Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A true American classic: Gibson guitars

If I were a musician, I would probably have a Gibson strapped to my body. I can't speak to the musical prowess of the instrument but the timeless look is undeniable. With adepts from across the globe, they are a force to be reckoned with.

Still 100% American made, I had a chance to tour the Memphis factory. With only 50 guitars being produced daily and 3 weeks to be made from start to finish, you can expect your axe to be top quality. Most of the guitar making process I have witnessed is being executed by hand.

At one station, you could see naked wooden guitar body parts being strapped together by an intricate web of ropes and hung on racks in order to let the glue dry. It seemed a bit archaic but it would have made any bondage practitioner's pupils dilate.

The paint booth was quite impressive. I didn't realize until then that every Les Paul is hand painted by a skilled craftsman, hence making every guitar unique. My favorite station was probably the detailing section where "scrapers" go through every inch of the guitar using sharp blades. All the edges are carefully reshaped.

The final assembly station is also quite a sight. I have no idea how they insert all the electronics in the guitar through those small openings with such ease but I know I would loose my mind. I have a hard enough time trying to change a scooter cable on my Vespa; I don't see myself doing such precise work.

These men and women at Gibson are more than just factory workers; they are artists in their own right.

Special Ben Sherman limited edition Gibson guitars

* The photos of the guitars are not the property of Parka Avenue. If Gibson or Ben Sherman have an objection, please let me know.

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