Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Saul » Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:02 pm

gibson_2018.png
Gibson 2018
As there has been a lot of talk lately regarding the poor quality control of Gibson guitars along with the, in my opinion ridiculous prices Gibson asks for their guitars, I thought it would be interesting to start a thread on which specific guitars are being highlighted as poor quality. What are the reasons behind this and is Gibson still the brand we all used to know and respect?

The most notable event recently was Gibson's decision to concentrate their efforts on CES rather than Winter NAMM 2018. This surprised many but if you look at what Gibson as a company is today it is more understandable. They call themselves 'Gibson Brands' now and seem to be refocusing the business on consumer electronics, hence the acquisition of Philips and the shock announcement that Cakewalk was being shelved.

So, what has gone wrong at Gibson and are there particular guitars you should be avoiding right now? Would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this.
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by parametric » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:57 am

Saul wrote:
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:02 pm
the acquisition of Philips and the shock announcement that Cakewalk was being shelved.
I hadn't heard about Philips, I must say. I guess that's bye-bye to the quality that the Philips Brand was know for?

(Even more ominous, as they make the Medical Body Scanners.) - What happens when the accountants

demand they are made CHEAPLY in China, instead of PROPERLY?

It all sounds depressingly Familiar . . . . Remember AVID and Sibelius?

Now its Gibson and Cakewalk.

Best advice . . . SHOOT the Accountants - and start over, BUILDING a "Company". Properly.

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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Saul » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:57 pm

Yeah I have to say all this buying up of brands might be great news for the accountants but it is actually destroying those brands...which of course is of no interest them as they still get their fat bonuses no matter what the outcome. The money men are like a plague of locusts sweeping across brand names, devouring them and moving on to the next one.

The main reason I posted this thread is because I keep hearing about all the things that have gone wrong at Gibson and the poor quality of both the electric and acoustic guitars coming out of their production facility. Even the dealers are becoming disillusioned with the brand and many are now not stocking them.
"Even after we stopped carrying Gibson, we would have people bring them in, brand new, to be setup. The tuners on the $1,000+ models were as cheap as the Chinese knockoffs. The necks were incredibly off and difficult to keep straight. The frets needed a level & dress from day 1."
I have an early '90s SG. I would never buy another Gibson, I'd rather buy a knockoff and modify it to my liking (which I have) than spend $4,000-5,000 on a robot-made Les Paul. They are worth maybe $400 at most.
Interesting comment from someone who was applying for a job at Gibson. I would assume it was in marketing or social media but the result is very telling about the man at the top, who sounds very much like Donald Trump.
"I just got a glimpse [of] what felt like the world's most baffling hiring process. 'The psychometric test takes approximately three hours to complete. If you have any questions in this process or problems with the testing, please let me know,' said the email when it plopped into my inbox yesterday.

"I promptly responded: 'I don't really have three hours spare to take tests before tomorrow. Also, please can I have a job description because you haven't actually sent me anything about the role, and I'd really rather know exactly what you expect before I succumb to being tested for THREE WHOLE HOURS.' Or something to that effect. It wasn't quite as stroppy. But seriously, I had other admin to attend to, like answering my Tinder messages.

"Anyway, what happened was, HR invited me to meet with three different people in the company in one day (all of whom would explain more), and in the time between these meetings she suggested I take these tests at their headquarters. I hadn't really planned to spend the majority of a day in a corporate cell block...

"I'll admit, I forgot about the test when the CEO stepped into the gigantic conference room, if only because he was even more baffling. It was all I could do to sustain eye contact.

"The silver-haired, seventy-ish-year-old man looked as though he was having some sort of epileptic fit in front of me as he blathered on and on and on about his history in and before he started with the company. His eyes were rolling around the room, landing everywhere but on me. I wasn't entirely sure he was sober.

"'So, do you have a social media strategy already?' I asked him.

"'Oh yes,' he said, sitting back and smiling knowingly.

"'I'd like to know what it is.'

"'I bet you would,' he smirked.

"'Well, it would help,' I replied, trying to meet his eyes, and failing.

"'I'm sure it would,' he answered.

"'Well... what do you want to be, as a brand, that you think you're not already?'

"'Even more awesome. We're already awesome. We just want to be more awesome.'

"'Right.'

"As he spoke, the words I read on Glassdoor.com rushed back to me: 'Run, don't walk away from even considering working here. The CEO is HORRIBLE - mean, nasty, uber-controlling. If anyone in the company dares to have a different idea than his, you can pretty much guarantee that they will be fired - on the spot.
That is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Loads of people all over the web complaining not only about the guitars but their treatment by the company.

Now I am sure there are plenty of buyers who are very happy with the particular guitar they have bought however this IS a premium brand and EVERY customer should be happy.
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by parametric » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:03 pm

A truly depressing account Saul . . .

The "Job Interview" is even more depressing
Q "'Well... what do you want to be, as a brand, that you think you're not already?

A '"'Even more awesome. We're already awesome. We just want to be more awesome.'

"'
What is it with this word "Awesome"?

As I've said before in these forums, The FLOOD, or possibly the Parting of the Red Sea

might just qualify as awesome.

The rantings of a pipqueak CEO don't come close - along with pretty much MOST of Human endeavour

for the last 8000 years or so . . . .

Perhaps he's referring to the size of the DEBT the management team under HIS guidance,

has managed to accumulate?

That might be described (by the prospective "receivers") as awesome?

Gibson was a guitar company (so I thought). This current desire to cover all bases largely doesn't work -

unless you happen to be Yamaha - who aspire to be the best in ALL they do - and mostly SUCCEED (IMO) -

but I view them very much as a one-off, at this.

We have seen this "diversify" disaster before here in the UK . . .

If you are old enough, you might remember "Biba"?

A boutique started in the 60s that set the standard and created a whole "look" and genre -

and was incredibly successful.

Then - into the 70s, it purchased the old Barkers department store in High Street Kensington - and moved in.

The Roof "Rainbow Restaurant" became famous - and the place to be . . . . The internal decor was 20s

(or was it 30s?) style - and they went from strength to strength.

THEN they diversified. Biba Baked Beans, Biba Soapflakes, Biba Paint and many other non-clothing-related lines.

(Those mentioned I actually saw in friends' houses) 8O

Soon after, they went to the wall . . . . .

The Swiss Army Knife (IMO), when applied to business is really not good.

When you split your "strength" - you usually end up NOT doing ANY component particularly well . . . .

NOTHING undoes screws so well as . . . . . er . . . a screwdriver (IYSWIM)

Mr Gibson would do best to take his finger out of his arse, get on with his work and DEAL with the problem,

instead of being a part of it. (And he should definitely STOP reading his own press releases -

or ANYTHING for that matter, that contains the word "Awesome") :lol:

I mean - does a company really NEED someone on a 7 figure(?) salary who has spent all day coming up with:
Even more awesome. We're already awesome. We just want to be more awesome.'
I think NOT.

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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Saul » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:45 pm

Nicely put Chris :) I "Just" about remember Biba and that sorry tale could be applied to so many companies that were doing well but just didn't know when to stop. This typical disaster is usually set into play by some chinless wonder who get's it into his head (it's usually a "he" women are far too sensible) that the more products they produce the quicker they can push out the competition.

What these morons fail to grasp is the public, generally speaking, prefer quality over quantity and they definitely do not want the same brand name on everything they buy. It makes it look and feel like you have lost your ability to choose and just take the easy route buying everything from the same place. The old soviet union springs to mind.

The problem is, right now Henry J who controls Gibson and is the guy referred to in that quote above, has a cast iron grip on the company direction and I have feeling he couldn't give a hoot about guitars, he's more interested in a quick buck. Selling Gibson guitars for two or three grand when there is probably a couple of hundred dollars work gone into them is a very quick way to make money but in the long term it damages the brand and will lead to it's downfall.

Yamaha, if they are not careful will be heading the same way. Some of their recent products are not as high quality as they should be. I'm referring here to their THR line of guitar amps and some of the quality issues seen in acoustic and electric guitars. It is almost as if Yamaha have become TOO big. The cracks are starting to show and I hope they do something to turn it around quickly.

If something doesn't drastically change at Gibson though I can see them going to the wall in the next couple of years. The competition is just too good now, even at the budget end of the market. A brand name can only carry you so far!
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Buzzard » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:14 pm

Ouch, Gibson have to shape up FAST, their reputation is going down the drain and it looks like the web is pushing negative opinions hard.

I'm happy with the few Gibsons in my collection, but no new models gave me gas and the apparent quality issues keep me looking for Yamaha guitars.
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Saul » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:22 pm

On the whole, Yamaha do a good job but it's almost like they are spreading themselves too thin? When empires grow too large they stretch resources and eventually fall. Perhaps that is why Yamaha splits itself into these semi-autonomous divisions, localising many of the decisions as it were.

I think Henry J at Gibson has lost the plot but since he owns the company there is no one to push him out so they are stuck going down that path to no where. I noticed a lot of stores are heavily discounting Gibson guitars at the moment!
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Asmikace » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:08 pm

You pretty much need a extremely reliable seller with top notch quality control to get a Gibson these days. The only store I would order one would have to be one that is very strict with quality control like Sweetwater.
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Re: Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices

Unread post by Saul » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:07 am

IF I were ever in the market for Gibson I would only buy one in store that I had seen and tested. There is no way in hell I would buy one mail order and I think a lot of people are rapidly coming to the same conclusion.

The only way for Gibson now is down. People have lost confidence in the brand. When you know it's a lottery what quality guitar you will get after spending thousands of dollars on it I think it's pretty obvious it's time to look to another brand? PSR don't have these issues and neither to many others. You can even buy a better guitar from Korea, China or Indonesia these days!
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by vini » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:02 am

I have no knowledge about these people and how they run their business' so I can't comment. On the other hand though, if Gibson produce poor quality guitars that will create a great place for Fender or Yamaha to mention just 2 companies to exploit and take a firm grip out there and it will take something "AWESOME" for Gibson to regain the status that they once had. I also believe it will make replica/fake guitars more viable, especially if they become as good if not better by not actually getting any better. How Ironic?
(based purely on logic).
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by JDZ » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:06 am

vini wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:02 am
I also believe it will make replica/fake guitars more viable, especially if they become as good if not better by not actually getting any better.
That happened to both Gibson and Fender in early 80's.

Quality slipped and Japanese copies were substantially better than what they were making at the time. Those copies had their own brand names on them, but some were exact copies of holy grail years of each, like the '59 Les Paul. Fender bought out Greco's production and they became the original Fender "Made in Japan" guitars. Later Tokai started making Fender guitars for Fender as well. Gibson did Orville by Gibson out of Japan.
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by parametric » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:58 pm

Reputation is nearly always "Hard-Won" by years of dedication to "doing it right - and it rightly becomes a "Legend".

It is SO dangerous to mess with this - as once the magic has been "lost" in the eyes of those who buy, and they feel "short-changed" the "Stain" tends to remain and the Reputation is in tatters and tends NOT to be recoverable . . . (just my opinion)

In effect, it splits the Brand - disproportionately increasing the value of "Legacy" instruments, whilst consigning the "current" or "Latest" models to mediocrity and poor sales (Just what the Company DOESN'T Need).

So - a dangerous game to play - ESPECIALLY when you have a Reputation TO LOSE . . . . .

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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Saul » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:33 pm

Don't know if any of you remember but our dear friend Clyde who sadly is no longer with us used to be a 'Roland' user but he had such a bad experience with quality and customer service he switched to Yamaha and for years he would not even entertain the idea of ever buying another Roland product again. Even though customer service had improved and they were bringing out some great products, the damage had already been done.

So that old adage that a good reputation takes years to built and moments to destroy is indeed very true and in Gibson's case it seems they have been working on destroying the brand for years!
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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by parametric » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:59 am

Yes indeed, a case in point . . . .

I had a number of conversations with Clyde about the SY85 IIRC . . . . He was a Gent!

The bitterness of suffering poor service can be extremely slow to dissipate . . . .

This is NOT what you want to be doing with your customers . . .

IIRC, he NEVER went back to Roland and would reiterate his experiences with them if the topic came up . . . .

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Gibson Guitars - Poor Quality and High Prices and Bankruptcy

Unread post by Saul » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:03 am

Ha ha, yes he certainly wasn't sparing in letting people know his feelings toward Roland ;) I did try and convince him that things had changed but there was no changing his mind on that particular subject.

When I was researching this thread I thought I would find a few comments here and there about the poor quality coming out of Gibson but was quite astounded to discover just how many buyers and dealers would now have nothing more to do with the brand!

What I simply cannot understand is why the guy at the top of Gibson cannot SEE what he is doing to the company? Either he is not aware of the negative press or chooses to ignore it. Either way that is not something you expect at that level. Quality control comes from the top down and it "appears" to be the case that the top level of management at Gibson are not capable of understanding why a £2-3K guitar should be faultless when it leaves the production facility.

They say buying a Chinese fake is a lottery but given the relatively small sums of money involved I would say the real risk lays with buying a genuine Gibson for thousands of pounds/dollars?

Also let's not forget the alternative brands like Tokai, ESP, PRS, Brandin, Schecter and so on. Lot's of great brands where quality control is not an issue and the price is lower. If they can turn out great guitars at a lower price and maintain quality why can't Gibson?
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