Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decisions

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by ARAMP1 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:16 am

I'd pay the extra coin to NOT have the gimmicky self tuning bulls!t on my guitar.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by alexdm » Fri Sep 12, 2014 12:15 pm

I just bought an SG with ebony fingerboard, moon inlays edition, from 2002. The "still decent"ones.
It does not have any crappy binding (yay).

Most likely, my only ever electric Gibson. I am not much of a fan, in fairness.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by bigswifty » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:30 pm

I really, really hoped these were just internet rumors. However, I got confirmation today: it's a fact. Brass nuts (hello, 1979), wider necks, weird 100th birthday Les Paul overlays, massive price increase. They're all true. I'm conflicted. Gibson essentially just substantially raised the value of my personal guitars, however, $3800 for a Les Paul Standard made on a production line with these awkward motorized tuners? That's insane. On Gibson forums, they use the term "luddite" to describe the guys who prefer the old ways of doing things, but the fact is, some things don't need tinkering. Additionally, if these increases impact the Custom Shop stuff, you can still have a traditional 1959 Les Paul Standard...for $8000.
I'm really disappointed to find out that Gibson reps have confirmed this. Also, for those of you who prefer a Les Paul Custom (like myself), that means a $5500 guitar without ebony, therefore negating a large part of why you buy an LPC to begin with. All of this in mind, my hollowbody funds are now allocated for a Duesenberg.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by Hyphen Nation » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:39 pm

About 6 or so years ago, Gibson pulled a dick move where dealers had to carry a surprisingly large inventory at all times in order to be a dealer. That meant only the shitty aggressive sales tactics private shops, or GC had them in stock new. At about that point I started to only pay attention to used Gibsons. It wasn't worth the hassle of going into a shitty music shop to buy one. They aren't that special, imho. See my note above. I really do like my LP, but it also came fresh with one of the crappiest fret dressings I've ever seen.

Complaints aside, I do want them to survive, thrive even. We need more USA made guitars. I just hate the novelty tuner heads to sell guitars side of things. Make some hot rods. Maybe they are becoming more like a Harley. Americana for the middle aged lawyer...

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by mackerelmint » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:44 pm

I noticed in my Instagram feed today that Mike and Mike's was doing a full level and crown on a brand new fresh off the rack les Paul studio.

It's definitely not just me. Also, automatic tuning machines are expensive parts of questionable utility that seem doomed to break. I'm into brass nuts, though.
Being well dressed is never any indication of a person's possible inadequacies as a human. Being poorly dressed, however, often is.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by bigswifty » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:11 pm

Hyphen Nation wrote:About 6 or so years ago, Gibson pulled a dick move where dealers had to carry a surprisingly large inventory at all times in order to be a dealer. That meant only the shitty aggressive sales tactics private shops, or GC had them in stock new. At about that point I started to only pay attention to used Gibsons. It wasn't worth the hassle of going into a shitty music shop to buy one. They aren't that special, imho. See my note above. I really do like my LP, but it also came fresh with one of the crappiest fret dressings I've ever seen.

Complaints aside, I do want them to survive, thrive even. We need more USA made guitars. I just hate the novelty tuner heads to sell guitars side of things. Make some hot rods. Maybe they are becoming more like a Harley. Americana for the middle aged lawyer...

I actually worked for GC for a few years, and our Gibson reps were awesome to work with, but we got lucky. Our regional guy was actually a big fan of the brand, and he allocated some really cool stuff for us. I ended up with my Pelham Custom because he went to some lengths to secure it for me; he later did the same on a limited J200 (that ended up with a warped neck). However, I can say I've played literally hundreds of guitars from Nashville, Memphis and Bozeman, and honestly, a lot were awful, a few were incredible, but the majority were meh. We had at any point well over $30,000 in Gibson inventory (not including Epiphone), and they sold, but usually the Faded line or LP Studios/SG Standards. Once every month or so, we'd sell a high-dollar Custom Shop model and it was a big deal, and we were a big store. The funny thing is how quickly Les Paul Customs sold prior to the switch from ebony to rosewood and richlite. We'd get one, it'd sell in a week, and we wouldn't see another for two months. After the move from ebony, we couldn't get rid of them.

We were encouraged to move them because we could, and our upper management guys knew the name on the headstock moved the guitars more than anything else. We had the brand because we had 240 stores and sold a lot of them. Honestly, MusicMan, Fender and PRS destroyed them in quality and consistency. We had a tech in shop that was a true luthier and was hard up enough for a job he came to us, and he said he did more fret jobs and electronic repairs on new Gibsons than he did any other guitar, new or used, store or customer owned.

And there was a point in 2011-2012 where they made some great instruments with cool specs and they even revisited the old 60s Custom Colors on a lot of models. But by the end of 2012, things were on the way down, and it looks like they have continued that trend the last two years. It's a real shame, because they really had some great things going with the revised reissues, limited models (by the way, Les Pauls look stupid good in Inverness Green, Heather Poly and of course Pelham Blue) and a large number of new and very well thought out models, such as USA LP Juniors in gloss Custom Color finishes for less than $700.

Why on earth they are doing those tuners is beyond me. They're literally forcing them on their customers. When the Firebird X came out, we were sent 4. 18 months later, we sent our unsold inventory back to Gibson. We sent 4 back. You'd think that would have been a sign of what guitar players really want, but instead, they've opted to simply make it spec on everything. Henry J is a jackass. They may as well change their brand - "Gibson: a guitar for people with more money than sense. Oh, and it tunes itself until that shit breaks."


And you're right, the vast majority aren't special. Every so often, you find one that is, but they are the exception to the rule. My Zappa Roxy SG, Les Paul Custom and Keb' Mo' are the only three out of probably 40 I've owned that I found that were worth keeping.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by saxjag » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:33 pm

Hyphen Nation wrote:Americana for the middle aged lawyer...
Again with "middle-aged" as a derogatory term!? What -- you think you're gonna be young forever? Yeah, maybe you'll get lucky & cash out before you have to, like, get old.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by Hyphen Nation » Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:56 pm

saxjag wrote:
Hyphen Nation wrote:Americana for the middle aged lawyer...
Again with "middle-aged" as a derogatory term!? What -- you think you're gonna be young forever? Yeah, maybe you'll get lucky & cash out before you have to, like, get old.
I'm probably middle aged, or nearly…SaxJag, you and I probably know each other, or share some friends…there aren't that many of us guitar/offset obsessed here in PDX…that are say, not in their twenties?

I was actually thinking about Gibson as a brand…if the Harley Positioning statement is:
"Harley Davidson is the only motorcycle manufacturer that makes big, loud motorcycles for real men, mostly in the USA, who want to be part of a band of liberty-loving outlaws in an era of decreasing personal freedom."

I think you could write the Gibson one as:
Gibson is the only Guitar manufacturer that makes big, solid guitars for real men, mostly in the USA, who want to be part of a band of liberty-loving outlaws in an era of decreasing personal freedom.

There is a fantasy…Gibson supplies the guitars for a certain kind of fantasy…my dreams happen to be divergent from the one they are selling. I don't knock them that fantasy/dream. It's just not the one I want. I am positive anyone could punch a few dozen holes in my dreams...

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by Squirrel » Sat Sep 13, 2014 1:24 am

Not a big fan of any of the changes here either. Also, I'm pretty sure I could design a better "Les Paul 100" decal in about five minutes.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by matthew a » Sat Sep 13, 2014 2:53 am

Really interesteing post about this on the ultimate guitar forums:

"The article itself wasn't from Gibson, but was based on a look at what Amazon leaked on their site (most of what are theoretically the 2015 model lineup) and on the advertising copy that went with the individual guitars. I followed the links when they were first up, and the article is accurate *based on what was there*.

It caused quite a stir on MLP and other sites. If true, it represents an interesting business model moving forward, and it's consistent with Henry J.

The guitars that Gibson put out at the low end (the J series, the T series) were crap (IMHO). They were stripped-down junk that didn't compete on anything but logo, with quality that didn't measure up to far better chinese and Korean product in that price range.

Before the flame wars start, note that whatever popularity the guitars enjoyed was because "the common man could finally afford a real Gibson." More than one buyer stated, "I'm getting everything that Gibson has to offer except for the 'bling'." That was not music to Gibson's ears.

And what it did was NOT increase Gibson sales. It cannibalized potentially higher-end Gibson sales, substituting loss-leader sales at unsustainably low prices and zero profit. And it didn't do what Gibson intended. They have an issue with entry-level guitarists in that newbs have NO brand loyalty to Gibson. They're buying other brands. The cheap Gibsons didn't sway the newbs, who were bright enough to see that the Korean guitars were better quality. Instead, Gibson found it was selling to older customers who simply couldn't afford the prices before. Backfire.

Gibson is a premium brand, but the cheaper guitars were crapping it up. Increased volume of units moved didn't translate to increased profits. just the opposite. And Gibson was in serious danger of losing its identity.

A peripheral problem is that Guitar Center, Gibson's biggest outlet, is floundering. It's not paying its bills, and it can't support large inventories of high-dollar guitars. You probably haven't seen a PRS at your local GC in a while. For the most part, they've bailed. The guitar walls have more of the guitars flat on the walls than at an angle. It still looks like there are a lot of guitars, but those flat-on-the-wall guitars simply take up more space. There are 100-300 fewer guitars on display on average, and what IS there is mostly low end these days. You won't find much backup stock, either on the shelves or "in the back." The keyboard section will have more Used gear on display and less New stuff. I went in looking for a Korg PA3X the other day. They didn't have one and didn't have one in the system, but they did have a used (and fairly battered, with parts that didn't work) PA2X (discontinued version) sitting there. In every department, Guitar Center is filling more space with used gear. Far cheaper. Vendors who once challenged for shelf space on over 200 stores are now being parsimonious with inventory on credit, fearing its loss in a bankruptcy.

Gibson produced those low-end guitars partly to fill space on GC walls and maintain the appearance of a Gibson presence. That pretense is over. Gibson now figures to sell more guitars online and eliminate pilferage, damage, shop wear, etc.

In short, Gibson is at once tightening its belt and attempting to move back to its favorite spot at the high end. They're looking at the Harley Davidson business model and planning to rely on the retiring baby boomer money for the next ten years. They've missed that Harley is losing headway on the same business model of late and that Harley desperately needs to find new customers as well.

After years of keeping its thumb on Epiphone, it may be forced to allow Epiphone to produce the quality it's capable of. To Gibson's very deep corporate chagrin, it may be Epiphone that saves the company. Gibson has painted itself (literally) into a corner of traditionalism with nitrocellulose lacquer on US-made guitars. Epiphone has no such restrictions. Its finishing department allows its entire production facility to move far faster than Gibsons, with dry-to-dry finishing in under 24 hours. Gibson's greatest quantity of customer complaints and returns comes from nitrocellulose lacquer. They need to convert, but until they talk the Tennessee legislature into "making it their fault" so that Gibson can blame "big gummint," they can't convert to the much faster finishing methods yet. The satin finishes on the cheap guitars moved faster through the system and averted quality concerns. Flat finishes on guitars and cars are already beginning to fade as a fashion statement. But Gibson knows it can't produce large volumes of guitars with quality finishes using nitro. It really needs to change.

Epiphone can produce FAR higher quality guitars than it's been allowed to. Gibson didn't want the in-store competition for its low end and Studio guitars. By ceding the lower end pricepoints to Epiphone and allowing them to move upscale, Gibson can concentrate on producing fewer guitars at higher prices and attempt to retrieve its lost reputation for high quality. Epi still produces profit for Gibson. And you can bet that within 10 years, the Epiphone factory will be producing a Gibson-branded product "for China Only" that will be equal to (or exceed) the quality of USA-made Gibsons. The long-term plan is to develop demand for those guitars as a grey-market "sneak-in" product for the US, and then to appear to throw up its hands and produce the same guitars in the US (with modern finishes), moving nitro to a "Historic Only" niche."

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/sh ... ge=1&pp=20

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by windmill » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:08 pm

The article sounds right to me.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by thunderroad » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:35 am

I've got an SG that I like, but have always wanted a 335. If used prices follow new, I'd say that dream is over. I'm not a good enough player to justify it.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by hella1hella » Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:43 am

Hopefully the quality control goes up, along with the price. Thats why I like Fender. Their American standard is $1300, and Gibson's American Standard (LP ST) will be nearly $4000! I could have a real nice Strat/Tele/Jazz/Jag and a kick ass amp for that much!


People keep stressing how we need to bring more manufacturing to America. It's hard when no one can afford the stuff! I was looking at American made clothing the other day, and alot of the jeans I found were $200-300! Who can afford a wardrobe of that? Not middle class America, thats for sure.


Sorry for the rant. Love my Gibson acoustic, have had lots of issues with quality control on the electrics! ;D

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by Hyphen Nation » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:58 pm

hella1hella wrote: People keep stressing how we need to bring more manufacturing to America. It's hard when no one can afford the stuff! I was looking at American made clothing the other day, and alot of the jeans I found were $200-300! Who can afford a wardrobe of that? Not middle class America, thats for sure.
I don't want to sidetrack this thread into the political, so I apologize if I do that. The thing is the cheaper import cost of goods do have a cost, only we aren't paying it. Wallmart recommends that their employees get on as much government social services as possible. I am at a point where I would absolutely pay what things cost and have fewer nice things, than seeing the world cluttered up with more landfill, someone not having a job here in the states, or some kid being taken advantage of in Asia. If we all bought local/american made, I am pretty sure prices would come down as quality went up even more. And you are right. You get a metric ton of guitar from Fender, versus a new Gibson. Doesn't mean I don't love me some Gibson when they are done right, but I have to go where the better deals are. Fenders also appeal to the part of me that likes the potential to hot rod a guitar. It's a more fun and flexible platform.

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Re: Wow, Gibson 2015 changes... seems like more bad decision

Post by shoule79 » Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:44 am

^^^^
Adding to this...if there was still any manufacturing to speak of in North America, there would be more better paying jobs and people would have more money to pay for the higher prices, so it would equal out after an adjustment period.

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