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Gibson selling it's Memphis TN factory and re-locating? Could this be the beginning of the end?

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  • Gibson selling it's Memphis TN factory and re-locating? Could this be the beginning of the end?

    http://www.musicradar.com/news/gibso...emphis-factory

    The title says it all. With them owing so much money.....makes you wonder if they will still be around much longer?

  • #2
    Aside from them owning Harmony Central this is bad because we are a decade from the crash. There really is no excuse for having that level of debt at this point.
    Add to which that unless Trump replaces Obama appointee Yellen she will, (and indeed has already), be jacking up rates to kill his market boom of 25% plus. Even a couple of points increase will impact heavily on a debt of that scale as lenders consider factoring further rate rises into refinancing..
    I can see several options like a nominal $1 sale of the company to any entrepreneur willing to take on the debt. Or going chapter 11. The Gibson Brand is an asset independent of profitability though it would be nice not to see the Chinese buy it like IBM or whatever.
    Downsizing is a sensible survival strategy in a guitar market that may have passed it's best years. But servicing a debt that size never mind the capital will not be easy.
    Or maybe the guitar fairy will wave her magic wand over the factory tonight but that is an optimistic view and probably unrealistic
    .

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    • #3
      Yeah it is sad.....they rode a wave of years of guitar building, but that wave my crash when the 520 million debt comes due and they do not have the funds to pay it.

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      • #4
        They have very large debts indeed, but business restructures really are common place.

        One always must be looking at maximizing their productivity and minimising their foot print, or making their foot print the most efficient it can be.

        It least, once it's closed, you can see 2nd hand prices rising for any guitar produced in Memphis, the "best" gibson factory EVER. Just like Kalamazoo was the best plant ever before that..... until the next.....

        I'm not saying it isn't sad, a lot of employees will be out of a very specialised job and will find it tough going, but this isn't unusual.
        Last edited by Les Paul Lover; 10-20-2017, 04:28 PM.
        Ant the Les Paul Lover!

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        • #5
          I don't know about Gibson's finances. I do know I've bought 3 new Gibsons this year. The prices are crazy low.

          If anyone is wants a Memphis Gibson - Chicago Music Exchange is blowing out Gibson ES Les Paul Specials for $900.

          I almost bought one of those too. Listing for $995. They're going for $900.
          I bought an SG for a son instead.
          Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 10-21-2017, 03:55 PM.
          He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France

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          • AlamoJoe
            AlamoJoe commented
            Editing a comment
            Adopt me please!

        • #6


          Presumably it’s hoped that the sale will go some way to paying off Gibson’s debt, which reportedly approached $520 million in August.
          _____________________________________
          Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

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          • #7
            I'm sorry, but I had to do this

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            • Grant Harding
              Grant Harding commented
              Editing a comment
              That's like the definition of a guitar poser.

          • #8
            I have a few Gibsons from that Memphis plant and they are very very nice.

            _____________________________________
            Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

            Join Date: Aug 2001
            Location: N. Adams, MA USA
            Posts as of Jan 10th 2013: 82,617

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            • #9
              I see the guitar as a past peak instrument. Oh there are still plenty of guitar lovers, but it isn't the "Must Have" instrument for the Top40 loving audience and therefore their musicians.

              The same thing happened to the saxophone which was the king of rock solo instruments in the 50s and early 60s.

              Parker seems to be out of business or hanging on by a thread. Carvin sold everything and is closing down. I suspect a few more will fall before this is all over.

              But I don't think the guitar is going away for good, any more than the sax did. It will stay in Nashville music, blues music, and other genres, but the synth and loop/sample playback seem to be the top40 instruments of the day.

              I hope Gibson pulls through, they are a fine old company.

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              • #10
                Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post
                . Carvin sold everything and is closing down.
                Carvin Audio shut down. Carvin Guitars changed their name to Kiesel Guitars years ago and are selling very well.

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                • Notes_Norton
                  Notes_Norton commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Then why did they change their name and give up their reputation if a sale wasn't part of the deal?

                  It seems that decades of the good reputation of Carvin would be an asset you wouldn't want to give up.

                  This is mere curiosity on my part.

                • Phil O'Keefe
                  Phil O'Keefe commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Apparently a family dispute between the surviving sons of the founder caused a split between Carvin Audio and Carvin (now Kiesel) Guitars... Carvin Audio is now gone, but the guitar company is still in business. Kiesel is the family name - the founder came up with the name Carvin by combining parts of the names of his two sons.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carvin_Corporation

              • #11
                The market is just saturated with guitars and makers of same.....But I would HATE to see Gibson fail....They have such a long and storied history and reputation...And have built, and are still building some of the most iconic guitars ever built.....Even the Norlin years produced some very fine instruments....I'm not saying we need a fund drive or benefit concerts for them...Or a government bailout...But man...I'd really hate to see them fail.
                .
                http://thebasement.createaforum.com/

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                • #12
                  Unfortunately a lot of their problem is of their own doing. They have a man running the company that doesn't know what his doing.

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                  • #13
                    Originally posted by AlamoJoe View Post
                    The market is just saturated with guitars and makers of same.....But I would HATE to see Gibson fail....They have such a long and storied history and reputation...And have built, and are still building some of the most iconic guitars ever built.....Even the Norlin years produced some very fine instruments....I'm not saying we need a fund drive or benefit concerts for them...Or a government bailout...But man...I'd really hate to see them fail.
                    .

                    They are selling a lot of guitars now. I know that much. I bought 3 this year. 2 for me and 1 for a son.

                    Of course, the guitars they're selling in big numbers are deeply discounted.
                    Even so - lots of folks are buying Gibsons this year.

                    It might be a smart move. It might not. IDK.

                    With a shrinking electric guitar market - competing in the lower price range
                    might make sense. Gibson is definitely competing in the lower price range now.

                    There are definitely real blow-out sales going on.
                    And Gibson is definitely selling some quality guitars in the lower price range.
                    Last edited by Etienne Rambert; 10-20-2017, 09:40 PM.
                    He has escaped! Youtube , ​Murika , France

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                    • #14
                      Originally posted by Etienne Rambert View Post


                      They are selling a lot of guitars now. I know that much. I bought 3 this year. 2 for me and 1 for a son.

                      Of course, the guitars they're selling in big numbers are deeply discounted.
                      Even so - lots of folks are buying Gibsons this year.

                      It might be a smart move. It might not. IDK.

                      With a shrinking electric guitar market - competing in the lower price range
                      might make sense. Gibson is definitely competing in the lower price range now.

                      There are definitely real blow-out sales going on.
                      And Gibson is definitely selling some quality guitars in the lower price range.


                      How could the guitar market vary that much from say, the grocery market....Sell for less, and sell a lot. Make less on what you sell, but sell enough of it that you are profitable. Keep your quality up, offer fancy stuff for the cork sniffers at a premium, but quality at an affordable price for the rest of us...Stay afloat?
                      http://thebasement.createaforum.com/

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                      • Grant Harding
                        Grant Harding commented
                        Editing a comment
                        It's demand. Guitar sales volumes are tied to the general popularity of guitars and there's an absolute glut of supply now.
                        Food is always in demand and always will be.

                    • #15
                      Gibson produced the ES models in the Nashville plant before they moved that operation over to Memphis. Those instruments were as good as any built in Memphis. If you've ever visited that Memphis location it is H. U. G. E. and the factory takes up very little of the location. They could have three guitar plants in that building. I see it as a smart use of resources.
                      Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

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