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  #31  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:02 AM
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justonwo justonwo is offline
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Sounds like a smart businessman reaping the rewards of many years of hard work. Well done, Dana. I wish you the very best of luck, though I donít think youíll need it.
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  #32  
Old 01-10-2020, 04:59 AM
Proclaimer888 Proclaimer888 is offline
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It still amazes me...That a company can do some work here, send the rest of the work overseas, have it sent back for final inspection before selling and it still have an increased margin over keeping all the work local. I understand the cheap labor thing but I also believe there are other benefits working as well...possibly environmental benefits, fewer regulatory laws, ect.
I guess this is gona be an economy of scales situation and Bourgeouis is gona open up flood gates and bath us with his guitars. Kinda like Breedlove I guess.
That said, I would love to own a Soloist.
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  #33  
Old 01-10-2020, 05:59 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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How does this differ from what Breedlove has done for a generation with their Passport series, or Martin a generation before with their Sigma series? On paper it makes a good bit of business sense - and I love that the operation in the US will be growing in conjunction, but I would wait for them to iron out the kinks in the process before lauding it.

FWIW I think that their guitars are a wonderful modern take on the Martin aesthetic and that the entire Eastman line will likely improve because of it. Unfortunately, due to my own personal economics unless they partner with Wal Mart I will not likely ever even get to try one. That’s not me hating though; I’m perfectly happy with what I’m already playing.
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  #34  
Old 01-10-2020, 07:04 AM
Murphy Slaw Murphy Slaw is offline
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Originally Posted by aknow View Post
Dear Mr. Bourgeois: Very little of what gets out of China is "organic". I see the beginning of the end of what was a fine company. Copying what PRS is doing, and lowering the quality and expanding the production. Good luck.
I tend to agree. It's more of a watering down to me. I think the Epiphone/Gibson model is more honest. The Gibson's are built in Bozeman, Montana.

But, what do I know?
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  #35  
Old 01-10-2020, 07:13 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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I tend to agree. It's more of a watering down to me. I think the Epiphone/Gibson model is more honest. The Gibson's are built in Bozeman, Montana.

But, what do I know?
Gibson is hardly an example to follow. Epiphone used to be its own brand that rivaled Gibson until the latter bought them out. Now they're a carbon copy of Gibson and are mostly built overseas. Granted, the Masterbilt line was pretty good but there are still plenty of Epiphones that are essentially sanctioned Gibson knockoffs around.

Personally, I don't understand how something with quality can be shipped halfway around the world twice then shipped back to nearer to the point of sale to be QC'd? If they were cigars it'd be a whole different story; we'd be bringing the labor here.
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  #36  
Old 01-10-2020, 07:22 AM
rokdog49 rokdog49 is online now
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Personally, I don't understand how something with quality can be shipped halfway around the world twice then shipped back to nearer to the point of sale to be QC'd? If they were cigars it'd be a whole different story; we'd be bringing the labor here.
The cost of shipping back and forth is nominal these days. Thousands and thousands of containers on huge ships full of stuff going back and fourth all day every day. Containers can be shared rather easily and the methods of packing are down to a science.
Timing is the only issue and that can be anticipated pretty closely these days.
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  #37  
Old 01-10-2020, 09:24 AM
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Probably this information from Wikipedia is well known to this forum, but I'll post it anyway for background -- just to highlight that this isn't the first time that Dana Bourgeois has formed alliances to grow his business.


"In 1999, Bourgeois signed a distribution deal with Akai, a Japanese music and electronics company. With 16 employees and the prospect of growing his business internationally, Bourgeois expected to grow his business further. For a time, Akai marketed the Bourgeois Artisan Series guitars: the DR-A dreadnought and JR-A jumbo orchestra model. Along with the two guitars for international distribution, Bourgeois also made Martin Simpson and Ricky Skaggs signature guitars, though in limited editions. However, the distributor stopped ordering new guitars, leaving Bourgeois without the backing necessary to meet operating expenses. Despite attempts to find new investors and to sell directly to his customers online, Bourgeois was forced to liquidate the business, filing bankruptcy and auctioning off the guitar-making equipment.

Pantheon Guitars
After Bourgeois Guitars closed its doors, guitar hobbyist, collector and investment banker Patrick Theimer approached Bourgeois with another business venture. With Theimer, three other investors, and Bourgeois, who would oversee guitar production, Pantheon Guitars was formed in 2000. The business model employed at Pantheon allowed Bourgeois to focus on making the guitars he was known for while sharing marketing and manufacturing resources with other independent luthiers."
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  #38  
Old 01-10-2020, 10:15 AM
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Let's keep this thread up on track please
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  #39  
Old 01-10-2020, 10:31 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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They say the new Buick Envision is a top rated and reliable car,,,,,,no one wants one though as soon as they see Made In China, 100% they don't advertise it and if you don't know enough to ask you assume Buick is USA!! Soon as I saw the sticker I walked, just sayin.
I have Bourgeois and the fact they were special is why, wasn't looking for a cheap alternative with a Bourgeois name.
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  #40  
Old 01-10-2020, 10:33 AM
JerryM JerryM is offline
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Originally Posted by rokdog49 View Post
The cost of shipping back and forth is nominal these days. Thousands and thousands of containers on huge ships full of stuff going back and fourth all day every day. Containers can be shared rather easily and the methods of packing are down to a science.
Timing is the only issue and that can be anticipated pretty closely these days.
Just imagine a thousand containers coming over full of Bourgeois guitars, used to be only a few hundred a year were available! Now maybe docks loaded with them!
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  #41  
Old 01-10-2020, 10:36 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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So they're going to assemble, brace, and voice the tops here in the US, ship those tops over to China, have the Chinese assemble the guitar, then ship it back for final setup?

Is anything else gonna be done in the US?
That seems to be the gist of it, and they will also do the final quality control and not the Eastman shop in California that has some 60 people doing setup and inspection for North American market (which speaks to the huge volume of guitars they are producing). My luthier has signed up as Eastman dealer last year but he does not carry Bourgeois, so I am curious how these hybrids will be allocated to dealers. Will also be interesting for people in Canada whether they fall under North American trade agreement and be exempt/reduced for customs or be treated as Asian product.

The letter also suggests that they are expecting to hire new people to build all these new tops and finalize the returning guitars. May be big enough growth to move from boutique brand to full mass production competing in size with the likes of Guild or Larrivee.

Last edited by merlin666; 01-10-2020 at 11:10 AM.
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  #42  
Old 01-10-2020, 10:44 AM
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Cool. I hope to get my hands on some of these new creations
I imagine there will be some mighty fine guitars in the lineup.

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  #43  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:30 AM
Stevien Stevien is offline
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It's worth keeping an eye on history here. This has been done many times before, with mixed results. The reasoning, is mass production, higher profit, & less labor costs. This helps the bottom line immediately, but usually deteriorates quality in the end game. Martin did this in the 70s, & it nearly brought them to their knees. Guild & Gibson tried similar acquisitions that did not end well. Breedlove did it in the late 90s & early 2000s, which helped their bottom line, but is strangling them now. Their line-up is so confusing & hybridized, that no one wants to deal with it. The bottom line is this; yes it will increase distribution & volume, but is that what the Bourgeois customer wants?
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  #44  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:40 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevien View Post
It's worth keeping an eye on history here. This has been done many times before, with mixed results. The reasoning, is mass production, higher profit, & less labor costs. This helps the bottom line immediately, but usually deteriorates quality in the end game. Martin did this in the 70s, & it nearly brought them to their knees. Guild & Gibson tried similar acquisitions that did not end well. Breedlove did it in the late 90s & early 2000s, which helped their bottom line, but is strangling them now. Their line-up is so confusing & hybridized, that no one wants to deal with it. The bottom line is this; yes it will increase distribution & volume, but is that what the Bourgeois customer wants?
Steve
Indeed, Ovation is also a sad example where they started out with good intentions of providing more affordable guitars and using the extra profits to support their U.S. production. In the end the reputation suffered and now all people can get as new guitars are the watered down Asian versions. Let's hope that Bourgeouis and Eastman have learned the lesson and avoid the mistakes that were made in the past.
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  #45  
Old 01-10-2020, 11:46 AM
DM3MD136 DM3MD136 is offline
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Martin and Taylor expanded into the low(ish) end market with production in Mexico. It has unquestionably worked out well for them and us... by most accounts, their standard/high end guitars are better than ever.

While I personally am not interested in a Taylor 100/200 or Martin X, these guitars allow people that otherwise wouldn't be able to afford "the name" to jump on board, and then possibly become higher end owners later.

Right now, Bourgeois is competing with the Martin Custom Shop (among others). Where it will be interesting is that customer looking in the $2000 range: do you go with a standard Martin D-18 made in the USA, or a Bourgeois (Out of the) Country Boy made in USA & China? Depending on how these turn out, it could be a tough call.
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