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  1. #1

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    Henry J. has closed the Crimson custom shop till September. No archtops will be made. Apparently he is not happy not getting "his price" on them. He did this in 2010 for a year and then jacked up the prices big time.
    Starve the people than charge them twice the price for a hamburger.
    Got this info from Dave's. They are also no longer Gibson dealers and said TMZ is close to pulling the plug also.
    They told me Henry wants no more independent Gibson dealers. Only MF, AMS, Zz, GC. No brick and mortar dealers.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Henry J. has closed the Crimson custom shop till September. No archtops will be made. Apparently he is not happy not getting "his price" on them. He did this in 2010 for a year and then jacked up the prices big time.
    Starve the people than charge them twice the price for a hamburger.
    Got this info from Dave's. They are also no longer Gibson dealers and said TMZ is close to pulling the plug also.
    They told me Henry wants no more independent Gibson dealers. Only MF, AMS, Zz, GC. No brick and mortar dealers.
    that last part kinda runs counter to the concept of "custom" shop doesn't it?

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Henry J. has closed the Crimson custom shop till September. No archtops will be made. Apparently he is not happy not getting "his price" on them. He did this in 2010 for a year and then jacked up the prices big time.
    Starve the people than charge them twice the price for a hamburger.
    Got this info from Dave's. They are also no longer Gibson dealers and said TMZ is close to pulling the plug also.
    They told me Henry wants no more independent Gibson dealers. Only MF, AMS, Zz, GC. No brick and mortar dealers.
    Does this mean that Gibson won't be making any archtops at all, or that they're stopping manufacture of the subset of their archtops that was made in the Crimson Custom Shop (I haven't followed the ins and outs of what gets made in what parts of Gibsonlandia)?

    John
    Last edited by John A.; 03-31-2017 at 04:21 PM.

  5. #4

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    My Dad used to say "that's the kinda Guy who would pee in his own shoe and wear'm."

  6. #5

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    I think Henry J really only wants to make Les Pauls under the Gibson name and of those really only wants to make "premium" products, not instruments for the hoi polloi. Those're what Epiphone is for.

    The demographic of the world don't bode well. Seems like fewer and fewer people listen to live music, which means fewer gigs and less reason for gigging musicians to buy more instruments. And it seems like pop music right at the moment does not depend on the guitar as it once did- now it's computers and vocalists instead of a band and vocalists. Live performing even on major tours is more like fancy karaoke than live music (except karaoke doesn't usually involve lip syncing).

  7. #6

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    Archtops take more labor and need more scarce woods than other types of guitars. And while the whole guitar market may shrink with the demographic changes, archtops were never big sellers to begin with. Add a plethora of luthiers who have all studied the Bob Benedetto book, and the market for high end archtops may be something a good businessman would/should walk away from.

    That said, I am sure that Gibson Memphis will still be putting out some iconic archtops for quite a few years to come. Henry J. has a business to run. It is an iconic brand, and I for one wish him, and all those employed by Gibson the very best.

  8. #7

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    No high end Gibson archtops until September? Are we on punishment, or does Henry think he's a Saudi oil minister? He's certainly following the latter' game plan. The only problem is that there are a number of other high end archtop builders who will gladly fill the void...and charge considerably less.

    If only Joe Bonamassa would start playing an L5! That would make Henry do a jig!

  9. #8

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    [QUOTE=Donnie;757375]My Dad used to say "that's the kinda Guy who would pee in his own shoe and wear'm."[/QUOTE

    What a great and timely quote!

    Perhaps Henry J is preparing to run for office?

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by John A.
    Does this mean that Gibson won't be making any archtops at all, or that they're stopping manufacture of the subset of their archtops that was made in the Crimson Custom Shop (I haven't followed the ins and outs of what gets made in what parts of Gibsonlandia)?

    John
    No Crimson custom shop archtops. Just 59' VOS 175's from Memphis will be made. In September Henry will make a decision on reopening the Crimson custom shop in Nashville.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donnie
    My Dad used to say "that's the kinda Guy who would pee in his own shoe and wear'm."

    works if you're walking on hot coals!...hah

    cheers

  12. #11

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    Wouldn't you call GC a big-time brick and mortar store ?

    I sure don't agree with cancelling Dave's, and not sure about closing Crimson Custom, but keep in mind Dave's was ' closed to Gibson ' a few years ago and was later re-instated. Who's to say the Crimson Shop won't come back with a new name or ???


    But to Henry's credit - -why make any more of something if you can't sell the ones still on the shelf ? And according to this info, production is only stopped 'til September.

    Bottom line, more than likely, Henry barely - if ever, 'got his price' for the new ones. And you have to wonder if Dave's or the other dealers did either.

    So, maybe they'll look at pricing - or maybe just let demand build back up again.

  13. #12
    Seriously Marc ? You wish Henry J. all the best ? He just laid off his top shelf employees at Nashville. I am sure they all have families to support.
    Yes he turned Gibson around in the 1980's but that was 30 years ago.
    I know you must know Kevin Jarvis owner of Gelb Music ? You guys both live in the same coastal town.
    Ask him to tell you some Henry J. stories. He will enlighten you. Kevin was a Gibson dealer from 1970-2014.
    Henry stepped on him like a roach.

  14. #13

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    It would certainly be terrible if anyone was laid off as a result of this decision at Gibson.

    Any successful business has its core competency to retain and hopefully Gibson used prudent judgement with this action.

    I don't know much about Henry J's positive / negative affect on the dealer network - but any diminished production on high end Archtop's is certainly sad news and speaks volumes to market conditions .

  15. #14
    Dennis and Marc you both make good and valid points. I know too many Music store owners personally and have just heard too many really bad things about HJ right from the horse's mouth. Not to mention I have felt the sting of HJ's business tactics many a time over the years.

  16. #15

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    Gosh, I hope Gibson doesn't stop making archtops! Maybe they need to take some time to reassess the niche market for high end arch tops, figure out what the demand is and set prices accordingly. They've had some misses in the last few years; the L5 Premiers, L5 double cutaways and solid formed archtops really languished on the market. But the L5CES and Wes models moved. They also have to compete with all the slightly used and well-cared-for recent vintage Custom shop archtops on the used market. Bottom line for me, as a life-long Gibson fan boy, is I'd be really bummed if the Custom Crimson division doesn't make a comeback in some form.

  17. #16
    Hey I am a huge "Gibson Fan Boy". I have 10 of them. 9 from the Crimson Custom Shop and I wanted 1 more.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Hey I am a huge "Gibson Fan Boy". I have 10 of them. 9 from the Crimson Custom Shop and I wanted 1 more.
    Vinny, that qualifies you as a much hoooger Gibson fan boy than me (only two CC shop + a 175). But I want at least 4 more! Don't tell my wife or she'll divorce me and take half my 401k. BTW how are you doing these days? Are you all healed up?

  19. #18
    Thanks for asking Ren. My hand still hurts but playing guitar again just a tad slower. I'm a happy boy.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Thanks for asking Ren. My hand still hurts but playing guitar again just a tad slower. I'm a happy boy.
    That's great to hear. Hopefully you will continue to improve. I recommend red wine and olive oil as dietary supplements.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler

    Are we on punishment, or does Henry think he's a Saudi oil minister? He's certainly following the latter' game plan. The only problem is that there are a number of other high end archtop builders who will gladly fill the void...and charge considerably less.
    1. If you were actually looking for a new Gibson archtop, in the last several years, you did not have to look too far. If you didn't want to pay the price they were asking, then that was another matter.
    2. But Henry a 'Saudi oil minister' - seriously ? Just because he's addressing a business problem ? I didn't see him getting all the other builders together and fixing prices.
    3. But ok if you think there's someone building Gibson level archtops for 'considerably less', shop their prices, and the options they offer, if any, and then see what you get. Or probably won't get.

    I'm not sure how serious a buyer you are or were, but if you didn't jump on a ' used ' ( one or two year old ) Crimson Custom archtop in the last several years, MHO you missed out. But if you didn't want one anyway, then this is just conversation.
    And if you are going to hate Henry's guts anyway, no matter what his company builds, or charges for it, then again that's just conversation too.

    MHO

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D
    1. If you were actually looking for a new Gibson archtop, in the last several years, you did not have to look too far. If you didn't want to pay the price they were asking, then that was another matter.
    2. But Henry a 'Saudi oil minister' - seriously ? Just because he's addressing a business problem ? I didn't see him getting all the other builders together and fixing prices.
    3. But ok if you think there's someone building Gibson level archtops for 'considerably less', shop their prices, and the options they offer, if any, and then see what you get. Or probably won't get.

    I'm not sure how serious a buyer you are or were, but if you didn't jump on a ' used ' ( one or two year old ) Crimson Custom archtop in the last several years, MHO you missed out. But if you didn't want one anyway, then this is just conversation.
    And if you are going to hate Henry's guts anyway, no matter what his company builds, or charges for it, then again that's just conversation too.

    MHO
    Dennis, this is a forum, so by definition, everything is 'conversation'. Whether I own, shopped for or simply desired a Gibson Crimson archtop, I still can offer my opinion. There is no need for your condescending remarks.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Got this info from Dave's. They are also no longer Gibson dealers and said TMZ is close to pulling the plug also.
    They told me Henry wants no more independent Gibson dealers. Only MF, AMS, Zz, GC. No brick and mortar dealers.
    Taylor guitars did something similar recently - I was looking for a 414ce last year and called a lot of online dealers and was told the small shops that carried Taylor when the big guys wouldn't had lost their dealerships as Taylor was focusing on GC, MF, ...

    It's sad to see the small shops getting shut out.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Dennis, this is a forum, so by definition, everything is 'conversation'. Whether I own, shopped for or simply desired a Gibson Crimson archtop, I still can offer my opinion. There is no need for your condescending remarks.

    I just thought you were very much mistaken and gave my reasons.

  25. #24

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    Utterly astonishing.

    Robot tuners... uh huh,... and...uh.. how did that work out ?...

    and the 2015 model range ?......

    A simple fact worth bearing in mind. There comes a point where a customer will evaluate an asking price for an item. There comes a point where the buyer may consider the item is over priced, (aka "a rip-off"). At that point, the buyer will buy a better value product. (END OF STORY).

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    No high end Gibson archtops until September? Are we on punishment, or does Henry think he's a Saudi oil minister? He's certainly following the latter' game plan. The only problem is that there are a number of other high end archtop builders who will gladly fill the void...and charge considerably less.

    If only Joe Bonamassa would start playing an L5! That would make Henry do a jig!

  27. #26
    So when my friend/dealer finally had enough and quit being a Gibson dealer in 2014 he told me that HJ's goal was to be strictly online sales in the near future. Dave's confirmed this to me today saying he just wants Amazon, MF, AMS to be selling Gibson's.
    I do not see how this can be good for anyone including Gibson. Would you buy a new car without a test drive ? Of course you have a approval period buying online but a lot of people simply will not buy that way.
    A business practice like this will cause more than just a few Gibson workers losing their jobs.

    I was was shocked to hear today that only 10% of the Gibson Guitar Co. revenue comes from guitar sales. They make far more money on there other venues and HJ doesn't care all that much about the guitar portion of the business anymore. Of course I cannot state this as fact. I was just told this while trying to bang out a deal on a new Gibson.

  28. #27

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    Ahhhhhhhh RIGHT. Its APRIL FOOLS DAY. YOU GOT US!

  29. #28

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    A shame as Kevin is good people, I used to shop there all the time.

    Henry J. is smoking so pretty good stuff, lotsa luck Henry, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.


    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Seriously Marc ? You wish Henry J. all the best ? He just laid off his top shelf employees at Nashville. I am sure they all have families to support.
    Yes he turned Gibson around in the 1980's but that was 30 years ago.
    I know you must know Kevin Jarvis owner of Gelb Music ? You guys both live in the same coastal town.
    Ask him to tell you some Henry J. stories. He will enlighten you. Kevin was a Gibson dealer from 1970-2014.
    Henry stepped on him like a roach.

  30. #29

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    Vinny, my years as a lawyer taught me that there are at least two sides to every story. HJ kept Gibson from disappearing. I have several Gibby's made under his watch that have brought me much pleasure. If business is bad, you lay people off. I have had to do that in my business career.

    I am sorry for your bad experiences with Gibson and for your friend who was a Gibson dealer, but I still hope that HJ and Gibson continue on.

  31. #30

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    This is too funny/ish

    Last edited by WillMbCdn5; 03-31-2017 at 09:23 PM.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Dennis, this is a forum, so by definition, everything is 'conversation'. Whether I own, shopped for or simply desired a Gibson Crimson archtop, I still can offer my opinion. There is no need for your condescending remarks.


    Tim,

    No wonder you've stopped hanging out here as much. Can't say I blame you.

    Big

  33. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Vinny, my years as a lawyer taught me that there are at least two sides to every story. HJ kept Gibson from disappearing. I have several Gibby's made under his watch that have brought me much pleasure. If business is bad, you lay people off. I have had to do that in my business career.

    I am sorry for your bad experiences with Gibson and for your friend who was a Gibson dealer, but I still hope that HJ and Gibson continue on.
    As do I my friend. I love Gibson guitars !

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    As do I my friend. I love Gibson guitars !
    Of course you do. Gibsons rule!

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    ...
    Dave's confirmed this to me today saying he just wants Amazon, MF, AMS to be selling Gibson's.
    ...
    They're gonna have to up their game re. add copy for selling through Amazon. Just looked up "Super 400" and the listing for a $16,293.98 natural says this:


    • Designed to benefit all musicians
    • Crisp Bright tone
    • Natural



    Amazon.com: Gibson Custom Shop SUPER 400 HSS4NAGH1 Hollow-Body Electric Guitar, Natural: Musical Instruments


    I do think I understand Henry J's position though: Super 400's list for $20K and map for $15k, very few dealers can move these and they generally do at deep, deep discounts. Gibson has tried requiring dealers sell the entire Gibson line which has lead to consolidators/liquidators on eBay selling high end models as used to help dealers liquidate guitars they would not have chosen to buy if not contractually required to buy. Also, the softening of the used market is likely putting downward pressure on prices for new gear.



  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis D
    Wouldn't you call GC a big-time brick and mortar store ?

    I sure don't agree with cancelling Dave's, and not sure about closing Crimson Custom, but keep in mind Dave's was ' closed to Gibson ' a few years ago and was later re-instated. Who's to say the Crimson Shop won't come back with a new name or ???


    But to Henry's credit - -why make any more of something if you can't sell the ones still on the shelf ? And according to this info, production is only stopped 'til September.

    Bottom line, more than likely, Henry barely - if ever, 'got his price' for the new ones. And you have to wonder if Dave's or the other dealers did either.

    So, maybe they'll look at pricing - or maybe just let demand build back up again.
    I agree with what you are saying here Dennis.

    I sincerely hope the loyal, first rate artisan employees of the Custom Crimson division were retained in some capacity. It sucks being without a job to feed your family for any length of time.

    Joe D

  37. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Max405
    I agree with what you are saying here Dennis.

    I sincerely hope the loyal, first rate artisan employees of the Custom Crimson division were retained in some capacity. It sucks being without a job to feed your family for any length of time.

    Joe D
    Hmmmm how would you like to be making Citations and Super 400's one day and be told to pack up and move to the bottom feeder plant and start making SG's or hit the road ?
    Something very similar like that happened to me. Believe me you feel like you've been bent over.
    Maybe these types of practices are the root of QC problems. Quality craftsmanship is a byproduct of a happy and prideful worker that feels valued by there employer. If you are dodging a swinging axe you could care less and you will get even any chance you can get. That is basic human nature.

    Joe you know what happened to me. Though I am making fat stacks I hate the bottom feeder work I must also do now. When you have to do things far below your skill set you are not happy. I used to love my job.
    It would be like telling George Benson he can only play chop sticks on the guitar.

    I will always play Gibson guitars and nothing else. HJ is not a decent or honorable human being. Ask anyone that works for him or has to do business with him. In fact if and when the Crimson shop reopens ask them about him like I did. By the way they all know me. I put all there kids through college.

    Like the Bible says: The love of money is the root of all evil. Thank God I was never a businessman.
    Anyone that can lay off a bunch of people and destroy lives then go home to there nice plush home for a good night sleep has a dead soul IMO. We all make our own choices in life but will all answer for those decisions.
    When money becomes more important than lives you are on the losing side of life plain and simple.

    Believe me the real reason Gibson's are not selling is most people can no longer afford them. Almost $6k now for a 175. $10k for a L5. A wise man told me once...It is better to make $1 profit off 10 items than $10 off of 1.
    Corporate greed has not only destroyed the USA but the whole world. Back to the love of money.

  38. #37

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    Funny, it's escaped me until now, but I've just had a staggering epiphany. I'd never noticed THE SUBLIME BEAUTY OF THE HERITAGE HEADSTOCK.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    Seriously Marc ? You wish Henry J. all the best ? He just laid off his top shelf employees at Nashville. I am sure they all have families to support.
    Yes he turned Gibson around in the 1980's but that was 30 years ago.
    I know you must know Kevin Jarvis owner of Gelb Music ? You guys both live in the same coastal town.
    Ask him to tell you some Henry J. stories. He will enlighten you. Kevin was a Gibson dealer from 1970-2014.
    Henry stepped on him like a roach.

    This is the man that did all the work you give Henry credit for.

    Gibson Crimson shop closed-057e53d910e6e688ad4b32802cd5e271-jpg

    An 80's and 90's icon that spawned an entire generation on the Les Paul. That was 20 years ago!
    I think his loss, has been a loss Gibson will never fully recover from

    In a way like my absence from this forum...

    Gibson Crimson shop closed-unknown-3-jpeg


    Hope you're all in the best of health and wishing you all a fantastic year. Missed you guys!

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by pubylakeg
    Funny, it's escaped me until now, but I've just had a staggering epiphany. I'd never noticed THE SUBLIME BEAUTY OF THE HERITAGE HEADSTOCK.
    See I disappear for 5 minutes and now the Heritage headstock is considered the height of style and design

    I knew this would happen!

    Gibson Crimson shop closed-unknown-4-jpeg

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillMbCdn5
    This is too funny/ish

    Genius!

  42. #41

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    Gibson is hiring a new CMO, send Henry you resume!

    Chief Marketing Officer job - Gibson Brands Inc. - Nashville, TN | Indeed.com

  43. #42

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    more brilliant CEO decisions, similar to the 2015 ones?

  44. #43

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    Hopefully this is an early April Fools posting--happened 3 years ago as well on this date...

    Gibson Crimson shop closed-screen-shot-2017-04-01-8-44-33-am-png

    OTOH, I notice on Dave's website DG is NO LONGER listed as an authorized dealer for Gibson. Looks like their current inventory is old. And then there's this...

    Dave's Guitar Shop No Longer a Gibson Acoustic Dealer? - Gibson Guitar Board

    I'll pop them an email to check it out. If true, that would be MOST unfortunate. Dave's is possibly THE largest bricks and mortar retailer of Gibsons. I mean, he literally has hundreds, including dozens of even high-end guitars like L5's, Super 400's, etc.

    You know I like Gibsons and hate to badmouth them too much, but this defies common sense. One of my HS classmates worked hard to get a Gibson contract about 10 years ago despite their being an ass about inventory, minimum sales, etc. It only lasted a year or 2, and eventually my friend got out of the new guitar business altogether.

    I think Gibson is making a BIG mistake here...

  45. #44

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    For different reasons Gibson and Elderly Instruments in Lansing had a parting the ways years ago. Something to do Elderly's promoting of a different banjo brand that led to litigation. End result no new Gibby's at Elderly's for the past fifteen years or so. Since then the Gibson brand tarnishes more and more while Elderly's remains one of the coolest guitar shops on the planet.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    You know I like Gibsons and hate to badmouth them too much, but this defies common sense. One of my HS classmates worked hard to get a Gibson contract about 10 years ago despite their being an ass about inventory, minimum sales, etc. It only lasted a year or 2, and eventually my friend got out of the new guitar business altogether.
    There's likely more money in used gits anyway, especially if the dealer has a well done consignment strategy.

    I too like Gibson's, and badmouth them when necessary... not too much, just enough for me, but obviously not enough for the movers and shakers there to clean up their act. Gibson "quality" issues have become all too well known worldwide, enough for players to make sensible decisions that gave other brands an opening they would not have if Gibson had not screwed up so badly.

    Anyway, whatever they decide to stop making is OK with me. I have what I want, and there's many years of production out there to choose from should I want another, one hopefully with any issues already fleshed out.

  47. #46

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    Not having them in stores is a huge mistake. Not only is it bad for the stores it is supremely bad for Gibson. Last time I was in a local store around here - they have been family owned and open for like 40 years now I think - some guy was in there just casually shopping. Didn't plan on buying anything apparently. But he saw some high end signature model Strat in a case and left with it. Not everyone likes buying guitars without having played them and nor seeing them in person - I would have ended up with a Gibson or two if I saw them in stores in the last few years, that's for sure. I would feel good about buying something online because I have bought lower end instruments online in the past and they arrived in good condition but when you are talking about buying a NEW instrument for several thousand dollars? That might be something I would risk for something that is rare and used but certainly not something new.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  48. #47

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    If they stop producing new custom shop instruments, the used market for them will simply increase in demand with their price raising.
    It might switch back the market to favor sellers as it used to be...maybe its time to buy now before the big price increase for those who intend to buy Gibson Custom shop instruments.
    Good I also already got everything I need !

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScoopTheMids
    >> SNIP<<realizing that most people buying new Gibson instruments were Podiatrists buying a sense of childhood achievement more so than musicians in need of sensible value in a working tool.

    You can spec a guitar from China or Korea, right now, to be every bit as good as a Gibson for 1/6th the cost (sometimes, the spread is even wider). Every bit in terms of materials and build quality, every bit as good in terms of playability and "tone".

    The worst thing that could happen to Gibson is if human beings suddenly stopped being religious, because religiosity herd-mentality and folklore is what drives all interest in their products.
    OUCH!!! I love it!

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    See I disappear for 5 minutes and now the Heritage headstock is considered the height of style and design

    I knew this would happen!

  51. #50

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    To get back a bit to the original topic, mainly because this is new info to me, does Gibson have other subcontractors building them stuff? I knew that Bolin builds Gibson branded stuff (outside of prototypes mainly to B. Gibbons, I assume), but do they outsource building elsewhere?

    It's funny that even though you think you knew a lot about the guitar/bass business, but you still don't know it all

    My 2c on the business side of things: Not really surprised about this, because for the price of Gibson archtops you can pretty much go custom if you want. And if I would have 3-8k€(or dollars) to burn on an archtop, I would go custom too..