Why do people say or act like Gibsons are overpriced ??

justinspv

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The quality wasn’t there for years. So the prices seems high. You’d have to go through numerous stores to find a guitar that was built well and had “that” feel/sound. Most working musicians I knew used to say the same thing. All we looked at were used guitars because they represented the best bang for your buck and were gig ready. The shiny new one looked good but were often made with wood that wasn’t even seasoned. Ever grabbed the bottom E on a Les Paul and pulled hard so that the entire headstock flaps up and down? Hopefully that doesn’t happen any more
 

Easy as 123

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Gibsons aren't overpriced. That is, if you love your Gibson. Though the same can be said for any guitar that you have fallen into a meaningful relationship with.

Bc, as we all know, or should know, they're way more than inanimate objects. Theyre tools which allow us to tap into something profound and life enriching.

Bc when a guitar takes you to a "perfect"place," you're not really focusing on the brand or it's price. Instead, you're appreciative that it's the right guitar for you. For example, Alvarez made some excellent mass produced Japanese acoustics in the mid to late 70s (during Yari's tenure). Those can be purchased today in the $300-$500 range. They're excellent daily players. Better than entry level Taylors which cost more. But if I want an 000 shape with a 1 7/8 nut providing that type of string spacing, then I pick up my 4k Larrivee. I enjoy both the Alvarez and Larrivee. However, I would consider the Larrivee a bit more of a reference guitar.

Gibson's are great, a lot of Epis are great, I own some fine Fenders. Lots of wonderful axes from all over the world. Value inherently is in the eyes of the individual player, regardless of market. After all, how does an affordable axe (in its day) morph into a treasured extremely expensive vintage instrument. People's perceptions change over time; sometimes bc they admire people playing a particular brand or model. Gibson has the seminal models that people still want. Yet, it's always going to be, "did YOU get a good one." Bc lasting satisfaction w a guitar is a priceless feeling, yet lasting disappoinment feels like the pits.
 
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This is a very entertaining subject that I love reading.

Two things that stand out...no one has mentioned the fact that Gibson (and Fender) have NOT fluctuated (at retail) that much for nearly 70 + years...when adjusted for inflation. Why do sooooo many people fail to make this distinction? For example let's just take the ES 335. The 335 debuted in 1958 at $267.50. When adjusted for inflation (as of 2021) the retail price is...$2,526.93. That's pretty much the price of the Modern Satin ES 335 today.

As you could imagine $2,526.93 in 1958 was an boat load of money. For context, the average cost of a brand new car in '58 was $2000.00. In fact, if you look up the original retail price of your favorite "core" guitar models that either company produced you see that they were never "cheap" when it debuted. Its actually sort of baffling when you look up how much the hard cases were back then.

But I think @JonnySledge hit the nail on the head when he states "It is Epiphone owners who complain the most about the price of real Gibsons."

Why is this? Is it the modern perception that playing an Epiphone (or Squier) somehow makes you a inferior guitarist? If that's the case, Jack Pearson will show you otherwise. In fact, John and Paul didn't seem to have any issues playing Epis either.

Also, keep in mind that Gibson is a "legacy" brand much like Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Louis Vuitton, etc. which means that the resale value will more than likey appreciate over time, a distinction that most non Gibson owning players fail to grasp. Because, let's be honest, if you don't understand conceptually why Rolex watches fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars, when you can easily buy a Timex for $19.00, you won't understand why Gibsons (and some other guitar brands) garner the amount of dollars.

But I think this Gibson bashing / hate / complaining about being "overpriced" is a new-ish phenomenon made by those who can't (or won't) spend the dollars the instruments command within the market place.
 
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grumphh

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The funny part about this thread is the post comparing Nikes and Rolexs. Nikes are cheap disposable junk made by sweatshop 12 year olds making a dollar a day and Rolexs are technological works of art made by highly skilled, well paid craftsmen. :wtf:
So, this then makes Gibsons the Nikes of the guitar world???
 

CB91710

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Also note that the price it's listed for is not the price it sold for, if it sold at all. In looking around all the MIM Fenders over $700.00 are custom shop guitars. I picked up my standard MIM Tele as a store demo for $380.00 with a HS Gator case. I would not pay over $600.00 for a new one.

YMMV
There are no MiM Custom Shop guitars. The Fender Custom Shop is and always has been in Corona, CA, about 15 miles from where I live.
There was a series of standard models that sport "Custom Shop Designed" and it really did not do any favors for the suckers who are buying what is nothing more than a standard MiM Strat.

MiM production models are currently in the $850 to $1100 range for the Player and Vintera series.
Signature models likewise start at about $850 and go up to around $1500. These are MSRP... not used prices.
US/Corona models start at about $1200 and go up to $2500, Custom Shop takes over from there.

If you won't pay more than $600 for a new one, then you won't be getting a new Fender other than one made in Asia.
MiM Fenders have not listed for under $600 for a few years, though every now and then Adorama will blow out remaining inventory at $200-$300 under list.
 

CB91710

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Because they can't afford one.

Simple answer. It's usually the same people who say a Lexus is an overpriced Toyota or complain about overpriced coffee from Starbucks or whatever. They have an Epiphone budget (nothing wrong with that AT ALL) but are frankly mostly jealous people who want to complain about the world not catering to their needs. High-end guitars are luxury goods for most people and important tools for professional artists. Not everyone has the disposable income to responsibly purchase one of these guitars, and Gibson caters to this market with the Epiphone line.
Gibson - Epiphone
Snap-On - Kobalt

All 4 do the job they were designed to do.
All 4 have their place in the market, otherwise they would not exist.
2 of them feel a bit nicer in the hands.
2 of them are affordable to a beginner.

If Gibson or Snap-On were overpriced, the market would speak and sales would drop.
There is a careful balance of price vs production numbers to maximize both sales and profit.
I love how the "well they should" crowd thinks they knew better than people who have been paid to and have the education to calculate this balance.

I'd love to have a $500 Standard.
So would everyone else on this forum.
How long would you be willing to wait for it, because at $500, it's going to be a LONG time before Gibson USA filled today's orders.
I'd love to have a made-to-spec custom Gibson, and I'd love to have it shipped in 4 weeks. I'm not going to mortgage the house to make that happen.
 

CB91710

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This is a very entertaining subject that I love reading.

Two things that stand out...no one has mentioned the fact that Gibson (and Fender) have NOT fluctuated (at retail) that much for nearly 70 + years...when adjusted for inflation. Why do sooooo many people fail to make this distinction? For example let's just take the ES 335. The 335 debuted in 1958 at $267.50. When adjusted for inflation as of 2021 the retail price is...$2,526.93. That's pretty much the price of the Modern Satin ES 335.

As you could imagine $2,526.93 in 1958 was an boat load of money. For context, the average cost of a new car in '58 was 2K!?!?! In fact, if you look up the original retail price of your favorite "core" guitar models that either company produced you see that those brands were never "cheap" when it debuted.

But I think @JonnySledge hit the nail on the head when he states "It is Epiphone owners who complain the most about the price of real Gibsons."

Why is this? Is it the modern perception that playing an Epiphone (or Squier) somehow makes you a inferior guitarist? If that's the case, Jack Pearson will show you otherwise. In fact, John and Paul didn't seem to have any issues playing Epis either?

Also, keep in mind that Gibson is a "legacy" brand much like Rolex, Mercedes Benz, Louis Vuitton, etc. which means that the resale value appreciates over time, a distinction that most non Gibson owning players fail to grasp. Because, let's be honest, if you don't understand conceptually why Rolex watches fetch hundreds of thousands, when you can buy a Timex for $19.00, you won't understand why Gibsons (and some other guitar brands) can garner the amount of dollars.

But I think this Gibson bashing / hate / complaining about being "overpriced" is a new-ish phenomenon made by those who can't (or won't) spend the dollars the instruments command within the market place.
Gibson has pretty much kept pace with inflation (discounting 5-10 years ago when they were significantly higher, and reduced their prices).
Fender has been lagging behind inflation ever since they started production in Ensenada.
1978 a Strat with HSC was $600. That's about $2300 today, but a comparable California-made Strat is ~$1600.
 

Jeremiah

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I'm into Gibson for 4500 all in for my 3 Les Pauls, they'll never see another dime from me (not that they saw any this time, I bought mine used). Overpriced? I guess it depends on who's asking. For me, another dime would be overpriced.
 
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Gibson has pretty much kept pace with inflation (discounting 5-10 years ago when they were significantly higher, and reduced their prices).
Fender has been lagging behind inflation ever since they started production in Ensenada.
1978 a Strat with HSC was $600. That's about $2300 today, but a comparable California-made Strat is ~$1600.
FACTS! I'm truly baffled why this is even a thing. The only reason I can come up with is that some folks just don't understand inflation. But on the other hand most guitar players aren't economist.
 

01GT Eibach

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Fender has been lagging behind inflation ever since they started production in Ensenada.
1978 a Strat with HSC was $600. That's about $2300 today, but a comparable California-made Strat is ~$1600.
And that "comparable California-made Strat" of today is FAR BETTER than those 1978 Strats of yore making today's Strats an even bigger bargain... those things had serious issues even back then. I would not say the same for '78 Gibson Les Paul Standards.
 

efstop

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I have owned two expensive Gibsons (according to my wages at the time). I've owned a Dove and an LP Custom.
I have eight Gibsons now, and none were over $1300 US. One new SG, an NOS J-29 and a new 2014 MM. The rest were used and a few were downright cheap.

I don't bitch about the price. If I don't have the scratch for new, I'm happy with used. You pick what you want and pay your money if you have it.

I can't afford a new Caddy, but I don't think they're overpriced.

Trucks, now those fuckers are overpriced.
 

Adinol

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Eastman guitars (made in China) can cost $3000.
This is a bit off topic, but since Eastmans are mentioned...

I have my issues with Eastman guitars. Here's one.

I was refretting an Eastman, recently, and there was a big issue that really could have been avoided with a better build.

The standard fret slot width (i.e. the slots that are cut into the fret board) is .022" and frets are made to fit right in. Well, the Eastman I was refretting had significantly narrower fret slots and also had a bound neck. Not the easiest situation to widen those fret slots.

So, the new fret wire was really difficult to drive into the existing slots. I was expecting that the neck would go into a back bow. That's exactly what happened.

Since the Eastman is complete knock off of a Gibson (regardless that is has been redesigned) there is a Gibson style one-way truss rod in an Eastman neck. A one-way truss rod does not let you correct a back bow. So, the only way to correct the back bow, in such case, is to level off the frets. Basically, taking off more material from the middle of the fret board.

Wish tome planning it is possible to correct the plane, and leave a little fall-away high up the neck.

I know some will say I should have widened the fret slots, but that's not easy on a bound neck. And I have to take into account how much the customer is willing to pay for any extra time.

But speaking of price. Are Eastman guitars overpriced? I don't know the answer to that. They are just not very desirable to me so I would not pay the asking price.
 

Lesterdelphia

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The quality wasn’t there for years. So the prices seems high. You’d have to go through numerous stores to find a guitar that was built well and had “that” feel/sound. Most working musicians I knew used to say the same thing. All we looked at were used guitars because they represented the best bang for your buck and were gig ready. The shiny new one looked good but were often made with wood that wasn’t even seasoned. Ever grabbed the bottom E on a Les Paul and pulled hard so that the entire headstock flaps up and down? Hopefully that doesn’t happen any more
You really make a great point. IMO, the "overpriced" thing comes from some really inconsistent QC for years. No question there were some great Gibsons being sold but it just seemed that there were just as many "dogs" out there too. At that price point and USA made, most would expect tight consistent QC. I bought a new Gibson LP Special back in the early 90's that had a twisted neck. The actual price of the guitar was quite reasonable....the twisted neck is what made it overpriced (actually made it worthless to me....ended up trading it in). Same thing with a 2010 SG Standard I bought new. Price was decent, turned out the guitar wasn't (soft sticky uncured lacquer that you could sink a fingernail into). Now I own a 2016 Gibson J-29 acoustic that I bought used three years ago that was not cheap but worth every penny because it plays and sounds great and has nice workmanship....so not overpriced. So simply put, my whole point is that a $2,400 Les Paul that plays/sounds very good with excellent QC isn't overpriced......flawed crap is.
 

rjwilson37

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You want a USA made Gibson Guitar, I don't think the prices are really that bad. The Murphy Lab's at 8-10k, I think that is a bit overpriced, but if you have the money and that's what you want, go for it. You want to save some money and get a great Les Paul, Epiphone is putting out some outstanding guitars now, they play and sound just as good as a Gibson Les Paul.
 

Buffalo

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Personally I find a Gibson is more worth the cost than a Fender.
It depends on each model, because Gibson and Fender have different diversification strategies.
Lowend Gibsons like the V/Explorer B2 models start at ~1k like a MIM Fender but Gibsons are still US made. In this price range Fender offers better quality, even if they're made in Mexico. On the other end, the regular Fender lineup end with the USA made ultra models at ~$2k, that's way below what Gibson offers in the regular lineup. And that's the also the tipping point where Gibson can score with craftsman ship.
Conclusion:
- You can't build a quality guitar in the US below $1k5. That's what Fender does right with their MIM
- You can build quality guitars way above $2k in your regular lineup besides the custom shop. That's what Gibson does right.
 

Adinol

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...And Abraham Wechter (one of the best luthiers in the world...) left the US to make $7000 archtops in China.
To be fair, I think we can all agree that this is not a maker that most people think of when we talk about Chinese made guitars.

To use an analogy, it would be like saying, "I can't stand 80's music," then someone saying, "What do you mean, you don't like Dire Straights or AC/DC?" Dire Straights or AC/DC are not the bands that come to mind when people are discussing 80's music. What most people mean, when the generic term 80's music is used, are bands such as Wham, Boy George, Duran Duran, etc...
 

AlbinB

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There have been low cost import alternatives to Gibson guitars for many decades. Thru this period Gibson has remained a viable manufacturer of U.S. made guitars with many loyal customers who prefer and enjoy their products to other brands. My personal experience with Gibson guitars has been hit and miss, but mostly hits. It is a matter of choice, nobody has to pay what any manufacturer or retailer asks for a product.. While all guitars seem to depreciate immediately from the time of purchase, Gibson products do seem to hold a decent amount of their value upon re-sale. There is some value in strong re-sale or potential appreciation over time in my opinion. Every time I have taken my 1960 Les Paul reissue out to a gig it has generated compliments on not only the way it sounds, but how it looks. When you get on going thru a good tube amp, it can pretty cool.
 

ns2a

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I played a EVH relic today. $2k. Made in Mexico. ESP LTd now $1050.

I don’t think Gibsons are over priced.
 


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