Just wondering how much of an advantage to guitar building CNC machined parts really are..

Reason I wonder is I bought a new 2016 Les Paul and the neck set was to low...low enough that the thumbwheels were on the deck and it still had high action...There was no way to set it up to Gibson's own specs..

I sent it back and specifically gave the specs (Gibson's) I would accept with adjustment left both ways..The guitar I received was right...though it still has sharp fret ends I will need to tend to.

I guess I dont understand how this can happen on a model that has been built since 1952, and now CNC'ed...Seems like they should have those angles nailed by now..

Of course I have seen this on other makers guitars too..I just wonder how that can happen since the CNC is supposed to make all these joints right and repeatable?



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CNC does does not set the neck joint angle. It simple roughs out the parts. Final sanding and fitting are required. IMHO It's a quality control issue in the build sequence. Unfortunately, nothing new for a late model Gibson.

Hi Glen.

CNC'd parts are a godsend for any builder or repairman. It allows a uniformity of product that cannot be easily, uniformly & reliably reproduced by hand work.  Wood is wood an it has no idea if it's being shaped via CNC or by hand.

Now let's address the next step which is assembly of the instrument. Here's where "man" comes into play. The craftsmanship of the assembler becomes paramount in the success or failure of the instrument.

If you study the 'niggles' of any guitar from any major manufacturer, you will see scores of mistakes caused by humans, as opposed to machines. The neck set on your guitar was done by a human and not a machine, so suspecting CNC'd parts is NOT the issue or a contributing factor.

Personally, Gibson is better at advertising than they are at building stringed instruments. I'll keep it at that.

In summary, it's not the machined parts that make the difference. It's the human aspect that is lacking.

Take care :)

My mistake then...

I thought that setting the neck angle reliably over and over would be where a CNC would shine as the go to tool...

This is my first new Gibson in about 30 years...just wanted a P90 LP, nothing fancy, so bought the 60's tribute model, satin finish, no binding...plain Jane. The first guitar has other multiple issues, the replacement still has a few...this will be the last new one I ever buy.. with QC so far out the window, (my dealer had to go through 18 they had in stock to find ONE that met my, and Gibson's, specs) no reason to ever buy another..

Same money would have bought a better guitar if it didnt have that big G on the headstock....

Lesson learned and thanks for the info...


There is an old expression in our business:  Good enough for a G*bson.....

As the others have rightly said CNC does great with repeatable parts manufacture but we still need we human bags of mostly water to fit things correctly.

A PLEK is a CNC machine of sorts too and look at the fret work on new G*bsons.....  We see far better work on $300 Ibanez's...

Paraphrasing the slogan on the old Banner Gibsons, Tim O'Brien has been known to say, on stage, "a Gibson is Only Good Enough."  True, I think... .



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