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J-200 Koa

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Interesting read.. This article however is quite possibly down playing the impacts of the CITES rosewood ban.

 

I was conversing via email with a few people who would know these things better than I (one was a costumer service manager from Washburn as well as one of the senior sales staff @Sweetwater) their comments lead me to believe the CITES band had some far reaching negative impacts effect on the operations for just about all of the manufactures.

 

Not sure how badly this effected Gibson, the CS Mgr @Washburn mentioned it had shut down production of a lot of their product line for much longer than they had planned.

 

Gibson's been around for 150+ years, anything can happen, but I don't think they're going any where soon. Sounds like a lot of jobs are going to be on the line either way and that's never a good thing for the work force.

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$99 Epiphone electrics and the new $400-500 Gibson electrics are the result of this - cheap enough to get a lot of new buyers, but good enough so that they don't cheapen the brand too much. Gibson probably makes $25 on each of those $100 Epiphones after all the costs are taken out, and maybe $100-150 on the cheap Gibson electrics. Sell enough of them, and you've got enough new income to appease the bankers and get the refinance you need.

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Henry's been controversial since his arrival - for good or ill, I'm not really in a position to judge. Gibson has been up and down, as well. Things just keep getting bigger and more complex, and prices just keep rising. Again, I'm not the person to make a judgment. If it goes to hell, I guess we'll know, and if it doesn't I guess the same😒

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Thats what happens when stupid desisions are made. Electronic tuners were a flop on les pauls. They nixed that within what a long agonizing year? Then decide to put on acoustics. Thats stupid. All the changes they made in cost cutting . did comprimize quality. I seen it years ago. The wood issue soured alot of true gibson collectors. Up here they cancelled the 59 reissues. Thats the guitar of players dreams. Gone. So gibson is falling apart bit by bit. Sad to see.

 

I bought and supported gibson guitars for many years. That pretty much stopped a few years ago. I can buy a high quality collings or kopp or even a walker and just have a superior guitar and my moneys have been well spent.

 

So gibson is greedy. High priced. And the quality has slipped alot.

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Thats what happens when stupid desisions are made. Electronic tuners were a flop on les pauls. They nixed that within what a long agonizing year? Then decide to put on acoustics. Thats stupid. All the changes they made in cost cutting . did comprimize quality. I seen it years ago. The wood issue soured alot of true gibson collectors. Up here they cancelled the 59 reissues. Thats the guitar of players dreams. Gone. So gibson is falling apart bit by bit. Sad to see.

 

I bought and supported gibson guitars for many years. That pretty much stopped a few years ago. I can buy a high quality collings or kopp or even a walker and just have a superior guitar and my moneys have been well spent.

 

So gibson is greedy. High priced. And the quality has slipped alot.

Tell Us How You Really Feel .

 

 

 

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We all need to take a step back and try to remember that Henry J. bought a bankrupt Gibson company. Yes kids Gibson was bankrupt and Henry fought like hell to buy it and bring it back to greatness. No one ever fought harder to buy a completely bankrupt business that Henry and Dave. It was slow and painful as he was pretty much underfunded from the very start. He managed to restructure and slowly brought the various divisions on line. We need to give credit where credit is due and much of the success can be attributed To Henry's silent but very capable partner David Berryman.

 

Going from complete bankruptcy to where we are today is a monumental achievement. Henry is a visionary and he sees the writing on the wall for all wood products. He decided that Gibson's only chance for survival was to, yet once again diversify. Thus the move into the electronics end of the music business. One could imagine him going into real-estate or something similar but he wanted to stay in the music business.

 

Are some of the decisions controversial? Of course, but we must all remember that his vision is not necessarily ours. His problem was to try to keep the Gibson brand relevant in the face of some terrible market challenges. These challenges are real and no fault of Henry's management. The wood challenge is a huge hurdle to navigate and he has done well even prospering in the face of a very hostile federal government. We all remember the unprecedented raid on his corporate headquarters. Jack booted gestapo agents with automatic weapons attacked his office personnel. Good grief.

 

His biggest challenge is the change in the culture that the computer age has brought to all of us. Kids aren't into music anymore and parents and school districts are following along. School music programs are being eliminated left and right and the home environment is changing. There was a time in the far distant past when there was a piano in almost every living room. Hell some of us can remember the time when the organ business was flourishing. There were entire stores that specialized in home organs. That is all gone and it has been replaced by computer stores and entire retail outlets devoted to the weapon of choice. The cell phone.

 

Guys like Henry and Dave must try to keep ahead of the current trends and even though they seem silly some drastic steps need to be taken to keep the guitar business fresh and relevant. The traditionalist like many of us here are truly put off by electronic gadgets being put on our very sacred guitars. Well... The guitar business must look ahead to the next generation and they must find their niche or die.

 

We don't like to think of ourselves as dinosaurs but we are. We are not buying guitars like we used to and most of us have way to many as it is. The young kids need to keep the business going and they are not. Henry is trying to diversify the company so that he can keep the outmoded business model from entirely collapsing.

 

Big challenge for sure but remember this man and his partner brought Gibson back from the grave and he has made it a world leader in the music business in a few short years. Flying in the face of a hostile government and a changing society. Don't count him out just yet. He has the skill and vision to keep our company going strong for years.

 

I for one am tired of all the negative energy heaped on this company and it's owners. We all need to step back and enjoy the sausage and try not to get bogged down in the messy business of the making of it. So... Thank you Henry J. and Dave B. Keep up the good work.

 

Remember we all have a stake in the business so we need to buy a new guitar from time to time.

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So gibson is greedy. High priced. And the quality has slipped alot.

 

I wouldn't think Gibson is driven by greed, nor any more greedy than any other manufacturing concern in the world. High priced? For an American made product requiring skilled labor I don't believe Gibson's pricing higher than others doing the same thing in the same manner.

 

It's like commanding a ship on the high seas. Sometimes you take on water, have to crank up the bilge pumps and steer a rough course. Sometimes the winds are fair, the sails are full and the sun is shining. Sometimes the ship might run aground or founder in high seas............sometimes the ship sinks. Gibson is tossing about through uncharted waters, looking for the correct course. Maybe they will find it, maybe not. Regardless, we have had the pleasure of the good times and they won't be forgotten soon.

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The OP just posted a link to an article about Gibson's bonds getting downgraded. I don't see any reason why this shouldn't be discussed, is happy news all that is allowed here? Gibson is a business, not a family member with sensitive feelings. Anyway, I am very happy with my Gibsons and this doesn't change things one way or the other for me.

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...

 

Going from complete bankruptcy to where we are today is a monumental achievement. Henry is a visionary and he sees the writing on the wall for all wood products. He decided that Gibson's only chance for survival was to, yet once again diversify. Thus the move into the electronics end of the music business. One could imagine him going into real-estate or something similar but he wanted to stay in the music business.

 

Are some of the decisions controversial? Of course, but we must all remember that his vision is not necessarily ours. His problem was to try to keep the Gibson brand relevant in the face of some terrible market challenges. These challenges are real and no fault of Henry's management. The wood challenge is a huge hurdle to navigate and he has done well even prospering in the face of a very hostile federal government. We all remember the unprecedented raid on his corporate headquarters.

 

...

The diversification is debatable as well as the so-called "Tech Guitars" including the philosophy of trying to make conventional electric guitars, amps, effects and speakers obsolete. I think most of us can relate to why it didn't work. Consumer electronics is a completely different business. I think it would have been best to stay with the core business although this is no guarantee either - the Steinway & Sons business outlook is about the same, but they are owned by a hedge fund company [crying]

 

I don't think that at Yamaha, the company Henry J. once named as a valid comparison to his vision, musical instruments department, musical electronics department, consumer electronics department and motorcycle division are governed by the same people. Their businesses are too different.

 

Cobbler, stick to thy last! I believe there is some sense in the saying.

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But oh Cobbler, which type of shoe do you keep making?

 

Whichever makes money....

 

The rest are history. The company I work for was a top local company sold to overseas interests and onsold 3 times now! The new owners of recent history came in and assured everybody that things were going ahead as usual and not one thing would change....and now everything is changed including the name, branches and offices gone and I would be gone to if I sat at a desk in the old office, costing rent money. So the quality has slipped because the well known staff are gone and the high quality back room research department and software has moved to Asia somewhere to save money....and now, they are losing money!

 

 

So which part of Gibson is to stay - that is a question to consider?

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

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No harm to the OP

But this was nothing but a big wooden spoon

Unless the OP is willing to admit he’s on board of directors and actually knows something ?

 

Worlds in a bad enough state without naysayers and doomsday merchants getting a thrill out of this sort of baloney

 

[thumbup]

 

What are the chances that the beloved brand goes under? Nil.

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But oh Cobbler, which type of shoe do you keep making?

 

Whichever makes money....

 

The rest are history. The company I work for was a top local company sold to overseas interests and onsold 3 times now! The new owners of recent history came in and assured everybody that things were going ahead as usual and not one thing would change....and now everything is changed including the name, branches and offices gone and I would be gone to if I sat at a desk in the old office, costing rent money. So the quality has slipped because the well known staff are gone and the high quality back room research department and software has moved to Asia somewhere to save money....and now, they are losing money!

 

 

So which part of Gibson is to stay - that is a question to consider?

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

 

I worked for a company that was one of the 2 top Check Printing companies in the US. With the introduction of the debit card, orders plummeted. They downsized. I was one of the redundant types they got rid of. Lack of foresight on the part of senior management led to this. It was clear which way technology was going, plus - they didn't even make money on the actual checks, they only made money on the expedited shipping fees. But even that dried up when they made the decision to do nothing different.

They ignored market trends obvious to even the most obtuse - refusing to figure out how to diversify. Owned by a major international company, they were sold and eventually had to merge with the other of the two top check printers. I heard water circling the drain goes in the opposite direction in Australia - but I'm sure the result is the same. I'd hate to think Gibson would sell of Bozeman to Martin or Taylor, but the world seems to have gone crazy.

 

 

 

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My first run-in with Henry's regime was in early 1986 when I tried to order some Gibson parts directly from Gibson...something that I, as a retailer, was allowed to do even though I was not a Gibson dealer... I did have a 'real' music store and also did much repair work. I had bought Gibson parts for quite a while, and both my customers and myself benefitted immensely, as there weren't as many repro parts around. I was able to replace the belly up bridge and the pickguard on a customer's 1959 J-45 with original Gibson parts, for example. One day I called and spoke to the girl I always dealt with and she informed me that the new management no longer wanted to sell to me or others LIKE me. I think nowadays they would call that 'butthurt' but I grumbled a while and Henry Inc was not on my list of Thanksgiving Day potential guests.

 

When I look back on 30+ years of the Henry regime however, I am SOOOO glad that man stepped up. At least for the sake of the Gibson marque.

 

I disagree with his tendency to buy a brand only to kill it within a few years (or strangle it on the spot). But that's my opinion.

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