postchrist wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:25 pm
“average salary” at a company that’s likely fairly top-heavy doesn’t mean much, imo. i’ve had a lot of personal experiences with employees and ex-
all fair points on american labor. i think i initially mosubderstood.. the only point in larry’s message that i disagree with on that front is that an epiphone will be inherently “different” based on the country of manufacture. that i absolutely disagree with.
I have never said that they are different based on the country of manufacture, I say that at least in some cases they are different because Gibson makes them be different.
The example I am using is the 3 ply vs 5 ply on the ES-330 and the Casino. That doesn't have to be different, Gibson could use the same exact wood in both cases, but they don't. They manufacture them differently because they charge different amounts for them.
It doesn't surprise me to think that Heritage prices their guitars under Gibson.
Probably the best example I can come up with is the Eastman ES-335 equivalent and the Gibson. Those seem to hew to the very same specs, and there is no arguing that Eastman makes great guitars.
But while you might think that $15-17 is very much underpaying Gibson factory workers, I seem to be reading that Chinese factory wages hit $3.60 an hour in 2017,
they are probably higher now, Eastman workers are probably paid more than average factory workers.
Leaving alone the concept of why one would complain about $15-17 being too little (I've worked for less) and yet turn around and support a company paying $4 an hour aside, the fact is that the Eastman costs around $2200 new despite being made with $4 an hour labor and the Gibson ES-335 is $800 more despite being made with labor that is 4-5 times as much.
I mean, do the math there. You can only come up with a couple of things, first, that it seems like we have three companies that agree that an ES-335 type guitar can only profitably be sold for above $2k, the Tokai is selling for around $2200 but using a less labor intensive finish process but expensive Japanese labor, the Eastman sells for about $2200 using expensive finishing process but $4 an hour Chinese labor, and the Gibson sells for $3000 despite using both the expensive finish process and American labor that is as expensive as the Japanese. Oh, and Heritage uses the expensive finish, expensive labor and they compete on price a couple hundred less because they have to.
So Gibson doesn't seem all that overpriced compared to their direct competition here.
Secondly, Epiphone has been getting better over the years, but they don't manufacture the guitars to the same specs as Gibson because Gibson doesn't want that. They look the same... I mean, a Squier and a Fender look the same, also, but aren't made to the same specs. There's nothing surprising about that.
That being said, though, it seems like these lines are blurring... G&L makes basically the same guitars, you either pay for the American or foreign labor. Epiphone and Gibson are closer in quality than they have ever been, clearly Gibson feels that they will allow Epiphone to compete directly more than previously. Fender used to make the Mexican Fenders considerably worse in quality than the American ones, but based on the Player series Jazz bass I have, those days are over and the guitars are roughly the same.
So, shit, people, buy whatever you want. No shortage of good guitars out there. But the lazy thinking that Gibson just charges a lot of money based on their fading brand value and nothing more is just preposterous.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.