Jump to content

Is Gibson guitars trying to turn themselves into a tech company?


webe123
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I suspect any outlays of cash, like what it would take to setup at NAMM are being frowned upon by the bean counters at Gibson. I think that company has been riding on rep and history for quite sometime now. They are strapped for cash flow, swimming in debt, and the future is bleak for them. Poor decisions and follow through the past many years has caught up with them.

 

Perhaps the idea of sending a less than top drawer presentation to NAMM, given their economic restraints, is looked on as less graceful than not going at all.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
I suspect any outlays of cash, like what it would take to setup at NAMM are being frowned upon by the bean counters at Gibson. I think that company has been riding on rep and history for quite sometime now. They are strapped for cash flow, swimming in debt, and the future is bleak for them. Poor decisions and follow through the past many years has caught up with them.

 

Perhaps the idea of sending a less than top drawer presentation to NAMM, given their economic restraints, is looked on as less graceful than not going at all.

 

Man....the way you talk you would think they are in as bad a financial shape as Guitar Center! I do not know if that is true....but this does not bowl me over with confidence about the future of the company. IF they are in as bad a financial shape as Guitar Center or worse...then they certianly are in trouble. But a guitar company as huge as Gibson not going to NAMM? That speaks volumes.Gibson is a guitar company...NOT a tech company....they may want to BE a tech company...but if wishes would come true....I imagine a lot of things would be different for them.

Edited by webe123
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Gibson manufactures lifestyles. It's a lifestyles company now.

 

--

 

That doesn't surprise me. Gibson, guitar wise, is on the verge of death. They've overpriced themselves out of the running. Sad really, but inevitable.

 

The surprise of the article was Ibanez releasing 50 new models! Who said guitar was dead?

 

I bought 3 Gibson guitars this year.

 

1. Les Paul Faded T. (2017) w/soft-shell: $0 ( retails $700-800)

 

2. Les Paul Special double-cut (2015) P90's = $579 (w/Gibson hard-shell case)

 

3. Gibson SG Special (2015 - for a son) $479

 

None of those guitars are over-priced. They are all nice guitars too.

 

Gibson's lower-priced offerings are great deals.

Edited by Etienne Rambert
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

And have you priced the Standards? the Customs? The HP series? Or perhaps the Super 200 acoustic? Or the Elite series, or the Memphis series? Or maybe you saw the Archtops., that start at $4799, (For plywood mind you.) and go up to an affordable $23,000? Yep, some affordable models there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I haven't read or seen anything that suggests the company is having any major problems and I wouldn't trust the crap you read out there unless its formally issued by the company.

 

Anyone who is good at something or noted as being the best is going to be a target for all the wannabee's who would love to have a top ranking in the US as a US company and with the changes in tax laws this year you're likely to see companies like Gibson make big changes and finally be able to compete with these guitar companies that pay pennies on the dollar to get their instruments built.

 

 

The corporate tax changes have just made the playing field much more level and Gibson has had its hand cuffs taken off. Gibson and the other US guitar manufacturers like Rickenbacker and others should be able to do some major damage to the pirate companies doing them the most harm by being able to build high quality guitars at affordable prices.

 

We will have to wait and see if Gibson is smart and put that money into its instruments however. If they take the money they save and blow it on self indulgent sales promotions and sales people in general without the lower cost products to sell, then they should face troubled waters created by the missed opportunities and mismanagement of funds.

 

All the US companies, not just the music companies should be rethinking their investment strategies. The company I work for just invested in a million dollars worth of stock because the prices are low and the demand is going up. They are also investing in facility improvements to accommodate another product division and are in the process of hiring additional help.

 

This isn't unique to our company either. Our company is in the business of selling high end electronic gear to other companies. We are on the inside seeing the investments made by all the major companies. As of mid summer these companies have started replacing all their business equipment from copiers to network servers. Its not just the private sector either, the government institution replacement have gone through the roof.

 

Last year at this time and the previous 10 to 15 years January is usually the deadest month for sales. Its just after the Holidays and people aren't thinking about investing in their businesses, just paying off holiday debt. so far this year we are swamped with sales. We have techs working 12 hour days unboxing new gear getting it ready for delivery.

 

Music gear always follows what happens in business. Its an industry based on pleasure and indulgence. I predict by next fall all these people getting jobs and better jobs because of the corporate expansion will want to spend some of that new found fortune on entertainment. They will want to go out and see bands play and those who are musical will want to invest in that dream guitar they always wanted. Gibson should position themselves to take advantage of that indulgence by supplying quality instruments.

 

Shows like NAAM are strictly pep rally's for sales people. They unzip and strut around showing off their goods to other sales people. Its a boost to their ego's and the company can avoid giving raises to make them feel like big deals. All companies have these kinds of sales shows and promotions.

 

The difference this year is they should be too busy selling products to be bothered with that sales bs. The sales people should be making decent commissions instead of being told their day will come.

 

We will seem what happens in the coming months but I can say I've been in the business end of electronics since the 80's and the signs aren't just a trend, they are a reality. Why do you think wall street is off the charts? They are going to have another increase of epic proportions in the next month, and its not just the typical hype that occurs. This is just the beginning of a major tsunami. The water was already drawn from the bay and the tide is just starting to come back in. people only see the inch of water so far, they don't see the massive wave coming in because they honestly don't think those kinds of economic changes can occur,

 

I'll gladly eat crow if I'm wrong. Just don't expect me to bow to the garbage the media puts out, including the article posted here. That kind of junk is so misinformed and short lived. People don't have a clue what really going on at corporate levels and they don't usually find out till after the train left the station months before. That's because they don't work with people in those circles and if they do they don't want to loose their jobs by revealing too much before its time to. You got an expansion of epic proportions getting ready to happen and people are talking about bankruptcy? Man that propaganda is 10 years old and if it didn't happen back then it sure isn't going to happen now with the tax breaks these companies are going to see. It may take a year to be visible to the untrained eye but I sure as heck don't see Gibson having a problem.

 

The companies that should be scared are the ones importing gear because they are facing huge losses in market share when US vendors sales go up. I suspect some will even open up companies here and build high end products.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Re the OP:

Maybe they are...but in the modern world ANY company must work not just on what their basic product(s) are but on associated extras that, to paraphrase Dr John, if they don't do it somebody else will.

Whether it's new ideas for gtr functions or online access to gizmos & apps, that's what's expected by the modern consumer.

Someone will create & offer those things, riding the back of music instrument makers, so the smart thing is to create & market them, whether internally or by licensing.

 

In a world where ppl are able to record their multi-track original music on their phones, use computers for amps, etc, if any company that didn't wisely expand their technical range would be the one facing financial decline.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
I haven't read or seen anything that suggests the company is having any major problems and I wouldn't trust the crap you read out there unless its formally issued by the company.

 

.

 

Where have you been?

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14280618/1/gibson-guitar-may-default-if-company-can-t-refinance-its-debt.html

 

Gibson isn't the only one that's having financial trouble. Fender is almost having problem but not as deeply as Gibson or GC. This might be a smart move on Gibson's part we shall see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
Re the OP:

Maybe they are...but in the modern world ANY company must work not just on what their basic product(s) are but on associated extras that, to paraphrase Dr John, if they don't do it somebody else will.

Whether it's new ideas for gtr functions or online access to gizmos & apps, that's what's expected by the modern consumer.

Someone will create & offer those things, riding the back of music instrument makers, so the smart thing is to create & market them, whether internally or by licensing.

 

In a world where ppl are able to record their multi-track original music on their phones, use computers for amps, etc, if any company that didn't wisely expand their technical range would be the one facing financial decline.

 

The problem with your opinion is that you act like their core lineup is not going to do the job! I disagree....get RID of the idiotic products, increase concentration on QC and concentrate on your core products...maybe not have so many models of les pauls...etc and they can make it fine....WITHOUT having to try to be something they are not! Nothing wrong with expansion...as long as a company remembers what made it in the first place.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members
I haven't read or seen anything that suggests the company is having any major problems and I wouldn't trust the crap you read out there unless its formally issued by the company.

 

Anyone who is good at something or noted as being the best is going to be a target for all the wannabee's who would love to have a top ranking in the US as a US company and with the changes in tax laws this year you're likely to see companies like Gibson make big changes and finally be able to compete with these guitar companies that pay pennies on the dollar to get their instruments built.

 

 

The corporate tax changes have just made the playing field much more level and Gibson has had its hand cuffs taken off. Gibson and the other US guitar manufacturers like Rickenbacker and others should be able to do some major damage to the pirate companies doing them the most harm by being able to build high quality guitars at affordable prices.

 

We will have to wait and see if Gibson is smart and put that money into its instruments however. If they take the money they save and blow it on self indulgent sales promotions and sales people in general without the lower cost products to sell, then they should face troubled waters created by the missed opportunities and mismanagement of funds.

 

All the US companies, not just the music companies should be rethinking their investment strategies. The company I work for just invested in a million dollars worth of stock because the prices are low and the demand is going up. They are also investing in facility improvements to accommodate another product division and are in the process of hiring additional help.

 

This isn't unique to our company either. Our company is in the business of selling high end electronic gear to other companies. We are on the inside seeing the investments made by all the major companies. As of mid summer these companies have started replacing all their business equipment from copiers to network servers. Its not just the private sector either, the government institution replacement have gone through the roof.

 

Last year at this time and the previous 10 to 15 years January is usually the deadest month for sales. Its just after the Holidays and people aren't thinking about investing in their businesses, just paying off holiday debt. so far this year we are swamped with sales. We have techs working 12 hour days unboxing new gear getting it ready for delivery.

 

Music gear always follows what happens in business. Its an industry based on pleasure and indulgence. I predict by next fall all these people getting jobs and better jobs because of the corporate expansion will want to spend some of that new found fortune on entertainment. They will want to go out and see bands play and those who are musical will want to invest in that dream guitar they always wanted. Gibson should position themselves to take advantage of that indulgence by supplying quality instruments.

 

Shows like NAAM are strictly pep rally's for sales people. They unzip and strut around showing off their goods to other sales people. Its a boost to their ego's and the company can avoid giving raises to make them feel like big deals. All companies have these kinds of sales shows and promotions.

 

The difference this year is they should be too busy selling products to be bothered with that sales bs. The sales people should be making decent commissions instead of being told their day will come.

 

We will seem what happens in the coming months but I can say I've been in the business end of electronics since the 80's and the signs aren't just a trend, they are a reality. Why do you think wall street is off the charts? They are going to have another increase of epic proportions in the next month, and its not just the typical hype that occurs. This is just the beginning of a major tsunami. The water was already drawn from the bay and the tide is just starting to come back in. people only see the inch of water so far, they don't see the massive wave coming in because they honestly don't think those kinds of economic changes can occur,

 

I'll gladly eat crow if I'm wrong. Just don't expect me to bow to the garbage the media puts out, including the article posted here. That kind of junk is so misinformed and short lived. People don't have a clue what really going on at corporate levels and they don't usually find out till after the train left the station months before. That's because they don't work with people in those circles and if they do they don't want to loose their jobs by revealing too much before its time to. You got an expansion of epic proportions getting ready to happen and people are talking about bankruptcy? Man that propaganda is 10 years old and if it didn't happen back then it sure isn't going to happen now with the tax breaks these companies are going to see. It may take a year to be visible to the untrained eye but I sure as heck don't see Gibson having a problem.

 

The companies that should be scared are the ones importing gear because they are facing huge losses in market share when US vendors sales go up. I suspect some will even open up companies here and build high end products.

 

Sorry, but I call BS on your statement that Gibson is not in trouble! They ARE IN TROUBLE.... anyone not believing that, will see when their 500 million debt comes due in a few months! Their credit rating is so low that it would take some kind of a miracle to pull out of it. But you can believe what you want....does not make it true however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

Where have you been?

https://www.thestreet.com/story/14280618/1/gibson-guitar-may-default-if-company-can-t-refinance-its-debt.html

 

Gibson isn't the only one that's having financial trouble. Fender is almost having problem but not as deeply as Gibson or GC. This might be a smart move on Gibson's part we shall see.

 

Yea but that's old news that dates back to last august, long before the corporate tax cut looked like it could become a reality. Its not just the tax cut either its what the economy will do because of it.

 

I don't buy into half those articles posted by fly by night websites either. You don't know who's funding them or what axes they have to grind, especially not in the current political environment. Gibson was targeted by environmentalists when no other company in the US or abroad were. It may have been justified but it was turned into a political event because Gibson is an old company which for some reason equates to conservative for some reason.

 

I will agree with you many musical instrument companies have been struggling to keep their companies afloat. But where is that unique to the music industry? When you consider the fact the recording industry collapsed due to file sharing on the internet and the live music industry had been reduced to a handful of old timers playing the big venues I'm surprised any of the big companies are still in business. Even local bands playing live had dropped to nothing and paying nothing to local musicians.

 

What has been a boon to the industry is home recording. If musicians cant make recordings in a pro studio they are going to do it themselves.

Gibson has recognized that and made several moves in that direction. They are no strangers to it either given the fact Les Paul was a major innovator in multitrack recording and pointed them in the right direction many decades ago.

 

Gibson owns Epiphone, Kramer, Steinberger, Slingerland, Baldwin, Dobro, Gibson Innovations/Phillips Teac, Tascam, Onkyo, Cerwin Vega, Echoplex, Stanton, KRK, Cakewalk, Tobias, Esoteric, Integra , Not sure about Maestro, lab series, and a host of other pieces of gear made by Gibson but I'm sure they fell under one of the other companies.

 

The company is already a tech company. Given the length of time they been in business and the extent of their assets they could likely downsize and survive as an instrument company only. I simply don't see that happening at this point given the recent changes in tax laws and the economy, in fact I see Gibson in an ideal position to have a greater market share as overseas companies try to move to the US and gain a foothold. All they have to do after the Tax change is raise tariffs on imports and you'd have those companies begging to buy in with a US headquartered company.

 

There's going to be many changes with many companies. I surely cant predict any more then I have here. Like I said I'm deep into servicing other companies and I see the action happening long before most people see the results or hear it in the news. The smart companies were poised for the changes and the ones late to the party will still do ok.

 

Gibson took some financial risks. If they are insolvent they will pay for those risks being taken. I thought they should have kept their heads under cover like the other big players instead of revealing the fact they were being unfairly targeted unfairly by the EPA and having armed swat teams raid their factory. You'd think they were heroin importers by the way they were being targeted and politicized. They are still in business and making quality instruments after that and they didn't cower like other companies do.

 

In my business I've mainly worked for companies headquartered in Japan or worked for US companies that sold and serviced gear from there. Electronic manufacturing in the US is practically non existent unless its something highly specialized and expensive. When Toyota had the problems with the Gas pedals all the other Japanese companies went into high gear putting in upgrades, patches making sure they couldn't be sued for any of their product faults. I'm talking about hundreds of major companies. It all went on behind the scenes like companies playing musical chairs. No one wanted to get caught in a law suit after they saw how companies like Toyota and Gibson were being targeted.

 

What happened in the end? I believe they settled out of court and paid to make it go away. That's likely why all the rumors about them being insolvent came from.

 

They learned you had to tip the garbage men extra to haul away the trash or you'll quickly find out what that end of the government would do to chew your rear off. If you were being shaken down by the mob and they wanted all your spare cash would you tell them you got millions stashed in all these other companies? Of course they could have avoided that shake down and gone green. Pledged to invest in new forest growth and made sure the cash wound up in one of the many green money laundering schemes used by the current political party. I give them credit for not bending over and grabbing their ankles like that. The Employees of that company can be proud of what their employers did and I believe any Gibson guitar owner can carry some of that mojo around with them in their guitar case.

 

Pride is an important factor when standing on stage whether most people realize it or not, especially with the way most musicians connect with their instruments when playing. How would you feel if you played an instrument where you know the company went green to avoid being fleeced? Proud of that cowardice? Not me. Gibson has had its ups and downs no doubt but they are still a US company making a US product, even if they do have to import many of the materials to build them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Unlike cars or phones guitars are extremely durable. Market saturation is inevitable. Since the global introduction of cnc machining junk guitars have almost disappeared, good functionality is no longer expensive. The only thing that has stopped the guitar industry collapsing already is that eccentric group of people who compulsively fill their houses with guitars way beyond any logic of tone requirement. Without GAS, that collective OCD, the industry would have fallen in the snow long ago. Really we are just the hardwood equivalent of cat ladies, the industry should be grateful :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

 

The problem with your opinion is that you act like their core lineup is not going to do the job! I disagree....get RID of the idiotic products, increase concentration on QC and concentrate on your core products...maybe not have so many models of les pauls...etc and they can make it fine....WITHOUT having to try to be something they are not! Nothing wrong with expansion...as long as a company remembers what made it in the first place.

 

You're over-interpreting what I wrote.

I never suggested musical instruments not be the basis of their production or focus.

I was only pointing out that expansion into related products is sensible.

 

For ex, they've made gtr amps from the time electric instruments were available.

It makes sense for any company to continue to develop other products as technology advances otherwise they'll lose out to those who do.

 

It's possible to try to be too much to too many but even more of a problem is when a company hews too closely to their original offerings & ignores the reality of what's developing around them.

 

Just consider what happened in the music recording/ slaes biz over the past 1/4 C.

Edited by halfnote
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

this, plus the 'peter principle' of corporate expansion

 

george gruhns cyclical boom and bust ... accordians, fiddles, banjos, ukuleles.

rock stars are a dime a dozen, and it's a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll

 

oh, and this catlady just bought another lp goldtop lol

Edited by dweebking
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...