Gibson bought Mesa

Make it loud here.
User avatar
Unicorn Warrior
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 2426
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: Kentucky, USA

Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:35 am

Idk..Gibsons quality is better, but I have a feeling that the Mesa Boogie we all know and love is no more.

Thoughts on how this merge will impact Mesa?

User avatar
HarlowTheFish
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by HarlowTheFish » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:51 pm

Random releases and reworks of stuff that needed neither, plenty of "modern" takes on the Mark I/Mark IIB and C+ for blues lawyers who love Santana and old rocker guys who love Metallica, higher prices, and lower QC -- if they're taking charge and making changes, that is. If they're buying Mesa but leaving everything alone to just skim some money off the top, probably just higher prices.

User avatar
Veitchy
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1002
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:12 am
Location: Robe, South Australia

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Veitchy » Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:31 pm

I think they'd be running a bit of a risk if they tried to mess with the formula too much. Mesa have a pretty good thing going in terms of balancing price and quality, particularly for a USA brand. They've been kicking some goals IMO in terms of their model lineup the last few years too.
HarlowTheFish wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:51 pm
If they're buying Mesa but leaving everything alone to just skim some money off the top, probably just higher prices.
This'd be ideal, though I wouldn't want to see the prices hike too much. Than again, It's not like they're buying a company to break even on it...

BTW, if they feel like putting the King Snake back into production that'd be great.

User avatar
Pepe Silvia
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5309
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 11:44 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Pepe Silvia » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:07 pm

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:51 pm
Random releases and reworks of stuff that needed neither, plenty of "modern" takes on the Mark I/Mark IIB and C+ for blues lawyers who love Santana and old rocker guys who love Metallica, higher prices, and lower QC -- if they're taking charge and making changes, that is. If they're buying Mesa but leaving everything alone to just skim some money off the top, probably just higher prices.
I really want to try a Mesa Mark I. One of my favorite albums was made with one with some great crunchy guitar tones, Weezer's Blue Album. All the demos on YouTube are for blues lawyers.

User avatar
HarlowTheFish
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by HarlowTheFish » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:21 pm

Pepe Silvia wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:07 pm
HarlowTheFish wrote:
Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:51 pm
Random releases and reworks of stuff that needed neither, plenty of "modern" takes on the Mark I/Mark IIB and C+ for blues lawyers who love Santana and old rocker guys who love Metallica, higher prices, and lower QC -- if they're taking charge and making changes, that is. If they're buying Mesa but leaving everything alone to just skim some money off the top, probably just higher prices.
I really want to try a Mesa Mark I. One of my favorite albums was made with one with some great crunchy guitar tones, Weezer's Blue Album. All the demos on YouTube are for blues lawyers.
You're (kind of) in luck -- they did an amp years ago called the Son of Boogie, which was a 1x12 (maybe other configs, but I've only seen this) that's basically a more production-ready Mark I. I dunno what they go for now, but maybe a year or two ago they were decently available and around the $800 range. A bit odd, but there's also the Nomad line, which is basically a cheap Mark (I think Mark IV, because it had dedicated EQ per channel), with 45, 60, and 100-watt variants. I've messed with a 45, and the Extreme mode (basically gunning the poor EL-84s in the thing) is easily my favorite Mesa tone. Even the 100-watt Nomad doesn't go for much over $1000, and I keep seeing the 45 around $500 but only when I don't have the cash to spare :(

User avatar
stevejamsecono
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 3884
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:55 am
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Contact:

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by stevejamsecono » Wed Jan 06, 2021 5:26 pm

Doomed. A sad day for amplification. I mean look at this shithead:

Image

Mr. Mean Jeans here is gonna be looking over Mesa's shoulder. Sigh.
And you find out life isn't like that
It's so hard to understand
Why the world is your oyster but your future's a clam

User avatar
zhivago
Mods
Mods
Posts: 20975
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:18 am
Location: London, UK

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by zhivago » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:33 am

I don't share the doom and gloom, nor do I think that the new CEO is a shithead...his track record proves he is actually fairly smart. ???

He has surrounded himself with guitar-player/enthusiasts like Ceasar and Mark Agnessi (love him or hate him his retail experience is very valuable), that know what most people nowadays want. There may be the odd person here and there that disagrees (and lord knows I have read enough threads on The Gear Page with that sentiment), but the sales figures speak for themselves.

The overwhelming majority LOVES the new Gibsons. The company is nothing like the Henry years. Especially the last 5 years of Henry's reign - let's not forget that initially he saved Gibson.

Keeping the above in mind, in my view, if the new Gibson team applies the same tactics to the Boogie brand, they will most likely re-issue the most successful models from the past. The amps that Santana guys play and Metallica guys play and Limp Bizkit and all that. And they should. there is a market for it and they are a business. I don't see how this is a bad thing.

Will they be more expensive? Possibly/probably/who knows? But just about everything is more expensive nowadays. People pay hundreds of dollars (or pounds, or Euros, or whatever) for Squiers.

Love them or hate them (and I honestly don't think it matters which way that one goes), the new Gibson team has worked wonders in a very short space of time, with excellent reissues of the classics 99% of people in the real world want...in all price points, while also catering for modern players. Why wouldn't they apply the same successful formula to Boogie? Give people what they want - rake the money in.

I don't see what the fuss is...does anyone really think that Randall Smith is going to live forever, making amps and doing customer service? The poor guy probably just wants to semi/retire and take it easy...hence the whole "Master Designer” title. To me it looks like a logical step. And a great step. He should be rewarded for his contribution in the amp world.

Would it be better if Gibson didn't buy the brand and it was sold to some random company that only uses the name and designs all sorts of monstrosities - much like it has currently happened with the D'Angelico brand? ???

Just some food for thought.
Resident Spartan.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 16022
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:41 am

Right, like they could have been bought by Behringer or something.

And while it's nice that Gibson is getting credit for a "turnaround", and I have two very recent ES-335s that are wonderful, the Henry J years are going to hold up as classics down the road, anyway.

My only thing is that Gibson entered bankruptcy fairly recently not because the guitar sales tanked due to poor "quality control" as the internet would want you to think, but because Henry J went apeshit buying a bunch of other companies at great expense that either completely lost money or just were shuttered outright.

Why Gibson would have bought Onkyo, for instance, I won't be able to tell you. And that was one of the better purchases!

I guess you can say that Mesa Boogie is a guitar related move and not some bullshit lifestyle brand re-positioning like if Gibson invested in some sous vide cookers, still, if Gibson can't make Mesa be a profitable brand then it's again money lost that will only detract from the flagship.

I have owned a couple of Mesas, for whatever reason, I didn't get along with them. Well, I know the reasons... they mainly only did crunch sounds well and the reverb was horrible. I came to view them as heavy metal amplifiers or even worse "modern rock" amplifiers.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

User avatar
SAVEStheDAY
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by SAVEStheDAY » Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:56 am

I love Mesa, and I'm pretty ambivalent when it comes to Gibson. I think this is a bad match.

Gibson historically has screwed up the companies they have acquired. Sure, this the "New" Gibson, but right off the bat JC Curleigh has allowed this new company to go lawsuit crazy, and they hired that sleazy Mark Agnesi to be the face of the Gibson brand. What have his good moves been? Changing an Epi headstock? Gee whiz.

The only positive spin I've seen so far is that Gibson can open Mesa up to new markets and act as a distributor. That's fine, but how there's a cost associated with it. How will Gibson make it profitable for them? Also, how will Mesa ramp up production and drive down costs to allow them to compete in these new markets? Probably not by making higher quality amplifiers.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 16022
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:13 am

SAVEStheDAY wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:56 am
Changing an Epi headstock? Gee whiz.
They've changed Epiphone across the board, actually, and it seems that the guiding philosophy with Epiphone is to finally start making the guitars as good as Gibson just with overseas labor accounting for the price. Those new all solid wood acoustics are great looking and great value for the money, much better than the plywood pieces of shit that Epiphone traditionally made. Frankly, they slot right in at the $700-1k price point where Gibson just could not compete in.

Same is true with the electrics, there are a lot of Epiphone models out there that are really attractive. The new Gibson management has paid some lip service to "better quality control", but there really wasn't all that much of a problem to start with, but regarding Epiphone the new management has really stepped up the game there.

I as a rule don't buy guitars made overseas, but some of those Epiphones are just such clear value for the money that it's kind of hard to resist picking one or two up. I am absolutely impressed by the changes that Gibson has made to Epiphone.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

User avatar
SAVEStheDAY
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2016 7:17 pm

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by SAVEStheDAY » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:09 am

Epiphone wasn't broken as a brand. Now, with a new boss, they just have a better selection when it comes to higher end budget guitars. None of this is groundbreaking. It just seems that way because Henry J was such an idiot and running the show for so long. He might have even eventually done the same thing if he had the capital to make a few expenditures on Asian product improvement, but unfortunately he didn't because he spent his money on lifestyle BS and acquisitions.

But fine, let's take it wayyyyy further and argue JC Levi's and his team completely revitalized a flailing brand that was sinking the entire Gibson ship: so what? I still don't see how this partnership going to be positive for Mesa. Mesa doesn't need fixing, and scaling things up will cheapen both the brand and the product. We'll either end up with more people looking for the same number of amps, which will drive up the price and make them unobtainable, or we'll end up with Gibson expanding Mesa's production capabilities which will result in more overhead and production shortcuts in order to control the costs.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 16022
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:36 am

Well, Gibson is hardly "broken as a brand", either. We could look at guitar sales if you want. My point with Epiphone is that Gibson is repositioning it in the marketplace successfully, straddling it more strongly in the middle slot between American made Gibsons and entry level stuff.

But I agree about Mesa, it's hard to see what Gibson is doing here. They won't be branded as Gibson, so it's hard to see how it benefits the main brand. I suppose it could be helpful to Mesa- Gibson didn't actually buy it outright, from what I understand. I suppose it could be Gibson trying to perpetuate Mesa in the future, again, though, it's weird that they would undertake such a risk considering they just had to explain to their creditors during bankruptcy that they were going to focus on the core business.

And anyway, immediately guitar players will start to revere the "pre-Gibson Mesas" no matter what changes Gibson does or does not make since guitar players are Luddites who can only look backwards. Maybe Gibson forgot that.

It's hard to see what this does for Gibson or why they are doing it. It's not even really a brand that's all that strongly associated with Gibson that I'm aware of, but then again I haven't owned a Mesa or cared much about them since the 90s. Maybe I should look into them a little more.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

User avatar
Pepe Silvia
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5309
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 11:44 am
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Pepe Silvia » Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:47 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 7:13 am
SAVEStheDAY wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 6:56 am
Changing an Epi headstock? Gee whiz.
They've changed Epiphone across the board, actually, and it seems that the guiding philosophy with Epiphone is to finally start making the guitars as good as Gibson just with overseas labor accounting for the price. Those new all solid wood acoustics are great looking and great value for the money, much better than the plywood pieces of shit that Epiphone traditionally made. Frankly, they slot right in at the $700-1k price point where Gibson just could not compete in.

Same is true with the electrics, there are a lot of Epiphone models out there that are really attractive. The new Gibson management has paid some lip service to "better quality control", but there really wasn't all that much of a problem to start with, but regarding Epiphone the new management has really stepped up the game there.

I as a rule don't buy guitars made overseas, but some of those Epiphones are just such clear value for the money that it's kind of hard to resist picking one or two up. I am absolutely impressed by the changes that Gibson has made to Epiphone.
Huh, that Epiphone J45 is interesting. Any idea what country it was made in?

User avatar
MrFingers
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1365
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 11:50 am
Location: Heverlee Hills - Belgium

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by MrFingers » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:00 am

Pepe Silvia wrote:
Thu Jan 07, 2021 8:47 am
Any idea what country it was made in?
Indonesia.

User avatar
Larry Mal
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 16022
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Location: Saint Louis, MO

Re: Gibson bought Mesa

Post by Larry Mal » Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:37 am

Sounds right to me... I think that Taylor with their 100 and 200 series guitars and Martin with the Mexican made versions have been dominating the mid tier acoustic market, not to mention some other worthy guitar makers.

Epiphone had the Masterbilt series, but that was kind of lackluster in my opinion. Not the guitar so much, but they weren't very exciting, no consistency across the board, weird model names. It's like Gibson went out of their way to advertise them as not being Gibsons.

Now they seem to be taking some pride in the stuff. It's nothing new, they've been working on making Epiphones better and better. I would bet that Epiphone is every bit as profitable as the Gibson brand if not more so.

Still no idea about Mesa but I used to have a little Studio .22 and a Subway Rocket, and I have been considering getting another Subway Rocket. At the time I was devastated not to have Fender reverb on there but I could use a pedal now.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

Post Reply