Two big brands in music are teaming up following an announcement that manufacturer of guitars and other instruments Gibson (Gibson Brands Inc.), will acquire Mesa/Boogie, an amplifier producer out of Petaluma, California. The announcement came earlier in January on the Gibson instagram and other media.
Gibson was founded in 1902 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since then, the company has become one of the most established guitar manufacturers, and has been used by many famous performers such as legendary Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page and David Bowie, to name a few. The company rebranded from Gibson Guitar Corp. to Gibson Brands Inc. in 2013 following its expansion from guitars and other instruments to electronic equipment as well.
Previously, Gibson had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 after struggling for years with debt after attempting its first expansion into electronics and lifestyle a few years prior. Gibson then made a reorganization deal with funding from lenders to refocus back on guitar making. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when guitar sales took off, Gibson has since rebounded. This deal is expected to be very beneficial to both brands, although no official numbers have been released yet on how much the deal cost. Yet after Gibson’s acquisition of Mesa/Boogie, this will join together two of the biggest names in manufacturing for the music industry.
Before joining forces with Gibson, Mesa/Boogie was founded by Randall Smith in 1969, and is known for making carefully crafted, high-end, boutique amplifiers for basses and guitars. Smith began his work modifying Fender amps, typically giving them more input gain, which added more volume and distortion.
On Twitter, fans of Mesa/Boogie expressed concerns that the company would fall from its reputation of a smaller scale ‘family’ business with handcrafted, high-end amps by joining the Gibson family. However, on the merger, Smith said “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.” Thus, he assured fans that he was excited about the move, which will definitely continue to push both brands forward.
Mesa/Boogie will continue to operate under the same name while also becoming “Gibson’s Custom Shop for Amplifiers,” as noted by Smith.