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Gibson Bankrupt after 116 years ?


techristian
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Bankrupt doesn't necessarily mean gone, either. The vendors that Gibson owes don't want to have to get their money via Bankruptcy Court, either. For a company with such a massive customer base, there's a lot of incentive for creditors and owners to come up with some way to meet obligations, drop unprofitable subs, and sweat it out.

 

Surely the regrettable fuss with the government over the wood was just a small blip to such a huge company. But still, these numbers are scary....236 million sales 2013, 156 million sales 2017. They've got to be doing some serious cost cutting, 'cause they lost a lot more on the bottom line in 2013. 2015 was brutal...it's probably all about cash flow and debt service at this point. Hang in there, Gibson.

[h=2]Financials Information for Gibson Brands, Inc.[/h] [TABLE]

[TR]

Income Statement (mil) 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 [/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Revenue[/TD]

[TD]$155.879[/TD]

[TD]$189.352[/TD]

[TD]$170.787[/TD]

[TD]$217.819[/TD]

[TD]$235.924[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Gross Profit[/TD]

[TD]$64.029[/TD]

[TD]$72.954[/TD]

[TD]$64.549[/TD]

[TD]$90.8[/TD]

[TD]$100.413[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Operating Income[/TD]

[TD]$1.932[/TD]

[TD]$0.407[/TD]

[TD]$-12.612[/TD]

[TD]$3.833[/TD]

[TD]$7.353[/TD]

[/TR]

[TR]

[TD]Net Income[/TD]

[TD]$-0.467[/TD]

[TD]$-1.814[/TD]

[TD]$-15.629[/TD]

[TD]$-2.407[/TD]

[TD]$-3.427[/TD]

[/TR]

[/TABLE]

 

nat

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Gibson is like the stock market; it has corrections and even crashes' date=' but the general trend is up.[/quote']

 

I think the issue here is confidence.

Gibson is like a person playing Musical Chairs, the song stopped and they are left without a chair. In Gibson's case, they are still dancing even though the music has long stopped.

 

While I do believe in exploration and the endeavor to go beyond one's reach, the spontaneous and acrobatic business model is not for everyone.

Gibson's recent business acquisitions was a clear indicator of trouble.

 

Sometimes it's better to stick with what you do best and just keep doing it.

 

 

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Craig can speak more to this than anyone but Gibson has been buying other companies, tweaking them, only to shut them down, or so it seems. From my outsider perspective, it seems that Gibson is biting off more than they can chew. Keep it simple... stick to guitars.

 

The other part of me is thinking... electronic music and hip hop are ruling the airwaves. Is anyone under the age of 30 still buying guitars?

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Is anyone under the age of 30 still buying guitars?

 

Sure they are. Don't be fooled by the current trend in journalism to use hyperbolic doomsday headlines like the Posts' "slow secret death of the electric guitar" article that kicked off rumors of the pending total demise of the guitar.

 

I've read through quite a few articles on this - google will be happy to provide anyone with loads of them - and the real story is that guitar sales have declined in recent years, coming off a pretty amazing high.

 

The media tends to cast up increases and decreases as growth explosions and imminent deaths. Trends are just directional bends, not full stops and creations from nothing.

 

I thought the electric guitar was dead back in 1980 - synths and disco were the deal. Then Stevie Ray shows up in '83 and Fender can't make enough Strats to keep up with demand...

 

nat

 

 

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Sure they are. Don't be fooled by the current trend in journalism to use hyperbolic doomsday headlines like the Posts' "slow secret death of the electric guitar" article that kicked off rumors of the pending total demise of the guitar.

 

I've read through quite a few articles on this - google will be happy to provide anyone with loads of them - and the real story is that guitar sales have declined in recent years, coming off a pretty amazing high.

 

The media tends to cast up increases and decreases as growth explosions and imminent deaths. Trends are just directional bends, not full stops and creations from nothing.

 

I thought the electric guitar was dead back in 1980 - synths and disco were the deal. Then Stevie Ray shows up in '83 and Fender can't make enough Strats to keep up with demand...

 

nat

 

 

I disagree. This ain`t 1980 anymore. Technology is moving at an incredible pace. I don`t think most kids are interested in dedicating years to the craft of playing guitar. I do think synths and other electronic devices offer a quicker access point. Just my $.02

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I disagree. This ain`t 1980 anymore. Technology is moving at an incredible pace. I don`t think most kids are interested in dedicating years to the craft of playing guitar. I do think synths and other electronic devices offer a quicker access point. Just my $.02

 

I'm inclined to think that guitars are just as easy to bypass as an orchestra. If it is true that composers don't need an orchestra anymore, why is the guitar any different? Image, maybe? A tired image at this point as much as an orchestra IMO. It's been done. Or did I miss it? Has anyone stood on their head while playing one yet?

 

It's much easier to manipulate a turntable, a few keys and an arpeggiator, a loop sliced diced and what have you. It may not be easy to truly reach someone, or a crowd, and some may really bring some art to their efforts, but it's easy compared to standing in front of them and playing the guitar well with the same goal in mind.

 

And just like that someone has what so many seem to want. They got their music out there. Doesn't matter if it's for free and junk because somewhere in all the samples and loops and auto this and auto that they expressed themselves and did it like nobody else and the world must hear at all costs. No wait, I mean at no cost.

 

 

It's not the same as the expressive capability that a large chunk of a lifetime spent with an acoustic or electric guitar usually exhibits. The price of admission to play the violin well enough so that it is tolerable to listen to, let alone a pleasurable and enriching experience is years of practice. Is it much different for guitar? I don't think that music and the making of it is immune to the instant gratification trend. It certainly doesn't appear to be that way to me.

 

"Sound quality. What is that?" Hmmmm.

 

"Sound quality is only about 5%." How does that help justify the price of a Gibson?

 

Methinks the overall gestalt, as it appears to me anyway, may have more bearing than the usual ups and downs.

Edited by RockViolin
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Wrong. He used bankruptcy as a legal means in business but was NEVER even remotely close to being bankrupt personally. There’s a BIG difference.

 

"Donald Trump" is a generic term for the man and his businesses. Bankruptcy is a way of staying in business for a while until you see if you can settle your debts (which doesn't necessarily mean you pay everyone what they're owed).

 

I think that in their field, Gibson is "too big to fail" and will continue to stay in the guitar business.

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My wife suggested last night that perhaps it's just a publicity stunt.......she's way smarter than I am so it made me think.

 

Anyway, I don't see much chance of guitars going away anytime soon, in this neck of the woods I can't walk down a hallway without bumping into several and, of course, I'm one of them. This has become a real point of contention for me lately as a keyboard player because who'd ever thought I'd be so gdamn irreplaceable! I was forced to sit at a piano bench since before I could walk so it really strikes me as odd when "musicians" look at a keyboard like it's something from outer space.

So I've been playing keys with a smattering of sequencing in what's undoubtedly the most popular group in this area for over three years now but c'mon, it's just a hobby and I need a break from all these gigs and new soul-sucking pop music crap that they keep shoving down my throat and it recently came to a head when I filed my resignation.

Of course they don't want me to leave and now I feel guilty because, where are they going to find a replacement? If I was just a guitar noodler they'd have my replacement in 15 minutes.

 

Sorry for the rant, been stressed out lately!

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Here's another good question, why did Gibson quit making guitar amps?? What a missed opportunity! I look around and I see people paying $3k and more for a box with maybe $500 worth of parts in it and that's only because of the power and output transformers. It borders on a religious experience for some folks. Meanwhile the mechanical and electrical designs are so old and simple anyone with a couple of semesters of electronics class can build one. And here they've got this HUGE brand recognition, what musician hasn't heard of Gibson? WTH?

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I wonder how profitable the diversification into electronics and other markets has been for Gibson Brands versus guitar sales and what percentage of sales in the company each market holds..

 

I would think the guitar section is still quite profitable and it's the rest of the company that is forcing bankruptcy, but I'm just guessing.

 

Gibson Brands is not just a guitar company.

Edited by Anagram
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My wife suggested last night that perhaps it's just a publicity stunt.......she's way smarter than I am so it made me think.

 

You really think a company exhibiting signs of financial trouble is for publicity?

 

Bankruptcy is not ambiguous or vague. It simply is the result of one thing. Mismanagement and/or bad bad business decisions.

 

Some companies can recovery other do not but it does not benefit any establishment to have financial troubles because it exposes problems within the company itself.

 

I am not certain how this will benefit Gibson.

 

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I was forced to sit at a piano bench since before I could walk so it really strikes me as odd when "musicians" look at a keyboard like it's something from outer space.

 

Well, a lot of keyboards DO look like something from outer space, or at least from the control room of a TV series spaceship.

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Here's another good question' date=' why did Gibson quit making guitar amps?? What a missed opportunity! I look around and I see people paying $3k and more for a box with maybe $500 worth of parts in it and that's only because of the power and output transformers. It borders on a religious experience for some folks. [/quote']

 

Well, a couple of things. Gibson never really was very big in the amplifier business. They made a couple of amplifiers early on - because they got into the electric guitar business fairly early and you needed an amplifier if you were going to play electric guitar, so why not a Gibson. It helped the dealers because they could sell a whle system with the brand recognition. And those pre-1965 Gibson amplifier pretty much matched your description.

 

But then people discovered that you could plug your Gibson guitar into a Fender amplifier, or a Sunn, or Magnatones, or Kustoms, or Marshalls. There really wasn't much reason for Gibson to keep up with amplifiers as long as they were selling electric guitars as fast as they could build them.

 

Meanwhile the mechanical and electrical designs are so old and simple anyone with a couple of semesters of electronics class can build one.

 

Obviously you haven't looked at guitar amplifiers for about 30 years. Some of them, sure, are still four tubes, two transformers, a few pots, capacitors, resistors, switches, and a speaker, but others, with models and built-in effects, are so complex that only a 14-year old can operate, much less, design, one. Guitar amplifiers have become a specialty product with a lot of specialties. That's a product for a guitar amplifier builder, not a guitar builder.

 

Now if Gibson had bought, say, Line 6 (Yamaha bought them) instead of Onkyo or KRK, maybe they'd have an interesting and profitable line of guitar amplifiers.

 

 

Edited by MikeRivers
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That's for sure, you got me there. Even though I've been digging into some new things lately, the Roland FA-08 I'm using as my main keyboard has a lot of features that I may never even scratch the surface of! But on the other hand there are also some things I wish it had, like multi-sampling.

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I'm definitely not talking about the modeling amps, that's considered heresy in some circles. I once got unfriended and blocked on FB for disrespecting tube amps and suggesting I was going to use Amplitube 3 on an iPad at a gig.

Edited by ggm1960
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If anyone thinks sales of guitars are down' date=' check out amps. They're expensive to make, expensive to ship, and expensive to keep in inventory. Like drums, it's hard to make money from amps. [/quote']

 

I'll be the first to admit I'm not in the business but I'm amazed at the huge quantity and variety of tube amps listed on the Sweetwater website and I was actually surprised when I saw PRS jump into what I thought was an already crowded market a few years ago.

Edited by ggm1960
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