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Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by jlb32, Mar 15, 2017.
Or a Chinese investor might buy the brand and copyrights to the guitars...
Guitar prices are why guitar companies are struggling.
I bet Squire and Epiphone aren't doing terrible. They make surprisingly good guitars at very reasonable prices.
Let's take the big three; LP, Strat, Tele. The reason why you think an LP is cool is because of the Les Paul Standard, not the LP Custom Shop True Historic. The American Standard Strat and Tele are why people like them, not the Custom Shop 54 Relic.
I'm 34 years old and am kind of an odd ball for my age group on how much I like guitar and how much I play. When I was 16 years old I worked all summer to buy an American Strat. I got a 97 Strat Plus, still have it. It's my baby. It cost $675 and was their highest end model, period. Today an Am Standard is like $1,800 and it's not very high end since the Custom Shop throws out $4k guitars like water.
The same with Gibson. If you buy an LP Standard today it's pushing $3k but it's basically an entry model since TH's are pushing $10k.
I get price gouging all the Baby Boomers who have all this money sitting around with endless free time and a short time left. That was always going to happen, but these companies that have been around forever and laid the foundation abandoned the future for a quick flash and it shows now. The Baby Boomer guitar buying craze is pretty much over and now Gibson and Fender are staring down the barrel of bankruptcy.
All the new Coin Millionairs are going to buy other shit than guitars.
A Standard USA it's more or less 3K (for the current year, you can find previous year for 2.2K average). A Custom Shop Standard 58 starts at average 3.9K. A CS Standard 59 figured starts at average 4.9K. Not sure where this 10K come from. True Historics are gone, and leftovers are average 5K.
...and no one buying a USA Standard is getting an "Entry Level" model. Whoever saying that would be just clueless about guitars, in general.
Epi’s and Squires.....lol. I’m sure Kia cars do fine too, but people are still buying Benz’s and Land Rovers. Both get you from point A to point B, but different animals.
Nothing wrong with playing what you can afford, but that goes both ways.
The majority of Gibson’s problems have stemmed from bad business ventures. Buying companies that were on the verge of BK and trying to become a “lifestyle” company.
Gibson makes plenty of affordable guitars that meet or surpass the Epi’s and Squires. Studios are great guitars, and if you are paying 3k for a standard, you are doing it wrong.
I’ve gigged a long time, and there is most certainly a quality difference between Epi’s, Squires, and Custom Shop Les Pauls and Fenders.
Could I gig with an Epi or squire.....sure. The same way I could get to work in a 1985 Chrysler K car. I’d just rather not, in both cases.
Again, Gibson’s main problem isn’t stemming from their “overpriced” guitars that are seeming to sell just fine. It’s the other stuff that is the root.
Some people don't place value on how something feels, the people behind it, how something looks, etc. Sentimental stuff. Some just don't want to spend more than a few hundred bucks. That's cool and it's great that there are options. 500 bucks gets you a long way these days in guitar.
On the other hand, I do think there are many people still around who value the Custom Shop quality, no matter what brand, and would never want to buy a 500 dollar guitar. I don't even think the prices are that inflated. It's not like a Custom Shop guitar is 20 times the basic model. It's not even double to get a CS LP, which – in my opinion – is nicer in every way than the USA Standard.
It seems to me that there are many very dedicated young guitarist lusting after expensive guitars, be it Gibson, Fender, PRS, Knaggs, Collings or whatever and that here might always be a market for nice guitars.
I get the feeling, for example, that Fender's Custom Shop is doing extraordinarily well these days. People generally seem to hold all of their output in high regard. If that was its own business, I think it might be very sustainable...???
I definitely see why the situation for Gibson seems to be very bad in general and that defaulting seems inevitable somwhoe. But wouldn't we expect far more actions by Gibson then? It looks as if they're not really thinking about shutting down for a second.
A Kia will really bring you from A to B. Land Rovers just die as often as Jeeps.
They are already taking many visible actions, as selling Memphis factory, terrains and other assets, shutting down legacy products and software, reducing models and finish options in the USA pipeline, raising all the guitar prices (for both Epiphone and Gibson USA and CS) by a 10 to 20% range, firing core guys at the Custom Shop, and shutting down many contracts with local sellers as they weren't productive enough.
At the point they are, they can't even try to drop the prices as a strategy, as this would start a domino effects with all their brands, and starting a war in the used market. This would probably be the worse move they could take now. Gibson always used the "higher price" psychological factor, as a selling point, and worked pretty well until now honestly, pretty much as it works for Apple products.
As someone said before, problem isn't guitars not selling. It's strategy overall, and an infinite sequence of shitty moves they took along the years.
Gibson guitars is not the issue, they still make great profits with guitars. It is all the other acquired companies Henry bought out that has put them in the debt they are in.
Wasn't try to start a "my dad can beat up your dad" type thing. I've been playing forever and have been I guess blessed to be financially stable enough that I have owned every guitar I have ever wanted minus a true burst, but honestly out of the three I have played I wouldn't have payed more than a Historic for them as their specialness ended at they were old. Not great guitars by any stretch.
The reality is from cars to rifles to guitars you can get something that will get the job done at a ridiculously high level for a very reasonable price. To the Baby Boomers who are retired with disposable income it's a cool hobby that doesn't require a lot of physical activity. The average Gen X'ers have less than $70k in their IRA/401k/Savings combined on average. Millennials with their crippling student loan debt and low wages have less than $20k put away. Now we are talking about $5k guitars? Good luck.
The economic landscape going forward and the buying and spending trends of the younger generations don't paint a pretty picture for high dollar instruments. Guitar Center is the Wal-Mart of guitars and they're probably not surviving the summer of 2018.
In short the sky is falling even if you don't want to believe it.
Thank you guys! Sounds like we can still complain about the features of historics in 2020 then.
We can agree to disagree then. The market is there for higher end guitars and it will sustain. Taylor and Martin are doing fine with their 3,4, and 5k instruments.
Contrary to your belief, there are plenty of young, up and coming musicians out there with a penchant for fine guitars. It's not all old guys with nothing better to do.
One last thing.....I don't know when the last time you gigged was (my guess is you don't), but that crap about "not requiring a lot of physical activity".....lol.
I sit in with people fairly often. I was referring to getting into high end guitar buying.
Of course no one will ever know these numbers but I wouldn't be shocked if an extremely high percentage of these reissue, super high priced guitars never see the public let alone a stage. Taylor and PRS don't fit into that but those are brands that came up with the Gen X'ers. I've never jammed or sat in with anyone playing an R anything or a Martin Authentic. I've never even seen one on stage anywhere in any local scene I have lived in now that I'm thinking about it. I'm younger so I would imagine that is why.
Personally I hardly ever see anybody playing Gibson anything around where I live where it's mostly blues and dance gigs. It's a shame because the LP can be a killer blues guitar. As far as Peter Green saying it wasn't somebody should of told Mike Bloomfield that. And he wasn't even using P90's!
As far as funk/dance material goes it's a no brainer. One of the most iconic funk songs of all time by Wild Cherry was played using LP's.
How old are you....serious question. Gigging is definitely physical. Loading up, loading in, loading out, and putting it all away when you are done. 100’s of poundsbof equipment. That’s not counting the 3-4 hour show where, if you are doing it right, you put on a SHOW for the audience.
I know of several bands just in my local area that play the high end equipment live. Most local bands are 30-50 in age. I got my first Custom Shop at 27 and gigged with it immediately.
I started to gig at a young age, I was 16 and the oldest in our band was 18. We played clubs and bars (it was legal as long as you never left the stage except for the dressing room), and we played classic rock and original music we wrote. Those early gigs I brought everything I had, Fenders, Gibsons and Marshalls and Hi-Watts, all my pedals. It didn't take long to realize how stupid that was. Even our drummer had 10 piece kit that became a 5 piece. I learned to do more with less too.
I would take 1 cab 2 heads 2 guitars and wah-wah. At the time my guitars were tools and as tools they had to be durable and function without fail. This is why Gibsons became a important part of my road gear. I never considered them an heirloom or a collectors item.
I'm 34. I started "gigging" when I was 14. There was a huge group of us that all had bands growing up. Some haven't picked up a guitar in ages, some are still trying to make it, and I'm about the only one that still plays a ton but has their life together.
I was in a bunch of bands while I was in the military. I got tired of lugging shit around and trying to get four or five people together at the same time and agree on what to do.
I understand you don't fit the norm and you're giving tiny examples to help your cause but guitar is dying and super high priced guitars will be done in by default.
People buying $5k guitars constantly aren't the gigging type in the aggregate. Yes, a few might. A couple super models bow hunt. A couple polar bears can ride a tricycle.
I know a ton of "gigging" musicians and none of them have high end gear because they can't afford it. I mean technically they could but they're just not going to. I didn't buy nice stuff until I got out of the band scene. I just don't see a lot of LP's being played in bars, period.
Again, guitar playing across the board is down and shows zero sign of even leveling off let alone coming back. The stats are everywhere. Gibson, Fender, and Guitar Center are all on their way out. This isn't an accident or a couple bad choices.
Will a small group always wants high end guitars? Absolutely. That doesn't really mean much compared to the actual landscape as there will always be small groups that want high end obscure things.
Enough with the negative waves moriarty!