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Thread: Gibson distressing technique...

  1. #26
    Certified! Bernie Daniel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Naydan View Post
    Ok,,now I'm wondering if Gibson is not going to distress any more mandolins,why keep the secret "U.V. LIGHT TREATMENT" a secret...
    Because maybe someday they will want to start distressing again? But also why would Gibson want to give away another of their processes in any case there is nothing in it for them save some person claiming to provide mandolins "distressed by the Gibson process"? Then when the look bad it is egg on Gibson.
    Bernie
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    Due to current budgetary restrictions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off -- sorry about the inconvenience.

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  3. #27
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Bernie,,,your right,I should Have known that already,,I don't know why I wrote that...

  4. #28
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Jonathon Cooper began the process on the first three. He did not do the whole distressing, just a portion of it. I've never hid the fact we used a UV booth as part of the process. It requires a specific portion of the UV spectrum and that is not something that should be done at home. Messing with UV can be quite hazardous to humans...especially the eyes. The process changed after awhile and while they did a good job, they did not receive exactly the same treatment the first ten or so had. The earlier ones were very good and fooled some very good Loar experts. Like building a racing engine, it's something not everyone can do and do right. Even if I could write a manual on how to do it, your results would be meager at best. Each piece of wood is different and responds to the process differently from another. Each had to be viewed as an individual instrument and may need different treatment from the one next to it. That was part of the joy of doing the job. We did a few in our shop after leaving Gibson with incredible results. It is very time consuming to do well. Anyway, that's about all I can tell you.
    Have a Great Day!
    Joe Vest

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  6. #29
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Big joe,,,thank you very much,,,just outstanding.....

  7. #30
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spruce View Post
    Did u happen to see one of the early ones? (Probably "no").
    Different animal than what came later...
    tried them from different eras... aesthetically foolish, sonically superb. note to Gibson - just concentrate on making great F5s and leave the distressing to us.

  8. #31
    Registered User Glassweb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Naydan View Post
    Gibson just wrote me back and said they are no longer distressing mandolins...
    man, that's what i call service! good news... just make great F5s... that should be enough to concentrate on.

  9. #32
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    I'm starting to think that first distressed Gibson that was produced by the Gibson company might have been Orville.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  10. #33
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    I "distress" for a living. Self taught over 25 years. My focus is painted furniture and folk art, signage and other stuff.
    There are others far more skilled than I.
    I have never though Gibson's distressing to be credible.

    In another life I was a violin hustler. My wife plays I do not.
    I have owned extraordinary violins and have had in my possession fakes made in the 1600's and 1700's.. they were "distressed" several hundred years ago when made new. . I have never seen anything that good by anyone since. Those fakist's secrets, along with the original maker's secrets, are long gone. I have replicated some of the look, not all, but still trying.


    "I'm starting to think that first distressed Gibson that was produced by the Gibson company might have been Orville."
    Interesting comment.

    Mike Longworth told me some stories he asked me not to repeat.. let's just say it follows along the lines of the Gibson quote.

    I am certain that most of us have heard variants of this line:
    Of the 100 Santos Hernandez guitars made, only 1000 still exist.

    I keep in mind something that was aid to me by a philosophy professor,:
    "What one man can do, another can do"

    It was long thought that the DUCO finish found on prewar resonator guitars could not be replicated.. it has been replicated.

  11. #34
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  13. #35

    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    I would guess that the first examples of "distressing" would probably have come from repairmen trying to match a repaired section to the rest of the instrument, such as when putting a new neck on a 70 year old instrument. Naturally, you would want to try and "tone down" the new-ness of the new neck, so it would look about the same age as the rest of the instrument.

    I had a chance to meet and speak with Tom Murphy a few years ago at a guitar show and asked him about some of his techniques. He is probably the best known person for "aging" Les Pauls and his work is mentioned often on Gibson forums. I don't feel I should reveal any of his secrets, but I would agree with Big Joe that what he described is very, very time consuming and shouldn't be tried by the inexperienced. It really does take an artist's mindset, IMHO, to do it successfully.

  14. #36

    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    I have found Big Joe V to be extremely helpful and credible over the years, so if he makes a statement of fact, I accept it to be true. I have no reason to doubt him when he talks about his work with Gibson.

    I do own an instrument which has been hexed with Mandovoodoo, and on the rare occasions when I met someone with the same model, they could tell the difference between theirs and mine. Hopefully that leads to more business for Stephen Perry.

    Here's a cafe topic from a while ago about Mandovoodoo, with both Stephen and big Joe offering interesting commentary.

    http://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/showthread.php?20942

  15. #37
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    If you've never seen the work done by our own Spruce (Bruce Harvie) then you haven't seen an aged electric guitar. Bruce doesn't just age them, he creates them. If you're on Facebook take a trip through the photos on E-Stamp Guitar.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  17. #38
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    THere is a handful of people on this forum that understand what my post is actually about,,I think the rest just aren't reading it right or just aren't getting it...I am talking about more than just a "worn" look,big joe answered my question,,,

  18. #39
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    I know how to do it! OHHHH YEHHHHH get that oven to about 200, smear egg whites all over your mando and bake her for 15 min. pull out and repeat process 10x's! You will get results trust me........Not responsible for mistakes!

  19. #40
    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    I have owned extraordinary violins and have had in my possession fakes made in the 1600's and 1700's.. they were "distressed" several hundred years ago when made new. . I have never seen anything that good by anyone since. Those fakist's secrets, along with the original maker's secrets, are long gone.
    Distressed fake violins in the 1600s? What on earth would have been the point??

  20. #41
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by T.D.Naydan View Post
    THere is a handful of people on this forum that understand what my post is actually about,,I think the rest just aren't reading it right or just aren't getting it...I am talking about more than just a "worn" look,big joe answered my question,,,
    You might be underestimating the people on this forum.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  22. #42

    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Plainly, I love all things Gibson, but, I have to emphatically agree with Glassweb. The distressing used by Gibson is laughable. That's a pretty strong statement, but, compared to real aging.. or ... aging by a real expert, it is unbelievably amateurish. I have never seen the real article look remotely close to the DMM's. Do they sound good? Yep. Looks..well...
    Go to Gary Vessel or Bill Halsey if you want to see proper aging/distressing. The difference is so obvious anyone would have to agree. I think it is proprietary because it would be embarrassing to the company to reveal it.

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  24. #43
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    "Distressed fake violins in the 1600s? What on earth would have been the point??"

    The point was simple.. example.

    I found a violin which I thought to be a genuine Ballestrieri (sp)
    I had an association with two Calif violin dealer "experts", both well known and revered.
    Both believed it to be genuine . however, one said it needs to be sent to D'Atili (sp) in New York for verification.'There were costs involved and special shipping containers etc.
    The rather detailed report came back.
    Made in the late 1600's by a Hungarian who deliberately created a Ballestrieri replete with wear and phony repairs to look as though the original maker did the work. The wood from No Italy or So Switzerland, finishes equal to that being made in Italy...in every way a Ballestrieri, but not a Ballestrieri. This was made as an intentional fake, right down to the label (labels should never be trusted)
    The label was the only piece of the instrument deemed to be authentic Ballestrieri..

    Were it a Ballestrieri.. perhaps $350,000 ( at the time of this event, 1985) . D'Atili valued it at $5000. Sound and playability equal to a Ballestrieri. It was sold to a violinist with the San Jose Calif, Philharmonic.
    I paid $800, with an early 19th century French bow which my wife still owns. Bow is worth $5000.

    The point is... even 400 years ago... Italian violins were king.. Hungarian violins were not. The Hungarian that made this fake was trained in Italy but couln't make a living using his own name, so:
    What you can't do with skil.. do with charm.
    If that doesn't work.. fake it.

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    Spruce 

  26. #44
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    "Bruce doesn't just age them, he creates them."

    And therein lies the secret..
    Distressing/aging/relicking starts at the outset... inside out.. not outside in.

  27. #45

    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    I did a quick Google search for "Tom Murphy guitar" and found a 7 part series of short videos produced by Gibson, where he reveals some of his techniques. So, since it is out there by him already, I don't feel bad about mentioning highlights such as, razor blade, heat gun, and sock full of nuts, bolts, and screws.....

    Keep in mind, he works exclusively on solid body electric guitars.

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  29. #46
    Registered User houseworker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    The rather detailed report came back.
    Made in the late 1600's by a Hungarian who deliberately created a Ballestrieri replete with wear and phony repairs to look as though the original maker did the work. The wood from No Italy or So Switzerland, finishes equal to that being made in Italy...in every way a Ballestrieri, but not a Ballestrieri. This was made as an intentional fake, right down to the label (labels should never be trusted)
    That Hungarian must have been a truly remarkable maker, able to foresee the work Tommaso Balestrieri would do in the following century.

    I'm sorry but I don't believe that Dario D'Attili wrote such nonsense.
    Last edited by houseworker; Sep-10-2015 at 10:43am.

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  31. #47
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Hildreth View Post
    "Bruce doesn't just age them, he creates them."
    And, I suck at it...
    Go hang in the modern bench-copy world of violin making, and you will see some stuff that will knock your socks off...

    Folks who are perplexed as to why anyone would antique an instrument just don't get it...
    Keep an eye on this thread, for instance...
    Why in the world would you want a 1919 A3 to look and smell like it just came off the bench?
    That would just reek of "re-fin"...
    A little arm wear here, some pick scrapes there, a little belt-buckle rash, and some neck "wear" will make that refin come to life, and is incredibly fun and satisfying to do...

    Waiting for the white paint and varnish to cure a little bit, and can't wait to have at it...

  32. #48
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Mike,,I just might be underestimating,,sorry,,next,when Gibson wrote me back,I forgot to mention that it was Danny Roberts who wrote me back,,thank you..ok,now,,everyone else is sort of making my point,,the DMM's don't look that great,but across the board SOUND incredible!.....

  33. #49
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    And they probably would have sounded incredible anyway without the process. What your latching onto is fine but it's not a universal truth that everyone accepts. There are all sorts of people trying all sorts of things to bring musical instruments along. It's said that Orville Gibson carved many instruments from old furniture because he knew the value of old wood. Gibson isn't the only company that has tried to get that same effect. Threads on the cafe will always drift, and there will always be people that don't agree with you. Just to put it into perspective for you there's at least one Loar owner, probably two not agreeing with you.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  34. #50
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson distressing technique...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spruce View Post
    And, I suck at it...
    Going to tell my favorite Bruce story. I asked you why you started distressing instruments and your answer was "Everything I made always had a dent in it anyway." Classic.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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