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Gibson buys Mesa:Boogie. Cesar Gueikian, Randy Smith and James “JC” Curleigh

Gibson buys Mesa:Boogie. Cesar Gueikian, Randy Smith and James “JC” Curleigh  ·  Source: Gibson

Now that’s a turn up for the books. Gibson has stunned the guitar world by announcing the purchase of Mesa/Boogie. The US amp brand will continue to manufacture products under its own brand name, but is set to function as “Gibson’s Custom Shop for Amplifiers” as well.

Gibson acquires Mesa/Boogie

Mesa/Boogie was founded 51 years ago by Randall Smith and went on to worldwide fame, seen on stages and in studios across the planet. Now Gibson has made what seems a pretty shrewd move, folding the well-known and trusted Mesa/Boogie company into its Gibson Brands organisation. Randy Smith will join Gibson as Master Designer and Pioneer of Mesa/Boogie.

“At Gibson we are all about leveraging our iconic past and leaning into the innovative future, a quest that started over 100 years ago with our founder Orville Gibson,” says James ‘’JC’ Curleigh, President & CEO of Gibson Brands. “Today this quest continues with the addition of Mesa Boogie into the Gibson Brands family, along with the visionary leadership of Randy Smith and his Team who, for the past 50 years, have created an iconic and innovative brand that has stood the test of time. This is a perfect partnership based on our collective professional experiences and passion for sound”.

And according to Gibson, Mr Smith will “continue his passion for tube technology and his vision for building hand-crafted, high performance amplifiers, that continue to redefine how we experience sound across Mesa/Boogie and Gibson.” Sounds promising!

Mesa/Boogie & Gibson

Randall Smith, founder of Mesa/Boogie is quoted in the official press release as follows:

“I’m 75 years-old and still at work every day. This is my art and many of our crew have worked along my side for 30 to 40 years. As we witnessed JC and Cesar transform Gibson, we saw kindred spirits sharing common values and a fierce dedication to quality. Today, Gibson’s guitars are the best-ever and when they asked if we’d like to become Gibson’s Custom Shop for Amplifiers, we envisioned a perfect collaboration that would expand our outreach while preserving our legacy beyond my time. Gibson realizes the unique value of what we’ve all built together and this next chapter in the Mesa/Boogie story is a continuation of that dream. I am so fortunate for this partnership with the new Gibson after 50 years of doing what I love. It’s been the ride of my life . . . and it ain’t over yet!”

So a shrewd move that takes both brands to new heights? Who stands to benefit more, Mesa or Gibson? Tell his what you think in the comments section below.

Follow the link below for all the official details on this latest Gibson aquisistion.

More Information

by Jef

18 responses to “Gibson buys Mesa/Boogie amps, Randall Smith to become “Master Designer””

  1. Jack Tripper says:

    Mesa/Boogie RIP. Gibson is infamous for buying and destroying companies.

  2. This is a terrible development. Gibson is continuing to become a corporate elephant-in-the-room monster with the means (and willingness) to muscle any and all competition into oblivion. To qualify things here, I own two Gibsons (an ’02 Melody Maker and an ’05 LP) and a Mesa Recto half-stack and I love all of them. But my grievances here are towards Gibson as a company. The Henry Juszkiewicz era was especially a fiasco (a myriad of QC issues, pro audio flops, “innovative” products that were riddled with functionality issues, et al) and while the current “JC” iteration has returned the company’s focus to better QC and simply making good guitars, the soul of the company isn’t looking that much different as far as lawsuits and being the industry bully. This corporate buyout dramatically reduces my confidence in Mesa Boogie from this point forward. In all likelihood Mesa’s quality and “identity” will slowly erode. Such a shame.

    • perhaps the thought of all of these chinese gibson knockoffs and copies appeals to your desire to own quality instruments. would the epiphone line be around today if not for gibson. being a corprate bully and protecting your product are two vwet different thibgs. perhaps as you drive your kia mustang or toyota corvette to work you can think about what you are implying.

  3. pfrf says:

    When I was a kid I worked and saved for two years to buy a dream amp, and got myself a Mesa Boogie Mark IV. I waited for weeks for it to arrive, plugged it in, started dialing in tones when suddenly I heard a loud crash. The reverb unit had fallen out on the floor, taking down tubes and exposing wires. I called Mesa Boogie a hundred times (very expensive back then), wrote a half- dozen letters, they never responded to me. I worked another three months to get it repaired, got it fixed and sold it immediately. I still have a bad feeling from that experience.
    So yeah, go Gibson. You wreck everything you buy. These companies deserve each other. I’m happy about the news. R.I.P. Mesa Boogie, you still owe me a couple hundred bucks.

    • JG says:

      That’s so sad! I did the same thing in 1984, but with a much better result and far more positive experience.

      As basically a kid, I saved my money and ordered a Mark IIc directly from Mesa. They didn’t have any retail distribution back then so everyone bought directly from Mesa’s headquarters by mailing in an order form and then calling them by phone. I waited months for them to build my amp as expected. Unfortunately, FedEx then damaged my amp during shipment, but thankfully Mesa went out of their way to fix everything at their cost. I’ve been a Mesa guy ever since.

      Btw, about five years ago, I shipped my Mark IIc back to Mesa for a tune up and conversion to a IIc+. My amp is handwired and the same guy who helped create it over 35 years ago did the tune up on it and IIc+ conversion. He wrote me a cool handwritten note which he included inside the amp when he shipped it back to me.

      I have nothing but great things to say about Mesa. Anyway, so sorry about your experience.

      As for me, I’m very concerned that Gibson will screw this up. I would have preferred Mesa to stay a separate, standalone company as they have been for all these years.

  4. William Paxson says:

    So Randall Smith got in the sack with the devil-hope he’s got some really good lawyers. Post-Norlin Gibson has “pooched” everyone they’ve done business with.

  5. ThinAir says:

    Sadly no mention of how Randall Smith completely stole Mike Soldano’s preamp design from the Soldano SLO-100, part for part, and called it the Dual Rectifier.

  6. andrew church says:

    Mesa has always been rejecting corporate buyouts for years, yamaha wanted Mesa before line 6 accepted there offer, Gibson was probably the only offer on the table, gibson is horrible at venture cap. the fact there buying anyone in this economy is dumb

  7. ugo says:

    Is Marshall next?
    Otherwise they’ll have to force Slash to change his amp…

  8. SA says:

    I still love my Lone Star classic from 15+ years ago, but this news is worrying. I thought some of their recent amps have sounded great too, but Gibson does have the reputation of destroying businesses…hope they can keep it together!

  9. Yankee Peters says:

    It feels like Mesa has surrendered to the enemy. I don’t like Gibson’s business bully groove at all.

  10. Jay says:

    I don’t agree with any of the negative responses I think this is going to be a good thing. The new CEO of Gibson has taken their Original and Custom Shop series guitars back to the way they were meant to be. He wants Gibson to be what they ordinary were,, the greatest guitar manufacturer. I don’t think Gibson will tarnish Mesa in the least bit. Gibson knows Mesa is one of the greatest American Amplifier companies.

  11. Matt says:

    A sad day. I worked at gibson USA for 13 years starting in the mid 90s. I’d never buy a gibson. The higher ups didn’t care about quality, just hitting the daily number of “units” ( they didn’t even call them guitars). We ran guitars out the door while the lacquer was still wet. They would force employees to stay 12 hrs to make their individual number or be written up. Everyone would learn to cut corners just to keep their jobs. This was the Henry years. Like me a lot of the employees started working there because of their love of guitars but eventually didn’t give a crap. While I was there they would aquire company’s , use their name but a trash their quality. I hope it doesn’t happen. I love mesa have owned 4 different of their amps. Would be very reluctant to buy one now.

  12. David says:

    Love both brands. Recently bought my 5th Gibson and it’s probably the best built guitar I’ve ever played. New leadership at Gibson seems solid so this deal makes a lot of sense to me as it’s two great brands coming together

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