Monday, April 4, 2016

Poll: Gibson ownership

Thank you everyone for taking part in the recent Gibson poll.

It's no surprise that the Les Paul is the much loved Gibson despite its obvious limitations. I recall a chat I had with a Gibson proponent not too long ago who told me that there are so many ways to overcome the LP playability restrictions. Clearly, this chap was unable to be objective in this conversation & I had tell him straight in the face that there is only ONE way to do that- stretch your digits beyond the neck-body joint. If you still think the LP is as pleasant as it gets when it comes to playing comfort, I think our personal loyalty clouds our judgment. I dislike the LP when I first set out to buy my initial electric guitar. I came back to it years later due to its tone, not its playability. Players with small hands like me know there are other options out there winning our priorities but the lure of the LP is still very immense even till today. I have a few LPs despite them clearly being the least likeable instrument on a personal note. There are too many pros seen with the LPs as well & they have been proven time & again to be one of the most influential tone-generating instrument of all time in live situations as well in recording studios.

The SG has a cult following. It's arguably overshadowed by the LP limelight but it stand its own ground. If you favour the LP for its mammoth bottom end, the SG moves away from this territory by offering you lots of bite. Again, this is another example of flaw embrace; which SG out there doesn't demonstrate a neck dive? However, the issue isn't as pronounced of one plays the SG strapped on instead of sitting down. I was also averse to the SG initially; I couldn't come to terms with playing an instrument whose neck is almost as thick as its body. That was until I came across SGs featuring the slim profile neck carve (not as slim as we know it) & I thought its my preferred Gibson compared to the LP.  I definitely like the ultimate upper fret access the design has to offer.

When I first saw an Explorer, I thought the body outline was excessive. There's so much wood behind the bridge it impedes comfort, not to mention playability. Then again, after playing one, I must say the sustain is legendary! The Explorer fans are numbered only on grounds of practicality; protrusion & heftiness don't win it too many fans but it's undeniably a go-to instrument if you wish for a fusion of LP type thump & SG type bite. 

Last but certainly, not least, we have the Flying V. If you are primarily a sit down player, the V outline is a loser from the start. Sincerely speaking, there isn't anything the V does that an SG couldn't cover. The glee in owning a V is simply the embrace of insurgence. It moves you away from the conventional crowd without losing dight of what's good for you in terms of reputation- that 'Gibson' label.

Why a Gibson poll? Simple. I wish to find out the number of Gibson owners out there & I'm not expecting too many to reply. Gibson prices are uninviting, even the after-market tags are quite prohibitive to many of us with cars to maintain, families to feed & bills to pay on recurring basis. However, Gibson, like other profit crunching commercial entities out there, offer 'affordable' options & this is agreeably a recent occurrence. Did this lead to many converts out there? You know, people ditching their other preferences just to embrace Gibson for the sake of it- did that happen? A simple answer would be a NO. Guitar dweebs are traditionalists first & foremost. If you vary a Les Paul Standard with compromising details to make them have difficulties sleeping at night, then they won't budge. They still stand their ground & observe strict discipline to get that Gibson in its reputed manifestation, everything else is an unworthy distraction.

At the end of it all, price concerns are still the number one bother when it comes to buying decisions. Gibson = affordable? Will it happen?

1 comment:

Antony said...

My first guitar was a Yamaha pacifica That's what I learnt on and played for many years. It's a bit strat shaped so very comfortable But I always wanted a an explorer and b an LP. When I finally got Epiphone versions of both I was massively disappointed with how difficult to play they both where. The fat necks are great but the unwieldy shape lack of balance and heavy weight. They soon moved on to new owners.