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Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by TSims1, Nov 10, 2017.
I like it!
Well, different city at least. Michigan isn't much like Tennessee.
Know what this thread needs?
I disagree with you. While I don't like THAT guitar, because I don't like reliced anything, I say that Gibson is doing a good job with the Les Paul.
You CAN get a good basic Les Paul. It is in the Les Paul line.
BUT, you can ALSO get a Les Paul that is very innovative. Les Paul the man was an innovator. He never stopped. So, they are keeping the spirit of Les Paul alive by being innovative with some in the line.
I don't buy into the whole "you are losing it Gibson" mentality just because the make SOME guitars that SOME guitar players do not like.
Now, that said, what they did in 2015 was really stupid. But I think they learned from that one.
The Kevin Spacey model - as weird as he is.
Good news it comes in different colors
For others like me wondering why people are talking about scroll-like ornaments (the classical definition of volute):
From sweetwater: "Gibson changed their neck construction around 1969, moving from traditional one-piece mahogany to a stronger 3-piece laminate and then to 3-piece maple about 1974 for even greater strength. From roughly 1969, they added a so-called “volute” or carved heel to the back of the neck just below the point where it becomes the headstock – a sort of triangular thickening that theoretically reinforces a notorious weak spot. The volute lasted until about 1981."
From theoretical to anecdotal, my 79 The Paul has been knocked over 100 times, dropped twice and other scary things in the 34 years I’ve had it. I whacked the head stock really hard once and took a chunk of wood out but no sign of a crack.
Fair enough! Forum wouldn’t be any fun anyways if everyone agreed on everything.
All I can say is absolutely ZERO of their “innovations” have connected with the guitar buying audience. Have you ever heard ANYBODY speak highly of the robot tuners? Lol. I sure haven’t.
So, while we can go ahead and give them credit for being “innovative” I suppose.......then they are at the very least out of touch.
IIRC, The Paul was one tough instrument. I forget what wood it was made from, but I remember that it was formidable.
I believe this is an example of what the scientific community refers to as "throwing poo against the wall to see what sticks."
I think you nailed it. Right now, they need to move instruments any way they can, in order to service their debt.
My local dealer has ceased to work with Gibson for several years : to continue business, they asked him to buy and stock for 80 000 Euros of brand new Gibson guitars, with a number of models imposed by the sales forces... He coudn't fund that, nor he wanted. He not crazy...
Last year, the stock of Gibson at Thomann.de was none other less than... 13000 guitars ! They represent circa 90% of the European market for new Gibson guitars. At least, it's what I have been told by salesmans visiting my local dealer...
The only Gibson that I have is my first guitar and venerable Lefty ES335-TD from (S/N° 81700034), built in Kalamazoo, June 18th, 1980. I have it for 37 years... Sorry, no relic'ing...
I never much looked to other models from the brand, I must confess : or because they do not interest me, or because they're too costy, or because they are dull, or because they're unavailable in LH... If I wanted a Gibson-like today, I would choose an Epiphone... And save to buy another Gretsch !
I don't really understand nor care about what Gibson is doing today with their mostly "déjà vu" variants or untasty "new" old models declinations... "Vapid Tastelessness" to me.
But it may work for them, I guess, considering Thomann's in stock score... Or they are missing the bus, the train, the boat, the plane, the rocket, the Zeppelin...
But it's me, OK ?
It's all walnut, not quite up to Tele standards as a bar fight weapon but close.
The 74 SG is mahogany though.
A friend had one, back in the day. I remember that it was heavy and built like an anvil. If the Mongols had been so equipped, that Great Wall wouldn’t have lasted a day.
I like my 6120 for tone, my Les Paul for defence
To me the most important question is what is the average age of that stock of guitars. If a year or older, that's probably not good for gibson or the retailer.
It must be hard for a company with such heritage to decide if it's going to 'stick the line' or try and be new and relevant. I think Gibsons' missed the mark on both counts. Think they're very much like HD in that they want to bank on their heritage, then sell it up the river.
Gibson gets its money when the dealer buys the stock. If a dealer has to blow stock out at a paper thin margin just to keep from being overstocked, that’s no problem for Gibson. They are playing a dangerous game.
It is a tough question. No one can stay in business selling products that are out of date, but when a company heritage is involved things gets trickier. Harley sells air-cooled V twin motorcycles which look (at least to non-expert eyes) much like the motorcycles they sold 60 or 70 years ago, but they are mechanically quite different from their forebears. There’s really little in common. Harley Davidson has changed with the times.
With guitars, the matter is quite different. A 1958 ES-335 is perfectly serviceable in today’s world. Pots and switches may have changed slightly, but a time-traveling, brand new, ‘58 335 would plug into a current amplifier and function every bit as well as a 335 made yesterday. There may be regulatory changes that affect manufacturing and minor differences in raw materials, but with these exceptions, there is no reason for the product to have changed. That . . . poses a major dilemma.
If you have a good guitar in good condition, there’s no need to keep up an aggressive replacement schedule. The three Gretsches currently in my collection will last the rest of my natural life. I might have to refret them, but not being a heavy string-bender I may not have to, either. Pickups tend to last a long time and pots usually last. Simply stated, my guitars are likely to outlive me and quite possibly outlive the person I will them to.
If you look at the Gretsch product line, you can see the future of the market. Ten years ago, most Gretsches were quite similar to guitars Gretsch made in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Nowadays, there are a lot of center-block models and the Player’s Series which basically address some pet peeves younger buyers seem to have. (BTW, I don’t share these peeves. I don’t want a string-thru Bigsby or a tone knob. I prefer zero frets.) the Player’s Series and the center-block models are pretty much what Harley Davidson is doing with their line. These are Guitars with modern improvements and vintage appearance.
Thankfully, Gretsch still makes a few models that are closer to vintage spec, and my collection reflects this. The three Gretsches I own and the one I have on order are all RIs of vintage models. I’ve modified them slightly, but these are essentially 50-60 year old designs with improved neck joints.
Which leads me to another aspect of Gibson’s dilemma. Creating a neck joint was the trickiest part of building a guitar. Gibson had skilled luthiers, as did other manufacturers, while Leo Fender found a way to bypass the issue (and undercut the market in the process). In the CNC era, neck joints became less of a challenge and we began to see good archtop guitars coming out of the Far East and selling for very low prices. The Ibanez Artcore could have just as easily been called the Ibanez CNC.
Gretsch is selling Guitars made in various Asian countries and. I suspect that most have CNC neck joints. They are able to turn out a very good product for less money than Gibson. Entry level archtops are no longer de-featured Gibsons (such as an ES 125) because a sub $500 imported guitar will do the trick. Their Epiphone line is one of the strongest sources of competition for the MIUS instruments. So where does that leave Gibson?
Gibsons have been dream guitars for many players over the year, so will Gibson stay afloat selling L-5s and Les Paul Customs to empty-nest players? Keep in mind that the Baby Boom is tapering off now and probably not going to be buying a lot of $5,000 to $10,000 guitars from this point onward. Even without some of the corporate mistakes (mandatory auto-tuners comes to mind) Gibson would be facing a crunch.
I don’t claim to have an answer. In my personal opinion, they are not viable in their current form. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the Gibson name and their basic designs, will end up produced at Terada, or someplace quite similar thereto. Gibson could become a boutique brand and basically serve as a marketing company. The ebb and flow of production would no longer create a problem of how to retain skilled workers, because those workers would be in other countries and building guitars for several brand names. Their could possibly be a Custom Shop for the ultra high-end, but if they are smart, an L-5 or Super 400 would become production instruments hitting the street at around $5,000. I believe that to be the future of Gibson, probably under different ownership.
The other alternatives are not pretty. They could try to remain a US brand and find themselves selling fewer and fewer instruments at ever higher costs and playing into a rapidly shrinking market for their niche. Dealers are already opting out of carrying Gibson in their stores and I understand that Epiphone is available from jobbers, so Gibson could end up strangled on its own entrails.
The other extreme is to go populist and slap the Gibson name on low-priced products. They tried this in the late ‘70s and nearly went out of business, but I don’t see the current leadership there as being able to see that risk any more than the Norlin leadership did. They seem to be trying this, to some extent, with some de-featured models of questionable quality.
As has been suggested in this thread, I think the current strategy is to fling excrement at the wall and hope that some of it sticks. The bizarre Les Paul which started this thread, the Floyd Rose Lesters in day-glo colors and the cheapened Firebirds serve as ample proof as far as I’m concerned. My impression is that desperation rules the day, so anything can happen. I’d hate to see more American jobs lost, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that ends up happening.
Funny, I've preferred my Teles for defense.