Gibson, the largest US-based company in the musical instruments business, is having a come to Jesus moment. After its early 2010’s binge on A/V properties (KRK, Stanton, Cerwin Vega, Onkyo, TEAC, etc) and subsequently ballooning debt, Gibson never really seemed to dig in with a new strategic direction to leverage the diversified catalog. It just doubled down with the Guitar Centers of the world (who is also not looking too hot these days). One has to wonder exactly what the strategic play was. In any case, several product/line missteps and steadily declining revenue from 2014 onward has brought us here.
As someone working in the MI industry, it’s difficult to resist the urge to wax poetic about Gibson having lost its way. Whether it was a miscalculated pump and dump deal or Juszkiewicz spending too much time in the varnish room, there’s a silver lining. Gibson has vowed to re-focus its efforts on guitars (and maybe amps). In an economic environment as interconnected and multipolar as today’s, that’s probably the right solution.
So I’m taking bets on whether Gibson will be relaunching their amplifier line. Here’s a great selection of schematics. We’ve seen PRS making similar moves to complement their guitar line in recent years. Will we see a new Skylark from Gibson?