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#2910712 - 02/19/18 12:39 PM Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy
p90jr Offline
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Didn't notice this posted anywhere here...

http://variety.com/2018/biz/news/gibson-...tcy-1202704143/

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#2910744 - 02/19/18 02:49 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
whitefang Offline
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What! AGAIN?
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#2910753 - 02/19/18 03:43 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Yeah, they’re in a world of hurt.
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#2910768 - 02/19/18 04:56 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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I hope they can survive. They pretty much priced themselves out of business. Fender saved themselves from the same ship wreck with a budget line people could afford. Both companies need to get their prices down to where people can afford the products. Taylor is too expensive for the average guitar player these days and will probably face the same fate...IMHO. cool


Edited by Larryz (02/19/18 04:57 PM)
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#2910817 - 02/19/18 08:59 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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The a**hole who owns the company has run the brand into the ground. Bad management.
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#2910832 - 02/19/18 11:18 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
They pretty much priced themselves out of business. Fender saved themselves from the same ship wreck with a budget line people could afford. Both companies need to get their prices down to where people can afford the products. Taylor is too expensive for the average guitar player these days and will probably face the same fate...IMHO. cool


Although I agree that their (Gibson) prices are outrageously high, that's not the only issue. The value proposition just isn't there. There QA is absolutely dreadful. It's one thing to spend money on a "prestige product". It' another to spend a lot of money and receive a poorly crafted product in return. I have absolutely no interest in purchasing a new Gibson, but would "pimp my sister" to be able to afford a Collings. In addition, I would be thrilled to own another Heritage. A friend of mine recently purchased a brand new Martin D-35 acoustic. After playing it, I want one too!

Yes, Collings, Heritage and Martin are certainly "prestige products" (and are priced accordingly). But when you give them your money, you receive a quality product in return.

Last year I attended an "Artisan Guitar Show" where luthiers displayed their instruments and will attend again this year in April. The instruments on display started at over $6000 and went up - WAY up! However, in this case we are discussing custom products. Luthier Bill Comins custom guitars startat around $12,000 (!), but he crafts a semi-hollow and a hollow body in Korea and sets them up in this country for $1500 and $2,200 respectively. I played the $1500 semi-hollow body and it was a beautifully crafted and great playing instrument.

Gibson can keep their guitars as far as I'm concerned. They ain't gettin' any of my hard earned dollars.

Final thought: Although I do not need any more guitars, I am kinda' thinking about another Peerless at some time in the future. Peerless makes very high quality guitars at affordable prices.
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#2910843 - 02/20/18 03:06 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Fred_C]
skipclone 1 Offline
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The Tokyo Music Instrument Fair is coming back this fall. I am looking forward to a long day of intoxicating tryouts from some very interesting guitar builders from around the globe. There`s also great sideshows-I`ve met both Roger Mayer and his wife-he told me he has no interest in NAMM. There was T.M. Stevens, bass player on several Steve Vai CDs, swearing that he knew me from somewhere. It`s gonna be fun.
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#2910851 - 02/20/18 04:52 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Fred_C]
whitefang Offline
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Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Although I agree that their (Gibson) prices are outrageously high, that's not the only issue. The value proposition just isn't there. There QA is absolutely dreadful. It's one thing to spend money on a "prestige product". It's another to spend a lot of money and receive a poorly crafted product in return.


I can relate to this in one way that this was the sort of thing that nearly cost me my job.

I worked for GM in their Cadillac division. They long prided themselves(even with a sign on the factory's wall) as the "Standard of the world". And indeed for a long time they were. Just as Gibson was. But by the early '80's, Cadillac started putting out a car that was nothing more than a standard Oldsmobile wearing a "Cadillac suit", but still cost much more than the "top of the line" Olds. They, like Gibson in recent decades, decided wrongly that they could rest on their laurels and people would shell out the money for the NAME regardless that it no longer stood for what it had. The result?

Massive lay-offs(which I was just a small step ahead in seniority to avoid), loss of market share and worst of all, big loss in reputation.

Now, they've gotten back to where they build a pretty good vehicle, but it took a while and they're STILL not what and where they used to be. You could say Gibson, like Cadillac, cut so many corners that they rolled downhill from where they used to stand. wink
Whitefang
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#2910874 - 02/20/18 06:18 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
picker Offline
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Gibson won't go away. The name is still valuable, as are their designs & patents, and facilities. Someone will buy the assets, and Gibson will go on. I think it'll be kinda like when CBS bought out Leo Fender. There will be pre-sale and post-sale Gibsons, with the pre-sale stuff thought better of than the new guitars.

And the world will go on...
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#2910885 - 02/20/18 06:49 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: picker]
Sharkman Offline
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Gibson has been trying to rescue themselves by issuing limited edition overpriced guitars in hopes that fifty to five hundred fans of some guitarist will pay way too much for a Gibson with someone elses name on it. Oh well, at least they're doing well with Epiphone.
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#2910887 - 02/20/18 06:55 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Sharkman]
skipclone 1 Offline
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#2910900 - 02/20/18 07:35 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: skipclone 1]
Larryz Offline
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@ Brother Fred, the last guitar I bought is a Gibson Les Paul Classic. It has a couple of quality control issues which I was able to correct. One is the neck pickup pole positions which needed a little adjustment to get the bass working and the other was/is the input jack was bent inside and the jack would slide out of the guitar on it's own LOL! This I attribute to the Sweetwater bench inspection as someone must have stepped on the chord before putting it in the mail to me. I bent it enough to get it working...

I have not taken it in yet for a set up as it plays too well out of the box. Now that I have settled on which set of strings I will be running it's time to take it in. I will have the neck pickup poles and the input jack checked and re-set or replaced.

The guitar is too nice to send back in the mail as the repairs are too minor. The wood and finish are extremely nice in cherry sunburst. I love the Grover locking tuners and the 57 humbuckers. The frets are smooth and everything is quality. I didn't want to buy any more guitars but I really missed my Les Paul Deluxe and wished I had never sold it. This guitar brought back some great memories and plays just like my old one did. Same neck which I really love.

Anyway, long story short is the LP only cost me $1,600 new. I know Gibson can still put out a quality guitar at a decent price...If they would do so, they could stay in business. $3,500 is too much to pay for a guitar like this one IMHO. I agree with you that price is not the only consideration and there are many quality comparable guitars made over seas. +1 Peerless is a great example... thu


Edited by Larryz (02/20/18 07:38 AM)
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#2910908 - 02/20/18 07:58 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Somewhere along the way, Gibson forgot some very basic economic principles, foremost being that a “premier lifestyle” brand can’t simultaneously act in the market like a mass producer.

Second, as many have pointed out, you actually have to deliver on your promise of excellence at some point, or even your diehards will abandon you.
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#2910923 - 02/20/18 09:28 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Somewhere along the way, Gibson forgot some very basic economic principles, foremost being that a “premier lifestyle” brand can’t simultaneously act in the market like a mass producer.

Second, as many have pointed out, you actually have to deliver on your promise of excellence at some point, or even your diehards will abandon you.


+1. Well said. Well written.
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#2910926 - 02/20/18 09:33 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Although I agree that their (Gibson) prices are outrageously high, that's not the only issue. The value proposition just isn't there. There QA is absolutely dreadful. It's one thing to spend money on a "prestige product". It's another to spend a lot of money and receive a poorly crafted product in return.


I can relate to this in one way that this was the sort of thing that nearly cost me my job.

I worked for GM in their Cadillac division. They long prided themselves(even with a sign on the factory's wall) as the "Standard of the world". And indeed for a long time they were. Just as Gibson was. But by the early '80's, Cadillac started putting out a car that was nothing more than a standard Oldsmobile wearing a "Cadillac suit", but still cost much more than the "top of the line" Olds. They, like Gibson in recent decades, decided wrongly that they could rest on their laurels and people would shell out the money for the NAME regardless that it no longer stood for what it had. The result?

Massive lay-offs(which I was just a small step ahead in seniority to avoid), loss of market share and worst of all, big loss in reputation.

Now, they've gotten back to where they build a pretty good vehicle, but it took a while and they're STILL not what and where they used to be. You could say Gibson, like Cadillac, cut so many corners that they rolled downhill from where they used to stand. wink
Whitefang


Fang, in my college years I used to steer friends looking for cheap dependable transportation towards a secret gem: The early 80s Cadillac Cimarron, which I suspect is the vehicle you're talking about (just a gold-trimmed Chevy Celebrity, in reality). What made it a gem was that the only people who bought them were the proverbial little old ladies who liked having a smaller car, only drove it to church and the hair salon and the grocery store, and kept it in a garage, paying the grandkids to wash it every month... then when they or their families were getting rid of them, no one wanted them! A friend who took my suggestion got a tricked out deluxe factory stereo, etc., for $1000... with only 2,500 original miles on it (and brand new tires put on for the sale), and thought it was funny to drive a powder blue car. He eventually traded it to his mother when she thought her GMC SUV was too hard to park.

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#2910929 - 02/20/18 09:37 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: picker]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 3017
Originally Posted By: picker
Gibson won't go away. The name is still valuable, as are their designs & patents, and facilities. Someone will buy the assets, and Gibson will go on. I think it'll be kinda like when CBS bought out Leo Fender. There will be pre-sale and post-sale Gibsons, with the pre-sale stuff thought better of than the new guitars.

And the world will go on...


Well, it's in such debt that the name will cost a lot, and that means it will be resurrected by businessmen, not guitar people...

And, with market considerations guiding them, it might go the way of Guild and Hamer and other venerable guitar names that are resurrected: made in Korea. Not that the two I just mentioned aren't absolute new bangs for the buck that hold their own with anything, it just doesn't seem the same...

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#2910932 - 02/20/18 09:59 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Somewhere along the way, Gibson forgot some very basic economic principles, foremost being that a “premier lifestyle” brand can’t simultaneously act in the market like a mass producer.

Second, as many have pointed out, you actually have to deliver on your promise of excellence at some point, or even your diehards will abandon you.


Yep, and yep.

Gibson's fate is tangled with Guitar Center... they blew off smaller stores to satisfy the orders for that growing giant, actually ramping production WAY up to meet their orders... and faced a bit of a problem a while ago when after a few years GC said "Thanks, we have enough, now... our stores are full." (I'll try to dig up those articles).

But also, they began acquiring pro audio and audiophile companies... often with curious intentions, since they would just shut them down a year or so later (Cakewalk). They own Stanton and Philips on the audiophile-side, but people into that stuff describe them in terms like when Norlin owned Gibson and made it crappy by not knowing what it was doing.

But most of all, with production ramped up, a Gibson is a mass-produced guitar. Henry, upon buying the company, moved it from the Union-history locale of Kalamazoo, MI to the "right to work" environs of TN and MT, and employed more and more computerized production (though he still rants about employment costs). It gets puzzling to me that for $3,000+ I can buy a Collings or Melançon or Pensa or Suhr or Fano, handmade by one or a few people, or a Heritage that has nothing overlooked or shody though it was done on a small assembly line, or a Gibson, the recent new ones that I've played in dire need of a set up and feel like they were just shipped out by the thousands that day.

I think the mass production of guitars will cease... it's unsustainable. Sales are down... interest in the instrument is declining more and more among young people. That's (a sad) reality, and one that the market isn't keeping up with... because supply and demand are way out of whack with the big box guitar stores/websites needing more and more "variety" to lure and tease customers with... but those stores themselves are tangled up in questionable venture capital deals and have to put up the illusion of endless growth to keep investors from busting the bubble.

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#2910940 - 02/20/18 10:28 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
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Originally Posted By: p90jr
Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Somewhere along the way, Gibson forgot some very basic economic principles, foremost being that a “premier lifestyle” brand can’t simultaneously act in the market like a mass producer.

Second, as many have pointed out, you actually have to deliver on your promise of excellence at some point, or even your diehards will abandon you.


Yep, and yep.

Gibson's fate is tangled with Guitar Center... they blew off smaller stores to satisfy the orders for that growing giant, actually ramping production WAY up to meet their orders... and faced a bit of a problem a while ago when after a few years GC said "Thanks, we have enough, now... our stores are full." (I'll try to dig up those articles).

But also, they began acquiring pro audio and audiophile companies... often with curious intentions, since they would just shut them down a year or so later (Cakewalk). They own Stanton and Philips on the audiophile-side, but people into that stuff describe them in terms like when Norlin owned Gibson and made it crappy by not knowing what it was doing.

But most of all, with production ramped up, a Gibson is a mass-produced guitar. Henry, upon buying the company, moved it from the Union-history locale of Kalamazoo, MI to the "right to work" environs of TN and MT, and employed more and more computerized production (though he still rants about employment costs). It gets puzzling to me that for $3,000+ I can buy a Collings or Melançon or Pensa or Suhr or Fano, handmade by one or a few people, or a Heritage that has nothing overlooked or shody though it was done on a small assembly line, or a Gibson, the recent new ones that I've played in dire need of a set up and feel like they were just shipped out by the thousands that day.

I think the mass production of guitars will cease... it's unsustainable. Sales are down... interest in the instrument is declining more and more among young people. That's (a sad) reality, and one that the market isn't keeping up with... because supply and demand are way out of whack with the big box guitar stores/websites needing more and more "variety" to lure and tease customers with... but those stores themselves are tangled up in questionable venture capital deals and have to put up the illusion of endless growth to keep investors from busting the bubble.



Basically yes.

For all that they tout their brand as being handmade in the USA, in reality, the hand craftsmanship has been reduced to just a few- but nontrivial- steps.


And as you say, American made guitars with more hand crafting can be had for less. Which just illustrates how nutty Gibson’s price structure is: a company using so many mass production techniques AND that is big enough to enjoy significant economies of scale shouldn’t be losing the pricing battle to small operations.

Need further proof? Fender & Eric Johnson just announced a contoured thinline semihollow Strat that has been in development for a few years. Price: $1,999.
https://www.musicradar.com/news/namm-201...caster-thinline

Gibson’s new Modern V? $4,499.
https://www.musicradar.com/news/gibsons-radical-modern-flying-v-takes-off-at-ces

rolleyes
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#2910968 - 02/20/18 12:40 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
desertbluesman Offline
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With pricing like this "$5,399.00" For a Les Paul Custom, who could afford them. I once had several Les Paul Custom's in my past. I sold one like the one pictured in the link below a few years back for $1,200 and was glad to get it. No wonder they are going out of business.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPCPSL11188d
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#2910986 - 02/20/18 01:53 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: desertbluesman]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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$5400 for a Gibson demo?

I can commission better made, full-custom guitars for that price. Or cheaper.
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#2910992 - 02/20/18 02:21 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
picker Offline
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Loc: Near 12th Street and Vine...
Originally Posted By: p90jr


Well, it's in such debt that the name will cost a lot, and that means it will be resurrected by businessmen, not guitar people...

And, with market considerations guiding them, it might go the way of Guild and Hamer and other venerable guitar names that are resurrected: made in Korea. Not that the two I just mentioned aren't absolute new bangs for the buck that hold their own with anything, it just doesn't seem the same...


You're probably right.
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#2910996 - 02/20/18 02:27 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: desertbluesman]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: desertbluesman
With pricing like this "$5,399.00" For a Les Paul Custom, who could afford them. I once had several Les Paul Custom's in my past. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPCPSL11188d


Yeah. They ain't shy about asking for money.

About two years ago, a new ES-175 ran $3,000. Overnight, the price went to $5,000! No thanks, Gibson A brand new Heritage H575 Custom like mine is around $3,200 and is carved from solid wood. The ES175 is a laminate.


Edited by Fred_C (02/20/18 02:52 PM)
Edit Reason: fix error
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#2911006 - 02/20/18 02:56 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
whitefang Offline
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Originally Posted By: p90jr
Fang, in my college years I used to steer friends looking for cheap dependable transportation towards a secret gem: The early 80s Cadillac Cimarron, which I suspect is the vehicle you're talking about (just a gold-trimmed Chevy Celebrity, in reality). What made it a gem was that the only people who bought them were the proverbial little old ladies who liked having a smaller car, only drove it to church and the hair salon and the grocery store, and kept it in a garage, paying the grandkids to wash it every month... then when they or their families were getting rid of them, no one wanted them! A friend who took my suggestion got a tricked out deluxe factory stereo, etc., for $1000... with only 2,500 original miles on it (and brand new tires put on for the sale), and thought it was funny to drive a powder blue car. He eventually traded it to his mother when she thought her GMC SUV was too hard to park.


Nope, not regarding the Cimmaron. I was referring to those Cadillacs made 'round the mid '80's. That's when they started running Caddies, Oldsmobiles and Chevy Caprice Classics all down the same line. And putting v-6 engines in the Caddies that really weren't up to snuff. And that miserable 4-6-8 engine failure. And the Cimarron wasn't built at the Clark St. Detroit main plant where I worked. And BTW:

Did Gibson's quality issues begin before or after they moved from Kalamazoo? And if after, how soon after?
Whitefang
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#2911011 - 02/20/18 03:15 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
surfergirl Offline
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Posts: 49
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I don't know a lot about business, but maybe Gibson was really good at building guitars and then tried to do to much. You have to be true to what/who you are.

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#2911027 - 02/20/18 04:37 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 3017
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Originally Posted By: p90jr
Fang, in my college years I used to steer friends looking for cheap dependable transportation towards a secret gem: The early 80s Cadillac Cimarron, which I suspect is the vehicle you're talking about (just a gold-trimmed Chevy Celebrity, in reality). What made it a gem was that the only people who bought them were the proverbial little old ladies who liked having a smaller car, only drove it to church and the hair salon and the grocery store, and kept it in a garage, paying the grandkids to wash it every month... then when they or their families were getting rid of them, no one wanted them! A friend who took my suggestion got a tricked out deluxe factory stereo, etc., for $1000... with only 2,500 original miles on it (and brand new tires put on for the sale), and thought it was funny to drive a powder blue car. He eventually traded it to his mother when she thought her GMC SUV was too hard to park.


Nope, not regarding the Cimmaron. I was referring to those Cadillacs made 'round the mid '80's. That's when they started running Caddies, Oldsmobiles and Chevy Caprice Classics all down the same line. And putting v-6 engines in the Caddies that really weren't up to snuff. And that miserable 4-6-8 engine failure. And the Cimarron wasn't built at the Clark St. Detroit main plant where I worked. And BTW:

Did Gibson's quality issues begin before or after they moved from Kalamazoo? And if after, how soon after?
Whitefang


Ah, the Cimarron might have been the first step into that dismal territory... it was badged by each of the GM brands but they didn't even bother to change the headlights... the Caddy hood ornament was the only thing that distinguished it.

http://carbuzz.com/news/rebadged-disasters-cadillac-cimarron


second question: Hmmm... well, since the move from Kalamazzo signaled (I believe) the change from Norlin's ownership, quality HAD to be an improvement, but that was due to the guitars the factory had to make. I'd say Gibson's quality control problems started in 1970 (along with general overall design problems)... the "new -era" from '83 included the Custom Shop, which is where the rep got a boost. Has Gibson ever been known for its lower-priced guitars since the '60s? I, personally, think Les Paul Studios are a bigger bang for the buck, quality-wise, than the higher up model Les Pauls.

I know people who swear by 1970s Les Paul Customs.

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#2911028 - 02/20/18 04:47 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: surfergirl]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: surfergirl
I don't know a lot about business, but maybe Gibson was really good at building guitars and then tried to do to much. You have to be true to what/who you are.


It is the arrogance and idiocy of modern business.

I recommend the documentary "All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records" to get a glimpse of what happened in the 90s, across the board... It didn't matter how well you were doing, stock holders and board members wanted constant "growth," and that meant if you made One Billion dollars this year, the target for next year was Three Billion Dollars, and since you've already tapped out the places you pushed to that high point, that means finding new places to expand to and open new stores in...

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#2911035 - 02/20/18 05:43 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Fred_C]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
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Originally Posted By: Fred_C
Originally Posted By: desertbluesman
With pricing like this "$5,399.00" For a Les Paul Custom, who could afford them. I once had several Les Paul Custom's in my past. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPCPSL11188d


Yeah. They ain't shy about asking for money.

About two years ago, a new ES-175 ran $3,000. Overnight, the price went to $5,000! No thanks, Gibson A brand new Heritage H575 Custom like mine is around $3,200 and is carved from solid wood. The ES175 is a laminate.


Gibson’s tobaccy is obviously quite whacky.
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#2911118 - 02/21/18 08:32 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Sharkman Offline
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Another thing that is hurting Gibson is while the quality of their Gibson guitars has gone down, the quality of their fraction of the price Epiphone guitars has gone up. In my situation, business has been exceptionally good the past few months, and after I buy a new vehicle in May, and possibly a new Yamaha Wave Runner after that, I'm thinking about buying a new guitar. As much as I'd love to have a Gibson Les Paul Standard with a cherry sunburst finish, a similar Epiphone Les Paul will cost around one quarter of the price, and in all honesty, I don't think I would be able to tell the difference between them if I was blindfolded.
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#2911119 - 02/21/18 08:36 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
The Real MC Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
Did Gibson's quality issues begin before or after they moved from Kalamazoo? And if after, how soon after?
Whitefang


Definitely before. After Ted McCarthy left in the mid 60s, several things contributed to quality issues.

Relationship between workers and upper brass soured. Ted maintained a good relationship with everybody at Gibson - the top brass, the distributors, the workers building the guitars. After Ted left, CMI brought in a replacement who alienated the builders. Gibson at Kalamazoo was a union shop; Ted never had union troubles but his successors did. Things got worse after CMI was acquired by Norlin.

Quality standards were lowered. Builders from the "golden era" confirmed that before the Norlin era, substandard guitars would had never been sold through retail and quality control was much higher. Builders took an active part in improving quality of their peers - if a flaw was found, the person responsible was confronted. McCarthy knew that keeping the builders happy contributed to better quality. Henry J obviously lost this along the way, as turnover grew higher in later years and workers voted Gibson Guitars as the worse company to work for.

MBAs ushered in through Norlin introduced things that hurt craftsmanship and the tone of the guitars. They focused on decreasing costs and reducing warranty returns but at the expense of quality. Things like the headstock volute, "pancake" bodies, shorter neck tenons, and three piece necks of the 1970s don't help their value.

The people in control of product development lost the vision that made Gibson great. The Norlin people insulated the relationship between the customer (musicians, not retailers) and the upper brass. Witness how Norlin screwed up the reissue LP in the 1960s - musicians had been demanding sunburst LPs with the humbuckers, and the initial reissues were goldtop with P90s or minihumbuckers and customs. Gibson under Norlin frankly never got the sunburst reissues right. I have been to a few NAMM shows, and was unable to enter the Gibson room because Henry J restricted them only to distributers and retailers - if you were a working musicians with a "visitor" badge, you weren't welcome.

I believe that the closest Gibson ever got to true replication of the 1950s sunburst LPs was through the Custom Shop. I have a 2006 G0 (an R0 built for Guitar Center to their specs) that ranks very highly with my guitar player friends, and when I showed it to the staff at a well known vintage guitar store that regularly keeps 1950s sunburst in stock, they were surprised how good the G0 was.

Norlin being a publically held corporation did feel the pressure to grow every year. In an insincere effort to "expand", almost all new guitar models were duds and misguided. That is still happening under Henry J (reversing the body on a Flying V? Come on!). It didn't help that musicians were isolated from the top decision makers at Gibson.

With the exception of the Custom Shop, I don't think Gibson ever reclaimed the quality standards established before the mid 1960s.

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#2911301 - 02/22/18 11:45 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: The Real MC]
p90jr Offline
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Bloomberg: Gibson Creditors Want New CEO Before Rescue Deal

A group of bondholders advised by PJT Partners Inc. is pushing for a restructuring that would hand them ownership of the guitar maker and let them install new leadership, according to people with knowledge of the plans. The holders don’t expect Gibson’s earnings will be strong enough to attract new money for a refinancing to head off a default looming later this year, and creditors are reluctant to invest more funds while Juszkiewicz is still in charge, the people said.

If beancounters seize the company, I'm sure we'll see production moved to Korea or China...

I don't know what's worse: that or leaving the man who thought the Firebird X and robotic tuners were going to set the guitar world on fire in charge?

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#2911306 - 02/22/18 01:15 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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The frying pan is getting hotter.

I don’t think any but the most blindered beancounters would move primary production of Gibson to Korea- that’s Epiphone’s place in the structure.

I think it’s more likely you’d see divestment of non-essential (read: non-guitar) subdivisions and a vast streamlining of Gibson’s product lines. IOW, you won’t see a bunch of different LP models, a variety of SGs, etc. Included in that production restructuring would be improved QC and probably some turnover in the employment side. Not just firings, but also strategic rehires.
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#2911359 - 02/22/18 09:05 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Sharkman Offline
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Gibson has just over one billion dollars in annual revenue, which is a lot more than the amount of debt (bank loans and corporate bonds) that is coming due several months from now. Don't be surprised if their CEO Henry Juszkiewicz files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June or July. That buys them a lot of time to restructure their debt. If Gibson takes that route, you will see some jawdropping deals on guitars in an attempt to raise enough cash to satisfy their biggest creditors. The small creditors will most likely get screwed. I would advise to keep some cash handy, because if Chapter 11 happens, you could get lucky.
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#2911381 - 02/23/18 04:07 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Sharkman]
whitefang Offline
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It's enough for me to keep a grip on my own finances let alone be able to think in terms of the amount of money THOSE guys have to juggle.

But that sounds good enough to me, and hopefully for many not too good to be true. wink

And I kinda agree with Danny up there that they might have to let go some of their non-guitar related divestment lines. If indeed they can be shown to be channeling too much money and attention from the guitar lines and having that much detriment to the quality. And not pulling in enough revenue to keep them on.
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#2911404 - 02/23/18 07:16 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Um...didn`t Heritage start as a working team from Gibson that got fed up with their BS, and then proceeded to kick Gibson`s butt all over the map?
A change in management is a typical shareholder band aid-the vision needs to change.
Hire Phil Jackson.
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#2911407 - 02/23/18 07:37 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: skipclone 1]
Sharkman Offline
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Heritage came about when Gibson decided to move their production down to Nashville, Tennessee. A lot of the craftsmen with many years of experience in making high quality guitars chose to stay in Kalamazoo, and start up their own guitar company called Heritage. The only bad thing I can say about Heritage is that they don't do a very good job of marketing themselves. But they make excellent guitars.
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#2911425 - 02/23/18 09:35 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: skipclone 1]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
Um...didn`t Heritage start as a working team from Gibson that got fed up with their BS, and then proceeded to kick Gibson`s butt all over the map?
A change in management is a typical shareholder band aid-the vision needs to change.
Hire Phil Jackson.


Yes. On all counts.
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#2911533 - 02/23/18 06:50 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Larryz Offline
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"Although it is well known for its guitars, Gibson's largest business is in fact electronics. Gibson offers consumer audio equipment devices through its subsidiaries Gibson Innovations (Philips brand), Onkyo Corporation(Onkyo and Pioneer brands), TEAC Corporation (Teac and Esoteric brands), Cerwin Vega and Stanton,as well as professional audio equipment from KRK Systems and TEAC Corporation/TASCAM and music software from Cakewalk." Wiki

+1 Time for a new vision. Gibson can still compete in the guitar world if they would concentrate on building instruments people can afford IMHO... cool
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#2911549 - 02/23/18 09:12 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Apparently, creditors are now saying any financial bailout option will necessarily include Henry J's ouster. Which can only be for the good of the company & the brand. He's the albatross who has brought the company down.
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#2911573 - 02/24/18 04:24 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
"Although it is well known for its guitars, Gibson's largest business is in fact electronics. Gibson offers consumer audio equipment devices through its subsidiaries Gibson Innovations (Philips brand), Onkyo Corporation(Onkyo and Pioneer brands), TEAC Corporation (Teac and Esoteric brands), Cerwin Vega and Stanton,as well as professional audio equipment from KRK Systems and TEAC Corporation/TASCAM and music software from Cakewalk." Wiki

+1 Time for a new vision. Gibson can still compete in the guitar world if they would concentrate on building instruments people can afford IMHO... cool


Yeah, it does seem they've spread themselves a bit thin, don't it?
Whitefang
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#2911590 - 02/24/18 07:05 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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I got a new Sweetwater catalog in the mail yesterday (yeah they still send me one once a year LOL!) and before I tossed it, I decided to look at the Gibson guitar prices. And I was shocked! The average price range seemed to be around $4 grand. I know they can put out a decent US LP Classic for $1,500 and a Studio model for $700. That would be the price range that I think people could still afford to buy one of their guitars...and that's why they probably sell more upgraded Epi's these days... cool
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#2912199 - 02/28/18 11:19 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Apparently, creditors are now saying any financial bailout option will necessarily include Henry J's ouster. Which can only be for the good of the company & the brand. He's the albatross who has brought the company down.



Yeah, I'd posted this as the last post on the first page:

Bloomberg: Gibson Creditors Want New CEO Before Rescue Deal

A group of bondholders advised by PJT Partners Inc. is pushing for a restructuring that would hand them ownership of the guitar maker and let them install new leadership, according to people with knowledge of the plans. The holders don’t expect Gibson’s earnings will be strong enough to attract new money for a refinancing to head off a default looming later this year, and creditors are reluctant to invest more funds while Juszkiewicz is still in charge, the people said.

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#2912200 - 02/28/18 11:22 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
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Gibson Boss blames guitar stores for financial woes

“They put all of these guitars on the wall, and they put the best ones out of reach. Because you might steal one? Well, that's one way to look at it, but Apple doesn't look at it that way, and most of their stuff is more expensive than a lot of higher-end guitars. Their products are just out on tables for everyone to pick up and look at, and while they have some theft protection, it's not like they have a security force in each store. We just have the whole thing wrong. If you want customers, you have to be nice to them, and give them a place where they are comfortable.”

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#2912265 - 02/28/18 04:14 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Originally Posted By: p90jr
Gibson Boss blames guitar stores for financial woes

“They put all of these guitars on the wall, and they put the best ones out of reach. Because you might steal one? Well, that's one way to look at it, but Apple doesn't look at it that way, and most of their stuff is more expensive than a lot of higher-end guitars. Their products are just out on tables for everyone to pick up and look at, and while they have some theft protection, it's not like they have a security force in each store. We just have the whole thing wrong. If you want customers, you have to be nice to them, and give them a place where they are comfortable.”


A completely irrelevant argument from the guy who bears full responsibility for Gibson's woes. Apple is in no way the equivalent of a guitar shop, for a lot of reasons. But typical for an egomaniacal bully to blame everybody else for his own incompetence.
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#2912357 - 03/01/18 04:58 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
whitefang Offline
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grin
Y'know, just for the fun of it, I'm gonna go to the nearby MIKE CAREY and A&R music shops and ask when WAS the last time some guy charged out of the door with a guitar or two in his arms? rolleyes
Whitefang
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#2912459 - 03/01/18 11:12 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
grin
Y'know, just for the fun of it, I'm gonna go to the nearby MIKE CAREY and A&R music shops and ask when WAS the last time some guy charged out of the door with a guitar or two in his arms? rolleyes
Whitefang


Yeah, BUT, maybe 30 some years ago I dropped by the Hollywood Guitar Center & saw a bunch of the employees standing outside, looking up & down the street. One of them told me a guy just grabbed a keyboard controller & bolted right the hell out of the store.
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#2912530 - 03/01/18 02:59 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
p90jr Offline
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I posted the news story here years ago when someone DID dash out of our Guitar Center with two guitars in his hands.

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#2917489 - 03/26/18 12:34 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
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#2917583 - 03/27/18 03:50 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
whitefang Offline
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Wow.....

And I thought I had money troubles. sick

Looks as if all of their "money saving" ideas backfired. smirk
Whitefang
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#2917625 - 03/27/18 07:40 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Gibson appears to be in a nose dive right now and I can only hope they can pull out of it. Just guessing, but it may be possible that the bond holders could restructure their debts once a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is filed, and allow them to stay in business. But, just over half a billion, is a pretty big debt to deal with... cool
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#2917658 - 03/27/18 10:03 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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One of the things going on behind the scenes is that some of the major bond holders have essentially said that ditching Juszkiewicz would be part of any restructuring THEY would be party to.

IOW, it’s “King Solomon baby-splitting” time for Henry. If he truly loves Gibson, he may have to leave in order for it to survive. If he doesn’t, the Bankruptcy courts won’t be given a deal they can approve, and the company will be sold off piecemeal.
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#2917696 - 03/27/18 02:46 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
CEB Offline
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I've been looking at Dobros. I forgot Gibson owned the Dobro name... . .. bummer.


Edited by CEB (03/27/18 02:46 PM)
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#2917715 - 03/27/18 05:27 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: CEB]
Sharkman Offline
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John D. Rockefeller once said "Every crisis creates an opportunity." The Gibson financial crisis will create some opportunities for someone to buy guitars pretty cheap, since the company will have to unload inventory in order to raise cash. I'm hoping that I can be one of those someones, so we shall see how this all plays out.
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#2917728 - 03/27/18 07:00 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Sharkman]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Sharkman
John D. Rockefeller once said "Every crisis creates an opportunity." The Gibson financial crisis will create some opportunities for someone to buy guitars pretty cheap, since the company will have to unload inventory in order to raise cash. I'm hoping that I can be one of those someones, so we shall see how this all plays out.


When they start unloading Super 400s & L5s for $1000 I'll be waiting in line.
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#2917805 - 03/28/18 07:19 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
Sharkman Offline
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Scott, that's not going to happen, but the $5,500 to $7,500 range is a bit more realistic.
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#2917807 - 03/28/18 07:26 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
Fred_C Offline
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[quote=Scott Fraser
When they start unloading Super 400s & L5s for $1000 I'll be waiting in line. [/quote]

Hell yeah! I'll be in that line too!
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#2917834 - 03/28/18 10:26 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Fred_C]
Larryz Offline
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+2,000, I'll take both of them! cool
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#2924444 - 05/01/18 07:31 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
p90jr Offline
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#2924448 - 05/01/18 07:46 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Sharkman Offline
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If they're going to sell off some assets to raise cash, I sure would love a Les Paul Standard in a cherry sunburst finish with a nicely figured maple top and normal tuners for $1,500 or less. Preferably less.
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#2924465 - 05/01/18 08:45 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Sharkman]
p90jr Offline
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They're selling off the consumer electronics divisions they bought from Phillips and Onkyo and just going back to being a guitar company... and one that seems as if it will be relieved of Herny J's leadership... so, no.

Though Guitar Center and other outlets are having a sale on 2016 inventory Gibsons, which seem to be the same price they were in 2016 to me.

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#2924474 - 05/01/18 09:13 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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‘Bout damn time.

Details are still sketchy, and Ch. 11 is no guarantee of a return to viability, but it’s a start.
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#2924506 - 05/01/18 10:33 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Hopefully Henry gets the boot. They really need to sell off everything except the guitar division. Gibson purchases of other brands, like consumer electronics, software, pianos, etc. have never been viable for them. I suspect Epiphone makes money, & plenty of Gibson guitars would sell if they were priced to compete with Fender. But the important thing is to get rid of the a***ole in the CEO's chair.
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#2924524 - 05/01/18 11:11 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
DocPate Offline
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As Forrest Gump says, "I ain't a smart man..." but I do know Gibson's problems are similar to most of the Industry in the U.S. these days...lack of foresight in their innovation. Industry leaders spend so much time and effort in defending their existing market share while trying to maintain profitability to appease the stockholders they look to the MBAs to solve the problems. I've sat through a few of the typical planning sessions led by the Harvard MBAs who begin by getting a board of directors to establish the Mission, Vision and Value Statement for the Company. What starts out with good intentions gets word-smithed to satisfy the legal group...etc, etc. See where I'm going? Every thing is inward looking when tomorrow's customer is out there looking for a new way to improve their lot. The successful company is focused on the future and is willing to give up old technology and invest heavily in the future. Example:. Taylor Guitars. They had the vision to build on on-board electronics letting Gibson and Martin continue to market their acoustic guitars. Yamaha and other manufacturers focused on quality and lean manufacturing including six-sigma programs to develop high quality, excellent performance instruments for the mass market.

To succeed now is much like the task the companies like Sears is facing. They can't sell off assets fast enough to keep up with the cash flow needs. If they can't innovate quickly enough to re-establish the need for the brand they are doomed.

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#2924530 - 05/01/18 11:20 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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I've been seeing blow-out prices on some Gibson models in GC for the last month; maybe someone knew this was coming?
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#2924534 - 05/01/18 11:42 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
desertbluesman Offline
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I do not care about Gibson dying off. They priced themselves way outta my "interest in purchasing their products" a long time ago.
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#2924535 - 05/01/18 11:44 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Scott Fraser Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
I've been seeing blow-out prices on some Gibson models in GC for the last month; maybe someone knew this was coming?


Still waiting for the Super 400s to get blown out at fire sale prices.
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#2924545 - 05/01/18 12:17 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: desertbluesman]
DocPate Offline
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Originally Posted By: desertbluesman
I do not care about Gibson dying off. They priced themselves way outta my "interest in purchasing their products" a long time ago.


That's the point Dave. There's no excuse for any manufacturer to price themselves out of their market. It's really simple: (1) identify your customer (market). (2) identify his needs and wants. (3) identify where you and your competition are not meeting those needs. (4) innovate to meet the customer's needs.

Now, when the manufacturer convinces himself that he is satisfying the needs of his customer better than his competitor yet his sales doesn't reflect that, something is wrong. The manufacturer doesn't know his customer.

That's Gibson's dilemma. They thought their brand equity was sufficient to support the price. That's what happens when a market leader looks inward.

You, being in the construction industry, know how a large supplier can get complacent and just keep raising prices believing their name and size justify the cost. A new, great service company

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#2924550 - 05/01/18 12:34 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Scott Fraser]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Here's what I really don't understand -

When I worked in Music Retail, the Guitars we had in stock were Guitars that we had ordered and paid for. Fender, Hamer, Epiphone were not sending us truckloads of Guitars on consignment, in the hopes that they'd sell: they SOLD us those Guitars. Once we had them in stock, it wasn't Fender's problem, or Epiphone's problem if they didn't sell, it was our problem. They were our products, it was up to us to sell them and make money. When the store closed, my buddy wound up with a storage unit full of gear we hadn't sold out of; he may still have some of it?

The point being, if GC is full of Gibson Guitars, didn't GC buy all those Guitars? If that's the case, then Gibson isn't going to be able to save nor spend their way out of this episode. The market is glutted, Gibson has priced themselves beyond the reach of almost any beginner, and even many players. I don't see how they're going to substantially increase Guitar sales, in a dying market, period. Having said that, if prices keep dropping, I'll keep my eye out for a nice Black Les Paul.

OTOH, if all of those Guitars are consigned, or under some arrangement where Gibson puts them on the wall (at least the premium or Custom Shop models), but GC only pays when they sell, the situation is even worse. Gibson is pushing out a luxury product line that even their largest distributor can't move. This seems unlikely, in light of Henry J's rant about how it's all the retailers' fault for putting the Gibsons out of reach, but I have to wonder about their thinking, at this point. I can envision a meeting where some sales rep complains that the $2,000 Guitars aren't moving, so some other genius suggests raising the price to $4,500.
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#2924627 - 05/01/18 06:27 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Quote:
The point being, if GC is full of Gibson Guitars, didn't GC buy all those Guitars?


Not AFAIK.

Gibson’s business model has been that, in order to be an approved Gibson dealer, you had to preorder a certain minimum number of guitars. My assumption is that those massive preorders are only partially paid for in advance, the balance being on consignment.

Send too many consignment guitars back, lose your contract.
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#2924687 - 05/02/18 05:04 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz
Quote:
The point being, if GC is full of Gibson Guitars, didn't GC buy all those Guitars?


Not AFAIK.

Gibson’s business model has been that, in order to be an approved Gibson dealer, you had to preorder a certain minimum number of guitars. My assumption is that those massive preorders are only partially paid for in advance, the balance being on consignment.

Send too many consignment guitars back, lose your contract.


@Dannyalcatraz - The arrangement a while back, as I understood it from friends who still worked in retail, was that Gibson originally required a yearly order of $50,000 worth of product, to maintain your dealership, then, at some point decided to bump it up to $100,000. Don't know if that meant combined Gibson/Epiphone, or just Gibson?

If Gibson is pushing out high-priced Guitars that aren't selling, it just shows that they're paying no attention to what's happening with the Guitar market, which has been our contention here in the Forum for some time; these guys are hopelessly out of touch with reality.
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#2924758 - 05/02/18 09:21 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Sounds about right.

They definitely weren’t moving as well as comparably priced PRS Guitars here in D/FW.

I knew of at least one place that was proud of their Gibson room. They also carried G&L and Reverend- both almost uniquely to the area. I could have bought 2 of almost anything in there that day, and walked out thoroughly disappointed in the Gibsons, impressed by the G&Ls, and dreaming about the Reverends.

24 hours later, I was shopping for my first Reverend in earnest.

A year later, that store had closed,
_________________________
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#2924831 - 05/02/18 01:56 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dannyalcatraz

They definitely weren’t moving as well as comparably priced PRS Guitars here in D/FW


Funny you should mention PRS in that context; remember when Gibsons seemed almost affordable, compared to PRS? Pepperidge Farm does.

Sorry, couldn't resist, but my point still holds.
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#2924865 - 05/02/18 06:10 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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grin
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#2925024 - 05/03/18 09:45 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
d Offline
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Hearing that Gibson recently filed bankruptcy, I've been checking some of the finance oriented mags (Bloomberg & the like) along w/my usual weekly news roundups (Economist, The Week, Time, etc).
So far no mentions of that action as big news.
The fact of bankruptcy is generally actually a sign that a company has a good chance of recapturing it's status as an ongoing concern...or so we may hope.
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#2925048 - 05/03/18 11:32 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: d]
p90jr Offline
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My friend has a slew of PRS guitars on consignment in his music shop. Nobody looks at them... they're becoming unfashionable, he says, because kids look at them and see Nickelback and Creed, who aren't passing the "cool test" as time goes on... when offered them used to straight up buy for the shop, he won't... You may be able to get them for cheap in the coming years... or the lawyers that own them might just hold onto them because they don't need the money.

Anyway, I believe if you do an inflation table the price of a new Gibson today is on par, if not a little cheaper, than it should be for today's equivalent dollar. Yeah, they used to be $900... when a new car was $6,000 and a big house was $70,000... A "big" house in my area (say, 2,500 sq ft... and while this is good for a nation-wide comparison it's out of the range of what the majority of people here can afford) can be had for $275,000 +. A nice new car? $45,000? Just basic transport brand new... $18,000?

So what's changed? Well, most of us here on this board count as "old," and that influences our judgment of things like this (though we might buy houses and cars for modern prices). And while I know older guys with a max of two old Gibsons they bought brand new in the early 60s and that's all they've ever played and they've kept them as brand new looking as possible (and will get a hell of return when they sell them), most people now want a small fleet of guitars, so then each item is less and less valuable to them in a way. I have people ask me all the time why I don't sell all of my "perfectly good" guitars and get two "incredible" custom made or high-end guitars, instead... and the answer is two guitars wouldn't cover the range of gigs I do, which is why I accumated so many guitars out of necessity...

The other thing is "diminishing returns." Is there a great difference between, say, an $800 new imported D'Angelico semi-hollow and a $3,600 American-made ES 335? No... the price difference comes from the cost of labor difference in where the people gluing them together were standing, but the equipment and techniques and materials used are exactly the same, so you're paying for that "Made in America" stamped on the back of the headstock, and most of us long ago got used to having a house full of things imported from Asia that were just as good (and in a lot of cases better) than American-made products, for cheaper... so we don't place a premium on American manufacturing.

I'm also a little cheap by nature, clumsy, and know how to find a great guitar that other people would overlook.

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#2925049 - 05/03/18 11:42 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
p90jr Offline
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Registered: 11/21/07
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Also, which keeps needing to be repeated, Gibson's guitar sales are very good...... a billion dollars in sales a year. That's not why they're facing bankruptcy. The guitar part of the business is what the investors are keeping, because it is extremely profitable and a market leader... Henry J engaged in leveraged buyouts of other companies and then had no liquid assets to do anything with them... they all just became boat anchors around the main company's neck. Get rid of them and you have a business that's doing very well... but one a lot of people resent in a lot of ways, but it seems the investors know Henry J is toxic in that regard, too.

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#2925224 - 05/04/18 08:40 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: p90jr]
Larryz Offline
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I know Gibson can produce a nice Les Paul for $1,600 as I bought one this past year. I paid about $300 for my Les Paul Deluxe back in '72. So, that's the rate of inflation for me LOL! I think if Gibson gets back to making nice guitars at a decent price they could come out of the Chapter 11. The can make higher end guitars and lower end guitars for pros and beginners especially keeping the Epiphone line...$800 to $3,000 would be a good price range. +1 they have to compete with (or get more into the market) with the guitars being made overseas as they are putting out some nice stuff these days... cool
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#2925336 - 05/05/18 05:52 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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$1,600 is essentially the price for a new SG Standard.

I may be old, but I don't expect prices to be the same as they were when I was 10, or 20, or even 50, at this point in life: still, some of the prices for Gibson gear are absurd. That $1,600 SG might be right in line with adjustment for inflation, but some of those RI models are just milking the stratospheric prices of originals; nothing can convince me that 1959 RI is worth $10,000 unless I see some poor soul making the entire thing by hand, in which case, he or she should have their own shop.

While there has been a tremendous upsurge in quality among import Guitars, an Epiphone is NOT just a budget Gibson. While their brand identity is now inextricably tied to Gibson, the woods are not the same, and parts are not universally interchangeable, between Gibson and Epiphone. I've admired the build quality and finish work on current Epiphones - I often find that their necks and fret work are nicer and smoother than Gibson's - but they don't quite have the feel, and dropping a set of expensive Gibson pickups in, isn't enough to make up the difference, IME.
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#2925342 - 05/05/18 07:02 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Winston Psmith Offline
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And, here's how they're going to start pulling in cash: these Epi LP Standards just jumped from $419 to $469, in fact, if you click on the $419 'plain top' in the lower left of the GC listing, it'll pop up at $469. Keep in mind, this price bump will also apply to all those LP Standards currently hanging in GC, everywhere. Sam Ash has them at $499? That seems like quite a bump, from what, a couple of months back?

Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plain Top

Same Guitar at Sam Ash, for $499

Edit: If you're wondering how Gibson/Epiphone can rise the price on Guitars that have already shipped, and are hanging in stores right now, the answer is something called the MAP, or Minimum Advertised Price. Companies can set a MAP for a product, and penalize dealers who advertise at a lower price. This is why most online companies have essentially the same prices across the board.

Raising the MAP like this can be a short-term win for dealers: they can look like good guys by selling to their regular customers at the old price, while making a slightly better margin off of new customers, or online customers, selling existing stock at the new price. The flip side is that when they go to re-order, the wholesale prices will have gone up, as well.


Edited by Winston Psmith (05/05/18 07:20 AM)
Edit Reason: new info . . .
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#2925349 - 05/05/18 07:46 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
$1,600 is essentially the price for a new SG Standard.

I may be old, but I don't expect prices to be the same as they were when I was 10, or 20, or even 50, at this point in life: still, some of the prices for Gibson gear are absurd. That $1,600 SG might be right in line with adjustment for inflation, but some of those RI models are just milking the stratospheric prices of originals; nothing can convince me that 1959 RI is worth $10,000 unless I see some poor soul making the entire thing by hand, in which case, he or she should have their own shop.

While there has been a tremendous upsurge in quality among import Guitars, an Epiphone is NOT just a budget Gibson. While their brand identity is now inextricably tied to Gibson, the woods are not the same, and parts are not universally interchangeable, between Gibson and Epiphone. I've admired the build quality and finish work on current Epiphones - I often find that their necks and fret work are nicer and smoother than Gibson's - but they don't quite have the feel, and dropping a set of expensive Gibson pickups in, isn't enough to make up the difference, IME.


+1 on the RI $10,000 models...Gibson still owns Epiphone and the Bankruptcy issue will affect future decisions and prices. Epiphone is a lower end/priced guitar and I can guarantee that dropping in a set of US made 57 Gibson humbuckers makes a huge difference as I own one. My buddy dropped in a set on his Sheraton and on his LP model and they made a huge difference as well. Epiphone increased the price on my ES-175 to $1,000 with the US pups and upgraded pots. They are now doing the same with the P90's using US pups on the ES-295. They run about $800. The difference in price is well worth it on the 175, as it costs more to buy the lower grade and upgrade the pups than it does to just buy it already made up. I haven't tried the 295 so I can't speak to the P90's.

I think Epiphone makes the best deal on the market for beginning guitar players and the quality of the instrument for the price. The upgraded models cost a bit more but are 1/4 the price of the comparable Gibson models and sound just as good IMHO as the pups make the biggest difference on electric guitars. The play and feel are important as well and I think Epiphone does an excellent job.

But, don't take my word for it...try one out at your local GC with the upgraded pups. I think you will hear the difference. However, those Gibson models sound just great as always, as do the Heritage models. They are just a cut above. I could go as high as $3,000 if I sell off some of my stuff. I like to stay under or around $2,000 and I'm willing to buy used as well. I don't have any desire to own a $10,000 dollar model of anything (even if I could afford it) whether re-issue or the real thing... cool


Edited by Larryz (05/05/18 07:48 AM)
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#2925369 - 05/05/18 09:37 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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@Larryz - I've found the build quality on the Epi semi-hollow or hollow-body Guitars to be very good, particularly the Korean-made models, and I know a number of players who have been very happy dropping Gibson or other after-market pups in them. OTOH, my G-400 never had the same solid feel as my SG Specials; I also didn't think I really needed 3 SG's. My Epi LP is due for some upgrades, so I'll have a full report, within the next month or so.

I feel that the PRS SE series, their budget line, meets or exceeds the highest build quality standards for import Guitars, however, they start at around $600-700, which puts them at the level of the more expensive Epiphone models.
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#2925375 - 05/05/18 10:16 AM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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I'll be looking forward to the LP upgrade report Winston! Epi has been upgrading their pups lately and they are keeping up with the US pups more and more... thu
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#2925392 - 05/05/18 12:37 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Larryz]
Fred_C Offline
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I very much agree with Bro. Larry and Winston. I strongly believe that you can take a $750-1,000 guitar and turn it into a stage-worthy instrument that will compete with high-end guitars that sell for over $2,000 by simply upgrading the pickups. If you want to further improve on the performance, you can upgrade the pots and caps.

I am a believer, because as you are all aware, I have upgraded my '97 Epi Sheraton II and my Ibanez AF-125 Custom with new pickups and new electronics in the case of the Sheraton. The improvement has been nothing short of breathtaking. I am very happy with both guitars and can highly recommend this approach as a cost-effective alternative to spending thousands of dollars on a high end guitar.

P.S. No thanks, Gibson. No interest.
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#2925464 - 05/05/18 09:44 PM Re: Variety: Gibson said to be nearing bankruptcy [Re: Fred_C]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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Registered: 07/28/04
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Loc: Dallas/FW Metroplex, Texas
Quote:
I strongly believe that you can take a $750-1,000 guitar and turn it into a stage-worthy instrument that will compete with high-end guitars that sell for over $2,000 by simply upgrading the pickups.


I’ve found that SOME don’t even need that.*

For example, I’ve bought quite a few Reverend guitars, and several of them have P90s. I also bought one other guitar with a trio of P90s which sounded good...but not as good as the ones that were stock in the Reverends. I eventually replaced the P90s in that guitar with atrio of Bareknuckle Stockholm P90s, just to bring them up to par with the one in the Reverends.

Most of my Revs cost at or just under $1000.

And it isn’t just the P90s. They have some guitars with fillertron-inspired miniHBs that are absolutely killer. And Railhammer pickups (one of his spinoff companies) have made an appearance in the Reverend line as well.





* Full disclosure, I don’t gig.

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