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jon_bailey

2018 / 2019 J-45

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I have just placed an order for my dream guitar, a 2018 J-45 ordered from a well known on-line UK store. It will be delivered tomorrow. I decided to take the plunge as the 2019 guitars are now being advertised at £500 more expensive than the 2018 models and yet from what I can see there is no discernible difference between the models? I was reluctant to purchase on line and would have preferred to try the guitar out first, but with such a good saving the guitar is £1699.00 I decided I would never get a chance to buy a brand new J-45 at that kind of price. Is there any difference between the two guitars?

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I have just placed an order for my dream guitar, a 2018 J-45 ordered from a well known on-line UK store. It will be delivered tomorrow. I decided to take the plunge as the 2019 guitars are now being advertised at £500 more expensive than the 2018 models and yet from what I can see there is no discernible difference between the models? I was reluctant to purchase on line and would have preferred to try the guitar out first, but with such a good saving the guitar is £1699.00 I decided I would never get a chance to buy a brand new J-45 at that kind of price. Is there any difference between the two guitars?

 

I’m not aware of any difference other than price. It wouldn’t be the first time Gibson has raise the price on a J 45 without changing the specs. In the states, it raised the price of the 2018 45s by $350 with no changes.

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I don't understand why a company in financial problem continues with these price hikes...I remember six years ago you could get an Advanced Jumbo for less than $2000 and they sold like hot cakes.

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I don't understand why a company in financial problem continues with these price hikes..

 

Probably because the price wasn't high enough to cover their cost to build. ;)

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No difference.

 

I’m at the point were prices are almost past what I feel comfortable paying.

I might get one or two more Gibson Acoustics into the stable and then stay with what I have unless I can find used or NOS that I like.

 

The J 45 may be the only guitar that keeps a pretty constant price... A good J 45 will never let you down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

JC

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I don't understand why a company in financial problem continues with these price hikes...I remember six years ago you could get an Advanced Jumbo for less than $2000 and they sold like hot cakes.

 

I guess they figured out - when you're losing money - you can't make it up by increasing your volume.

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I have just placed an order for my dream guitar, a 2018 J-45 ordered from a well known on-line UK store. It will be delivered tomorrow. I decided to take the plunge as the 2019 guitars are now being advertised at £500 more expensive than the 2018 models and yet from what I can see there is no discernible difference between the models? I was reluctant to purchase on line and would have preferred to try the guitar out first, but with such a good saving the guitar is £1699.00 I decided I would never get a chance to buy a brand new J-45 at that kind of price. Is there any difference between the two guitars?

 

Congrats. It's Gibson's best seller for a lot of good reasons! Enjoy.

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I guess they figured out - when you're losing money - you can't make it up by increasing your volume.

 

In my opinion this tactic is suicidal: Gibson has been (rightfully) accused to sell overpriced gutiars and got a lot fo hate for it. IMO returning to the old pricing would help, as when Gibson were "affordable" the company was doing well.

 

I have seen shops with Gibsons unsold for decades.

 

Also, this story of the model years like in the automotive industry doesn't convince me: a guitar is supposed to be a durable good, not something that after one year is old and replaced by a newer and better model.

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I guess they figured out - when you're losing money - you can't make it up by increasing your volume.

 

In my opinion this tactic is suicidal: Gibson has been (rightfully) accused to sell overpriced gutiars and got a lot fo hate for it. IMO returning to the old pricing would help, as when Gibson were "affordable" the company was doing well.

 

I have seen shops with Gibsons unsold for decades.

 

Also, this story of the model years like in the automotive industry doesn't convince me: a guitar is supposed to be a durable good, not something that after one year is old and replaced by a newer and better model.

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In my opinion this tactic is suicidal: Gibson has been (rightfully) accused to sell overpriced gutiars and got a lot fo hate for it.

 

Somebody posted a link to Gibson’s ad for a new CEO earlier. You should apply for the job, I’m sure you could turn the company around quickly with your market insights. ;)

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Probably because the price wasn't high enough to cover their cost to build. ;)

Then; what accounting genius determined that price point? Enough appologizing for bad business decisions.

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I'm certainly not "apologizing". For the record, I think Gibson's prices are way too high and I would not even consider buying a new one. The last time I bought a new Gibson was when I got my J-50 Deluxe in 1974 actually. :)

 

But the fact that I don't like Gibson's prices has nothing to do with what it costs them to build guitars. If they could lower the price and still maintain quality, why wouldn't they just do it?

 

I was in Guitar Center last month and they didn't have a single Gibson in the acoustic room - I was rather shocked. But there were a lot of Martin's and I was surprised at how many of them were in the ~$500 range. And I was even more surprised by the large number of other acoustics for $200 or less. Looks like Gibson is pricing themselves out of the market, and what sells are guitars in the $500 or less range. I didn't see any guitars in the acoustic room that cost more than $1200 IIRC.

 

But again, I don't think Gibson can compete with this and build guitars the way they do. That experience made me wonder if we are seeing the beginning of the end for the Gibson acoustic as we've known it.

Edited by Boyd

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In my opinion this tactic is suicidal: Gibson has been (rightfully) accused to sell overpriced gutiars and got a lot fo hate for it. IMO returning to the old pricing would help, as when Gibson were "affordable" the company was doing well.

 

I have seen shops with Gibsons unsold for decades.

 

Also, this story of the model years like in the automotive industry doesn't convince me: a guitar is supposed to be a durable good, not something that after one year is old and replaced by a newer and better model.

 

Off the top of my head, I would say any shop that has unsold new Gibson Acoustics hanging the wall for decades - is doing something wrong.

'Affordable' is, of course, a purely subjective concept. Some people think a new Mercedes is affordable, some don't. The judgement is more a function of the customers finances than the price itself.

I wish I could afford a new Mercedes - but I don't blame the company for not charging decades old prices. I blame me for not having won the lottery.

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Congrats on buying the iconIc J45!

I doubt there is a difference, just a price increase.

None of us like when prices rise.... well, maybe I don’t mind it as it makes my existing Martins and Gibsons more valuable. Both companies regularly increase their prices. The street price for a J45 or a D18 is pretty close... and both are more affordable than they were decades ago, when you consider metrics like “how many days or weeks earnings” to pay for one.

Gibson has been making less expensive entries recently... as has Martin. Smart to do so. We are in a golden age as far as being guitar consumers. You can get a heck of an Alvarez or Yamaha for $500. A heck of an Eastman for $1000. A heck of a Gibson for $1500....

And you can choose to save and own a D18 or J45 or Bird...

Choice is swell.

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I do not give a fig what Gibson charges as chances of me buying anything new from any builder are pretty slim. Nor am I any kind of a marketing strategy guru.

 

Interesting though as while Gibson edges prices of the "standard" line up and up they are coming out with new lower price series such as that Studio line. That J45 Studio has got to be the cheapest J45 they are offering. And as any music shop will tell you it is not the $5K Hummingbird Vintage that is their bread and butter but the $1500 J45 Studio.

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There may not be any difference. Perhaps prices go down on previous model because sellers need a certain volume to be advertized as authorized Gibby dealer? Means they have to throw their previous stocks.

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I decided to take the plunge as the 2019 guitars are now being advertised at £500 more expensive than the 2018 models and yet from what I can see there is no discernible difference between the models?

 

First - congrats on the guitar, they're phenomenal and hopefully it suits you right! Second, I noticed the same thing last year between the '17 and new '18 models w/ the price going up about $600 US w/o any discernable differences. I took the plunge and got a new one. I love it, happy I did it. I'm still coveting a couple more Gibby models, but going forward, with these prices it's looking like it's going to be the used market for me.

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I don't understand why a company in financial problem continues with these price hikes...I remember six years ago you could get an Advanced Jumbo for less than $2000 and they sold like hot cakes.

 

Its called greed.

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The street price for a J45 or a D18 is pretty close... and both are more affordable than they were decades ago, when you consider metrics like “how many days or weeks earnings” to pay for one.

 

I wondered about that statement, so I did some quick (unscientific) research. I bought my J-50 new in 1974 and didn't keep any records, but my recollection is that it cost $340. According to this table, that would have been 3% of average median income in 1974. Now the J-50 was the cheapest Gibson I could find (which is why I got it), so if we use the J-45 studio at $1,500 today, that would be 2.5% of average median income in 2016. http://www.multpl.com/us-median-income/table/by-year

 

That works out closer than I would have expected. Regarding Martin however, there's no comparison, you couldn't touch a Martin guitar for that price in 1974. My recollection is that the cheapest one was well over $1000. I had a couple friends with Martins and was very jealous back then. But I got over it. :)

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Thank you for all who responded making this an interesting thread. I did notice last year that the prices of the J-45 also fluctuated quite considerably and increased about this time. This has to be purely a marketing ploy with the marketing guys pushing the prices up for next years new model knowing that there will be some people who want a 2019 model rather than an 2018 one. I guess also that they want to get the old 2018 stock out the door before the 2019 models hit the market hence the lower pricing for this years current model.

 

Earlier this year I made a round trip of over 200 miles to well known UK Gibson retailer and spent a few hours playing a couple of J-45's. At the time these were retailing at £2,300. The guitars I looked at had blemishes. One had a fret that was not dressed properly and was really rough. The other had mineral deposits on the fretboard. I left the store with my money in my pocket thinking I'm only buying at that price if the guitar is perfect. I am glad to report that my new 2018 J-45 arrived yesterday and was perfect in condition with no visible imperfections. Having saved myself over £500 by buying the 2018 model I couldn't be happier. The guitar plays like a dream and sounds fantastic. Having been a player for over 35 years and the owner of many fine guitars (9 in total) I am so pleased to at last be a member of the J-45 owners club.

 

Cheers!

Jon.

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Somebody posted a link to Gibson's ad for a new CEO earlier. You should apply for the job, I'm sure you could turn the company around quickly with your market insights. ;)

 

Thank you for the snarky comment, however I am pretty sure I'd do a better job than Henry J. as I never brought a company in Chapter 11.

 

However the AJ in 1936 sold for $80, a lot of money back then, equivalent to $1500 today but in reality I think it was more as during the Great Depression wages were low even at the net of inflation.

 

The J35 sold for $35 that were about $700, therefore IMO the same reasoning above applies, IMO a honest price today for these guitars would be in the same range they used to be sold until 2010 or 2011, this politics of linear cost increases for model year to model year just makes Gibson look greedy and damage the business as well as the image of the company. Also according to the dealer I know Gibson's official statement is that every year they increase quality of assembly and woods, thing that I find hard to believe.

 

Have you ever bought a new Gibson Acoustic?

 

The point is: " Do you think that between 2017 and 2018 the overall quality has increased by 15%"? From the superficial look I have to MY 2018 quality has decreased in comparison to what they made in 2010 and 2011, in particular my SC is the best put together acoustic guitar I have even tried, the neck angle is so perfect that even with very low action the saddle is quite high. Finish is perfect, no glue spots inside, even better than a CS Martin IMO. For my 2011 AJ the same applied.

 

Edited by Alex_78

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