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  1. #1

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    As a "friend" of Jay Wolfe on Facebook and consider him a friend of all who love guitars, myself especially, I want to share this news he posted on his Heritage Custom Guitars Facebook Page. It's a little sobering but hopefully a glimpse of a good future for Heritage. Herein is his post:

    Feb. 24, 2018
    FYI- Re- Dramatic changes at Heritage Guitars
    As Heritage’s largest worldwide Customer/Dealer I was alarmed upon hearing they’d let go a dozen employees. The rumors are flying. So, I reached out to find out what’s up. I listened to explanations from Jim Duerloo, Archie Leach. They are OK with what has transpired and see no serious problem with continued Guitar building going forward. Jim felt they had way too many people anyway and Archie pointed out that the remaining shop staff is double what it was when he acquired the Company.
    My observation is from a guy that receives and inspects more Heritages than anyone else, and what I’m witnessing is quite different than what some understandably unhappy former workers are saying. They’re saying that the new guys are lowering QC standards, but this is exactly opposite of what the new folks say and do. Heritage always made a solid and toneful Gibson style instrument BUT the fit, finish & especially the setups would vary from just pretty Okay to awful. These “old Gibson habits” and standards are a long standing and well known Kalamazoo standard. Wolfe Guitars has suffered with this shoddy Gibson style finishing for 3 decades and we learned early on to either return them or deal with it. We became really adept at correcting the many Kalamazoo glitches.
    When Mr. Leach took over he vowed to do better, and he has repeated this mantra to me so many times. Has he delivered? YES, in a big way. Since he’s taken over we’ve seem BIG improvements in the new “bone” nut, vastly improved setup, vastly improved finish, and hardware fit. Still solid-toneful Gibson style instruments BUT they now look and play WAY better than before. WAY BETTER! Heritage are now delivering the absolutely finest Guitars ever, and no one knows this better than I.
    So, why release a dozen workers? Archie has partnered with a large worldwide distribution Company- Bandlab, and those guys “insist” the QC MUST be even better! Archie agrees and told me the long time workers have resisted the changes and continued their old ways. This is unfortunate, but I support their herculean effort to make the “best Guitars to ever come from Kalamazoo.” Am I concerned? Just a bit, as I’ve seen the results of their efforts, and I believe they’ll get the job done. I will say this- the last few Guitars we’ve received are truly the finest I’ve ever seen & played from Kalamazoo, so the proof is here in my shop for anyone to see & play. Their intentions are good, so I will give them a chance and I hope you will too.

    Sincerely,
    Jay Wolfe, WOLFE GUITARS, Jupiter, Florida-USA


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  3. #2

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    I wish them the best, and will seriously look at their new guitars once again. As a former owner of a few Heritage guitars, workmanship wasn't the issue, at least for me. Aesthetic and feel were the primary reasons in going back to Gibson.
    And while there are definitley some Gibsons I wouldn't touch. There are some seriously good ones available.

  4. #3

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    We'll see how this plays out.

    Fewer employees produce similar number of guitars... Maybe there is something they can do different, and still put the same attention into each.

    If the people let go, were not up to snuff, then they could end up better, quality wise.

    I have a Heritage 550 Custom which is probably my best playing and looking guitar, all around. Antique natural finish is amazing, and it plays effortlessly, and sounds wonderful. Bought it 2nd hand from a forum member, and it is a definite keeper.

    I've played other Heritages that were just OK, like my old teacher's 535. Not terrible, not great, just kind of middle of the road.


    If I had the money at the moment, I'd definitely look at a Super Eagle.

    In the end, I think high end guitars are pretty individual, both on a model to model basis, and within individual examples.


    I had heard in the past that Heritage more or less "pre sold" their planned production to dealers after NAMM. That allowed them to get by with minimal marketing expense.

    Maybe this year's dealer take was less robust than usual.

    PS: I like the Heritage "BatMan" headstock design.

  5. #4

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    The note from Jay is masterfully written. As a marketer by trade, I'm very impressed. A key question for marketers is how to take advantage of "brand halo" while creating enough distance between new product and old product to support the emotional desire for new product without damaging brand perception.

    Given that the biggest competitor to new Heritage guitars is old Heritage guitars, how does one provide incentive to buy new product, disincentive to buy old product, and maintain some kind of continuity in the brand "story", without damaging brand equity? This letter answers that question. Kudos to Wolfe's marketing acumen!
    Last edited by Hammertone; 02-24-2018 at 06:45 PM.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  6. #5

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    They let go the old guys with old skills to try something new? Bet they were drawing the bigger paychecks. But that couldn’t have anything to with their dismissal. No. That’s not it. Unh uh.

  7. #6

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    on the other side of the coin

    someone on the heritage forum (that mg linked to) pointed out that jay wolfe also has an invested interest, because he probably has a fairly good stock of recent heritage product

    not agreeing or disagreeing

    just found it an interesting possibility


    cheers

  8. #7
    ?I just spent a great deal of time on the HOC Forum, being a long time member there it was interesting to read more of the back story...

    Now remember that Heritage is committed to making fewer models, Les Paul types and laminated Semi-Hollows, and fewer guitars period until they get their process and QC where they want it. They instituted strict new methods to streamline the process and improve on the quality of the end product. Many of the employees saw this as a challenge to help and if they had new ideas they suggested them and they were tested. Some other employees were resistant to the changes instituted and felt it was a slap in the face to the old way. At some point Heritage had to downsize it's employee rolls (fewer models, fewer total guitars coming out of the factory). It appears Friday was blood letting day, many people were let go. A few older employees quit.

    Before you shoot from the hip here read the comments in many of the threads there. Remember that soon Gibson will likely close the Nashville plant in it's entirety and before they do try to bring some of the more experienced employees that want to go with the more efficient processes that are suggested (as at Heritage).

    I got downsized from IBM when I was 45 years old. My office had a lot of old guys that were used to doing things their way, when Corporate big shots came out as a courtesy warning us in 1990 - a lot of the old stubborn guys literally told the Corporate guys FUCK YOU we're gonna do it our way no matter what you say... Well shit boys 18 months later (after I'd seen the handwriting on the wall for my lowly position and had already signed up for an "early retirement bridge") news came down one rainy Friday that Corporate had closed our office (and two other resistant satellite offices) lock, stock and barrel... The employees that had the seniority could take the early retirement bridge, those that were not qualified or could not afford to retire from their very high paying jobs were given 90 days to interview at other IBM locations for available jobs... That was the last time IBM offered one of those golden parachute packages, ever. Three months later they just flat laid your ass off... I had 24 1/2 years with them man, I was willing to change and go with the flow, but my asshole coworkers fucked that up for all of us...

    We'll hope Heritage can pull it together making Les Paul clones and 335 type laminated guitars first, and then MAYBE they will get it together enough to make fully carved iollowbodies again... Gibson should be following suit in the next 6-12 months I believe... Think of all those folks in Nashville man... Brutal.
    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 02-24-2018 at 10:29 PM.

  9. #8

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    Sounds like bs to me. I thought they weren't even making their nicest guitars now? So I'll believe the qc is "better than ever" when they start making sweeties and golden Eagles again...

    I'll hold my breath for Heritage. My 575 is the best guitar I've ever owned...the Heritage story should have a much better ending, if this is going to be it.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  10. #9
    Jeff, I look at my five Heritage guitars and thank my lucky stars I got them. Thank goodness there are still older Heritage guitars out there in the used market for sale. And Jay Wolfe still has some of the older inventory in his store... I don't know if Heritage will ever make "the good stuff again". There's so much competition, companies having be cranking out CNC made shit for a while now, Heritage is still making it more by hand. Steep uphill fight for them.

    Maybe reading all this we can agree to one thing: we hope they start making the really nice hollow bodies again...
    And in six months we'll be saying the same thing about Gibson, "hope they start making the good stuff again"...

    Dang

  11. #10

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    Running any business is hard. Running a business selling products to a shrinking market is much harder. And archtop guitars are probably the shrinkingest market within the shrinking guitar market. Heritage is looking to survive and learn from the Gibson situation- control your costs, manage your debt, stay away from bankruptcy. That requires decisions that are hard and some people aren't going to like them.

    In guitars there is an interesting prejudice: old stuff is always better than new stuff, no matter what. We revere vintage and a funny thing happens- age confers respectability. Guitars that were considered part of an era of crap when they were manufactured are "vintage" 25 years later and now somehow better than the new stuff. Gibson competes against its own huge stock of vintage guitars and loses. Heritage, Fender, Martin, etc., seem to do the same. Ibanez, interestingly, not so much. If Apple or Toyota had to face the same prejudice, they'd probably be in very different economic positions.

    I suspect that if we weren't so prone to trying to re-enact the music and choices of our heroes, resisting change put of hand, we'd actually have even better guitars now. Which must be why I own a 17" archtop, a Tele, a 40 year old dreadnought, a....
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Running any business is hard. Running a business selling products to a shrinking market is much harder. And archtop guitars are probably the shrinkingest market within the shrinking guitar market. Heritage is looking to survive and learn from the Gibson situation- control your costs, manage your debt, stay away from bankruptcy. That requires decisions that are hard and some people aren't going to like them.

    In guitars there is an interesting prejudice: old stuff is always better than new stuff, no matter what. We revere vintage and a funny thing happens- age confers respectability. Guitars that were considered part of an era of crap when they were manufactured are "vintage" 25 years later and now somehow better than the new stuff. Gibson competes against its own huge stock of vintage guitars and loses. Heritage, Fender, Martin, etc., seem to do the same. Ibanez, interestingly, not so much. If Apple or Toyota had to face the same prejudice, they'd probably be in very different economic positions.

    I suspect that if we weren't so prone to trying to re-enact the music and choices of our heroes, resisting change put of hand, we'd actually have even better guitars now. Which must be why I own a 17" archtop, a Tele, a 40 year old dreadnought, a....

    Brilliantly stated.
    Thank you

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Running any business is hard. Running a business selling products to a shrinking market is much harder. ...

    I suspect that if we weren't so prone to trying to re-enact the music and choices of our heroes, resisting change put of hand, we'd actually have even better guitars now. Which must be why I own a 17" archtop, a Tele, a 40 year old dreadnought, a....
    A very good insight.

    After World War I, in France, there was a youngish, upper mid-level military professional who wrote about how tanks would change the face of war. He turned out to be rather brilliant, but was mocked and ignored by his superiors. His name was Charles DeGaulle.

    The German General Staff read his writings with interest, and put them into practice. We know how that one turned out.

  14. #13

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    Interesting news, no matter how much written in marketing way or not.

    Thinking about how the Gibson gets all the shit about the QC that is nowadays ’crap’ it was interesting to read the line:

    ”(...) These “old Gibson habits” and standards are a long standing and well known Kalamazoo standard. (...)”

    So the poor QC has been in the core of Gibson magic from the beginning! Henry just has kept it alive and made it even better!

    (No, I am not a Gibson basher, nor a Heritage. Now having 4 Gibbys. Never seen much of Heritages here in Finland, so can’t say anything about then. Not even about the headstock!)

  15. #14

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    I have a dream, a fantasy really, that someone with some financial smarts yet a love for guitars takes over Gibson and the first thing they do is merge with Heritage. Reclaim the glory as it were.

    They sell off all the non-guitar stuff and focus on making quality guitars for all price points--customs for the collectors, no-frills workhorses like the 135 for the working musician. And the Gibson "heritage" continues.

    It's a silly dream, I know.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    I have a dream, a fantasy really, that someone with some financial smarts yet a love for guitars takes over Gibson and the first thing they do is merge with Heritage. Reclaim the glory as it were.

    They sell off all the non-guitar stuff and focus on making quality guitars for all price points--customs for the collectors, no-frills workhorses like the 135 for the working musician. And the Gibson "heritage" continues.

    It's a silly dream, I know.
    We’re having the same dream!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    I have a dream, a fantasy really, that someone with some financial smarts yet a love for guitars takes over Gibson and the first thing they do is merge with Heritage. Reclaim the glory as it were.

    They sell off all the non-guitar stuff and focus on making quality guitars for all price points--customs for the collectors, no-frills workhorses like the 135 for the working musician. And the Gibson "heritage" continues.

    It's a silly dream, I know.

    Some variation of that is probably going to happen .... although merging with Heritage seems unlikely

    I doubt the Nashville factory shuts down ... certainly not for good

    Gibson has a valuable brand rep and by most reports the guitar sales are doing alright .. even if they aren't what they were 15 years ago

    it's all that other crap that they bought on credit that's dragging them down

  18. #17

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    Umm.. no. At Heritage or any other business you don't lay off a group of people for being 'resistant to change'. Especially a percentage of your established and trained workforce. And I really don't think management would suggest in public that this was a dismissal for cause. Especially given the context and reasons we've been presented. It would open them to lawsuits. Strange discussion.

    What appears most likely, though still conjecture, is that they are in serious trouble and shrinking. They will pull back to their most profitable guitars, preserve capital wherever they can, and hope to weather the storm. In the meantime those in a vested position will seek to put the best face on it in an effort to maintain brand value and to keep sales from plummeting.

    I wish them well but IMHO, what we're being told is pure fantasy.
    Last edited by Spook410; 02-26-2018 at 05:29 AM.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    I have a dream, a fantasy really, that someone with some financial smarts yet a love for guitars takes over Gibson and the first thing they do is merge with Heritage. Reclaim the glory as it were.

    They sell off all the non-guitar stuff and focus on making quality guitars for all price points--customs for the collectors, no-frills workhorses like the 135 for the working musician. And the Gibson "heritage" continues.

    It's a silly dream, I know.
    Which headstock would they use?

  20. #19
    Spook,

    Don't know if you saw a post from Jabs in the other Heritage thread, but it went like this:

    Using a football analogy, fans are the lifeblood of a club but I wouldn't allow any fan to tell me how to manage my club.

    I hope it okay to opine: the trouble with The Heritage is that it has allowed some of its biggest fans to tell them how to run their business. That goes for the Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Historic department.

    It is fun to play fantasy football club manager or guitar manufactory owner as long as it is not your own money at stake. I am guilty as well



    We're all a little guilty of that and yeah it's not our money we're gambling with when we opine telling
    owners who they should and should not keep around if they're trying to save the company...

    EDIT: I also want to suggest we all spend a little time reading the ongoing dialog over at the HOC Forum. Man it's crazy over there...

    Last edited by BigMikeinNJ; 02-26-2018 at 11:26 AM.

  21. #20

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    Mike.. I'm sure there are a number of folks here and over on the Heritage group that know much more about the company and their situation than I am interested in discovering. However, what I do know a bit about is business including hiring, and firing. You cannot fire a dozen employees then state publicly that they were let go for 'resistance to change'. That is like saying 'well.. you were the bad apples so we got rid of you'. They will sue you. And win. I will leave the particulars to those that are close to the company and industry. But there is certainly some oddity in all of the public noises.
    Hell is full of musical amateurs - George Bernard Shaw

  22. #21

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    Jay's comments aren't exactly independent, for as a businessman he's got to protect his business and Heritage guitar inventory. At the end of the day there are used Heritage archtop's available. The original Heritage guitar sold. In my mind Heritage ceased to exist the moment the former company sold. This new company is Heritage in name only. They're free to create whatever guitars, in the manner they choose. But it's not the old Heritage company that was built upon allowing customized builds. That was one big factors that made Heritage guitars so popular.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  23. #22

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    Well, I for one am glad that Marv, JP, Bill and Jim (all of whom signed the label of the Heritage built guitar that I will be keeping till the day I lose the battle with the grim reaper) formed Heritage Guitars. I am also glad that some new blood is trying to keep it afloat. Just as I am glad that Fender, Gibson and Harley-Davidson have survived with new owners.

    At 60 years of age, I figure I have another 20-30 years left. I hope that they are still building guitars in Kalamazoo long after I am gone. No matter what the headstock looks like. Long live Heritage Guitars!
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  24. #23
    I know you're right 2B, it's not gonna be the same. And Spook, you are right too.

    What I wanna say to all you guys is to repeat what Greg and others have said - there are lots of great used Heritage guitars out there in the marketplace. And lots of good used
    Gibsons too. We're all pretty savvy shoppers and we can ask each other for candid advice on a buy when we have to.

    As I said earlier, I've been downsized at middle age also, I spoke to Spook and I know he has too. It really sucked, I was never as comfortable financially or job wise after I got downsized. So these poor people that got let go, man what a drag... It would be so easy for us to get hot under the collar and start throwing molotov cocktails at each other and have this place totally melt down. We're not gonna do that. We gotta let the dust die down and try to hang as friends, lovers of fine archtop guitars... Anyone that wants to reach out to me via PM please do... Any Time...

    Big

  25. #24
    i love heritage and the eagle I had beat out my Gibson Wesmo but I was a bit disappointed that they don't have the capability to make a 4" thick archtop like an L5 or 175. Additionally, I was inquiring with them about them making a plywood version of the 575 and their response was that they didn't see the point since the 575 was a superior instrument.

    I thought that a bit odd.

    Having said that, I will say that the used heritage guitars I've bought in the last 10 years have been better guitars than the used and new Gibsons I have played.

    Of course, Henry at gibson is now blaming guitar center for his woes so it's not surprising...

  26. #25

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    Personal accountability is dead and gone in the USA. Blame something/someone else.

    Seems _all_ of the US guitar companies of size are in peril. Don't think Fender is going to get a pass...they are shaky too.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Henry at gibson is now blaming guitar center for his woes
    Well... as much as I hate to admit, he's not completely wrong, you know?

    If his bigger seller doesn't sell and doesn't pay for the acquired merchandise, then it's not that much he can do about it.
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    https://soundcloud.com/theodore-koja...hy-bro-project
    Hy-Bro Test Sound Files

  28. #27
    he's not completely wrong, just mostly wrong. Lack of quality and inability to keep up with what the market wants is the issue. Robo tuners, 25 different les pauls overzealous purchases of other musical equipment companies are what is screwing gibson. Additionally, he's the one who sold his soul and made guitar center the sole proprietor for his instruments and put out the edict that Gibson could not be sold online. That's on him. Yes, guitar center contributed to the problems but they are not the reason gibson is failing.

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    Well... as much as I hate to admit, he's not completely wrong, you know?

    If his bigger seller doesn't sell and doesn't pay for the acquired merchandise, then it's not that much he can do about it.
    Last edited by jzucker; 02-27-2018 at 01:12 PM.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    he's the one who sold his soul and made guitar center the sole proprietor for his instruments and put out the edict that Gibson could not be sold online. That's on him. Yes, guitar center contributed to the problems but they are not the reason gibson is failing.
    No, it's not the ONLY reason, just quite the big one.

    And Guitar Center's been on the verge of bankruptcy for at least five years.
    Pepe aka Lt. Kojak
    Milano, Italy
    https://soundcloud.com/theodore-koja...hy-bro-project
    Hy-Bro Test Sound Files

  30. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    No, it's not the ONLY reason, just quite the big one.

    And Guitar Center's been on the verge of bankruptcy for at least five years.
    Do you know of any evidence that they have not been paying their bills? If they have, then they are not the big reason.

  31. #30

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    Gibson or Guitar Center? Moody's announced that Guitar Center has over a $billion in bond debt due. This unsecured debt is already deep into junk rating:

    "Guitar Center’s senior unsecured bonds due in 2020 fell to a record low of 50 cents on the dollar on April 20, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Those notes are already rated lower, at Caa1, seven steps below investment grade."

    Gibson got downgraded similarly and is now deep into junk rating on its bond debt, too.

  32. #31

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    Even if guitar center was paying their bills Gibson would still be in trouble. The guitar division is doing well. They diversified and made substantial debt to do so. Their acquired companies are not making money. So they have great debt with little income. Not a good scenario. We back seat quarterbacks think we have the answer with poor quality etc etc. That's only a tiny part of the equation in the scheme of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Do you know of any evidence that they have not been paying their bills? If they have, then they are not the big reason.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    No, it's not the ONLY reason, just quite the big one.

    And Guitar Center's been on the verge of bankruptcy for at least five years.
    Just evidence of why no smart business model would ever allow its business to be so dependent upon another company that could effect its own bottom line so drastically. Common sense?
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiboyny View Post
    Even if guitar center was paying their bills Gibson would still be in trouble. The guitar division is doing well. They diversified and made substantial debt to do so. Their acquired companies are not making money. So they have great debt with little income. Not a good scenario. We back seat quarterbacks think we have the answer with poor quality etc etc. That's only a tiny part of the equation in the scheme of things.
    Back seat quarterbacks? What are those? I have heard of Monday morning quarterbacks and back seat drivers.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Back seat quarterbacks? What are those? I have heard of Monday morning quarterbacks and back seat drivers.

    I'm rather fond of mixed metaphors ... usually good for a laugh


  36. #35
    Backseat quarterback: that's the guy on the bench that wants your starter job and thinks he can do it better.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedawg View Post
    I'm rather fond of mixed metaphors ... usually good for a laugh

    Guys, this ain't rocket surgery.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Back seat quarterbacks? What are those? I have heard of Monday morning quarterbacks and back seat drivers.
    This made me think of the "armchair quarterback," a football player shaped foam rubber device my uncle had that he could safely throw at the TV during sporting events.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  39. #38

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    The Guitar Center situation means that Gibson's scenario is a lot more complicated.

    Hard to know what their current exposure is...how much unsecureds might get in a Guitar Ctr. reorg. or bankruptcy. Not sure if institutional debt at Guitar Ctr, is secured or unsecured, and other claimants.

    IF Gibson has big claim on payment, and IF there is anything left to pay these claims, Gibson's reorg. couldn't take place until this is resolved. Sometimes, unsecured trade or suppliers who may have no valid claims, are given say.... 5 cents on dollar to buy them off.

    Going forward, there is still the question of a retail outlet. Not sure how big GC was as a %....pretty significant I think. Might be an issue with finding sufficient retail outlets.

    My head hurts just speculating about this.

  40. #39

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    Gibsons exposure is 375 million dollars in bonds along with 145 million in traditional bank loans. They currently have 10 times the debt than income. All these "situations" that we discuss factor in. They will have to find someone willing to invest in their business and make it profitable, they see themselves as a "music lifestyle company" not a guitar company. So the problems that we see are only the tip of the iceberg. Seems like a "Kobayashi Maru".
    Quote Originally Posted by goldenwave77 View Post
    The Guitar Center situation means that Gibson's scenario is a lot more complicated.

    Hard to know what their current exposure is...how much unsecureds might get in a Guitar Ctr. reorg. or bankruptcy. Not sure if institutional debt at Guitar Ctr, is secured or unsecured, and other claimants.

    IF Gibson has big claim on payment, and IF there is anything left to pay these claims, Gibson's reorg. couldn't take place until this is resolved. Sometimes, unsecured trade or suppliers who may have no valid claims, are given say.... 5 cents on dollar to buy them off.

    Going forward, there is still the question of a retail outlet. Not sure how big GC was as a %....pretty significant I think. Might be an issue with finding sufficient retail outlets.

    My head hurts just speculating about this.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiboyny View Post
    Even if guitar center was paying their bills Gibson would still be in trouble. The guitar division is doing well. They diversified and made substantial debt to do so. Their acquired companies are not making money. So they have great debt with little income. Not a good scenario. We back seat quarterbacks think we have the answer with poor quality etc etc. That's only a tiny part of the equation in the scheme of things.
    This! The bottom line problem with Gibson Brands is not that they are not selling enough guitars. It is that they are not selling enough audio visual Receivers, headphones, speakers, pianos etc. Couple that with shrinking demand and heavy competition and one arrives at the position Gibson is in today.

    By the way Fender is another company where brand awareness outpaces its revenue.
    Last edited by rob taft; 02-27-2018 at 05:54 PM.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenwave77 View Post
    A very good insight.

    After World War I, in France, there was a youngish, upper mid-level military professional who wrote about how tanks would change the face of war. He turned out to be rather brilliant, but was mocked and ignored by his superiors. His name was Charles DeGaulle.

    The German General Staff read his writings with interest, and put them into practice. We know how that one turned out.


    Just as a side note: this is sort of a French legend (similar to the German stab-in-the-back myth) - today historically and for chronological reasons no longer credible!


    In 1934 de Gaulle wrote Vers l'Armée de Métier (Toward a Professional Army). He proposed mechanization of the infantry, with stress on an élite force of 100,000 men and 3,000 tanks. Ironically, German panzer units, so effectively employed in the invasion of France in 1940, used similar theories, while the French dispersed and wasted their armour.

    Germany's leading tank strategists in the 1930s, the generals Guderian and Thomas, stated that they owed many ideas to the English general Fuller, the English military writer Liddell Hart and the Austrian General Ritter von Eimannsberger. De Gaulle's 1934 publication was not known to the two Germans until Hitler's tank divisions had already been set up.

    Heinz Guderian was the leading advocate of motorization and tanks in Germany, and of using armored forces in deep penetration operations. He is regarded as the chief architect of Germany's panzer divisions. Guderian developed and advocated the strategy of concentrating panzer ("armored") formations at the point of attack (the Schwerpunkt) and deep penetration.
    In his memoir, he wrote that as early as 1929, he "became convinced that [...] it would be wrong to include tanks in infantry divisions: what were needed were armored divisions which would include all the supporting arms needed to fight with full effect."
    After Hitler came to power (that was in 1933) and Germany began re-arming, Guderian was empowered to put his ideas into practice.

    The German victories from 1939 through 1941 were not due to superior equipment, but to superior tactics in the use of communication equipment like radios and intercoms, and superior command and control which allowed the German panzer forces to operate at a much faster pace. "The decisive breakthrough into modern military thinking came with Guderian, and it came not only in armor, but in communication" (Hermann Balck).

    On January 26, 1940, tank colonel de Gaulle still believed in the insuperability of the Maginot line. In a memorandum he wrote at that time: "With its weak air power and the very light armored weapons that the German Reich can bring into action at present, the enemy will never break the French resistance, which is supported by the fortifications of the Maginot line."
    Last edited by Ol' Fret; 02-27-2018 at 07:06 PM.

  43. #42

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    I'm wondering if we need a new subforum about he biz practices and economy of guitar/gear companies. Most of this stuff has little to do with the application of gear itself.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone View Post
    Guys, this ain't rocket surgery.
    Stop trying to derail the ship of state.
    "Somebody get me out of this chair." - BOB WILLS
    Hammertone is a registered Hofnerologist.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret View Post

    Just as a side note: this is sort of a French legend (similar to the German stab-in-the-back myth) - today historically and for chronological reasons no longer credible!


    In 1934 de Gaulle wrote Vers l'Armée de Métier (Toward a Professional Army). He proposed mechanization of the infantry, with stress on an élite force of 100,000 men and 3,000 tanks. Ironically, German panzer units, so effectively employed in the invasion of France in 1940, used similar theories, while the French dispersed and wasted their armour.

    Germany's leading tank strategists in the 1930s, the generals Guderian and Thomas, stated that they owed many ideas to the English general Fuller, the English military writer Liddell Hart and the Austrian General Ritter von Eimannsberger. De Gaulle's 1934 publication was not known to the two Germans until Hitler's tank divisions had already been set up.

    Heinz Guderian was the leading advocate of motorization and tanks in Germany, and of using armored forces in deep penetration operations. He is regarded as the chief architect of Germany's panzer divisions. Guderian developed and advocated the strategy of concentrating panzer ("armored") formations at the point of attack (the Schwerpunkt) and deep penetration.
    In his memoir, he wrote that as early as 1929, he "became convinced that [...] it would be wrong to include tanks in infantry divisions: what were needed were armored divisions which would include all the supporting arms needed to fight with full effect."
    After Hitler came to power (that was in 1933) and Germany began re-arming, Guderian was empowered to put his ideas into practice.

    The German victories from 1939 through 1941 were not due to superior equipment, but to superior tactics in the use of communication equipment like radios and intercoms, and superior command and control which allowed the German panzer forces to operate at a much faster pace. "The decisive breakthrough into modern military thinking came with Guderian, and it came not only in armor, but in communication" (Hermann Balck).

    On January 26, 1940, tank colonel de Gaulle still believed in the insuperability of the Maginot line. In a memorandum he wrote at that time: "With its weak air power and the very light armored weapons that the German Reich can bring into action at present, the enemy will never break the French resistance, which is supported by the fortifications of the Maginot line."
    Thanks for the info--illuminating! De Gaulle is overrated IMHO.

    I have Fuller's series on military history. It is quite compelling and was very influential.

    Re' Guderian--just the other day I was listening to Al Stewart's Roads to Moscow:

    All summer they drove us back through the Ukraine
    Smolensk and Viasma soon fell
    By autumn we stood with our backs to the town of Orel
    Closer and closer to Moscow they come
    Riding the wind like a bell
    General Guderian stands at the crest of the hill
    Winter brought with her the rains, oceans of mud filled the roads
    Gluing the tracks of their tanks to the ground while the sky filled with snow
    And all that I ever
    Was able to see
    The fire in the air glowing red
    Silhouetting the snow on the breeze

    Probably the only reference to Guderian in popular music. A military genius for sure.

  46. #45

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  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone View Post
    Stop trying to derail the ship of state.

    " - or putting the cart before the wagon. "......

  48. #47
    Here's hoping the rolling stone tours of the factory will improve quality.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    Here's hoping the rolling stone tours of the factory will improve quality.
    Monetizing the history of that Parson street factory may be a very smart move. If the funds generated can help pay for state of the art machinery, better training for the workers and better quality materials, it just might improve quality.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fret View Post

    Just as a side note: this is sort of a French legend (similar to the German stab-in-the-back myth) - today historically and for chronological reasons no longer credible!


    In 1934 de Gaulle wrote Vers l'Armée de Métier (Toward a Professional Army). He proposed mechanization of the infantry, with stress on an élite force of 100,000 men and 3,000 tanks. Ironically, German panzer units, so effectively employed in the invasion of France in 1940, used similar theories, while the French dispersed and wasted their armour.

    No contradiction here. BTW, DeGaulle was a "stormy petrel" for years before this....he had numerous doctrinal run-ins with French military command. Never a Yes man, he was almost sidelined many times in his career. He had political patrons who rescued him at various times...the 1934 book would NOT have been his 1st attempt at theorizing about this.

    In the real world, lots of things change before being embodied in books, etc. (This is one reason academics are lagging indicators of things....by the time something is apparent, noticed, and written about, officially, it is no longer cutting edge.) I remember PC's in the '80's....people learned about stuff informally, in magazines, etc., and trade press before it started getting taught in schools.
    Germany's leading tank strategists in the 1930s, the generals Guderian and Thomas, stated that they owed many ideas to the English general Fuller, the English military writer Liddell Hart and the Austrian General Ritter von Eimannsberger. De Gaulle's 1934 publication was not known to the two Germans until Hitler's tank divisions had already been set up.

    I guess the question is, do you believe this? There was a LOT of back and forth between senior military people before, between, and even during the Wars. For e.g., DeGaulle spent 18 mos in Germany as a POW in WW I. He spoke and read German, and did time with Tukachevsky, later the chief Russian armored spokesman. Eisenhower spent time in France during the twenties studying French battlefields....inconceivable he didn't hobnob with French military people. DeGaulle was also stationed in Germany during French occupation of German territory between wars.
    Eisenhower once said that life in the military prepared him well for politics, as high-level military was NOTHING but politics. I'm saying that one should be skeptical about claims of military idea provenance. Just think, if German blitzkrieg had been disastrous, it would not have helped Guderian (or any other German leader) to say "I got it from the French...blame them." Conversely, if it had succeeded, he would not have wanted to share credit... attribution here would be "lose/lose". Doesn't correspond to what I know of the real world....so label me a skeptic.

    .The German victories from 1939 through 1941 were not due to superior equipment, but to superior tactics in the use of communication equipment like radios and intercoms, and superior command and control which allowed the German panzer forces to operate at a much faster pace. "The decisive breakthrough into modern military thinking came with Guderian, and it came not only in armor, but in communication" (Hermann Balck).

    There is a common belief between DeGaulle and the Germans in using mechanized armor as a stand-alone force, not just as a support to rifleman in infantry. Official American doctrine for a long time did not adopt this... Patton was a tank guy, but he lost the fight in the 1920's, and the US tank forces were pretty small, with light-ish tanks, etc. DeGaulle advocated for a difference in conception in the use of the tank. The Germans picked up on this, and maybe they came to it independently, though as I say, I'm a little skeptical.

    On January 26, 1940, tank colonel de Gaulle still believed in the insuperability of the Maginot line. In a memorandum he wrote at that time: "With its weak air power and the very light armored weapons that the German Reich can bring into action at present, the enemy will never break the French resistance, which is supported by the fortifications of the Maginot line."

    By this point, France was not about to change over its mode of fighting. DeGaulle had almost been cashiered several times in his career....I believe he was spouting the establishment line, rather than what he truly believed.

    IN any event, my original assertion was that DeGaulle was on record, at least 5 yrs. before the start of WW II, for a new approach in military tactics. He wouldn't have come to these thoughts, fully blown in 1934....and in any event, he was roundly ignored by the French official military structure. As the saying goes, they were "always busy fighting the last war".
    I think the above statements by the Germans are not free from doubt.

  51. #50
    I was in the 2nd Armored Division in the Viet Nam era, we were the only unit in the entire Army allowed to wear the Division patch over the left pocket of our uniform. Under the Triangle shaped Division patch was the unit motto "Hell on Wheels" - because the Sherman tanks American units used were completely outgunned and out armored by the Germans, thus a Tiger or Panzer tank routinely took out about 7-8 American tanks for every one they lost (to tanks). Later in the war America beefed up the caliber of the projectiles used, and anti-tank weapons and Allied air power destroyed supply lines, fuel supplies and the tanks themselves by sheer numbers to win. Go watch the movie FURY, if that doesn't take you to school I don't know what will...

    Michael Hale
    PFC (retired)
    US Army
    2nd of the 67th
    2nd Armored Division