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Gibson ‘running out of time — rapidly’

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by bluesky1963, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Boomhauer

    Boomhauer Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2013

  2. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    I'm not understanding you here or have to vote that your "easily wrong" is right. Did you see their financials? Buckocaster's math?


    What's the logic that people would be attracted to an organization or brand with troubles like that? I would think they only want to pump up good stories or news.
    DannyBuffalo and telemnemonics like this.

  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Agreed there has been import guitars for decades, but they used to be for kids and reeeaaalllly poor people.
    Ibanez got their start running factories, but the '60s Ibanez offerings are not what built Ibanez a rep as a pro guitar builder.

    You can certainly argue that Squier and Epiphone are not competing against their parent companies guitars, but that would be hard to substantiate.
    Certainly there are parents and kids who struggle with the choice between a $199 Samick that looks like a Samick and a $199 Squier that looks like a Fender.

    But IMO there is a huge market of players that want a Fender and buy a Squier instead.
    And there is a huge market of players who buy lots of Squiers and blog about Squiers being just as good as or better than Fender.
    And the fallout from this mass Squier worship is that the internet guitar chat is flooded with claims that new Fenders suck and everyone should buy Squiers.
    No Samicks in these debates.

    There is even a player attitude that those who own higher end Fenders probably suck as players, and that if you want to really be cool you'll choose a CV Squier to prove you're not a poseur.
    Seriously, the internet snobbery against players with high end guitars is big.

    Though it's cool to own nice vintage guitars.
    Just don't go buying a new expensive USA guitar, unless you're ready to shame the shamers with your awesome chops.
    Even great playing won't save you from ridicule if you show up at the Blues jam with a CS Strat.
    But bring a Squier and everything is cool.
    Nice guitar dude, wink wink.

    Am I exaggerating the internet attitude on this stuff?

  4. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I’ve been coming here since the mid 1990s. Gibson has been about to fail ever since

    They are going to have to default on that debt, and reorganize. The core business is still viable, the name is still valuable.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Smiff and telemnemonics like this.

  5. warrent

    warrent Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Sep 15, 2009
    Those financials don't really say that much beyond a decline in overall revenue over the lat few years. And its missing his bond debt.

    the important part of the original article is this:
    "One thing bond owners will be watching for is an improvement in the company’s electronics business, which has been built up in the past few years via debt-fueled acquisitions but has seen sales slump of late."

    that's the other stuff Henry bought not the guitar business.

    and this:
    "The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one"
    that's the guitar business.

    as an aside I see Mercedes pulled out of the Detroit auto show for next year for basically the same reason Gibson didn't go to NAMM
    telemnemonics likes this.

  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    I was totally riffing on their foolishness, and my cakewalk comment was a joke, much like what you said, they had it (good) but failed to sell it.
    I know it's not a manufacturing problem in terms of they are not failing because they got some bad CNC machines, or don't know how to operate them.
    They are screwing up on the business end.

    But at the same time, an alarming number of US manufacturers are failing to successfully manufacture in the US.
    Debt problems happen when you don't turn the profit required to stay in the black.
    Investing foolishly bogged them down with poor profits, and investing wisely did the same. Maybe they should just make guitars?

    Here again, there is a claim going around that OSHA and the EPA are why US manufacturing is failing.
    I do not agree with that, but it gets lots of corporate discussion.
    I was kind of riffing on that claim, while trying to avoid getting into banned topics.

    drlucky likes this.

  7. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA

    I dunno there are tons of fancy top guitars in the hands of dentist and lawyers, and then I know lots of great local musicians who can barely pay the bills. It’s not like things have gotten better for most musicians over the last twenty years, right? Fewer gigs that don’t pay any more than they did twenty years ago. But people keep finding ways to make solid body guitars both more expensive, and cheaper. Which way is the working musician going to go?

    Who do I respect more as a musician—the really good player with the mutt guitar, or the dentist with the Triple aaa flame top? I mean, I respect the dentist as a dentist. But the best players I know for the most part don’t have custom shop bling, they have a few good instruments that might be assembled out of parts.

    Gibson’s high end and fender custom shop, make their living off affluent hobbyists. They make some guitars for famous pros, but it’s moslty dentists. Nothing wrong with that, but ordinary musicians can’t afford that stuff.

    Fenders American line is reasonable priced and the quality is really good. The Mexican line is very reasonable priced and the quality is good. If I was shopping for a tele I’d try both until I found the one I liked better, regardless of where it was made. All the rest I can fix
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    Alter and drlucky like this.

  8. cabra velha

    cabra velha Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Jan 21, 2016
    estados unidos
    Is this like "Francisco Franco is still dead"?
    djh22, Wallo Tweed and Buckocaster51 like this.

  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Yeah I pretty much agree with most of this, I was saying that there is also a lot of talk against the mid level USA guitars that are more pro player than dentist instruments.

    Two kinds of talk: one that insists it's wasting money to buy anything more expensive than a CV or MIM, and another that complains about flaws on US guitars that require a magnifying glass to see clearly.

    The CS hating gets way uglier, and I suspect that the mix of negative attitudes puts a meaningful number of newer players off buying a single $1000 Strat or Tele, instead sending those uncertain buyers over to Squier to avoid the ridicule.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018

  10. Rythameen

    Rythameen Tele-Meister

    Jun 24, 2017
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Been a Gibson player since I was 18, I've had Les Pauls, Firebirds and a Flying V, I still have a Les Paul and 335 in the stable. It's very sad to me to see them in this shape, but I'll hang on to mine and enjoy them and hope for the best for them.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  11. Deeve

    Deeve Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Add international treaties for endangered fingerboard blanks
    (aka C.I.T.E.S.) . . .

  12. DannyBuffalo

    DannyBuffalo TDPRI Member

    Nov 5, 2015
    Pine Lake
    I did not look at the financials this time. I believe others saying they're bad and have read articles and threads in the past to support that.

    My point was that if things are that bad at Gibson, then maybe this is a last ditch effort to play on people's nostalgia.

    If they can get enough sales from that to make a quarter or two look good (less terrible) on the income statement then maybe that will buy them enough time for Henry J's latest great idea to catch on and finally save the brand (heavy sarcasm intended).

    Basically, my initial thought was that they keep having a "going out of business" sale.

    Also, I was trying to put my kids to bed and just rattled off my first thought. Thank you for getting me to revisit it though.
    imwjl and Smiff like this.

  13. warrent

    warrent Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Sep 15, 2009
    I understand what your saying but the internet is the internet its not always real life.
    I've been hanging around guitar stores since 72 and I still go to the big stores a few times a month.
    I have never heard someone say "oh sure I can afford the american standard but I'll buy the classic vibe because its cheaper"
    What I have heard is I've got $500 what's your best guitar for that kind of money.

    Squiers and epiphones exist for beginners, working musicians who maybe make $50 a night
    and average people who make 30 grand a year and would like to eat. And that's a good thing.
    I want people to make music not worry about 5A flame tops.

    And youtube is a problem. a lot of these guys want views and subscriptions so you get a lot of clickbate about cheap chinese les pauls or making a bullet the same as a custom shop guitar for $50.00. But I never really see that outside of the internet.
    drlucky and telemnemonics like this.

  14. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    Maybe they should offer a pair of custom guitars to their bondholders in lieu of a $500M principal payment.

  15. warrent

    warrent Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Sep 15, 2009
    Those three things don't affect the guitar industry in any substantial way. At a certain price point they will switch from rosewood to another wood. But if fender is exporting rosewood guitars to a country they only need one certificate for the entire shipment its not the end of the world.
    and I see both Gibson and Martin are selling current models with Brazilian Rosewood and that's been under Cites since 1992
    drlucky and imwjl like this.

  16. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Jul 2, 2015

    I always like reading your posts but now you are a god. :D
    2blue2, drlucky, Frodebro and 2 others like this.

  17. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan

  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Fair enough to point out that the internet may not be a fair representation of real life guitar shopping.
    But I'm willing to bet that the majority of shoppers paying $250 or more for a new guitar have done some internet searches before walking in to GC and asking the sales people for help. At which point they know what they want.
    Google searches for the latest Tele model comparisons bring the unwitting shopper right here! Along with numerous other guitar discussion forums.

    There may still be plenty of guitar buyers that walk into guitar shops blind and state their budget, but I'm guessing that they are the minority.

    Could be wrong though!
    warrent likes this.

  19. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    It was 1999. I had worked for Gibson for 3 years. First year in the woodshop, one year in customer service, and one year in inside sales. Our sales department had been given a sales goal, with a monetary bonus incentive... as we approached the goal as a team (10 of us) the goal was increased, beyond reach. This happened multiple times.

    We had a meeting scheduled with Henry. All sales and customer service reps. About 20 people in all. I organized the sales team, and we all agreed to bring up our moving bonus in the meeting. Everyone elected me to be the spokesperson.

    At the end of the meeting, Henry says, "Any other questions?"

    I brought up the last sales goal, and how close we were to meeting it when it got increased arbitrarily. And how this was the 3rd or 4th time it happened.

    Henry said, "Interesting. Does anyone else share this concern?"

    My co-workers sat there silent.

    As the meeting dismissed, Henry pulled me aside and said to clear out my desk and take off.
    cowbellster, 2blue2, Believer and 8 others like this.

  20. JBFatFingers

    JBFatFingers Tele-Meister

    Oct 9, 2016
    Canton, MI
    I wish I understood the emotional appeal of “Made in USA.” If quality is comparable (and that’s not a high bar to clear with Gibsons these days) and the cost drops by 50% because they start making instruments in Korea or Mexico, sign me up. In a global economy, domestic manufacturing mostly just keeps prices unnecessarily high without creating much real economic value.
    Boomhauer likes this.

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