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Thread: More Gibson Antics

  1. #26

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Gibson's trademarks are not really the "issue" with lots of people, it is the companies' heavy handed tactics related to such.
    I'm not informed with what 'heavy handed' tactics were employed by Gibson, but nothing gets done without lawyers getting involved and that's when some folks will see that as heavy handed. Unfortunately, without lawyers it's all just bluff and posturing.

  2. #27
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by Altmandw View Post

    Another trope, again in my opinion, is to constantly bash patents, trademarks, and the existence of intellectual property rights.
    Except when it's we as songwriters defending our copyrights. Then the shoe is on the other foot.
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  4. #28

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Yup. A real class act...

    "I play BG so that's what I can talk intelligently about." A line I loved and pirated from Mandoplumb

  5. #29
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by FLATROCK HILL View Post
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    Ahead of his time.
    Lolol, Bill (or whomever was handling it at the time) broke the Hell outta that headstock!

    (Iíve seen this photo many times before but the depth of that break is impressive. When my Kentucky got bumped off a chair by a dog the break didnít even go all the way through the binding, so the glue up was really easy. Of course, Iím not equating that eBay Kentucky with Billís Loar, just pointing out my experience).

  6. #30
    harvester of clams Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    It baffles me that so many people are so attached, emotionally or otherwise, to this thing, Gibson, that has so little impact on their life.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  8. #31

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by Verbian View Post
    (I)f Gibson didn't protect their trademarked shapes against StewMac they would then potentially be unable to defend their trademark if Fender started to make clones of their trademarked body shapes. If Fender's legal team showed they purposefully/knowingly let another company infringe upon that trademark but chose to do nothing... that would be bad for Gibson. That is why you see companies take a scorched earth approach to protecting their trademarks and why some just seem to complete ignore it (if they have even trademarked the stuff in the first place)
    The thing is, that lack of enforcement action is exactly what Gibson embraced for DECADES. The original shapes of the mandolins, for example, have been used by others since at least the '70s, with no legal action from Gobson.

    I've had people argue to me that the designs didn't pass into the public domain, but they've never been able to explain how that would work with the dicumented decades of non-enforcement. Short version: it doesn't
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  9. #32
    Registered User zookster's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Wow, a lot of opinions here, and for good reason. Many of us are emotionally invested with Gibson, with the instruments we own and play, and consequently the respect for a company that has produced a LOT of quality merchandise over a very long run. The proof is in the pudding.

    As mentioned, some of the iconic models (F5, Les Paul) were initially a flop with the public. Even the revered Gibson banjo had to go through some gestation before it finally emerged as the powerhouse iconic Mastertone. I have stated before that all American musical manufacturing is player driven, which is still the case today. In the 20th century, there were very few independent luthiers, so it was the major concerns that had to supply the public, with varying degrees of quality, depending on the size of your wallet. Overall, there was something for everybody. Gibson had a rotating cast of characters at the helm, some astute, some not, but the overriding arc of innovation is the constant that kept the company in business.

    In the recent past (stretching back to the 70s and 80s --- remember, Gibson almost went under in the mid 80s) Gibson has had their difficulties, and then seemed to gain footing in the 90s again with the upgraded mandolin line. There is little doubt that globalization has had an impact on the instrument scene since then, and as the quality of those offshore instruments has improved, created a real bind for domestic manufacturing in particular with the pricing. But, Gibson wasn't gobbled up like Fender and Guild,
    they are still in Nashville. (I don't want to get started on the abandonment of Kalamazoo, that a discussion for another day).

    The most conservative approach is to push the iconic lines, especially the electrics, which Gibson is doing. That is their bread and butter. No, I have to say I have not been overly impressed with the newer acoustics, either guitars or mandolins (I have played some, not a ton) but then again, I get to compare those to boutique builders who are now a factor in the market. Yes, the recent Chinese instruments are pretty good, but remember, they are COPIES of classic American designs. They know how to get the most with what they've got, but they aren't going to come up with anything unique, they are concerned with making a buck, right down to slapping trendy sounding names on their instruments (you know what they are) to sound more American. For the money, however, they are hard to beat.

    When you look at all the American companies who have gone by the wayside in the past 100 years -- Washburn (who at one time was the largest stringed instrument company in the world) , Regal, Harmony, Vega, Lange, Gretch, Fender, to name a few, it is remarkable that Gibson is still in operation. Only Martin can top that, probably because they are family owned. Yes, they will be ups and downs, it is the nature of business. Consider the legacy of this company for a moment to put it into perspective.

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  11. #33

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by zookster View Post
    When you look at all the American companies who have gone by the wayside in the past 100 years -- Washburn , Regal, Harmony, Vega, Lange, Gretch, Fender,
    Isn't Fender still an American company?

  12. #34
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Isn't Fender still an American company?
    Gretsch was mentioned as well. I believe the Gretsch brand is ran by the Gretsch family. The instruments are made abroad (Japan, China) but based in America.
    ...

  13. #35

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    Gretsch was mentioned as well. I believe the Gretsch brand is ran by the Gretsch family. The instruments are made abroad (Japan, China) but based in America.
    Where are you really based, where the pencils are pushed, or where the chisels are pushed?

  14. #36
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillon View Post
    Where are you really based, where the pencils are pushed, or where the chisels are pushed?
    Fair question. I also believe they have a USA-made custom shop option. The Gretsch story is pretty cool either way. There are some good videos on it out there if interested.
    ...

  15. #37
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    The Gretsch family sold the brand many years ago and a few years back managed to buy it back. Honestly, it's hard to consider that a continuous ownership and manufacturing process. It's nice that they own the name again but I seriously doubt that there's any talent that has remained employed by the company from the old company to the new other than the family members that probably weren't building instruments at the end of the first round.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
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  16. #38
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Isn't Fender still an American company?
    From what I can see their majority owner Servco Pacific is an American company.
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
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  17. #39
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    There are many reasons I do not buy new Gibsons.
    That would begin with: there is no Gibson involved in the company, nor has there been for 100 plus years.
    It has been a corporation and remains a corporation headed not by guitarists or luthiers, but pencil pushers.
    and attorneys.
    The company is possessed with buying out and terminating competing companies and target those who have used,
    for decades, an element of a Gibson product. They, in my opinion, destroyed Dobro.
    The product is consistently inconsistent and in my opinion, for decades, grossly overpriced for what you get.
    When you find a good one, there is nothing like it, but there are relatively few given the inconsistency.
    Most companies making a Gibson look alike have exceeded Gibsons effort.
    All Hail NORLIN,, All Hail, Henry.. . what have either, including the new entity added to or, advanced Gibson.
    ,
    I have owned about 18 Gibsons. The older the better. Currently.. the company itself, (also the product and pricing )
    is a deterrent to purchase. Not on my shopping list.
    I see greed and avarice, no more , no less. The guitar is the vehicle by which the company is driven.
    They might as well be making ( sometimes they actually make the product) lampshades or belt buckles.
    The above are my opinions based on my experience. Your experience may vary.

  18. #40
    Bluegrass Mayhem marbelizer's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Forgive me Mandolin Cafe Forum for I have sinned and recently purchased a used Derrington MM. Weird though, I don't feel guilty.

    With that thought I'm bringing this back bcuz it's so damned funny.
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  20. #41
    Oval holes are cool David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Quote Originally Posted by CES View Post
    Lolol, Bill (or whomever was handling it at the time) broke the Hell outta that headstock!

    (Iíve seen this photo many times before but the depth of that break is impressive. When my Kentucky got bumped off a chair by a dog the break didnít even go all the way through the binding, so the glue up was really easy. Of course, Iím not equating that eBay Kentucky with Billís Loar, just pointing out my experience).
    Bill did that himself. He sent his Loar to Gibson for a service. They took months and when he got it back he wasnít satisfied. So he thought heíd given them enough free advertising and gouged the name out.

    Later someone else (known to some here apparently) smashed the mandolin
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  21. #42

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    Yeah, when you think about, Bill and David may be responsible for the most Gibson antics!

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  22. #43
    Administrator Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
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    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    For adding clarity to the information being discussed here, Dan Beimborn made an informative post about ownership (referenced above a few posts and touched on by others) during a discussion last year found here. Here's his brief history of their ownership but there's more to his entire post that may or may not be of interest.

    He wrote:

    Brief history
    The "Gibson" most of us know and love was the original Parsons Street factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Orville Gibson was a lone builder, with an active time of approximately 1890-1902. 1902 is when the original "Gibson Mandolin and Guitar Company" was founded. The early years were transitional from Orville's designs to the ones we are all more familiar with, with operations at an iconic factory site on Parsons Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This original form of the company (Parsons Street Era Gibson) is the one that built all the wonderful pre-war instruments we know and love. They had their peak in the teens and 20s, but the mandolin fad had ended by 1944, so instruments made between '34-44 or so are much rarer. In 1944, Gibson was bought by Chicago Musical Instruments, or "CMI". CMI were bought in 1969 by a Panama-based company called "Ecuadorian Company Limited" or ECL, which was then soon renamed to "Norlin Corporation". During this period (1970-1988) there were "fluctuations in quality", to put it mildly. Henry Juszkiewicz bought the brand name with a partner in 1986, and the current owners Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (or KKR) acquired the company in 2018.

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  24. #44

    Default Re: More Gibson Antics

    The thing with a lot of these other builders is that the prices being asked are so close to what I could get a nice Gibson F-5 for, with the exception of something like, say a Weber or a Gilchrist, I would just go with the Gibson.

    I will say though, I live within an hour's drive of Montana Lutherie, so when I get ready to upgrade I'll likely be calling Bruce.

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