Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 93

Thread: Gibson is Running Out of Time

  1. #1
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0

    Gibson is Running Out of Time

    A recent article in the Nashville Post paints a very bleak outlook for Gibson. It sounds like the company is so heavily leveraged that even with all of the guitar inventory blowouts they've had recently to raise millions in fast cash, bankruptcy may be inevitable in the very near future. Their gross revenues are OK, but it's hard to imagine a company being able to make a turnaround when they have debt financing that's near 9% at a time when interest rates have been near zero for over a decade.

    https://www.nashvillepost.com/busine...f-time-rapidly

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  2. #2
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,620
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 639/3
    Given: 683/0
    No one wants to witness the fall of an institution. Least of all an American manufacturer (if you're American). But it's not as if Gibson has always been a shining star of quality and respectability. They've had their less than shinning moments already. However it ends up I fully expect there will still be "Gibson". With any luck the buyer of the rights will adhere to quality standards better than historic accounts. Not a tall order as I understand. There's a good chance that more manufacturing will be done overseas. What that means about quality can be either good or bad, depending. Pretty common, but still another nail in the coffin. And a closer to home (for me) reminder of our economic circumstances. I don't like it, but I don't much fear for Gibson consumers.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  3. #3
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Now that we're living in the age of high quality cheap imported guitars I've been thinning the herd, so to speak. All of the valuable vintage stuff has been getting sold off while there are still old farts with money who have a Jones for it. I still own a couple of Gibsons, but they're decades old, and they're nothing uber-valuable. During the crazy-ass vintage bubble I've been a net seller. To me it just makes sense to get out while the prices are high. If figure that if people my nephews' age aren't interested in the guitars then the guitars won't keep bringing big money for much longer.

    Gibson recently had a fire sale, blowing out brand new instruments at half price through CME, just to raise fast cash to meet some of their debt obligations. I read tales on the jazzer forums of guys buying 6 guitars in the fire sale and returning the first 5 before they got one that wasn't a reject, something not worth keeping even at half price. Needless to say with the QC being that bad I wasn't eager to put up my money for the hassle of buying a guitar that would probably end up getting returned. I haven't GAS'd for a Gibby in a long, long time. There are too many other good options out there.

    That's really quite sad, as this is a case where what used to be an iconic American brand has fallen.

    At this point the economics of the situation look pretty bleak. Gibson has $375M of notes due in coming months, and another $145M in bank notes due on demand if that $375M in loans can't get refinanced by late July. That's $520M that'll come due in only 5 months. Gibsons is currently going through fire-sale guitar liquidations to raise cash, and their CFO has already quit because he doesn't want to be at the the helm when the ship hits the rocks.

    It's not looking at all encouraging.

    Maybe I'll buy a guitar at the bankruptcy sale that's coming.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  4. #4
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    10,291
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 360/5
    Given: 356/5
    Main point is that there are not enough sales, period, let alone revenue.
    1 Billion dollar sales is NOTHING if you must pay U$375 Million *cash* , both happening on the same year.

    And refinancing only digs a deeper hole and prolongs agony.

    I saw people complaining about the "expensive" American made $2200 Les Paul .... in 1973 that would have been U$394 !!!!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  5. #5
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,647
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 186/1
    Given: 375/7
    The manufacturers just gave us what we wanted: cheap junk as cheaply bought as possible. Quite frequently I'm galled by the nerve "we" have to bitch and complain about some of the things we do (as far as instruments are concerned). We expect a $150 Squier to be built to the same quality standards as a Suhr or Gibson or Fender Custom Shop instrument, then bitch when the two don't compare.

    The idea of buying anything of quality, of legacy or heirloom instruments (or furniture, or anything, for that matter - even homes) is dead, supplanted by "give me mine, give it to me now, quality and value be damned, and while we're at it, screw my neighbor down the street and his family, because I want MINE and I want it NOW, and CHEAP!"

    Maybe we could all do well to listen to Violet Beauregard in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

    Gibson just tried to give us what we wanted (demanded?), and it worked for a time, and now we lament their demise? Who's next? Fender? Marshall?

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  6. #6
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Main point is that there are not enough sales, period, let alone revenue.
    1 Billion dollar sales is NOTHING if you must pay U$375 Million *cash* , both happening on the same year.

    And refinancing only digs a deeper hole and prolongs agony.
    A lot of people hear that $1B number and think that any business that has that much revenue should have no problem making a $375M loan payment. I guess those people don't understand the difference between revenue and profit. Those people probably have never run a business.

    I thought it was odd that Gibson became so heavily leveraged at ~9% when the Fed has been pushing interest rates to the zero bound for the past 10 years through QE. Here in the USA we're used to money having no value -- for the past 10 years you've been penalized by saving when you'd only get about 0.5% interest on a saving account -- so it's hard to believe that anyone would finance at ~18x that rate unless they have no other choice.

    It turns out Gibson Brands didn't have any other choice. They broke some of their loan repayment covenants which led to a downgrade in their credit rating to junkier junk status, which mean that all of their financing had to occur at obscene rates. On The Street nobody wants to own Junkier Junk bonds because nobody thinks they'll get their money back. As a borrower you only get to screw the bank once ... then the bank screws you. It's not looking very good.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  7. #7
    Old Timer tedmich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sonoma CA
    Posts
    3,178
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 48/0
    Given: 38/2
    Many many companies are leveraged up to their eyeballs, but its usually the ones that got "bought out" recently by venture capital, ideally at $0.10 on the dollar with the rest being debt the company is saddled with. Since its a private company no one knows how Gary A. Zebrowski and David H. Berryman financed their 1986 acquisition. Zebrowski is a graduate of the General Motors Institute with a Havaad MBA, so I'm sure he'll be AOK.

    Bankruptcy only effects the lower execs, the manufacturing employees, the products and the customers, the Gibson name will be just fine.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	gibson-loses-guitar-hero-lawsuit-200903020438203321.jpg 
Views:	32 
Size:	34.0 KB 
ID:	47220

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  8. #8
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    The manufacturers just gave us what we wanted: cheap junk as cheaply bought as possible. Quite frequently I'm galled by the nerve "we" have to bitch and complain about some of the things we do (as far as instruments are concerned). We expect a $150 Squier to be built to the same quality standards as a Suhr or Gibson or Fender Custom Shop instrument, then bitch when the two don't compare.
    I understand where you're coming from. I used to blame Wal-Mart for that. WMT sort of kindled the fire by catering to people who wanted to buy inexpensive junk rather than high quality items. As a result it's hard to buy anything that's made in the USA any more, and it's hard to buy anything that's made of quality. When I was a kid, Made in Japan was a synonym for "junk that nobody wants." Then in the 60s-70s the Japanese got their act together and started manufacuring export goods that were of extremely high quality. The cars were so good in the 70s that the Big Three suffered because of them. Today China is doing the same thing. Originally, Made in China was synonymous with "junk that nobody wants," though some Chinese products are getting better.

    As you said, the driving force behind the move to China can be blamed in part on the desire of consumers for cheap junk. We asked for it, we got it.

    I think the foreign instruments can be an exception, though. Sure, Squier stuff is cheaply made -- so cheap that I'd never want to own a Chinese Squier -- but some of the imported stuff is of surprisingly high quality.

    I visited a Banjo Hut last year and played a cheap Indonesian Stingray Bass that just KILLED. I was a fool not to buy it, it was that good. When I want back later on all of the Ernie Ball stuff was gone -- they got denied rack space at the hut and once the in-store promo was over all of their inventory became online-only.

    What struck me as odd was how well some of the foreign made instruments DO compare very well to the high-priced, high-quality USA-made instruments. Maybe not to the boutique builders like Suhr, but definitely to the big USA companies like the Big F.

    I'll use my Indonesian-built G&L Tribute ASAT as an example. I bought an Olympic White "tele" (basswood body, maple neck, AlNiCo pups) from Banjo Hut as one of their daily specials. I paid all of $270 for it. $270. I bought it because in 40 yeas of playing I've never owned a telecaster and I realized that just wasn't fair to me.



    Much to my amazement, the fit and finish on that guitar was every bit as good as an American Fender. OK, I didn't like the cut of the nut so I had to replace it with a TUSQ, but aside from that the guitar was flawless. Much to my surprise, this guitar has been incredibly FUN to own. Even after the honeymoon period had ended, it remains my go-to guitar that's never out of arm's reach. I have a nicer guitars that get kept in protective cases in the practice room, but this one gets left out on a chair in the living room so it's never too far away. It's really THAT GOOD.

    So I guess the take home point is that this guitar showed me why somebody coined the term, "Never say never." It really is possible to get a great guitar for peanuts, something that's so good that you won't complain about it, something that's so good that it's actually on-par with a USA Fender at a fraction of the price.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  9. #9
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,253
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 22/0
    Given: 2/0
    I get to work on plenty of new or recently-bought Gibsons and sometimes they come right to me before even being played. No.1 problem is the dire tuning stability, but also poor string spacing, setup issues, nut cut too high, pickup height and fretting issues. One new guitar came my way because the guy thought it was a fake - it was so badly finished. Sadly, it was genuine.

    The problem with the diffusion brands is that they've got better, whereas the original instruments have comparatively declined. I have plenty of pro players that use Squier and Epiphone guitars who see no reason to buy a US instrument that needs work to get it to play comfortably or in tune.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  10. #10
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,647
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 186/1
    Given: 375/7
    Hey Bob,

    I get what you're saying about your guitars, and I will heartily endorse people buying them, but they're also a tiny percentage of the world-wide issue, with every product from toothpaste to appliances. Never say Never, but I'll keep my skeptic hat on...

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  11. #11
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    The idea of buying anything of quality, of legacy or heirloom instruments (or furniture, or anything, for that matter - even homes) is dead, supplanted by "give me mine, give it to me now, quality and value be damned, and while we're at it, screw my neighbor down the street and his family, because I want MINE and I want it NOW, and CHEAP!"
    To some degree I think that the disinterest in high quality "heirloom" type possessions is an artifact of the economy, and to some degree it's a result of changes in the conscious choices that people make about what's important to them.

    All of those "heirloom" quality items are discretionary purchases. In the era when a family has to have 2 wage earners rather than one, there's less room in the budget for discretionary purchases. Discretionary "heirloom" type purchases were also more common in the days when people didn't demand so many other things in their lives that consumed lots of money, and they could save up for one thing if they wanted something special. Today the ability to save for something special is undermined by our desire to have lots of "stuff." The more different kinds of "stuff" you want, the farther you have to spread out your money on multiple purchases. In some respects, that could mean that people have to no choice but to buy cheaper stuff because they insist on owning many different kinds of stuff.

    As an example: 100 years ago homes had very small closets because people had few clothes. Someone might have their Sunday best clothes, and regular clothes for the week. They did laundry often and there was a lot of turnover, so nobody needed a huge closet. Owning fashionable clothes wasn't the aspiration that it is today. 75 years ago entertainment was simpler. People had the local movie house and a radio. They didn't have to spend money on a big screen TV, entertainment centers, cable TV subscriptions, smart phones, etc. All of those little recurring expenses that add up to $100 per month tend to eat away at your discretionary spending budget. Maybe if people weren't so concerned about having a great cable TV plan for sports, and having a smart phone, and things of that type, they could eliminate some of their recurring expenses and they'd have a budget to afford a few "heirloom" quality instruments or furniture. But in today's society people are placing more value on the iPhone that has an $800 sunk cost and a $100/month maintenance fee. That comes out to $2,000 per year for a phone. I don't know how you might look at it, but to me $2,000 seems like too much money to spend on a phone. When I look at that number I realize that my phone calls aren't so important that I need to spend $2,000 to provide someone the privilege of having instant contact with me. And given the choice, I'd rather spend that $2,000 on something that will have lasting value, instead of paying for a service that has zero residual value at the end of the month. When you think about what Americans spend on their phones, it's just crazy. It's no wonder that people aren't as interested in high quality possessions, they're infatuated with spending their money on expensive disposable tech, and spending on tech consumes an awful lot of money.

    Gibson just tried to give us what we wanted (demanded?), and it worked for a time, and now we lament their demise?
    I don't think that Gibson just tried to give us what we wanted. Henry J had a very perverted view of the market. In an era when people were demanding items that were inexpensive and were willing to accept a compromise in quality to obtain them, Henry J turned Gibson into a guitar company that sold ridiculously expensive items that had very inconsistent quality. Gibson had the nerve to mark up their guitars 20% time after time after time, raising the costs to astronomical levels that that outpaced the rate of inflation by obscene amounts, while allowing the quality of their guitars to become inconsistent. Gibson was transformed from a quality brand into an inspirational luxury purchase, sort of an "heirloom" type product, without the heirloom-type quality. Unfortunately every price hike made the market for the high priced Gibson become more and more narrow until the products became a niche item. Henry J abandoned the players market with the predatory pricing paradigm and poor QC, and seemed to fail to realize that a musical instrument company can't remain viable if you don't build quality guitars for players. It's not as if a company that big can survive by selling expensive instruments solely to well-heeled collectors. That's a boutique market if there ever was one.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  12. #12
    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    NEPA
    Posts
    611
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 64/1
    Given: 50/0
    Have you read Henry's email?
    Gibson Guitar CEO Gets ENRAGED If Someone Asks For a Day Off

    If the company does get bought out for the name by some venture equity capaitalist llc firm(i used to work for Altec Lansing, what a shame now), kiss the quality even more goodbye.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  13. #13
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,647
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 186/1
    Given: 375/7
    Quote Originally Posted by mozz View Post
    If the company does get bought out for the name by some venture equity capaitalist llc firm(i used to work for Altec Lansing, what a shame now), kiss the quality even more goodbye.
    I'll just kiss the whole company goodbye, actually...

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  14. #14
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    I don't have a problem with his policy about not giving management 5-day weekends. If the employees don't get 5-day weekends then it's reasonable to expect that management shouldn't get them either. There's nothing wrong with asking the managers to work as hard as the hourly employees.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  15. #15
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    The problem with the diffusion brands is that they've got better, whereas the original instruments have comparatively declined. I have plenty of pro players that use Squier and Epiphone guitars who see no reason to buy a US instrument that needs work to get it to play comfortably or in tune.
    If I had read your post before I typed mine, I could have saved myself a lot of typing.

    Regarding the diffusion brands -- they've definitely gotten better. The big name American companies could be a lot more competitive with those diffusion brands if they wanted to actually compete with them. But they're intent on NOT competing with them directly as long as their hand isn't forced. Because companies like Fender are able to avoid being forced to directly compete, they can rest on their laurels. Their reputation gives them the latitude to engage in market differentiation. They make several different quality levels of Strat because they can, not because they can't make a good one more in the USA, and do it inexpensively while still making a profit.

    With the advent of CNC machining the amount of labor input in guitar building has gone down a lot. If Fender really wanted to, they could make American Strats that sell at $700. The problem is that they have zero interest in making inexpensive guitars in America, they'd rather produce expensive aspirational items. They're so happy that they're able to get away with selling American Strats at $1400 that they have no interest in producing a $700 American Strat, even though they could do it if they had to do it to survive.

    So they break the market up into 3 basic segments: Asian Import, Mexican Import, and American, and price them around $350, $700 and $1400. They have no need to make the American Strats cheaply, because they've got a Mexican Strat to fill that price niche, so they price the American versions really high, just because there are people who are willing to pay it. If Fender really wanted to, they could lower the cost on the Americans to the Mexican level, and the Mexicans to the Asian level, and ditch the Asian line altogether. The economy of scale in automated manufacturing is definitely there. But it's more profitable to them to use the really cheap Asian guitars to cover the low price tier and mark them up to what the Mexis should sell for. That gives the them leeway to put a strong markup on the Mexis (up to what the Ams should sell for), and then they can just bleed anyone that wants to buy the overpriced American guitar. IMO the real problem with the guitar market, as far as companies like Fender are concerned, is that because there are no import tariffs they have no need to build an inexpensive domestic guitar. So they don't bother. The prices reflect that.

    The fact that some of the Asian manufacturers are capable of building guitars that are as good as the Mexi and American Fenders at a fraction of the price is pretty strong evidence that good guitars don't have to be priced as high as the big name companies are pricing them. I agree that the smart buyers aren't buying the name brands any more. To get a working guitar you don't need to go that route. You don't have to buy an American Fender to get a quality instrument. Buying an American Fender is all about bragging rights, not quality.

    Gibson has played the same game, but they've upped the prices a LOT more, while letting their quality slide. In it's current embodiment I think Gibson needs to be reorganized so that the prices and the quality become realistic once again. I don't think the Gibson problem can be fixed without reorganization, because the current management is focused on expanding profit through price hikes rather than building affordable quality instruments for the masses. History has shown us that they can't get their head on straight, and with the financing being as bad as it is, the creditors are going to take the brand away from them and try to make something profitable out of what's left behind.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  16. #16
    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    10,291
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 360/5
    Given: 356/5
    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    When I was a kid, Made in Japan was a synonym for "junk that nobody wants." Then in the 60s-70s the Japanese got their act together and started manufacuring export goods that were of extremely high quality. ...... some of the imported stuff is of surprisingly high quality. ..... played a cheap Indonesian Stingray Bass that just KILLED. I was a fool not to buy it, it was that good. ...... What struck me as odd was how well some of the foreign made instruments DO compare very well to the high-priced, high-quality USA-made instruments. Maybe not to the boutique builders like Suhr, but definitely to the big USA companies like the Big F....... I'll use my Indonesian-built G&L Tribute ASAT as an example. I bought an Olympic White "tele" (basswood body, maple neck, AlNiCo pups) from Banjo Hut as one of their daily specials. I paid all of $270 for it. $270. .....
    Much to my amazement, the fit and finish on that guitar was every bit as good as an American Fender. ..... aside from that the guitar was flawless. Much to my surprise, this guitar has been incredibly FUN to own. Even after the honeymoon period had ended, it remains my go-to guitar that's never out of arm's reach. I have a nicer guitars that get kept in protective cases in the practice room, but this one gets left out on a chair in the living room so it's never too far away. It's really THAT GOOD.

    So I guess the take home point is that this guitar showed me why somebody coined the term, "Never say never." It really is possible to get a great guitar for peanuts, something that's so good that you won't complain about it, something that's so good that it's actually on-par with a USA Fender at a fraction of the price.
    My son last year visited my Sister who lives in Orange County CA.
    He wanted a Bass so I told him: go to a nearby GC , wait until a skilled Bass player comes and courteously ask him to help you.
    After 3 or 4 days came a Filipino Bass Player, middle aged, a real PRO (he was a sessionist for recordings and as band member for visiting famous Artists in Philippines) :
    "No problem kid, Im here to buy one for my Nephew, will also select one for you"
    My Son could spend up to $700 or so for a Mexican Fender, the American ones were too expensive for him.
    After 1 hour testing (he went through all the inventory, even those which where in storage somewhere nearby) and separated two, one for him, one for my Son: "kid, THIS is the one, none other"
    My son was surprised, it was a $300 Indonesian Squire.
    "Thanks, I can spend up to $700, is there another somewhat better, within that budget?"
    "Kid: ***THIS*** one and none other, at least not in this shop"

    So he bought it
    Lots of good Musicians visit my shop, all are *impressed* by my Sons Bass quality, shake their heads in disbelief at the Squire label and even more "Made in Indonesia" .

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Juan Manuel Fahey

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Chiraq
    Posts
    874
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 100/5
    Given: 93/1
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MDVEBPBN1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg 
Views:	41 
Size:	84.4 KB 
ID:	47237

    Go get one! Bet you won't

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  18. #18
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,620
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 639/3
    Given: 683/0
    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    My son last year visited my Sister who lives in Orange County CA.
    He wanted a Bass so I told him: go to a nearby GC , wait until a skilled Bass player comes and courteously ask him to help you.
    After 3 or 4 days came a Filipino Bass Player, middle aged, a real PRO (he was a sessionist for recordings and as band member for visiting famous Artists in Philippines) :
    "No problem kid, Im here to buy one for my Nephew, will also select one for you"
    My Son could spend up to $700 or so for a Mexican Fender, the American ones were too expensive for him.
    After 1 hour testing (he went through all the inventory, even those which where in storage somewhere nearby) and separated two, one for him, one for my Son: "kid, THIS is the one, none other"
    My son was surprised, it was a $300 Indonesian Squire.
    "Thanks, I can spend up to $700, is there another somewhat better, within that budget?"
    "Kid: ***THIS*** one and none other, at least not in this shop"

    So he bought it
    Lots of good Musicians visit my shop, all are *impressed* by my Sons Bass quality, shake their heads in disbelief at the Squire label and even more "Made in Indonesia" .
    That's a good story. This is the second telling for me. It really shows that with modern CNC manufacturing and modern, easy to work finishes that the real difference between the less expensive and more expensive guitars probably comes down to hardware quality and the wood itself rather than craftsmanship. And since wood is sort of a crap shoot (at least in production instruments) you can't know which guitar, more $$$ or less $$$, is going to SOUND better before playing both. American companies do seem to select the best LOOKING pieces of wood with desirable grain properties. Less irregular structure and discordant color differences, etc. But they've also been accused of using wood that's too young or not sufficiently aged after cutting. Remember that places like Mexico and Indonesia actually have access to BETTER wood cheaper. Better meaning that it's from an older tree and that was cut more than a couple of years ago, though, as mentioned, not often selected for appearance or uniformity. I must say that I've never seen seam cracking or neck warping due to improperly aged wood on any of the known good imports, though I have on several Gibsons. And a guitar made from young, almost green wood is practically worthless. Much less something you should over charge for.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    101
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 4/0
    Given: 2/0
    The brand is too legendary to fail (TLTF?).
    What may happen is changed ownership that will boot the management that aparently failed (high yield zombie-level company, it appears).

    The new owners will likely take over the brand, the patents, write off or pay the debts and restructure - hopefully turning it to a sustainable business. Same capitalists story as always.

    Intersting observing all that anyways.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    3,715
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 73/2
    Given: 9/0
    Gibson makes a very decent product, and folks are entirely justified in lusting for one. Mick's comments notwithstanding, I would imagine that there is a long tradition of musicians finding things to fix on "quality" instruments, straight out of the box; although I think their standards are higher these days, and expectationsmore stringent, given what can be bought for the same amount or less). The problem is that Gibson makes too damn many products, and too many are labor-intensive. Sure, the body blanks for all those Les Pauls may be identical, but for every different finish, there is a requirement to run a different process. Instead of optimizing production on a reasonably limited range of products and finishes/options, they increment their labor costs by trying to cater to the after-market mod customers, when they should be leaving that to the after-market crowd.

    I also have to wonder just how much money was sunk into useless "advanced" products that had pretty well zero uptake, like the Dusk Tiger, the Robot guitar, and the Firebird X. None of these were simply fancy finishes (well, the Zoot Suit SG was). They involved R&D teams and the implementation of technology that few customers were particularly interested in. And I'll bet they cost a bundle to bring to market, ending up as the "Ishtar" or "Heaven's Gate" of the guitar industry. Money pits.

    There are few of us here who don't relish ownership of a 335, a Les Paul, a V, or an SG. Figure out how to make them economically, make them, and sell them for a reasonable price.

    As an aside, in 1982, I had the pleasure of visiting the old Parsons Street facility, shortly after manufacturing had moved to Nashville, and before the staff in Kalamazoo had bought the place out and turned it into Heritage Instruments. As it turned out, I came by when they were closed for inventory, but the foreman (I think it was Marv) invited me for a tour. He showed me around the original facility, where they did repairs and maintenance of heritage instruments (like carved top harp guitars), and also produced higher-end semi-acoustics. He also showed me the facility they occupied when the folk-music boom of the 60's had them cranking out acooustics like there was no tomorrow. At that point, they occupied an entire city block, with the original red brick building merely a small corner. You know those scenes from the last few episodes of Mad Men, when Stirling Cooper had been bought out and moved, and Peggy was still occupying an office in an otherwise abandoned workplace, with office furniture just sitting there, and the odd bit of paper on the floor? That's exactly what it looked like. 1960's tubular steel office furniture. Formica desktops. Bulletin boards. And large empty spaces. I hope we don't see a repeat of that.

    I should note that, at the end of that tour, when I asked about getting a replacement spring for a Bigsby, I was directed to the Bigsby factory on the other side of the highway, where I was greeted by none other than Ted McCarty himself, who also gave me a tour. I'm glad the man who ushered in the golden era of Gibson, and under whose aegis all the great models were introduced, never lived to see the sorry state it is in.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  21. #21
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Eastern Canada
    Posts
    1,429
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 40/0
    Given: 39/0
    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Main point is that there are not enough sales, period, let alone revenue.
    1 Billion dollar sales is NOTHING if you must pay U$375 Million *cash* , both happening on the same year.

    And refinancing only digs a deeper hole and prolongs agony.

    I saw people complaining about the "expensive" American made $2200 Les Paul .... in 1973 that would have been U$394 !!!!
    I paid $995 Canadian for my Les Paul back in 1976....if I did sell it(which I am not), I will never get another guitar like it again......and the money will be gone before the buyer got to the end of the street.....I go into our local music store and see Gibson's in the display cases for 4 and 5 grand......too expensive for the local musicians around here.....

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  22. #22
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,647
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 186/1
    Given: 375/7
    I'm with Chuck on the wood and hardware comments. Every piece of wood is different, so I'm not surprised that an Indonesian Squier bass can sound great. I recommend Squiers all day long, and other "budget" brands, and even the import G&L, Reverend, etc. I'm not averse to recommending "off-brands" or import lines. If the neck is secure and stable, and it stays in tune (and I beat the tar out of them to check), and it's reasonably solid overall, then I'll recommend it IF someone likes it.

    The reason I stick with used American is because I don't have problems fitting parts, and I have some of the parts available. I'm also a real stickler for the FEEL of an instrument; maybe after 21 years of playing the same guitar, and my Mustang Bass is a WELL-worn 1967, I don't like sharp fret ends, sharp-cornered nuts, and square fingerboard edges. I don't like cheap-feeling pots and switches, etc. If I take the hardware off, I want it to have certain amount of "heft" - not overly heavy, but there's just something in the feel and finish on good hardware. For example, on my Tele, yes, all the gold plating is wearing off, but it's not rusting out or getting jagged with age (granted, I think it's either steel or brass).

    So I thoroughly believe you can get a great instrument at a great price, but for a nominal investment in new electronics and a trip to the luthier, you can make it into a PHENOMENAL instrument.

    Now, what I WON'T do, especially to a beginner, is tell someone to mail-order a guitar. Most of those asking me for help are beginner or intermediate players who know nothing about gear; they just want to play. They wouldn't know what to find fault with in a mail-order instrument, and unless you've already been playing a long time and have SOME sense of what you'll like out of the box, then they'd never learn without direct A/B comparison. So, Bob and Steve A, you're off the hook here! It's a fight to get young players to have some patience and just go TRY lots of guitars to see what they like, instead of just jumping on the first one they can afford. Sure, you can get a good guitar by mail, but if you want to try another, you have to wait a week or two to get another, by which time you forgot the first one... Rather than go in and try ten guitars. TYeah, you might find a good one, but the next one might be better, but without going in and trying it, you'll never know. You might never get past the mediocre instrument FOR YOU and miss The One that is perfect.

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  23. #23
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,620
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 639/3
    Given: 683/0
    +1 to a bunch of that. My history is peppered with mid line, second hand instruments. The reason is that I lived near Guitar Showcase in San Jose, Ca. so I could play a lot of these guitars. And I frequented the place when I was young so all the guys knew me. If I played a guitar and it spoke to me it was no trouble at all to carry it to the counter and say "Hold this for me OK.?." and then I'd return in a day or two with $50 to retain it. They usually let me take it home about the time it was half paid for. No financing paper work and no high price tag. So I pretty much only played guitars that had a lot of "it". The days of the handshake deal are probably gone now except for rare, personal circumstances. And maybe mine was a rare, personal circumstance, but it seemed normal to me at the time. It was a great opportunity to learn the value of "selecting" a guitar and "choosing" a specific ONE rather than just buying a particular model with desired (but not tested) features and never having felt it at all.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  24. #24
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    There are few of us here who don't relish ownership of a 335, a Les Paul, a V, or an SG.
    Gibson makes a very decent product, and folks are entirely justified in lusting for one.
    When I read those two comments I have to wonder whether someone who doesn't relish ownership of a 335 or an LP could possibly have his finger on the pulse of the market, the way that an enthusiast would. The comment about not relishing ownership makes me wonder if you're up to date on how 'decent' the current production Gibsons really are. Just in case you aren't:

    The quality of the Crimson Shop archtop instruments has been so bad lately that they've completely discontinued Crimson Shop production. People who pay $10,000 for an archtop are very picky customers and the Crimson Shop had too many customer rejections. Gibson has changed the sales model for their archtop guitars so that they're no longer in-stock production instruments that can be rejected. Now they are 100% made-to-order custom instruments and when you order one you pay first, then they custom build one for you and it's yours. Then, if you're not happy, you get to fight with Gibson over your custom-order guitar. I've watched this scenario play out as some collectors have extensively documented the situation online.

    The quality of the everyday Memphis guitars has slagged too. In response to the recent "floor model" sale of Memphis guitars by CME, the jazzers got into a feeding frenzy. For the past month or two everyone was knocking each other over to buy hollow and semi-hollow guitars at what they thought was the deal of a lifetime. Lots of buyers were disappointed. ~60% of the ones that got bought by people on the jazz sites ended up being returned, and there were lots of NGD threads were people were either lamenting about another return or rejoicing that they finally found a good one. Everyone agreed that the sale amounted to a crapshoot, and because the seller was covering the cost of returns for defect people bought 5 or 6 guitars at a time to find one that was good enough to be a keeper.

    To be fair, those Gibsons were warehoused NOS guitars that were being sold with no factory warranty. Most of them were overstocked 2017 models, with many of them being 2016 models that Gibson was never able to sell. Reading between the lines I have to wonder why Gibson stockpiled so many NOS guitars that had to be sold without warranties. It was very common for buyers to post photos of rejected guitars that had gross finishing defects, such that the guitar wasn't even close to being the color that it was represented to be. There were lots of photos where the finishes were blotchy with uneven color take-up. To me it was obvious that Gibson wasn't rejecting enough wood, and/or they weren't taking adequate steps at sealing before coloring, as many guitars made it to production that had soft spots that hadn't been adequately sealed an the differences in take-up were horrible. These weren't little problems where some musician wanted to personalize his instrument after he bought it, these were blatant finishing issues that suggested underlying structural issues. Gibson was clearly cutting corners. These instruments were being blown out without a warranty for a reason, and it seems that too many people just jumped into them only considering the marked down price. As much as I wanted a fat necked replica '59 345 I kept my wallet in my pocket because I wasn't about to buy a guitar with visual warning signs and didn't come with a warranty. To me it was a safer bet to buy a 5 year old used instrument that had already declared itself as being stable.

    The problem is that Gibson makes too damn many products, and too many are labor-intensive. Sure, the body blanks for all those Les Pauls may be identical, but for every different finish, there is a requirement to run a different process.
    That's a very good point. In the era of automated CNC machining any hand-process becomes a cost center. On the subject of the cost associated with discretionary color selection, Henry Ford was a genius. He completely avoided that problem by telling customers that they could have their Model T in any color they wanted as long as it was black.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  25. #25
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,620
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 639/3
    Given: 683/0
    Off topic here, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    Henry Ford was a genius. He completely avoided that problem by telling customers that they could have their Model T in any color they wanted as long as it was black.
    Another thing I read about Henry Ford was that potential new hires were vetted over lunch. If Henry saw them salt their food prior to tasting it they had no chance at the job. His reasoning here is obvious and flawless IMO.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  26. #26
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ... with modern CNC manufacturing and modern, easy to work finishes that the real difference between the less expensive and more expensive guitars probably comes down to hardware quality and the wood itself rather than craftsmanship. And since wood is sort of a crap shoot (at least in production instruments) you can't know which guitar, more $$$ or less $$$, is going to SOUND better before playing both. American companies do seem to select the best LOOKING pieces of wood with desirable grain properties. Less irregular structure and discordant color differences, etc. But they've also been accused of using wood that's too young or not sufficiently aged after cutting.
    I have to point the finger at Paul Reed Smith for starting all of the cosmetic nonsense. I think he deserves 99.99% of the blame for getting people to shop for guitars based on their appearance rather than their tone. I've always thought that the PRS guitars were very well built, and visually attractive for the most part, though some of the high-end PRS guitars ended up being downright gaudy. Like this one.



    More than anyone else PRS pushed the visual bling idea, at a time when Gibson wasn't putting all that much effort into anything more than replicating 1959 bursts and Fender was still covering Strats with car paint. But that huge success of PRS guitars in the 90s, and the the willingness of buyers to pay huge premiums for select figured wood, forced everyone to get on the flame top bandwagon and guitar manufacturing hasn't been the same since. Now people are buying guitars more for how they look than how they sound. Today even a slab-bodied axe can be an object d'art.

    I must say that I've never seen seam cracking or neck warping due to improperly aged wood on any of the known good imports, though I have on several Gibsons.
    I know of at least one $10,000 Crimson Shop archtop that shipped directly from Gibson with a roller-coaster neck. Apparently the guitar was given a "pass" by the Plek computer so they shipped it.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  27. #27
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,647
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 186/1
    Given: 375/7
    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I know of at least one $10,000 Crimson Shop archtop that shipped directly from Gibson with a roller-coaster neck. Apparently the guitar was given a "pass" by the Plek computer so they shipped it.
    If I'm paying THAT kind of money, I'd rather go pay the guy working out of his garage with no more "machines" to do his job for him than a band saw and maybe a belt sander... And I can be consulted at every step of the way.

    As far as PRS goes, I <LOVE> some of their "gaudy" guitars (I just wish they came in Nitro so they'd wear better. And I'd have no issues taking that guitar and refinishing it myself in my own crappy lazy way!). The problem with me was, I've tried several, from the SE models to a $12,000 Private Stock. The Private Stock certainly LOOKED better than the SE, but it sure didn't PLAY better - they played about the same, and as a 21-year Tele player, both were rather foreign, alien, and uncomfortable to me. As for the sound, I cared for neither; they sounded very generic, like what all the popular records sounded like, with no personality of their own; they probably make great pedal guitars, but as I'd likely be plugging it straight into a vintage Fender, well... So I just stopped looking at PRSes other than for the gaudy factor. I guess if someone forced me to buy a PRS, I'd get the SE, put it in the closet for guests to play when they come over, and go back to my beat-up 21-year-old Tele...

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  28. #28
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    If I'm paying THAT kind of money, I'd rather go pay the guy working out of his garage with no more "machines" to do his job for him than a band saw and maybe a belt sander... And I can be consulted at every step of the way.
    That's why Jim Triggs left the Gibson custom shop, and why some Gibson customers buy Triggs guitars. I spent the afternoon talking to him at the Chicago guitar show last year. Although he's normally too busy building guitars to ever talk to anyone on the phone for more than a few minutes, he loves to talk at the guitars shows because he's stuck there and likes to pass the time taking about guitar building.

    Triggs Guitars

    As far as PRS goes, I <LOVE> some of their "gaudy" guitars (I just wish they came in Nitro so they'd wear better. And I'd have no issues taking that guitar and refinishing it myself in my own crappy lazy way!). The problem with me was, I've tried several, from the SE models to a $12,000 Private Stock. The Private Stock certainly LOOKED better than the SE, but it sure didn't PLAY better - they played about the same, and as a 21-year Tele player, both were rather foreign, alien, and uncomfortable to me. As for the sound, I cared for neither; they sounded very generic, like what all the popular records sounded like, with no personality of their own; they probably make great pedal guitars, but as I'd likely be plugging it straight into a vintage Fender, well... So I just stopped looking at PRSes other than for the gaudy factor. I guess if someone forced me to buy a PRS, I'd get the SE, put it in the closet for guests to play when they come over, and go back to my beat-up 21-year-old Tele...
    I've never been a fan of PRS. Not even in the 90s when they were the hottest fad. It's just something weird about me, they don't tickle my fancy. I always thought they were nice to look at, but in playing them I thought they were lacking in soul. To me they were a generic hybrid between an LP and a Strat that didn't have any of the best features of either one. Back then I was looking for a good LP and they were remarkably hard to find, though the PRS guitars were everywhere... like Starbucks.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  29. #29
    Supporting Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Eastern Canada
    Posts
    1,429
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 40/0
    Given: 39/0
    I was into the local music store earlier today and asked the sales guys and gals....about this...I was told that Gibson had been in trouble before......they said that if Gibson ever did go under their guitar prices would drastically increase due to the fact that they would not be in production......and that the ones that were made in the 70's would basically be priceless.......but I still wouldn't sell mine....

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  30. #30
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    I don't trust guitar shop salesmen to advise me on investment decisions.

    If today's Gibsons were to become priceless, I'll gladly sell into the rally and do the nerd dance all of the way to the bank.




    I think it's more likely in the immediate term that if Gibson has to reorganize, the existing inventory is going to be liquidated in a blowout sale to raise fast cash by the bankruptcy trustee, and the flood of supply will transiently depress prices. If that happens then I might buy one at the BK sale. Over the long term prices may increase, but they may not.

    Priceless? It's hard to imagine anything becoming priceless that's produced in high volume. Normally things have to be extremely scarce, extremely desirable and in great condition to become priceless. I don't think most used player guitars would qualify. There are just so many of them out there, and fewer people are learning to play guitar today.

    If I'm wrong, it wouldn't be the first time.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  31. #31
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chill-Ville, VA
    Posts
    2,647
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 186/1
    Given: 375/7
    Part of the reason our favorite guitars and amps are valuable (for now) is because how many of them were thrown out of windows, off roofs, into dumptsters, or hacked into oblivion when they WEREN'T valuable, and were simply "used" instruments. Our own willingness to dispense with them at the time for the sake of the newest and greatest thing. But again, with mass production available today, guitar models aren't made by the hundreds or thousands like they were in the 60s or 70s, but by the hundreds of thousands or more. So yes, I doubt they will ever go high in value; at best, they may retain the value they have. Of course, if someone goes out and rounds up every single Squier Strat and burns them, I'm sure the market for them will go sky-high among those who really like them...

    Also, and I think Fender has fallen into this trap as well, the numerous and high-production runs of "Limited Edition" instruments. Seems there are at least a few of these every year, from Fender alone, and when everything is a "Special Edition," then EVERYthing is a "special edition," and NOTHING is special anymore. I'm glad I own a 1996 50th Anniversary Telecaster, #940 of 1250, but it's no different from a regular American Standard Tele of the day, aside from the Flame Maple veneer on top. Of course, mine has been refinished (poorly) in transparent blue, and generally beat to crap, so now it's One of One, and has no value other than what someone is willing to pay for it, IF I ever part with it... But if I were to follow a common "market trend," I'd call it "One Of A Kind Custom-Made Extremely Limited Run American Mega-Relicked Standard 50th Anniversary Fender Telecaster" and see if I can get $5,000 for it...

    Justin

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "... If an older Boogie and classic Marshall had a (clearly illegitimate) child and you baked it in an oven set to clown shit crazy." - Chuck H. -
    "When receiving a shock I emit a strange loud high pitched girlish squeak." - Alex R -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

  32. #32
    Bent Member Chuck H's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    pacific north west
    Posts
    13,620
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 639/3
    Given: 683/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    But if I were to follow a common "market trend," I'd call it "One Of A Kind Custom-Made Extremely Limited Run American Mega-Relicked Standard 50th Anniversary Fender Telecaster" and see if I can get $5,000 for it...
    Well you don't get anything if you don't ask. That's the thing to remember when you see some chowder head selling authentic cloth braid wire supposedly stripped out of an original Fender amp (that actually happened and there was a thread here about it). Everyone wants to get paid.

    I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original

    Something that hasn't been brought up yet regarding what will surely be a transition for the Gibson company is that Fender has been through the rollers more times than grandpa's underwear on wash day. First they were Fender, then they were "as owned by a conglomerate", then they were almost nothing, rights purchased by some ex employees, making a few amps from leftovers, selling strictly import guitars and trying to float on the backs of their other holdings (SUNN and ???) and finally some genius came up the reissue idea. Then they opened the custom shop/s. They were saved by their very long won credibility. The rest is history as they say and where they, and the quality of their product stands now is something we're all aware of. So who knows? Maybe in fifteen years we'll be able to buy perfect (though no longer hand made) Les Pauls being made by a company that has the buying power to demand quality wood and parts. They'll be authentic Gibsons as much as a new Standard Strat is an authentic Fender. They'll probably be, technically, the best product the company has ever made and they'll cost two thirds what they do now in market terms.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "...less ear-friendly but handy for jazz." Leo_Gnardo

    "A pedal, any kind, will not make a Guitar player more dangerous than he already is." J M Fahey

    "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

    "A shot gun delivers a force that exceeds the operational range of most systems, such as pumpkins." Antigua

  33. #33
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Posts
    5,392
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 350/0
    Given: 299/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    ......I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original ......

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	rofl-smiley.png 
Views:	27 
Size:	24.7 KB 
ID:	47242

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Yeah, well, you know, thats just, like, your opinion, man.

  34. #34
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Damn. I was gonna do that emoji but El Duderino beat me to it.

    "... guitar models aren't made by the hundreds or thousands like they were in the 60s or 70s, but by the hundreds of thousands or more." - JT

    That's really good.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

  35. #35
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Chicago, USA
    Posts
    4,908
    Thumbs Up/Down
    Received: 55/0
    Given: 0/0
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original
    Oh man -- now I've got a serious case of Strat Envy. I gotta get me one of those. In the meantime I guess I'll have to make-do with my imaginary 1959 slab-fingerboard Air-O-Caster.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. First time post, first time building cabinets
    By csparks75 in forum Cabinetry
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-27-2018, 11:20 PM
  2. question about running your own shop
    By bsco in forum Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Repair
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-25-2014, 04:52 PM
  3. Removing powertubes and running
    By Anti-Hero in forum Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Repair
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-20-2010, 10:13 AM
  4. One minute of your time please - Blindtest time!
    By SJE in forum Pickup Makers
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 09-30-2009, 02:59 AM
  5. Gibson ga-5 running hot
    By epidot2002 in forum Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Repair
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-29-2006, 02:43 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •