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What Can Framus / Warwick Learn From Gibson Financial Issues?

Discussion in 'Maddrakkett's Caffe' started by Hector, Feb 22, 2018.

  1. Hector

    Hector Moderator Staff Member

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    With US guitar sales in steady decline, Gibson being in the financial crisis it's in, Fender still 100 million USD in debt and Warwick/Framus cancelling Bass/Guitar Camp 2018, I'm wondering if what Cory Mura says in his video below could apply to more than just Gibson. ie: should Framus/Warwick do something to revolutionize their guitar / bass offering other than releasing new guitars that are essentially the same as the current ones / recycling older models from the 70s/90s ?

    It seems to me that Framus is concentrating on making custom shop models of it's existing lines of guitars with well executed, albeit sometimes strange, finishes.

    Their current standard (Teambuilt, non-Artist Series) guitar lineup includes:

    Diablo - Essentially a Strat copy. Bolt-on neck, 25.5" scale length.

    - Diablo Pro, plain finish, Seymour Duncan SCR-1N, SSL-1, TB-4 JB. Thomann Price : €1869 (incl VAT)

    - Diablo Supreme, flame/gloss finish, Seymour Duncan SSH-1N & SSH-4. Thomann Price : can’t find one, but it’s more expensive than the Pro


    Panthera - Essentially a Les Paul copy. Set neck, 24.75" scale length

    - Panthera Pro, plain finish, Seymour Duncan SSH-2N & SSH-4. Thomann Price : can’t find one, but it’s less expensive than the Supreme

    - Panthera Supreme, flame/gloss finish, Seymour Duncan SSH-1N & SSH-4. Thomann Price : €2705 (incl VAT)

    Panthera II Supreme - Released in 2017, a redesigned Panthera, shape is a bit of a love/hate / acquired taste. This used to be a stand-alone product on the website, now it comes under Panthera as a sub-product. Only available in flametop gloss finish with Seymour Duncan APH-1 and SH-11
    Thomann Price : €2590 (incl VAT)


    The Blank - Launched in 2017, a single cut design that is both Les Paul and Telecaster at the same time. Bolt-on neck, 25.5" scale length.

    - The Blank T - Single coil version, Seymour Duncan STR-3 and STL-3

    - The Blank H - Humbucker version, Seymour Duncan SH-1 and SH-4 (same as my Renegade)

    Thomann Price : €2045 (incl VAT)


    Television - Launched in 2017. Set neck, 24.75" scale length. Available in flametop glossy, satin black or painted solid colours. Design is a love/hate acquired taste.

    - Television P90, Seymour Duncan P90 neck & bridge

    - Television Humbucker, Seymour Duncan APH-1 neck & bridge

    I cannot find these for sale anywhere using Google.


    Mayfield - Essentially a Gibson ES 335 copy, set neck with 24.75” scale length. Some are flame top with burst, other solid stain.

    - Mayfield Pro, flame top, Seymour Duncan SSH-1N & SSH-4

    - Mayfield Legacy, normal top, Seymour Duncan vintage Soapbar P90s

    I cannot find these for sale anywhere using Google.


    Idolmaker - Design is unique (personally, I do not like it at all) It looks like an art-nouveau take on a piece of furniture from the 50s/60s. Set neck with 25.5” scale length.

    - Idolmaker, flame top, Seymour Duncan SH-1N CCO & SH-4B CCO. Thomann Price : € 2699

    - Idolmaker 5’R, solid colours, 3x Seymour Duncan STK-4. I cannot find one for sale anywhere using Google.


    Cory Mura's video on Gibson:

     
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  2. Henrythe8

    Henrythe8 Dolphin Hoarder

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    Let's see it the other way around.
    On the used market, any bass that is not a Fender is hard to sell. A crapy Fender P Bass is easier to sell than a crappy Vester. (To name a company that copied the thumb).
    The market has a duality : there is tons of inventions to revolutionaize the market. Foldable guitars. 3D printed guitars. Effects fot hte acoustic guitars that works unamplified. LED filled guitars (Lawallin). My Facebook feed is full of Kickstarter campaigns that raised 2500% f their goal with revolutionnary ideas.
    And yet.
    Have you heard of those ? I don't think so.
    Gibson offered the Auto-Tuners on their headstock. It was a flop. People didn't want to have bulky things that costs a fortune. Aftermarket, maybe, but OEM ? NAh.

    In the 70ies and 80ies, Gibson and Fender tried many different shapes (Remember the Fender Katana ? ), that are long gone.

    All the "revolutions" are confidentials. The twisted neck on Ergonomic basses, for example.

    There are very few guitarists and bassists that are implicated in the design of revolutionnary instrument. (Except Steve Vaï and the 7-strings Jem... and even so, it's not very revolutionnary.

    The thing is, I don't have a grasp on the market's logic in music instrument. But most of players don't go for something really weird and revolutionnary, because... when they want to sell it, they'll lose money.
     
  3. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    There are too many guitars and basses in the world already hence the decline in sales.

    Keeping the operation small and quality high is therefor key. Fender and gibson were producing how many copies a year? Also their demands on resellers through their distributors are INSANE so only big internet shops can afford to stock them and have profit. The big brands have been destroying small specialized guitarshops through their demands. Frankly they had this coming. Karma is a bitch.
     
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  4. Hector

    Hector Moderator Staff Member

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    Necro-posting here..

    I agree DiMarco, there are too many guitars and basses out there, and too many brands, and too many good copies of brands, and way too many bad copies of brands. I do wonder when we will reach peak guitar / peak bass, when the world does not need any more.

    And yes, keeping quality exceptional and a small operation is key, so long as you can maintain dominance in the niche market, but have you ever seen the size of the Warwick / Framus factory? It's actually not that small, I visited it once a few years ago, but they were closed over the summer holiday period: Google Maps

    That being said, I'm not negative towards Framus/Warwick, quite the opposite!
     
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  5. aenox

    aenox

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    If Warwick lowered the prices on their customs and made them accessible to the general public, the sales would rise exponentially.

    Charging 12,500 euros for a Dolphin Pro I, 5-String - Sandblasted Solid Nirvana Black Satin[​IMG][​IMG] is way too expensive for the common plebeian.....
     
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  6. Hector

    Hector Moderator Staff Member

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    Custom Shop stuff is always insanely priced from most brands, but €12k does is more than excessive imo.

    I have been seeing this trend a lot. Companies will begin charging some incredible prices for the top-end products because "why not?", this then trickles down into even the lower-spec / base models, meaning they are then priced outside the reach of the people who actually use them. For example: in 2017 you could purchase a Gibson SG Special for +/- USD 700. The same spec guitar (now called a Tribute) is USD 1250.

    In defense of Framus, I don't see that they have done that at all (maybe they will, maybe they won't?). Example: I purchased my Framus Renegade 8 years ago for +/- €1400 from Thomann. It is a "base" model with, stained swamp ash with bolt on neck, SD pickups etc. The Renegade is no longer in production, but the current Diablo is pretty much the same spec (stained swamp ash, bolt-on neck, same SD pickups) and retails for €1700 on Thomann. So, the price went up a bit in 8 years (and Framus did announce a price increase a year or two back).

    Granted, I don't follow Warwick prices, but I imagine that if you can live with a Teambuilt model, instead of Masterbuilt or Custom, then odds are you won't be paying insane prices.
     
  7. Foal30

    Foal30 Supporting Member

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    How about:

    Not recalling hundreds of Firebirds then running a Bulldozer over them
     
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