Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gibson G-Force and Min-Etune


I have already carped about this system in the past. I think that change and innovation is good but now it's being rammed down our throat. If you want a Gibson Les Paul, no matter which model, you will get the new improved Min-E tune which is now called G Force. If you don't want it, then pony up for a reissue Les Paul or a 120 model where the new system has yet to be employed. I am mostly disappointed in the entry & intermediate level instrument line where there is obvious lack of choice between traditional friction tuners as opposed to the electronic auto tune. I don't want to get emotional about this issue because ultimately the most important thing is that the new players receive tools that will enhance their creative ability. I could carp about relying on electricity but SMH (smack my head), we are talking about ELECTRIC GUITARS so what is the point? I guess I am holding on to the the lack of "Choice" as my bitching point. I think everybody should know how to manually tune their guitar. However, there is some very good arguments for installing the electronic tuning that Gibson calls G FORCE.

What is convenient about the tuning system is that the user can change tuning in seconds. This will expand the range of creativity for musicians. The users can install custom tuning and teach the G FORCE  to remember the tuning. The unit is rechargeable thus minimizing the need to buy batteries. Do you recall when guitar effects and/or foot pedals where dismissed as needless props? Conversely, now we see that the effect/foot-pedal market turned into a cottage industry where people are frothing at the mouth over the latest iteration of FUZZ pedals. With the foot-pedal mania somewhat satiated, I can see that the auto tuners could be seen as utilitarian as any famous effect pedal. One must admit that changing from standard tuning to drop D tuning in merely seconds is very enticing.

Like it or not, Gibson is trying to be your guitar company. It's a tough job satisfying the long devoted legions while creating innovations for tomorrows players.




22 comments:

WILSONOV said...

I have a 2015 LP Junior and absolutely love the G-Force thingamerbobby. It works as advertised pretty much(I haven't tried any alternate tunings). I'm 40 and have been playing in bands since I was 16 and I've always used pedal tuners, never tuning by ear period ever because I just can't do it right. I still have a pedal tuner on the board just in case(plus I have 2 other guitars with old school tuners). As for the new neck shape, I got used to it in minutes and don't even think about it now. It feels right. However, it is tougher to mute the low E when your not playing it but still need to make sure it doesn't sound out. The zero fret nut is just there and I don't have any real feelings about it other than it has a nice goldish tint to it and seems to function perfectly as any other nut. I guess if the G-Force fails I can always just tune it manually.

msan2011 said...

I have a system on my tele and I absolutely love it. It's not always accurate, but that's my fault since I need to intonate my guitar. The system is flawless in my opinion and I think this is a good business move for Gibson. The cliché "you get what you pay for." rings true here. If you're going to invest in a new guitar, better make it worthwhile. The G-force makes a perfect addition to Gibson's world renowned guitars.

Jam Handy said...

I won't be buying any model guitar with this thing on it. I think Henry at Gibson is snorting way too much coke coming up with BS like this. It should be an option, not something c rammed down your throat, take-it-or-leave-it. There are too many other brands of guitars to choose from today to mess with a classic design that has worked just fine since the 1950s. This gimick won't last, and will soon be trashed for the old school. I hate it. I hate the idea of it, and I will not buy into it.

Anonymous said...

just got SG 2015 with Tuning system for xmas present surprise. will be returning it tomorrow, who wants that clunky tuning device that I have to keep charged. ugh. Currently have 1977 Les Paul Custom silver starburst. wanted SG for its light simplicity, not electronic gadgets and yes I have been manually tuning for 38 years and like it that way.

Scott said...

Keep the comments coming! I can appreciate the entire spectrum of opinions. Please try to be specific and share your likes and dislikes because other players will benefit from your experience. If this is a gimmick, Gibson will hear loud and clear via their sales. I stated I prefer this system to be an option. I have a general fear of consumer electronics and that fear is not unfounded. Live long enough and you will accumulate a plethora of gadgets that used to work. That being said, I still want to see innovation and not stifle creativity. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I really love the G force so far. I can instantly change tuning to learn a different style song. I can focus on my technique more than my tuning skills. I do think that all players should be able to tune a guitar manually at some point, but for a newer player like myself this really has helped me open up my arrangement song learning quite a bit. If the G force isn't your bag, it's not too expensive to have the G force changed out. It is 2015, technology is the future. Get Right! or get left... behind.

bob loblaw said...

The g force can be tuned manually, or replaced. And why does anyone care if anyone else can tune their guitar manually, or not?

mikaleno amundson said...

G Force total POS!!!!!!! I will never touch another guitar that has his crap on it.

PUFFER said...

They changed time-proven necks to add a gadget. Good idea! I get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I want to pick up and try a new Gibson, too find out it's got a funky tuner on the headstock, and a wide flat neck. I will never waste my money on a robo-tune Gibson. I have used geared tuners long enough to be fast and accurate with a foot pedal. If you have never played the classic Gibson necks, have no skill in hand-tuning a guitar, and like to buy disposable electronic gadgets. Go ahead.... land-fills are waiting!

Kristoffer Paulsen said...

So good the decision got reversed. Every single guitar coming with it standard? It's so ridiculous that it doesn't even sound true. Tuning is a part of playing. It's about listening to your instrument and preparing yourself to play.

Scott said...

I do not believe " Every single guitar coming with it standard," is true. Instruments from the Custom Shop will not have the G-force. I have seen these G-Force instruments come in only to have the G-Force product removed along with the stock wiring. We install Klusons or Grovers and standard pots, nice caps and vintage wire. Some people prefer the old method and parts.

Unknown said...

This GFORCE bullshit is uncalled for on any guitar, and Gibson even has the audacity to put this bullshit device on every goddammed model and Jack up their prices to add insult to injury. Electronic wizardry does not belong on any guitar. It's all about the human touch using all your senses to play guitar. They say a sucker is born every day. Yep, anyone who buys this bullshit is not a serious guitarist. Go play your video guitar games instead. Give us real guitarists the real deal Gibson.

Slash said...

This GFORCE bullshit is uncalled for on any guitar, and Gibson even has the audacity to put this bullshit device on every goddammed model and Jack up their prices to add insult to injury. Electronic wizardry does not belong on any guitar. It's all about the human touch using all your senses to play guitar. They say a sucker is born every day. Yep, anyone who buys this bullshit is not a serious guitarist. Go play your video guitar games instead. Give us real guitarists the real deal Gibson.

Scott said...

@ Slash and Unknown: Business is always clearer looking in the rear view mirror. Gibson has bills to pay, artists to support and investors to keep happy. They have to change! Especially if they aren't showing a profit but since Gibson isn't traded on the open market - We can only guess if they are profitable. My guess is they are struggling. Therefore, the must sell more units and adding consumer electronics to enable the end users might equate to more sales. Players don't need GForce but it's there if needed. As for price? Well, most prices go up as does your wage I reckon and I doubt you complain about your wage increase. Nevertheless, Gibson does have equipment available that is professional level but the cost isn't inexpensive. Newsflash; it never has been inexpensive. In the 1920's some Gibson banjos cost $900.00, that was more than a Ford Model A. You can still get professional level guitars relatively cheap but you might need to fix them yourself in order to keep the price down - But there is the cost of your time. I think I am preaching to the choir here and what I am saying is obvious. I am glad you expressed your feelings about GForce. It's a valid reaction. I personally haven't a need for a GForce and I too look beyond that model. If this device is the innovation that people seek, it might show up on ALL stringed instruments and that would be a boon to Gibson and then when they rolling in the cash like FACEBOOK they will start giving away guitars to 3 world nations! LOL. Until then, hang on because the times are a changing...... Cheers!

Jahn Xavier said...

Interesting takes and comments from all. I am a working professional musician for 39 years and have been playing guitar for 42 years. After reading many articles and opinions (including those on this page) I decided to try a 2015 Les Paul Special TV Model. It was not intended to be my go-to stage guitar, but rather a recording and jamming choice, and was attracted to the G Force because I would like to play more slide and alternate tunings. Over the years, I have seen many new music-related technologies initially disparaged, only to be adopted when they prove their usefulness in playing, recording or the creative process. After a week of working with it, I am beginning to think this technology might stand the test of time. Although I would not want this on every guitar in my collection, I LIKE IT. A LOT. I find myself picking it up often, just to fool around with it. I agree that it should be OPTIONAL. I was also getting a Les Paul Standard and opted for the 2016, rather than be G Forced into having this system. That said, I went in with my eyes open, and am happy with the system so far.
If I find problems that are deal-breakers after a bit more use, I will amend this review - and put on some new tuners! Thanks!

jlh said...

I have the 2015 studio and hate these tuners. I love the guitar, sounds and plays as good or better than any gibson I have owned. But these tuners make it very time consuming to change strings and no more "chime and tune" at least with any time saving. I wanted the guitar so settled for the tuners, as shown in ads they work cool, and they do if you are not a full time player where on stage in between songs tuning can be a deal breaker. If I were still touring NO way I could use this on stage. Now in the Studio where I have time to continue to press on then strum it is ok. Maybe I am still a fender guy and not used to tuning that much to start with. But you will love the way this guitar plays and sounds, now if I could just replace the tuners.

Unknown said...

I bought a Gibson LPD15GTNH1 Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top Electric Guitar, the guitar is great, the G-force tuners are terrible. They tune up OK but by the time you have finished playing the first tune the guitar is out of tune.
After much testing it seemed that the G and B strings would not hold there tune (and these are the most popular strings to string bend as well).
What’s the point of having a really beautiful guitar that can’t stay in tune, which renders it unplayable?

Leif Fifer said...

Ok I bought a 2015 USA Les Paul traditional. I like the thicker neck, I like the nut....not crazy about the head stock but whatever it's still a very attractive guitar. I hate the force system so I have a question.
The guys a go said Gibson sent them new regular tuners. My question is why would you put a plastic junk tuner on a classic guitar?

I know you can tune it manually but it sucks and goes out. I'm debating on either selling it and buying one without (when I string a guitar I do it properly and it just makes it difficult to tune the first time).

So should I sell and get one without or pay the 50. Bucks and have it removed with real tuners? Will it devalue my guitar if I replace it? If so, I'd rather sell and buy one without. If not, I like the sound. I like thick necks and the copper nut is fine.

1. Not crazy about the headstock but over all it's still attractive
2. Hate the gforce but like the feel..still I can't have it going out of tune while I'm playing a song. I string manually and those tuners suck manually.

Everything else I like about the guitar except maybe it's not so much of what I wanted and don't want to devalue the guitar by replacing parts.

So I guess if it truly doesn't Declan I'd keep it and get it fixed. If it does, then I'm selling it and getting an older model.

Scott said...

@Leif Fifer; It would probably be easier to replace the tuners but you should replace the tuners with a tuner that doesn't require drilling. Drilling will reduce the value - How much devaluation? I don't know. Nevertheless, it will be worth less. I don't know what you mean by plastic tuner? The tuning knob is often made of plastic - especially the old vintage models which are highly valued.

Replace those g-force with good Klusons. As for the nut, I personally do not like the brass nut. It's width is ridiculously large at 1 3/4 inch yet the string spacing is narrow. I simply do no understand the wide nut and narrow string spacing.

If you choose to sell it and get an older model you need to be skilled at spotting defects that lower the value but are often hidden by the seller. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

was in the market for a LP studio, until I tried it with this tuning system. When I tried and didn't like it, I asked the store owner for one without, he said 'if i had a nickel........

Anonymous said...

@ scott, gibson will replace the brass nut with a titanium nut if you call and ask for it. It sounds way better and is less vulnerable to wear as brass is very soft.
My guitar did not have the gforce and is a 2015 studio, i was trying to find the list price on the gforce as a stand alone purchase. (not to buy but to see the value of what i got shorted). I also want to point out that the ratio of replacement tuners should be as high as possible, i put 21:1 gohto tuners on mine replacing the 14:1 it came with.

Scott said...

You can find spare parts here: https://www.tronicaltune.com/original-gibson-spare-parts.html
The company is called TronicalTune Plus. You can determine a list price from the spare parts, I'd estimate ~ $250.00 minimum. As for tuners, I prefer the variable ratios based on string gage but mid ratios are acceptable. In addition, the replacements should go in without modification. No drilling new holes! As for replacing the nut from Brass to Titanium, I cannot verify that (I assume it's true) and I my expectations are that it is a warranty replacement for the original owner for a limited time. Thanks for the information and good luck with your spare parts.

Post a Comment