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Hogeye

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Hogeye last won the day on May 17 2018

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  1. Just a last minute heads up for the folks. The "Gibson Homecoming" is this week-end. Several regulars are not going to make it this year for various reasons but one, Dave from Salt Lake , Came up last week-end to check in with old friends and go to Music Villa's anniversary party. It was great to have breakfast with him again. Dave always brings his Kopp guitars up so that Kevin can make adjustments and check them out. The Music Villa anniversary party was a very nice event. A bit bitter sweet as my long time pal Larry Barnwell announced his retirement from Martin Guitar. Larry will spend his retirement here in Bozeman and St. George. Kevin Kopp stopped by with his new dog Wriggley. She's a wire hair Griffon and as funny as only a puppy can be. Kevin just shipped his newest batch of guitars so there are going to be some lucky folks enjoying them soon. Duluthdan won't be able to come up this year. We won't miss him so much but we will miss Powder. Ha....Travel safe Dan. Hope to see ya soon.
  2. Hogeye

    Serial Number

    Nope...The codes are for internal use. Gibson has no ides why you would want to know.
  3. Hogeye

    Serial Number

    NH= Nickle Hardware. The case is separate and the designation for the J-45's cases is C-192
  4. Believe it or not he would be welcome here. We like everyone. If he comes I hope he brings the guy that plays the guitar for him.
  5. Nice photo. I am a little put out as we get our weather from the Pacific Northwest and it isn't anything like that. Last Sunday it was -39 degrees Fahrenheit here in Bozeman. We got so much snow that a roof collapsed at the University. You folks in the middle of the country better start rolling up your pant legs 'cuz when this record snowfall starts melting we are going to send it down to you. The Gallatin range(Bozeman ) is at 129% of snow pack and the Yellowstone is the same. This just means that we are snowed in and playing the "Snow Bound Blues". I had to take my snow blower out in the back yard and clear a path for the dogs. They have no place to do their business. I'm not complaining as we will get Spring sometime just not sometime soon. When it gets here there is no place better. Start getting your stuff together for the "Homecoming". We will be picking in the back yard. Hope to see Dan and Powder in the back yard again. Eldon Whitford won't be here this year but we will find someone interesting. Maybe someone from the "New"" Gibson will be here. That would be nice. Nice photo and great guitar.
  6. I have refrained from jumping in here but I will tell you this. You play guitar with a death grip. It's killing your guitars and now your hands are getting involved. The reason your fret boards are wearing out is because you are pressing down too hard. This will wear out your fretboard and it will play hell with your hands. Don't take my word for it just go down to your nearest guitar store and have them watch you play a bit. Either you guitar is set up wrong or you are just playing to hard. I have seen this a lot and it's a bad habit to correct. You just need to have the strings make contact with the frets and you don't need to even contact the fretboard to do this. Result? No excessive fretboard wear and much less hand and finger pain. I have a bullet hole in my right hand and a true trigger finger on my middle finger on my left hand. They both give me problems but I have been learning how to play three and four note jazz chords and that has improved my playing as well as my knowledge of the fretboard. I just play around the problems and there are ways to do it. If you would like PM me and I will show you how to play chords a bit easier and give you exercises you can use to lessen the discomfort. Don't stop playing just improve you fretting technique. A good teacher will help you a lot.
  7. The troll and his junk guitar are back. Sigh.. It was nice around here.
  8. If you look at page 14 of Gibson's Fabulous Flat-Tops you will see a photo on my Red J-200. It's not wine red but just plain old red.It's an oldie but a goodie with two band bridge and SORS pick-up.
  9. I appreciate the concern here. The simple fact is that a business doesn't wake up one day and say we're broke. Mars knew they couldn't sustain their business model for a couple of years. I had to go to Florida to quarterly meetings for several years and it was obvious to all in the meetings that it was only a matter of time before they had to close down. Guitar Center knew this and actively courted Gibson. Not that it made any difference. I loved going to the meetings as they knew how to treat a guy. They had a limo meet me at the airport and they had me in a very upscale hotel. The meetings were always short and to the point. I never had to sell. They were there to buy. After a long lazy lunch we always got on a very expensive, big,fishing boat and headed out on the water. There were always several very attractive young ladies serving drinks and food. They always had very, very, very skimpy string bikinis on. When we got back to the dock the girls had to put on a shirt as there were laws against their bikinis. It was a very welcome sight for a guy from the frozen north. I never told my boss about the hospitality but always complained about the difficulty of the meetings. I think we may be missing the point here. Henry is gone. He tried and he lost. The new guys have their turn and we need to figure out how to help them. If we look at Gibson's history we will see a long string of failures. Henry is in good company. Please look at the whole company when you form your opinions. The electric division is huge compared to Montana. Epiphone is even bigger. Montana never drove the company. They were always a big drain on the resources. Montana always struggled to compete for company resources. The entire company is a history of the changing the culture. The company almost went broke when music changed from the mandolin to the banjo. Gibson adapted but it was difficult. Then the banjo gave way to the acoustic guitar. Gibson swam upstream and made arch-tops. It took them a decade to finally go to the flat-top. They were always on the edge of going under. They kind of got it together with the electric guitar but fought tooth and nail against the solid body. It took Les Paul to figure the out for them. Well music has changed and the culture of the country has changed. All of our rock stars are eligible for social security. Where are all the young guitar gods? They are in their mom's basement playing video games.
  10. What would really upset me would be if it melted off on my new $60.00 Levis.
  11. I will add a bit of reality here. There are some very fundamental issues here and they will need to be addressed and soon. First. Gibson cost averages their acoustic line. The J-45 is the pivot point. That just means this, The J-45 makes no money. It breaks even There is no one in Montana that knows this? The guys that are advising the new guy are doing him a big disservice. Hell it might even be intentional. There is very little difference in the cost of building a guitar. The time it takes to build a J-45 is the very same as the time to make a J-200 so the labor cost is almost the same. The cost in materials is almost the same. Maybe a couple of hundred $$$$ difference. In order to make a J-45 they have to make a J-200 and use the profit to pay for the J-45 to offset the cost. The two average out and the company make a profit. This is done in every industry. Gibson Montana has tried to bring $1,000.00 guitars to the market for years. Every time they got a new GM he tried to make an inexpensive guitar. 1994: The Gospel $1050.00 1994: The Epiphone experiment 1996: The Formula 1&2 experiment 1998: The Working Man series $1099.00 The list goes on..... All of these guitars were wonderful instruments. The CL series comes to mind. Why did they fail? It's very simple. People ordered them by the hundreds because they hit a spot in the market that folks loved. The Gibson name was on them and they had Bozeman quality. The problem was that they were below the price point that they could make money for Montana. They cost more to make than they made. So.... for every one of these guitars Gibson made they lost money and the guitars above the J-45 point sales couldn't keep up. Remember this Montana can make a determined number of instruments a day because of the size of the labor force and the capacity of the physical plant. The new GMs had to take the budget guitars out of the line and try to recover from their mistakes. Usually this was not possible and Montana got a new GM. Then the whole process started all over again. Gibson was going their GMs every two years. Of course the new folks think they have discovered the answer. They can make $1,000.00 guitars like God makes poor people but they can't keep the doors open and the guys in Montana know this. The guys that are entrenched in Montana are not doing anyone any favors and the new guy is on the same path of failure as the myriad of GMs before him. It's kinda sad to think that no one is telling the new owners how this all works. Keep this in mind. The JC guy does not own the company he just works for them. He thinks he has found the answer to success and he is on the same path as all that went before him. Pitiful. This isn't like the Levis company you can't just tweak a knob and spit out a bunch more production. Henry knew this very well as he had to deal with it his entire tenure. He had a wonderful solution to the problem. It's called Epiphone. Ask yourself a very interesting question. As the new owner of Gibson why would you go into competition with your own company? Epiphone is designed to meet the price point that the general public is clambering for. Why would you put out a guitar that will break one plant when you have another division that makes the exact same price point you are looking for? If you are in management in Montana why would you let the new guy make this very fundamental mistake? The capability of making the $1,000.00 guitar is there in Montana. The capability to make the $1,000.00 profitable is not. This has been the problem all along and if the new company doesn't address this they will have big problems. Insanity. Doing the exact same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I could go on for hours but you are already tired of me so I will close for now. Oh, One last thing. Bee's wax is insane. These people have no idea what they are doing.
  12. There are some misunderstandings here that I will address. It was stated that 2001 Henry started his relationship with Guitar center. Well a brief look at the record will show that Henry was in pretty deep with a company called Mars Music. Most here won't even remember them. They were a big chain of 50 stores in about 20 states. Many thought Henry was a silent partner in the chain so it seemed reasonable he had a huge presence in the company. This was 1996 In early 2001 Mars was struggling to keep the business going. They had expanded too fast and were under capitalized. BY 2002 they had filed for bankruptcy and soon after went out of business. Many manufactures including Gibson had adjusted their production to keep these stores supplied with instruments. When the chain went out of business Guitar Center went courting and they made overtures to Gibson. Left with a huge void in retail space the manufactures had to adjust their production to make up for the lack of retail space. Henry rather than slowing down production and laying off help opened dealings with Guitar Center. The unholy alliance seemed to be working to the benefit of both companies. One guy here in another post seems to think that Henry had gone over to the dark side and maybe he did but..... He had his own business to run and he had to keep his people working and if the small business owners weren't willing to carry his products G.C. was more that eager to get them. Henry dodged a huge bullet and he managed to keep his production going. Let's not forget Sam Ash played a very big part in this fundamental change in the music business as well. As his Bobness said," The Times they are a changing". Sam Ash has 44 stores in 16 states. And the list goes on. As the talking heads say "Go big or go home". Henry found the public was more than willing to buy his instruments until a fundamental change in the industry changed everything. It wasn't quality control or Mom & POPs that got him Kids quit taking guitar lessons and asked for computers for Christmas. Henry tried to adapt but he invested in the wrong companies as they were hurt by the same problem. He should have gone to Silicon Valley. Well that's the rest of the story the real reason for Henry going to the chains. That decision kept the company going for another 15 years before he declared bankruptcy. If you want to know the whole story just ask and I will tell you how "The Times They Are A Changing" took out a great company. The new owners will find this out soon enough and they will have to be a lot smarter than Henry to survive. I hope they do.
  13. I understand all the frustration but I will tell you all this. Henry was not the problem he was the solution. Yes he had inventory requirements. For any dealer who wanted to be a Gibson acoustic dealer only he had to commit to at least 7 acoustic guitars a year. When the dealers rebelled Henry offered financial solutions to the problem. They didn't have to get all the guitars shipped at once. They could schedule ship them. If that wasn't good enough and believe me it wasn't he then went to several financial institutions and secured floor plan services to dealers. G.E. Capital offered 90 day free financing and after that they would roll over to paying interest on the unsold guitars. What does this mean? A dealer could get any number of guitars shipped and he wouldn't have to pay a penny on them for 90 days and after that all he had to pay was interest on the unsold guitars...… Then Henry offered to put the guitars on open account with Gibson for 60 days no interest... Good grief that meant that the dealer could have the guitars for 5 months without having to pay a penny. Then after that the dealer would have to start paying interest on the outstanding balance. They were never forced to come up with large sums of money at once. Even after all that the dealers were screaming foul. So... Henry sent a letter to them saying if you buy the guitars at the right time the you won't be billed for them until the next billing period. That gave them about 20 days extra the could have them on their wall before the floor plan started the clock ticking. 5 months and another 20 days to have the guitars without having to lay out a penny of store cash. I don't know for sure but I will say this. If I couldn't sell 7 Gibson acoustics in 5 months I wouldn't want to be a Gibson dealer. Remember this... The dealer could select the guitars he wanted and he could control when he got them shipped to him. He could schedule them for one every other month if he wanted and he could secure a floor plan and a roll over to open account. Don't get me wrong here Martin and Fender and eventually Taylor were all offering similar financial options. What happened? The internet happened. There is a thread here that will prove what I'm saying. In the thread the guy said he had a friend that had a store and he didn't buy his stuff from his friend because he could get them cheaper on line. He wouldn't even buy Ernie Ball strings from his friend??? Some friend huh? The problem was never Henry it was you.... The consumer. You wanted everything for free and nothing could stop the online shopping. Nothing. You guys wouldn't support your Mom & Pop or your friends and they went out of business and now you want to blame Henry. Ha.... The new Gibson guy has a very sad lesson to learn and he will learn it soon enough. There is nothing he can do. This isn't a pair of jeans he's dealing with. It's a consumer base that will not support a local dealer. The consumer base wants nothing but price and they will spend all day calling dealers to get the rock bottom price and sometimes it can only be a difference of $5.00. What the hell is the price of a friend? Is it $6.00 for Ernie Ball strings? Henry didn't kill the Mom & Pops you did.... I would love anyone here to prove me wrong... Remember this I have the actual dealer buy in contracts to prove my case.
  14. This is complicated and not easy to explain in a couple of paragraphs but I will try. Back in the 50's the mom and pops would buy a few guitars from each manufacturer and then advertise they were authorized dealers for all the major brands. They had as many dealerships as possible to discourage another store from moving to their town. They had one J-45 and a couple of Martins and a Telecaster in their tiny store and when you saw their ad in the yellow pages and asked for a Gibson they would trot out a J-45 they had for years and said the could order whatever you wanted. Henty sent his sales reps across the country and found this system in place and though it worked for the dealers it didn't work for the manufactures. He told all of his authorized dealers they had to represent the line in their stores or lose the dealership. The small guys were being pressured by Martin and Fender to do the same so the had to make a decision. Martin had great acoustics and no electrics. Fender had cheap electrics and no acoustics. Gibson had it all. Most dealers chose Martin as they didn't have to buy electrics and most chose Fender as they didn't have to buy a full line of acoustics. They instead told people they didn't like the price or the quality of Gibson and they dropped them.They blamed it all on Gibson. It's much more complicated that this but there is not time or space to go into detail. The people that chose Gibson and represented the whole line were rewarded with a protected territory that no one else could sell Gibson in. It's just like the automobile dealership model. Then Elderly sent out a catalogue. This crossed all territories and the war was on. They had the entire mid-west to sell in and they didn't need to have a store with overhead or license fees and all the overhead. This was a huge problem for the dealers that invested in full line inventories as they had all of the overhead of a store and a competitor that was price cutting the heck out of them. Henry went to war to protect his authorized dealers and protected their territories. This was fine until Musicians Friend came out with their monster full line color catalog that was shipped all over the country and Canada. They sold strings,picks,straps, amps Oh hell they sold it all. At huge discounts. The business as usual had changed. In order to compete big stores started selling their stock on line with huge discounts to compete with the catalogs and that made it possible for a customer to buy a guitar at a huge discount and not go thru their local dealer. Not all towns had music stores and the new mass marketing was driving dealers out of business and Henry had to modify his marketing plan. He came up with the MAP pricing strategy trying to protect the mom and pops from the predatory discounting that was ruining the dealer network. He knew there were huge parts of the country that had no stores at all and that people were relying on the catalogs and large dealers to supply their equipment needs. What to do? Let a few on line dealers advertise across protected lines to service customers that had no store to visit. They had prices they could advertise and all should be well??? Restrict the on line dealers from ruining the brand equity by offering rock bottom prices which were ruining dealers that were invested with inventory. Henty tried to control the pricing so that a mon & pop could make a profit in their territory. It's against the law to price fix so he couldn't control to much but he could control advertising of his product. In a failed attempt to save the small dealers from extinction he introduced advertising restrictions. You will find a million reasons to not understand the logic in this but remember this. You are consumers and you are trying to get the best guitar at the cheapest price and you don't care if someone goes broke in the process. Just get me a J-45 at the lowest price. Henry went broke trying to solve the problem. His loyalty to the small dealer cost him his company. Did the small dealer appreciate this. No..... What will happen? There will be no local dealers in a few years. They will be replaced just like all of the other Main street business in the world. There is a reason why 30% of the music stores closed their doors last year. Henry was swimming upstream and he paid the ultimate price for it. There will be several huge warehouses full of guitars and an 800 number and that will be your retail experience. Henry loved the idea of sitting around the back room and playing several guitars before you made a decision. This was a place to learn and share ideas. Just another dinosaur. Let the discussion begin.
  15. I wish I could help but I only have numbers on Gibson Montana guitars. Gibson Montana started production in 1989 and as a historian of sorts I kept all of the records from that time frame up to 2009. I kept day to day journals of my daily activities as well as the goings on of the Montana plant. I joined the forum just to clear up the many inaccuracies that were going around on this and other forums. I couldn't give out too much info and kept my association with Gibson a private matter as the company was a bit reluctant to have employees speaking out on the forum. There was a rumor that Gibson had a company policy against giving out production numbers but that was not true. Henry had no such policy in place. Gibson had a customer service person that made that whole policy up as she was just to lazy to look up the information. She was invited to leave the company. Now that the company I worked for has gone into bankruptcy and has been sold I have no affiliation with the new company. The records I have were the property of a company that doesn't exist and I obtained them legitimately as a paid employee. The records were going to be a part of a book that I wanted to write with another historian on the Gibson Montana history. The Marketing director for the Montana Division threatened to sue us over the book. He felt we were giving out company protected information and that there were copyright infringement issues. We just walked away as I was still an employee. As a side note Henry approved of the book. Now you know the whole story.
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