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#1
In case you didn't hear Gibson announced huge price increases on it's 2015 modals. Here's part of an article about it:

Leading up to the release of its 2015 models, the Gibson Guitar Company has planned a series of changes to its guitar lineup including a general price increase across the board. Whereas MAP (manufacturer advertised price) for a 2014 Les Paul Standard with a normal flame top comes in at $2999, the 2015 equivalent will start at $3879, marking a roughly 29% increase.

In addition to the price increase, Gibson will drastically scale back the number of guitar models offered, including the discontinuation of a number finishes and top options on guitars like the Les Paul Standard. Gibson has also announced it will stop producing instruments with the less expensive Satin finish, meaning the end of such sub-$1000 models as the Les Paul Studio Faded.

Full article:
http://reverb.com/blog/gibson-to-increase-prices-update-models-for-2015
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 12, 2014,
#2
Gibsons are already overpriced.
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#3
It makes some sense, from a business standpoint. you may sell a higher volume of lower-priced instruments, but i suspect their profit margins are also substantially lower on those instruments. Additionally, the more variations of product you're listing, the more cost you have to produce inventory for those. if you have 10 variations of one model, but only one is selling reliably, you're wasting 9/10ths of your initial inventory.


It sucks, but i'm surprised they didn't scale back model production sooner. (naturally the price increase is going to reflect the lost profit they expect from dropping the 'budget' guitars.

Also: as a point of order on whether or not Gibson's are "over priced" -- we'll see. a pronouncement of something being 'over priced 'is only valid if that analysis is born out by the market. if people stop buying gibsons in general then yes they are over priced, but as long as people are willing to pay Gibson's price there's a strong argument that the guitars are, apparently, 'worth' that cost.
Last edited by I_Fij at Sep 12, 2014,
#4
Other changes include the expansion of the Min-ETune automated tuning system, which will be re-branded as "G-Force," as standard on almost all guitars. In celebration of the 100th birthday of Les Paul himself, all 2015 Les Paul models will feature a swirly "Les Paul 100" headstock logo marking a departure from the traditional Les Paul logo seen on the guitar for decades. As for actual specs, Gibson is updating the nut to a brass "Zero Fret Nut" and increasing the neck width on most models.

all 2015 Les Paul models will feature a swirly "Les Paul 100" headstock logo marking a departure from the traditional Les Paul logo seen on the guitar for decades.

all 2015 Les Paul models will feature a swirly"Les Paul 100" headstock logo marking a departure from the traditional Les Paul logo seen on the guitar for decades.

"Les Paul 100"

DAFUK???

I mean I know why they're doing it. To commemorate Les Paul himself. But why did they have to name it after a shitty Epiphone model?? It blows my mind.

The brass nut is an idea that I think is interesting though. It's a throwback to some of the Gibsons in the 70's. Getting rid of the faded finishes is not something I'm fussed with though. I never got on with the look of them unless they were a solid black or white.

Gibson does all these crazy things all the time, and I get why they're doing it. They're trying to give people additional options with their guitars. If people don't like the new options, they can go used, or buy a 2014.
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Gibsons are already overpriced.

You just can't afford one. The reason they cost the amounts they do is because, as with any other guitar, that's how much people are willing to pay for them.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Sep 12, 2014,
#5
Thing is when people are loyal fans of a specific brand they will pay whatever to see that logo on their headstock.
#6
Quote by ken styles
Thing is when people are loyal fans of a specific brand they will pay up to a point to see that logo on their headstock.

fixed
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#7
I think it's a joke. Tons of grammar mistakes, no screenshots or archives of the alleged source provided, tiny picture that looks like it might have been shopped, and a bunch of totally stupid changes and price increases. Especially since for 2014 their smartest move was lowering the prices on the Studios and offering new finish options.

I'll believe it when I see an actual announcement by Gibson. In the meantime I think this is either a well-done prank, or Gibson "leaked" it to see what the community reaction would be. If it's the latter, and someone at Gibson happens to read this:
Hi! Please fire Harry J and stop doing crap like this. Fewer robot parts, more Les Paul Tribute models please.
#8
or Reverb could just being doing some clever SEO stuff with this article and fluffing up their website with keywords such as "gibson guitars" "Les Paul Prices"...etc
google loves that stuff and raises their rank in search results. notice how they have the gibson guitars for sale on their website right below the article....sweet.
#9
It's not just Reverb. I've seen the same basic discussion of this on other sites, taken from the Amazon "leak".
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#10
29 %
.....

Usually things get more expensive as the years go by to combat inflation. I've never heard if such a large increase in a single year before. Not for something that is supposed to have slight upgrades.

And I also want to hear that directly from Gibson themselves.

Ie at the store itself is when I'll believe that.
#11
The article itself wasn't from Gibson, but was based on a look at what Amazon leaked on their site (most of what are theoretically the 2015 model lineup) and on the advertising copy that went with the individual guitars. I followed the links when they were first up, and the article is accurate *based on what was there*.

It caused quite a stir on MLP and other sites. If true, it represents an interesting business model moving forward, and it's consistent with Henry J.

The guitars that Gibson put out at the low end (the J series, the T series) were crap (IMHO). They were stripped-down junk that didn't compete on anything but logo, with quality that didn't measure up to far better chinese and Korean product in that price range.

Before the flame wars start, note that whatever popularity the guitars enjoyed was because "the common man could finally afford a real Gibson." More than one buyer stated, "I'm getting everything that Gibson has to offer except for the 'bling'." That was not music to Gibson's ears.

And what it did was NOT increase Gibson sales. It cannibalized potentially higher-end Gibson sales, substituting loss-leader sales at unsustainably low prices and zero profit. And it didn't do what Gibson intended. They have an issue with entry-level guitarists in that newbs have NO brand loyalty to Gibson. They're buying other brands. The cheap Gibsons didn't sway the newbs, who were bright enough to see that the Korean guitars were better quality. Instead, Gibson found it was selling to older customers who simply couldn't afford the prices before. Backfire.

Gibson is a premium brand, but the cheaper guitars were crapping it up. Increased volume of units moved didn't translate to increased profits. just the opposite. And Gibson was in serious danger of losing its identity.

A peripheral problem is that Guitar Center, Gibson's biggest outlet, is floundering. It's not paying its bills, and it can't support large inventories of high-dollar guitars. You probably haven't seen a PRS at your local GC in a while. For the most part, they've bailed. The guitar walls have more of the guitars flat on the walls than at an angle. It still looks like there are a lot of guitars, but those flat-on-the-wall guitars simply take up more space. There are 100-300 fewer guitars on display on average, and what IS there is mostly low end these days. You won't find much backup stock, either on the shelves or "in the back." The keyboard section will have more Used gear on display and less New stuff. I went in looking for a Korg PA3X the other day. They didn't have one and didn't have one in the system, but they did have a used (and fairly battered, with parts that didn't work) PA2X (discontinued version) sitting there. In every department, Guitar Center is filling more space with used gear. Far cheaper. Vendors who once challenged for shelf space on over 200 stores are now being parsimonious with inventory on credit, fearing its loss in a bankruptcy.

Gibson produced those low-end guitars partly to fill space on GC walls and maintain the appearance of a Gibson presence. That pretense is over. Gibson now figures to sell more guitars online and eliminate pilferage, damage, shop wear, etc.

In short, Gibson is at once tightening its belt and attempting to move back to its favorite spot at the high end. They're looking at the Harley Davidson business model and planning to rely on the retiring baby boomer money for the next ten years. They've missed that Harley is losing headway on the same business model of late and that Harley desperately needs to find new customers as well.

After years of keeping its thumb on Epiphone, it may be forced to allow Epiphone to produce the quality it's capable of. To Gibson's very deep corporate chagrin, it may be Epiphone that saves the company. Gibson has painted itself (literally) into a corner of traditionalism with nitrocellulose lacquer on US-made guitars. Epiphone has no such restrictions. Its finishing department allows its entire production facility to move far faster than Gibsons, with dry-to-dry finishing in under 24 hours. Gibson's greatest quantity of customer complaints and returns comes from nitrocellulose lacquer. They need to convert, but until they talk the Tennessee legislature into "making it their fault" so that Gibson can blame "big gummint," they can't convert to the much faster finishing methods yet. The satin finishes on the cheap guitars moved faster through the system and averted quality concerns. Flat finishes on guitars and cars are already beginning to fade as a fashion statement. But Gibson knows it can't produce large volumes of guitars with quality finishes using nitro. It really needs to change.

Epiphone can produce FAR higher quality guitars than it's been allowed to. Gibson didn't want the in-store competition for its low end and Studio guitars. By ceding the lower end pricepoints to Epiphone and allowing them to move upscale, Gibson can concentrate on producing fewer guitars at higher prices and attempt to retrieve its lost reputation for high quality. Epi still produces profit for Gibson. And you can bet that within 10 years, the Epiphone factory will be producing a Gibson-branded product "for China Only" that will be equal to (or exceed) the quality of USA-made Gibsons. The long-term plan is to develop demand for those guitars as a grey-market "sneak-in" product for the US, and then to appear to throw up its hands and produce the same guitars in the US (with modern finishes), moving nitro to a "Historic Only" niche.

Watch and see.
#13
No kidding. Great analysis. My first thought is that Gibson was going to move toward the way ESP is doing business which is to up the quality and specs of the LTD brand while keeping their US and Japan made ESP Brand in the premium price range. If they go this way, I would expect both the quality and the prices of Epiphone to increase. The problem is that I would expect the Gibson brand to decrease significantly. I mean, how many real US or Japan made ESP's do you see? I rarely see one.
#14
Quote by columbiar
I mean, how many real US or Japan made ESP's do you see? I rarely see one.


I dunno, but I seriously want this guitar:


The real ESP version, not the flattened-down version.

Okay, that was wildly off-topic. Back to the Gibson Follies of 2015.
#15
^ well at least gibson hasn't put a massive phallus on its guitars.


yet. i hope henry's not reading this to get ideas
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#17
thank you very much


(I know that wasn't to me )
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
#18
Quote by dspellman
...Watch and see.

Definitely. Lots of great analysis there.

The overall ideas make sense, but some of the specifics - the stupid headstock, the weird nut, the wire gauge - seemed particularly silly to me. As a whole, moving away from cheap junk with their logo on it makes sense, but the specific changes seemed so outrageous that I have to wonder if they're trumped up or invented.

I think ideally Gibson would just make the CS and Standard models, and let Epiphone cover everything under the $2K mark. If that's what these changes are moving toward, great. I just worry that when these obviously nutty LP redesigns don't sell, Harry is going to throw the baby out with the bathwater and start cranking out SGJs and $400 Melody Makers again. You can't get back to your premium brand roots by turning your flagship guitar into some cyborg monstrosity that nobody wants or recognizes.
#19
Quote by Roc8995


I think ideally Gibson would just make the CS and Standard models, and let Epiphone cover everything under the $2K mark. If that's what these changes are moving toward, great.



Had our Fender rep in here the other month. They're ditching the modern player, blacktop, pawn shop, and a couple other series for this reason. They wanna make a few clear distinct points in quality for their regular run of guitars, and leave the rest of the special runs to the CS or Squiers since they know they can bump quality.
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#20
All that makes total sense too: Gibson and Fender for the last, what, 5 years or so have had an extraordinary number of model variations. How many different Les Pauls did gibson put out this hear? how many strats did Fender put out?
#21
If I could have any guitar in the world it would probably be a Gibson Les Paul, but I just can't afford it. So until then, I will be using an ESP LTD EC1000, lol. Even buying one of those used is financially challenging for me.
Some see the glass half full, others see the glass half empty. Me? I see that the glass is refillable.
#22
No worries, friend. We all love the EC1000 here. Best thing you can get for the price that splits the Epi Standards / Gibby Standard quality difference, I think.
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#23
Wow great read dspellman, I wouldn't doubt any of that.

Kinda off topic but how is Sam Ash doing in comparison to GC?
#24
side question: What does CS stand for?

Is it similar to how PRS has the SE (student edition)?
#25
Quote by ken styles
side question: What does CS stand for?

Is it similar to how PRS has the SE (student edition)?



We say CS sometimes so we don't have to type out Custom Shop.
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#27
Quote by dspellman
The article itself wasn't from Gibson, but was based on a look at what Amazon leaked on their site (most of what are theoretically the 2015 model lineup) and on the advertising copy that went with the individual guitars. I followed the links when they were first up, and the article is accurate *based on what was there*.

(Edit)

Watch and see.


Excellent overview and analysis. I don't agree with all of the details- I still think there's a certain "hoaxiness" from the particular changes detailed in the article- but as a whole, you presented solid conclusions RE: Gibson vs Epiphone in the marketplace of the future.

And as JustRooster implies, it looks like Fender is making moves to consolidate and rebadge as well.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 12, 2014,
#28


ewww
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#29
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Excellent overview and analysis. I don't agree with all of the details- I still think there's a certain "hoaxiness" from the particular changes detailed in the article- but as a whole, you presented solid conclusions RE: Gibson vs Epiphone in the marketplace of the future.


I have to admit that I have my reservations regarding the "leak."

It was almost as if it had a focus-group-on-the-cheap aspect, though usually Gibson sets the next year's decisions on pricing and catalog a year in advance. If it was a prank or a hack, it was pretty good. As for the misspellings and bad English, it's worth noting that Gibson Marketing has never been particularly accurate over a wide number of instances. I think all that's required is a gushing adoration of all things Gibson. So the copy could very well have been Gibson work. Most of MLP is taking it all at face value.
#30
Quote by dspellman
Watch and see.


Well written post. You have clearly put a lot of thought into it, so it is a very interesting read and it also in general makes a lot of sense.

I can definitely see Gibson moving Epiphone up and discontinuing the Faded/Satin-stuff. It makes so much more sense than what they have been doing in the last few years. Their current model with redesigning everything and putting last year's models on sale every year doesn't look like a good move to me - it looks like either 1. a company investing in trying out the market, or 2. a company in total panic not having a clue what to do. (The first one seems like a very expensive way to test the market.)

I think the MinE-tune system on all models seems like a very, very, very risky move. It is not like they have the momentum to sell it right now. The haven't just endorsed the new Slash with the system, and the Gibson brand has an identity that is extremely traditionalist - your point about the nitro laquer clearly shows this. Why risk it with that system if they can't change the laquer to poly? I find your post is contradictory on that point. Is it an investment to make it standard in the business by 2030?

At the end of the day, no-one is going to mourn cheap, ugly, mediocre LPJ:s or the like. I think it is very wise to get rid of everything in that area and going further along the lines of Epiphone Tribute-series, which at least here cost as much as the entry line Gibsons now, by this year's 33% price increase across the whole Epiphone brand.

We have very interesting times ahead of us.
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#31
Quote by HomerSGR

I think the MinE-tune system on all models seems like a very, very, very risky move. It is not like they have the momentum to sell it right now. The haven't just endorsed the new Slash with the system, and the Gibson brand has an identity that is extremely traditionalist - your point about the nitro laquer clearly shows this. Why risk it with that system if they can't change the laquer to poly? I find your post is contradictory on that point. Is it an investment to make it standard in the business by 2030?


In what, 2005 (?) the PowerTune boys brought their PowerTune tuners to NAMM in both Fender and Gibson styles. Gibson got all excited and purchased an exclusive on the technology, dumped the Fender components and decided to create the Robot and DorkStar (whatever that was) guitars. Gibson had previously used self-tuning technology in the Tranperformance bridge, a 1995-era gizmo that used motors in the bridge end of things to do self-tuning and alternate tunings (so no, the technology isn't very modern). Jimmy Page endorsed them and used one in performance back then.

Since then, PowerTune has become the TronicalTune (you can buy it direct from Tronical for $329 if you can't live without one) and Gibson's exclusive has become "less than exclusive" and Gibson wants very much to be seen as a technology leader in the guitar industry, sort of. They see it as a way to set themselves apart. Go figure. And yes, it's contradictory to their heavily solidified traditionalism.

I doubt that their forcing it down the throats of buyers is going to endear anyone to it. Maybe they figure if we try it, we'll like it. I can predict it will NOT be on everyone's guitars by 2030.
#32
I get the BMW M5 idea: introduce the new tech that becomes a benchmark item in future (& claim royalties for the blueprint). But they're doing it wrong, and they're losing the ambassadors of the future, imo.

If Fender are stopping the cheaper models, thry may have gone a good way to cornering the traditional guitar market. I don't suppose many people caught the Glastonbury footage this year? Fender, Fender, Fender, Fender, Fender, Fender, Fender, Fender, Gibson, Other. Everyone was playing Fenders. After flooding the market with rare designs (offsets) & customised styles (without having to make mods), people seem to have gone crazy for them. Once thr realisation that the quality isn't there, if discontinued, I imagine these guitars are going to be sought after and potentially increase the perceived value of the lesser number of models available in the current range.
#33
great post dspellman.

i think it also represents that gibson is separating the custom shop from what is produced at the gibson usa facility.

if you want a "old school" gibson (looking at you and guys like you colin) then go buy a custom shop historic R-somthing. the trad IS the guitar in their sights to eliminate if this isn't a farce.

which makes sense. big money cork sniffers will just have to pony up $5k-25k for a custom shop R-something or signature model. people that want "modern" will have to buy a gibson usa robot dorkstar ass nut technothingy mostly built by, you guessed it, robots.

good god where is min when you need him? come back acousticmirror!
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
Last edited by gregs1020 at Sep 13, 2014,
#34
The saddest part of it all is that all you Gibson sheep will pay the outrageous prices for guitars that haven't been worthy of the price in 40 years. The quality control as well as the manufacturing is awful. Maybe now some will admit a $1000 ESP LTD EC1000 is as every bit a guitar as a $3000 Gibson, or maybe not.
#35
Side discussion: I'd love a mini-tune style system on a Tele. I change tunings a lot.
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#36
Quote by nwhm
The saddest part of it all is that all you Gibson sheep will pay the outrageous prices for guitars that haven't been worthy of the price in 40 years. The quality control as well as the manufacturing is awful. Maybe now some will admit a $1000 ESP LTD EC1000 is as every bit a guitar as a $3000 Gibson, or maybe not.

Don't buy one then

And no a LTD is not as good as a $3000 Gibson at all and besides being similar in shape they feel completely different
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#37
Quote by nwhm
The saddest part of it all is that all you Gibson sheep will pay the outrageous prices for guitars that haven't been worthy of the price in 40 years. The quality control as well as the manufacturing is awful. Maybe now some will admit a $1000 ESP LTD EC1000 is as every bit a guitar as a $3000 Gibson, or maybe not.


If you like Gibson you are obviously a sheep!1 Wake up Sheeple!

All because Gibson ain't worth it to you doesn't mean everyone else is brainwashed. Saying what is and isn't worthy of a price is subjective so if they feel it is worth the money and can afford it why not? And no I am not a Gibson fanboy I prefer Washburn!
#38
Quote by nwhm
The saddest part of it all is that all you Gibson sheep will pay the outrageous prices for guitars that haven't been worthy of the price in 40 years. The quality control as well as the manufacturing is awful. Maybe now some will admit a $1000 ESP LTD EC1000 is as every bit a guitar as a $3000 Gibson, or maybe not.

The surest way to NOT get someone to agree with your position or even hear you out is to insult them first.

(Not a Gibson or ESP/LTD owner.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#39
Quote by nwhm
The saddest part of it all is that all you Gibson sheep will pay the outrageous prices for guitars that haven't been worthy of the price in 40 years. The quality control as well as the manufacturing is awful. Maybe now some will admit a $1000 ESP LTD EC1000 is as every bit a guitar as a $3000 Gibson, or maybe not.

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Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

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#40
Great post dspellman,Very interesting read.
Personally i think it's a good move to stop producing all the budget satin cheaper models and to up Epiphones quality.I think the new brass nut and MinEtune on all Standards will put alot of peoples noses out of joint though and that god awful headstock decal(even though it is only for 2015).I think if they are going to keep innovating with the Standard then it would be a good idea for them to keep the Traditional and maybe also ditch the Classic,Basically giving us two options within the Standards price range,New tech or the Traditional Les Paul that so many people want and love,I feel it would be a mistake to alienate the traditional LP lovers who can't afford 5-6k for a CS model.
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