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Jeffery Smith

Gibson Facing Bankruptcy

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That bad, huh?

 

And at the same time they're developing all kinds of crazy expensive guitars that will not sell (right now - you never know, look at the Flying V).

 

Slightly lower prices, less "new and improved" models and lower the number of guitars stores need to stock if they want to sell Gibson. I think that's the only way to go for them now. IMHO.

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Gibson should stick with what it does best - high quality and relatively few models. Yes, I appreciate the argument about the Flying V, Explorer and Firebird and about how iconic these "weird" designs have become over the years. There is always some room for innovation.

 

But Gibson has been (and still is) full of crap ideas. Absurd paint jobs; stupid nonsense like electronic tuners and such like. End it and end it now. Get back to producing the quality stuff which should include bringing some Epiphone guitars back to the USA.

 

And reinstate / keep the nibs!

Edited by Pin

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Not trying to turn this into some sort of silly Fender/Squier vs Gibson/Epiphone thing.

 

In my opinion, Fender's best business move was having a complete range, all the way from rock-bottom Squiers through to Fender Custom Shop. You could argue that Gibbyphone does that too, but somehow Fender managed to do it better, and without the missteps that Pin (above) mentioned.

 

You want a Telecaster? You can find one at any point in their range that matches the money you have to spend, and will likely make you smile, whether it's a Squier, a Mexican standard, US standard, and so on. They also seemed to do a great job of monetizing their heritage (if you will). The Classic Vibe series did a good job of placing nicely-made retro-type reissues in guitar stores with modest price tags. If you want to spend more than that, the Mexican Classic Player's series is there for you. Want to spend even more than that? The US-made Fender reissues...

 

Also, Gibbyphone seems to have a very strange relationship with its more offbeat classic models (esp. the Firebird). Fender basically brought the Jazzmaster and Jaguar back from the dead when it made mid-range (Classic Player) models in the Mexican factory, and sorted out the idiosyncrasies that deterred people who weren't core fans of those models from buying them. And, of course, if you really want a true Jazzmaster with all of its weird bridge issues, those are available in the US reissue range.

 

Fender seemed to get over the Mexican/US issue fairly quickly. It's a sad thing to say, but it's a reflection of modern business, these days: if other guitar makers can put their name on non-US made models and ensure proper quality control across the range, then Gibson may one day have to ask itself whether the Epiphone/Gibson distinction on "core" Gibson models like Les Pauls and SGs is actually worth it. Maybe there should be a Qingdao-made Gibson Les Paul for $600, and US made Gibson Les Pauls for substantially more than that? It likely wouldn't make sense for a more niche manufacturer that currently manufactures in the US only to make this move (Rickenbacker springs to mind - cool though they are, Rickenbackers are something of an eccentricity). Fender had the benefit of starting with a product that had begun life as an "everyman's guitar," so the idea of Mexican-made Fenders with no visual markings (these days) to distinguish them from their US-made counterparts (other than the label on the back of headstock) no longer seems out of place.

 

I really wonder if Gibson shouldn't just relaunch Epiphone as a spin-off brand for retro reissues of easily identified Epiphone models (e.g. the Casino), and brand everything else (especially Les Pauls and SGs) as Gibsons, across a wide Gibson range.

Edited by Lord Summerisle

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if other guitar makers can put their name on non-US made models and ensure proper quality control across the range, then Gibson may one day have to ask itself whether the Epiphone/Gibson distinction on "core" Gibson models like Les Pauls and SGs is actually worth it. Maybe there should be a Qingdao-made Gibson Les Paul for $600, and US made Gibson Les Pauls for substantially more than that?

 

Not an idea I like Lord S but the point is well made. There is nothing wrong with MIM Strats for example. A little while ago my son visited Denmark street in London to try out Strats and whilst there he played (he really can play unlike my messing around) both American and MIM Strats. He thought that from the playing perspective there was nothing much in it. My own Roland Strat is a MIM Strat.

Edited by Pin

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Gibson should stick with what it does best - high quality and relatively few models. Yes, I appreciate the argument about the Flying V, Explorer and Firebird and about how iconic these "weird" designs have become over the years. There is always some room for innovation.

 

But Gibson has been (and still is) full of crap ideas. Absurd paint jobs; stupid nonsense like electronic tuners and such like. End it and end it now. Get back to producing the quality stuff which should include bringing some Epiphone guitars back to the USA.

 

And reinstate / keep the nibs!

Must agree with you 100% here. Some really absurd and ridiculous guitars have come from Gibson in the last decade or so, with absurd and ridiculous price tags to match.

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Must agree with you 100% here. Some really absurd and ridiculous guitars have come from Gibson in the last decade or so, with absurd and ridiculous price tags to match.

 

some questionable decisions for sure, but none of this has all that much to do with the reason they are now in Bankruptcy. Look to the "Gibson Lifestyle" pursuit as one of the primary reasons for this failure.

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Agree. There may be some issues with the guitars, but my understanding is that the real problem has been their other lines - Onkyo, Cerwin-Vega, Cakewalk... Having logo hats and shirts probably isn't the problem either. KRK monitors more likely.

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Get back to producing the quality stuff which should include bringing some Epiphone guitars back to the USA.

 

 

I agree. They were once THE standard. They could be again with a new/old game plan. Get back to the basics?

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