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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would you start/own/manage a guitar company?

Some people have more of an entrepreneurial spirit than others so starting a guitar company may sound appealing but keeping it in business does not. For others, the "CEO/leadership" role might be a better suit. You can weigh your own strengths and weaknesses, but on some level, would you WANT to be in charge of a guitar company (not be an independent luthier) that NEEDS to design/build guitars guitarists WILL buy?

Personally, No. I do not know what guitarists WILL actually buy, so I wouldn't know what NEEDED to be built, and I would not WANT to be in charge of that situation, amongst other reasons.

I'm curious what your answers are.
 

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Yes and No... I'm not into social media/digital marketing/youtube shred enough to be able to make it succeed on my own.

If I could afford to hire the right people and go from there then yes, I would love to, but a lot of the success of a fledgling guitar company today seems not to be about the guitars themselves, but how many likes you get on youtube and which bedroom player you can put one in the hands of.
 

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It's all about marketing and brand building, guitars are pretty much of a muchness, newer brands like Chapman or Solar guitars are built on the backs of 'founder' Youtubers, in both cases the actual guitars are really just 'sausages' from the the same sausage factory in Indonesia.
Traditional luthiers who specialise in low-volume high quality product will always find a niche but I suspect it's getting harder for them to expand in such a saturated market, companies who started this way like Suhr or PRS have taken a VERY long time to get as big as they are.
There is precious little innovation because the electric guitar is a mature technology rather like the bicycle, some companies like Aristides or Vigier have made a name by exploiting advances in materials technology but the R&D costs are difficult to fund and recoup because so much of the potential customer base are technophobe Luddites wedded to tradition.
The golden era is gone, even monster companies like Gibson and Fender can't make money like they used to and I imagine Ibanez is having a hard time holding position due to market dilution.
If you want to work twice as hard for half the pay then by all means start a guitar company, so if you want to be millionaire, you'll have to put two million in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes and No... I'm not into social media/digital marketing/youtube shred enough to be able to make it succeed on my own.

If I could afford to hire the right people and go from there then yes, I would love to, but a lot of the success of a fledgling guitar company today seems not to be about the guitars themselves, but how many likes you get on youtube and which bedroom player you can put one in the hands of.
You can assume you would have help. How you manage the company and the direction you want to take it is up to you though. You will have to deal with your clientele. You will have to decide if they know what they are talking about or not regarding their requests. We are not always rational....:plain:
 

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Seems like there's a lot of players in the market. I'd need data but from what I gather nearly all guitar companies are private and don't really crack open the books. Can you pull in good margins? If not that's a no from me, dawg. Seems like a lot of fun but also a lot of pushing that stone uphill. But then lately I'm devoting more time to my family than putting in lots of extra hours, so...
 

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You can assume you would have help. How you manage the company and the direction you want to take it is up to you though. You will have to deal with your clientele. You will have to decide if they know what they are talking about or not regarding their requests. We are not always rational....:plain:
If I could afford to hire the right people and make them interested enough to form the right team, then hell yes. If I had to give up my nice day job and do all the hard work myself, not a cat in hell's chance.

I really admire some of the folks here for all they've accomplished in relation to the music industry, I'd have loved to come along with them, but my skillset has little to do with running a company.

Guys I think have done an incredible job are guys like Rob Chapman and Ola Englund. They leveraged their youtube channels into guitar companies and manage to sell guitars from factories that the internet used to want nothing to do with, that's incredible to me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If I could afford to hire the right people and make them interested enough to form the right team, then hell yes. If I had to give up my nice day job and do all the hard work myself, not a cat in hell's chance.

I really admire some of the folks here for all they've accomplished in relation to the music industry, I'd have loved to come along with them, but my skillset has little to do with running a company.

Guys I think have done an incredible job are guys like Rob Chapman and Ola Englund. They leveraged their youtube channels into guitar companies and manage to sell guitars from factories that the internet used to want nothing to do with, that's incredible to me!
It is incredible. I will add .strandberg* in there as well. The Boden series guitars all made in Indonesia now. I do not know where Chapman and Solar guitars are made. However, if all Indonesian built guitars come from the same factory, that would be interesting to know.

Yeah, and Ola turns stuff around really quick as well. People want stainless frets and evertune bridges? Coming right up with Solar
This is good. ESP offers the Evertune bridge and they could do stainless steel frets if they aren't already. The problem is ESP or LTD is written on the headstock. Do people want those guitars?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Are you nuts? ESP Japan are KILLER quality guitars.
ESP Japan is the top-tier in the ESP hierarchy. LTD is the lowest tier in the ESP hierarchy. People know this, I think. It is actually pretty complicated because there are 3 other tiers in between and......

A more realistic choice would be between these two guitars:
https://www.solar-guitars.com/produit/a1-6etc/
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LMH1000ESTBK--esp-ltd-mh-1000fm-evertune-see-thru-black

The specs are almost the same. As the owner of one of these guitar companies, you have to care which guitar sells and you have to care why and I imagine you would have to enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bring back the Parker Fly.
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Parker Guitars
I am not sure if they have been re-released yet or not.

The concept behind the Parker Fly Vibrato/Bridge system is one I had hoped other companies would have taken an interest in. Perhaps they can't due to legal reasons, but having a bridge that can be floating, depressed only, and fixed, by simply rolling a wheel (I think) on the back of the guitar would be tremendously useful. You can read about it in the Parker Fly Handbook:
http://www.parkerguitars.com/support/manuals/ParkerFlyHandbook_2004.pdf

Ironically, that was the problem with Parker Fly's: they needed a 33-page Handbook. I feel there is some middle ground between "traditional" guitars and guitars that have "composite exoskeletons." With that said, Ken Parker believed he could build a better solid body electric guitar and the result was good enough that people took notice. There seems to be less of that going on today. Today, there seem to be many more "options" of the same thing. Maybe that is normal from time to time. Wiser people than I might know.
 

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I am not sure if they have been re-released yet or not.

Ironically, that was the problem with Parker Fly's: they needed a 33-page Handbook. .
No, they are not back yet, and it is doubtful they ever will under the current ownership.

Re the handbook, the issue was that they actually *didn't* need a 33 page book. The trems are incredibly easy to use and the best available IMO. Whoever wrote the book made a dog's breakfast out of it most of it doesn't make sense. e.g. they talk about three modes (floating, fixed, down only). There are actually only two true modes: floating, and down only. The "fixed mode" is just the down-only mode but with the wheel tightened some more so the trem is harder to move.

Brilliant guitars.
 

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OK!
Parker Guitars
I am not sure if they have been re-released yet or not.

The concept behind the Parker Fly Vibrato/Bridge system is one I had hoped other companies would have taken an interest in. Perhaps they can't due to legal reasons, but having a bridge that can be floating, depressed only, and fixed, by simply rolling a wheel (I think) on the back of the guitar would be tremendously useful. You can read about it in the Parker Fly Handbook:
http://www.parkerguitars.com/support/manuals/ParkerFlyHandbook_2004.pdf

Ironically, that was the problem with Parker Fly's: they needed a 33-page Handbook. I feel there is some middle ground between "traditional" guitars and guitars that have "composite exoskeletons." With that said, Ken Parker believed he could build a better solid body electric guitar and the result was good enough that people took notice. There seems to be less of that going on today. Today, there seem to be many more "options" of the same thing. Maybe that is normal from time to time. Wiser people than I might know.
In many ways I agree, whether the guitar actually needed a text book just to plug it in, I don't know, but overall I think Ken Parker missed the boat with the Fly and its different nature just seemed to alienate people!

It had so many new ideas, had no real endorser presence and didn't really do anything "better" than any other guitar in its price range. It was almost like the antithesis of what guitarists of its day looked for, especially given the "lo-fi" state of music then

Evolution, not revolution seems to be the key with guitars, 20 years later we're warming to the idea of composite fretboards and stainless steel frets but back when they came out they were seen as a gimmick by many, much like the weird shape (still weird 20 years later)!!!
 
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