Raid on Gibson Guitar Factory

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by DakotaGuy, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #1
    http://www.gibson.com/en-us/lifestyle/news/gibson-0825-2011/

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/gibson-ceo-says-wood-used-in-guitars-is-properly-imported-company-unfairly-targeted-in-raids/2011/08/25/gIQAHLgHeJ_story.html
    Gibson claims they have done nothing wrong and have followed all laws and regulations. How are we suppose to be creating jobs if we are shutting down the few factories left in the US? It seems to me that Gibson might be smart moving production to India and then there won't be any issues.

    The same thing happened to them in 2009 from wood imported from Madagascar, but no charges have ever been filed and the whole case is still in limbo. Gibson employs hundreds of people and if they lay those people off where do they find work?

    I don't know if Gibson is innocent or guilty, however they claim they have all documentation necessary to prove they legally imported the wood. I know we probably have a few musicians on these forums and they might think this is interesting.
     
  2. Yumunum macrumors 65816

    Yumunum

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  3. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #3
    Didn't Fender move production to Mexico several years ago? I thought I read that somewhere.
     
  4. 184550 Guest

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    #4
    Looks like Gibson's got another problem:

    Link
     
  5. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #5
    So does that mean it would be best to shut them down and move those jobs off shore?
     
  6. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #6
    If it turns out they are using illegal rainforest hardwood timbers (presumption of innocence at this point) then moving offshore won't help them. Their business will be shot if they are making their instruments in foreign countries of illegal timber. Consumers won't touch them with a barge pole. Nor will they be able to import them either.
     
  7. DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #7
    What I don't understand is why nothing has ever came out of the 2009 raid if there was in fact an issue. After reading more it appears it is to do with the level of finishing done in India and if it is finished enough before it is shipped to Gibson factories in the US then the fact it could be illegal wood. The Lacy Act seems to be the sticking point, however we won't really know unless charges are actually filed.

    The CEO says they are going to keep making guitars instead of closing so it will be interesting to see what comes out of it.
     
  8. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #8
    Mexico and Japan, if I'm not much mistaken. There are now "classes" of Fender guitars based on where they were built.

    The same thing probably applies to Gibson, although I have no details about that.
     
  9. 184550 Guest

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    #9
    TBH, I'm not quite sure what your point is with that train of thought.

    Surely Gibson's employee base is not that huge?

    However, I can appreciate the sentimental value of continuing to make Gibson guitars in the US.
     
  10. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #10
    I believe you are correct ... where the Guitar is made reflects on it's value
     
  11. bradl, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #11
    As a 20+ year guitar player, this is correct.

    and currently, Mexican Strats < Japanese Strats < US Strats, as far as Fender and value go.

    It may vary with the others (Ibanez, Charvel/Jackson, ESP, etc.) Suhr I believe still makes their axes here.

    Of course, I'm talking Electric. Acoustic guitars are another thing altogether.

    As far as the raid goes, you want to bring up another fanboi war, Fender vs. Gibson is a long-running one. I'd prefer Fender, mainly because Gibson, while they make good guitars, just aren't esoterically pleasing. Plus, they are a pain to add tremelo to, without seriously hacking up the guitar. The only 2 people to do it and really make it look good were Steve Clark (RIP), and Neil Schon.

    But I do think there are a bit more important things to worry about than hard wood (giggity). If Gibson presents the paperwork, a lot of time, effort, and money would have been lost in this chase.

    BL.
     
  12. DakotaGuy, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    DakotaGuy thread starter macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #12
    Well they employee around 400 at their Nashville factory and I believe they have another one in Montana. So yes they are small and probably don't matter much when one looks at the large picture, however if they are forced out of business or out of manufacturing in the US and in the end they were innocent I think it's sort of sad.

    I don't work there so I'm not really that concerned, however some employees or families of employees might be.
     
  13. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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    #13
    Uhm, you can't discuss Fender vs. Gibson. They produce vastly different guitars for vastly different uses. Personally I'm a Gibson man, but I do love me a good Stratocaster too. Point being that you can't pin a single-coil triple-pickup based guitar with tremolos and whatnot to humbucker-based guitars with solid bridges. They give such vastly different sounds, and are so different in how they play, that it's a pointless discussion.
     
  14. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #14
    Quite,Gibson have an appalling record as an employer,even for one in a fire at will state.They trade on the name of a once great guitar manufacturer mass producing guitars with rubbish quality control, I don't understand why people buy them to be honest.In the world of acoustic guitars if you look closely you'll see most musicians playing hand mades or sixties and earlier Gibsons,Martins,Guilds etc.The right wing bloggers are frothing over this crying crocodile tears about a potential loss of jobs (since when did the right wing give a damn about workers),if you notice the rabid CEO is not suing for illegal search and seizure.It also makes a change to see the US government trying to enforce their own laws and to try and meet their international obligations.
     
  15. maril1111 macrumors 68000

    maril1111

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    #15
    No, shutting down wouldn't help either because that then we would have a problem with even more people being jobless.
     
  16. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    As far as I know the top of the line Gibsons, Fenders, and PRSs are still made in the U.S.

    This article is a year old but I believe it's still revevant. I want my serious guitar made in the U.S. :D: Fender American Special Stratocaster Telecaster Reviews
     
  17. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #17
    Your vintage guitar may be illegal...

    From the article: Environmental Enforcement Leaves Musicians in Fear

    It isn't just Gibson that is sweating. Musicians who play vintage guitars and other instruments made of environmentally protected materials are worried the authorities may be coming for them next.

    If you are the lucky owner of a 1920s Martin guitar, it may well be made, in part, of Brazilian rosewood. Cross an international border with an instrument made of that now-restricted wood, and you better have correct and complete documentation proving the age of the instrument. Otherwise, you could lose it to a zealous customs agent—not to mention face fines and prosecution.

    John Thomas, a law professor at Quinnipiac University and a blues and ragtime guitarist, says "there's a lot of anxiety, and it's well justified." Once upon a time, he would have taken one of his vintage guitars on his travels. Now, "I don't go out of the country with a wooden guitar."

    The tangled intersection of international laws is enforced through a thicket of paperwork. Recent revisions to 1900's Lacey Act require that anyone crossing the U.S. border declare every bit of flora or fauna being brought into the country. One is under "strict liability" to fill out the paperwork—and without any mistakes.

    It's not enough to know that the body of your old guitar is made of spruce and maple: What's the bridge made of? If it's ebony, do you have the paperwork to show when and where that wood was harvested and when and where it was made into a bridge? Is the nut holding the strings at the guitar's headstock bone, or could it be ivory? "Even if you have no knowledge—despite Herculean efforts to obtain it—that some piece of your guitar, no matter how small, was obtained illegally, you lose your guitar forever," Prof. Thomas has written. "Oh, and you'll be fined $250 for that false (or missing) information in your Lacey Act Import Declaration."
     
  18. Heilage macrumors 68030

    Heilage

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  19. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #19
    Well it would be if it were true,fortunately it's not.
     
  20. Pachang macrumors regular

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    #20
    Hahahaha what?

    Honestly with people like you around I would advise this "rabid CEO" to move their manufacturing to India immediatley.

    Enjoying your police state America?
     
  21. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #21
    I'm sure your just the sort of person he'd see eye to eye with.
     
  22. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #22
    Totally unenforceable and therefore nothing to worry about. Of course, dealing with customs is always full of unpleasant surprises. One wonders if this issue will ever crop up with an antique classical string instrument travelling with an orchestra.
     
  23. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #23
    My friend on a High School concert/jazz band trip to Australia had to have his violin impounded for 2 days because it had Paua designs on it, therefore it had seafood on it.

    Seafood, really?

    But I think this was more to do with a Derp Customs agent than any law.
     
  24. Ravaroo macrumors 6502

    Ravaroo

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    #24
    So are G&Ls. Leo Fender's creations live on
     
  25. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #25
    I doubt this story is true either. Australian customs is incredibly strict when it comes to biosecurity. Even moving organics from state to state can be prohibited. A more likely story would be ensuring the wood was not contaminated with pests or diseases from papua rather than "seafood". I don't think you friend told you the whole story.
     

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