufacturing. After all he was paid by the number of units sold.
There were many more disagreements, argument, lawsuits and general
problems that the public was never privy to. For example Gibson
neglected to pay his royalties on the Epiphone Les Paul's for years
until Les took them to court again.
critical design element that Gibson left completely out of the
equation was the principle that Les Paul is actually famous for.
(The prototype was actually
called "The Log") Les
Paul had designed a masterpiece, the first neck through body guitar.
The Original SG was designed to be a
neck through body guitar. If Gibson had complied with all of Les
Paul's designs not just the cosmetic designs the guitar would have
been much more successful than it actually was. Not only would the
stability problem be 100% solved. The guitar would have sounded
heads & tails better. The pickups would have been mounted in the
neck itself better facilitating the sustain and there would have
been no neck joint to glue up and cut off much of the higher end
harmonic overtones that come from the neck & fingerboard.
There should have been no need to
re-introduce the original heavy, outdated original Les Paul on the
market again. Sadly 10 years later in 1970, Gibson was starting to
again mass produce the same first bloated design that people were
asking for, Jimmy Page was using one, He made them popular again.
Today the vast amount of un-knowing
un-educated general public believe as Robert Fausner once did that
the Gibson guitars are of exceptional quality. I am here to refute
that fact, I believe their reputation has been bought and paid for!!
I believe their reputation is incredibly overrated. In fact when I
worked for Gibson we were told the concept of placing the price high
will make the public think the product is good. " The Most Expensive
Product Is Usually The Best Product" "You Get What You Pay For"
These are simply BS advertising slogans.
Please do not think that I am writing
this letter as a disgruntled ex Gibson employee, I know there are
many disgruntled Gibson employees who may or may not have an axe to
grind with Gibson. See glassdoor.com
glassdoor.com is where you would go to
check on a company before you apply there. Just like an employer
will want to look at your resume, you can see what the current
employees think about the company.
(In 2009 Gibson scored in the worst
10 companies to work for in the world.) Gibson actually was the
winner or loser depending on how you look at it. Because Gibson was
the worst of the worst 10.
As I said at the beginning of the above
paragraph please do not take me for one of these disgruntled
employees. When I left Gibson's employ in 1991 they treated me
fairly and with much respect. They gave me 6 weeks full severance
pay & 7 beautiful original Steinberger guitars. totaling in retail
value to 15,000.00. During my employment I was paid extremely well,
They even Gibson paid for my full time assistant who worked out of
my house. I had a great job and my direct superiors are still my
good friends to this day. One of my duties was to give free guitars
away to Rock Stars and anybody I thought would or could become an
I was hired by Gibson in 1991 & given a
one year contract as a consultant, marketing man, teacher & domestic
sales manager for their modern guitar division "Steinberger Guitars"
I was never involved with the old Gibson models.
My shop foreman Mike Risinger & my
parts manager Robert Becker also witnessed these anomalies. They
agree with my findings. Both of them are Luthiers with over 20 years
experience between them.
I will freely testify in court to these
Very Sincerely !!
Flaws On The Les Paul Original Model 1952 to 2010
Design Flaw #1
Pickup Location &
The pickup positioning is completely
incorrect on the Les Paul. The location creates a node at the 2nd
octave location because the pickup itself falls directly where the
24th fret would be if the guitar had a 24th fret. (which it lacks)
I have attached a document hereto "Exhibit
The document (Exhibit A) was prepared by
Donald Johnson an independent physicist from Arizona. This document
will explain another expert opinion on the subject of scales. These
scales affect the stability of the tuning, The tension of the
Design Flaw # 2
String Splay On The Headstock:
In 1952 Leo Fender introduced The concept
of "Straight String Pull" which in the opinion of most guitar
builders is the correct & most intelligent way for strings to mount
to the headstock. It seems natural that Gibson would have seen the
folly of their design at that time. In 1991 during my employment
with Gibson the problem was addressed in discussions repeatedly but
Gibson opted not to do anything about it. There were numerous other
modernization improvements that have been discovered in the last 60
years Gibson has seen fit to ignore them also.
Design Flaw #3
Body to Neck Weight Ratio:
The Gibson neck has a very steep tilt at
the headstock, This coupled with the incredibly overweight body
creates a tremendous problem with breakage at the neck..
Gibson is fully aware of this problem and
has done nothing to alleviate this problem. This problem could be
easily rectified by using lighter more tonal wood for the body and
adding a volute to the neck where the break spot always occurs.
Design Flaw #4
Loss of Tone at the Neck Joint:
Gibson glues their neck to the body, this
layer of glue that separates the neck from the body only serves to
act as a dampening barrier to the overtones from the neck, frets and
fingerboard that could conceivably make the guitar a better & more
versatile sounding guitar.
Gibson has somehow seen fit to continue to
spring mount their pickups. These springs dampen the pickups and
eliminate the direct contact much the same as Design Flaw #4 at the
In the late 1970's Edward Van Halen
demonstrated to the guitar world that hard mounting a pickup
increased sustain & overtones.
YOU WON'T READ THIS
IN ANY MAGAZINE, THEY ARE AFRAID TO LOSE AN ADVERTISING