Gibson heading towards default

Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Dredg, Aug 25, 2017.

  1. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Gibson has tried to do some stuff...

    the earlier set of doublecuts were pretty good and way more affordable then the moderne they just put out.
    but no one bought them :( :( :(
     
  2. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    They tried......or id say dabbled with some different things. Not too much of it stuck though. But that doesnt mean they should stop trying. And theyre not stopping. But maybe they need some guitar shredders working on their team right beside the blues dads.
     
  3. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    duplicate
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  4. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Then why is their company not selling enough guitars to finance their $500+ million in debt? Why are their sub-brands (Valley Arts, Steinberger, Kramer) failing so hard compared to sub brands from the competition (Jackson, Charvel)?

    This is what I don't get. You're like the 5th person to talk to me specifically as if Gibson's business model makes sense and will work.

    If it *WORKED*, they wouldn't be about to default on their DEBTS. They wouldn't *HAVE* debts!

    Gibson in 2017 has a reputation for poor quality control, a weak range in terms of variety, terrible management, bringing in features to their guitars that absolutely nobody cares about (Cryogenic frets, robot tuners), and the remarkable ability to have a CHEAPER sub-brand (Epiphone) that has both a better reputation for quality, and a more diverse model range.

    Neither I, nor many, many other players want to buy into that - And I say that as someone who has mentioned several times in this thread, that I own a Gibson-era Steinberger that I *love* - but it took a 40% discount from MSRP to convince me to take the risk.

    It has nothing to do with living in some sort of metalhead bubble - I am very, very far from being that kind of player, or music fan. It has everything to do with the fact Gibson have been battling these problems.

    And lets be clear - they've been battling these problems for THE MAJORITY OF THIS CENTURY.

    At first, that didn't matter. They had brand equity to spare and the reputation seemed bulletproof, so the QC was annoying, but didn't hurt them.

    But they *never* fixed the issue - nor any other issue in the list. And now their goodwill from the wider guitar player community is running out. People are more informed on quality than ever before. People also research more than ever before, and Gibson don't come up smelling of roses when people do that. Hell, why do you think they bought Harmony Central?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  5. blacai

    blacai SS.org Regular

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    You don't manage to get such a big debt if your business model works...
    They can continue trying to sell unicorns to the old true rock guys, but that will not give them the glory back.
     
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  6. fps

    fps Kit

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    I'm not sure that so many people really research up like we do as guitar geeks. I agree it's important to us, but there are also other factors, such as the sheer variety of exciting young guitar companies, the amount of other music gear to buy now (I could buy a Les Paul, but I could get some great recording gear AND a world class guitar for the price of one), the decline in the number of young guitarists (very important IMO) as other forms of music rise to prominence, and the issues of finance that come with an economic downturn, both as a business and for their consumers. They are in an ever-decreasing circle, it seems. Which is a shame, because their good guitars are magical. I'm very confused by their range and tiers of guitars too.
     
  7. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Those things are factors, but they're not killing other companies right now, and the reason is that Gibson are shrinking faster.

    For every sale lost to a shrinking marketplace, Gibson are losing 2 and Fender are taking the other 1, giving it a nice cup of tea and saying "There there, come here, we'll treat you better than Gibson ever did".

    Also, almost everyone these days does at least SOME googling before they drop several hundred on a guitar.

    10 years ago if you did that for Gibson, you wouldn't find much negative press, but these days there are THOUSANDS of threads slamming their quality control that are easy to find and have piled up over that time.

    Also, while someone may not personally be a gear nerd, guitar players talk to each other, and they try gear all the time at local shops - if your quality is trash, there's no way to keep the secret forever.

    They're finally beginning to see that their "invincible" reputation as a quality product has gone down the pan with a lot of players, and those players don't let other players buy shitty gear and waste their money either. (Which is why every time someone on this forum expresses interest in buying a Gibson, 20 people show up to say "PLAY IT FIRST BECAUSE THE QC IS AWFUL")
     
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  8. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    It could just be that people have mass hysteria comparable to scared stock investors............one guy who has invested in a company hears about a hurricane coming and gets scared and pulls out, a hundred other guys follow suit and pull out.

    Yes it falls on bad reputation but is the reputation justified or has the hate, snobbery and disdain just increased? Now i am not a Gibson fanboy, but i do feel that alot of the negative reviews are magnified. To the people that are specifically looking for bad reviews, then the bad reviews are what they will find while glossing over 10 other reviews of happy customers who had 0 problems. So then you might say, "well then why is Gibson losing money?" Id agree its because of their recent negative reputation but then id say that perhaps that reputation is just magnified.

    Not for nothing but i do notice certain things about this forum. For example threads like.....

    NGD! - Ibanez RG(pick your number)
    Usually two to four pages of celebration, drooling and praise and similar situation-story telling of having this guitar before. (Which is fine)

    Thread entitled - Lets talk about the Ibanez RG121.
    28 pages long

    Then we have.

    NGD - Gibson Les Paul
    Maybe 3 or 4 posts just saying "congrats"

    NGD - Gibson "QC fail never again"!
    4 or 5 pages of straight bashing

    I see threads about a Gibson with poor QC and the response is, return it and get an Ibanez. I see a thread about an Ibanez with QC issues and the response is, return it and get another Ibanez. So its no surprise this forum is very Ibanez/MIJ biased. And i do understand you can get great guitars at a more affordable price. And i understand that. Out of my 7 guitars i own, only one of them is made in USA. (2000 Gibson LP special. My baby. I have many indonesian/korean guitars and theyre all great.)

    "But its not just this forum recognizing Gibsons problems". No its not. I never said it was. However, is it just magnified because Gibson doesnt make the most shred freindly guitars and people are sour about that; so when theres a QC problem the haters attack like coyotes? Or is it really that bad? Because fwiw, having tried many newer Gibsons at stores recently, most of them were honestly great. Maybe i just got lucky idk.

    Just remember, all it takes is one bad review to set a chain reaction and trigger a wave of "pulling out". (Remember that comparison involving the stock investors?)

    Remember that one thread about Kiesel that was 50 pages long and still going all because one guy had a problem? (Yes i realize it was more of a customer service problem, but negativity in any way spreads like wildfire) sometimes its justified and rightfully so, sometimes its just straight hate/bias
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
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  9. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    I don't think it's unjust. Maybe there are more of them, but then, Gibson sell more guitars than Kiesel or others do.

    With Kiesel, people bring up specific examples of problems over and over again. It's the same with Schecter, and the same with Ibanez. A specific problem gets identified and brought up repeatedly.

    With Gibson, what is the specific problem? It's not that the frets aren't being crowned (Schecter) or that the wrong type of hipshot bridge is being used (Kiesel) etc. It's just that they keep getting the building of their own designs wrong.

    When they released those "replica but not replica" 1984 Explorers, I saw one guy on a different forum get 3 of them. The first had the side dots 2mm off the entire way up the neck. The second had lifting frets and the third had a disconnected bridge pickup - he kept the third and just fixed it himself, but that's unacceptable.

    Recently someone here had a thread about the Lizzy Hale guitar and the various fuckups on that too.

    I've seen dozens of threads over time and it's never one consistent, design or procedure fault. It is just that Gibson continue to build shitty guitars and continues to try and sell them to customers instead of doing the proper checks at the factory.
     
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  10. Science_Penguin

    Science_Penguin SS.org Regular

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    Even in terms of "biased" comments, I think there's something to all this.

    From my understanding, the people who simply show up bash Gibson (while, granted, a few might just be experiencing fanboyism for another brand) have heard enough horror stories from people with real experience that they've been talked out of buying from Gibson. Now they're simply spreading the word.

    Its reached the point where people don't even need to own a Gibson to come into a thread and say "Yeah, Gibson's QC is notoriously bad, don't even bother," and be justified in saying that.

    "Notorious" is the key term here. How did they get that notoriety if not by having numerous fuckups?

    Is it magnified by the fact that this forum isn't exactly heavy on the Gibson fanboys willing to stick up for the brand? Perhaps. But that doesn't take away from the fact that its a provably consistent problem. One which I don't see, for example, with Fender, another brand which isn't exactly a primary choice around here.
     
  11. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    For that matter, I have seen Fenders with truly dumb problems from factory, also.

    Just nowhere NEAR as many.

    And even when there aren't explicit "problems", most Gibsons play relatively poorly for their cost. Most Fenders don't.
     
  12. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

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    I must be lucky. Out of the 9 or so Gibsons we have in the house, only one is what I'd consider an (aesthetically) unacceptable guitar.

    My LP is my favorite 6 string, and my explorer plays great. The one guitar that is unacceptable is an SG with the worst inlays imaginable. Even then, though, the guitar feels and sounds great. They're all also bought sight unseen, so we didn't have to dig through tons to find a few that are great.

    I wholly believe that they hit a rough patch, lost people's faith, then tried charging outlandish prices for guitars people just had no interest in. I genuinely like Gibson guitars, but I wouldn't consider myself a fanboy. They've done plenty of questionable things. I just think they get a weird bad rap. Partially justified, but over done.
     
  13. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    Oh well everyone can hate but I'm buying one of these...

    [​IMG]

    ... Maybe I'll wait until they have more solvency issues and the price drops! :)
     
  14. blacai

    blacai SS.org Regular

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    I am sorry to say... I think they will raise the prices even higher if they have more severe solvency issues. That's how Juszkiewicz's mind works and the reason they are how they are :)
     
  15. caspian

    caspian wanderer

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    I feel like I got pretty lucky with the two les pauls I had. First one.. bought completely blind in 2005. Amazing guitar- I'm not sure if I got a particularly nice bit of wood but it was ridiculously heavy, far heavier than any other guitar I've played, and it was a complete force of nature. Barely controllable, but ridiculous bass response, I mean this in a good way. Anything but a bad dad rock guitar.

    Anyway, that one got stolen but I bought another one in '08, not blind but basically bought the first one I came across. It's had a tiny bit of fret work done since then, that's it. The best sounding guitar I own, the easiest to play that I own, stays in tune well, good electronics, nice neck and ridiculously versatile, everything from thrash metal to shoegaze to bad dad rock cover band no problem. So to an extent I'm definitely willing to stand up for the guitars gibson make.

    But I'm not willing to stand up for the way they treat their employees, for their horrible approach to IP/intimidation via lawsuits, and the way they've approached their business the last few years has been laughable, just completely tone deaf.

    I think things will get better when the baby boomer generation dies out, just like everything else really!
     
  16. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    I guess it also depends on where you buy them. I bought my three new Gibsons at Thomann and had zero issues with them (a LP tribute, a Bill Kelliher and a 2016 limited flying V natural) so either I'm lucky, Thomann does a check on the guitars (Doubtful for at least the Tributes, they likely sell hundreds per year) or the issue isn't affecting that many individual guitars compared to the mass sold.
     
  17. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I just want to see a LP in the $1500-1800 range with an ebony board and a modern deeper cutaway for upper fret access with their newer neck heel.

    Instead Epiphone offers the Matt Heafy model as the closest I'm getting unless I drop $3.2k for a burst I don't want with an ugly rosewood fretboard and their STUPID "robot tuners".

    I may still get the heafy one day. But Gibson is missing the chance to get more out of me. And the time I've spent playing other guitars has me now leaning towards a PRE single cut. They are GORGEOUS and feel great to play.

    Just like them NEVER releasing a flat black/white explorer with direct mount pickups and EMG's during the late 90's-mid 2000's, when fucking everyone wanted a "Hetfield" explorer.

    They have been riding thier reputation forever with the "I just buy stuff I've seen before" older crowd. And have refused to do more than the occasional token "goth" run from like 13 years ago now.
     
  18. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Les Paul Gold Top smashed and thrown in the dumpster because of "an inventory issue."

    How wasteful.

    If Gibson folds, which it won't, but if it did, then the price of all of the nicer Gibsons out there are going to probably triple, or maybe even quadruple, for a little while, but then, people will just realize that the 1959 Gibsons might be worth their weight in gold, but the 2017 Gibsons are not fetching the prices people are demanding, and the whole thing is just going to fizzle out.
     
  19. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    Depends, I'm pretty sure if I hold up to my Kelliher it could be worth a pretty penny later on. Or maybe even now, come to think of it.
    But even if they do default, someone will buy the brand.
     
  20. GuitarBizarre

    GuitarBizarre Listen to physics.

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    Andromalia - That's massively optimistic.

    The used market doesn't really care how good a guitar is in the long run. There are plenty of great old washburns out there, G2J, Zion guitars, etc and they're all well below what they cost new. Hell, for how many years now have RG550s been both sought after, and dirt-cheap compared to a modern Ibanez equivalent? Sure they're going up, but not as fast as the RRP on a bought-new equivalent guitar.

    Are there some brands that fetch more? Yes. The high quality, ahead-of-their-time, experimental ones that failed on the marketplace and nobody bothered to step up and offer the same features again in another range.

    But no matter how fancy the Les Paul, the fact is that a modern-era Gibson is going to do exactly what Bostjan said on the used market in the unlikely event of Gibson folding up without a buyout. There is no unique market cache that wouldn't be immediately eaten up by 5 other companies making their own Les Pauls with lower prices and better quality. Everyone knows ESP would immediately make the Eclipse a proper LP copy again if they could, and so many other companies would jump into the market to do the same thing if the legal barriers were removed.
     

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