Interesting move by Bourgeois and Eastman guitars

Rayk

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Hope I put this in the area.

An Important Message From Dana Bourgeois

“I’d like to take this opportunity to share some exciting news.

For decades, Bourgeois Guitars has combined the highest quality tonewoods, uncompromising craftsmanship and a deep passion for music to produce some of the world’s finest and most innovative steel string guitars. Over the years we have been fortunate to enjoy steady growth. We believe, however, that the world market is changing. After extensive study, we’ve concluded that partnership with a proven international distribution and manufacturing company offers significant strategic opportunities that cannot otherwise be grown from within.

For several years we have been on the lookout for the right partner, and, moreover, one whose core values are closely aligned with those of our own. Today I am pleased to announce, with excitement and pride, that Bourgeois Guitars has entered into a strategic partnership with Eastman Music.

Eastman is a truly impressive company. Well known to many of you as a producer of archtop, steel string, classical and electric guitars, Eastman enjoys a long-standing reputation for providing outstanding value, quality and service to the musical instrument community. Less well known, Eastman is one of the largest producers of violin family instruments in the world. And with its other boutique manufacturing partners, Eastman also makes some of the world’s finest woodwind and brasswind instruments.

As you may or may not know, I’ve always had partners. Years ago Bourgeois Guitars merged with Pantheon Guitars to produce acoustic steel-string instruments under the Bourgeois name. In a nutshell, I have simply traded my former partners for Eastman. Moving forward, I will retain an ownership interest in Bourgeois Guitars and will remain as CEO. Our entire team will continue to produce acoustic guitars of the highest quality in our Lewiston, Maine, workshop. US distribution will continue to be handled through our Lewiston office. Eventually, overseas distribution will be managed by Eastman.

We have always held great concern that, at an average street price of about $6500, a Bourgeois guitar is beyond the reach of 95% of all guitar players. Plans are underway to remedy this situation with the introduction of a new series of acoustic guitars co-produced by Bourgeois and Eastman. Bourgeois will be responsible for design, materials selection, voicing, setup, and quality control, and Eastman will contribute efficient manufacturing and sourcing capabilities and expertise in global distribution. This project builds upon a successful model pioneered by Eastman and its other high end manufacturing partners. Additional new products, including Bourgeois archtops, mandolins, and US made Eastman acoustics, are also on the drawing board.

Speaking for all of us at Bourgeois Guitars, we wish to thank you for your continuing support. We look forward to sharing an engaging and exciting future with all of you.”

Dana Bourgeois
CEO, Bourgeois Guitars
 

HeyMikey

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That is interesting. So instead of a $6k price tag how much for a Chinese made Bourgeois - 2k, 3k? Competing with US Martin, Taylor, Guild and others.
 

GGJaguar

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Hmmm... I wonder if this is a reverse merger and the reality is that Eastman basically owns Bourgeois now.
 

twocorgis

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That is interesting. So instead of a $6k price tag how much for a Chinese made Bourgeois - 2k, 3k? Competing with US Martin, Taylor, Guild and others.
Read the release again. There won't be any Chinese made Bourgeois guitars, just guitars designed by Dana (good) and branded by Eastman (also good). Personally, I think the venture has great potential. It gives Dana a reliable distributor for overseas, and Eastman is gaining designs from arguably the best luthier in world. Being that I've always thought that Eastman guitars were the class of Asian rim manufacturers (for acoustic guitars anyway, all that I've owned/tried), I think there's potential for great synergy here.

And I love my '97 Slope D-140 more than any other slope shoulder dread I've ever played, so I might not be totally impartial.
 

Rayk

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Dana says eventually all overseas distribution will handled by Eastman does that mean distribution of the US line ? Or all ?

I read from a lot of Eastman owners and I've not seen one bad review from them . I was interested in there mandolins but they high higher then I thought . Lol

Their electrics look beautiful.

Anyway I'm still waiting for my first Eastman to arrive . I haven't heard any news about the boat sinking so that's good . So it's either still on the boat in Port or just getting to Port then it has to be unloaded blah blah checked out then shipped to the store checked out again then finally to me , if it survives that is ! Lmao

Don't worry I'm still a Guild lover . 😁😊
 

twocorgis

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Totally agree. Eager to see what happens. I love Eastmans and my Bougeois OM might well be the perfect guitar,
The OMs are also Dana's heart and soul Terry. Had one for a while that was the best OM I ever played, until the Orpheum 14 fret mahogany came along. And that's just how good the Orpheum is.
 

Rayk

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The OMs are also Dana's heart and soul Terry. Had one for a while that was the best OM I ever played, until the Orpheum 14 fret mahogany came along. And that's just how good the Orpheum is.
One is on my list :)
 

HeyMikey

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I’ve played a few used Bourgeois OM’s. Not any high end ones. They were nice but didn’t knock my socks off. I liked my Martin OM28 much better. I’m sure there are plenty of better Bourgeois OMs but the point is the name alone doesn’t make the guitar special.

I sold the OM28 when I got my F30R, not because it was “better” but because it was also excellent but different in a way that fit my playing style and needs better.

Hats off to Dana for making the deal. The thought of Bourgeois inspired Eastmans sounds very interesting. Perhaps the partnership will even allow some economy of scale to help with his US made guitar pricing.
 
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Quantum Strummer

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Dana Bourgeois isn't getting any younger, so I can see this as a way of keeping his company going after he retires. He may also be ready to back off from the day-to-day stuff now rather than later. Bob Taylor is doing something like this too by putting Andy Powers in charge of the guitars (and making him a third partner in the company) while Bob spends most of his time on the Cameroon ebony project.

-Dave-
 

Rayk

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James Olson back off as well but I'm not sure who he's leaving the legacy to . I think in the back of head he did have someone training but I'm really not sure . What I'm sure of is I would love to have an Olson !
 

SFIV1967

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There won't be any Chinese made Bourgeois guitars, just guitars designed by Dana (good) and branded by Eastman (also good).
I don't read this in the above press release? It said: "introduction of a new series of acoustic guitars co-produced by Bourgeois and Eastman. Bourgeois will be responsible for design, materials selection, voicing, setup, and quality control, and Eastman will contribute efficient manufacturing and sourcing capabilities and expertise in global distribution."
So what I understand from this means production in China under Bourgeois supervision and branded as Bourgeois. What do I miss?

Ralf
 

twocorgis

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I don't read this in the above press release? It said: "introduction of a new series of acoustic guitars co-produced by Bourgeois and Eastman. Bourgeois will be responsible for design, materials selection, voicing, setup, and quality control, and Eastman will contribute efficient manufacturing and sourcing capabilities and expertise in global distribution."
So what I understand from this means production in China under Bourgeois supervision and branded as Bourgeois. What do I miss?

Ralf
Ralf, they will be branded as Eastmans. I have that on good authority (Dana).
 

twocorgis

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Ah, o.k., in this case no further questions!
Ralf
Dana is fiercely protective of his brand, as he should be. I think it's bad enough that Guild brands some of the junk they do, and then try to sell them alongside their American made line. Imagine trying to sell a sub $1000 Chinese made "Bourgeois" alongside a $6K+ made in Lewiston Maine model. That will never happen.
 
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Read the release again. There won't be any Chinese made Bourgeois guitars, just guitars designed by Dana (good) and branded by Eastman (also good). Personally, I think the venture has great potential. It gives Dana a reliable distributor for overseas, and Eastman is gaining designs from arguably the best luthier in world. Being that I've always thought that Eastman guitars were the class of Asian rim manufacturers (for acoustic guitars anyway, all that I've owned/tried), I think there's potential for great synergy here.

And I love my '97 Slope D-140 more than any other slope shoulder dread I've ever played, so I might not be totally impartial.
Actually, it didn't explicitly say that. It left it an open question. It does say that Eastman will distribute internationally and will manufacture in the U.S., but it does not state that Eastman won't manufacture internationally.

I've met Dana and his wife, Meg, a few times and know a couple of of his former employees. I also have a friend who owns Bourgeois guitar #3.

Dana is a good guy, as obsessed with his company and products as you'd expect any successful business owner to be. He always keeps one eye on business development. He's always known that building a guitar company takes more than just knowing how to make a guitar.

So this shouldn't be a big shocker. It'll be interesting to see where this goes. I'm not a fan of Asian guitars, but I'm sure the quality of his $6k+ axes won't suffer!
 

Quantum Strummer

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Re. Asian guitars, there's as much of a difference between instruments made in factories and those made by individual luthiers (sometimes with apprentices) as anywhere else in the world. Craft, artistry and creativity exist everywhere. Japanese builders like Masaki Sakurai, for one, are up there with the best on the planet.

-Dave-
 

adorshki

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Dana is fiercely protective of his brand, as he should be. I think it's bad enough that Guild brands some of the junk they do, and then try to sell them alongside their American made line.
A revealing insight into Mr. Bourgeois' understanding of the value of a brand.
In fairness just remember that the creation of the GAD line was a Fender corporate decision which Guild USA had little say over (and no involvement with production or distribution of), because Fender owned the brand including the right to put the logo on anything they wanted to, at the time.
(Said primarily for folks who might be unfamiliar with that history)
Could think of a couple of reasons Cordoba elected to continue that practice, but irrelevant to the current topic.
Imagine trying to sell a sub $1000 Chinese made "Bourgeois" alongside a $6K+ made in Lewiston Maine model. That will never happen.
Right, I was wondering about that myslef but a second read seemed to indicate that's how it would work:
"Our entire team will continue to produce acoustic guitars of the highest quality in our Lewiston, Maine, workshop. US distribution will continue to be handled through our Lewiston office. Eventually, overseas distribution will be managed by Eastman."
:tranquillity:
 
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