What the Hell Is Happening at Gibson Guitar?

Throughout history, Gibson has blessed us with some truly beautiful instruments. Their innovations helped make Gibson one of the world’s most famous guitar makers. Speaking of that—how is Gibson doing, these days?

It's no rumor that the iconic guitar company faces seemingly endless troubles stemming from enraged micromanaging CEO and a product line perceived as shoddy and overpriced. Based on what we’ve heard lately, it is not a great employer or maker of guitars. Like many of you, I was a little skeptical when Gibson announced the rise of self-tuning systems in 2008 and the creation of plastic circuit boards. Nevertheless, most of us stuck with the company in the hope that they would dazzle us with something great again.

Mr. Hamilton Nolan wrote an enlightening article back in 2015 called "Gibson Guitar Is a Remarkably Unpopular Company." Despite an ENRAGED email from the company’s famously unlikeable CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz. The article almost went viral undermining the company's so-called value system. Stating the views of customers and the accounts of members of staff.

One story read:

"I used to work at a guitar store in Richmond, VA. It was a mom and pop shop that grew to be one of the top selling Taylor retailers in the country. All the while staying in a town home duplex. There isn’t a lot of space, but the guitars never stayed on the wall very long. We sold Martin, Taylor, Fender, Huss & Dalton (custom acoustics from Stanton, VA) and for a short period, Gibson. The shop stopped carrying Gibson for the exact reason you have written here. The quality was crap and working with them was a nightmare. Even after we stopped carrying Gibson, we would have people bring them in, brand new, to be setup. The tuners on the $1,000+ models were as cheap as the Chinese knockoffs. The necks were incredibly off and difficult to keep straight. The frets needed a level & dress from day 1."

The internet is littered with employees decrying the “toxic environment” inside Gibson thanks to its “narcissistic” CEO, and the company’s own Facebook page is littered with comments from fans and customers decrying the latest models as too expensive and of too low quality. Of course, when it’s impossible to get official confirmation of all the rumors you hear, you never can say definitively that they’re true.

Thanks to the CEO of Gibson the secondary used market is exploding as the market for new Gibson’s is declining. Gibson has always been the largest manufacturer of highly sought after “boutique guitars”.

On many accounts, it seems that the company has become very exploitative of their customer base and is experimenting and destroying perfection. If it isn't broke, don’t fix it. The world is full of great used pre bad decision Gibson. What have you heard about Gibson lately?