The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Winter: The dealer and i each had L5Cs on order for delivery in 90. (Got to talk to Jim Triggs a couple of times specing them out, cool guy) Got a letter from Gibson that prices were going up and all guitars on order would be at the delivery price list. Canceled the order.
    Right around when Gibson demanded large pre orders from small dealers. That and a GC opened in town…. Took him out completely.
    JK, if I recall the pre-order was 50K which most dealers couldn't/wouldn't handle

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    I remember when you could have purchased one of these for $5k brand new.
    Congratulations Vinny! She’s going to be Beautiful!
    INCREDIBLE playing 2b!
    You’ve been doing some serious practicing huh?
    JD

  4. #28

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    Winter i recall it was five figures, yes. Couldn’t remember the amount. But i do remember how embarrassed the gibson rep was when he came in)

  5. #29

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    great guitar slinging on the demo

    who is that kid ?

  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammertone
    If I ever ordered a custom archtop from Gibson, it would be in Emerald Green...:
    No you wouldn't.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    great guitar slinging on the demo

    who is that kid ?
    Changhyun Cho! A wonderful young Korean player.

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bornot2bop
    D@mn, that's a wonderful sound!! Then again, playing like that would make a washtub bass sound great. Thanks!

    FWIW, a sunburst L-5CES was $650 new when I got my first good guitar in 1960 (a used '59 345TDSV). And if you wanted a blond, it was an additional $15. A 1960 dollar would have about $10 in buying power today, based on inflation etc. So that L-5CES would list for about $6500 in "corrected" dollars now, all other things being equal. I bought a new L-5CN in 1970 for $1100, and a 1970 dollar would have about $7.50 in buying power today. So that CN would sell for about $8250 today, all other things being equal.

    Sadly, all other things are not equal. We're still paying the price for excessive financial expectations of prior owners and the resultant Gibson bankruptcies driven by greed, with side dishes of misdirected strategies and poor management of finances, operations, and corporate visions. This isn't unique to guitars - it plagues every industry. I remember cringing when I read Henry J's statement that he was going to make Gibson the largest musical instrument manufacturer in the world. And then he went out and acquired businesses far away from Gibson's core competencies, borrowing more and more money to finance his unrealistic ambitions. It seems he had more in common with Henry J Kaiser than just a name....

    "Juszkiewicz oversaw an aggressive strategy that expanded Gibson from a guitar company into a lifestyle brand. The company acquired electronics companies that made headphones, speakers and turntables. As Gibson took on more debt to acquire Phillips, Onkyo and other electronics companies, its annual revenue grew and its profit margins shrunk...Over-leveraged, Gibson had been negotiating with banks and creditors for months. A July 23 deadline loomed for maturities on over $500 million of [un]funded debt obligations, the company filed for bankruptcy. Juszkiewicz owns 36 percent of the company."

    Henry J Kaiser did the same thing decades before, killing a company with excessive spending in pursuit of big plans that never came to fruition: "Henry Kaiser overruled him and tooled up for a big production run. Frazer was right, Kaiser was wrong, and the result was a financial disaster, a $39 million loss on operations."

    2021 L5 CES in the Gibson Demo shop-henryj-jpg
    Last edited by nevershouldhavesoldit; 06-29-2022 at 12:13 PM.

  9. #33

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    I wasn’t a fan of Henry J till now. At least all archtop models were being made under him.
    This new J.C. guy won’t even make 175’s. IMO Mr. Levi jeans needs to go.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    I wasn’t a fan of Henry J till now. At least all archtop models were being made under him.
    This new J.C. guy won’t even make 175’s. IMO Mr. Levi jeans needs to go.
    Without Henry J. Gibson might be a brand of Asian made guitars today. He saved the company and then lost it.

    The new management is just holding the company until the banker owners can find a buyer and get whole. Gibson may yet become a brand of Asian made guitars one day. I have 7 Gibson guitars (6 archtops and a Lester). I am set for the rest of my days as long as I have a tech who can do good refrets.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnyv1k
    I wasn’t a fan of Henry J till now. At least all archtop models were being made under him.
    This new J.C. guy won’t even make 175’s. IMO Mr. Levi jeans needs to go.
    No Citations either according to Harvey at Rainbow Guitars.

    I guess that means no Kalamazoo Awards either.



  12. #36

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    Exactly. At least HJ cared about building a musical company. These Kolberg Kravits Roberts people in now are heartless MFers. I think i said it before but i worked along side one of their teams years ago. Trust not! “They will come over the walls and eat your babies”. Don Burr, CEO Peoplexpress Airlines.

  13. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Exactly. At least HJ cared about building a musical company. These Kolberg Kravits Roberts people in now are heartless MFers. I think i said it before but i worked along side one of their teams years ago. Trust not! “They will come over the walls and eat your babies”. Don Burr, CEO Peoplexpress Airlines.
    Nobody put a gun to Henry J.'s head and made him borrow money from KKR. They are entitled to do what they feel they need to in order to be made whole. Any smart business man/woman would do the same.

  14. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Nobody put a gun to Henry J.'s head and made him borrow money from KKR. They are entitled to do what they feel they need to in order to be made whole. Any smart business man/woman would do the same.
    It’s too bad Henry J wasn’t one of those smart business people. I haven’t seen any acknowledgment from him that the “new technology” he touted as being good for the future of Gibson’s guitar business was actually a cost cutting effort that negatively impacted the brand. But he owned up to some responsibility for the bankruptcy in an interview with NYT:

    Speaking to The New York Times, Juszkiewicz admitted that his decision to try and turn Gibson into a ‘music lifestyle company’ by selling high-end audio equipment in addition to their regular catalogue of guitars had effectively backfired.“No, it wasn’t a great decision,” Henry Juszkiewicz confessed. “It didn’t work out very well. I think it was a rational decision, but it turned out to be a very poor decision, and it’s a decision I made. It is what it is.”

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky
    None of the Gibson demos are good deals. I'm sure that one could get unblemished brand-new ones for 15% to 20% to 25% to even 30% off MAP at the right dealers.
    you can always talk them down apparently because no one buys them

    Tbh I don’t blame Gibson for not making many archtops. It is a shame though, I’d like to see the es175 back in production of course, but I already got one, so….

  16. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Winter: The dealer and i each had L5Cs on order for delivery in 90. (Got to talk to Jim Triggs a couple of times specing them out, cool guy) Got a letter from Gibson that prices were going up and all guitars on order would be at the delivery price list. Canceled the order.
    Right around when Gibson demanded large pre orders from small dealers. That and a GC opened in town…. Took him out completely.
    yep, a familiar story. In this light I can’t help but feel Gibson’s focussing on guitars that will actually sell is a good thing for dealers, rather than having instruments that the dealer may have to accept selling at a loss.

    my 335 rocks anyway.

  17. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    It’s too bad Henry J wasn’t one of those smart business people. I haven’t seen any acknowledgment from him that the “new technology” he touted as being good for the future of Gibson’s guitar business was actually a cost cutting effort that negatively impacted the brand. But he owned up to some responsibility for the bankruptcy in an interview with NYT:

    Speaking to The New York Times, Juszkiewicz admitted that his decision to try and turn Gibson into a ‘music lifestyle company’ by selling high-end audio equipment in addition to their regular catalogue of guitars had effectively backfired.“No, it wasn’t a great decision,” Henry Juszkiewicz confessed. “It didn’t work out very well. I think it was a rational decision, but it turned out to be a very poor decision, and it’s a decision I made. It is what it is.”
    Smart business people sometimes take risks that do not work out. I have had a few business failures among my many successes myself and am pretty certain that I am a smart businessman. In fact the chances people like me take are why we are entitled to the wealth we create when those chances pay off. We take the risks and create jobs and wealth. The socialists trade their hours for wages and bitch about guys like me having too much. I respect Henry J. and enjoy all of my Gibson guitars that were made under his watch. I do not respect the Monday morning quarterbacks that sit in judgment of Henry J. Exactly what have they done for the guitar industry?

  18. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    you can always talk them down apparently because no one buys them

    Tbh I don’t blame Gibson for not making many archtops. It is a shame though, I’d like to see the es175 back in production of course, but I already got one, so….
    Yup

    That's why Gibson archtops are custom order only now. They don't make them now unless they are sold in advance.

    175s tended to sit in the stores for months or even years back when they were part of the regular production. L5s and Super 400s hung around the stores even longer.


    6 to 12 years ago they were selling at great prices because Gibson made too many and forced the dealers to take them. It was a great time to be an archtop buyer.

    I have another theory about them putting 175s back into production. From what I saw in Memphis when they were still making guitars there, the 175s and 335s are made on the same machines. I suspect they are so busy trying to fill their orders for 335 style guitars that running a few 175s through the assembly line would further delay the fulfillment of their backordered 335s.

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    Smart business people sometimes take risks that do not work out. I have had a few business failures among my many successes myself and am pretty certain that I am a smart businessman. In fact the chances people like me take are why we are entitled to the wealth we create when those chances pay off. We take the risks and create jobs and wealth. The socialists trade their hours for wages and bitch about guys like me having too much. I respect Henry J. and enjoy all of my Gibson guitars that were made under his watch. I do not respect the Monday morning quarterbacks that sit in judgment of Henry J. Exactly what have they done for the guitar industry?
    Risk is just uncertainty about outcome. The prevailing philosophy in business has always been that reward is proportional to risk. But the probability of return is also directly related to the viability of the vision that drives it. Being the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in the world is not within the core competence of Gibson (as HJ proved). Neither is being a holding company, which HJ also proved.

    There’s a not-so-fine balance between risk and reason, and Henry J pushed his vision for Gibson beyond reason because he was after what in my opinion was an unreasonable reward. I learned the same things in my MBA studies that he did. I just took the value of core competencies as a prerequisite for success far more seriously than he did. Most successes arising from the purchase of distressed businesses come from realizing their unseen asset value, which means either bastardizing the original vision or breaking up and selling the assets. Victor Palmieri’s efforts with Baldwin United are a classic example of this. And his core competence was finding the hidden value in assets, not making locomotives or pianos.

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    Risk is just uncertainty about outcome. The prevailing philosophy in business has always been that reward is proportional to risk. But the probability of return is also directly related to the viability of the vision that drives it. Being the largest manufacturer of musical instruments in the world is not within the core competence of Gibson (as HJ proved). Neither is being a holding company, which HJ also proved.

    There’s a not-so-fine balance between risk and reason, and Henry J pushed his vision for Gibson beyond reason because he was after what in my opinion was an unreasonable reward. I learned the same things in my MBA studies that he did. I just took the value of core competencies as a prerequisite for success far more seriously than he did. Most successes arising from the purchase of distressed businesses come from realizing their unseen asset value, which means either bastardizing the original vision or breaking up and selling the assets. Victor Palmieri’s efforts with Baldwin United are a classic example of this. And his core competence was finding the hidden value in assets, not making locomotives or pianos.
    No doubt, HJ ventured beyond his core competence and perhaps there was a bit of hubris involved, perhaps not. He got a very nice golden parachute when he gave up Gibson. No one will ever need to do a tag day for him.

    My seven Gibson guitars are all superb instruments and were all built while HJ was at the helm. I will defend the man against all comers.

    And as Elon Musk has proven, sometimes that which does not seems viable actually is.

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    My seven Gibson guitars are all superb instruments and were all built while HJ was at the helm. I will defend the man against all comers.
    You can thank the loyal and highly skilled workers at Gibson for the quality and value of your Gibsons. Henry was just another freshly minted MBA in search of fame and fortune when he bought the company. As I see it, he was simply another Norlin. More than a few fine instruments were made under their watch too. But only outcomes matter. Gibson hasn’t been a going concern since the PAF got its patent number.

    It was a rare Gibson made up to the early ‘60s that wasn’t a very fine instrument. You’re very fortunate - not all Gibsons made during Henry’s reign (or Norlin’s) were so laudable.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    You can thank the loyal and highly skilled workers at Gibson for the quality and value of your Gibsons. Henry was just another freshly minted MBA in search of fame and fortune when he bought the company. As I see it, he was simply another Norlin. More than a few fine instruments were made under their watch too. But only outcomes matter. Gibson hasn’t been a going concern since the PAF got its patent number.

    It was a rare Gibson made up to the early ‘60s that wasn’t a very fine instrument. You’re very fortunate - not all Gibsons made during Henry’s reign (or Norlin’s) were so laudable.
    I have owned a total of 34 Gibson guitars in my life made between 1963 and 2017. 5 were made in the pre-Norlin era, 7 were made in the Norlin era and 22 were made in the HJ era (I currently own 7 of those).

    Only one of those guitars was not a fine instrument in my view and it was made in the HJ era. The neck was incapable of getting as straight as I like to get the super low action that I like. The cat I sold it to loved it, so it found a good home. I often miss many of the 26 other Gibson guitars that I sold over the years. My only problem with the Norlin Gibsons is the volute, as that interferes with my style of play in the first position (They look fine to me but do interfere with my thumb placement).

    I think Gibson has tried to innovate since the PAF humbucker but the marketplace has rejected those innovations. We guitar players are (mostly) a conservative bunch when it comes to guitars. And IMO, many of the complaints about Gibson guitars from the Norlin and HJ era's are the results of poor setup work, particulary over the last 20 years where many guitars have never seen a tech's attention from the day it left the factory to the time it ended up in it's buyer's hands.

    Indeed, I am very fortunate (in many ways) and I am thankful to the craftsmen who made my Gibson guitars. Their efforts have brought me much happiness when playing the fruits of their labors. The money I spent on those guitars was money well spent and are examples of true win-win deals.

  23. #47

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    You are very fortunate. This site and others is divided into two types of Gibson users. I’m in the ‘oh Gibson please’ camp. My experience though no where’s near your numbers are 1 great Norlin, 1 great HJ (thank God the L5) and 4 HJ dogs. Woof indeed.

    The socialists trade their hours for wages and bitch about guys like me having too much”
    LOL that ain’t this kid I tell ya.

    Since we are throwing around our CVs, my MBA circa 79-81, is as Never described: set the goal, then the plaN, ya da ya da. We probably had The same HBS books. I went on to four startups. One out of them hit big.

    I tried to convey above that in speaking to HJ, I got the strong impression that the goal was in fact altruistic on his part. In retrospect I see that he was not of the financial reward first type, but had a dream and was trying to build it. Unfortunately “dreamer” is no longer part of a CEO job description. Hence, as you say, he was not the person to put together either a musical conglomerate or holding co. Problem IMHO with any newly minted MBA (myself included) is they have no operational experience. There simply is no substitute for ‘time in grade’ where you have tried, failed, succeeded over and over again before that CEO ticket. Otherwise you fall back on your training/education and spreadsheet till it looks good.

    BTW I’ve also worked along side Palmieri Assoc. At that time there were three consulting firms sucking the blood out of a dying large company. We did the ‘how do we stay in business’ modeling. Palmieri IIRC did the ‘let’s sell’, with KKR the bankruptcy option. (May have been the reverse, too long ago.)
    So here we are, billing three times an obscene amount of money per day. One Monday the CEO walks in, pulls us together and shows us a napkin with a dollar value. ‘You all can leave, I sold it this weekend.’
    we went back and our offices were already locked. What fascinates me is that HJ’s wrap up of his Gibson experience is very similar to what the CEO above had to say about his experience.

    So my point is, and always I think expressed is, that unless you are the person responsible for whatever financial covenants are in place that are governing the deal, you have no clue to the reality under tHe deal. ‘Triggers’ they were called, stuff the accountants/business leaders write and is usually not in the legal review purview. (I don’t mean not legally reviewed, just not effed with.) They are the business conditions that pull fundIng, change terms, God knows what else.

    So we have no idea what leash is on poor Gibson.

    Damn I wish I could still express myself as I could before this VEXAS thing. Sorry if I ramble or don’t make sense. Say yes to drugs.

  24. #48

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    ...speaking of Ebony L-5's...PSA...Does anyone here take a chance on these shipping from overseas?

    Gibson L-5CES 1991 Black | Reverb

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by tomvwash
    ...speaking of Ebony L-5's...PSA...Does anyone here take a chance on these shipping from overseas?

    Gibson L-5CES 1991 Black | Reverb
    My SelMacs come from France and other than delays in customs, not an issue at all. A reputable luthier or shop is going to know how to pack the guitar safely.

  26. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSanta
    My SelMacs come from France and other than delays in customs, not an issue at all. A reputable luthier or shop is going to know how to pack the guitar safely.
    Does one pay customs in the U.S. for a Made in USA instrument?