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Thread: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

  1. #826

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hilburn View Post
    There are no rules as to what a scroll should look like. However most builders who are going for the F5 model like to get as close as possible to the early Gibsons. However when you ARE Gibson and have made a big deal about how you are the creators of the F5 it sure seems like you should try harder than most to get it right.
    Here's a Gibson that was supposed to look like Bill Monroes which was priced around $30k if I remember correctly. Then there's my friend Jacobs 4th mandolin.
    The scroll on that Jacobs makes me think of the old Lucky Strike slogan: So round, so firm, so fully packed!

  2. #827
    Registered User Roger Adams's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    IMHO, Gibson has every right to defend their designs, and intellectual property. Better late, than never.

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  4. #828
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Adams View Post
    IMHO, Gibson has every right to defend their designs, and intellectual property. Better late, than never.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbd1trNz9bY
    They have the right to defend.. But its the courts that decide if they win? so far they havent been to successful.. they should of looked after there Trademarks a little better..

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  6. #829

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Been discussed to death, but I just noticed while searching for a 50's Gibson ES-295 (a somewhat rare guitar only made from 1952-1958) on Google images that, yep, sure enough, our friends in China make a very nice looking copy (counterfeit with Gibson name) for around $300 which includes shipping to USA. Not only that, they are offering it in colors that were never available in the 50's.

    Even so, I'm scratching my head thinking what is the worldwide market for a such a guitar? Can they hope to sell 50 of them? 500? Doubtful IMHO, but they are doing it anyway.

    Of course, a Les Paul copy or ES-335 copy for $300 would sell a lot, IMHO, so......................

    Should Gibson be mad? Of course!

    Can they do anything about it? Doubtful, past internet video threats, IMHO........

    Like I say, to most people $300 sounds a lot better than $5-6K

    And, I've handled and set up a bunch of these guitars -- not a Gibson -- but for the money, a great value. Imagine if Epiphone said Gibson on the peghead instead of Epiphone...........on top of that on the back of the peghead it is stamped "Made in the USA" instead of made in China -- sure, it's a dirty lie, but a very soothing and reassuring one to USA buyers, IMHO......

    I should add, it has taken 50 years for "Made in Japan" to symbolize quality to most guitar buyers, so made in China might take a while.....
    Last edited by Jeff Mando; Mar-07-2020 at 10:33pm.

  7. #830

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    China has had a very long history making classical stringed instruments, and if I’m not wrong, Eastman was one of them. The viola I bought my daughter years ago dusted instruments at twice the price. $4500 wasn’t chump change to me then or now, but it taught me that the Chinese can make whatever level instrument you want them to. Northfield is a prime example.

    But putting a Gibson logo on a cheap knockoff is wrong and always will be. It’s good to see Gibson trying to make up for past PR blunders.

    As far as the scroll, I hadn’t noticed, so I guess it hasn’t bothered me. I have noticed other builders however, and I’m not above a logo I don’t like being a deal breaker.
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  8. #831
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Getting into this on the 34th page is probably redundant -- ah, hell -- Apologize if I'm re-covering stuff that's already been discussed.

    1. Failing to patent, trademark or copyright a major design element, like the F-model mandolin design, was a dumb oversight on Gibson's part, well over a century ago. Orville Gibson's only patent for mandolin design covers carving the entire mandolin body's back and sides from a single piece of wood, rather than glueing the sides to the back and top. It was clearly intended to counter the common bowl-back construction of the period (1898), and the bent-top, flat-back instruments that were derived from the bowl-back template. It doesn't refer to the F-style scrolled designs that Orville produced, or that the company bearing his name made just a few years after the patent was filed.

    2. And that horse is miles down the road, so trying to secure the barn door is futile. Had Gibson gone after some of the US makers, like D'Angelico, that started making mandolins clearly based on the Gibson F-model around WWII, they'd have a firmer leg to stand on today, in threatening other mandolin builders, whether US or foreign. They didn't.

    3. Companies -- Xerox, Kimberly-Clark (Kleenex), Bayer (aspirin) come to mind -- have been more or less successful in keeping their trademarks from "going generic," losing their exclusive right to use them as they pass into "generic" usage. "Aspirin" is still a registered Bayer trademark in other parts of the world, not here in the US. If you don't defend your right to exclusive use of a brand or a design, shame on you if others scoop it up and copy it.

    4. None of the above allows anyone else to label an instrument "Gibson," other than the Gibson company. When Walter Taylor split from his vintner family and became an independent winemaker, the courts said he couldn't put his name on the bottles. He finally got a court to agree that he could put his name on his Bully Hill wines, but only in small print, and only with a disclaimer that he wasn't affiliated with Taylor Wines (then owned by Coca-Cola). So even if your name were Jimmy Gibson, you can't affix it to the mandolins you build -- unless, perhaps, you make the logo very small, and state that Jimmy G isn't affiliated with Gibson Inc.
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  10. #832
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
    China has had a very long history making classical stringed instruments, and if I’m not wrong, Eastman was one of them. The viola I bought my daughter years ago dusted instruments at twice the price. $4500 wasn’t chump change to me then or now, but it taught me that the Chinese can make whatever level instrument you want them to. Northfield is a prime example.

    But putting a Gibson logo on a cheap knockoff is wrong and always will be. It’s good to see Gibson trying to make up for past PR blunders.

    As far as the scroll, I hadn’t noticed, so I guess it hasn’t bothered me. I have noticed other builders however, and I’m not above a logo I don’t like being a deal breaker.
    Northfield has 5 employees and company co-owners in their Qingdao shop, all highly skilled career luthiers, some of them very fine musicians. Seven total in U.S. which includes four employees performing non-luthier work. 50% of Northfield's total output of around 300 mandolin family instruments per year is in Michigan. The wood for their China shop is shipped from the U.S., detail work and final set-up is handled in U.S. Contrast this to Eastman, which builds very fine mandolins, but is a massive company by comparison with only administrative offices in the U.S. No company building mandolins has a business model like Northfield. Painting them with a broad brush that five people represent what a nation of 1.4+ billion can do, I can't agree with any of that as being a prime example.

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  12. #833
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Where are the standards luthiers consult when building an f-style mandolin? I've never seen any specifications that mandate size, shape, amount of curl, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Jacobson View Post
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  14. #834
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    As per a recent thread regarding a Gibson employee signing their mandolin labels as an "Acoustic Engineer" (which they are not), maybe it is time for all owners of signed Gibson mandolins to file a class action lawsuit against Gibson for fraud or at least violation of licensing statutes in Tennessee. It is my understanding that the use of the term "engineer" is illegal except for registered engineers ...... regardless of the modifier "acoustic" or any other one. "Yes sir, your honor, I thought when I bought my F Style Master Model, that it was checked out and approved by a registered Acoustic Engineer!"
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  15. #835

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Links View Post
    As per a recent thread regarding a Gibson employee signing their mandolin labels as an "Acoustic Engineer" (which they are not), maybe it is time for all owners of signed Gibson mandolins to file a class action lawsuit against Gibson for fraud or at least violation of licensing statutes in Tennessee. It is my understanding that the use of the term "engineer" is illegal except for registered engineers ...... regardless of the modifier "acoustic" or any other one. "Yes sir, your honor, I thought when I bought my F Style Master Model, that it was checked out and approved by a registered Acoustic Engineer!"
    So, you would be suing because they sold you a great mandolin? (Derrington, Harvey, etc,....)

  16. #836
    Registered User slimt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    So, you would be suing because they sold you a great mandolin? (Derrington, Harvey, etc,....)
    I would be thankful. Not resentful. After all , its not the builders problem this or anything took place. Its managements issue. I have no issue in a firm looking after there property. But think it through first before threatening everyone . That damage is in most cases not reversable.

  17. #837
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    So, you would be suing because they sold you a great mandolin? (Derrington, Harvey, etc,....)
    Well, from what I've read, folks are sometimes suing companies for much more stupid reasons. (Not that I agree with all that suing) Smell of money is really good enough reason for some. :-)
    Adrian

  18. #838
    Registered User Jan Skovajsa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric C. View Post
    Stuck in the 70's huh?
    You missed the point.

    I've had an opportunity to play and examine more then 30 Gibson Master Model mandolins and mandolas signed by Lloyd Loar.
    If I compare a well set-up Lloyd Loar F5 (that was not depreciated by inexpert repairs) to the later production by Gibson, sorry to say, I cannot see ANY mandolin of the same quality.

    The Gibson has had for sure their up and down periods. I say that even the really great mandolins from the best modern periods (Steve Carlson Era or Derrington Era) actually never reached the tonal qualities of the Lloyd Loar mandolins. The tonal qualities I talk about are scientifically measurable. It's not an opinion. It's a fact. I would rather not talk more of the current era (approx. 2010 and later) that I consider one of the big downs.

    The main thing I wanted to say it that the Gibson should make effort to regain the knowledge they used to have in the 20's to be able to build mandolins that players truly wish to play instead of dominating through threatening the builders who often make much better jobs then they do these days.

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  20. #839
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Skovajsa View Post
    You missed the point.

    I've had an opportunity to play and examine more then 30 Gibson Master Model mandolins and mandolas signed by Lloyd Loar.
    If I compare a well set-up Lloyd Loar F5 (that was not depreciated by inexpert repairs) to the later production by Gibson, sorry to say, I cannot see ANY mandolin of the same quality.

    The Gibson has had for sure their up and down periods. I say that even the really great mandolins from the best modern periods (Steve Carlson Era or Derrington Era) actually never reached the tonal qualities of the Lloyd Loar mandolins. The tonal qualities I talk about are scientifically measurable. It's not an opinion. It's a fact. I would rather not talk more of the current era (approx. 2010 and later) that I consider one of the big downs.

    The main thing I wanted to say it that the Gibson should make effort to regain the knowledge they used to have in the 20's to be able to build mandolins that players truly wish to play instead of dominating through threatening the builders who often make much better jobs then they do these days.
    Give them 90 years.
    If you look back through some of the numerous threads about the efforts that have been made to return the caliber of the Gibson mandolin back to its height I do not think you would be quite so critical.
    Efforts to restore the synonymous nature of name and quality have been going on since the ‘70’s. That was the beginning of the return to save the F-5 from the depths of neglect it had suffered at the hands of disinterested number guys. Messers Siminoff, Halsey, and Cowles put forth Herculean efforts to get the company to see that it was still a viable product which deserved to be restored to some higher regard.
    All these gentlemen and the fine visionary's at the company since, Mr. Derrington, Mr. Harvey, et al. deserve a rousing round of applause from the mandolin community for their understanding and appreciation of the original design. Indeed they have spent time and effort based on making the company’s product worthy of praise and a certain degree of adoration.
    Had the F-5L not been championed almost forty years ago, I think it very well may have died.
    Thanks to all of you who went to bat for the instrument which has been an inspiration for so many!
    Last edited by Timbofood; Mar-09-2020 at 7:23am.
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  22. #840

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Skovajsa View Post
    I say that even the really great mandolins from the best modern periods (Steve Carlson Era or Derrington Era) actually never reached the tonal qualities of the Lloyd Loar mandolins.
    That opinion is shared by many. One of the reasons you can't buy a Loar for the price of a Derrington M.M.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Skovajsa View Post
    The tonal qualities I talk about are scientifically measurable. It's not an opinion. It's a fact.
    That's an interesting statement. Have those scientists been able to control for state of wakefulness? How does a fully alert Derrington stack up against a L.L. in full R.E.M. sleep?
    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

  23. #841
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
    That's an interesting statement. Have those scientists been able to control for state of wakefulness? How does a fully alert Derrington stack up against a L.L. in full R.E.M. sleep?
    Really? A ‘state of wakefulness’ is a property of things, and specific things like musical instruments? Is it a bluegrass attribute that you can add to the conversation? Just how does that glued up wood fall asleep? Is only one F hole open?
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  24. #842

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Is only one F hole open?
    Yes. It's called L.F. (Lester Flatt) sleep.
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  26. #843
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    I tried to add a video of Dave Harvey speaking to some music store owners but ended up with a Thile video instead. Will try again.

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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community



    Worth a few minutes.

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  29. #845
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    [/QUOTE]That's an interesting statement. Have those scientists been able to control for state of wakefulness? How does a fully alert Derrington stack up against a L.L. in full R.E.M. sleep?[/QUOTE]

    I'm talking of the science and knowledge rooted in modern acoustic physics & top level Italian / European violin building, not in cognitive psychology. Stay in the realm of myths and fairy tales if you wish ;-)

  30. #846

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Skovajsa View Post
    I say that even the really great mandolins from the best modern periods (Steve Carlson Era or Derrington Era) actually never reached the tonal qualities of the Lloyd Loar mandolins. The tonal qualities I talk about are scientifically measurable. It's not an opinion. It's a fact.
    Jan, you say it's not opinion but fact and scientifically measurable, can you point us to the scientific research and fact sheets of this information you'r talking about?

  31. #847

    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Wish someone would put this thread out of it's misery

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  33. #848
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    There are those who say there's not a single Gibson that will equal any Gilchrist. Or maybe any Ellis will beat any Gilchrist or Gibson

    What's amazing is they're completely right...at least according to their ear. Or, they're completely wrong according to someone else's ear. It's all subjective and maybe even a matter of luck. I'd be willing to bet Mike Edgerton's paycheck that there's probably a Rogue or Savannah mandolin somewhere out there that sounds better than any of them.

    Different tastes, hearing abilities and prejudices govern the perceived sound quality so everyone here is right...or wrong, depending on who you talk to.
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  35. #849
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by DHopkins View Post
    ...'d be willing to bet Mike Edgerton's paycheck that there's probably a Rogue or Savannah mandolin somewhere out there that sounds better than any of them.....
    Whoa whoa whoa! How did I get in here?

    I'm pretty sure that Dawg or Chris could play the Rogue and pull it off.

    Blessed are those that cannot hear the difference for they shall have more disposable income.
    Last edited by MikeEdgerton; Mar-09-2020 at 2:51pm.
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  37. #850
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    Default Re: Gibson threatening the mandolin and guitar luthier community

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    I'm pretty sure that Dawg or Chris could play the Rogue and pull it off.
    My first ever mandolin was a Rouge I bought off of amazon for about $50 new. It was a contender for the worst instrument I ever owned (although was maybe edged out by an unplayable Washburn travel "guitar" that smelled like benzine and made me nauseous whenever I approached it). I wouldn't wish that mandolin on David Grisman's worst enemy.

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