Guitar

Is Gibson passing the blame for finish issues?

Gibson's Senior Director of Product Development, Mat Koehler appears to pass Murphy Labs finish issues on to customers.

After reports of a few select finish issues with the new Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Labs range. An official spokesman from the brand appears to be passing the blame on to customers. 

Murphy Lab finish issues

A little while back in June, I wrote about the finish issues on some Gibson Murphy Labs guitars. At the time I reached out to one of the customers affected by this ‘finish falling off ‘problem, and they gave their side of the story.

Now, Gibson’s Senior Director of Product Development, Mat Koehler has done an interview with Guitar.com and goes on to blame customers for the fault.

Is Gibson passing the blame for finish issues?
Is Gibson passing the blame for finish issues?
Guitar.com's Gibson's Matt Koehler interview
Guitar.com Gibson’s Matt Koehler interview

When asked about the issue with the Ultra Light Aged and the topic on the TGP Forum he replies to Guitar.com with the following statement;

“Oh definitely a storm in a teacup. I’m not aware of any issues relating to ES models, just a few Les Paul Standards that were ordered with very dark red aniline dye backs… the oversaturation made them a little more brittle, which made them more susceptible to severe checking when not properly acclimated. We have an acclimation notice on the outside of our boxes. It is especially important that our dealers and fans fully acclimate their instrument in its case when changing climates/temperatures… I would say at least five hours, minimum. Just like you would with vintage 1950s instruments. – Mat Koehler, Gibson Senior Director of Product Development

Gibson Murphy Labs finish issues
Gibson Murphy Labs finish issues

Temperature Changes to blame?

Not surprisingly, a huge debate has taken place over the weekend on the TGP forum, and I can see why potential customers would be put off by these comments. The suggestion that a sudden change in temperature would make a nitrocellulose finish fall off, is pretty ludicrous.

I’m sure a nitrocellulose finish may check, or crack with extreme temperature changes. But would it fall off? I very much doubt it, and I have worked with plenty of vintage guitars myself in my 49 years on this planet.

Gibson Murphy Labs finish issues, with nitrocellulose fallen off
Gibson Murphy Labs finish issues, with nitrocellulose which has fallen off in chunks

The topic is getting discussed elsewhere and the UK’s thefretboard forum also has a thread running discussing the issue. I can honestly say, I have never seen a vintage finish fall off unless there was some type of moisture issue in regards to how an old guitar was stored.

Gibson Murphy Lab finish falling off?
Gibson Murphy Lab finish falling off?

Evidence on video

Check out the video made by Yeatzee below to see an example of these Gibson Murphy Lab finish issues,  at the 26:30 mark. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, is this really the customer’s fault, or is it a problem with the manufacturing process?

Yeatzee Example Video

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