As for quality and build, if you guys have ever owned a Gibson USA product, you know that they are well made. Cannot say the same for the JTV, unfortunately.
Owned a Gibson Marauder, that wasn't too good... I have a Les Paul studio right now that I would not call great... I have owned maybe 10 US made Gibson guitars in the past (are there non-US Gibsons?), some were excellent instruments and some were not - quality seems to vary year to year and model to model.
I am betting that new LPX will be well made - it better be for $5000.
Your sig indicates you own a JTV-69 - is it the American or the Korean version? I have seen complaints about the quality of the Korean JTVs in these forums but have never seen or heard a negative word about the US version, if you are comparing JTVs to a $5000 Gibson LPX surely you would only use the US made JTV for reference, yes? I mean, no one would compare the build quality of a Korean made JTV-69 that one can currently purchase brand spanking new for under $1300 all in to a US made instrument costing roughly 4 times the price, right?
Anyone ever checked on the street prices of used JTV's? That's always a good bellwether of real value. My research tells me that a one-year old JTV drops about 40% in value (not including taxes). I'll bet Gibson won't have that problem.
My research tells me you need to do a little more research. I have checked the street prices of used JTVs constantly for the last year+, I have been waiting for them to come down.
Currently I can purchase a new JTV 59 online from an authorized dealer for $1199.99, no tax, free shipping, $1199.99 final price.
Used JTV59s are currently selling on Ebay for $860 -1050.
If I buy a new JTV59 today for $1199.99 and sell it in one year for the current ebay low price of $860 I have lost $339.99, or around 28%. If it sells for the current ebay high going price of $1050 I have lost $149.99, around 12.5% according to my calculations (my math is a bit rusty, feel free to correct me if I forgot to carry a 2 or something).
Source: http://www.ebay.com/... variax&_sop=15
My JTV story: Last month I purchased a brand new non-Floyd JTV89 from Musiciansfriend.com for $580+tax(you did say we were excluding tax for these comparisons, right?).
Currently used non-Floyd JTV89s are selling on ebay for $653 to $899.
If in one year I sell my non-Floyd JTV89 for the current ebay low price of $653 I will have made a profit of $73, or around 12.6%
And if my JTV happens to sell for the higher current ebay used price of $899 I will have made a profit of $319, around 55%
(rubbing my eyes is disbelief: can those numbers be accurate? I could potentially make a profit of 55% by reselling my new JTV89? ... wow...not gonna sell tho, I really do love the thing - and once the 2.0 firmware is realeased I have a feeling I will never want to sell)
And to top it all off, when I purchased the JTV I received a gift card for $300 from Musiciansfriend.com. i will be using that gift card to purchase something I have found I can resell on ebay for slightly more than what I will be paying at musiciansfriend (not gonna say what it is, don't want someone else buying them all up and spoiling it for me hahaha).
I realize that if i wait too long to resell my JTV I will likely lose some money on it, I saw what happened to the resale prices of the original Variaxes when the JTVs became available.
Hmmm, I also seem to recall Variax 700s going for $699 new at Sweetwater a while back, and it looks like theyare STILL selling used for $442 to $665 (!) after all this time, so maybe if I keep my JTV for 10 years then sell it I won't lose any money after all
Do a little more research and you will find even the lowly Variax 300 is still selling used for around the same amount of money they were going for at Guitar Center a few years ago brand new.
Variax 700 used price source: http://www.ebay.com/...2&_skc=50&rt=nc
I have a feeling that anyone who buys a Gibson LPX is either going to keep it forever or face losing a HUGE amount of money if they ever try to resell it (eh, same with the US made JTVs.
Source: http://www.ebay.com/...kw=gibson robot
Likely reason Gibson high tech guitars are generally flops:
1. Gibson guitars in general appeal to conservative/traditional minded guitarists
2. Gibson high tech guitars are generally poorly executed
Okay, I am done generalizing
Also, you might want to check out the amount a new Gibson guitar depreciates the second you "drive it off the lot" - you will find a number a lot closer to that 40% claim you are making on the used JTVs-
Gibson "new" prices: http://www.musicians...urrencyCode=USD
Gibson "one year old used" prices: http://www.ebay.com/...piphone&_sop=15
All that said... HEY LOOK EVERYBODY! Sweetwater has the new LPX in stock!
Oooh, street price is only $2999! Hmmm... is the top arched? Looks flat. Maybe if it had binding it would look better... needs neck binding too... and some cool fret markers... also, that headstock looks pretty boring/homely (eh, about as homely as the one on my new JTV89) ... I DO love the look of the 3 pickups, very sexy... and the flame top looks pretty good. Wow, look at that crazy rear cavity cover...
If I may paraphrase a comment Variax Transplant LEGEND MidiRose made regarding the Variax 700 a few years back, "The Gibson LPX is a $700 guitar masquerading as a $3000 guitar" - to me the LPX looks like the cheapest Gibson Les Paul Special would look with the addition of some cool looking pickups, a FotoFlame top (I realize the flame on the top is probably real), and some extra cluttery knobs thrown haphazardly around the body.
The sounds on the Gibson site are pretty good. if they ever make a cheaper version (doubtful) I might be interested in picking one up, depends on how satisfying the JTV 2.0 update is.
the comments on that page are hilarious/sad/as expected.
I love the guy who just keeps repeating "I like it" and posting this crazy link to a Firebird X demo:
Whew, that thing does not sound too good in the real world. Hilariously, the guitar has robotic tuning and the guy plays and it sounds SOOOOOO out of tune maybe he needs to try the Peavey AT-200, that might work a little better for him....
Wait... it that a gag/hoax/joke video...? Or maybe..OH... MY ... GOD... did a competing manufacturer create/post that vid to intentionally make Gibson look bad? Very naughty...
WOW, I am watching the whole thing and cringing... it just gets funnier and funnier. Gibson should pay that guy to remove the vid from the internet...
Hmmm, on the plus side, looking at the vid I see the Firebird X is not quite so amazingly hideous from far away with someone playing it as it is in Gibson publicity pics. Kinda looks like a cheapo Chinese Jaguar knockoff.
Yeesh, I just took a look at the Chappers/Anderton vid here:
Look at the waviness in the finish when he moves that thing around in the light... it should look like a mirror but it looks more like a wrinkly piece of plastic, like it was done by someone with my level of woodworking/finishing skill (I am a shite woodworker/painter). So much for Gibson build quality... sounds are better in the Chappers vid than the Copenhagen/Roger Lewis/Beardman vid.. couple of nice sounds, Chappers. I checked out the Guitarist Magazine vid here:
some decent sounds there... haha, at the summary the reviewer says, "looks a little bit like a squashed bowling ball" and gives it a pass. As I recall this same guy raved over the JTV when it came out... Chappers said he was keeping the Korean JTV he demoed in the vid for his own, he didn't seem too impressed with the Firebird X and I have never seen him say he was keeping any of the other guitars he has demoed on Youtube, so:advantage Line 6.
I don't understand Gibson's insistence on putting effects in these guitars. Who really wants that?
Answer: ME! i would love to take a guitar to a gig or to the studio and plug it in and have a great sound, no amp or pedals needed. If all those sounds on the Gibson site are coming straight from the guitar with nothing added I am quite impressed.
So, Gibson LPX - not as hideous as the Firebird X, sounds pretty good in the clips on the Gibson site, $3000 does not seem as crazy as the $5000 I thought is was going to be...
JTV competitor? For the US version, probably. For the current JTV Korean version, nah, not at that price. I doubt Gibson will make or sell many of these, they are calling it a "limited edition".
I think the only competition the Korean JTVs have at the moment is Peavey AT-200 -I have checked it out and so far I am passing, it still needs some work IMO...
Now if Gibson ever puts out a $1000 Epi version or puts this tech into a nicer guitar (I would love to have a LP Custom or Standard like this) things could get pretty interesting pretty quickly and I would say it could give L6 a real run for its money, I would love that! Competition breeds "betterness" BRING IT ON!