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What Will Gibson's Bankruptcy Mean For It's Guitars?

by vaughn skow May 03, 2018 2 min read

Hi Gang, I promised a blog on what the speaker frequency range spec truly means ... but that'll have to wait.  We just got the news that Gibson has indeed filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy (reorganization). The question that leaves for all of us guitar folks is "What will that mean for the GUITARS?"  That's a big question, let's discuss it!

So, overall the word seams to be that folks generally think this will be GOOD for Gibson's actual guitars moving forward.  One blog I just readstates  "The good news is Gibson will now focus more on its popular guitar brands" ... a determination made by the fact thatIn a statement, Gibby CEO Juszkiewicz said, “The decision to re-focus on our core business, musical instruments,".  Bla, Bla, Bla ... who cares what he SAYS?  Here is my take:

I've lived in Nashville, home to Gibson's offices and manufacturing facilities,since 1985 ... or in other words since BEFORE Mr J & Co. even BOUGHT Gibson.  Yep, I was here for the last awful Norlin years, and for the glorious early 1990s when folks like JT Ribboloff brought Gibson back from the dead and restored everything that was GREAT about Gibson.  I was here to watch the Memphis factory mature to the point of having a team in place that was truly making some of the finest guitars Gibson had EVER made, even in the glorious pre-Norlin years. 

Gibson in 1992 was a glorious phoenix rising from the ashes!  So, can it happen again?  Well ...

My opinion, no, it can't ,  Why?  Well, they've already lost everything that matters:

  1. The Memphis factory is gone and it ain't coming back, nor will most of the quality luthiers who worked there and Gibson knifed in the back.
  2. They've let the majority of their top-shelf staff go here in Nashville, too ... and once again, they were treated so badly that I don't see them ever returning with Mr J at the helm.
  3. They have totally lost the value of their brand name.  Honestly, the guitars of the last few years are nowhere near as bad as the worst of the Norlin guitars ... but the Norlin era was ... and this is IMPORTANT ... pre-internet.  And so, while there are tens of thousands of rants in cyberspace on how bad Gibson guitars are NOW, there was no such outlet in 1979!
  4. And last, there are now several companies who have been "making Gibson guitars better than Gibson does" for many years ... can you say Paul Reed Smith?

I LOVE classic/vintage Gibson guitars, and I'd LOVE to see the company return to glory, and so I hope I'm wrong.  I will say this, I certainly don't see Gibson regaining any decent Status without the departure ofJuszkiewicz, the guy who MADE the problem just ain't gonna be the guy to FIX it!

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