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J200 PT model-How many in a year?

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I'm just curious as to how many J200's do you think Gibson Montana makes in a year? I have the PT model and wonder if that number is significantly less. I could have asked the Montana people myself but I was a bit embarrassed to be honest.:-k

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Does anyone have a close idea?

 

Probably not: Gibson doesn't make production numbers public. That said, you could try giving Bozeman a call to see whether LaVonne or someone is willing to give you at least an approximate number "off the record".

 

-- Bob R

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From what I can gather Bozeman ships about 17,000 acoustics a year. This is more than five times as many as were made in 1960 - the year my J-200 was made - but pales in comparison to the numbers sent out of the factory by Martin and Taylor.

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From what I can gather Bozeman ships about 17' date='000 acoustics a year.

[/quote']

 

326 a week?

 

65 a day? (5 day week)

 

Is this possible?

 

Wow.

 

[blush]

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65 a day? ...

Is this possible?

 

Yep. Although this number pales a bit in comparison to the 300+ that Martin and Taylor turn out every day.

 

-- Bob R

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Sounds like a lot of guitars to me but probably what's needed to keep the factory running and profitable. I didn't realize that Martin and TYlor were that large. How can they keep their quality up??? Lol

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I believe Martin churns out about 70,000 guitars a year and Taylor between 40,000 and 50,000. Bozeman looks like a pretty small operation (for a major company) in comparison.

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Those are a lot of guitars from Martin and Taylor! Bozeman is just one plant for Gibson so I guess it's an unfair comparison as I'm sure Gibson produces way more guitars than Martin and Taylor combined.....not sure if I'm right however. I was more curious as to how many high end Gibsons come out of Bozeman. With that in mind how many high end Martins are produced per year.

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Bozeman is just one plant for Gibson so I guess it's an unfair comparison as I'm sure Gibson produces way more guitars than Martin and Taylor combined...

 

There are various ways of looking at this. To my mind, Bozeman vs Taylor and/or Martin's U.S. production as close as one can come to an apples-to-apples comparison. Gibson Acoustics in Bozeman has about as much to do with Gibson Electrics in Nashville as it does with Baldwin, Slingerland, and Wurlitzer. (Recall that the Bozeman operation began as a small company building Gibson mandolin clones, but was later acquired by Gibson Corp to build Gibson-brand acoustic instruments. It's sometimes useful to think of Gibson acoustics as Gibson copies that happen to say "Gibson" on them.:-) Bozeman plant production vs El Cajon plant production vs Nazareth plant production is about as fair as objective comparisons get.

 

This comparison certainly isn't entirely fair, because low-end Martins and Taylors are competing against high-end Epiphones, not Gibsons. But lumping all Epiphone's acoustic production in with Gibson's would be even more misleading. If you want to try to compare the number of guitars coming out of Bozeman to the number of "high-end" (a/k/a "real") Martins produced in Nazareth, feel free: the data is out there. (However, be prepared for an argument about where the line should be drawn. This happens every time someone suggests, e.g., that 15-series Martins aren't "real Martins".) I don't know whether Taylor's production figures are generally available, but you might be able to find something that would allow you to subtract the electrics and Little Taylors and ... from El Cajon's numbers.

 

-- Bob R

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It's all getting a bit too confusing. I originally was looking for a estimate as to how many J200's Bozeman produces in a year so that I could get an idea in my mind how mass produced this high end guitar is or isn't.....In the end I don't really care as I'm playing so much the last few weeks my fingers are ready to fall off and I pushed all my work onto my assistant. Life is good! Now if I could really learn to play as well as my mates.....

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When Gibson issued the Ron Wood Signature J-200 they made two runs totalling 200 guitars. Gibson noted how few would be available in their ads about the guitar.

 

The fact that Gibson's marketing folks are not making a point of telling you how many Pete Townsend models will roll out of the factory indicates the guitar is not an extremely limited run - at least when compared to the Ron Wood J-200.

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If memory serves me correctly Pete signed labels for the first 100 units which sold quickly but I don't think the PT model sells as well as the other J200's but I could be wrong. Maybe only a few hundred per year?

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I originally was looking for a estimate as to how many J200's Bozeman produces in a year so that I could get an idea in my mind how mass produced this high end guitar is or isn't.....

 

Well' date=' I'm not sure that the production numbers for a particular model would tell you what you want to know. Pretty much all production models are built in the same way on the same line by the same people, regardless of how high-end they are. Even fancy custom guitars are built in pretty much the same way: they may have some additional work done on them -- fancy inlay or a custom finish or whatever -- in the Art Shop (or whatever they're calling it at the moment), but the basic construction is done on the same line. (There are exceptions, but very few.)

 

This makes complete sense, if you think about it. The guys who bend ribs at Gibson do more in a month than small builders do in a lifetime, using essentially the same process. They're world-class experts at rib bending. If Gibson Master Luthier Ren Ferguson wants a set of ribs for an ultra-fancy, one-off, hand-carved-pickguard, hand-carved-heel, hand-carved-bridge, neither-you-nor-I-could-possibly-afford-it guitar, he [i']could[/i] bend them himself. But why would he? The best rib benders on the line are better at it than he is, so that's who he has do it.

 

Characterizing all this as mass production seems a little misleading, though. Watching someone press fret wire into fretboards with the same hand press I can order from StewMac or people scraping the finish off bindings with microscope slides or Van Feldner spraying sunbursts -- every one different -- with his spray gun sure doesn't look much like mass production. Unlike Gibson in days of yore, and may small-builders today, there are no batches: every guitar that comes down the line is different from the ones before and after it. About one-third of all guitars they build are customized in some way; only two-thirds are standard production models with standard options. Overall, Gibson looks like a small shop scaled up, with the resulting increase in job specialization. The basic techniques used in building just aren't much different, except for the use of a few CNC machines for extreme accuracy when needed.

 

-- Bob R

 

P.S. I'm going to guess 850 J-200s a year. This is a very rough estimate based on the proportion I've seen in various stages of completion when touring the plant and what I know about production numbers (which is not much), but I thought it was high time someone took a shot at answering your question. [thumbup] Very few of these would be PTs. Maybe 50?

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Maybe only a few hundred per year?

 

You beat me to it! A few hundred seems high to me, but you could well be right.

 

-- Bob R

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That was a great reply rar and thank you as my curiosity has been answered. Mine were built for me with a few minor changes which got me to wondering how many are actually produced. Thanks again for all the good info.

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