It seems Gibson is ready to erase bad memories with their newest employee

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Tele-Afflicted

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    My local store that used to be a Gibson dealer stopped about two years ago due to Gibsons well known habit of forcing stuff down their dealers throats. Well my store is about to restart Gibson again. Hopefully this is a good sign
     
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  2. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not sure about the "talent" part in terms of carved tops and I've heard the recent rumors (that they stopped building them?) too.


    But, I do know there's a local fella who worked there up through the 90's who posts on the LPF. He said the carved tops were his favorite guitars to build at Gibson because they had no daily quota or time requirement on the builder: angles, tap tones, etc, all had to be "perfect" regardless.


    But, yeah, Gibson is way to ****ing profit minded & big at this point to where when they do build the beautiful boxes the prices are through the roof. There's a guy who used to build/work for Gibson named Jim Triggs, if you want a Gibby style archtop he can do it at home as a one man operation for less than half the price. Great builder, his New Yorker styles are great too. There's also all those other brands/builders but most with a few exceptions are in the Benedetto school.


    But, Gibson always just built what sold that year & changed what didn't sell overnight and as time went on real "Custom" prices just got higher and higher and higher.
     
  3. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

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    Yea I've had this one for about 10yrs... found it in a pawnshop in high school and beat them down to $80... couldn't pass it up.

    And yea it's in excellent condition, not a chip anywhere, and the neck is so good it's worth its weight in gold (to me)
     
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  4. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Remaining L-5s.

    https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/L5CESNat--gibson-custom-l-5-ces-natural

    I don't think this could be construed as me peddling for sweetwater as the chance of someone buying one of these mail order like this has to be pretty low!

    as far as the price, $12K....when the 59s from the custom shop were in the showroom at nashville, I went there to look at the mandolins, banjos and the 59 and I really expected to be wowed. The 59 repros at that time were 9K, and I just didn't see where they hid the valuable part.

    In current dollars, that's more than this L-5. Not saying I'd buy the L5, but can understand why they're priced that way.

    The guy who got me into building guitars built professionally for a while (George Wilson), I guess a while is a way to say it. Maybe 50 years? In the mid 90s, his archtops started at 5k. I don't know if he'd have made a guitar like the L5 for 12k (which isn't much above his sort of base price). I asked him about duplicarving and he said he had part of one (I don't know if he'd planned to locate parts or rebuild it, but he was also a toolmaker and machine restorer) but always carved each one individually and never machine carved them.
     
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    In other words, you don't have solid evidence. Claims made in interviews aren't evidence.

    Neither do I, because both are privately held. I've extrapolated Gibson's stringed instrument sales from Chapter 11 proceedings and compared that to Fender's sales reported by retail dealers.

    In any case, claiming to be the largest guitar company doesn't make it so. Fender certainly isn't the largest manufacturer of guitars, since much of its line is farmed out to Asian manufacturers, and some of those companies are quite large.
     
  6. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    I don't have solid evidence of what? You stated that Gibson's sales were larger than Fenders without producing anything to back up that claim. Gibson's guitar sales were 122 million. Fenders total sales for 2017 were 585 million. If their guitars sales are less than 122 million then what does Fender sell?

    Furthermore if Fender isn't the largest guitar company (by sales of guitars) then who is? The next major guitar company by sales is Martin with total sales of 110 million for 2017.
     
  7. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Its hard to believe Fender and Martin [and Gibson guitars] are such small companies, when those brands have been ubiquitous for decades. They are as common to me as Pepsi, McDs, Converse, Ford, Shell, Levi's - 110 Million? I bet they've turned down offers 10 times that.
     
  8. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, I've played many of Jim's guitars when he was with Gibson as well as his own models. I'd agree with you the production methods and Gibson's profit motive really puts making carved archtops out of their business model. It's much more affordable to hire someone like Triggs to build a guitar for you.
     
  9. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    Yes the mark up on new Gibsons are so high that in some instances you could buy a vintage one at the same price. Prices on vintage archtops are way down from the recent past.
     
  10. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The safest bet in the universe (so much so, that it’s not even a bet - it’s a guaranteed eventuality) is that vintage arch tops will fall through the floor in value - especially non-electric models.
     
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  11. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Ditto that, and one man's $8k guitar is another man's $2k guitar, so shop around if you like that kind of thing (and do some research about archtops and parallel bracing vs. X, etc).

    There's opportunity in some of them for someone who is willing to avoid the high price houses.

    And really really good guitars coming from china now from a couple of small makers - other than eastman. Eastman probably killed (most of) the one-man shops in the US and Gibson's customer base. 910Ce is about $3k new, with spectacular wood and a little less bulk.

    The fellow I hassle for tips on building sold guitars around Gibson's price level (better guitars than gibsons with more latitude in what you want - or I should say, less risk of getting one that's not perfect from him - i'm sure the good gibsons are about as good as anything you can find) in the 1970s through early 2000s, but I doubt you could do it now.

    It's easy to say when you're buying a guitar that you want custom or you want something high end, but eventually when you get tired of it....woe be to the person trying to sell a $12,000 vintage acoustic arch top in 10 years, or a new Super 400 when everyone shopping wants an old one that's loosey goosey sounding.

    I vaguely recall Triggs' nice archtops being somewhere in the Gibson ballpark, too. I wonder what this guitar cost in 2004.

    https://reverb.com/item/15324386-04...ade-american-beauty-that-s-as-good-as-it-gets

    Gorgeous nicely sculpted guitar. Been listed for 6 months at a fraction of its original cost. If I didn't have a wife and kids (Wife is getting tired of my buying antics, even though it's no fiscal threat to us and we don't have debt), I'd probably start bugging that guy to see what he'd take for that guitar. In my single days, I'd have just bought it at that price.
     
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  12. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    File this under "What ON EARTH were they THINKiNG?!"
     
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  13. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    $585MM is a lot of revenue. I'd bet that their influence in the old days was more seen and less bought, same with martin. they'd have made a lot of guitars, but for a small segment of the population.

    I looked at a 60s price list from fender a few months ago and converted the prices to current dollars, and IIRC, the stratocaster was about $2,300 in current dollars, and people had less disposable income back then. That was in response to some complaints about $1400 am. professional stratocasters (which are made to a tighter standard than they would've been in the 1960s).

    The impressive thing for fender and gibson is that they can survive as long as they have through changing music tastes, and people who have never played guitar or considered it will often recognize their brand.

    How many people on here know the timken bearings story? More people have probably used them than fender guitars. I don't know their whole story, just bringing up the power of branding and being seen.
     
  14. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    And add to it, they paid someone else to develop it and had struggles with that.

    It's all part of henry's antiquated thought that everyone now just wants to buy a guitar and jam. That's something boys dreamed of in the 1960s, and a few girls, but mostly boys.

    If you ask people of my generation, they'll say they'd rather play guitar hero. Just heard the same discussion yesterday in a meeting "we should have an office party where we play guitar hero!"

    I've never played it. We're probably all a little shallower now than people were when henry was a kid, in terms of level of interest - there's too much fighting for our attention. The builder I reference told me that when he was teaching math in north carolina and making banjos and guitars on the side, he ran into a kid who was in his teens who couldn't afford a metal amp chassis, so the kid made his own guitar and amp from scratch, and used plywood for the chassis of the amp. He couldn't afford pickups with permanent magnets, so he made pickups that had to be magnetized each time he played, but his guitar worked. Can you imagine someone doing that now at age 14 or 15 (this kid wasn't autistic or anything, so there's no trick where he would've had laser focus due to a disorder), he just had time, a desire, no distractions and no money.
     
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  15. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

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    I agree! The current price on that guitar is what it would have gone for new.

    This was my experience almost 2 years ago; I picked this guitar up in a trade with a dealer. The dealer's asking price was half of what the prior dealer/owner was asking for the guitar when he owned it for 15 years. The dealer I bought it from took it on trade from the other dealer so the first dealer could get inventory that he could actually sell. I traded inmy 2002 L5 ces w/staples and three newer L.P. that I had bought at cheap prices. So if I was to monetize my actual out of pocket cost it was even cheaper than if I had paid cash out right for the Super 400. So when its all said and done, I got this guitar cheaper than if I had ordered one new from Gibson which would have also taken a couple of years for them fulfill the order and the results may not have been what I was hoping for.

    photo 1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 8:32 AM
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  16. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    And it looks like a gorgeous guitar with mojo! and personality.

    Love those original pickups with the rectangular pole pieces.

    Buying a brand new custom order guitar and then being stuck with it whether it's good or not is a big risk.

    Less so if you order a $1,500 archtop directly from one of the fine chinese makers. If it's not that great, someone will probably buy it for close to that.

    I have bought maybe 100 guitars, banjos, and a dobro (and a couple of bass guitars) in my hobby time over the last three decades, and only made four custom orders. Two of them turned out great, two turned out to be mediocre, but I was stuck with them. The price for the two mediocre ones in today's dollars is probably $10,000-$12,000. When I sold them, I netted well less than half of that. It was a bitter pill.

    The drastic difference between the two 910s that I have is a good illustration of playing around for deal and mojo. It's not that they're two completely different guitars, it's just that they're the same guitars and one sounds much brighter and louder and has more range. Same model, same year, only difference is the finish. If I'd have bought the first one new, I'd have sung the praises of it. If i'd have bought the second one new, I'd have said "pretty decent guitar, worth the price, sounds a lot like some of the less pretty models that are cheaper, though".
     
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  17. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    I like Mark and have done business with him in the past.

    That being said, Firebird X was an incredible guitar if it was what you needed. The internet bad press did it in but I was a product tester for it and it did a lot of things and solved a lot of issues I had with other guitars.

    It's too bad that project was killed because it could have really turned into something amazing.
     
  18. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Typecast comment above. Gibson could make a great guitar that didn't look like a les paul, and at best, it would be their scion xb. A few sales initially and then everyone would've had enough.

    I've played a couple of firebirds, and love the nighthawk - I think both are as good as a les paul (and the nighthawk better, and could be offered in two scales). I guess nobody buys them, and they can't get the price premium that they can on les pauls . maybe if they start making more imports under the gibson label, they can take the process overseas and steal the nighthawk pattern back from the ephiphone label and make it profitable and worthwhile.

    What they've chosen otherwise is an interesting dynamic. They had a couple of the inexpensive US made guitars floating around for $500 street, and the reviewers bashed them pretty much because they didn't have burstbuckers in them and the paint didn't look as good as it looks on a custom fender. I don't envy them. I'm one of the few buyers who prefers most of their other guitars over les pauls, and when I'm on a binge, get a little nutty about how few of the other ones there can be at a reasonable price used at a given time. then you buy one, and one comes up for fixed price 2/3rds of what you paid 2 weeks later.

    (I see that I got a faded SG today, and I'm kind of excited to get home and dig it out and see what I've got. If it's not quite what i want, it's cheap enough that i'll make it what I want. Faded LP coming tomorrow, too).
     
  19. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    How so? The Firebird X excelled at what something that many guitars don't.

    For me, I used it on various recordings where I went direct to software simulators. Although it was bundled with Guitar Rig (and I did use it with Guitar Rig) it sounded much better than any other guitar I have ever run direct with.

    The pickups were designed mainly for this purpose and given that the Firebird X had tons of pickup configurations and modes it really was/is a fantastic guitar for someone who is going to lower budget sessions in various locations (as a lot of us do).

    I was really disappointed when it was discontinued. I was hoping they would make the same guitar as a LP shape or something, as it would have been incredibly valuable to me. The shape, however, was very comfortable.

    I would be interested to know how many people actually played one and got the chance to use it as it was designed to be used. True, it's a small segment of the guitar buying public but IMHO had it been marketed a little differently a lot of people would have gotten hip to them.

    Like anything else YMMV.
     
  20. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That Super 400 with the alnico 5 staples is fanfreakingtastic .

    Acoustic arch tops of any grade ?

    They’re just like the gypsy jazz guitars of any grade .

    $37,000 D’Aquisto/30’s Selmer or $1,500 ES-150/DuPont bargain.

    They can sound like crap if you don’t know how to play...

    *Plink*!
     
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