Thoughts on Fender and Gibson to the new generation of players.

loopfinding

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Posts
5,026
Location
europe endless
the indie rock example is a funny one to pick too. maybe people who are playing festivals now are just used to fender from when they were totally broke. but that general orbit is like peak bum musician territory.

while MIM fenders were the norm, i remember seeing a ton of hip bands in high school/college with vintage guild s-100s. they were dirt cheap, you could get one for like half the price of a new SG standard.

in the 80s and early 90s it was offsets cause they were dirt cheap. today you are seeing a lot of people with teiscos and other japanese made department store guitars. same thing. in however many years if you can get a bunch of "old" gibson models for nothing, you will see plenty of gibsons in that realm.
 
Last edited:

rawgerpaper

TDPRI Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Posts
33
Location
Irving, Texas
But in reality minus the marketing stuff, popularity, and branding of Fender, G&L is the most innovative and Suhr brings the highest quality guitars I think. How I wish my generation knows this.
 

ChicknPickn

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Posts
3,013
Location
Ole Virginny
Many have said it here already. Nonetheless, I throw my two cents on top. It's largely about money. The Big G is pricey. I'm retired and can have what I want, but, still, I am frugal. If it's what I want, I'll pay. What saves me from myself is that when I pick up a Gibson, the scale of the neck and the sound of the 'buckers aren't right for me. It's not hard to leave the store without a Gibson in hand. I am a disciple of Leo's, and committed to the Tele.
 

DavidP

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Posts
3,638
Location
Vancouver BC, Canada
... as others have noted, Fender and Gibson are hardly the only players in town. Reverend and Godin immediately come to mind as viable alternatives if looking for quality as well as innovation.
 

Telecaster582

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Posts
1,268
Age
13
Location
Muskegon MI
I can't afford Gibson, and I personally like single coils. As for color I like the vintage bursts and style, and all my guitars (that work) are built in mind of a vintage guitar. If I ever want a Les Paul though, it would be an Epiphone because they are pretty good value for money in my opinion.
 

Linderflomann

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 13, 2021
Posts
221
Age
52
Location
Europe
the indie rock example is a funny one to pick too. maybe people who are playing festivals now are just used to fender from when they were totally broke. but that general orbit is like peak bum musician territory.
Might be some part of it, but it's definitely marketing as well. Fender is doing a great job targeting young musicians. I see plenty of young artists featured by Fender regularly.. Gibson not so much. And I doubt these young indie artists would say no to Gibson if they approached them, but they just don't seem to have their finger on the pulse.
 

ReverendRevolver

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Posts
3,092
Location
Ohio (Nerk)
A lot of generalizations in that first post... I'm 21 and have zero desire for an offset or a tele and am more or less indifferent to strats. My main is a 2018 Gibson SG Standard, completely unmodded. I didn't pay for it myself, a bunch of family members chipped in and got it for me as a collective gift for graduating high school and for getting serious about music. I wanted to sound like Tony Iommi, Matt Pike, Bongzilla, not play the music that you claim the collective 'we' of younger people play.

I agree that Fender does market better and present options at price points that Gibson doesn't, but Gibson will never die because there are plenty of snobs like me that are willing to save up to continue purchasing their product. It's about the vibe, the look, the history, the sound. I could never get the same fulfillment out of another guitar. There's nothing out there like standing in front of a cranked tube head with an SG or a Les Paul.

Maybe it's different because I'm off in the extreme metal world (and that opens a whole new can of worms in this discussion). But keep me out of that collective 'we' next time. I want to see some more Gibsons and Gibson-style guitars out here.
Knowing what you want to sound like before age 40 probably sets you apart from much of the rat race, but always remember generalizations about specific generations only work in the abstract and you should not take them to heart. I'm a "vintage millennial" and own my own house, know nothing about any social media newer than Facebook (and haven't used that in 8ish years) have never ridden in an Uber, and could care less about blaming the generation(s) before me for my problems.

But yes, Gibsons business model isn't designed to move guitars like Fender does. Not better or worse (robo guitars aside) but different. But there's a market for sure.
 

Old Verle Miller

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 7, 2022
Posts
347
Location
Texas
Great gear is nice, and every player aspires to having nice guitars and such, but..
Time spent fussing about gear takes away from practice and study time.

Conversely, great players can sound quite good on even modest or mediocre gear.
As long as the instrument can stay in tune and can be heard, the music and the player are still the most important components.
 

Si G X

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Posts
2,875
Location
England
Might be some part of it, but it's definitely marketing as well. Fender is doing a great job targeting young musicians. I see plenty of young artists featured by Fender regularly.. Gibson not so much. And I doubt these young indie artists would say no to Gibson if they approached them, but they just don't seem to have their finger on the pulse.

I agree, I think it's mostly marketing.

a Les Paul Studio is around the same money as a USA performer Fender. .. and of course there's Epiphone.

Gibson have a image problem. Most people (including me) still associate the SG with Angus Young or Tony Iommi, a Les Paul with Slash or 70's Rock bands.

Les Paul's are heavy, SG's have horrible neck dive. Limited choice of pickups (humbers or 90s) ... you can get a tele or strat with almost any kind of pickup you can image... and if you can't it's usually as easy as pickguard swap.

99% of Gibsons are hardtails... it's a pretty limited choice when you look at it. .. look at the guitar world outside of Gibson, innovation and choice. .... and good basses. ;)
 

Linderflomann

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 13, 2021
Posts
221
Age
52
Location
Europe
I agree, I think it's mostly marketing.

Gibson have a image problem. Most people (including me) still associate the SG with Angus Young or Tony Iommi, a Les Paul with Slash or 70's Rock bands.
Yes, I think it's mostly this, rather than the technicalities of what people may like or dislike about specific Gibson models. It just doesn't seem all that hard to me, just get some Gibsons into the hands of the right players. But it seems like no one at Gibson has any concept of recorded music after the year 2000 or something. Maybe that's fine for now and they're selling plenty to a market segment that's not really visible to me. But I can't imagine it working long term.
 

bottlenecker

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Dec 6, 2015
Posts
5,985
Location
Wisconsin


This makes sense to my generation, teenagers to young adults, everybody wants a strat or tele or an offset. Every kid and friend that I hear, wants a strat or a tele. For humbuckers, we would prefer an HH Tele or a D'Angelico or an Ibanez semi-hollow or a PRS SE or a Les Paul copy. Starting musicians won't even prefer buying a Gibson coz of its price tbh and the genre of R&B, rap, indie, and pop that our generation plays these days. (A few young jazz musicians play Gibson 335s but mostly they have Ibanez Artstars or D'Angelico). I felt as well that the designs of Les Pauls and 335s and SGs, the color finishes are too vintage (burst, yellow, cherry, red) that most kids won't even consider that even I would not consider buying any of these colors. I don't know why Gibson/Epi doesn't ever release or release limited solid-color versions of their guitars. How I wish they would make another blue 335s.

On the other hand, Leo Fender really did a good job in making the most versatile and durable guitar, teles, and strats (I think the tele is the most versatile but strats do something as well that are versatile haha). The humility on the Fender Corp was commendable to receive feedback from the new generation of players like "we want a lighter guitar", "we want more color", and "we want pickups that sound more on this genre". I felt like for e.g. the Ultras were designed as a response to feedback of session and professional guitar players coz I heard for e.g. Rob Gueringer and Cory Wong wanting light guitars, (Rob hates heavier guitars, and I never saw him with Gibsons in interviews) (Cory mentioned that he wanted a lighter strat, and his signature strat has an Ultra body and neck with Cory Wong's pickups made by SD. The new generation of players such as Melanie Faye, Rob Gueringer, Cory Wong plays either a Strat, Tele, or D'Angelico.


Here is a compilation of session guitarists of my generation that I look up to. Mostly Strat, Teles, or offset or a non-Gibson semi-hollow.

This made me ponder about still buying either a Gibson 335 or a Les Paul coz these guitars would be a rarity that I feel like Gibson would be gone someday. But still, I don't know why Gibson don't ever do something about this, I hope they would improve their guitars and price points. Personally, I would buy a Gibson but have a paint job, and change its pickups. This puts me in a struggle to buy an Ibanez or D'Angelico semi-hollows instead of doing those modifications.


Most of this makes sense. I get why gen z wouldn't dig gibson, especially the gibson company of today, but why do they like d'angelico? Lots of random companies make what they make, so why does dragging a dead guy's name through the mud make them worth mentioning?

But, respect for not liking gibson. They've done what they could to only sell to rich old guys, so there's no reason anyone young and cool should like them.
 

Si G X

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Posts
2,875
Location
England
Yes, I think it's mostly this, rather than the technicalities of what people may like or dislike about specific Gibson models. It just doesn't seem all that hard to me, just get some Gibsons into the hands of the right players. But it seems like no one at Gibson has any concept of recorded music after the year 2000 or something. Maybe that's fine for now and they're selling plenty to a market segment that's not really visible to me. But I can't imagine it working long term.

No it won't work long term, but it will work for now... as long as they are selling 4-6 grand CS shop relics, I doubt they really care.. and Mesa amps now. I think at some point in the future they will have to stop releying on the 'legacy vintage' stuff, but I think that's 20 years away.
 

Dave W

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 15, 2003
Posts
5,108
Age
75
Location
Minnesota
I remember discussions like this online 20 years ago, and the people making these claims were just as wrong.

Gibson sells everything it produces to its dealers, and could sell more if they wanted to expand.

Compare Gibson's lines and prices with the US-made guitars of any of the other manufacturers and you'll see that Gibsons are no more expensive.

I remember the same things being said about Rickenbacker. There was always someone jumping into discussions at the Rick Resoure Forum, predicting doom. Ricks were only bought by old timers who would die out. So the company doubled its capacity and all these years later they still sell everything they make.

Bottom line: don't fall for clickbait.
 

Linderflomann

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 13, 2021
Posts
221
Age
52
Location
Europe
I remember the same things being said about Rickenbacker. There was always someone jumping into discussions at the Rick Resoure Forum, predicting doom. Ricks were only bought by old timers who would die out. So the company doubled its capacity and all these years later they still sell everything they make.
I don't think Gibson is going to fail or anything. I just think that they could have a much larger share of the market with just some fairly obvious marketing tweaks, and it's kind of puzzling to me why they don't try.
 




Top