The First Gibson-Approved (But Not Gibson-Branded) Boutique Guitars Are Available Now

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by BanditPanda, Nov 19, 2019.

  1. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    I was saying that in that one pic from that one angle, that one corner of the Banker looks a little sharp/pointy. I'm nowhere near as sure as Buzzard that it's the modern shape. As you said, the originals varied and the Banker could be close to one of them.

    I was just saying what I thought Buzzard was seeing.
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    Read on another forum that the Banker V has a one piece head (instead of the wings on the original). So these apparently aren't meant to be absolutely exact replicas. A lot of clone builders intentionally make some small change, to prevent unscrupulous people from changing the headstock overlay, relic-ing it, and trying to pass it off as genuine.

    I've got no problems with the Bunkers. Custom Shop quality, better than CS fretboard, a bit below CS price range.
     
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  2. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    One thing you have to keep in mind is that Gibson used the same templates to make MANY guitar bodies and those templates took wear and tear.

    There are examples of '58, '59, and '60 Les Paul Standards that vary in body dimensions by as much as half an inch, due to both template wear and
    people doing more or less body edge sanding during production. If the perimeter of these Banker guitars might seem to be a bit off with relation to
    a given original Gibson, it may be much closer to an exact replica of a different example.

    That being said, these Banker guitars do appear to be fully worthy of Gibson's expectations of quality.

    I've thought for a long time that Gibson should have adopted Fender's licensing model. Fender licenses neck and body shapes to multiple third party manufacturers,
    and it has NOT hurt Fender's business. In fact those licensing fees are an extra revenue stream for Fender. WD, Warmoth, Allparts, and Mighty Mite, to name just four
    are definitely Fender licensed makers of Fender spec necks and bodies. (Necks for sure. I'm not sure if Mighty Mite makes bodies.)

     
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  3. JohnH

    JohnH Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if: RRP-licensing fee would be < Gibson RRP?
     
  4. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    Fender's license fee was a one time payment of a nominal fee (rumor has it as $1).

    Fender was in serious jeopardy of losing their headstock TMs. They ignored the copies for so long that if it came to court there was a good chance the shapes would have been ruled generic.

    So Fender strategically authorized a few of the biggest copy parts companies. The contracts stipulated that the licensees acknowledged the validity of Fender's trademarks.

    That strengthened Fender's hold on their trademarks, allowing them to crack down on others. Particularly companies that sold assembled guitars like Charvel, Schecter, and Tokai.

    Since Moses Graphite, Fender hasn't authorized anyone. USACG begged to become authorized, but FMIC maintains that no new licences will ever be granted.

    In the '50s and '60s, trademark precedent held that body shapes were too functional to be trademarked. So Fender and Gibson could only trademark their headstock shapes.

    Changes in TM law encouraged Gibson and Fender to apply for retroactive TMs on body shapes. Gibson got some of them granted, but Fender's have been ruled generic several times. So there are lots of non-authorized companies making Fender bodies.

    (Edenhaus/B.Hefner, Moses Graphite, WD, Mighty Mite, AllParts, Warmoth are all of the Fender licensees there will ever be.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  5. Matthews Guitars

    Matthews Guitars Well-Known Member

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    That would explain why close (virtually exact) Fender body copies are so common you can't walk into a music store, pawn shop, or thrift store without tripping over a pile of them.
     
  6. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    Two pictures of the same original `58 Explorer--first picture is from the early 80`s--2nd pic is from a few months ago. Gorgeous guitar!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  7. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    And this one too [is gorgeous!]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  8. axe4me

    axe4me Well-Known Member

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  9. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    Did you read the actual interview with Matt Hughes on how he builds these 'Banker' Explorer & Flying V type guitars? It`s pretty interesting & the man has to be respected for his passion.
    https://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/pages/inside-banker-custom-guitars

     
  10. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    Fug it buy a Kiesel and get what YOU want.
     
  11. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    Do they make replica of a original `58 Gibson Explorer? If not, then 'fug `em'!!
     
  12. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    Why would they want to?
     
  13. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    I`m sure you can think of a reason!
     
  14. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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    I got to jam on a real one all night once......just sayin:dude:
     
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  15. RLW59

    RLW59 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was pretty ok with the Bunkers until I saw the pics in the interview.

    Matt sounds like a great guy and I'm glad he's living his dream. If I were to commission a custom design, he'd be a candidate to build it.

    But double-action truss rod? That's not even general Gibson-spec, much less '58 spec.

    A strong argument can be made that double rods are better than single rods. But the same can be said about scarf joint headstocks, locking bridges/tailpieces, or high ratio tuners, other things that weren't on original Explorers/V's.

    Double rods simply do not belong on '58-spec Explorers or V's. Period. Doesn't make them bad guitars, might even make them better, but they aren't Gibson spec.

    If they called it an "updated, improved Korina/Braz Explorer/V with '58 cosmetics", fine.

    But to even imply that you're getting an accurate replica when the soul of the neck is altered bothers me.
     
  16. Dogs of Doom

    Dogs of Doom Moderator Staff Member

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    I removed all the spam referrals from the OP link & subsequent postings...
     
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  17. Wildeman

    Wildeman Well-Known Member

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  18. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    FWIW I wrote to Matt last night thru his website https://www.bankercustomguitars.com/ and this is his reply back to me:
    "My version is very very close to a 58. The closest I have seen at least. I think the difference you are seeing is in the pickguard. The body shape of mine are the same, but the 58 pickguard is more bluntly shaped as opposed to the modern versions which are more angular. I’ve actually played and dissected one of Rick Nielsen’s 58 Explorers so I’ve got a bit of hands on experience with them."
     
  19. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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  20. wntbtw

    wntbtw Well-Known Member

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    How`s this look?!

    [​IMG]
     

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