End of an Era: Legendary guitar maker Gibson about to close

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Katzenfreund, May 9, 2018.

  1. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

    Jul 15, 2016
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    May 2018

    Founded in 1902, the company has been synonymous with rock and roll since the 1950s, with its models — the most popular include the Les Paul, the SG, the Firebird and several semi-acoustic lines — being used by virtually every iconic guitar hero, too numerous to mention. Yet as rock music has fallen from mainstream popularity so have the guitar sales that form the bulk of Gibson’s business.

    But despite their partial decline, guitar sales are still strong, producing annual revenues of more than $1 billion. And the quality of Gibson guitars remains indisputably high. What compounds the problems are some unsuccessful management decisions to enter the electronics business. As a result, the company in not able to meet its debt obligations and, after 116 years in business, Gibson Guitar has now officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    [​IMG]
    Gibson Les Paul Traditional T 2016 Wine Red

    http://variety.com/2018/biz/news/gi...any-said-to-be-nearing-bankruptcy-1202704143/
    https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2018/02/16/gibson-guitar-bankruptcy/
     
  2. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Member

    Oct 5, 2011
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    Well, bankruptcy doesn't necessarily mean they're going to shut down. There'll be a white knight that funds them/buys them and they'll keep going. The brand is too big (in my opinion) to shut down.

    Same thing happened to Hostess (maker of Twinkies :)). News reports kept saying Twinkie production was ending (and it did for a while). But somebody bought the company and Twinkies are still around.

    Worst case is that Gibson does liquidate. But the brand name has huge recognition and is worth a lot. Somebody will buy the brand name and will continue making Gibson guitars. (I hope)
     
  3. Mr.X

    Mr.X MDL Guru

    Jul 14, 2013
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    This:
    Yeah, it's too big, important and emblematic that cannot die. Gibson is bigger than religion :p
     
  4. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    The bigger they are, the harder they fall... Think of Kodak, Polaroid, Woolworth, GM, Pan Am, Compaq, Blockbuster, Toys R Us...

    OK, as a music lover and guitar player (tho not of a Gibson) I wouldn't like to see the company go either. Now, I see turning it around to profitability difficult at this stage, it's been struggling for some time and nobody intervened. But it's quite possible that someone buys the name, except that it won't be quite the same company, more of a sequel as some movies, and will be up against Fender that's still strong.
     
  5. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Member

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    Nobody intervened but there are investment groups that love to buy things at bankruptcy sale prices. There's no way in 5 years (or probably even 50 years) that people won't be able to buy a Gibson guitar.

    The question is who'll be making them. I hope the current company figures out their financial mess and continues with their same manufacturing facilities. But even if they do have to liquidate, somebody will definitely buy the name and continue making guitars with their name.
     
  6. lewcass

    lewcass MDL Senior Member

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    Someone will buy it and move production to china.
     
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  7. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    #7 Joe C, May 14, 2018
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    lol... Some Chinese corp will buy Gibson and move it to China. Six and seven year old kids will be making Gibson guitars and selling them cheap at Walmart. They will be constructed of particle board and plastic
     
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  8. Tiger-1

    Tiger-1 MDL Guru

    Oct 18, 2014
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    ^ you are impossible dude, but is true ;):g:
     
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  9. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    Well, the reason Fender is still going is because it introduced a budget line selling to the masses and not just pros. Maybe if Gibson had done the same in time, it could have been saved.
     
  10. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    Fender made better business decisions
    Fender does have an interesting history
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Musical_Instruments_Corporation
     
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  11. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Member

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    Gibson has the Epiphone brand for more affordable copies of their expensive models.
     
  12. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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  13. lewcass

    lewcass MDL Senior Member

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    Cheapest materials and labor.
     
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  14. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    apparently they didn't and now they are going belly up
     
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  15. Katzenfreund

    Katzenfreund MDL Expert

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    Yet, they use Cedar (top), Mahogany (body & neck) and Chrome hardware, Dual-Action Truss Rod and special easy-to-play technology.

    These are not characteristics of cheapest construction.
     
  16. lewcass

    lewcass MDL Senior Member

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    Only if bought and outsourced.
     
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  17. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Member

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    #17 PointZero, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
    I just went to visit Carvin guitar's website (I own a bass guitar made by them) and was shocked to find out they split off their guitar division to a new company (Kiesel). Carvin shut down their factory after being in business for over 70 years.. o_O

    Gibson's not the only music gear company going through tough times apparently.

    -------
    Edit: Katzenfreund, that Epiphone PRO-1 you pointed out looks like a great beginner guitar. It's got good reviews too. Here's one: https://www.guitarfella.com/epiphone-pro-1-classic-review/

    Another good beginner guitar to consider: https://www.amazon.com/Rogue-RA-090-Dreadnought-Acoustic-Natural/dp/B004BZU4OW It used to be available for $49, which was a steal. But even at $66, it's a good deal.
     
  18. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    Despite of 1.2 Billion yearly sales they got bankrupt.....?! reminds me of fatal mismanagement within the 'upper rows'....maybe some individuals were not able to get enough and wanted to make big money as fast as possible...maybe they should go back to their roots.
     
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  19. PointZero

    PointZero MDL Member

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    General Motors had yearly sales above $100 billion and still filed for bankruptcy.

    Debt is an important number to look at also (not just sales).
     
  20. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    And Government Motors General Motors is still in business (Making $65,000.00 pick up trucks)
     
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