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Guild To Be Sold


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don't you think if they could have sold Hamer they would have done so already?

IMHO there are no real buyers out there.

same for ovation. if they could have sold it they would .

You are probably right. I do think Larry Thomas wanted to give Ovation a shot with that LT60 prototype. Now that he is out of the picture maybe things have changed and they might actively sell Ovation and Hamer. Or maybe they want to slap a different headstock on a Jackson and call it a Hamer California Custom reissue. I don't know. I don't know if they know. What I do know is that all of the builders who moved from Arlington Heights are out of jobs. I also know that there is more to building a Hamer USA than copying some dimensions off a blueprint. If they don't get the process right (for example letting the necks rest for weeks prior to putting the radius on the fingerboard) you end up with a guitar that only resembles the look of a Hamer. There is a short list of people out there that know the process. There is an even shorter list of people that know that process and have the $$$ to make it happen. That is why I mentioned Frank's name. Martin tried to market electric guitars in the past and it didn't work. Maybe they would be willing to give it another try with another established brand name. However, I don't know if the name or equipment is for sale. The name is so tarnished now I don't know if anyone is willing to buy it. If I had to guess, I would bet that someone would be willing to purchase the name, equipment and inventory if they could get it for $250,000.
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Guest gearwhore
I would bet that someone would be willing to purchase the name, equipment and inventory if they could get it for $250,000

how big of building does this take...to have ample space..52x64? 80x100? 200X200?

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Same old issue. You gotta have the product, you gotta have the marketing and you have to have the customers who will pay up.

Reignite the same discussion.......How many of us here that would love to see a new "Hamer" are actually candidates for a new Custom Order starting at $4k or more? How many of us only semi-jokingly are "tree fiddy" guys? Or at least happy with buying VERY NICE used Hamers for $700-$1500? If a person plops down $5k for a new CO (Did I not hear Jol's COs start in the mid $5k range?), what will it be worth a week after delivery?

Real world example.....I have a Huber Dolphin bought used for low $3k range. The guitar that was apparently the inspiration for the Tally Pro. I have a great Tally Pro that I bought (new) for closer to $4k. List was closer to $6k. To get it from Jol these days would apparently be in that ($6k) range. Love it. It is spectacular. I am NOT going to sell it for $2k, but...... The Huber is much better. (Yes, I know....The Dolphin would be more like $7k or more for an equivalent new one today). On the other side, Is there a market for $1000 guitars given some very nice ones from overseas for (street) way under $1k? You gotta sell a lot of SOMETHING to cover the overhead.

So, Hamer failed in trying to go really upscale. Can they make a mass market product that is a good business model? In a world saturated with high quality instruments and a younger generation that MAY not care? I would like to think it possible. I know the idea was floated over the past year or three. Some, including me, like the romantic idea of a resurrection. I have yet to see anything (yes, I fall back on my MBA attitude) that resembles a business plan I would actually invest in. So, the practical side overrules.

Still I hold out hope of Hamer coming back.

I would also like to win the lottery. At least Hamer has better odds. :lol:

well they dont all have to be $5000 customs,Carvin sells USA made guitars bolts-on $7-800 and lots of neck thru under $1500. And Carvin make dam nice guitar...so why cant the quality and price be had with Hamer name and still be profitable.

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They shipped all of the machinery/etc to Arizona? I would think it might almost be cheaper to find a local seller rather than transport it all the way to arizona. Maybe they are going to bulk up custom operations. Who knows.

As for guild, hopefully SOMETHING happens. It's shape to see a storied name get tossed back and forth and have repeated attempts to start production fail.

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Aside from the obvious - you'd better have a kick-ass, detailed business plan/model in place FIRST, before you make a single move.

I don't think FMIC selling Guild was based on full cost recovery. So yes, there could be a (conceivable) play that could be made on the Hamer brand name - I hadn't considered it in that light until reading this thread. The amount and what comes with it are where the details matter.

Again - any serious players considering this better have their fecal matter consolidated. Otherwise, there are fewer ways to turn a couple of million dollars into nothing - in fairly short order.

Just my two cents worth.

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Same old issue. You gotta have the product, you gotta have the marketing and you have to have the customers who will pay up.

Reignite the same discussion.......How many of us here that would love to see a new "Hamer" are actually candidates for a new Custom Order starting at $4k or more? How many of us only semi-jokingly are "tree fiddy" guys? Or at least happy with buying VERY NICE used Hamers for $700-$1500? If a person plops down $5k for a new CO (Did I not hear Jol's COs start in the mid $5k range?), what will it be worth a week after delivery?

Real world example.....I have a Huber Dolphin bought used for low $3k range. The guitar that was apparently the inspiration for the Tally Pro. I have a great Tally Pro that I bought (new) for closer to $4k. List was closer to $6k. To get it from Jol these days would apparently be in that ($6k) range. Love it. It is spectacular. I am NOT going to sell it for $2k, but...... The Huber is much better. (Yes, I know....The Dolphin would be more like $7k or more for an equivalent new one today). On the other side, Is there a market for $1000 guitars given some very nice ones from overseas for (street) way under $1k? You gotta sell a lot of SOMETHING to cover the overhead.

So, Hamer failed in trying to go really upscale. Can they make a mass market product that is a good business model? In a world saturated with high quality instruments and a younger generation that MAY not care? I would like to think it possible. I know the idea was floated over the past year or three. Some, including me, like the romantic idea of a resurrection. I have yet to see anything (yes, I fall back on my MBA attitude) that resembles a business plan I would actually invest in. So, the practical side overrules.

Still I hold out hope of Hamer coming back.

I would also like to win the lottery. At least Hamer has better odds. :lol:

well they dont all have to be $5000 customs,Carvin sells USA made guitars bolts-on $7-800 and lots of neck thru under $1500. And Carvin make dam nice guitar...so why cant the quality and price be had with Hamer name and still be profitable.

Very different approach. While I dug the couple Carvins I've played, they are much more CNC made than Hamers were. I think if you went that way, you'd lose a LOT of the mystique (of course, if the same luthiers aren't there isn't it already gone)?

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Just got a note from my Sweetwater rep:

We do not know what this means for the future of Guild - whether it will re-emerge under new ownership with new models, or whether this is the end. What we DO know is that the 36 Guild models we currently have in our warehouse are now collectors items, and they will likely be the last that we receive. If you've ever thought about owning a Guild guitar or bass, now is the time!

You can see our remaining inventory of Guild instruments here:
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/manufacturer/Guild/

Please let me know right away if you would like one of these. We just have a few in stock, and with today's news, they won't last long.


Collector's Items! That's a way to make lemonade! :)

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the 36 Guild models we currently have in our warehouse are now collectors items

I bet they say the same thing about Ovations as well.

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Willcutt's been saying that about their huge Hamer stock for almost 3 years now too.

One of the big issues facing builders out there right now is that the market for higher end guitars is not doing so well. There is a (rapidly) shrinking market of people with the ability to spend $3-$10k on a new custom guitar when there is a GLUT of other choices out there.

FMIC is clearly feeling it...Gibson is feeling it...PRS is feeling it...

PRS has already adjusted their brand strategy by focusing on a USA-made "workingman's guitar", just like Mike floated by in that thread from a few months ago. These are guitars that are 100% made in the USA and priced below $1,500. Solid stuff too, from what I've seen locally, and not the (mostly) junk that Gibson puts out under their "Faded" series.

Not sure what that means for any future potential for Hamer, but as I understand it, most (if not all) of the stuff that was still in the Hamer part of the New Hartford shop has been either repurposed or moved along to the mothership out west. A current buyer of HAMER Guitars, USA would be buying the name, designs and trade dress. You're most likely not getting any equipment, tooling, parts or partially completed instruments or stock, and there truly is nothing left of the awesome wood stash that was pillaged a few years ago.

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That polara on sweetwater looks interesting, though I think My SG might try to kill it.

Just a shame that they worked pretty hard to recreate the great guild guitars, and now POOF gone again.

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One of the big issues facing builders out there right now is that the market for higher end guitars is not doing so well. There is a (rapidly) shrinking market of people with the ability to spend $3-$10k on a new custom guitar when there is a GLUT of other choices out there.

FMIC is clearly feeling it...Gibson is feeling it...PRS is feeling it...

It was baby-boomers who were buying up the guitars of their dreams in the '80s-'90s when they had the discretionary income to do so. Now 36 million baby boomers are age 60-68, entering retirement, and selling off their collections. There will be 4 million+ boomers entering age 60 and above every year for the next ten years and they will be doing the same. Supply and demand are the plate tectonics of an economy. Lots of older guys who grew up on guitar are ready to sell their collections to generations raised on synth-pop and DJ-scratch hip-hop.

However, our resident Hamer USA luthiers have mad skills, and there is always a niche market for finely crafted instruments. They belong in a craft/luthier environment, not a factory.

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Get real guys.

Fender does Fender charvel and jackson

how big of a leap would it be to make a strat style and tele style body and put a Hamer neck on it?

gee, it ain't like they don't have any experience making those shapes......

If they wanted to do it. they could and they would have done it already.

Yes I know it is more than just slapping a decal on the end of a headstock but serously. if they wanted to keep the brand alive it would be real easy to do it with those two models.

add in set necks and a cruise bass for good measure.

Could it be the infringement on the Gibson style guitars that they are worried about? maybe but charvel has a pile of imports that look like les pauls to me.

so that can't be it either.

IMHO they feel there is no equity to pull out of Hamer. If they could they would. Sure Hamer was a year backed up in custom orders at one point but do you really think that paid the bills? NFW. it was the imports and subsidies from KMC, just like the import ovations kept the usa line alive.

the economy has changed, the demand has changed and the industry has changed. There are more and more musicians accepting lower grade instruments made overseas as thier #1 instrument. There are more and more not good but GREAT quality instruments coming out of Japan, Korea and yes even China and Viet Nam. IT still will take the test of time to find out if these instruments will hold up in the marketplace and if they were made out of quality materials but out of the box many of these instruments play well and if you swap out electronics you got something great.

look at gretsch. the usa stuff was always "sketcky" they went to japan have a consistent quality product and gretsch players will spend 2K on an imported instrument. Sure you want an eddie cochran model you got it made in the custom shop 25K list but you can buy this made in japan one for 5K list. and players go for it. why there is a mystique about gretsch that hamer does not have. except to the true Hamer fan and well if everyone on this board bought a bunch of new Hamers we probably would not be talking about this right now.

the next shoe to drop is GC going under. when that happens we will see who in the industry it will take with them. maybe gibson and fmic for starters

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i was very loyal to Hamer for years and bought many new ones. But, about 6 years ago, I started drinking the EBMusicMan kool aid and found it gave me similar warm fuzzys as the Hamers did. What it didn't have is the HFC. That was the real purpose of Hamer. There aint a squirlier bunch of dorks as us to keep the flame burnin.

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I can say I have been very happy with all of my EBMM basses and guitars. They are well made and versatile, even though the vast majority of guitars are Strat, Tele, and Super strats with bolt-on necks. They have a lot of great features I love, like those oiled necks.

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You don't know what you have until it's gone. I don't like hording instruments. I sold one of my Artist's earlier this month that did not get played that much. However there's an ugly feeling in my gut knowing I'll never pickup up another guitar with that kind of quality for what I sold it for. The other day my wife told me she wanted to sell her 1987 collectors Ovation because she is mostly playing piano now. I told her there is no way that guitar is leaving our house.

As far as Hamer's go I'm down to an Artist and a Studio. The only Hamer I'd be interested in at this point is a Super Pro or Telledega. Like someone posted "It was fun while it lasted". For me personally there is no way I'd pay over 2 K for a guitar in the current market. Huber's are way out of my price range. If Hamer did start up again they would have to be priced just shy of the Huber range. Too spendy for me. I've been looking at used PRS's lately. I like the thinner body and smaller fret board radius. I like the sound of Gibson's and the 12 degree radius but don't like the sticky feel of the finish. Unless it's an exceptional deal I'm just gonna lay low.

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Seems the employees realize the firm is being tarted up for acquisition. Interesting comments about the GC alumni having been recruited to Fender by Thomas. Probably seemed like a logical strategy to him.

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I've seen cronyism ruin a company this way before. In Silicon Valley I worked for the company that first ported Unix to a microprocessor, dramatically bringing the cost of a Unix machine down by 90%. Various high level guys went on to found or co-found several other influential companies, including the VP of mfg. who went on to co-found Sun Microsystems.

After the company got on its feet, the primary venture capitalist fired all the founders--which is why they went on to found other more successful and innovative Unix-based companies--and then brought in a fat cat from National Semiconductor to be CEO. He in turn brought in a bunch of clueless cronies from NatSem, handed out big stock options for them, and (after going public and making fortunes) proceeded to drive the company into the ground with their clueless, hamfisted management. When I started there, stock was trading at around $19/share. By the time I left, exactly a year later, it was down to $2/share and never recovered. It closed down about a year after I left.

What genius thought it would be a good idea to pluck an executive from a drowning company like GC to try to "save" FMIC? It's a pity, actually, given the courage exhibited by Fender employees in 1985 when they put their resources together and got financial backing to shake loose from CBS Musical Instruments after 20 years of their hamfisted mishandling, not only of Fender, but of Rogers Drums, Steinway Pianos, and other companies under the CBS Musical Instruments umbrella.

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