Author Topic: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection  (Read 5242 times)

TheDude

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #60 on: May 11, 2018, 08:42:11 PM »
If I had 3k, I'd get a nice fender offset (Jazzmaster or Jaguar, haven't decided which), a higher end Epiphone hollow body, and something like a baritone or a Bass VI for some fun.

And with the 1000 I had left over, I'd pay rent for a couple months.
This man gets it.

And brings me back the the original point a lot of us all concur on, that, while there will always be a market for 3k les pauls, it is not large enough to support a 'lifestyle' brand. I hope they do survive. I hope the 3k lp's return to a higher quality they used to be synonymous with, and that their 'lifestyle' brands get bought out by others who have different intentions with them, and that this all turns from a shitshow into a end positive result for everyone involved. It would be a shame to lose the Gibson brand with it's history. Now only time will tell.

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pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #61 on: May 12, 2018, 04:51:13 AM »
The other thing that pushes people off about partscasters is that the resale value is simply awful.  I love all of my partscasters, but they are worth more as parts than as a completed instrument.  Most branded instruments hold their value much better, which is appealing to those who like to buy and sell.  I still think it's worth doing partscaster builds, but they aren't for everybody.

I truly don't understand the whole buy, sell, buy, sell, buy cycle. I know some people do, and that's fine, but I cringe at the idea of having to find a buyer for something I paid over $500 for simply because I don't want that thing anymore. Like damn, I really screwed the pooch if I find myself in that spot.

Btw, how are you spec'ing your Warmoth builds so they cost $3k+?  That's gotta be a hell of a build.

I haven't done this to date, but then I haven't spent over $1200 on a guitar yet, even after upgrades, so I guess that makes me cheap to some, haha. But if I am gonna spend $3k I'm going all out! Mahogany chambered Tele with a Koa top, clear coat, koa neck with a ziricote fretboard, turquoise dot inlays.... To me $3k is too much of an investment into an instrument to not make it MINE.

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Yeah, I get not enjoying selling instruments.  I tend to keep more than I sell as well because the process of selling is a hassle.  Plus, there's usually something about an individual guitar that prevents me from want to sell it.   

As I said before, I am a huge fan of partscasters.  I'd rather put one of those together than buy a Fender style guitar these days.  The ability to put the options on that I care about is wonderful.  The only thing about them is that you don't know exactly what it is until you buy the parts and put it together.  I can run the racks on production guitars until I get the one that really speaks to me.  With a partscaster build (or any custom build, really), you kind of hope that it actually turns out to be exactly as you wanted.  I've certainly gotten a handful of necks over the years that weren't exactly what I thought they were going to be, and I ended up swapping them out.  Sometimes, the feel is right, but the sound isn't exactly what you want, so you either reconfigure the parts, sell the guitar, or break it up and sell the parts.  Even with careful choosing, the success rate isn't 100%.
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pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #62 on: May 12, 2018, 04:58:21 AM »

Heritage makes some nice guitars, but I don't think they are particularly better than what's going out of Gibson these days.  A few of my friends are Heritage fans and I have a local dealer, so I've played a lot of them.  They are nice, but simply another choice. 

Heritage is also going through massive changes right now that may prove more significant than the Gibson transition, although time will tell.  They just fired a good portion of their old luthiers (and others quit out of protest).  The have gotten rid of most of the customization (at least for now) and many of the model offerings.  The owners are clearly trying to streamline and optimize their line in an attempt to improve profitability. 

https://bluegrasstoday.com/changes-at-heritage-guitar-roils-staff-luthiers/
Thanks for the info. It looks like overall, any of the higher-priced old school brands are gonna go the way of the dinosaur fairly soon. And yes, one of the big reasons is that the devotion and support for USA made Fenders and Gibsons, etc, is getting old and dying out. I think as far as a brand to watch that really has a pulse on the market is Eastwood Guitars. They've focused in on the more oddball, unique, vintage-inspired guitars that are very popular today, especially with the next generation of players. Eastwood also hits a lower price point that is above "entry-level", but not "status symbol", which is the hot market right now. If I had 3K to spend on new guitars, I would much rather buy 4 different models of Eastwood guitars to cover a lot of ground, rather than dump it all on one Les Paul or 335.

Eastman is indeed an interesting company.  There's certainly no reason guitars out of China can't be high grade if they use good materials.

I'm curious what Eastman's long term goals are.  They seem to be inching a bit towards higher cost offerings.  For example, their T184MX guitar, which is a nitro finished hollowbody and has decent pickups (SD '59s) is $2300, which is getting close to the Gibson USA price range (and in the Heritage range).  It'll be interesting to see how far they pursue this and how the market reacts to it. 

https://www.eastmanguitars.com/t184mx
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pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #63 on: May 12, 2018, 05:08:00 AM »
If I had 3k, I'd get a nice fender offset (Jazzmaster or Jaguar, haven't decided which), a higher end Epiphone hollow body, and something like a baritone or a Bass VI for some fun.

And with the 1000 I had left over, I'd pay rent for a couple months.
This man gets it.

And brings me back the the original point a lot of us all concur on, that, while there will always be a market for 3k les pauls, it is not large enough to support a 'lifestyle' brand. I hope they do survive. I hope the 3k lp's return to a higher quality they used to be synonymous with, and that their 'lifestyle' brands get bought out by others who have different intentions with them, and that this all turns from a shitshow into a end positive result for everyone involved. It would be a shame to lose the Gibson brand with it's history. Now only time will tell.

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Yep, I hope that Gibson can sort out their issues.  While Henry did save Gibson from death back in the 80's (Norlin had it almost buried), his lifestyle brand concept is clearly not going to work.  I think Gibson is going to have their issues as their base is aging and their guitars are more expensive to produce in the U.S. than most Fenders are. 

I'd like to see them drastically scale down the line.  Long term, I'd like to see them improve the quality coming off their standard line and bring the features of their custom LPs to the standard line (which really shouldn't be impossible).  Yeah, they may have to drop historical things like hide glue, but they could keep the long tenons, better pickups and things like that for very little difference in actual production cost.  If they wanted higher price offerings, they could grade out the tops like PRS does so that they fancier options for lawyers/dentists and plainer options for buyers who wanted a more cost effective choice.  They could keep the custom shop alive for actual custom instruments if folks want to pay for a modified spec guitar.   As far as their semi-hollowbodies, the Memphis plant (since sold and likely to be relocated) has been producing the best 335's I've seen in years.  I've played them from all eras and I think the newer ones are great.  The standard production line rivals their custom shop quality; although I think they are going to have to work the MSRP down a bit.

And I'd like them to bring the Gibson headstock to Epiphones.  They can still put the Epiphone name on them; folks are smart enough not to get confused.  Fender keeps their brand identity via headstock on their Squires and folks can keep things straight.  Part of keeping the brand healthy is capturing buyers at all price levels.
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thesameage

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #64 on: May 12, 2018, 12:28:18 PM »
From what I can tell with other boutique makers...

BUT... Gibson is NOT a boutique builder. They are a major guitar manufacturer.

Quote
Of course, labor wise itís all fairly close to the same as most/all use CNC machines and finish from there.

Exactly!!

I actually work for a boutique guitar maker and youíd be shocked to know how much it costs to make a non-fancy guitar/bass. The margins are a lot slimmer than you would think.

pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #65 on: May 12, 2018, 01:19:18 PM »
From what I can tell with other boutique makers...

BUT... Gibson is NOT a boutique builder. They are a major guitar manufacturer.

Quote
Of course, labor wise itís all fairly close to the same as most/all use CNC machines and finish from there.

Exactly!!

I actually work for a boutique guitar maker and youíd be shocked to know how much it costs to make a non-fancy guitar/bass. The margins are a lot slimmer than you would think.

Indeed.  The cost of producing a guitar is more than just raw materials and machine time. 

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thesameage

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #66 on: May 12, 2018, 01:23:31 PM »
Exactly. And just because you use a CNC, itís not like the pieces are ready to go when you get them. And with things like necks, thereís a lot of room for error and a lot of bad necks that we throw away. The quality control eats up a lot...and hat cost has to be factored in. Wood is not a perfect thing and there is a lot of variationóand thatís before you get into the pretty/master grade stuff.

pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #67 on: May 12, 2018, 01:29:32 PM »
Exactly. And just because you use a CNC, itís not like the pieces are ready to go when you get them. And with things like necks, thereís a lot of room for error and a lot of bad necks that we throw away. The quality control eats up a lot...and hat cost has to be factored in. Wood is not a perfect thing and there is a lot of variationóand thatís before you get into the pretty/master grade stuff.

There's also the cost of running a business (which extends beyond labor).

We've found that out with Function F(x).  Even with ordering higher quantities of parts, once you actually factor in the cost of labor and running the business, a pedal is significantly more expensive than a DIY build.  Particularly if you use better grade parts.
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thesameage

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #68 on: May 12, 2018, 01:32:07 PM »
Exactly. And just because you use a CNC, itís not like the pieces are ready to go when you get them. And with things like necks, thereís a lot of room for error and a lot of bad necks that we throw away. The quality control eats up a lot...and hat cost has to be factored in. Wood is not a perfect thing and there is a lot of variationóand thatís before you get into the pretty/master grade stuff.

There's also the cost of running a business (which extends beyond labor).

We've found that out with Function F(x).  Even with ordering higher quantities of parts, once you actually factor in the cost of labor and running the business, a pedal is significantly more expensive than a DIY build.  Particularly if you use better grade parts.

Exactly. There are a lot of associated costs.

That said, it doesnít sound like Gibson was running a tight and efficient shop.

pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #69 on: May 12, 2018, 01:49:25 PM »
Exactly. And just because you use a CNC, itís not like the pieces are ready to go when you get them. And with things like necks, thereís a lot of room for error and a lot of bad necks that we throw away. The quality control eats up a lot...and hat cost has to be factored in. Wood is not a perfect thing and there is a lot of variationóand thatís before you get into the pretty/master grade stuff.

There's also the cost of running a business (which extends beyond labor).

We've found that out with Function F(x).  Even with ordering higher quantities of parts, once you actually factor in the cost of labor and running the business, a pedal is significantly more expensive than a DIY build.  Particularly if you use better grade parts.

Exactly. There are a lot of associated costs.

That said, it doesnít sound like Gibson was running a tight and efficient shop.

No, and morale has supposedly been poor at Gibson for a while (if you're bored, read the employee reviews at Glassdoor.com).

AFAIK, the guitar business is still profitable for Gibson.  What was bringing them down were all the past-their-prime electronics companies that Henry purchased.  The debt load from all of those companies he bought is ultimately what brought them to where they are now.  In the end, it's going to cost him his ownership percentage.
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blearyeyes

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #70 on: May 12, 2018, 01:59:21 PM »
From Anonymous Gibson Employee @ Glassdoor

Cons:
Upper management sometimes I question there sanity, itís hard to work with incompetence but we get by anyway.
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pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #71 on: May 12, 2018, 02:35:38 PM »
From Anonymous Gibson Employee @ Glassdoor

Cons:
Upper management sometimes I question there sanity, itís hard to work with incompetence but we get by anyway.

Yeah, there are a bunch of scathing reviews.  I hope the new management can improve the culture there.
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Govmnt_Lacky

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #72 on: May 12, 2018, 03:20:17 PM »
From Anonymous Gibson Employee @ Glassdoor

Cons:
Upper management sometimes I question there sanity, itís hard to work with incompetence but we get by anyway.

I guess I am just old fashioned but, when I read a negative review by someone who doesn't even take the time to ensure that they use proper wording (using there instead of their) it makes me devalue the opinion.

I guess I just feel that companies like Gibson, Fender, PRS, etc. trade too much on their name when figuring costs. It was aided by the explosion in use of these named instruments by popular musicians however, I just wonder...

If they are indeed hurting in the profit margin then perhaps lowering the pricing of the product to increase sales would be an obvious idea.

pickdropper

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #73 on: May 12, 2018, 03:27:34 PM »
From Anonymous Gibson Employee @ Glassdoor

Cons:
Upper management sometimes I question there sanity, itís hard to work with incompetence but we get by anyway.

I guess I am just old fashioned but, when I read a negative review by someone who doesn't even take the time to ensure that they use proper wording (using there instead of their) it makes me devalue the opinion.

I guess I just feel that companies like Gibson, Fender, PRS, etc. trade too much on their name when figuring costs. It was aided by the explosion in use of these named instruments by popular musicians however, I just wonder...

If they are indeed hurting in the profit margin then perhaps lowering the pricing of the product to increase sales would be an obvious idea.

PRS doesn't seem to be hurting at all.  Last I heard, they are 6-9 months behind in fulfilling orders.  They've done a good job of balancing lower cost and higher cost options.  They released their S2 line to specifically address the segment of the market that the core market is too expensive for.  The S2 models are built in the US with a simplified top carve and imported hardware (there may be exceptions to this).  So now they have import offerings, lower cost US offerings, high cost US offerings and even higher cost US offerings.  Just curious, if you were PRS, how would you figure costs differently?

I'm really curious about Fender.  They've done a better job of appealing to the various age groups, but I don't have a clear picture of how healthy they are.  I believe Guitar Center owes them a truckload of money, and things could get ugly for FMIC if they close shop.

What guitar companies do you feel do a good job of pricing without trading excessively on their name?  Are any of them US built guitars?
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EBK

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Re: Gibson files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
« Reply #74 on: May 12, 2018, 03:56:53 PM »
What guitar companies do you feel do a good job of pricing without trading excessively on their name?  Are any of them US built guitars?
I want to say Martin.  They have a broad spectrum of product ranges with prices that seem to be very closely tied to materials, functional design features, and ornamentation.  Nearly all of their stuff is made in the US.  One exception that springs to mind is their backpacker guitars, which just bear the name but are made in Malaysia, I think....
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