Gibson Guitar Board: What Say You? Are American (made) products pricing themselves out of Business? - Gibson Guitar Board

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What Say You? Are American (made) products pricing themselves out of Business? I.E. Law of Diminishing Returns, etc.

#41 User is offline   jaxson50 

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 08:56 PM

There are companies in the US building quality


  • Yogi Berra - "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it."
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#42 User is offline   4Hayden 

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 10:58 PM

Then there's ole saying you get what you pay for


4H
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#43 User is offline   duane v 

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Posted 14 March 2017 - 11:26 PM

As new guitar prices have risen.... Used and vintage guitar prices have decreased dramatically..... That's the direction I've been going over the last year... Plus I have purchased enough new Gibson's over the last three years for four guitar players... Time to save some older Gibson's
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#44 User is offline   LarryUK 

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 05:11 AM


I watched this yesterday and couldn't believe the price. All they've really added is a moulding on the back and are charging a 1000 for it.
It's a USA guitar that costs more than a custom shop. It's 3299 ($4022) which is just greedy. I also watched a video from the Geneva car show and the amount of cars that are over a million is unbelievable. The worst thing is that most are sold before they're even made. Yet us people at the bottom are being taxed higher and higher all the time. I also read yesterday about young schoolgirls not being able to afford tampons. The world is going mad.
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#45 User is offline   jaxson50 

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 09:13 AM

LarryUK said:

1489576301[/url]' post='1841678']

I watched this yesterday and couldn't believe the price. All they've really added is a moulding on the back and are charging a 1000 for it.
It's a USA guitar that costs more than a custom shop. It's 3299 ($4022) which is just greedy. I also watched a video from the Geneva car show and the amount of cars that are over a million is unbelievable. The worst thing is that most are sold before they're even made. Yet us people at the bottom are being taxed higher and higher all the time. I also read yesterday about young schoolgirls not being able to afford tampons. The world is going mad.


How much of the price is import taxes? I know that Australia adds a 100% tax on imported goods. Gibson has no power over tariffs and import taxes.
  • Yogi Berra - "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it."
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#46 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 10:33 AM

I rank on Gibson some but I think they're doing a good job of maintaining the basic model that they're building the stuff in the US and only automating what's reasonable but still doing all the critical stuff by hand. And as long as they can still do that they're maintaining the long term value of the company.

I also think they're fine, as far as trying to expand the line up and down the price scale at the same time. I mean, you can't introduce a bunch of faded, one knobbed bottom end guitars without introducing some blinged out ya-ti-da models for the more conspicuous consumers.

My main complaint would be that they "have a lot of dumb ideas."
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#47 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 05:14 PM

View Post4Hayden, on 14 March 2017 - 10:58 PM, said:

Then there's ole saying you get what you pay for


4H



Or (sometimes) Not! [tongue] [crying]

CB
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#48 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:05 AM

US/European companies have to charge more, not just for the extra labour costs but they have to project their products as more upmarket and exclusive. They simply can not compete with the Asian manufacturers at the lower end of the market. You can not sell out your 'high end' perception and history it's probably the most valuable asset that those companies have.


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#49 User is offline   surfpup 

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 07:36 AM

As far as Gibson goes, the higher prices seem to be in the fancy and signature stuff.

The standard stuff has stayed in the same price range and some stuff is way cheaper.

For example, in 1959 a Les Paul standard was $295. Adjusted for inflation $295 today is $2469, and new standard today is about $2000 I believe - so the basic model is actually cheaper today than it was in 1959!

Factor in lower priced models like the Tribute series at $900 (that's $107.51 in 1959 dollars btw) and it seems to me you have one heck of a good deal on an American made guitar.
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#50 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 09:08 AM

An interesting little comparison:



I find some of those cheaper Gibson models quite appealing, you would never have to worry if you bashed it up a bit.


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#51 User is offline   surfpup 

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:07 AM

View PostIanHenry, on 16 March 2017 - 09:08 AM, said:

I find some of those cheaper Gibson models quite appealing, you would never have to worry if you bashed it up a bit.


This accurately describes every guitar I own. [biggrin]
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#52 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:14 AM

Well, Rob could make a properly intonated 2 X 4 (with pickups and strings) sound awesome! [flapper] [biggrin]

What way too many demo's (not just Rob and The Captain) do, is spend too much time on "Distorted" tone,
and not nearly enough on true "Clean" tone, where you're more apt to tell the tonal difference(s), in
the guitars being demo'd. [tongue]

CB
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#53 User is offline   IanHenry 

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Posted 16 March 2017 - 10:52 AM

View Postcharlie brown, on 16 March 2017 - 10:14 AM, said:

Well, Rob could make a properly intonated 2 X 4 (with pickups and strings) sound awesome! [flapper] [biggrin]

What way too many demo's (not just Rob and The Captain) do, is spend too much time on "Distorted" tone,
and not nearly enough on true "Clean" tone, where you're more apt to tell the tonal difference(s), in
the guitars being demo'd. [tongue]

CB


I don't like it whenever they add any pedals to the mix, your not here to listen to effects. It would also be good if the could stick to one type of amp instead of using all sorts of different amps in the reviews.


Ian
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#54 User is offline   vangoghsear 

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 03:43 PM

I have a bit of a rant here, but I think my point addresses the OP's question.

Government administrative red tape has added immensely to the cost of doing anything in the US. I've seen how it can effect costs directly and indirectly in my own experience.

My wife and I are rebuilding our house on our property. My initial design solved all of ourt problems with the property and allowed for us to build our new house next to the old house (we have a 1.75 acre yard), reuse the existing septic system and connect it to the new house, move out of the old house into the new one, tear down the old one and build a garage where the old house was. Sounds simple right?

Then enter the government.

Our zoning had changed since we bought the house. We went from Residential the something called "Restricted Residential." We now require 2 acres to build (state average building lot size is .26 acre, I have 6x that, they still tell us we don't have enough land to build). So we had to hire a lawyer and a civil engineer to go for a variance. $$

We have to pay for the township's engineer to review our plans and the township's lawyer to challenge our lawyer (yes you heard it right we pay for both sides). $

Turns out the septic system doesn't meet the current codes and we have to replace that, civil engineer draws up that plan. $$$$

The lowest floor of the house has to be set above the flood plain. The government, FEMA, in their infinite wisdom, chose as their high water mark for our property a flood which occurred following a Northeaster, a hurricane and an earthquake which destroyed four eighty year old dams upstream of our property causing our yard to flood. This in my opinion is more of a five hundred year event and should not have been used as the mark. Turns out we can only build where our existing house is due to the Flood plain. So we have to rent (2) PODS at hundreds of dollars a month to empty our house into, and move into an extended stay hotel for 3-4 months at $4500 a month. I have to house my guitar collection with friends and family for the time, I also had to sell several guitars and amps to reduce how many things I was storing. $$$

The existing house had a basement 6 feet below the flood plain, so we had to demolish the house, and fill the hole with certified fill and have the compaction process reviewed by a certification lab. $

Because we are building a house instead of buying an existing house we are charged with a fee of 1.5% of the house's cost that goes towards low rent housing. $

We have to pay for building permits, zoning permits, demolition permits, inspections by the construction official -- This is an absolute crock of crap, inspectors know less than the contractors about what they are inspecting, the contractors have to follow all applicable codes anyway, if there is a problem and the inspector does not see it, the inspectors are not responsible the contractor is anyway. $$

Once the basement walls are set in place, the site has to be re-surveyed to certify for the township that the foundation is placed where the plans said it would be placed (I asked them if they pay to have this done, they said "We pay for nothing"). So out comes the civil engineer again, first to mark the site for the house, then again to verify it was built where it was marked once it's built. $

Since the garage is in the flood plain, instead of being able to tear it down and rebuild both the house and garage at the same time and save transportation costs and staging costs for equipment and personnel, we have to wait until after the house is completely finished then begin the process to allow us to raise the garage two feet. Which means go back to the lawyer and the civil engineer who has to show how adding 2000 square feet approximately two feet deep of fill will impact every property associated with 20 acre lake in the event of another flood! $$$

We thought that the basement walls were being built while the house was being demolished and the site was being raised to the new grade (about 3 weeks). Turns out the people building the basement walls won't start to build them until they have a photo of the signed construction permit. Our government office is only open two days a week to begin with and they were on vacation the week after we gave them the design documents needed for the permit. So we end up losing three more weeks that we have to add to the time in the extended stay hotel. $

Tens of thousands of dollars added to the cost of this building project because of government interference. Most of it stupid bureaucratic BS.

As for how that type of thing impacts Gibson, look back at the raid in 2009 on Gibson. They have to adhere to vague laws that reference hundreds of laws of other countries just to source materials. That must add to administration costs, legal fees, fines, import fees, storing and shipping, finding new sources, inspection fees and other stupid crap. This leads to them having to do more research and development for alternative materials and just generally impacts the quality or at least the perception of quality of the products (Richlite instead of ebony for instance).
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#55 User is offline   Izzy 

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 04:22 PM

View PostMojorule, on 13 March 2017 - 06:22 PM, said:

Indeed. Which is to say: if Gibson could charge for an Epiphone what they charge for a Gibson, they would. But the point is that it is the brand and not the materials which count for a significant proportion of the price. There are the US vs Chinese labour costs as well, of course. But fish glue is fish glue. We'll just pay more for Gibson fish glue than for Epiphone fish glue.


I am going to say this:
I tried an Epiphone ES 339 and then I tried the Gibson ES 339 the same day at the same store.
I am a very small female and the slightest weight increase is very obvious to me.
I have played my MIM Strat and a USA Strat and thought mine superior, so snobery here.
I did not go into the store thinking about how the Gibson would be way better, trust me.

End Result:
The Gibson ES 339 was way lighter weight than the Epiphpne.
They were both new so set up was stock.
The Gibson sounded better.
The Gibson felt and sounded superior. Namebrand be damned.

Do I think the Gibson ES 339 that is twice as good as the Epiphone? Yes.
Is the price twice as much? Yes.

Are prices for both not acceptable?
What does that even mean? Is the price fair?
People pay what they are willing to pay and if enough people are willing to pay $1,300 for a Gibson ES339 then those of us who can't afford it or who thin the price is nuts and will hold out for something else have a right to abstain. I have a friend who has an archtop Ibanez from the 90s that sounds great. He'd never trade for a Gibson ES 335. That Archtop was $400. I ain't paying $1,300 for a Gibson ever again. I'd rather get something less fancy set up right and not worry about breaking its neck. [-(
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#56 User is offline   jaxson50 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 01:14 PM

There have been some very good observations shared on the topic asked in the OP, lots of different takes from personal experiences.Just thinking back to when I started playing and the difference in the marketplace. There has never been as many good guitars offered from as many sources. In the 60s there were no music mega stores where I lived, no chain outlets unless you count Sears or Montgomery Wards. The yearly production numbers of Gibson, Fender, Guild, Gretch and Rickenbacker in the 60s would not even fill the sales quotas for one major online dealer today, let alone all of the mom and pop shops around the world selling guitars. The invention of the CNC machine made these levels of production possible. But the quantity of quality raw materials has been a great challenge for all companies. You see it in the shrinking fretboards of instruments a few weeks out of the factory, cracks in fretboards and other problems caused by using wood that has not been naturally cured but forced to dry quickly in kilns. I watch a lot of factory tours online, the timeline from the time a tree is harvested to the time a piece of wood is used in making a guitar is much shorter today than 50 years ago. Along those lines the traditional woods used for guitars and other instruments has been either exhausted or protections have restricted their legal use, as a result builders are using other types if woods that really do not have a long history of use. We know what a 85 year old Gibson made with rosewood and spruce looks like, we don't know what a 50 year old Gibson made from saeple will look like. Maybe our expectations are too high, we want makers to build more units faster than ever before and to maintain the same quality of an era when they struggled to build a fraction of what they do today.
  • Yogi Berra - "Anyone who understands Jazz knows that you can't understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it."
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#57 User is offline   Mojorule 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 01:55 PM

View PostIzzy, on 17 March 2017 - 04:22 PM, said:

I am going to say this:
I tried an Epiphone ES 339 and then I tried the Gibson ES 339 the same day at the same store.
I am a very small female and the slightest weight increase is very obvious to me.
I have played my MIM Strat and a USA Strat and thought mine superior, so snobery here.
I did not go into the store thinking about how the Gibson would be way better, trust me.

End Result:
The Gibson ES 339 was way lighter weight than the Epiphpne.
They were both new so set up was stock.
The Gibson sounded better.
The Gibson felt and sounded superior. Namebrand be damned.

Do I think the Gibson ES 339 that is twice as good as the Epiphone? Yes.
Is the price twice as much? Yes.

Are prices for both not acceptable?
What does that even mean? Is the price fair?
People pay what they are willing to pay and if enough people are willing to pay $1,300 for a Gibson ES339 then those of us who can't afford it or who thin the price is nuts and will hold out for something else have a right to abstain. I have a friend who has an archtop Ibanez from the 90s that sounds great. He'd never trade for a Gibson ES 335. That Archtop was $400. I ain't paying $1,300 for a Gibson ever again. I'd rather get something less fancy set up right and not worry about breaking its neck. [-(


That's all good news and fair enough.

My Gibson Howard Roberts is also far better sounding and feeling than my Korean Epiphone Casino. The Gibson was a very generous gift, and while that means that it has a special aura to it, it also means that I don't have a vested financial interest in it. So I judge it truly on feel and sound. The Epiphone I bought with my hard-earned gigging money, and so I always wanted it to be the best guitar ever. It just isn't. So I also have experience of a more expensive guitar being significantly better than a cheaper one.

But: both guitars are from the early '90s, and I'm alert to the fact that many Asian producers have been upping the quality of their product in the past decade (including a fantastic but very inexpensive Chinese-made mandolin I bought for my wife). The comparison I was making was between acoustic guitars made from the same materials and with roughly the same design. Unsurprisingly, they sound quite similar, but the price points are quite different.
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#58 User is offline   american cheez 

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 05:06 PM

View Post4Hayden, on 14 March 2017 - 10:58 PM, said:

Then there's ole saying you get what you pay for


4H



except, it's completely worthless and untrue. especially in electric guitars. you don't get what you pay for. unless i'm missing something, and you can explain why
the Gibson Custom True Historic 1960 Les Paul Reissue Aged Vintage Cherry Sunburst, which costs CAD $15,510.30 is $13,415 better than the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro IV Iced Tea which costs CAD $2,094.78
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#59 User is offline   Izzy 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:40 AM

View Postamerican cheez, on 18 March 2017 - 05:06 PM, said:

except, it's completely worthless and untrue. especially in electric guitars. you don't get what you pay for. unless i'm missing something, and you can explain why
the Gibson Custom True Historic 1960 Les Paul Reissue Aged Vintage Cherry Sunburst, which costs CAD $15,510.30 is $13,415 better than the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro IV Iced Tea which costs CAD $2,094.78


Resale value? Bragging rights? I mean, this is like comparing a very expensive non-jeweled watch ($5k) that keeps time the same way a cheaper watch ($200) keeps time. Some people want that fancy $5k watch. The person buying the expensive watch is getting what they pay for in the sense that they wanted to spend extra to have that special watch. The person who pays for the expensive watch wanting nothing more than an instrument to keep time is not getting their money's worth, however, and probably overpaid.
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I spend a lot of time in my room with my instruments brooding and s%^t. It's cheaper than therapy.
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#60 User is offline   4Hayden 

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 10:49 AM

View Postcharlie brown, on 15 March 2017 - 05:14 PM, said:

Or (sometimes) Not! [tongue] [crying]

CB


CB how many time have you seen a top touring band play jap guitars at a concert ? none

4H
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