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14 Heritage Guitar Workers off the job as company heads in new direction

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  • 14 Heritage Guitar Workers off the job as company heads in new direction

    Just read this on facebook....

    http://wwmt.com/news/local/14-herita...-new-direction

  • #2
    The Gibson curse - rich execs screwing it all up in the pursuit of growth and bonuses. Sad day, that's for sure. Now I'll never buy one of their guitars.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by "Their Press Release
      ...escape goated


      This space left intentionally blank.

      Comment


      • Chordite
        Chordite commented
        Editing a comment
        So bad it's good!

    • #4
      Originally posted by Mr.Grumpy View Post

      Yeah, the editor in me noticed that too... seems that many people in the Internet Era have forgotten the importance of proofreading your press releases before sending them out.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

      Comment


      • #5
        Heritage is the new Gibson.
        "Isn't it a pity, isn't it a shame,
        how we break each other's hearts
        and cause each other pain"

        Comment


        • #6
          They should start making DJ and looping equipment.

          Comment


          • #7
            Originally posted by Grant Harding View Post
            They should start making DJ and looping equipment.
            According to the press release, Heritage's owners purchased CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines and a Plek machine, an automated machine that does fret dressing and set ups (and by all accounts it does a really good job of it). So clearly they're planning on continuing production of Heritage guitars.

            It's odd the building was sold to basically become a tourist attraction, but what's the point of touring the "Gibson factory" if Gibson is no longer there?
            This space left intentionally blank.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Mr.Grumpy View Post
              According to the press release, Heritage's owners purchased CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines and a Plek machine, an automated machine that does fret dressing and set ups (and by all accounts it does a really good job of it). So clearly they're planning on continuing production of Heritage guitars.

              It's odd the building was sold to basically become a tourist attraction, but what's the point of touring the "Gibson factory" if Gibson is no longer there?
              Probably the history / historical aspect. This is the place where the Flying V was designed, this is the place where the ES-335 was created, this is the place that built the most coveted vintage guitars of all time (the '59 Les Paul Standard), etc. etc.

              I got the impression that Heritage isn't moving or relocating - they're still staying in the same historic building, aren't they?

              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • onelife
                onelife commented
                Editing a comment
                John Lennon's Casino (and my 335) we're built there.

            • #9
              Yeah Heritage is staying where they are at. I just do not agree that a CNC or plek machine is bad like the fired employees made it out to be??? It IMPROVES the product....and does NOT take away from it.This whole attitude of CNC machines not being able to co-exsist with hand made is crazy! PRS does this all the time! And they are known for their QC! I just don't get it....BOTH should be able to co-exsist! At PRS you may have a CNC and plek maching doing some work...and then you have guys manually sanding the guitars down also....so I don't see the "rub"...."bub"!

              Comment


              • #10
                I agree about CNC. Anderson guitars use machines to do the incredibly precise shaping and use the best experts to make them into the best guitars.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Heritage has been bragging about using Plek machines for over 15 years.
                  '79 Strat Hardtail
                  Carvin SC90 flametop
                  97 Gibby LP Std. 'burst
                  Heritage 575
                  Peavey TL-6
                  MIJ Blue Flower Tele MIJ Pink Paisley Strat
                  Carvin Bolt-T Swamp Ash
                  Hohner Steinberger
                  73' Rick 4001 Fireglo
                  Larrivee D-09
                  Agile Doubleneck
                  Some handmade Paracho flamenco guitar
                  Seagull S12+.

                  Amps:
                  Legend 30
                  Billm Blues Jr.
                  Mesa Nomad 45
                  Ampeg J12-T
                  Homebrew 1 1/2 watt tube sucker

                  Lotsa modded pedals.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    From what I read they author was doing his best to turn it into a labor vs management dispute.
                    I cant count the number of companies I worked for in the electronic business which sold out, bought out, down sized, upgraded and lost my jobs. I was even hired by one company to shut down their remote branches and lay people off so I know how it happens from both ends.

                    When a company is bought by a larger company they often pay more then its worth and they need to pay the banks back before they can reinvest in that company and make improvements. Unfortunately when those improvements come a company has to decide if the existing people can be trained up to those improvements or do they bring in others who are already fully trained.

                    Most of what is involved in building guitars isn't something you can send a worker off to a school (if they even existed) and get back a worker efficient in all the new building techniques. A company is likely to keep those most proficient and bring in others already fully trained when they bring in the equipment that's going to improve the product.

                    The fact people are laid off is sad. I have to do it on my current job when someone isn't pulling their own weight. Its no fun trying to find good replacements either, and the more technical the job is the tougher and more costly it becomes. From what I saw in that article it looks like they are trying to make those guitars profitable.

                    The fact they destroyed guitars that weren't up to standards should be understood. The people who built them are obviously going to be upset. Its a direct message that says, your work didn't pass inspection and no one likes to be told their work was wasted.

                    You have to see it from the side of the buyers however. You may have some who don't mind having flaws to have something hand built but the Myth has been Perpetuated that Built by hand means Superior Quality. If you were picking out an instrument, wouldn't you pick out the one that was built best with the fewest flaws that could lead to worse problems? I would. I don't think the majority of players care if a guitar is built with a hammer and chisel or built with the aid of power tools. Hell, Muddy Waters invented Electricity after all.

                    I suppose there will always be a certain percentage of people who believe in the hand built is better myth. It can be very good if the time and skill are put into it but that's where the cost becomes the biggest factor. I've built enough guitars to know I'd never get a fair price out of the time and work I invest. When I invest my best the instruments quickly become one of a kind an unaffordable to anyone willing to pay what I invested in it.

                    That's where technology comes in. Its saves time, labor and keeps the instrument affordable. What often winds up missing is companies reassigning people to weed out imperfections. Its not in the nature of a builder to give up on an instrument being built just because it had minor flaws but that's exactly what has to be done. When you automate things machines don't have human minds. They may have programs and a certain amount of sensory skill but people are needed for overseeing those machines and maintaining quality control. There is a much greater chance lemons can slip by either because of the speed or the lack of caring whether they get through.

                    I can see a company letting people go because they are unable to recognize those 300 or so instruments weren't up to quality standards. They wouldn't be much use when automation is added and their jobs involve quality control.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Two sides...

                      Feb. 24, 2018
                      FYI- Re- Dramatic changes at Heritage Guitars
                      As Heritage’s largest worldwide Customer/Dealer I was alarmed upon hearing they’d let go a dozen employees. The rumors are flying. So, I reached out to find out what’s up.

                      I listened to explanations from Jim Duerloo, Archie Leach. They are OK with what has transpired and see no serious problem with continued Guitar building going forward. Jim felt they had way too many people anyway and Archie pointed out that the remaining shop staff is double what it was when he acquired the Company.

                      My observation is from a guy that receives and inspects more Heritages than anyone else, and what I’m witnessing is quite different than what some understandably unhappy former workers are saying. They’re saying that the new guys are lowering QC standards, but this is exactly opposite of what the new folks say and do. Heritage always made a solid and toneful Gibson style instrument BUT the fit, finish & especially the setups would vary from just pretty Okay to awful.

                      These “old Gibson habits” and standards are a long standing and well known Kalamazoo standard. Wolfe Guitars has suffered with this shoddy Gibson style finishing for 3 decades and we learned early on to either return them or deal with it. We became really adept at correcting the many Kalamazoo glitches.

                      When Mr. Leach took over he vowed to do better, and he has repeated this mantra to me so many times. Has he delivered? YES, in a big way. Since he’s taken over we’ve seem BIG improvements in the new “bone” nut, vastly improved setup, vastly improved finish, and hardware fit. Still solid-toneful Gibson style instruments BUT they now look and play WAY better than before. WAY BETTER! Heritage are now delivering the absolutely finest Guitars ever, and no one knows this better than I.

                      So, why release a dozen workers?

                      Archie has partnered with a large worldwide distribution Company- Bandlab, and those guys “insist” the QC MUST be even better! Archie agrees and told me the long time workers have resisted the changes and continued their old ways.

                      This is unfortunate, but I support their herculean effort to make the “best Guitars to ever come from Kalamazoo.” Am I concerned? Just a bit, as I’ve seen the results of their efforts, and I believe they’ll get the job done. I will say this- the last few Guitars we’ve received are truly the finest I’ve ever seen & played from Kalamazoo, so the proof is here in my shop for anyone to see & play.

                      Their intentions are good, so I will give them a chance and I hope you will too.

                      Sincerely,
                      Jay Wolfe, WOLFE GUITARS, Jupiter, Florida-USA
                      Tauntr.com - Adding Insult to Everything!Neck Pocket Cavern Surveyor for the Rhythm in Jump. Dancing Close to You club!"In all fairness, Les Pauls have a switch position labeled "Rhythm", while Strats do not, because they are lead guitars for lead guitarists." -Flatspotter

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                      • #14
                        Thanks It's alway good to hear both sides.

                        Comment


                        • #15
                          Originally posted by jtr654 View Post
                          Thanks It's alway good to hear both sides.
                          Agreed.

                          **********

                          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                          - George Carlin

                          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                          Comment

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