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I was in a shop yesterday and was chatting with one of the guys working there and he got an email saying that the Historic Series is done as a production guitar. You can now only custom order them. They are still making custom production guitars but are on a limited run basis. Every week a guitar or two will be released on a Monday and the store has till Wednesday to order, he showed me a couple examples of guitars that could be ordered, one was a Firebird Custom, basically a black beauty firebird. They're also doing a painted over series, the example he was sent was a Goldtop Les Paul that was aged and you could see a burst underneath the gold. This is an interesting move for them, I feel like the only thing they haven't totally messed up recently is the historic guitars and it sucks that it's a site unseen purchase now. I'm sure some stores will custom order guitars for stock but I can't see Long and Mcquade doing so and the only way I can afford those guitars is with their super no hassle financing.
 

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They have been losing market share for years and are trying a number of different things to try and maintain it or get some back if possible. They know increased sales sit with new buyers, not the ones who have bought before. Time will tell if this works.
 

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There's a large resale market inventory for the historics with them being in production for years now. I'm sure they are seeing declining sales due to people buying used.
 

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No what has destroyed the Gibson is best mythos is the shitty QC of a few years back.

If they want some market share back they could try firing Henry J (seriously, how many mulligans is that dude gonna get?). Maybe paying attention to bass players again (they've kinda started to do that). How about putting out reissues that are actual reissues not cop-out half-assed namesakes that cost double what a vintage real one does (Les Paul Recording I am looking square at you and yopur shitty HiZ pickups and stupid onboard DI). Yes, and pricing - there are only so many boomer-aged collectors and they already have 2 Les Pauls each and don't want any more; make something working musicians and the next generation can afford.
 

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No what has destroyed the Gibson is best mythos is the shitty QC of a few years back.

If they want some market share back they could try firing Henry J (seriously, how many mulligans is that dude gonna get?). Maybe paying attention to bass players again (they've kinda started to do that). How about putting out reissues that are actual reissues not cop-out half-assed namesakes that cost double what a vintage real one does (Les Paul Recording I am looking square at you and yopur shitty HiZ pickups and stupid onboard DI). Yes, and pricing - there are only so many boomer-aged collectors and they already have 2 Les Pauls each and don't want any more; make something working musicians and the next generation can afford.
Hard to get fired when you own the company.
 

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Its been done before. For some reason I thought they were public; my bad.
 

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they could always try lowering their prices if nothing else works :)
They have done that by bringing out some very basic models. I don't know how they are going over but the competition easily meets their price point with guitars of superior quality. They just can't match the pricing of their competition because they need to make a larger margin of profit because of their higher overhead costs, mainly due to the company's corporate structure.
 

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The Victory and my current EB4 are the only models that interest me.

View attachment 89753
OOOOh what victory do you have? I have an 81 Standard bass. Always been curious about the 6 bangers, but never seen one around to try. The neck on mine is insanely good; my widest but a super shallow D. So comfortable. Love the double octave access.
 

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They have done that by bringing out some very basic models. I don't know how they are going over but the competition easily meets their price point with guitars of superior quality. They just can't match the pricing of their competition because they need to make a larger margin of profit because of their higher overhead costs, mainly due to the company's corporate structure.
How much do you actually know about guitar quality, business or corporate structuring?
 

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@Granny Gremlin +1000000 on the company finally hauling their heads out of their asses and trying to work with bass players.

Remember the grabber II basses from about a decade ago? Absolutely abysmal. The price tag was double what an actual vintage grabber was going for.

And more recently, the thunderbird bass prices grew exponentially over just a few short years, and then when sales dropped, they discontinued them!

Seriously. If Gibson would just reissue the thunderbird, the Rd, the eb0, grabber and ripper, and a few other choice basses, they'd sell like hot cakes. Make the bodies out of basswood, agathis or other cheaper woods and give them solid colour selection. The company already has the recipe to make great basses, they're just so poorly managed....

End rant.
 

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@Granny Gremlin

Seriously. If Gibson would just reissue the thunderbird, the Rd, the eb0, grabber and ripper, and a few other choice basses, they'd sell like hot cakes. Make the bodies out of basswood, agathis or other cheaper woods and give them solid colour selection. The company already has the recipe to make great basses, they're just so poorly managed....
Yeah, except, TBirds were in production until recently (and no, they ain't the same as the vintage ones, but they were good and sold well; the pickups were a strong point). The RD Standard was reissued as the Kris Novoselic sig a bit back. Short lived and poor choice IMHO - they should have reissued the RD Artist, though I am not sure of the IP status of the original Moog circuit in those - if it won't have that (hopefully redesigned a bit so as to be smaller/shorter signal path with modern multilayer PCBs etc) then don't bother - that's what made those basses awesome (I love mine). The EB3 (2 pup version of the EB0) was reissued as the SG bass and sold rather well for a few years until Henry J pulled it. It was a good bass, but the pickups were TB+ (i.e. same as TBirds, but diff covers) vs the original mudbucker and mini. Probably wise from a biz perspective, but there were people out there who would have preferred the old stuff (many of them had vintage mudbuckers or Dark Stars transplanted into them) - at least the mudbucker (which is a sidewinder just like 70s F and Tbirds.... just much more massive). The Grabber never sold well and was a gimmicky affair with that sliding pickup and a shit bridge that was a poor Fender copy, but the Ripper and the G3 (those original Bill Lawrence pups were awesome; also used in the S1 guitars) which had the same body shape are classics and well regarded. The EB4/5s like @laristotle 's above were actually a good bass and sold reasonably well; not too expensive (surprised the hell outs me). Most of Gibson's other new designs were bad ideas (tried to go too Fender; then bought Tobias and ran it into the ground - that never made sense to me; not their style of instrument); they should stick to the classics ... or at least things in that vein.

You also forget the EB2. They did the Midtown, but it's not the same. I want mudbucker, short scale, arched top and back, no silly post modern f holes and short scale. Problem is it'd cost 6K.

I disagree about using basswood. Changing the wood (most of the above are all maple, which is reasonably cheap if not figured) would not save much money; the ones that were honduras mahogany, should remain so despite higher cost (though , and I am no expert, if there are similar sounding/looking/feeling woods out there, I wouldn't be upset if it lowered the cost.... nothing else I have ever held resonates like my 65 EB3 though).

The main problem is Henry J's attention span. If a model doesn't succeed in a single year, they pull it and change their approach. They need to think more long term with a planned and phased approach. Start with a solid foundation of TBirds, ad an EB3/SG bass in the next model year and keep going like that. Slow and steady. Don't prematurely ejaculate and dump 4 new models on the market cuz the single model last year did well, when you don't have the customer base/following. It's feast/famine/left field with them.

Also the orange peel finish issues starting a decade or 2 back (on basses more so than guitars, though sometimes on those too) are completely unacceptable at their price point. Not to mention sending a clear signal to bass players that they were second class customers.
 
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They have been losing market share for years and are trying a number of different things to try and maintain it or get some back if possible. They know increased sales sit with new buyers, not the ones who have bought before. Time will tell if this works.
Source?
As a privately held company, its interesting that you have access to this sort of information. :)

Fact is, no one knows if they are doing well or not...Just because we as customers might not like the decisions and direction, doesn't mean it isn't successful for them on some levels.
IMO, the only thing we *might* have knowledge of, is 1) Gibson has had strained relationships with lenders in the past
2)Gibson has had issues with the FTC over price collusion as well as the fishing and wildlife authorities over the source of some of their wood.
3)Gibson is still a dominant leader in their market space and very powerful/sought after brand.
4)They once had a board of directors with some very prominent music industry names on it, but Henry dissolved it.
5) some other stuff I cant remember right now.
 
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The EB3 (2 pup version of the EB0) was reissued as the SG bass and sold rather well for a few years until Henry J pulled it. It was a good bass, but the pickups were TB+ (i.e. same as TBirds, but diff covers) vs the original mudbucker and mini. Probably wise from a biz perspective, but there were people out there who would have preferred the old stuff (many of them had vintage mudbuckers or Dark Stars transplanted into them) - at least the mudbucker (which is a sidewinder just like 70s F and Tbirds.... just much more massive).
Around ten years ago, I had the opportunity to play a friend's, friend's mid 70's EB-3L.
I was in love on the first lick I played. Reading your post suggests that this had the mudbucker and mini's in them.
I searched and even tried the reisue SG's. Nothing I played since ever had that sound. Now I know why.
Thanks for the write up. Very informative.;)
 
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