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Gibson Acquires Mesa Boogie - WTF?


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So yeah, there was a bunch of rumors flying yesterday, and it looks like it's official.

WHAT THE HELL.

https://www.gibson.com/News/Gibson-and-Mesa-Boogie

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NASHVILLE, TN - (January 6, 2021) Gibson, the iconic American instrument brand, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Mesa/Boogie, one of the most respected and prestigious brands in sound and guitar amplification. Mesa/Boogie – the original "Boutique" amplifier company – was founded 51 years ago by Randy Smith, who is responsible for creating the ground-breaking circuits that drive some of the most influential sounds of our time. Randy will join Gibson as Master Designer and Pioneer of Mesa/Boogie and beyond. In his new role, Randy will continue his passion for tube technology and his vision for building hand-crafted, high performance amplifiers, that continue to redefine how we experience sound across Mesa/Boogie and Gibson.

 

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Expect an Epiphone-like budget line manufactured offshore. Let's call it 'Mesa-Budgie'...

Their old amps were pretty good. I'm just really concerned with Gibson's ability to buy a good brand and run it into the ground. Like their current "portfolio" of brands. They have repeatedly sho

What could possibly go wrong with a sub-brand to market to a new generation? from Imgflip Meme Generator    

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Yikes.

I'm glad I got my Boogie(s) when I did. I'm thinking the new line will look something like this:

SG Systems Amp.jpg

 

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17 minutes ago, 79Sunburst said:

For the first time, Gibson will manufacture a decent amp. Although I used to kinda dig the old Lab Series. 

Their old amps were pretty good. I'm just really concerned with Gibson's ability to buy a good brand and run it into the ground.

Like their current "portfolio" of brands. They have repeatedly shown themselves to be the Harley Davidson of the Music world.

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5 minutes ago, tbonesullivan said:

I'm just really concerned with Gibson's ability to buy a good brand and run it into the ground.

^^^ This. ^^^

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Well, Henry Jackoff is gone, so this might actually turn out OK for Mesa/Boogie brand.  If Henry was still CEO (and he really wasn't savvy enought to orchestrate a deal as logical as this one),  he wouldn't be able to resist doing something profoundly stupid with the product line....like mandating that every new Boogie amp have robotic knob turners installed at the factory (a la modern day "Whizzer"). 

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2 minutes ago, Biz Prof said:

Well, Henry Jackoff is gone, so this might actually turn out OK for Mesa/Boogie brand.  If Henry was still CEO (and he really wasn't savvy enought to orchestrate a deal as logical as this one),  he wouldn't be able to resist doing something profoundly stupid with the product line....like mandating that every new Boogie amp have robotic knob turners installed at the factory (a la modern day "Whizzer"). 

Don't forget Henry J pretty much gutting their AR dept and installing his son to take care of it.

Though, now I wonder with Gibson owning an amp company, will they look the other way when their endorsers are standing in front of Marshall Stacks.  Also might put John Petrucci in a strange place, as the ONLY person to ever receive a Signature Amp, and also a DIE HARD Ernie Ball Musicman user.

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I’m anticipating a premium being attached to used Mesas with the distinction of being “Pre-Gibson”

But, maybe I’m wrong because they’ve been in business for 50 years and there are so many of them available...

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.  🍿

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Owned at least one for years, I love my ElectraDyne and miss my Mark III Black Dot!

Depends on how much Gibson gets involved in their actual operations, but I can see future LIMITED EDITION Gibson/Boogie gear for those with huge bank accounts in the near future. 

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14 minutes ago, Drew816 said:

Owned at least one for years, I love my ElectraDyne and miss my Mark III Black Dot!

Depends on how much Gibson gets involved in their actual operations, but I can see future LIMITED EDITION Gibson/Boogie gear for those with huge bank accounts in the near future. 

And, each year, a new "even more true to historic specs" version of the classics......And only a matter of time until we get the Tom Murphy hand relic aged  limited editions.....

 

Next up, Gibson buys Rolex and introduces a line of entry level watches.

Edited by django49
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Was Randall Smith looking at the immediate money rather than his legacy?  It makes business sense for a guy who is 75 years old, but Boogie has been his reputation for most of his life. 

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31 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

The cheap offshore entry level amps with a Boogie nameplate are a reasonable expectation.  Look for the prices of the current line to shoot up, too. 

Piggybacking on Haynie's train of thought here...

Back in '93, I went to Fat Sound in Cary, NC and bought my first-and-only brand new Mesa Boogie product--a V-Twin preamp pedal.  The manager, Kim, was a good guy and was willing to cut his customers better deals than anyone else in the area (to wit, I got my P-90 Special there for $550 out the door), and as I tried to dicker with him on the price of the V-Twin, he explained to me that dealers got virtually no wiggle room based on a tiny margin.  Basically, he was saying M/B maintained a death grip on MSRP/MAP and managed that control via their invoice cost to the dealers.   With that in mind, this really does suggest that the street prices will go up quite a bit under Gibson ownership.

Edited by Biz Prof
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That makes a ton of sense. They can combine distribution channels and a lot of operational functions. No cannibalizing one another's lines of business, and both have strong legacies. With good management and marketing, it could work well. I have no idea of the financials involved, so that could blow it all up.

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20 minutes ago, Biz Prof said:

Piggybacking on Haynie's train of thought here...

Back in '93, I went to Fat Sound in Cary, NC and bought my first-and-only brand new Mesa Boogie product--a V-Twin preamp pedal.  The manager, Kim, was a good guy and was willing to cut his customers better deals than anyone else in the area (to wit, I got my P-90 Special there for $550 out the door), and as I tried to dicker with him on the price of the V-Twin, he explained to me that dealers got virtually no wiggle room based on a tiny margin.  Basically, he was saying M/B maintained a death grip on MSRP/MAP and managed that control via their invoice cost to the dealers.   With that in mind, this really does suggest that the street prices will go up quite a bit under Gibson ownership.

Last (long ago) I bought new gear at Mesa Boogie Hollywood (a four figure purchase) there was not a cent of discount to be had. However, Jimbo DID give me 30% off on a bag full of George L cables....

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Not seeing how this benefits the Boogie brand. Can't blame Randall for cashing in after all the years. Hope he can stay involved as he wishes and enjoy post-middle age.

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24 minutes ago, Biz Prof said:

Piggybacking on Haynie's train of thought here...

Back in '93, I went to Fat Sound in Cary, NC and bought my first-and-only brand new Mesa Boogie product--a V-Twin preamp pedal.  The manager, Kim, was a good guy and was willing to cut his customers better deals than anyone else in the area (to wit, I got my P-90 Special there for $550 out the door), and as I tried to dicker with him on the price of the V-Twin, he explained to me that dealers got virtually no wiggle room based on a tiny margin.  Basically, he was saying M/B maintained a death grip on MSRP/MAP and managed that control via their invoice cost to the dealers.   With that in mind, this really does suggest that the street prices will go up quite a bit under Gibson ownership.

 

1 minute ago, django49 said:

Last (long ago) I bought new gear at Mesa Boogie Hollywood (a four figure purchase) there was not a cent of discount to be had. However, Jimbo DID give me 30% off on a bag full of George L cables....

Back in 2000 when I got my Nomad, there was a little-known "professional courtesy" agreement between M/B and the company I work for. There was a lot of paperwork involved and I had to wait for the next batch of Nomads to be built, but I ended up paying considerably less than retail. I mailed a cashier's check to M/B and they shipped the amp directly to me.

By the time I bought my Mark Five in 2015, though, that deal was long gone and I had to pay full price like everybody else.

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16 minutes ago, Dana_V said:

I mailed a cashier's check to M/B and they shipped the amp directly to me.

Sounds a bit like how Hamer USA transacted custom orders for "artists."

 

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1 hour ago, Biz Prof said:

Piggybacking on Haynie's train of thought here...

Back in '93, I went to Fat Sound in Cary, NC and bought my first-and-only brand new Mesa Boogie product--a V-Twin preamp pedal.  The manager, Kim, was a good guy and was willing to cut his customers better deals than anyone else in the area (to wit, I got my P-90 Special there for $550 out the door), and as I tried to dicker with him on the price of the V-Twin, he explained to me that dealers got virtually no wiggle room based on a tiny margin.  Basically, he was saying M/B maintained a death grip on MSRP/MAP and managed that control via their invoice cost to the dealers.   With that in mind, this really does suggest that the street prices will go up quite a bit under Gibson ownership.

a local shop that carried Boogie told me the same thing about a decade back - there was very little money to made on Boogies and deviating from MAP was almost guaranteed to cost you losing the brand if word got back to Boogie.

I've played Boogies for years, and the basement has a few (hey Not Steve - that Mk2B wasn't too bad, right? lol).  With the change in command at Gibson, who knows if these guys handle acquisitions any better than Gibson's prior history burning down otherwise decent brands.  At least it's not all that hard to find used Boogies.

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Mesa has kept great records for years of amps and owners, service etc. When I sold my 1981 Mark llB I had the buyer contact Mesa and they had a complete record of the history of that amp. When I had it worked on etc. Pretty impressive!!

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I'm REALLY glad to hear this info.

 

I was wondering when would be the right time to unload my MIIC+ Boogie amps.

 

NOW I can sell these VINTAGE PRE-GIBSON Boogies and maybe make some good profit.

 

 

Edited by Texsunburst59
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Glad I picked up my current pre-Gibson Royal Atlantic !  LOL.  Love the pre-Gibson from Travis. It is so going down like that. 

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