Gibson Guitars Fake News Quality Control

Do Gibson Really Make Bad Guitars?

Do Gibson Really Make Bad Guitars?

It seems like a debate which has been going on for a long time now. Not a day goes by where I don’t see people commenting on the poor quality control at Gibson. But is it really justified?

Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz called accusations that the guitar builder’s quality control has declined in recent years “Fake news”.

In a recent interview with Guitarist Magazine, he said “Well, to quote some politicians, I would say that’s ‘fake news’”.

Juszkiewicz went on to say “Our quality today is better than it’s ever been, which is not to say that we’re perfect. The second thing I would say is our sales are increasing; we are growing much faster than the industry is growing, and so that would be a good indicator that there are maybe a few satisfied people. So if we really made junk, then people wouldn’t buy it, especially at the price that we charge.”

So What Is The Real Story?

In all honesty, I think he’s right. But only to a point.

When anyone asks about Gibson guitars on guitar forums, Facebook groups or anywhere else, it’s almost become the standard response now for people to start bashing Gibson. I know for a fact that some of the people joining in have never even played a Gibson and yet they still add to the chorus of “Gibson Quality control is awful”.

Others simply prefer other brands so they jump on the bandwagon. I think this is where the “fake news” element comes in. For some reason, it’s simply bec0me the cool thing to say whenever someone asks about Gibson QC. The more it gets repeated, the more people say it. People who have never even tried a Les Paul say it because that’s what they see typed out all the time.

Gibson Les Paul

So It’s All A Lie?

Well, not entirely. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of poor workmanship to dismiss it completely. Finishing issues, poor setups and bad fretwork are just some of the problems reported by actual Gibson owners.

Let’s be clear, it’s certainly not a problem with every guitar. But when a Les Paul costs so much money it should be perfect. Faults are pretty common on cheaper guitars. Usually, they are simple to sort out or the owners just live with them. But when you’ve paid so much for a Gibson I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect the paint job to be flawless.

Setup issues are a touchy subject. A guitar could play perfectly when it leaves the factory. By the time it’s arrived in a shop it could need adjusting again. Things will have moved. Temperature and humidity changes will definitely affect how well a guitar plays. I’ve always believed a final setup should always be performed by the store before they hang a guitar on the wall. They will argue that there isn’t enough profit to spend the time performing a setup on every guitar but surely they would make more sales?

I always give my guitars a good going over once I’ve owned it for a couple of days. You can only really get everything set right once it’s in its final location, not in a factory thousands of miles away in a totally different climate. But if you are buying it from a local store, it shouldn’t need much. I firmly believe they should at least do the basics before they sell a guitar.

If a guitar is badly finished, it should be sent back to the distributor. The same for bad fretwork or any other major issues. If distributors kept receiving guitars sent back due to defects I’m sure the builders would soon start improving their quality control.

What Should Gibson Do?

In my opinion, they just need to get back to basics. I think part of the problem is releasing models which many guitar players simply don’t want. Just build a Les Paul (or any other model) the traditional way and make sure the quality matches the price tag. Gibson has an amazing heritage. People will always want to buy an SG, Les Paul, ES-335 or Firebird. They don’t need robotic tuners or any other gimmicks.

Give us that and people will slowly start to change their tune whenever Gibson’s are discussed. Fake news will become a thing of the past.


You can read the original Guitarist Magazine article with Henry Juszkiewicz at –