Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A ray from the broken dawn


In a knee-jerk reaction against naysayers, Gibson's CEO spells a brighter future ahead with a review of the circumstances. The primary strategy is to eliminate doomed brand names under its umbrella so things aren't so rosy for Cakewalk. He reiterated the belief in propelling the Philips brand consumer audio as one of its business focus citing growth potential as its strength. There's also a 7-year plan to bring debts down to zero. 😐 The irony here is that Gibson currently owns brand names which can possibly help ease its predicament; Kramer, Tobias & Steinberger, among others. This is what happens to putting your revenue eggs squarely into the 'Gibson' name & neglecting the potential of others.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ibanez: RG655 discont'd




The Ibanez RG655 had been discontinued this year, rightly so when there's the RG550 to take its place. The 655 is indeed spec'd out like the 550 in every way but people are not looking at it as much as the 550. The latter has a marked history in the Ibanez archive but it all boils down to the name.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Bantam boom


I see this as good news more for the guitar dweebs than the bass bunch- a new short scale model by Spector called the Bantam. It's a 30" player but the manufacturer promises a full on bass boom. Looks promising but prices are a little steep, expect an upwards of SGD2K.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Ibanez RG521


I have plans to add an RG550 to the Ibanez fold this year but things are a little dreadful in terms of colour availability & price (I'm not agreeable with the hike) when it comes to the Ibanez Genesis series. You can say that the RG521 you see above (in absolutely boring jewel blue finish) is a consolation. The Genesis models still do NOT come with a case/bag & this year, they're asking a little too much for one. I have my reasons for buying this one, will disclose in due time with a little appraisal. 

James' exit


Long time ESP endorser, Andy James has left the camp.


He is now seen playing Kiesel guitars (Aries/ Crescent), made to specs- EMG pickups + Evertune bridge. There is no official endorsement news as yet so we keep our eyes peeled for updates. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Broken dawn ahead


Being guitars geeks, we have Gibson creeping into our souls for want of its reputation more than anything else, dare I say. Yes, Gibson wielding people are equivalent to Rolex & Mercedes owners strutting their stuff, telling the world they have arrived. Somewhere where it matters, of course. The issue here is, the Gibson name, as we speak, is going down, most probably dragging you down with it.

Here's the current mess- Gibson has till July 2018 to refinance its debts before folding (The Street, Aug 2017). Its credit ratings had been lowered nine notches into rubbish territory. Alarming? The finance sector had cited three primary reasons why Gibson is in this predicament: Product diversity, commercial regulations & management turnover.

We often berate the manufacturer for its lack of variety, often returning to proven success to propel its business. The believers countered by saying we can't push an entity into specializing what it's not famed for. Gibson has its traditional inclinations & that's its selling point. It's also the manufacturer's Achilles' Heel. If you don't move with the times, you'd be consumed by it. However, we note Gibson's foray into audio territory by virtue of Onkyo, KRK & Stanton but the question remains- is it working out?

It is rather unfortunate that current commercial regulations are compounding the struggle. We know what CITES is doing to many instrument manufacturers in general & not just Gibson. Let's not get into details as we've already seen that picture before.

The people running the show is of utmost importance to any organization. Management runs the business. If these people know nuts about your dealings, don't bother having them in your camp. Selling reputation doesn't count; even fishermen can sell furniture but they are not into the furniture per se. They see fish parts making up the furniture & that's gonna bring your company down. 

All this makes some juicy speculations; imagine Fender & Gibson swallowing their egos & merging. Or PRS acquiring Gibson for cheap & forging on. We can't rule out the government from owning/ part owning the company & getting things done. Whatever the case may be, it's a bleak run into the sunset for Gibson. Personally, I have always looked forward to checking Gibson out at the stores expecting to be impressed but that had not been the case. I could have spent good money on Gibsons but I always ended up buying something else. At the very least, Gibson has to ask if their business plan is set in context; you might have the best plan out there but the timing of it all is crucial. What is the buy/sell trend right now? Have you done enough to know what's out there before being out there with the rest who might know more than you. 

Business entities dealing with Gibson; it's the time to re-think & re-consider. I'd just be blunt with you here- renegotiate because you have the upper hand now.