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#2
I think my opinion is that they HAVE no strategy, and are simply casting about, looking for something that works.

*I* have solutions for them, of course, but I require a hefty consulting fee...
#3
Quote by dspellman
I think my opinion is that they HAVE no strategy, and are simply casting about, looking for something that works.

*I* have solutions for them, of course, but I require a hefty consulting fee...


Ooh, got open positions in your firm for folks that scout the competition?
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#4
I still think $1200 is too much for a standard SG.
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#5
And that wasn't obvious from the start? I hardly think even the most optimistic, pro-change people would think the changes made to the 2015 product line would catch on.

Personally, I think there was a lot of good stuff in there - the inlays, brass nut etc. so I'm in no way a strict traditionalist but the tuners & price increase quite effectively destroyed the appeal - for me and for a boatload of other people who like the company otherwise (those who call Gibson overpriced crap will continue to do so at every opportunity, so they don't count.)

Swedish chain 4Sound recently dropped the prices to 50% of what they were at the beginning of the year (quite a bit under 2014 prices), so had I been in the market for another Gibson I would easily have got one and changed the tuners - and unlike the usual sale, they had even the most popular options and models in stock. From what I gather, they weren't only floor models either.
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#6
Liquor stores do that, stocking micro brew types when people only buy Old English and 4 Loco's.
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#7
This isn't news to me at all. Of course they fucked up and of course they're going to revert back to the way things were.

It's going to be pretty hilarious seeing their marketing campaign say things like 'Tuners that no longer tune themselves!' as though that's a legitimate selling point.
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#8
The affordable Firebird seems pretty nice. This is a positive development overall.
#9







*ahem*

Sorry about that, my schadenfreude escaped.

Yeah, I have to agree with dspellman: Gibson looks pretty much like a ship adrift at sea, right now.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Sep 2, 2015,
#10
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
It's going to be pretty hilarious seeing their marketing campaign say things like 'Tuners that no longer tune themselves!' as though that's a legitimate selling point.

"Traditional tuners, styled after those from Gibson's Golden Age"

I mean remember when they tried to act like ditching the fret nibs wasn't a cost-cutting measure? They've had a fair bit of practice for that shit.
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#11
Good, the 2015 models were ridiculous. I guess they saw the faded finishes (sub $1000) were their bread and butter lines after all.
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#12
Be interesting to see what happens to their senior execs. Like so many other people I hated the mandatory e-tune addition. Would love to see the bar charts showing "product sales by year", with the year of the mandatory e-tune highlighted in red.

My wish would be for good, solid, well-priced standard products and the introduction of new models to compete with the likes of PRS. Get a visionary luthier on-board to spear-head their modern product line.
#13
Quote by Seriden

My wish would be for good, solid, well-priced standard products and the introduction of new models to compete with the likes of PRS. Get a visionary luthier on-board to spear-head their modern product line.

It won't happen. PRS are leagues above Gibson in design, innovation and overall quality control.
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#14
Quote by ryanbwags
I still think $1200 is too much for a standard SG.



That's less than a new Stratocaster? Why do you think that's too high?
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#15
Quote by JustRooster
That's less than a new Stratocaster? Why do you think that's too high?

I've found most people with the it's too expensive mentality don't have the funds to pay for what ever it is they bitch about. $1200 for a new SG custom is a decent deal IMO
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#17
Quote by JustRooster
That's less than a new Stratocaster? Why do you think that's too high?



Quote by robbgnarly

I've found most people with the it's too expensive mentality don't have the funds to pay for what ever it is they bitch about. $1200 for a new SG custom is a decent deal IMO

You guys are probably right. That's msrp anyway. Most places I've seen don't sell for list price. There's always used, too. Nevermind.
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#18
imo i think gibson (with the exception of a few odd balls that have disappeared) hasn't had an exciting, sustainable shape since 1958.
#19
wow i didn't see that happening

where's this affordable firebird? maybe i'm missing something, but i don't see it in the article?
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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.

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?
#20
Quote by ryanbwags
You guys are probably right. That's msrp anyway. Most places I've seen don't sell for list price. There's always used, too. Nevermind.


$1200 is the street price for the 2016 SG—I saw one in Guitar Center on Sunday. I think Gibson is trying to move away from the stupid MSRP/Street Price system but they’re testing with selected models instead of across the board. IIRC they were supposed to do this in 2015 but it lasted about as long as the end-over-binding frets.
#21
Quote by Robbgnarly
It won't happen. PRS are leagues above Gibson in design, innovation and overall quality control.


Gibson has quality control??

#22
I wonder if they're going to stop ****ing over the dealers now? My guess would be no. My local shop cut down massively on the Gibbies because they kept trying to offload regrettable models nobody bought (reverse Flying V's, for example) on this relatively small dealer that had no real chance of moving them (though apparently they were lucky enough to find a guy willing to drop the money on that stupid V). Now Fender has the big display and man couldn't be happier about it

^And yeah, whether it's value for money depends if they sort the QC out, which so far doesn't seem to be their priority. I guess there's a pretty long future to be had in coasting off the brand name.
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#23
HJ is always trying to inject technology into Gibson guitars. Not sure why but many people who like Gibsons like them for being a more traditional guitar and aren't interested in HJ dicking with the formula. Adding ridiculous price increases only added to the problem. Why pay more for sh*t you never asked for in the 1st place? It was like he was saying "f*** You" you'll take what I make and like it.
No the writing was on the wall the minute this hair brained scheme started. I'd imagine poor sales more than complaints got the owner's attention. Even the most stubborn person (& he is stubborn form what I read) can only deny a mistake for so long before it catches up with him.
Moving on.....
#24
Quote by kentuckyklira
Gibson has quality control??


The handful of 2016 guitars I saw looked a lot better than the 2012–14 guitars I’ve seen. I can’t compare to 2015 because there was never a reason to get close to that crap. I’ve heard good stuff about 2015 QC, but that might just be because they didn’t sell enough for many bad ones to get out
#25
Credit where it is due though, Gibson aren't afraid to try new things, and some of them are very successful eventually. The FV and Explorer, Seth Lover's pickups and adjustable truss rods come to mind immediately.

Of course, us punters have to pay for the mistakes one way or another.
#28
Gibson isn't even exercising quality control at the high end these days (my personal minimum limit for a "good" Gibson was $3500). Fellow over on MLP bought an R-series that had maybe the worst fretboard binding work I've seen on a guitar. It's one thing when someone hacks the guitar up, but when no one down the line to catches it (including the shop that sold it), there's a serious issue. That's a $6500 (and up) MSRP these days.
#29
Quote by dspellman
Gibson isn't even exercising quality control at the high end these days (my personal minimum limit for a "good" Gibson was $3500). Fellow over on MLP bought an R-series that had maybe the worst fretboard binding work I've seen on a guitar. It's one thing when someone hacks the guitar up, but when no one down the line to catches it (including the shop that sold it), there's a serious issue. That's a $6500 (and up) MSRP these days.


i don't think gibson ever did have a grip on qc. i have a les paul custom old enough to be somebody's grandpa and not a thing on it is straight. nearly every feature on it is "off" just a little bit. but the sound is what matters imo and gibson's usually have that.

i've played, handled, bought and sold gibson's made from the early 1900's to modern times and they are certainly getting better, but only as a result of the evolution of manufacturing methods -not necessarily a direct effort to put out the level of quality their price tag demands.

i've owned at least a half dozen gibson's over the years (and not cheap ones either) and every one of them has been a "little off". they all sounded good though and have paid the rent more then once when i have sold one.

there's a tube video around somewhere that shows a gibson employee at a buffing machine flipping a lp standard around like a harlem globetrotter while jabing it into the machine every couple of seconds or so before throwing it back into the air and whirling around for another attack at the buffing wheel. ime as a manufacturing engineer that's not really the best way to demonstrate "quality workmanship."
Last edited by ad_works at Sep 3, 2015,
#30
Quote by Tony Done at #33579300
Credit where it is due though, Gibson aren't afraid to try new things, and some of them are very successful eventually. The FV and Explorer, Seth Lover's pickups and adjustable truss rods come to mind immediately.

Of course, us punters have to pay for the mistakes one way or another.

That is true. They aren't afraid to throw ideas at the wall to see what sticks. But if they want to make guitars that'll be future classics, they cannot resort to technology for answers. Technology generally doesn't age well, especially in such traditionalist circles that romanticise the past.

I think designing new pickups has the potential to work well for Gibson. As well as introducing new finish options. The detachable pickguard is a nice idea and the brass nut is something I have no problems with Gibson keeping. I think they should give more Les Pauls carved neck heels like the Access had as well. I've played the Epiphone Matt Heafy LP which has that same heel and it's brilliant. And the Epiphone Ultra III is a design concept that Gibson USA would benefit from if they did their own version.

Those are the sort of things I'd like to see Gibson do if they wanted to 'innovate' in a productive way. They're not such drastic changes that traditionalists will want to throw up in their mouths, and they're genuine improvements.
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#31
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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.

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.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#32
thinking about this, im in that boat of - i think there are too many better options on the market for the price than a gibson. then again, im also not a fender guy.

however, why is fender not having this issue?

my thought is -

lot a lot of people can build a fender better than fender. debatable. those that do (like tom anderson or Suhr) built ultra premium instruments.

theres a lot of people that can build a les paul better than gibson...and im not sure thats a widely debatable as my above fender statement. (go check out after market clones of single cuts...i think a large percentage would agree other brands quality to dollar ratio and feature set well surpasses gibson)

bottom line, still very premium guitars. but being in the lime light, number 1 or number 2 spot of the guitar world since the 60s...tehy havent done much to defend their title.

other brands like rickenbacker are a very niche, premium instrument and will never take that spot, nor do i think they want to. but gibson is probably going to have a hard time defending market share, now that brands like Reverend can gain mainstream success.

the market pie only has so many slices...
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#33
There are Stratclones out there that compete at lower prices or different features, too. Carvin, Fret-King, Godin, Fernandes and many others can be found, if you know to look.
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!
#34
Yeah and Tokai and the like as well.

There probably is less difference between Fender and its imitators and Gibson, though- you're still paying a premium with Fender, but less of a one, and Fender doesn't really go in for those half-finished USA-made cheaper guitars like Gibson does, either, it just makes the cheaper Fenders in Mexico to keep the cost down.
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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.

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.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#35
I mentioned this in the fretless thread -- there's now a 25.5" SCALE Les Paul.
Your choice of neck profiles. MSRP is up around $5K. Sweetwater has one up.
#36
I think Dave's got the right idea. Comparing Fender and Gibson across the board is a bit too broad. Gibson, for better or for worse, refuses to make a guitar outside the US. They have always been and billed themselves as a higher-end manufacturer, and making all their guitar in the USA helps that image.

So, if we compare a bit more similarly, Fender USA models start around $1000. That's actually not far off of where Gibson starts, and most Gibson models are more expensive (set neck, more expensive woods, finished necks, nitro finish, angled headstock, binding, etc.) to make than your average Strat. Plus, Fender still does some of the work (for many models) on basic neck and body shaping in Mexico before sending the pieces on to the USA for finishing. So, really, with the low end models, Gibson isn't pricing their models terribly far above what seems to be standard for a USA made guitar from a major manufacturer. Of course, a LP standard is a whole lot more than $1K, but again it costs a lot more in labor and parts to make, and a Studio might be more analogous to Fender's Standard. There's a reason they have tended to be around the same price. Gibson does this on purpose to imply that they have higher 'Standards.' Not exactly subtle.

The problem, of course, is exactly that. Fender knows that at some point, you cannot make a cheap, quality instrument while paying US labor costs. For a high-end guitar, sure, it's built into the cost and there's enough margin that it makes sense, and many buyers demand or prefer it. For a $600 guitar, though, Gibson simply cannot make a guitar in the USA that can keep up with the quality coming out of any number of other countries right now. Their aura is a high-end guitar, made in the USA, but in reality most of their products suffer greatly because so much of the cost is in labor instead of anything resembling quality.

Case in point is Gretsch. They used to be in a similar boat as Gibson - expensive models, very involved building process, famous name. They also made some complete garbage throughout the 80s, because they just could not make a quality instrument at a competitive price, but were unwilling to sell cheaper models or move their manufacturing. So their product and their bottom line suffered. Once Fender bought them, though, they moved low-end production to Korea and higher-end to Japan, keeping the USA as a custom shop, and now Gretsch quality is better than it ever was, even in the heyday when Gretsch was a Top 3 maker with Fender and Gibson. I think we're going to see Gibson falling into exactly the same pattern if they don't realize that something has to give. Their only saving grace so far is that the Les Paul remained popular while Gretsch boxes fell out of vogue. If PRS continues to horn in on the Gibson market, we may see their guitar-making operations (which even now don't constitute the majority of Gibson's profit sources) getting spun off or sold to a company willing to make the hard decision of choosing profits and quality over pedigree. Gibson is too big to go back to being exclusively a high-end maker, so there's really only one decision to make here, and they continue to refuse to make it.

The telling story here is that they continue to refuse to leverage the Epiphone brand. Everyone wants a "real" Gibson, but Gibson continues to dilute that brand by selling $400 Melody Makers because Epiphone isn't allowed to intrude on the Gibson brand, but Gibson can stoop to Epiphone levels. Gibson really screwed themselves by keeping Epi from being seen as a quality, midrange product instead of the "almost as good" alternative. Discontinuing the Elitist lineup instead of expanding that type of offering is beginning to look like the dumbest move Gibson has made (still refusing to acknowledge the Firebird X). They were 15 years ahead of the curve making fantastic, mid/high end guitars in Asia, and instead of running with it they panicked at the notion of cannibalizing Gibson sales. Now Gibson is stuck cranking out subpar Les Paul-alikes and nobody is happy. They're cursed because they know nobody will buy a Gibson that's made in Asia, and they cannot make a good product at a competitive price in the USA, at least not one that reaches the most profitable, $1500 and under market. They can't survive on Custom Shop sales.
#37
Quote by Tony Done
Credit where it is due though, Gibson aren't afraid to try new things, and some of them are very successful eventually. The FV and Explorer, Seth Lover's pickups and adjustable truss rods come to mind immediately.



I'm not sure that Gibson has tried a lot of new things that've been successful in a very long time. Their first 24-fret guitar happened in 1972, their first hot pickup then as well. Very few 24-fret necks in their lineup.

The Axcess neck heel was brought to them by Neal Schon. Worth noting, however, that smooth neck heels on set necks have been around since the very early '70's and that Gibson didn't introduce them until 2005. And they STILL haven't moved them to other guitars.

They've been extremely reticent to build guitars in longer scales or with more strings (there are *very* few) and they're more or less clueless about trems beyond the occasional Bigsby.

Other radii? Not so much. Larger frets? Not so much. Sustainers? One guitar, and their stated production? 35 pieces.

They're simply not there when it comes to innovation. They have no clue what to do to make their *current* guitars better.

They have a headstock issue. It doesn't stay in tune well and it breaks. They could fix that quickly and easily, but they won't. They could offer an LP with better upper fret access, but they won't. They could offer one with a tummy cut and make it more comfortable, but they won't. They've only just offered the LP with a 25.5" scale, and they think it's perfect for downtuning. They've never heard of stainless frets, or jumbo frets. How much teeth-pulling did it take to get them to pony up locking tuners? Why won't they modernize their finish and their finishing department.

In almost every instance, the argument will be that they've painted themselves into a corner with a slavish devotion to traditionalism, and yet Henry J has the gall to call his customers Luddites because they don't rush to adopt an auto tuner that's largely unnecessary and that breaks easily.

They're bound and determined that they're a lifestyle choice, a *premium* guitar company, but the build quality and consistency of $400 Asian guitars is far better than theirs.

Their innovative days pretty much screeched to a halt after they copied Paul Bigsby's singlecut guitar from 1948.
#38
Agreed, and it's an important factor to note that the innovations they've had in recent years - the Min-e-tune/G-Force, the Firebird X platform - have been bought rather than developed by Gibson. Buying existing tech instead of having a proper in-house R&D might be part of the issue. Purchasing relevance is tough when you don't know what relevance looks like.

Their only real foray into an actual change in recipe was the 2008 revamping of the Standard, which was stupid for two reasons - it was too conservative to be notable to people who didn't already like the Les Paul, and it was too much of a departure to excite the Les Paul traditionalists who make up a sizable bit of their existing market. Had they been smart enough to create a new model line ( hear Dusk Tiger was available) as a platform for a modern LP, they might have actually won some new customers instead of just pissing off the people who were already on board.
#39
Quote by Roc8995
Agreed, and it's an important factor to note that the innovations they've had in recent years - the Min-e-tune/G-Force, the Firebird X platform - have been bought rather than developed by Gibson.


More importantly, these things aren’t innovations and had already failed in mass-market guitars. Other makers tried selling robot tuners in the 1980s. Onboard effects were around in the 1960s. Zero frets date back to at least the 1950s. And metal nuts have probably been around as long as guitars. Five minutes of Google searching will turn all of this up, so Henry J.’s real failure is hubris. He thinks that just because he was able to turn Gibson’s business around he’s more qualified to rethink the electric guitar than all of the other people who tried and failed before him.
#40
Very sad to see the Classic line disappear($800 cheaper than a Standard Les Paul for what's basically a Standard Les Paul? Yum), but the $900 50's Studio has me very intrigued if it's any better than the old Studios, as does the $1,100 Firebird.
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