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Gibson in financial trouble?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by wraub, Mar 9, 2016.


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  1. wraub

    wraub

    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
  2. ImNotJoel

    ImNotJoel

    Jan 12, 2014
    Connecticut
    Doesn't surprise me I have heard their quality control has been a hit or miss past few years. And when you're shelling out thousands that instrument should be perfect.

    Before these QC issues I respected Gibson as a brand but for some reason they have never been for me and I don't know why.
     
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  3. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I started in music retail back in 1980 and was in the biz through 1997. Gibson's quality was hit & miss back then, and has obviously continued to be spotty. Poor Management from the top down. They have always been capable of making great instruments, but they chose to allow inconsistencies.

    No surprise here.
     
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  4. gibson has always sucked
     
  5. Off-Beat

    Off-Beat

    Dec 8, 2014
    Vienna, AUT
    I think, aside from reported "bad" management, they also are imo in a deep identity crisis. They wanna be innovative where innovation isn't accepted(the automatic tuner thing..)by the masses, but don't put forth innovation, and a smart business plan, where it is dearly needed. Not even talking about basses here, because they've been neglected by them for decades anyway, but also the guitars - although their basses are imo good to great.

    They have millions of endorsement deals, people are lusting for Les Pauls, but they've become less affordable and the stuff they put out as cheaper versions aren't up to par. Who wants a faded Les Paul Studio, which looks like a toy compared to a 3 grand upwards LP, when their hero plays a honeyburst, gold top, sunburst, whatever historical one? So they buy the cheaper Epiphone models, they looks better, cost less and play pretty well.

    Gibson is lacking in the field Fender shines, in the 600-1500$ market. Gibson doesn't have anything close to MIM/MIJ.*
    Everything above is a choice between low boutique and high end mass producer gear, but if you can't attract customers before that tier you won't keep those customers. Fender's pretty smart about that. They lure people with their cheapest possible name gear out there and when the time for an upgrade comes along people are more likely to stay with Fender than not.





    *[I love my Epi Birds, but there should be something inbetween an Epihone Thunderbird Classic(bought it for 422€), which is a killerbass for the money - and a Gibson(bought for 1450€)]
     
    nixdad and petrus61 like this.
  6. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Chicago
    It's all been covered, just wanted to add that "Caa" is a pretty poor credit rating--there are no Ds or Fs. Here's Moody's scale:
    Aaa Aa A Baa Ba B Caa Ca C
     
  7. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    my husband has a 1936, and while it sounds sweet, it also lacked quality control, as did his 1968 and his 1971. QC has never been gibson's strong point.

    only recently did gibson finally start selling acoustic guitars under $2000, and you know what? the J15 is probably the best guitar of the major brands in its price range - it's really nice.

    but i remember in the 2000s, i was talking with a couple guys who worked at a local sam ash. they had a bunch of robo les pauls on the wall, and i asked if many people bought them or were interested. they said no, but gibson was making them carry them. years later, i talked to one of the same guys, and he said they really didn't sell well.

    i, too, think part of the problem is that henry loves feeling that he's innovative and modern. since gibson's most popular products tend to be classics like the les paul, the SG and the J45, modern isn't what many people think of when they think gibson. the holos on the guitars, especially the "vintage" remakes, make no sense at all, and take away from the vintage feel. gibson spends all sorts of money on innovations no one wants. i realize the board feels that when henry came on board he saved the company, and i guess he did, but for several years now, i feel he's mostly hurting rather than helping the brand.

    but don't forget all that stuff they went through about their wood, which was an odd situation since, as i recall, the wood was bought from LMI. had henry been nice about that, things might have settled faster - after all, lots of companies buy the same wood from LMI - but he was nasty about the government people in the media, and that might have contributed to gibson's no doubt huge legal expenses.
     
  8. 5544

    5544

    Dec 1, 2015
    Gibson should cut their prices 50% across the board.

    They would make more money selling 10 $1500 guitars than 2 $3000 guitars.
     
  9. ImNotJoel

    ImNotJoel

    Jan 12, 2014
    Connecticut
    I think part of their problem too is they know many people pay for the name on the headstock and they're many peoples dream guitar. So if they put out a lemon they feel they won't lose business because the customer has to have an LP.
     
    SanDiegoHarry and nixdad like this.
  10. nixdad

    nixdad

    Aug 15, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    I completely agree. There have been far better alternatives to most Gibson guitars (at a fraction of the price) for decades, but people tend to choose the name nonetheless (which is not exclusive to Gibson.)
     
    SanDiegoHarry and ImNotJoel like this.
  11. elgecko

    elgecko

    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Do you know Sal, one of the techs at the Hollywood store?

    He was telling me the robo Gibsons were so unpopular, Gibson sent out conventional tuners for them to install, leaving the robo tuners in the case in the event some customer actually wanted them.
     
  12. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    i probably know him, but not by name.

    omg - that's awesome *LOLOL* and yet another way gibson spent extra money because henry wants to be innovative.
     
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  13. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Good ole strategy there!! What happens if the guitar costs $2000 to build? Oops...
     
    lz4005 likes this.
  14. bassinplace

    bassinplace

    Dec 1, 2008
    When I was looking to buy a new bass back in 2013, I tried mainly Fenders, Music Mans, and Gibsons at GC. The Gibsons did not impress me at all. I like their look a lot, but the feel of them left a lot to be desired, to me anyway.
     
  15. Anachronism

    Anachronism Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2014
    MO
    I'm happy with the faded LP or similar, but I make no claim to be a typical guitar buyer. And while the finish certainly isn't as good as the 3k models, the pickups and neck are still good enough.
     

  16. You really think it costs $2000 to build a gibson? No
     
    5544 likes this.
  17. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Wow, so under this logic the price of everything in the world could just be cut in half, seriously flawed.
     
    StayLow and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  18. 5544

    5544

    Dec 1, 2015
    When I was making brake parts for cars, we were given the opportunity to buy them direct (for personal use) at 10% over cost. I paid less than $100 for a complete set of rotors, drums, pads, shoes and a master cylinder that was used on a 80's Ford Bronco. The master cylinder alone would have cost over $150 in the parts store for the same exact part.
     
  19. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Eh, that's uncalled for...
     
    nixdad, Freez, StayLow and 3 others like this.
  20. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    A price for a thing has little to do with its cost - it's what folks will pay. Simple as that. If folks weren't paying big $$$ for gibby's, they would be cheaper.
     
    nixdad and StayLow like this.

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