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Why did Gibson abandon the amp market?

#1 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 11:19 PM

I was thinking about how Fender has so many classic amps and is such a force in amps today, but Gibson's never took off and Gibson abandoned the amp market. Why? I've never even known anyone who had a Gibson amp so I can't comment on them but firsthand I've seen reviews of Gibson amps on YouTube and in general they seem like good amps.
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#2 User is offline   capmaster 

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:06 AM

Good question. When the amps bearing the Gibson name had been discontinued, Norlin sold solid-state amps under the name Lab Series, designed using Gibson and Moog sources as well. They were among the best-sounding solid state amps ever.

My guess is that after Henry Juszkiewicz bought Gibson, he rather was interested in consolidation of making guitars than in ampmaking. The number of competitors exploded then, and so I think he finally decided not to enter the market again.

Today Gibson wants to become a lifestyle brand, and guitar amps help with that as little as guitars - so why further divert activities?
DVCVNT VOLENTEM FATA NOLENTEM TRAHVNT
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#3 User is offline   badbluesplayer 

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 05:20 AM

Yeah - It seems like there would be a great market for Gibson tube amps. Like reissues or retro type stuff. It seems like there'd be some untapped value there. But Gibson doesn't really "get" stuff like that. [unsure]
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#4 User is offline   'Scales 

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:15 AM

However....I visited a large music store having a closing sale today and they were selling off these Gibson Les Paul speakers in various sizes but not big - maybe like shelf speakers for a home sound system...anyway they were pretty garish in what I can only assume we're meant to be colour schemes referencing burst guitars.

Literally made me go [blink] [blink] [blink]
we had longer ways to go, but no matter, the road is life.

a few of my songs from first ever gig for originals band
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#5 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:38 AM

View Post'Scales, on 15 August 2017 - 06:15 AM, said:

However....I visited a large music store having a closing sale today and they were selling off these Gibson Les Paul speakers in various sizes but not big - maybe like shelf speakers for a home sound system...anyway they were pretty garish in what I can only assume we're meant to be colour schemes referencing burst guitars.

Literally made me go [blink] [blink] [blink]


Yeah, there's all kinds of junk with "Gibson" on it nowadays. I don't get that kind of stuff at all. I love Gibson guitars....but why would I want a gaudy barstool that say "Gibson" on it? It's very desperate to me.
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#6 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:41 AM

View Postbadbluesplayer, on 15 August 2017 - 05:20 AM, said:

Yeah - It seems like there would be a great market for Gibson tube amps. Like reissues or retro type stuff. It seems like there'd be some untapped value there. But Gibson doesn't really "get" stuff like that. [unsure]


Not even nostalgia, i mean for every electric guitar player there's at least one amp. It just seems like a natural market for a company like Gibson. Espe ially since Henry is always looking fir ways to modernize Gibson and diversify.
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#7 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 06:59 AM

The Goldtones were their last attempt and that was a buy off from Trace Elliot.

Most of these amps were based off Trace Elliot's Vellocette models.

if you goggle around for Trace Elliot Vellocette, you'll see from the examples that they do look a lot like the goldtones, albeit with varying cosmetic changes

I have a 30wat 2x12 Goldtone combo a great sounding amp, and with 30watt CLASS A,, it quite dynamic..
/Ray
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#8 User is offline   GuitarGeordie 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 01:21 PM

How about marketing feedback; cost of and opportunity to penetrate chosen market sector? All the modern reasons.
And the most important is penetration.


A parting thought..............
"Better keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt."
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#9 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 02:31 PM

View PostGuitarGeordie, on 16 August 2017 - 01:21 PM, said:

How about marketing feedback; cost of and opportunity to penetrate chosen market sector? All the modern reasons.
And the most important is penetration.


Yeah but Gibson was making amps decades ago, just like Fender when the market was being invented.

I'm not asking why they don't try again, I'm asking why they quit in the first place and abandoned the market. Why did their amps fail while Fender flourished?

Was it just down to the quality of the amps themselves?
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#10 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 03:30 PM

No I don't think the amps Gibson made failed; plenty of players bought and used them in the 1940s and 50s, but it seems they did take the decision not to go into higher-wattage amps when the time came.

OTOH the Lab series were - and still are - highly-rated (B.B.King always used one), and at the time were an innovation along with the Artist series of guitars.

Back then Gibson were always first and foremost a guitar company and manufacturing amps would have meant competing with Marshall and the then up-and-coming Peavey, as well as Fender - let alone all the other smaller manufacturers who were making their name, e.g. Mesa-Boogie.

But note the title of the company today is Gibson Brands.......
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#11 User is offline   Grog 

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:24 PM

I acquired a few Gibson amps over the years from the last models that were produced in Kalamazoo. They were always a bit cheaper than their Fender counterparts. They seemed to be conceived to be more suitable for jazz playing than rock & roll.

Posted Image

The next series of amps were said to have been manufactured at the Standel Factory, Gibson apparently had holdings in Standel at that time.
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#12 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:14 AM

View PostGrog, on 16 August 2017 - 05:24 PM, said:

I acquired a few Gibson amps over the years from the last models that were produced in Kalamazoo. They were always a bit cheaper than their Fender counterparts. They seemed to be conceived to be more suitable for jazz playing than rock & roll.

Posted Image

The next series of amps were said to have been manufactured at the Standel Factory, Gibson apparently had holdings in Standel at that time.


That's quite a collection. Like I said I've never even known a person who actually owned a Gibson amp. Why do you say they seem more designed for jazz than rock?
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#13 User is offline   Grog 

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 07:40 AM

The amps had a cleaner, clearer tone than their Fender counterparts. Around the time these amps were manufactured, Eric Clapton and other guitarists made the distorted, overdriven guitar sound popular. That changed everything!
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#14 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:44 PM

And you have those LP Signatures too.... [thumbup]
[love] [love] Very impressive collection Grog!
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#15 User is offline   Bill Moore 

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 02:49 PM

I'm not a great guitar player, but I play and sing, and am into electronics.
I have a 56 Les Paul GA40 that really is nice, and I built myself a 57 Deluxe clone. The Gibson stays clean almost to full volume, but the "Fender" will break up fairly soon. Real (country, and rock) guitar player friends prefer the "Fender" clone over the Gibson.
A family member came for a visit, (plays an older country finger picking style), and he fell in love with the Gibson, wanted me to trade it to him for his 60's Twin! (I didn't).
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#16 User is offline   DCBirdMan 

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 05:20 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 14 August 2017 - 11:19 PM, said:

I was thinking about how Fender has so many classic amps and is such a force in amps today, but Gibson's never took off and Gibson abandoned the amp market. Why? I've never even known anyone who had a Gibson amp so I can't comment on them but firsthand I've seen reviews of Gibson amps on YouTube and in general they seem like good amps.



Same with Rickenbacker -- starting making amps around the same time as Gibson, and a decade before Fender's first ones. But both declined to get in the big amp/hi power scene. BTW if any one has a museum type w/ cover freak o nature clean mid 60s Skylark, the single 6Bq% model, I am kinda lookin... it can need electronic resto, no prob.
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#17 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:10 AM

View PostAllenjason95, on 16 August 2017 - 01:41 AM, said:

Especially since Henry is always looking for ways to modernize Gibson and diversify.


Or tank the company into a black hole.

Never played thought a Gibson amp, but I have played lots of Fenders and their tube amps are usually damn good. I have never heard anyone say I hate that Fender clean sound.
1995 - Fender American Standard Jazz Bass with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Jazz Bass Neck
1997 - Fender American Standard Tele with Rio Grande Pickups
2000 - Gibson SG Special
2003 - Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Strat Neck
2009 - Gibson BB King "Lucille" Signature Model
2009 - Kala KA-T Tenor Ukulele
2011 - Martin D-28

2014 - Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II with Lindy Fralin Pure PAF's
2014 - Martin D-18

Fender Deville 60 Watt Combo Guitar Amp

Fender Blues Jr. 15 Watt Como Guitar Amp with a Weber Speaker
Mesa Transatlantc TA-15 Head 5W/15W/25W Switchable
Egnater Tweaker 40 Watt Combo Guitar Amp (On Loan To My Son)

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Extension Cab with a Weber Speaker
Acoustic B100 Amp 100 Watt Bass Combo Amp
Orange CrushPiX CRL20 20 Watt Guitar Amp
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#18 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 14 November 2017 - 11:17 AM

View PostGuitarGeordie, on 16 August 2017 - 01:21 PM, said:


And the most important is penetration.




Are we talking porn or amps?
1995 - Fender American Standard Jazz Bass with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Jazz Bass Neck
1997 - Fender American Standard Tele with Rio Grande Pickups
2000 - Gibson SG Special
2003 - Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Strat Neck
2009 - Gibson BB King "Lucille" Signature Model
2009 - Kala KA-T Tenor Ukulele
2011 - Martin D-28

2014 - Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II with Lindy Fralin Pure PAF's
2014 - Martin D-18

Fender Deville 60 Watt Combo Guitar Amp

Fender Blues Jr. 15 Watt Como Guitar Amp with a Weber Speaker
Mesa Transatlantc TA-15 Head 5W/15W/25W Switchable
Egnater Tweaker 40 Watt Combo Guitar Amp (On Loan To My Son)

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Extension Cab with a Weber Speaker
Acoustic B100 Amp 100 Watt Bass Combo Amp
Orange CrushPiX CRL20 20 Watt Guitar Amp
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#19 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 06:54 AM

View PostFZ Fan, on 14 November 2017 - 11:10 AM, said:

Or tank the company into a black hole.

Never played thought a Gibson amp, but I have played lots of Fenders and their tube amps are usually damn good. I have never heard anyone say I hate that Fender clean sound.



I have one of the Goldtone (GA30RVS) from around 2002. It's quite awesome..
/Ray
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#20 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 05:44 PM

View PostFZ Fan, on 14 November 2017 - 11:17 AM, said:

Are we talking porn or amps?


You are just....incorrigible..... =D> [sneaky]
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