Design Flaws, and why guitarists generally fear change

paisleywookiee

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I'm having a bitch of a time with tuning stability on my LTD Eclipse. Specifically the dreaded G and D strings. No matter what I do, the focker won't hold tune, and it's pissing me right off. Contrast that to my Ibanez JS and Warmoth Tele, which stay in tune like a mofo.

It dawned on me that we as guitarists are fine with what are effectively design flaws. Look at the string pull of a Gibson LP or ESP Eclipse, when compared to the PRS and/or Schecter 3+3 designs:

20220928_013837057_iOS.jpg

This anecdotally correlates to the experience I've had with both PRS and Schecter guitars in comparison to what I'm experiencing on my LTD Eclipse. They were just WAY more stable in terms of tuning.


TL;DR I wanted to play with my Apple Pencil on my iPad, and I'm trying to justify buying the Schecter Scallon model. :D
 
I think gibson has actually admitted the head stock design is form over function. IOW, it looks pretty.

That's a big reason I like my jtv59 over my lp standard. The headstock is more PRSish and actually stays in tune. :camp
Gibson is a string of design flaws, wrapped up in tradition because their customers fear change. They could easily strengthen the headstock with a volute, but choose not to do that either.
 
I never owned a Les Paul, but the G string on the Epi SG I picked up a year or two back won't stay in tune for more than 4 bars or so. (Even if it's the designated driver.)

@JiveTurkey, where's the drum crash emoji?
 
There are some people that believe those things change the tone, or could change the tone, and it’s a risk they’re unwilling to take.

An awful lot of blind A/Bs end with the producer preferring the PRS over the burst, but still some people think there’s something magical in those flaws.

I like and appreciate them all for different things and reasons. I love my PRS, but I’ll eventually add an sg and/or lp when I find the right ones. I have an LP copy for now that is pretty faithful to the design, warts and all. It’s a cool guitar for rocking tunes and sets, but it’s heavy and kinda clunky and it doesn’t hold its tuning well, so it very rarely sees a gig. That said, a great looking burst or an alpine white LP custom or SG custom (especially one with three humbuckers and a vibrato) are probably coming home with me at some point. Clearly, that’s more to do with how awesome they look and I’ll just deal with the quirks….

D
 
The problem is I usually find I like Gibson guitars better than those other guitars that “fix” the problems ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m a huge fan of Gibson guitars and I think it would be awesome to see them make some updates like use a new headstock design that has a straight pull and a volute. But I’m not sure it will ever happen. Partly because people do seem to freak out whenever they stray from tradition, and partly because that headstock shape has become part of their branding.

But I still love them in spite of their “traditional” quirks

I have nothing against PRS, or Schecter, or ESP, or any other Gibson inspired designs, but I always seem to find I like Gibsons better.
 
I have a Les Paul and a PRS S2 Standard. Kind of similar guitars, set neck mahogany body/neck with rosewood board, dual humbuckers. The PRS has a 25" scale with a tremolo while the Gibson is 24.75" with a fixed bridge. The PRS does fix a lot of Gibson "issues"...the tone is more balanced, the tuning is more stable with better intonation on the low frets, it's lighter and better balanced, etc. On the flip side, my budget Tribute model Gibson has a carved top and flush mounted plastics on the back, while the PRS has kind of a cheaper bevel cut on the top and plastics are not recessed. If I had to replace all my guitars and money was no object, I'd probably get a really good core model PRS McCarty 594 over a Gibson. But I like them both.
 
I snagged a used LP special and new Epi SG back in the spring. The Gibby is a really well made/finished guitar - the PLEK job on it, in particular, was outstanding. The G-string was snagging a little. I just did a lot of really heavy bends on it and it sorted itself out just fine.

G-string on the epi was snagging a little worse and took a little bit of attention with a nut file. Like 3-4 minutes worth of work. Stays in tune fine now.

It would be nice if these things were sorted at purchase. But I don't feel like it's so much a design flaw as it is a setup flaw.
 
Both my LTD 1000 and my Godin Summit CT-P90 have a 3+3 Gibson style headstock and ive not experienced any abnormal tuning issue, sure some strings may go out tune after a few days of hard playing and bends, but then again so does my Charvel inline 6 :idk
 
^^^ Same, my EC-1000T doesn't have tuning issues, any more than any of my other guitars.

Having said that, and as hideous as I think this thing is, I have thought about getting one of these, to see if there is any real improvement:

String Butler
 
Every single thing on a 68 Camaro is better on todays cars. They handle like s**t, safety is s**t and fuel economy is s**t.

The only problem is todays cars aren’t 68 Camaros.

Same with guitars.
It's not whether there are design flaws, it's whether or not you can live with them. The Camaro comparison (as much as I usually detest car comparisons in forums :D ) is appropriate here, because whilst you appear to dig the old car, I would much rather have a 2022 Camaro. Certainly not saying the 68 is a turd, but it's clear the new stuff is improved in areas that matter to me personally.
Both my LTD 1000 and my Godin Summit CT-P90 have a 3+3 Gibson style headstock and ive not experienced any abnormal tuning issue, sure some strings may go out tune after a few days of hard playing and bends, but then again so does my Charvel inline 6 :idk

^^^ Same, my EC-1000T doesn't have tuning issues, any more than any of my other guitars.

Having said that, and as hideous as I think this thing is, I have thought about getting one of these, to see if there is any real improvement:

String Butler

My EC-1000 won't stay in tune for even a single song.
 
It's not whether there are design flaws, it's whether or not you can live with them. The Camaro comparison (as much as I usually detest car comparisons in forums :D ) is appropriate here, because whilst you appear to dig the old car, I would much rather have a 2022 Camaro. Certainly not saying the 68 is a turd, but it's clear the new stuff is improved in areas that matter to me personally.



My EC-1000 won't stay in tune for even a single song.
In comparison the 68 Camaro is a turd next to a 2022 Kia, much less a 2022 Camaro.

Give me heated seats, a heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and navigation any day of the week.

Who doesn’t dig the romanticism of a classic muscle car?

Now look at a Les Paul Custom. Clunky heel joint gives you poor upper access, needless radical headstock angle leads to breaking if you look at it too long, heavy as all hell etc. But all our heroes of yesteryear played one so it must be the best.

You can have cool or you can have practical. Those two things are usually not the same.
 
In comparison the 68 Camaro is a turd next to a 2022 Kia, much less a 2022 Camaro.

Give me heated seats, a heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and navigation any day of the week.

Who doesn’t dig the romanticism of a classic muscle car?

Now look at a Les Paul Custom. Clunky heel joint gives you poor upper access, needless radical headstock angle leads to breaking if you look at it too long, heavy as all hell etc. But all our heroes of yesteryear played one so it must be the best.

You can have cool or you can have practical. Those two things are usually not the same.
Yeah I don't think we're disagreeing. I just think maybe you dig the romantic aspect of the old stuff more than I do, and that's fine. Nothing wrong with that.
 
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