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Old 01-09-2012, 03:09 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Default Ren Ferguson has left Gibson & gone to work for Fender

For those of us who are interested in Gibson acoustic guitars, for the past quarter century the most person most responsible for restoring them to their former glory has - unquestionably - been Ren Ferguson.

But Ren has retired from Gibson and gone to work for Fender as a consultant on their various acoustic guitar lines.

A friend of mine who alerted me to this change in an email a few minutes ago wrote:

"So, the Ren Feguson era will come to an end, in terms of the daily and direct involvement of Ren with Gibson's designs, building and processes, although his legacy is enormous. Arguably, at least equivalent to, and most of us would say, greater than that of the vaunted Mr Lloyd Loar, who was only with the company for a few years or so. Ren's stamp on Gibson extended back to before they opened up the Bozeman plant, when he came over from Flatiron Mandolin, and spearheaded the revamping and rediscovery process of Gibson's classic and iconic acoustic flattop guitar designs. That process was often stymied by Gibson's own internal management structures and approvals, but he managed to "find back" some of the best, like the AJ, the J-35, J-45, J-200, J-185, Hummingbird, Southern Jumbo, L-00 and others. He also produced some new designs like the J-2000, the entire CL line (which turned into the Songwriter) and the Working Musician line."

I've never met Ren Ferguson, or even talked to him on the phone. But we have a number of mutual friends, and all of them have an enormous amount of respect for him. I, for one, am very sorry to see him leave Gibson.

In my mind there's no doubt that future guitar collectors will designate Gibson Montana acoustic guitars built during Ren's tenure as "Ren Ferguson-era Gibsons." His contribution has been that immense.

This is, without a doubt, the end of an era.


Wade Hampton Miller

Last edited by Wade Hampton; 01-09-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:16 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi Wade,

Very interesting. I was told that he personally worked on the AJ Luthier's Choice from 2002 that I own, though I have no idea how authoritative that claim is. If he did work on it, it is one amazing sounding AJ, unlike any others I have ever played.

It does seem like the end of an era.

- Glenn
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:16 PM
jackcooper jackcooper is offline
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That is sad news. I really hope the quality doesn't go down hill. I've developed a major love for Gibson acoustics over the last few years. I hope they have a great replacement lined up to take over his job.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:26 PM
GibbyPrague GibbyPrague is offline
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This is sad indeed. Rens contribution has been outstanding. Looking forward I'm sure Ren would appoint the right person to take over the reigns and continue the Gibson tradition.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:32 PM
soups soups is offline
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No doubt that Gibson regained their luster under his watch.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:38 PM
SuperB23 SuperB23 is online now
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WOW thats a really big deal for Gibson acoustics!! I wonder what will happen to Guilds now and maybe a comeback of the Tacoma Brand! This wouldn't be the first time Guild has had some serious luthier power behind the brand (Kim Walker).
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:49 PM
Hipster Hipster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GibbyPrague View Post
This is sad indeed. Rens contribution has been outstanding. Looking forward I'm sure Ren would appoint the right person to take over the reigns and continue the Gibson tradition.
Sad indeed for Gibson. However, I'll focus on the potential silver lining. Hopefully, this is a sign that Fender is taking their acoustic division seriously. Perhaps Mr. Ferguson will use his skill and experience to reinvigorate the Guild line. Fender has been doing some very interesting things with their electric guitars and amps in the past couple of years. Under Ren's leadership, we may see some excellent guitars in Fender's acoustic lines as well.

I thank Mr. Ferguson for his contributions in the past and wish him great success in his new position.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:56 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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I think Ferguson was the guy that put Bill Monroe's F5 mandolin back together after a vandal went at it with a fire poker. It was an amazing job.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:24 PM
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harvl harvl is offline
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I've known Ren for a while and I have to say that I'm happy for him. A great guy and a fantastic inlay artist to boot. The list of fine people who have moved on from that company is pretty remarkable... maybe someday the owner will move on as well.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:32 PM
Running Dog Running Dog is offline
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Way to go, Ren!

I'm always happy to see friends get back some of the goodness they unselfishly share, and Ren deserves much goodness, indeed. He taught me more about soundboard wood in 15 minutes than any other teacher, and never held back when I needed help with ASIA symposium planning or operation. He's a true gentleman and I wish him all the best!
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:36 PM
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dkoloff dkoloff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harvl View Post
I've known Ren for a while and I have to say that I'm happy for him. A great guy and a fantastic inlay artist to boot. The list of fine people who have moved on from that company is pretty remarkable... maybe someday the owner will move on as well.
Harv,

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Old 01-09-2012, 05:37 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Great post Wade. I wonder what Fender has planned for their acoustic line? Perhaps some of his projects will take him to Guild (owned by Fender) or do you think it's only with the Fender name?
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:42 PM
darylcrisp darylcrisp is online now
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so thats Doyle Dykes and now Ren with Fender(Guild).

hummm.............something big is brewing folks


d
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:09 PM
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devellis devellis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HHP View Post
I think Ferguson was the guy that put Bill Monroe's F5 mandolin back together after a vandal went at it with a fire poker. It was an amazing job.
That was Charlie Derrington.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:33 PM
zombywoof zombywoof is online now
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I have enormous respect for Ren but saying he was "greater" than Loyd Loar - that might be going over the top just a bit.
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