Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Gibson

  1. #1
    Registered User carbonpiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Lyon (France)
    Posts
    164

    Default Gibson

    Hello
    In France (and also in Europe), if we take care that the specialized journals write, it seems that Gibson lives difficult days. You who are on the spot, what do you think of this information?
    Jean-Luc
    LuluMando

  2. #2
    Registered User Roger Moss's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Charlottesville Va
    Posts
    1,049

    Default Re: Gibson

    Uh, if I take your meaning, you are asking about Gibson's current financial difficulties. Just my opinion, but it looks to me to be a problem of their own making. Their instruments, though generally decent, tend to be rather excessively overpriced. Plus they badly overextended themselves by buying up too many other companies. Now they owe more than they can pay. If they manage to sell off enough to stay afloat, they will still be a shadow of their former glory.
    When the sun beats down and I lie on the bench, I can always hear them talk.
    Me, I'm just a lawnmower - you can tell me by the way I walk.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Gibson

    Even if they stay afloat I wonder if they will continue to build mandolins.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY, USA
    Posts
    878

    Default Re: Gibson

    The Gibson company has changed hands more than one. As a brand it has value. In the advent of the company folding the name will live on. With some luck it will be taken by people who appreciate the history and want to make quality instruments, including mandolins.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Gibson

    You know, if Gibson goes broke, someone will buy the name. What they do with it we don't know. What I can pretty much bet on is those folks building Gibson mandolins will keep making mandolins. What the logo will be, who knows?
    Silverangel A
    Michael Kelly LSFTB
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  6. #6
    Some Ability - No Talent MikeZito's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    1,293
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Gibson

    I guess my first question to Gibson would be: Does the world really need 40 different varieties of Les Pauls? Until they get solidly back on their feet again, how about simply three choices - a Custom, a Standard and a Studio? Same with SG's, Explorers, Firebirds . . . and mandolins too. Bring back basic good quality, and start rebuilding. There is simply no reason for sub-par, lower-priced Gibson's - they already have the Epiphone line (which can also be similarly scaled back) that produces some excellent stuff at very affordable prices. To me it's not brain surgery, just simple economics, Take Rickenbacker for example; they don't churn out a warehouse full of guitars every day. They have a comparatively small line of guitars that have been sold months or even years before they are made. They have been doing it that way for decades. Perhaps not a bad blueprint for reorganization?

    Just my humble opinion . . . .

  7. #7
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    7,226

    Default Re: Gibson

    things took a turn towards the worse when then went from, "An instrument company" to a, "Lifestyle company."

    Too bad for the brand. But those mandolins!

    I sort of want one!

    f-d
    ˇpapá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  8. The following members say thank you to fatt-dad for this post:


  9. #8
    Registered User Billy Packard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Grass Valley
    Posts
    493

    Default Re: Gibson

    David Harvey is the best thing Gibson has right now. The mandolins he and his crew are making are fine instruments.
    Billy Packard
    Gilchrist A3, 1993
    Weber Fern, 2007
    Gibson F4 Hybrid #1, D. Harvey 2009
    Gibson 1923 A2
    Numerous wonderful guitars

  10. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Billy Packard For This Useful Post:


  11. #9
    Teacher, luthier
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Southeast Tennessee
    Posts
    1,008

    Default Re: Gibson

    What we know for certain: Gibson is over $500 million [US dollars] in debt.
    They have reduced their work force in the last 90 days.

    Everything else is conjecture. Gibson's employees don't know any more than we do.

    For the record-- The Gibson name has changed ownership four times since Orville Gibson began building mandolins in 1894-- in 1902, 1944, late 1969, and 1987. The current owners are Henry Juszkiewicz and David Berryman. Another partner of the current owners was Gary Zebrowski. I do not know whether Zebrowski is still involved with the company or not.

  12. #10
    Registered User carbonpiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Lyon (France)
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Gibson

    Your comments resume and develop quite what is reported in France and Europe. But your opinions, very sincere, were necessary, because with the development of fakes news, we had to be a little suspicious.
    MikeZito's comment is edifying and I share his vision of things.
    I also want to give a much more general personal opinion on brands and music stores that have not been able to react.
    In the years 2004, a world phenomenon occurred. All the people who, like me, had known the advent and experienced the disembarkation of modern music (and I mainly talk about rock'n roll) found themselves in retirement and with free time. For many, this time has been used to reconnect with their old musical passion. So they rushed into the shops to acquire the instrument of their dream, the one they did not have the financial means to afford when they were 15 y.o.!
    To meet this demand, instrument manufacturers have removed forgotten instruments from their cartons. There has been a proliferation of re-editions, and often with more than doubtful quality.
    For example, one of my friends, fanatic of Les Paul, ordered and bought a reissue of a mythical model (I forgot the exact type)
    As his instrument did not sound as he hoped and rather than send it back to the United States, he entrusted it to a luthier well known in France for his great competence. The verdict was without appeal! The body of this Les Paul, paid 6500 € was made with 5 pieces of glued wood (not counting the table and the bottom!) While all the peculiarity of the original model was to have a body in only 1 part!
    I, personally, bought a new American Standard Stratocaster in 2008. The manufacturing was disastrous, with an adjustment of the handle cavity which left several miles apart and a maple handle cut anyhow. A friend of mine bought a Squier, so Fender made in China. It paid 4 times less and the manufacture and 4 times better!
    In the face of this rush of new customers filled with banknotes, merchants and builders did anything. There are even some who have built new factories or opened new shops on every street corner, without even realizing that this euphoria was temporary.
    In France, we do not have large factories of instruments, but we had a lot of shops that developed between 2005 and 2012. Today, 8 out of 10 shops have closed, often in very sad conditions for people who worked there. Those who believed that their fortune was made simply did not understand that it was going to stop. The customers, and here again this is my case, are now over 70 years old. 30% of these people have equipped themselves and no longer consider other purchases, 30% have hung their instruments on the living room wall, 30% have rheumatisms that hinder them to play and 10% have died ...
    On the other hand, the factories, which did not understand the phenomenon because often led by financiers who do not know at all the particular world of musicians, continue to produce and produce still, believing that what worked for 8 or 10 years was going to endure again and again!
    Concerning the mandolin, it is quite certain that our vision of things, in Europe, is very different from that of the United States. I live in Lyon, a French metropolis of 1.35 million inhabitants and which has only today a dozen shops selling musical instruments (there were 3 times more in 2010! I know them all! Finding a set of mandolin strings is a challenge. Regarding the instrument itself, there must be in all and for all 5 or 6 for sale (new instruments) No need to look for a Gibson or other I know them all! Finding a set of mandolin strings is a challenge. Regarding the instrument itself, there must be in all and for all 5 or 6 for sale (new instruments) No need to look for a Gibson or other high quality mandolin ...
    This to explain that the vision of the mandolin market by french people is very different from that of American mandolinists. I dare a remark, at the risk of making you scream ... If the "big" disappear, they will only have what they deserve. This can only make the happiness of the artisants luthiers.
    Many excuses for language errors
    Jean-Luc
    LuluMando

  13. The following members say thank you to carbonpiou for this post:


  14. #11
    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Sugar Grove,PA
    Posts
    2,266
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Gibson

    WoW 500 mil. in debt? If they don't straighten things out we'll all see mandolin production go bye bye! Sad day in the mando world if that happens.

  15. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Gibson

    The moron that runs Gibson thinks that their greatest innovation under him was the self tuning les paul! Who really cares about Gibson at this point - the question is what is happening to the Bozeman factory. (I have had my J45 for 55 years now)

  16. #13
    Registered User carbonpiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Lyon (France)
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Gibson

    That's why I started this debate. Seen from Europe and our little France, the informations are the one that we want to report to journalists specialized in the world of musical instruments (french magazins). We have absolutely no details that you have on the spot. Regarding Gibson mandolins, it is likely that many musicians (I think guitarists) do not even know that Gibson still manufactures mandolins today! It is to say if we are late !!
    Jean-Luc
    LuluMando

  17. #14
    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennsylvania, United States
    Posts
    13,763
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Gibson

    My thoughts as a non-guitarist is the Gibson name is important and I don't know what will become of their Mandolin and Banjo division. The company has had some superb folks running that shop and some tremendous talent. Unfortunately, we are very far away from Oh Brother Where Art Thou which brought a lot of folks back to homemade music making and the number of small shop builders that more than compete quality wise with Gibson is huge.

    Martin no longer makes mandolins (and I like their mandolins) and hasn't for a long time. If I were a betting man, I see this as Gibson's future. Focus on guitars that drive sales. Skip the gimmicks and focus on their core product.

    On this day, 22 Mar 1904 Gibson got the patent on improvements to the guitar soundbox. His legacy for guitars and mandolins lives on outside the house Orville built and will for another age.

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

    + Give Blood, Save a Life +

  18. #15
    Brentrup Evangelist Larry S Sherman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,778
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default Re: Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeZito View Post
    Until they get solidly back on their feet again, how about simply three choices - a Custom, a Standard and a Studio?
    I would vote for three bursts R9, R8, and R0, then Goldtop, black Custom, and P-90 junior. Skip the LP studios for a few years...must be thousands of them out there for sale on the used market.

  19. #16
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Blue Zone, California
    Posts
    1,042

    Default Re: Gibson

    The current ownership/management of Gibson has made published statements in the past indicating that the mandolin/banjo/Dobro etc. production side of the total Gibson instrument production is tiny in their view. Meaning that the other side of the instrument production house is really their focus. Gibson has never restarted production of banjos or Dobros since slightly before the 2010 flood and while rumors come out from time to time, no definate movement in those areas has ever been reported. That leaves mandolin production alone since 2014 in what Gibson shows on their website as "Gibson Custom" instrument production.

    None of us can predict what is going to happen. Gibson's mandolin production today is considered excellent and people seem very pleased with the results. It also represents a historical part of Gibson that no other Gibson instrument being produced does. But, this being a tiny part in the Gibson ownership/management's view, in a serious financial tightening-the-belt situation we can pretty much imagine where cuts will be made first.

    Whether the people invoved with the "Gibson Custom" instrument production would continue making similar instruments or not is also up for grabs; I'm sure most of us would wish them luck if they did, however there is already pretty significant competition in non-Gibson mandolin production so any kind of new company taking the place of Gibson mandolins would really have to hit the ground running in order to make it a success.

    Peronally, I've enjoyed Gibson instruments for decades and already feel bad that the Gibson banjo and Dobro production is over. I'd feel equally bad if Gibson mandolins were discontinued. But if faced with a need for a new mandolin (or banjo or Dobro), I know of a number of private builders who I would talk to. Mostly, as Gibson struggles to work out its finances, I really wouldn't be surprised to see anything happen.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)

    [About how I tune my mandolins]

  20. #17
    Registered User carbonpiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Lyon (France)
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Gibson

    Don, your explanation is both objective and precise. In any case, it responds much better than anything I've read in France about Gibson and his situation. As already explained, it is true that in Europe, the banjo, the dobro and the mandolin are very secondary instruments, rarely exposed in shop, because very little sought and requested.
    So we do not have the same vision of the problem that you, fans of these instruments. In fact, it is not the instruments themselves that are shunned. Simply, we do not have music that requires the use of dobro, banjo or mandolins.
    This is at the same time a question of musical culture, inheritance or mentality. Bluegrass is totally ignored here, with the exception of very few bands or musicians. In France, therefore, that Gibson is stopped the manufacture of dobro and banjo went completely unnoticed and did not bother anyone. No magazine has talked about it!
    Regarding Gibson mandolins, it will be the same if it happens. I can tell you, since I come back from Paris a short time ago, that it is impossible to find a new Gibson mandolin at an instrument dealer. The only new mandolins available in the shop cost between 150 and 350 €. Just toys, or almost.
    Now, one thing is certain. If Gibson stopped the manufacture of mandolins, the cost of used instruments may fly to the summit, with all the excesses and excesses that it generates.
    Jean-Luc
    LuluMando

  21. #18

    Default Re: Gibson

    Well, regardless of gibsons future,
    We live in a golden age of instruments, imho.

    And, we live, overall, in a world with increasing average wealth and quality of life.

    There are a great number of superb, sometimes far superior mandolins, guitars, and banjos, etc. bearing a different name.

    At one time, i too revered Gibson, and to some extent, still do. History.

    And, while we may not NEED 50 permutations of any instrument, the reality is, this is what it takes to move product. Folks want it ready to go, as they desire. Or, like me, want an odd duck. I have 4 such...les pauls, to contrast the other conventional ones.

    I have more than a few gibson products, only one of which I purchased new. There are a lot of used gibsons competing with the new. Many of the new are improved. But, price may not equal value.

    Henry is a harvard business school graduate. Hes doing exactly as he wishes.
    I have little sympathy, as he only answers to himself, not shareholders. If he wanted to manufacture instruments profitably as a primary business, i am certain he could.

    Guitar center , martin, fender, etc. are all working hard to deal with the current market.

    I love france. But, i am pleased that in the USA, instruments are so readily and reasonably available. Im sorry that in the eu, prices are so high. Do come and visit us, buy a couple of toys.

  22. #19
    Registered User carbonpiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Lyon (France)
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Gibson

    Your idea is not bad, Stevedenver !...
    How lucky you are to have stores that have high quality mandolins in stock, available for sale!
    I share your opinion about the immediate availability of what we want to buy. Compared to the US, we have a train late, in France! All the shops that sell instruments only think about one thing: spin the stock. They are no longer passionate about music, they are traders, in the most mercantile sense possible. To read what you wrote, I do not think I'm wrong in understanding that Gibson has also made this choice by stopping the manufacture of what sells little, even if it is very good and by favoring and multiplying the models that do not have only quality as their legend.
    If I say bull####, be nice to stop! I know you are nice and good advice, so do not worry.
    Sincerely
    Jean-Luc
    LuluMando

  23. #20
    Registered User peterleyenaar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Kimberley B.C. Canada
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by stevedenver View Post

    I love france. But, i am pleased that in the USA, instruments are so readily and reasonably available. Im sorry that in the eu, prices are so high. Do come and visit us, buy a couple of toys.
    And while you're in the USA, take a little side trip north in to Canada, we have some amazing builders here: Heiden, Wiems, Sawchyn and many more, and some of us speak some kind of French

  24. #21
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    15,768

    Default Re: Gibson

    There is fairly flourishing production of stringed instruments, including mandolins, in eastern Europe, within the EU. While these aren't comparable, for the most part, to the carved-top Gibson-esque instruments many of us play, instruments such as Hora should be obtainable in France. The large mail/internet retailer Thomann, out of Germany, at least lists Gibson mandolins in its catalog.

    Which sorta breaks up the discussion into two separate issues: [A] what is the future of Gibson's production of mandolins (and banjos, resonator guitars) here in the US, and [2] why aren't these types of instruments more available in France, and perhaps in other continental European countries? (Please note my Car Talk numbering system.)

    With regard to Gibson, the company's had more ups and downs in the past half-century than one can count; it's been acquired by conglomerates, acquired other music and related businesses in turn, and changed directions as the market shifted. At one point it seemed clear that it would become an electric guitar company, and nothing else. Its acquisition of Flatiron seemed to promise a continued commitment to producing acoustic guitars and mandolins, and it has actually continued to do so. But realistically, Gibson's acoustic-instrument production is a small fraction of its overall business, and a fair amount of it has been farmed out to its Asian subsidiaries; I'd bet that Gibson sells 50 times the Epiphone MM-30's that it does F-9's. Henry Juszkewicz may have made, and be making, some unwise business decisions, but emphasizing the Les Paul over the F-5 wasn't one of them. Add to that the impact of having the Nashville facility flooded out, and it's not surprising that mandolin (and banjo, resonator guitar) production seems nearly vestigial.

    As for the rarity of mandolins on the European continent -- first, depends on the type of mandolin. There are still quite a few oval-hole "Portuguese" style instruments readily available. I'd guess that in Italy bowl-backs are still easily acquired. There are Czech luthiers making Gibson-style instruments (most of which, probably, get exported to the US [?]}. There are also Czech shops making good resonator guitars, maybe banjos. And, of course, with fairly large operations like Thomann, European mandolinists can purchase Asian-made instruments from Loar, Eastman, Kentucky et. al.

    Second, as carbonpiou points out, the French music scene doesn't create a large demand for mandolins. You could say the same about most of the continental European countries, with the exception of Italy, I would speculate. Production and distribution respond to market forces. I assume that if you expended some effort, you could buy lederhosen in Portugal or snowshoes in Sicily, but you wouldn't find them widespread.

    And the elephant in the room, IMHO, is the fact that mandolin is now a "niche" instrument -- a pretty sizable niche, but a niche nevertheless. It ain't 1910 any more, with big instrument manufacturers competing to sell full lines of mandolin-family instruments. To be honest, the US market doesn't need Gibson, to meet its demand; we could satisfy that demand with Asian imports, with domestic companies like Weber, Collings, Big Muddy, and with individual builders. Plus, of course, the thousands of used/"vintage" instruments that are sold every year.

    So: no more Gibson mandolins? That would be too bad, but almost more from a "heritage" perspective, than from a failure to meet market needs. I have a feeling that Gibson will survive in some form, but Gibson mandolins may be relegated to pricey "special order" status -- or farmed out to whatever firm would be the "new Flatiron." I understand that any Gibson banjo production that exists, has already been subcontracted to other companies to supply all the parts for assembly. The world moves on, and we can lament the changes: "Pops, you just turned 100! Bet you've seen a lot of changes in your life."

    "Yep, and I was agin every one of 'em!"
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  25. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to allenhopkins For This Useful Post:


  26. #22
    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    My heart is in The South.
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    So: no more Gibson mandolins? That would be too bad, but almost more from a "heritage" perspective, than from a failure to meet market needs.
    Which makes one wonder, what happens to the values of existing Gibson mandolins should they cease production? Do they stay the same? Or should we be gambling on futures with used Gibsons?

  27. The following members say thank you to NursingDaBlues for this post:


  28. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    2,622

    Default Re: Gibson

    Quote Originally Posted by NursingDaBlues View Post
    Which makes one wonder, what happens to the values of existing Gibson mandolins should they cease production? Do they stay the same? Or should we be gambling on futures with used Gibsons?
    To the extent that their quality exceeds that of competing products, price will chase demand.

    On a niche instrument like mandolins, "demand" can be a very significant variable. Interest in mandolins plunged during the 1920s.

    As ever, adoption by a popular artist can also drive demand.

  29. The following members say thank you to Bob A for this post:


  30. #24
    Registered User carbonpiou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Lyon (France)
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Gibson

    Your remarks are extremely judicious Bob A and NursingDaBlues as well as the detailed analysis of Allen concerning the mandolin market in Europe.
    On the other hand, I made a huge mistake by daring to write that there was no shop in France specializing in niche instruments. This mistake is all the more inadmissible as this shop is located in my city, Lyon!
    Some say it is even unique in Europe. Its leader, Bernard Boch, a true passionate, travels the world in search of small local craftsmen who manufacture instruments corresponding to the traditions of their country.
    This shop is both a museum and a real jewelery shop for anyone interested in the instruments of the world.
    I have no action in this company and I think that the regulation of the forum allows me to put here the link to the site of this shop which is absolutely exceptional..
    http://www.pick-et-boch.com
    Jean-Luc
    LuluMando

  31. The following members say thank you to carbonpiou for this post:


  32. #25
    F5G & MD305 Astro's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Charleston SC
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Gibson

    Well look on the bright side; to stay afloat they really only have to sell one 500 million dollar mandolin.
    No matter where I go, there I am...Unless I'm running a little late.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •