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Dan Smith article in Reverb

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by RickS, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. RickS

    RickS Strat-Talker

    May 5, 2013
    Marietta, GA

  2. Percy

    Percy Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Thanks for posting....great read....:thumb:
    abnormaltoy and Green Sub like this.

  3. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Great find. Thank you! I was kind-of involved in the industry back then, but most of what we heard was filtered through the UK distributor, so it was hard to know what was really going on.
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  4. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    "They were making about 300 guitars a day, and they had three inspectors for the whole thing. A guy got a raise for the more guitars he could inspect in a day. Each guy that was building guitars had to do at least 50 to get paid. They had about six builders, and if they got up to 75 they got to another level in the union. If a guy could do 150 guitars a day, that was really it—it was quantity."

    And that in a nutshell explains the CBS era and why there are some really bad apples from that era with super heavy bodies and sloppy routed neck pockets..

    "Anyway, we went out and pulled guitars out of the warehouse and re-inspected them, 800-and-something guitars, and out of those I think only about 15 passed the existing criteria. This after the chief of quality control had said everything was all right."
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  5. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    Thought this article was funny, because I feel this is something that Gibson suffers from right now.

    "When I first started there, you go talk to someone in the factory to tell them they had to make a better product, they’d go, "**** it, we’re Fender, if the dealer doesn’t like it, we’ll just sell it to someone else." They said they never got any dealer returns. The reason they never got any dealer returns is that they wouldn’t let them send anything back "
    Keith268, abnormaltoy and lonegroover like this.

  6. Wafflein

    Wafflein Strat-Talk Member

    Apr 15, 2018

  7. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Considering that this interview was in '92, his observation that guitar makers with any kind of a history are basically stuck making reissues of their '50s and '60s lines goes to show that some things still have a ways to go to change.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  8. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Weeee doggie Strat-Talk Supporter

  9. 8T_BoCO

    8T_BoCO Aspiring Stratospheric Stratitician Strat-Talk Supporter

    Mar 2, 2016
    Interesting read, thank you.
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  10. macoshark

    macoshark Strat-Talker

    Aug 30, 2016
    Thanks for posting that article. Dan Smith, seems like he was quite a cool guy. Glad things worked out like they did with Schultz and crew buying Fender.
    abnormaltoy likes this.

  11. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Surrey, England
    Yeah that was a nice story, the management buyout from CBS.

    Too bad they are now owned by a variety of investment platforms.

  12. aviamsi

    aviamsi Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 31, 2015
    Thanks for sharing!!

  13. balston11

    balston11 Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 8, 2013
    Preston UK
    Not much new but very interesting thanks for posting

  14. John C

    John C Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 17, 2012
    Kansas City
    Well that's kind of what "management buyout" means - FMIC has had private equity investments from day one, but of course the original PE firm (or firms; not sure if they had more than one back then) were essentially investing in the management team's personnel and vision. These days the current PE firms are more investing in the "brand(s)" and the facilities.

    EDIT: Well I finally got to read the article in full, and I'm a bit surprised that they originally used bank loan financing to get the company from CBS - since the PE/VC people wouldn't finance them.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
    Guy Named Sue likes this.

  15. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 16, 2012
    Thanks for sharing that was a great read. :)

  16. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    Makes me wonder why 70s era Fenders are fetching such high prices.
    Dalendl, stratman323 and Neil.C like this.

  17. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 16, 2012
    They are filled with something magical called 'Mojo' who make them better players than anything current :D
    Will Lefeurve likes this.

  18. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Old automatically = better.


  19. CephasG

    CephasG Strat-O-Master

    Dec 13, 2017
    Land of Lincoln
    Great read, thanks for sharing.
    It absolutely confirms for me that you can be at the helm of a business and be clueless about the real situation in the trenches.

  20. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 26, 2016
    NW UK
    A most excellent read- especially for someone like myself who is short of the details. Many thanks for sharing :thumb:

    PS I'd still love me a 3 bolt strat though, doesn't put me off! :D:cool: