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Well, it was fun....... but it's over.


BCR Greg

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A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

Again I never new Leo Fender. I was just repeating what I was told by a co-worker who was way more musically talented than myself and has more music experience then anyone I ever knew. I will say I tend to believe the statement more than I would dismiss it. The fact that Fender is dumping Hamer would also kind of support that idea in my mind.

So more than 60 years after its founding, two changes in ownership, and 22 years after the founder's death, you give credence to a "coworker's" statement" based on what the current Fender company did with Hamer, a division that's been on life support for years?

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I know I haven't posted in a while, but I always check posts on this board. As someone who was deeply involved with Hamer for many years and who owns a stack of them, this news is not unexpected but s

Eh. As long as the guys at the factory are still employed... then no harm. Come one, admit it: We were all trading and selling and buying used Hamers 'cos they're too damn pricey for 99% of us new. Sa

Great names have come and gone throughout our lives, and will continue to do so long after we're gone. The best we can do is relish the memory, and appreciate & enjoy the legacy. With my Newpor

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A co-worker once told me "Leo Fender's mo-to was build it as cheap as possible and sell it as hight a possible". Should have know Hamer would not last in that kind of environment.

That's a pretty lame basis to make such a sweeping judgment of a man and the company he founded.

It could be an accurate judgment, considering it's the credo of damn near every businessperson who ever lived.

It may be the credo of Anheuser-Busch, but not Anchor Steam...or Redhook, or Pyramid, Dogfish, etc. It may be the attitude of Microsoft, but it wasn't the philosophy of Steve Jobs--not by a long shot. There are plenty of people who started businesses to sincerely fill a need and do it well.

Read the accounts by George Fullerton, Bill Carson, Dick Dale, and others who interacted with Leo in the early days. The Stratocaster is not only the first ergonomically designed electric guitar, it's probably the first ergonomically designed musical instrument. He came to the design through feedback from field-testing. He came up with the Showman amp to meet Dick Dale's need for high clean volume. A charlatan doesn't do that. The genius of Leo is that he introduced cost-effective manufacturing methods to make professional quality, long-lasting instruments for the gigging musicians of SoCal of the time.

$37.89 to build a guitar in the mid-'50s? That's about right. The rule of thumb is that a manufactured product has to sell for 4-5 times the cost of manufacture to make it into the black. The cost per unit is usually based on parts and labor, but doesn't include rent or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, or marketing. Markup also has to cover the cost of shipping, distribution, and has to have enough profit built in so the retailer can pay his taxes, utilities, payroll, rent, etc. besides the wholesale price of the guitar itself. Five times $37.89 is $189.45, which is what the instruments sold for then. In today's money, $37.89 is over $320, which is the manufacturing cost for a $1500 instrument. That's hardly crap.

As for a lot of the "mojo" of the early instruments and parts, much of it was happy accidents. Leo may have chuckled, but he unknowingly was working in a perfect storm of parts and technology--scatter-wound pickups (lowers inductance), cloth-insulated wire (less capacitance), point-to-point wiring (durable and repairable), multi-ply amp cabinets (strong and light), US-made tubes and transformers (rugged, good-sounding), old growth wood, nitrocellulose lacquer, and hand finishing because there were no machines to work to that level of precision back then, no polyurethane finishes, no pickup winding machines, very little plastic insulation, no Chinese and Russian tubes. Leo may not have seen what the big deal was--he was just working with the available materials. But 60 years of hindsight says that these were great materials and methods to build electric guitars and amps.

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I started the above screed but didn't see any hot links, so I lost interest.

My dog ate 'em.

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Maybe everyone you listed is on the other side of "damn near." Or maybe they've done a masterful job at portraying themselves as the businesspeople you and others want them to be. Your inclusion of Steve Jobs is a dead giveaway on the latter possibility. Maybe he started out as you describe, but he damn well didn't end up that way. Anyone who manufactures overseas is trying to maximize profits by any means necessary. Period.

It may be the credo of Anheuser-Busch, but not Anchor Steam...or Redhook, or Pyramid, Dogfish, etc. It may be the attitude of Microsoft, but it wasn't the philosophy of Steve Jobs--not by a long shot. There are plenty of people who started businesses to sincerely fill a need and do it well.

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Maybe everyone you listed is on the other side of "damn near." Or maybe they've done a masterful job at portraying themselves as the businesspeople you and others want them to be. Your inclusion of Steve Jobs is a dead giveaway on the latter possibility. Maybe he started out as you describe, but he damn well didn't end up that way. Anyone who manufactures overseas is trying to maximize profits by any means necessary. Period.

No, not "period." That's just the dogmatic opinion of a cynic. There are lots of entrepreneurs who've moved manufacturing to China because they can't stay in business otherwise. They aren't all greedy bastards. Some have to face the bitter choice of sending mfg to China (or Indonesia or Taiwan) or shutting down altogether.

Nothing and no one is perfect, but not everyone and everything is driven by some seamy underbelly. And Leo most of all doesn't deserve the ripping he's getting in this thread based on the flimsiest of rumor and innuendo.

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There are lots of entrepreneurs who've moved manufacturing to China because they can't stay in business otherwise. They aren't all greedy bastards. Some have to face the bitter choice of sending mfg to China (or Indonesia or Taiwan) or shutting down altogether.

The deification of Jobs over the years is off the charts, and your point above is just another example of it.

He had to choose (according to you) "sending mfg to China (or Indonesia or Taiwan) or shutting down altogether."

So, he had "the bitter choice" of shutting down (a multibillionaire) or sending manufacturing to these sweat shops whose labor tactics are just lateral step from slavery. These people are getting violently ill from the work environment, that is, if they don't kill themselves first.

He had a choice and he chose money over humanity. And yes...Period.

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^^^

Exactly. Even if JB wasn't referring solely to Jobs in his response (and I don't think he was), in general terms, choosing to keep your own business afloat at the expense of others who don't have the benefit of American labor laws and workplace regulations is perhaps the ultimate expression of greed.

There's cynicism, and then there's rationalization.

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Jobs seems to be beyond all reproach. The criticisms of the other billionaire businessmen somehow don't apply to him.

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Jobs seems to be beyond all reproach. The criticisms of the other billionaire businessmen somehow don't apply to him.

Classic cult of personality. As is the case, albeit to a lesser degree, with Leo Fender.

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There are lots of entrepreneurs who've moved manufacturing to China because they can't stay in business otherwise. They aren't all greedy bastards. Some have to face the bitter choice of sending mfg to China (or Indonesia or Taiwan) or shutting down altogether.

The deification of Jobs over the years is off the charts, and your point above is just another example of it.

He had to choose (according to you) "sending mfg to China (or Indonesia or Taiwan) or shutting down altogether."

So, he had "the bitter choice" of shutting down (a multibillionaire) or sending manufacturing to these sweat shops whose labor tactics are just lateral step from slavery. These people are getting violently ill from the work environment, that is, if they don't kill themselves first.

He had a choice and he chose money over humanity. And yes...Period.

The mention of Jobs was in the context of entrepreneurs and various business models. The discussion of companies sending mfg to China was in a different post altogether and made no mention of Jobs.

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I am not surprised in fact it really have been a question of when for me. The bottom line for Fender or any large-ish company is money. There just wasnt enough demand for Hamers to justify the cost of devoting highly skilled american workers and overhead to it. A small company can be happy with a little profit from a labor of love whereas big company says these resources can be produce more revenue doing something else. I cant blame Fender for that its simple and the truth.

Do I feel bummed? A little, but they werent going to make me my checkerboard standard anyway and that was really the only new guitar that they could make that I wanted. I can buy all the great stuff that they made now used.

Now for the real problem. The best used guitar value out there is soon to disappear as price go up and supply diminishes. Get ready and I hope you have what you want cause it aint getting cheaper.

Even with out Hamer the HFC is the best damn messageboard with the greatest members ever.

I somehow missed all of these discussions until Friday. Surprise? No. Sadness? Damn right.

The thing about the used prices, I don't know if I see them climbing that much. If the market was weak to begin with, I don't think demand is going to be that high. The brand has been struggling for how long? It seems as though the overwhelming majority forgot about them a long time ago.

I guess there goes my dream for a new Cali or Phantom GT....

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Jobs changed the world, Fender changed music... regardless of the inevitable distortions, right or wrong, long from now they will be remembered for what they made and not how they made it... period. :D

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Jobs changed the world, Fender changed music... regardless of the inevitable distortions, right or wrong, long from now they will be remembered for what they made and not how they made it... period. :D

Agreed. Let's just dispel the notion that they were driven primarily by altruism.

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Jobs changed the world, Fender changed music... regardless of the inevitable distortions, right or wrong, long from now they will be remembered for what they made and not how they made it... period. :D

Agreed. Let's just dispel the notion that they were driven primarily by altruism.

That doesn't mean they were necessarily driven by greed, either. I'm not out to deify anybody, but if somebody's going to be demonized it should be based on more than what a co-worker said someone said.

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That doesn't mean they were necessarily driven by greed, either. I'm not out to deify anybody, but if somebody's going to be demonized it should be based on more than what a co-worker said someone said.

For the record, I didn't use the word "greed" initially. I just wanted to reiterate that any businessperson whose top priority isn't reducing overhead won't be in business very long. The extent to which that reduction is achieved and the methodologies involved are what bring greed into play.

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"Greed is good."

greed-is-good.jpg

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Here’s the real (according to The Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary) definition of “greed”:

“a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed”

And here’s the politically-correct (according to Wikipedia) definition:

“Greed is the inordinate desire to possess wealth, goods, or objects of abstract value with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort. It is applied to a markedly high desire for and pursuit of wealth, status, and power.

As a secular psychological concept, greed is, similarly, an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. It is typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, although it may apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else.”

I suppose having more than one guitar, amp, car, motorcycle, etc. puts a person “far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort.”

I don’t think Leo Fender or Steve Jobs had aspirations of merely “basic survival and comfort.” I don’t and I don’t know anyone else who does either.

Have we drifted off topic or what…

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I actually need more than one guitar because each guitar invigorates the different creative centers within my psyche. My intention to have at least a dozen instruments at all times is not driven by greed, but rather my beneficent efforts to enlighten the world with the aural pleasures that come from the dulcet melodies of Alice Cooper.

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Leo Fender could barely strum a G chord...exactly the same thing could be said of Theodore McCarty...his biggest concern with the shipments of curly maple at Gibson was whether he could swing a big enough deal so he could have enough fancy wood to panel his dining room walls BEFORE he gave a whit about the tops of Les Pauls.

There isn't anyhing wrong with this; just remember it was all about business, and the aforementioned two weren't really very concerned with producing any sort of "magic" sound...they were about making a buck for their companies. I'm sure if either of them had even the slightest idea of what a 1958 Strat or a 1958 Lester would be worth 20 years after the fact, they probably would have stashed a few in a closet somewhere for sale later.

Also, remember the basic fact that in a blind sound test, 99.9 percent of the "tone snobs" on the planet, myself included, couldn't tell the difference between a 2004 Strat and a 1962 Strat.

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Also, remember the basic fact that in a blind sound test, 99.9 percent of the "tone snobs" on the planet, myself included, couldn't tell the difference between a 2004 Strat and a 1962 Strat.

I love you, man.

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I actually need more than one guitar because each guitar invigorates the different creative centers within my psyche. My intention to have at least a dozen instruments at all times is not driven by greed, but rather my beneficent efforts to enlighten the world with the aural pleasures that come from the dulcet melodies of Alice Cooper.

Very well said, Mr. Haynie. I'll have to use that one at home... B)

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Also, remember the basic fact that in a blind sound test, 99.9 percent of the "tone snobs" on the planet, myself included, couldn't tell the difference between a 2004 Strat and a 1962 Strat.

That kind of attitude will get you thrown the fuck off the Gear Page, guy.

So will a reply of "fuck her already and get it over with" in a thread started by a landscaper about how an old lady client of his had a habit of watching his every move whenever he cut her grass. Ask me how I know!

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