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merciful-evans

GC facing bankruptcy?

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2 hours ago, Larsongs said:

Although Companies & Corporations have been known to dip into those Pension funds. In some cases leaving the Pension fund empty. 

Most Pension funds are part of a Company, LLC, Corp. or some type of Entity while an IRA can be held by an Individual with no ties to a Company, LLC or Corp. 

Big difference....

Then explain this, in 2004 United Air Lines went through bankruptcy and all It's pilot's lost their retirement pensions 

United pilots stand to lose big bucks

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/united-pilots-lose-big-if-airline-nixes-pension-plans

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10 minutes ago, jaxson50 said:

Then explain this, in 2004 United Air Lines went through bankruptcy and all It's pilot's lost their retirement pensions 

United pilots stand to lose big bucks

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/united-pilots-lose-big-if-airline-nixes-pension-plans

That's my point.. They weren't individidual private held IRA's, SEP's, KEOGH's..  They aren't connected to any Company.. They are held solely by Individuals.

The Pilots were Pension Plans thru or connected to their Employers.....

Edited by Larsongs

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Yes, pensions and 401Ks are totally different.  Pensions are fairly rare these days and are often lately being "re-structured" so that the money does not run out, and are (generally) not guaranteed.  Pensions are like Social Security where the money you pay goes to people receiving benefits right now, and your  eventual benefits will come from those paying in at that time -- this is a bad model for companies that are large but dwindling businesses (like in the nuclear power industry such as Westinghouse).  The nice things about pensions is that they pay out until you die.  Typically the re-structuring changes are to vary/lower the payouts based on when you want to start getting payments, and if you want to pass it on to your spouse, etc.  Then there are 401k's which are supposed to be solely YOUR money and 99% of the time, they are.  But if the company administers the 401K themselves, there are cases where the money gets borrowed/stolen and sometimes completely lost (people usually will be going to jail if that happens and is hugely rare).  If your 401K is administered by an outside financial house (e.g., Schwab, Fidelty, etc.) then you have pretty much 0% chance of it being violated in any way.  There are also cases where companies have retirement plans that are based in company stock where the value becomes close to nothing wiping out retirement plans' value (remember Enron?).

stock-market-meme-20.jpg

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12 hours ago, ghost_of_fl said:

Also it says they want to terminate the pension funds (going forward), not drain existing assets.  

I know one of the United pilot's that lost his pension they were given pennies on the dollar for what they had been earning for years, in his case, 20 years, it was part of the employment package and the air lines bean counters weaseled their way out of it, it went all the way to the supreme court and the pilot's lost. Makes you wonder if anything is safe, (well we know the politicians and the federal employees will get their pensions)

Getting back to GC, how many other companies will this affect?  The suppliers and don't they own Musicians Friend? 

 

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I know as a musician, I've been out of work since March 17, so although I still play at least 6 days a week, I don't change my strings and reeds as often as I'd like to, I wait until they aren't playing well, I'm not buying new gear, and I suspect a lot of other musicians are doing the same.

I also figure a lot of the folks who work at GC are also part-time pro musicians, and they aren't gigging either.

This COVID has helped some businesses, and devastated others. Those 'others' that were already on shaky ground have a greater challenge to stay alive.

I have no love for GC, but no animosity either. I read guitar manufacturers are having a record year in sales, so I guess the customers are going elsewhere. That's life in the capitalistic world.

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18 minutes ago, Dub-T-123 said:

GC has always been the best place to pay MSRP for used instruments

I always felt I was getting ripped off even when I went in just to buy a guitar pick.

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3 hours ago, Larsongs said:

I see GC filing Chapter 13 & restructuring a model somewhat like Sweetwater... Very limited number of Stores & mostly Online Sales...

Probably makes sense...if you start each year owing tens of million in interest you can't expect to cover it by raising prices in a world of cost-out online competitors. Hopefully the manufacturers (including our hosts) think about what that will mean for their volume demand and adjust their materials and production plans so as not to be left with a pile of 2021 models to clear for years ahead.

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Now that I think about it, I look at it like Guitar Center and Gibson met at the Devil's Crossroads in the mid 2000's sometime and Gibson sold their soul to those guys and look at us now...

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On 11/1/2020 at 11:06 AM, Larsongs said:

I see GC filing Chapter 13 & restructuring a model somewhat like Sweetwater... Very limited number of Stores & mostly Online Sales...

If they do that, they better put specialists on the phone lines instead of underpaid clerks.

Before GC bought WWBW (Woodwind And Brasswind) you could call up a specialist and get good advice. My local Mom and Pop store knew nothing about sax mouthpieces, and I wanted to replace mine. I was looking for a more resonant sound but with the same amount of rock and roll edge I have with my current mouthpiece. I called WWBW and the put me through to the sax mouthpiece guy. I explained what I had and how I wanted to change it, what model sax I was using, and he in turn asked me a lot of questions. What I ended up buying was perfect.

After CC bought WWBW, they have clerks who don't know their product, and have no one to ask for help.

Sweetwater has had my same sales rep for years, he knows a lot, will research a lot for me, and takes the time to sell me what I need, not what he needs to get the biggest commission. That's why when I can't get it locally, Sweetwater is my next choice.

Insights and incites by Notes

 

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52 minutes ago, Notes_Norton said:

If they do that, they better put specialists on the phone lines instead of underpaid clerks.

Before GC bought WWBW (Woodwind And Brasswind) you could call up a specialist and get good advice. My local Mom and Pop store knew nothing about sax mouthpieces, and I wanted to replace mine. I was looking for a more resonant sound but with the same amount of rock and roll edge I have with my current mouthpiece. I called WWBW and the put me through to the sax mouthpiece guy. I explained what I had and how I wanted to change it, what model sax I was using, and he in turn asked me a lot of questions. What I ended up buying was perfect.

After CC bought WWBW, they have clerks who don't know their product, and have no one to ask for help.

Sweetwater has had my same sales rep for years, he knows a lot, will research a lot for me, and takes the time to sell me what I need, not what he needs to get the biggest commission. That's why when I can't get it locally, Sweetwater is my next choice.

Insights and incites by Notes

 

I've had the same Sales Rep with Sweetwater for about 8 years.. It's a pleasure doing business with him & Sweetwater. They go the extra mile. In addition to being Knowledgeable they photograph most Guitars individually, with their Weight & their Serial numbers.. 

My local GC never has any Gear of interest to me.. All Entry level lower Price Point Gear.. Which is fine but not of interest to me.. Their Employees act like they're Rock Gods & we should be thankful for allowing them to treat us like we're stupid & charge us full Retail on everything they sell. Including Strings & Picks! LMAO!!! I don't bother with them anymore.

If GC restructures with an Internet Model they need to do some serious upgrades wth regard to the knowledgeable Sales Reps & high quality Sales experience before & after the Sale. 

They would be wise to follow Sweetawater & Wildwood business model......

 

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GC is vastly different than it was several years ago.  There was a time I had a high opinion of them.  My local GC and its owner ( Musician’s Friend  warehouse and retail store) were very close to my location.  Both places employed guys/gals covered in tattoos and Mohawk haircuts who knew everything about musical instruments.  They could talk Beatles, Cash, Sinatra, Baez,, opera, folk, hillbilly music,etc.  They were real musicians.  Today,the warehouse outlet is gone and the GC store employees are teenyboppers who need help using the cash register.  They can’t answer your questions, so you don’t ask and eventually don’t go there.  The problems at the top have run to the bottom.  Places like Wildwood Guitars put GC to shame.  Sorry to see it failing so badly, but everything comes to an end.

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Too often in giant corporation's need to have bigger profits every quarter so the stock keeps rising, one way to do that is to cut labor costs.

Sometimes they forget all businesses are in the customer service business.

Notes

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Isn't GC owned by MF? Turn them all into MF's and fire all the incompetent mental migets with green hair that dress like ever day is Halloween and act like it's beyond their pay scale to unlock the mother fukin D-28 I want to try out, and stop ripping off people like you have for decades.

I for one could not give two squirts of p-iss if GC tanks. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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GC/MF have been privately held for a long time now, more than 10 years.  Stock price has nothing to do with it.

rct

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19 hours ago, rct said:

GC/MF have been privately held for a long time now, more than 10 years.  Stock price has nothing to do with it.

rct

 Good to know.  Relevant in terms of similar structure to Gibson.  

But  Notes Norton  point  is important -   Mandated quarterly SEC filings are relied on by investors.  Management is required to project future earnings. If they don't project an increase - their stock prices (value of the company) drop.  If they don't hit the projection - also drop.  So - short term gains are prioritized over long term - all because of the pressure from investors. Not you and me and our 401Ks, but the people who manage them at big investment firms - like the ones who advertise on TV> 

I digress.   I  think GC as a place in the market and would hate to see them tank.  They are the younger generations 'go to'  for entry level, hands on, 'expert advice'  in a broad array of musical instruments and gear.  Yes,  we cork sniffers do not feel they are up to our standard.  But a 17 year old looking to buy his second guitar after 2 years of lessons and jamming with friends, does not want to make as big a deal out of it - for a $700 guitar - as we here do - for one costing 3x as much.  Yes, GC put lots of Mom's & Pops out of business.  So have Walmart,  Costco and Amazon. And, before them -  in another age - big department stores did the same.  And now - Grocery Stores sell hardware and clothes - so they are doing the same.  Change -  embrace it and stay sane, resist it at your own peril.  

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On 11/1/2020 at 11:06 AM, Dub-T-123 said:

GC has always been the best place to pay MSRP for used instruments

That is the honest truth.

 

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Bain Capital or whoever bought it from Bain still expects perpetual growth from GTRC for their investment.  No matter who owns the stock, if the owners do not participate in the business, all they expect is that the next year needs to be more profitable than the last one.

On the other hand a business where everybody who owns the company physically participates in the company, perpetual growth is not necessary. All they need to do is make the salaries of the employees/owners and keep up with inflation. Anything above that is welcome and appreciated, but keeping afloat with the status quo does not sink the company.

I know, I own two small companies, one established in 1985 and the other in 1990 and both are still OK although COVID is making things more difficult.

And yes fortyyearspickin, we have to go with the flow, change happens. Often it's beneficial to embrace the change. On the other hand there are times when we should resist the change.

Here is what I miss about GC putting the locals out of business.

1) Early in my career my PA was muddy sounding. The store owner asked me to explain and came out to hear us. He recommended a BBE "Sonic Maximizer", got one out of the back, and said, "Try it out on the gig a few days. If it doesn't do the job, bring it back Monday unscratched and we'll try something else. No deposit, no credit card imprint, no restocking fees, just mutual trust.

We were playing a local restaurant/lounge 4 days a week then. The first day one of the regular customers noticed the difference: "What did you do? You sound better than ever!"

I went back Monday with the Money.

2) Same store a couple of years later. I was in the market for a new mic. My SM58 made my alto sax sound more like a clarinet so I was looking for an upgrade. The owner made a couple of recommendations, and explained the pros and cons of each. Condenser mics were too delicate for a band doing one-nighters, clip on mics wouldn't work well for alto and tenor unless I bought two, and so on. In the end he recommended a Sennheizer MD421. Big diaphragm, almost no proximity effect, flat response, 5 position bass roll off filter so it can be used for vocals too, and so rugged it can be used to mic drums and can stand the beating if they get hit.

He went to the recording studio in the back,handed me one and told me to try it on the gig. Again no deposit, no credit card, just trust.

I was playing in an upstairs open-air bar in a yacht basin. I could hear the difference immediately. A friend of mine who is a musician heard the difference in the parking lot on her way in. It sounded great, more like my sax than the Sure mic made it sound. I went back Monday, the owner ordered a new one for me and told me to keep the loaner until the new mic arrives. Again, just trust.

We never talked price. When the new mic came in I paid for it. A week or so later I got a Sam Ash catalog in the mail. I could have bought the same mic at Sam Ash for a bit less money, but by the time I added shipping costs, I would have paid about $10 more for the mic at SamAsh.

3) When I bought my first few saxophones, I tried a few out in the store before buying one. Saxes are not in tune with themselves, and each note needs to be 'lipped' in tune. I tried 3 individual Selmer Mark VI saxophones (which now are the holy grail of classic saxes) with a tuner. Three close serial numbers and one of them had a much better intonation signature than either of the others. That's the one I bought.

My last 2 saxophones I bought via the Internet and didn't have the luxury of trying them out first because nobody stocks them locally anymore. If they stock anything, it's usually a student model because pro models just don't sell that fast and a big box store needs to turn stock over.

I've got dozens of stories like this. Service that the Big Box stores cannot and will not provide. Should I embrace the change? I'll go with it because that's the way it is, but I'm not going to embrace it. I continued to support my local music store until GC put them out of business. If nothing else, I owed them that. I lament the fact that my store-owner-friend is now giving guitar and piano lessons from his house and no longer sells gear. I wish all my fellow musicians had supported his store and at least bought their consumables there. But I can't change other people's lives.

Now all we have locally is a GC which may close its doors. Jam Music is gone. Rock Shop music is gone. Shumacher's music is gone.

If GC was a better music store, I wouldn't mind that, but it's stocked with inexperienced clerks who can't offer expert advice, has low stock in things like cables, has a restocking fee if something is returned, will not order anything for me (too much trouble), and they have a general "I don't care" attitude.

I'm not going to embrace that change as long as there is another option.

Every business is in the customer service business. GC fails me in that respect, to they don't get my dollars. Sweetwater does much better, so they do, and since the local stores are gone, it's my best option.

Insights and incites by Notes

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It's hard to grow as a company when you have been a POS store since I was 16 and still they are to this day and I'm 54 now. I'm not driving over an hour to Richmond or 45 mins to Virginia Beach to be treated ruddly and to  get ripped off and over pay.

I can order from SW at 3am in my underwear with a cocktail in my hand and get a better experience buying on line.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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On 11/1/2020 at 10:26 AM, Sgt. Pepper said:

I always felt I was getting ripped off even when I went in just to buy a guitar pick.

Although I have plenty of guitar picks to chose from, I have a punch so I can make my own picks.  Yeah, when I was a teen, I never bought a pick. I always cut them myself. Worked pretty good. 

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13 hours ago, SteveFord said:

The BBE Sonic Maximizer!

I had a couple of those in stereo systems and if they play right with the preamps they're magic.

To this day I have one in my road rack and a spare in case it craps out.

The way I understand it is this:

  1. High notes are delayed coming out of the loudspeaker. I had enough electronics in school to know that coils like the voice coil resist changes in current polarity and they affect high frequencies more that low
  2. I read in the BBE literature that it delays the low frequencies about as much as the typical speaker delays the highs, before the signal gets to the speaker
  3. To fine tune the adjustment there is an adjustment knob.

Or as the guy I bought the first unit from said, "They make bad PAs sound good, and good PAs sound better"

I was using 70s era column speakers at the time. Nice projection but as we all learned, also suppress high frequencies by their vertical array.

I've gone through 4 evolutions of speakers since then I'm using a EV ZLX 15P pair now, and the Maximizer still makes my PA sound better.

Insights and incites by Notes

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