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James Curleigh - Honeymoon is over.
Old 26th July 2019
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I think they are going to have to re-develop a reputation by offering good guitars at fair prices, rather than expecting the brand name to cover all sins and mark-ups. When I look at the "Gibson Brands" fiasco, however, it does make me wonder how many people in the modern company were ever interested in making guitars, as opposed to "the compelling business case and opportunity presented by an under-valued brand name?"
Maybe it used to be an "under valued brand name", but the company appears to be hell-bent on destroying that reputation.

When you're losing market share because you are vastly overpricing your products and have worse quality control than your competition the solution is NOT to start suing everyone in sight. To do that is tantamount to an admission of defeat. They might as well take out ads saying "We can't build a great product and sell it at a reasonable price anymore so we're trying to put those who can out of business." It's an unbelievably dumb strategy that reveals a total lack of understanding of both the guitar business and the market, and is guaranteed to generate colossal amounts of ill-will
Old 10th September 2019
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
He abandoned all the original craftsmen when he movbed to a cheaper state. That was the most idiotic move he could have made besides trying to position Gibson as a "lifestyles" company with a whole lot of subsidiaries that he picked up for what he thought were cheap because he didn't understand that those companies no longer had a market.

As to "cost of labor" - he raised prices way higher than necessary - much higher than the competition - while cutting quality to the bone. I've seen Chibsons that were better made (on the woodworking side) than a lot of Gibsons.

The problem was that Henry was not a real guitar guy. Neither is Curleigh. The problem continues.
Keeping the same labor would have increased the price of the guitars which you deemed "way higher than necessary". If you keep good craftsmen and pay them well in a high tax state, the price of the guitar will have to reflect that. Obviously you don't think craftsmen should work for cheap so you can have a cheaper guitar. Henry did the only thing he could - move to a cheaper state.

Last edited by piano; 10th September 2019 at 05:07 AM..
Old 10th September 2019
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
When you're losing market share because you are vastly overpricing your products
Maybe they were not overpriced. A Gibson Les Paul has always been a luxury item for a guitarist.

Last edited by piano; 10th September 2019 at 05:08 AM..
Old 10th September 2019
  #34
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[QUOTE=norfolk martin;14112983]SSo shouldn't an American made Les Paul reasonably similar to the 59 model cost substantially less than an American made Strat reasonably similar to the 59 model?

/QUOTE]

The Strat is far cheaper to make than a Les Paul. Materials and labor are far more for a Les Paul.

Last edited by piano; 10th September 2019 at 05:08 AM..
Old 10th September 2019
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Remember that this was a guy who moved production from Michigan to the South because of the "economic advantages" i.e., explicitly so he could avoid the employee union, environmental and safety regulations, and higher wage and benefit expectations.

If you're making low-margin plastic nick-nacks, that may makes sense, but it's very hard to maintain production of a purportedly high quality musical instrument made of variable materiel and with a lot of hand work without experienced labor.
Are you prepared to pay $5,000+ for a base Gibson Les Paul? If so, then you are consistent in your arguement that Henry J should have stayed in the state with "employee union, environmental and safety regulations, and higher wage and benefit expectations.".

Last edited by piano; 10th September 2019 at 05:11 AM..
Old 10th September 2019
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Are you prepared to pay $5,000+ for a base Gibson Les Paul? If so, then you are consistent in your arguement that Henry J should have stayed in the state with "employee union, environmental and safety regulations, and higher wage and benefit expectations.".
Rickenbackers are made in California and are of equal complexity. A base model 360 or 4005 doesn't cost $5,000.

What statistics are you relying on to get to you $5,000 number?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Keeping the same labor would have increased the price of the guitars which you deemed "way higher than necessary". If you keep good craftsmen and pay them well in a high tax state, the price of the guitar will have to reflect that. Obviously you don't think craftsmen should work for cheap so you can have a cheaper guitar. Henry did the only thing he could - move to a cheaper state.
That would be a reasonable assumption if Gibson were not already charging a premium price for the privilege of having the Gibson name on the headstock. But they are, so they should be putting some of that premium price into equivalent quality of workmanship instead of trying to cut every corner they can. And trying to make it up by offering a zillion versions of the same thing as "custom signature models" that are mostly differentiated by the paint and other superfluous trim.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Maybe they were not overpriced. A Gibson Les Paul has always been a luxury item for a guitarist.
First, "a luxury item for a guitarist" maybe - Not a luxury item for doctors and lawyers and business executives. Not a luxury item for an inflated "collectors' market that doesn't exist anymore, if it ever did.

Second, "a luxury item" for the top of the line models, sure. Not for the midline and student level solid bodies. A Les Paul Junior or Special, and Melody Makers are STUDENT MODEL GUITARS. But now they're priced like upper middle tier professional instruments.

Gibson just trashed hundreds of guitars that they claimed were "unsafe". Which is a crock. At the very least, any non-ROHS parts could easily have been replaced for next to nothing - the cost of making a pickup is maybe 5 bucks for Gibson. They could have ripped the guts out of those guitars and replaced them for relatively little money.

The problem is that the company is still run by business school grads and bean counters, looking for fat profits for minimum investment, not by musical instrument people. That's not how you run a successful guitar company. You don't build a company on the assumption that all your customers are stupid. That was proven more than adequately by CBS and Norlin. And the company is still crippled by the debt resulting from Henry's utterly stupid attempts at expansion, which merely demonstrated that he didn't understand the market. They need to figure out how to dump those extraneous companies without retaining the unreasonable debt that came with them.

Probably the best thing they could do would be to spin off Gibson/Epiphone guitars as a separate company, sell it to themselves without the unreasonable debt burden, and declare bankruptcy on the remaining hulk of "Gibson Brands".
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Fender are still making guitars in the "high-tax high wage union state " of California.

Gibson moved to the low tax low wage non-union south.

So shouldn't an American made Les Paul reasonably similar to the 59 model cost substantially less than an American made Strat reasonably similar to the 59 model?
Gibson was originally in MICHIGAN, which is a state whose economy was devastated by the demise of the US auto industry. If Henry had had even half a functioning brain he should have been able to wangle a hefty subsidy from the stater for staying where he was.

Fenders have always been somewhat cheaper to make than Gibsons, even in the '50s when most of their production line was machine assisted hand work by skilled craftsmen. The major cost difference was in the bolt-on neck and the fact that most of Fender's body designs could be knocked out with a band saw and a belt sander.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
The problem is that the company is still run by business school grads and bean counters, looking for fat profits for minimum investment, not by musical instrument people. That's not how you run a successful guitar company. You don't build a company on the assumption that all your customers are stupid. That was proven more than adequately by CBS and Norlin. And the company is still crippled by the debt resulting from Henry's utterly stupid attempts at expansion, which merely demonstrated that he didn't understand the market.
I guess I don't understand how Gibson could be in bankruptcy and "run by business school grads and bean counters, looking for fat profits for minimum investment". If they made a lot of money, why is the company in bankruptcy?

I think it is a LOT harder than you think to run a company... especially a big one like Gibson.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
Rickenbackers are made in California and are of equal complexity. A base model 360 or 4005 doesn't cost $5,000.

What statistics are you relying on to get to you $5,000 number?
That is a good example. I think you got me on that.

It is rather amazing they are making guitars in California with all the business headwinds there.

However, one does have to say Ric has a huge advantage over Gibson since it is a family run biz that was inherited (no big debt upfront to aquire the asset!).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
That is a good example. I think you got me on that.

It is rather amazing they are making guitars in California with all the business headwinds there.

However, one does have to say Ric has a huge advantage over Gibson since it is a family run biz that was inherited (no big debt upfront to aquire the asset!).
I think the debt load was a huge factor in Gibson's problems, as the guitar division was one of the few that actually made money.

What hacked me off about the move is not necessarily the politics of it, but the (to me) the misunderstanding of the nature of the business.

Per his business school training, HJ saw an "undervalued brand" and borrowed money to buy it. The same training says that, if you are in manufacturing, move to a low wage, low union, low regulation state.

That may indeed be a good strategy you are making furniture or shopping carts, but I don't think it was necessarily a good move for a niche product of high priced guitars that have a rather complex market.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
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bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Why is it that Martin puts out consistent instruments...
Already stated by Moonwhistle in post #17 , but bears repeating... Martin has the same problem. Guitars costing over $2,000 should not have these QC issues, it's ridiculous and these two companies should continue to get roasted for it. Boo!

My friend's brand new $2,500 Martin is still with the local authorized Martin repair guy... month 4 now...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
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In today's mail order world, I also think it has become harder as manufacturer in the sense that your mistakes can get amplified in the internet echo chamber, because big retailers do little to make sure they are handing you an item that is defect free.

If I run a brick and mortar store, one would think that I would not put a guitar out in the showroom if it were defective in any way. Also in a brick and mortar, a customer is more likely to play the actual guitar they are going to buy, before they buy it.

All these online retailers boast 55 point inspections, and the like, but you would think they would let less problems out the door if they were actually performing those checks 100% of the time.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
I guess I don't understand how Gibson could be in bankruptcy and "run by business school grads and bean counters, looking for fat profits for minimum investment". If they made a lot of money, why is the company in bankruptcy?

I think it is a LOT harder than you think to run a company... especially a big one like Gibson.
Gibson is not currently in bankruptcy - they made a deal to get out of it, one of the conditions was Henty J stepping down. However they still have a crapload of bad debt that must be paid off

As to why the company was in bankruptcy and still in debt, it has to do with Henry's ill-considered "investments" in buying out companies and divisions of companies that were failing due to current market forces, an incredibly stupid move, the sheer folly of which he was blinded to by his desire to turn Gibson into a "lifestyle company."

Don't you understand ANYTHING that's been going on with and around Gibson for the past several years?

Gibson itself is still very, very profitable, but the cash is being siphoned off to cover those bad debts. That's why their escalation of prices is so much more rapid than the actual market value of their product and why their quality is so slipshod.

As far as "running a big company' like Gibson is concerned, that's the problem. Gibson is a successful GUITAR MAKER. They are a failure as a "Big Company". They're stuck with a bunch of divisions that are losing money with no end in sight. The only real hope for saving Gibson Guitars is to find a way to divest themselves of all the failing companies that Henry stupidly invested in when he went expansion crazy. The problem is that there is ZERO interest in anyone buying those companies, for reasons that are obvious. So the only hope would be to sever Gibson Guitars from the travesty that is "Gibson Brands" and let the "Brands" sink before they sink the guitar company. This is difficult to do, not to mention a bit shady, but it CAN be done. A certain orange-headed buffoon has been doing it for decades.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolk martin View Post
I think the debt load was a huge factor in Gibson's problems, as the guitar division was one of the few that actually made money.
True.

Quote:

What hacked me off about the move is not necessarily the politics of it, but the (to me) the misunderstanding of the nature of the business.
Absolutely. Henry had NO BUSINESS (pun intended) running ANY company. I would have done a much better job and I'm no businessman.

FWIW, I don't believe that Curleigh has any business running a guitar company, either. He MIGHT not be as big a loser as Henry, but he's damn close. Personally, I think he is.

Quote:
Per his business school training, HJ saw an "undervalued brand" and borrowed money to buy it. The same training says that, if you are in manufacturing, move to a low wage, low union, low regulation state.
So-called "business schools" are the pri8mary reason that US "business schools" are in the toilet - or outhouse - they're in. US business schools should be taken to court for fraud, at the least.

Quote:

That may indeed be a good strategy you are making furniture or shopping carts, but I don't think it was necessarily a good move for a niche product of high priced guitars that have a rather complex market.
Judging by the state of American manufacturing, I don't believe it's a good - or even mediocre - strategy for any business, anywhere.

AFAIK no successful US business (that wasn't a major con) was ever started by any "business major", anytime, anywhere.

Successful businesses are startyed by people who understand their specific market and are willing to invest everything and work hard.

If you're a "businessman" and draw a fat salary while your company is failing - or even struggling - you should be thrown in jail for fraud - for a long, LONG time.

If you believe in your company you should be willing to pour every penny you make beyond basic living expenses back into it. And "basic expenses" do not include fancy cars, posh pads, or fancy dinners.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 4 weeks ago at 03:30 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
A certain orange-headed buffoon has been doing it for decades.
Finally you have said something I concur with 100%, lol
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
As to why the company was in bankruptcy and still in debt, it has to do with Henry's ill-considered "investments" in buying out companies and divisions of companies that were failing due to current market forces, an incredibly stupid move, the sheer folly of which he was blinded to by his desire to turn Gibson into a "lifestyle company."
Yes you are right. Henry J did buy a lot companies. But he purchased distressed assets at a bargain.

Many of these companies are still working today although certainly not like their peak days. Baldwin, one of America's last american made pianos, was moved to China under his ownership. It may have likely been the best move since the Asian market is hotter than the North American one now. Labor and regulations are just too onerous in the USA in comparison to China.

But many of the these companies he pruchased did continue to produce income.

As consumers, we may not like it, (I used to own a Baldwin), but it may have been the only move to keep the company viable.

An example of a failure is Opcode and Cakewalk.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Yes you are right. Henry J did buy a lot companies. But he purchased distressed assets at a bargain.
It's not a bargain if it's losing money hand over fist and has zero chance of turning it around because the market has deserted your product. Henry's biggest blunder was probably buying the Hi-fi division of Phillips when it was plain to anybody with one half working eye that the market was abandoning home stereos like rats off a sinking ship.

There's a reason those assets were distressed. Henry's problem was that he was too stupid to understand why. Which was pretty obvious to anybody but him. There-s a word for guys like that - SUCKER.

Quote:
Many of these companies are still working today although certainly not like their peak days. Baldwin, one of America's last american made pianos, was moved to China under his ownership. It may have likely been the best move since the Asian market is hotter than the North American one now. Labor and regulations are just too onerous in the USA in comparison to China.


As consumers, we may not like it, (I used to own a Baldwin), but it may have been the only move to keep the company viable.
Buying a piano company was probably the dumbest possible thing he could have done. People don't buy acoustic pianos anymore - digital has totally killed the maket for home pianos and concert halls DON'T buy Baldwins - they buy Steinways and Boesendorfers and even those companies are struggling and downsizing. It's like buying Edsel in the early '60s.

My last keyboard player is a piano tuner and tech. He has a warehouse full of pianos that he literally can't give away.

Baldwin is not viable.

You wanna free piano? Live in the Bay Area? You have to move it.

Quote:
But many of the these companies he pruchased did continue to produce income.
But not enough to exceed their losses.

Quote:
An example of a failure is Opcode and Cakewalk.
Oddly enough, Opcode and Cakewalk are two companies he bought that could have been returned to viability without too much effort, except that Henry didn't have the foggiest idea of how to run a successful software company. And didn't know what his market was for that.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 3 weeks ago at 04:21 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post

You wanna free piano? Live in the Bay Area? You have to move it.

Oddly enough, Opcode and Cakewalk are two companies he bought that could have been returned to viability without too much effort, except that Henry didn't have the foggiest idea of how to run a successful software company. And didn't know what his market was for that.
Yeah, here in Austin you can get free uprights, too. Baby Grands still cost a bit, but they certainly don't hold their value well.

Henry actually saved Gibson when he first got there, and I'll give him props for that. But all these stupid acquisitions? And he killed SO many companies in doing it! He had Tascam, and could've bundled Sonar with digital Tascam desks and probably had a decent product to rival most out there.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
Yeah, here in Austin you can get free uprights, too. Baby Grands still cost a bit, but they certainly don't hold their value well.

Henry actually saved Gibson when he first got there, and I'll give him props for that. But all these stupid acquisitions? And he killed SO many companies in doing it! He had Tascam, and could've bundled Sonar with digital Tascam desks and probably had a decent product to rival most out there.
Yeah, he did. Should have stuck with what he had instead of indulging his grandiose dreams of becoming some sort of tycoon.

Too bad, really.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
My last keyboard player is a piano tuner and tech. He has a warehouse full of pianos that he literally can't give away.

Baldwin is not viable.

You wanna free piano? Live in the Bay Area? You have to move it.

.
No one wants a junk piano - or a junk console for that matter.

Lots of people want an accoustic piano but no one wants junk.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
No one wants a junk piano - or a junk console for that matter.

Lots of people want an accoustic piano but no one wants junk.
Lots of people want an acoustic piano (myself included - my last place came with one), but very few people have the room, even for an upright, so most people these days go the electronic route.

My friend doesn't have "junk pianos" - no room for junk, what with the half dozen Hammond organs and the disassembled pipe organ.

To get back to the general topic, I don't think that Baldwin made very good pianos, and that if Henry had been looking for a piano company he could have done much better - but it still would have been a really bad investment, the times being what they are. There's no real market for large, bulky, really expensive home (non-portable) musical instruments.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #54
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Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Lots of people want an acoustic piano (myself included - my last place came with one), but very few people have the room, even for an upright, so most people these days go the electronic route.

My friend doesn't have "junk pianos" - no room for junk, what with the half dozen Hammond organs and the disassembled pipe organ.

To get back to the general topic, I don't think that Baldwin made very good pianos, and that if Henry had been looking for a piano company he could have done much better - but it still would have been a really bad investment, the times being what they are. There's no real market for large, bulky, really expensive home (non-portable) musical instruments.
Oh my, no, Baldwin made excellent pianos and they are considered top tier pianos. I owned two large grands. They are well made pianos. It would be nice to see the company up and running again. It was one of the last handmade american pianos. Currently, I think we have only two left, Mason and Hamlin and American Steinway.

Many Piano techs pick up lots of junk pianos for free and fix them and then re-sell them - just like mechanics have cars sitting in their lots looking like they don't sell. When the mechanic/ tech has time, he fixes it up and hopefully makes his money. It's been this way for a long time. Other techs pick up top tier pianos, like Steinway and Mason and Hamlin and rebuild them. When they are finished, they have a highly priced priced piano which have always taken a long time to sell.

I think Henry J is under estimated and under appreciated for his work and work ethic. Granted, he made mistakes but he sure did better than the Norlin age! The guy came from a very humble family background yet managed to get into Harvard, graduate and purchase Gibson. Few could lay claim to that kind of success.

Last edited by piano; 3 weeks ago at 02:11 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Oh my, no, Baldwin made excellent pianos and they are considered top tier pianos. I owned two large grands. They are well made pianos. It would be nice to see the company up and running again. It was one of the last handmade american pianos. Currently, I think we have only two left, Mason and Hamlin and American Steinway.
All the Baldwins that I can remember playing had relatively muddy tone (some might call it "mellow", I don't) and fairly sluggish action.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #56
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Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
All the Baldwins that I can remember playing had relatively muddy tone (some might call it "mellow", I don't) and fairly sluggish action.
Well, obviously you are not a pianist. Baldwin was one of the great pianos of the last century. The actions in higher level grand pianos were Renner actions - very high end quality actions.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post
Well, obviously you are not a pianist. Baldwin was one of the great pianos of the last century. The actions in higher level grand pianos were Renner actions - very high end quality actions.
Well, maybe I never had the opportunity to try one of their top grade models, but the Baldwins I did play were, for the most part, really dark sounding, sluggish dogs. And given what top grade pianos cost, I would say that the company's profits probably came more from selling home pianos and mid-level professional instruments than from selling flagship models.

It's kinda interesting to me that Baldwin did/does not build their own actions for high end instruments. To me it speaks somewhat of their ineptitude as a piano builder. Companies like Steinway and Boesendorfer take pride in building their own actions. Even a company like Mason and Hamlin builds their own actions.

I will admit to being something of a Steinway snob - my late aunt was one of the top piano teachers in New York City, whose living room was filled with two Steinway Concert Grands from the late '40s/early '50s and I grew up in a home with a lovely Steinway baby grand - which kicked ass on any home-sized Baldwin I ever saw.

But none of this has anything to do with the absolute stupidity of investing in a manufacturer of acoustic pianos at the exact time when the bottom had fallen out of the market. Almost nobody buys acoustic pianos for the home anymore. That market is gone. And the majority of live music venues aren't really buying acoustic pianos, either. Concert halls already have acoustic pianos, and there aren't enough new ones being built to provide much of a market. And no concert hall is going to trade their vintage grand in on a new instrument. It's really sad, but it's the reality of the modern world - what technology touches it kills, and electronic pianos have touched that market in a big way.

It's typical of Henry's business ineptitude that he poured large amounts of capital into a number of failing businesses involved in niches that were rapidly being destroyed by technological change - he simply did not understand market trends. The problem that Curleigh now faces is that that money that Henry "invested" is simply gone. Nobody is buying acoustic pianos anymore, nobody is buying elaborate home stereos except for the uber-rich audiophile market, who are NOT the sort to buy stereos made by Phillips. Money "invested" in those companies is gone - it's not coming back. Those are market segments that have lost their base.

It presents a real conundrum for Curleigh - he's stuck with a bunch of high ticket "assets" that he can't sell, at least not for anywhere close to the amount of debt owed on them. And they're not profitable as manufacturing organizations - which is why he can't unload them. As I see it, the only real hope would be to change the name of the parent organization to something that does not contain the word "Gibson" in the title and then spin off Gibson guitars as a self-sufficient independent entity and then leave the old organization to rot in bankruptcy court. If that's even legally possible. And it still might be a difficult situation for Curleigh himself.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 2 weeks ago at 10:14 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #58
Quote:
Originally Posted by piano View Post

I think Henry J is under estimated and under appreciated for his work and work ethic. Granted, he made mistakes but he sure did better than the Norlin age! The guy came from a very humble family background yet managed to get into Harvard, graduate and purchase Gibson. Few could lay claim to that kind of success.
"There's no success like failure
And failure's no success at all" - Bob Dylan.

I don't call it "success" to built of mountains of unrecoverable debt, run your flagship company into the ground while destroying the quality of your flagship instruments, and creating huge amounts of animosity in your customer base, while pouring huge amounts of cash into obviously non-viable acquisitions.

I'd call it some combination of stupidity, hubris, and outright madness.

Looking at Henry's track record I'd call buying Gibson and temporarily turning it around a fluke, pure and simple. It's obvious that he has a philosophy of buying failing companies and attempting to salvage them. Where he went horribly wrong was in not understanding the reasons that those companies were on the market at bargain basement prices. It initially worked with Gibson because there was still a strong market for Gibson Guitars. Most of the other companies he acquired were failing because they had lost their markets to technological change. Then Henry compounded his error by repeating the exact same mistakes that Norlin had made that devalued the product.
Old 1 week ago
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
But none of this has anything to do with the absolute stupidity of investing in a manufacturer of acoustic pianos at the exact time when the bottom had fallen out of the market. Almost nobody buys acoustic pianos for the home anymore. That market is gone. And the majority of live music venues aren't really buying acoustic pianos, either. Concert halls already have acoustic pianos, and there aren't enough new ones being built to provide much of a market. And no concert hall is going to trade their vintage grand in on a new instrument. It's really sad, but it's the reality of the modern world - what technology touches it kills, and electronic pianos have touched that market in a big way.
Piano sales in the USA are alive and well and have been stabilized at 30,000 per year for the last decade. I am pretty sure Baldwin made it's own actions for the acrosonic line of upright pianos. The well made grand pianos were built like tanks.

In China, where Baldwin is now, there is piano sales growth and a much higher sales volume of pianos. Seems like this may be the best place for Baldwin to be for Gibson - if it wants to survive.

However, a piano company is really it's own beast that is far different from a guitar company. Many of us were baffled by Gibson buying Baldwin.
Old 1 week ago
  #60
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I really like the action on the Acrosonics . Much lighter that the console Baldwin I have in my living room.
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