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gibson acoustics made in Canada


Nick Beach
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I was in Sam Ash recently and came across a Gibson Song Maker. The guy said it was brand new and made in Canada, it was lacking a serial number and made in USA stamp on the head stock, it was also satin finished. To top it off I played and sounded like a 300 dollar guitar but with a $999 price tag.

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Gibson has a manufacturing facility in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. But are guitars made there actually stamped "Made in USA"? That doesn't sound right to me.

 

And it's not. Shred wrote "...it was lacking a serial number and made in USA stamp on the head stock..."

 

The Garrison facility has been shuttered for a couple of years now (unless Gibson reopened it and started making guitars there again). I think manufacturing there by Gibson was fairly short-lived.

 

I once heard a couple of Canadian-made Gibsons used amplified by a trio, and they sounded pretty good. That's the limit of my experience with those guitars, though, except to play them at a dealer. My impression is that they had a Taylor-like voice.

 

Red 333

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... To top it off I played and sounded like a 300 dollar guitar but with a $999 price tag.

 

Red basically told you the history: Gibson bought Garrison to keep it out of bankruptcy and tried to manufacture a "budget line", but failed to make a go of it. The basic problem was that building a better-than-Epiphone quality guitar in Canada at the $1K "budget line" price point couldn't be done in the Garrison plant. Gibson significantly underestimated labor costs -- underestimating both the wage levels that would be required to hire and retain skilled woodworkers and the number of hours those workers would need to build a b-t-E quality guitar in the Garrison plant -- at the time of the purchase, and it doesn't take much of a difference in labor cost to turn a profitable instrument manufacturing operation into one that loses money hand-over-fist.

 

Gibson already had some experience building guitars at that price point that cost more to produce than they sold for -- the Bozeman-built Working Man series -- so they recognized the problem and shut the plant down fairly quickly.

 

-- Bob R

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I can't confirm anything rar said, and most of it sounds like speculation. ...

 

I'm relaying information I got from sources inside Gibson who were in positions where they could have known this sort of thing. But take it with a grain of salt, not as gospel.

 

-- Bob R

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  • 9 years later...
2 hours ago, Curt12355 said:

I'm asking a question about the Gibsons csr's that are made in Canada why are they have three screws in the truss cover and a allen wrench truss rod instead of a bolt

The Gibsons made in Canada were made in the former Garrison Guitars plant that Gibson had purchased rather than in their Montana plant.  Gibson adapted a some of the things/processes from the Garrison plant when they purchased the plant, thus some things made in their short lived Canada facility did not mirror some of the specs of their Montana plant.  Some of that was intentional as the Gibsons made in Canada were supposed to be a lower priced/mid-priced version of Gibsons, however the concept and plant relatively quickly folded as the products didn’t match Gibson Montana’s products selling for more nor Epiphone’s higher quality instruments made overseas but selling for considerably less, making Gibson Canada models basically in competition with its higher quality Epiphone line models that sold for less than the Gibsons made in Canada.  It was a misstep by Gibson when what they should have done when they bought the Garrison plant in Canada was keep the Garrison brand, which had a pretty good reputation and a number of progressive changes built into their guitars.  Which generally went away when Gibson decided to make a mid-priced version of its brand that didn’t really mirror their brand,  or less expensive versions of their well known models, although they were still Gibsons, rather than build on the Garrison brand.  Gibsons from Canada ended up being another chapter in Gibson’s history.

To some extent, Gibson is still going after the mid-priced market with its  recent Montana made walnut studio models, although this time they they mirror their well known models also made in the same Montana plant.  

Hope this helps.


QM aka “Jazzman” Jeff

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when you buy a Gibson in Canada it comes with a CASE that is made in Canada. Does Gibson ship us gits in boxes and then our dealers case them ? Dosnt make sense to ship a case to G and then they ship the git.The cases are just like our generic Yorkville case. Do US Gibson gits come in US made cases ?  just curious

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The only Gibson case that I have is the one that came with my 2008 J-50, It has "Gibson Acoustic" stencilled in gold on the outside. On the leather pull-tab for the inner compartment it says "Made in Canada".

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2 hours ago, jvi said:

when you buy a Gibson in Canada it comes with a CASE that is made in Canada. Does Gibson ship us gits in boxes and then our dealers case them ? Dosnt make sense to ship a case to G and then they ship the git.The cases are just like our generic Yorkville case. Do US Gibson gits come in US made cases ?  just curious


All Gibsons are cased prior to shipping.   Bozeman cases every guitar. As for the cases there made in Canada cases. 

Edited by slimt
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