Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

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Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby John Brown » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:28 pm

Just read about the above on msn.co.UK!! Our fault for buying Fenders :(
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby JimN » Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:41 pm

Not guilty. I have more Gibsons than I have USA Fenders.
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby Tigerdaisy » Mon Feb 19, 2018 4:58 pm

The writing has been on the wall for a number of years now- Gibson changed from a company making good guitars to a company who wanted to make money...

Edit: I made an unfavourable comment about Gibson some years ago because I knew someone in the trade who had visited them, but understandably I was shouted down by certain members of this forum.
Last edited by Tigerdaisy on Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby Mikey » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Does this mean there'll soon be Gibsons going cheap.......or twang , even?!
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby Uncle Fiesta » Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:39 pm

Gibson will never disappear, someone will take over the name and carry it on. I wonder if Fender will put in a bid?
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby dave robinson » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:49 am

Fender aren't doing very well either, but I doubt either will go under.
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby Tigerdaisy » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:19 am

dave robinson wrote:Fender aren't doing very well either, but I doubt either will go under.


No one is doing that well theses days- fish and chip shops are doing badly all over the country as a kind of barometer of the economy. Fender should stick to their traditions and not try and reinvent well tried formulas like Gibson have done- if you look at Gibson's current range it makes you wince with the off the wall colour schemes.
Looking at various news feeds it looks like Fender are going down the same road Gibson have with experienced staff being shoved out and management ethos badly deteriorated. Mind you we are now in a new paradigm, if you hadn't already guessed, it's the 'no customer service' paradigm and it's spreading like wildfire.
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby MMStingray54 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:36 pm

As I understand it, Gibson is in a more parlous financial state than Fender but the fact they are both in a pretty awful way is linked to the following:-

There are far few people buying new guitars now than say 15 years ago and there are other factors:-

1) Fewer people are taking up the instrument
2) A lot of people will only buy used as they get them at a much lower price - and the Internet has fuelled this - for instance if you want to buy a used bass, the two forums Basschat and Talkbass have pretty heavily used market places which wouldn't have been dreamed of 15 yours ago.
3) There is a general perception amongst some people that old guitars are somehow better instruments than new ones.
4) Instruments are 'luxury' purchases and sales have generally been depressed by the financial situation since the late 00s.
5) Competition - there are lots of manufacturers - Gibson and Fender have both been parking large volumes of stock with retailers for years - notably Guitar Centre in the US - which has its own problems.
6) Guitars don't generally wear out so is the market more saturated than ever?

Add to this the CITES issue with rosewood - a massive log jam of instruments created by a shortage of biologists to certify the origin is compliant. Gibson guitars generally have rosewood boards, unlike Fender which are generally split between maple and rosewood - so are more fundamentally affected.

So I suspect Gibson's problems are caused by multiple factors. However I also believe there will always be people who want to buy a new Gibson Les Paul, 335 etc (as there will be with PRS, Musicman, Fender etc etc). Let's hope it doesn't die as a brand (I also don't think it will).

Interesting the mention of customer service above - Gibson have been alleged to have had QC problems in the last few years - something I've not only read about but heard from retailers. I'm guessing this doesn't help - Fender's initial approach to the rosewood issue mentioned above was to stop using it - hardly a customer focussed decision in my opinion.
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby chaddman » Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:00 pm

There are plenty of guitars being sold just not so many Gibson and Fender ones (too expensive). The quality of the ones made in China and other parts of the far east has come on leaps and bounds over recent years and some can be excellent instruments for very little money. :D
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Re: Gibson guitars facing bankruptcy!

Postby Uncle Fiesta » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:56 am

I just posted this on another guitar forum so may as well repeat it here.

There are still large numbers of young people taking up the guitar, but the vast majority give up after about 18 months when they realise how much time and effort they will need to invest before they become even half decent. On the other hand downloading a drum track and assorted other noises off the internet, and putting what passes for singing these days over the top of it, takes no effort whatsoever and is exactly what all the other young people want to listen to anyway.

My explanation for Gibson's problems is as follows:

1 - the above; kids not learning guitars due to the work involved, and today's so-called 'music' not needing them.

2 - Gibson's insistence on trying to sell new models when all the guitar buyers want (don't forget, we're all old gits now) is guitars that are exactly like the old ones.


Gibson need to have a range of reasonably accurate replicas of their 50s/50s/70s models (like Fender have done with their American Original Series) such as Les Pauls, 335s, SGs, Firebirds, Vs, etc, at a reasonable price point. Also a range of budget guitars for beginners so that people can start on a Gibson, then they will be more likely to stay with them when they feel ready to upgrade.

Someone on another forum has suggested that Gibson should 'do a Monkees', - in other words, sponsor a band of young people, playing the sort of crap today's youth insist on listening to, but using Gibson guitars to do it. You never know, it could work
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