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Gibson Bankrupt after 116 years ?


techristian

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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.

 

Have you tried any of the PRS amps? Even at the lower end of their lineup, they're really good IMO.

 

Maybe I'm naive, but even in a saturated market or during challenging times, I like to think there will always be a place for the exceptional and the outstanding.

 

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Big companies diversify for a lot of reasons, but one important reason is to protect the company from market swings that hurt one particular line. So guitars sales are down, but you've still got other divisions that are not as effected by the fads and fashions and economic swings that are currently plaguing another line.

 

Also, there's the halo effect, we all see it all the time. If you've built a brand that the public associates with quality, or even just with coolness, and you stick that brand on some new line, you sell the new line on the reputation of the old line.

 

And then there's expanding upstream or downstream into either the supply chain feeding your industry, or the wholesale/retail chain that marks your stuff up and sells it to the public. You cut costs that way, and when things are booming, you get all the gravy up and down the whole product cycle - sweet!

 

A lot of businesses fail because they fail to expand - and a lot fail because they expanded too quickly or unwisely. And some just get unlucky....too many bad things happening by chance all at once. It's easy to be an armchair CEO - but the reality is some kinda complicated and way over my head.

 

nat

 

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Have you tried any of the PRS amps? Even at the lower end of their lineup, they're really good IMO.

 

Maybe I'm naive, but even in a saturated market or during challenging times, I like to think there will always be a place for the exceptional and the outstanding.

 

Oh I've no doubt they're excellent amps and with the price tag to match but I won't be trying out amps anytime soon. Wife and I are still trying to consolidate households and we've got plans for a major move in roughly three years, Right here where I'm sitting typing I'm looking at an old Fender Twin Reverb that I seem to be having trouble trying to sell.

 

My main gig function is currently playing keys but I do step out with my SG on several songs. So to minimize my overall haul I was trying to get away with just using the Tech 21 FlyRig but our sound company and others just weren't digging it. Fortunately I have this old '59 Gibson Skylark amp, featherweight little thing and everyone in my musical circle just drools over the sound!

 

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Big companies diversify for a lot of reasons, but one important reason is to protect the company from market swings that hurt one particular line. So guitars sales are down, but you've still got other divisions that are not as effected by the fads and fashions and economic swings that are currently plaguing another line.

 

Also, there's the halo effect, we all see it all the time. If you've built a brand that the public associates with quality, or even just with coolness, and you stick that brand on some new line, you sell the new line on the reputation of the old line.

 

And then there's expanding upstream or downstream into either the supply chain feeding your industry, or the wholesale/retail chain that marks your stuff up and sells it to the public. You cut costs that way, and when things are booming, you get all the gravy up and down the whole product cycle - sweet!

 

A lot of businesses fail because they fail to expand - and a lot fail because they expanded too quickly or unwisely. And some just get unlucky....too many bad things happening by chance all at once. It's easy to be an armchair CEO - but the reality is some kinda complicated and way over my head.

 

nat

 

Yes, many companies diversify but I think in the case of Gibson, they diversified into products that they eventually ran into the ground. I`m not sure where the fault lies there but its not a good track record.

 

Also, there is a lot more competition in the guitar world. Epiphone is making some fantastic guitars for a fraction of the price. Paul Reed Smith is another... Gibson has survived on its reputation but kids today who are buying guitars are looking more for a bargain instead of a piece of history. I`m in my mid 40s now and can finally afford some keyboards that I wanted since I was a kid. 20 years ago, I was looking more for bang for the buck. Now, I have a Moog Model D because I just want it. It`s not about bang for the buck. If it was, I would have purchased the Arturia MatrixBrute.

 

 

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Just a thought, could it be their marketing is way off target?

 

I was talking to the proprietor of a small music shop (everything from flutes and trumpets, to guitars and keyboards) in a market town here in the UK the other day. This was their comment when I told them about Gibson's current problems, they hadn't heard.

 

We used to stock some of the Gibson line a few years ago. Good guitars. We sold quite a few.

The trouble was they wanted to change their relationship with us and insisted we stock the entire line up to instruments costing many thousands of pounds. We are simply not in that market, never have been, never will be. And ... they decided what instruments,colours, etc. we would take. We have no possible market for a bright blue 10,000 pound guitar with pink spots. As we were offered no choice, we decided to discontinue relationships with them.

 

It says it all, I believe.

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"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.

 

Ever been in business? I have and I am. People who enter into agreements in business are doing so fully knowing there is risk. That is why they charge interest. Sometimes you make a bad bet and it doesn’t work out. Well over 200 of Trumps businesses HAVE been successful. A handful haven’t. That’s a Very good record and I’d bet some of the same investors who potentially lost $$ in his few bankruptcies GLADLY got right back in business with him the next day in light of his track record. Very few have had that win/lose ratio.

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Well over 200 of Trumps businesses HAVE been successful. A handful haven’t. That’s a Very good record and I’d bet some of the same investors who potentially lost $$ in his few bankruptcies GLADLY got right back in business with him the next day in light of his track record. Very few have had that win/lose ratio.

 

Very few people have owned well over 200 businesses. There's clearly a scam there. Something goes bad, you go out of business and continue doing the same thing in a slightly different way, using a different name. Bing! A new business! Is there anything to be proud of when that's what you do for a living? Yeah, I guess accumulating a lot of wealth is something to be proud of.

 

This, however, has nothing to do with Gibson's business. Sorry I brought up the name of a businessman that you seem to embrace. Bankruptcy is just a tool, one that can be used with or without a conscience.

 

 

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Just a thought, could it be their marketing is way off target?

 

I was talking to the proprietor of a small music shop (everything from flutes and trumpets, to guitars and keyboards) in a market town here in the UK the other day. This was their comment when I told them about Gibson's current problems, they hadn't heard.

 

We used to stock some of the Gibson line a few years ago. Good guitars. We sold quite a few.

The trouble was they wanted to change their relationship with us and insisted we stock the entire line up to instruments costing many thousands of pounds. We are simply not in that market, never have been, never will be. And ... they decided what instruments,colours, etc. we would take. We have no possible market for a bright blue 10,000 pound guitar with pink spots. As we were offered no choice, we decided to discontinue relationships with them.

 

It says it all, I believe.

 

We had a retail camera store in the family for a long time - small but successful. And yeah, the big manufacturers and suppliers certainly favored the large stores. My brother would check the prices charged by the big box stores and found that the big stores were selling a lot of product for less than the cost of the same product charged to the family store by the maker/supplier.

 

I have no idea if Gibson's way of treating the small shop you reference in the UK was an overall policy or just some aggressive wholesaler throwing his weight around. But it's true in so many cases throughout the retail world - the bigger you are the cheaper you can stock your shelves, item for item. If you can afford to carry a full line of some brand, they'll typically make it worth your while in terms of cost.

 

It's not just Gibson. The message is "get big or get out." The business world ain't a warm cozy nursery for the little guy. I don't like it, but that's the way it is.

 

nat

 

 

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Personally I hope Gibson survives. It's an old brand with a lot of great and historic instruments they can truly be proud of. Instruments that shaped the soundtrack of a few different generations.

 

From the point of an outsider looking in with zero knowledge of what goes on in Gibson, I would have liked to see them keeping to their core product, making good to great guitars, and mot worrying about software, DJ and other products.

 

I know guitars are not as popular with the youth market as they were in the 1950s through the 1970s and even less so in the 21st century. But guitars have been around for a long, long, long time and I don't think they are going to disappear in my lifetime. Demand will fluctuate though. It always does.

 

I'm not a guitar collector, so they won't make money with me, but I do own a Gibson and Epiphone. Nice guitars, both of them. I gig with a Parker, another nice guitar that fits my needs on stage more. Parker is no more. Too bad Gibson didn't come up with the concept instead of messing with Cakewalk. My DF is lightweight but sustains as long as an LP, has hardened stainless steel frets that don't seem to wear, is balanced and contoured so it seems like I'm wearing instead of holding it, Sperzel locking tuners, graph-tech nut/bridge and a whammy system that doesn't go out of tune, plus a piezo under the bridge that I can mix with the P-Rail pickups (P90- rail - series humbucker - parallel humbucker).

 

Perhaps it's not too late. Instead of signature models, take what made the Parker DF so good, improve it, and put Gibson on the headstock.

 

But to tell the truth, I don't know what I'm talking about, only what I like.

 

Notes

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