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The real cost of G-Force


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http://www.forbes.com/sites/hughmcintyre/2015/06/16/gibson-guitars-40-million-11-year-tech-gamble/

 

Gibson Guitars' $40 Million, 11 Year Tech Gamble

 

Sometimes a brand has so much history on their side it can begin to hurt them. While nobody wants to let go of a legacy, clutching too tightly could quickly give the appearance of being outdated, and that’s the easiest way to turn the up-and-coming millennial demographic off.

 

Gibson guitars, the legendary crafters of some of the finest instruments to ever create rock and roll (including the iconic Les Paul), is having just such a problem. An aficionado might tell you that plenty has changed over the years in the world of guitars, but much of it is cosmetic. The company’s CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, was very open about how little his company’s core product has evolved, especially when compared to music itself, which seems to go in a million new directions every day.

 

“The industry hasn’t changed in 50 years. That’s a lifetime!”

 

In order to move forward, innovations had to be made, and $40 million and 11 years later, a “major” change is here.

 

From 2015 onwards, all Gibson guitars will come equipped with what is perhaps the smartest tuning meter (what most people would call a tuner) ever created. Positioned on the outside of the instrument near the head, the new device only needs a few seconds to perfectly tune the strings on the guitar, which makes it something of a small revolution.

 

While they were originally planning on altering the inside of their instruments, adding all kinds of tech into the interiors of guitars, their research showed them that true fans simply would not have it. Not only could it slightly alter the music, but people were worried it would become outdated (as tech seems to at a rapidly increasing rate), thus making their expensive purchases equally as outdated. The company settled, placing the new feature on the exterior, which plenty in the industry (and what seems like guitar enthusiasts everywhere) still think of as sacrilegious.

 

So, why did it cost so much? Well, there was the years of research and development that went into creating what may very well be the world’s most sophisticated tuning meter. In fact, even after the meter had been created, the company had to spend time working on an entirely new manufacturing process, as the system they were using could not produce enough of these smart tuners in a timely manner. The production is more precise and unlike anything Gibson has done before, but then again this entire step is unlike the brand best known for maintaining their place in history.

 

Some may be upset about this addition, but it also makes a lot of sense for a brand that’s looking to attract a new, young audience. Getting the tuning correct every time you pick up a guitar is a serious barrier to entry for those just getting started, and with Gibson already being on the pricier side as guitars go, anything that makes the product easier to use for a wider range of people is surely a good idea.

 

As for all that uproar? Juszkiewicz says that the firm will sit back and take it, as any true innovator should. In time, after seeing how effective the product is, people will come around and that massive investment will all be worth it…they hope.

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So...being tired and not feeling all that positive at the moment, Henry is saying that Gibson guitars, being on the more expensive end of products, hopes to attract entry level / new players by having a system that will allow even a moron to just pick up a guitar and have it "perfectly tuned"? WOW! What's next, guitars that play themselves so that these same folks can become legendary, as the company who innovated the tuning system has?

 

One thing I can almost guarantee; all this will cause the price of used Gibson guitars to soar out of control. And me with not much money to spend... [sad]

 

I'm in a cynical frame of mind- I imagine an asterisk next to Henry's statement with a translation "Dang it! We spent the time and money on this stuff, we ain't gonna scrap it now! Never! The idea was good! It's innovative! What the He11 do guitar players know anyway? Just wait and see, folks are gonna LOVE this!"

 

Maybe they should put little leds on the fretboard of the Custom Shop LPs...wait, someone else already did that...

 

Good Lord!

 

Brian

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A hundred years in the future people will probably have something like it as standard equipment. I mean look at changes in cars, airplanes and everything else that serves what seems a basic function nowadays, unheard of a few generations ago. What gave the writer less legitimacy in this article to me was referring to it as a meter. It's more than that. I know he said some will call it a tuner. It is.

 

I bought a 2014 LP standard and quickly traded it for a 2013 with Grovers. One thing that scared me Gibson was that within 6 months of buying it, and I bought it new from a dealer, was that mini etune changed to G-force. Now maybe nothing inside changed, although I think it did, just the feeling that my brand new product was now obsolete was enough to make me panic and get the 2013 Gold top. Plus it wasn't perfect enough for my dinosaur a$$. Once it is settled and more mature, I'll get one. Perception was 100% of the game.

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Well, now I'm not selling my LP. lol

 

Seriously, if you don't have the patience to learn to tune a guitar go play something that needn't be tuned. A synth perhaps. Electric drums.

Unless you're super pro and NEED to have it tuned like, instantly....

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Well, now I'm not selling my LP. lol

 

Seriously, if you don't have the patience to learn to tune a guitar go play something that needn't be tuned. A synth perhaps. Electric drums.

Unless you're super pro and NEED to have it tuned like, instantly....

 

 

get off my lawn you darn kids! and stay away from my model T!!!!

 

 

 

One thing I can almost guarantee; all this will cause the price of used Gibson guitars to soar out of control.

 

umm no, that IS being caused by henry's corporate strategy and his penchant for branding gibson as a boutiquey, exclusive instrument. hence the 30% price increase last year that is completely not justified by ANY of the so-called refinements being forced on buyers this year. it takes no extra labor to slap on those tuners. it takes no extra labor to install that screwy zero fret vs a regular nut. but look at the neck heel on the axcess. there's an innovation all players (except the historic lovers) would appreciate! but you'll never see that offered in the same fashion, because it's more labor intensive.

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Well, now I'm not selling my LP. lol

 

Seriously, if you don't have the patience to learn to tune a guitar go play something that needn't be tuned. A synth perhaps. Electric drums.

Unless you're super pro and NEED to have it tuned like, instantly....

 

+100! Just my opinion, but learning to tune is foundational to becoming adept at this instrument we love!

 

I think it's just B.S. that something this sweeping would be undertaken without marketing surveys etc. Seems to me you keep your finger on the pulse of your market and give the people what they want /need. I knbow some here genuinely like the changes. But in all the time I've been spending lately at the local big box and privately owned music stores, the huge consensus is [thumbdn] on the GFarce...er Force... [flapper]

 

As mentioned above, the access heel joint is something useful for the folks that play the instrument.

 

Nothing in my mind genuinely opposed to the idea of GForce / Brass / adjustable nuts- just crap foisting this on all consumers across the board.

 

In situations like this, people can "vote" with their pocketbooks...but probably won't. The instant gratification thing that's so pervasive today is something that Henry is depending upon...and he's probably correct.

 

Seriously- on the LP Junior I briefly owned, I liked the wider neck. Many do because of the string spacing and the problem of string spacing / nibs on some previous models. But again- could this have not been rectified other than the direction currently taken?

 

So the question is...will your next electric guitar be a Gibson, or a [insert other brand here]PRS?

 

Brian

 

PS- If I had the skillsets and the $$ I'd have nut blanks manufactured that retrofit and offer "re-standardization" services...at a resonable cost.

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So the question is...will your next electric guitar be a Gibson, or a [insert other brand here]PRS?

 

Brian

 

 

LOL, I so thought that to myself..."If PRS doesn't change a thing we will be switching to them VERY soon as it pertains to NEW." And lord knows I hate the way most look. So .... feminine.

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Hey wait a minute - I thought we all smashed our Les Pauls and bought Firebird X's. Watch Mr. J smash a perfectly good L.P. to make way for tomorrow here:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88DMkDRlpeU

 

THAT DID IT! I'm telling John Hiatt what Uncle Henry did....gonna give him Henry's address, too!

 

My opinion? B.S.! Why would you have to smash an ICONIC guitar to demonstrate your company blazing into the future? And he didn't even do it "manly"! Probably had to go see his Chiropractor afterward. "It's TOUGH being an innovating CEO...Doctor! Got muscle strain 'springing' into the future!"

 

I don't like to make a snap judgment, but I don't think I like that guy very much!

 

Brian PhDinosaur

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LOL, I so thought that to myself..."If PRS doesn't change a thing we will be switching to them VERY soon as it pertains to NEW." And lord knows I hate the way most look. So .... feminine.

 

LOL! I guess I'm comfortable with my 'side ala femme'! The guitar I owned that was my absolute favorite, ever, was a surf green '98 PRS McCarty, with P90s. (Stolen out of my car a few years ago...)

 

Brian

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