Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Production in New Hartford

  1. #1

    Production in New Hartford

    This might have been covered in another post, but I'll admit I haven't quite learned how to successfully use the search feature in this forum so my apologies if this is a repeat question.

    Is there a document somewhere that provides production information on the guitars built in the New Hartford Connecticut factory?

    I'm very curious how many guitars were made per year, and how many were produced for each model?

    The only document I've seen, which I've provided a link below, provides the coding scheme used for the serial numbers in Tacoma Washington and was carried over into New Hartford.

    http://support.guildguitars.com/down...gyourguild.pdf

    Any additional information you might have will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Robert

  2. #2
    Super Moderator chazmo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    15,510
    I'm not sure there's anything written that's sort of a history of New Hartford production, Robert, but I can give you a few facts.

    The facility that Fender bought was part of Kaman Music. It was building Ovation and Hamer guitars at the time, and started building D-55 prototypes after the purchase through a good part of 2008. First production was January of 2009, D-55s only, shown at winter NAMM that year. This was very shortly after the actual shutdown of Tacoma in 2008, but there was no overlap (not including the prototypes that is). So the 2009 builds were all "NM" prefixed serial numbers.

    New Hartford was shut down during the spring of 2014. Can't remember whether it was end of May or June, but something like that. "NR" prefix.

    Production numbers are not actually published anywhere. They might be known, but it'd be a little complex figuring it out as New Hartford also build Fender acoustics a bit. There was a log book that some of us saw which every guitar that went through final assembly got registered in. But, I'm not aware that anyone actually saw it in its entirety to do a real count.
    Guilds:
    1967 MK-VI Artist Special (Hoboken - Jacobs restoration 2018) - "The Mark"
    12ers:
    1994 JF-30-12Bld (Westerly),
    2006 F-512 (Tacoma),
    2010 F-212XL STD (New Hartford) - "Connie"
    2014 Orpheum 12 OOO SHRW (New Hartford)

    Other 12ers:
    1970 Martin D-12-20
    1980 Ibanez AW-75 (Series I)
    1984 Taylor 655

  3. #3
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16,520
    Blog Entries
    9
    There were four factory tours for LTG members and others, and I was at three. FMIC was extremely protective about revealing the number of Guilds being produced. It was a question that would be asked and answered with "We can't tell you that". There are some guesses but they get clouded by the other product lines that were made in the same factory. We all remember Ovation and Hamer but Fender also did a couple runs of Kingmen so even if someone who was there says "ten guitars a day", how many of them were Guilds?

    My memory is that I decided 500 Guilds per year was probably true for the first couple of years. I think production was about 3.000 per year when they closed and was still ramping up. 5,000 Guilds per year was a target that could be met with the other demands on the factory and there was a lot of potential if a second shift was added. I can probably tell you why I decided that (instruments seen in Final Assembly/Inspection during tours, a peek at the production log book, a plant manager who shared expansion hopes off the record, the claim that a minimum order for GC was larger than the entire production, and so on) but you still have just my estimates and opinion.

    We have tried to figure this out before. If you use the site keyword at Google to restrict the search to a single site (LTG) you might have some luck, although that will not return anything from a Members Only area. There are threads about GSR and Orpheum production. I'd try finding those, maybe searching on "ledger" or "logbook" to see if the thread with the picture pops up. LMG I, II, III and IV threads might have something. I'd say posts by me or chazmo are more likely to have off the record info behind them. SFIV1967 (Ralf) has an uncanny ability to find obscure information and anything he says on the subject should be taken seriously.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"


    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  4. #4
    Not enough to stay put.

    Ralph

  5. #5
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16,520
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by F312 View Post
    Not enough to stay put.

    Ralph
    Perhaps but my sources said the factory was making a profit and was on track to make a bigger profit. The outside investors basically said we are not getting the return we want on this investment. It wasn't clear whether the ROI expectation was reasonable. If I demand a legal, 50% ROI and I will pull out if I don't get it, I'm going to be leaving a lot of deals.

    I acknowledge the attempt at humor but I'm not really laughing :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"


    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    metrowest MA
    Posts
    1,846
    I thought New Hartford closed because that small operation wasn't going to be able to help FMIC overcome their bigger financial challenges?
    several Guilds, one Gretsch, one Taylor, & a Squire CV tele

  7. #7
    I have no sources.


    Ralph

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    3,766
    It's hard to say why it shut down. We will never no the costs of running the place. It wasn't a new or modern building. Ovation wasn't selling enough USA models to make a decent profit, is my guess. How often did you see a US built Ovation in a store ? The Guild production HAD to have helped pay the bills for sure, but, some reason must have been there to " Cut costs ", and it was probably easier to drop an acquired line of guitars than do something to the core Fender brand to have a sale income and a cost reduction at the same time. I'm just glad the sale was made instead of just killing the brand.

    I read that Ovation is once again making Adamas guitars, there high end stuff. Around 3 grand a guitar. Using an online inflation calculator, that's less than they used to MSRP for. Just two models, though.
    1974 Ovation Legend
    Walden G2070
    G&L Legacy Tribute
    1984 Ovation 1758 12 string
    2010 Guild F47R
    2013 Guild NS X175-B
    1998 Guild Starfire IV
    2008 Prototype D55
    2016 Guild NS X175 Sunburst

  9. #9
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Central Virginia, USA
    Posts
    16,520
    Blog Entries
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by geoguy View Post
    I thought New Hartford closed because that small operation wasn't going to be able to help FMIC overcome their bigger financial challenges?
    That's one way of looking at it. My sources focused on the claim that the outside investors weren't getting the ROI they wanted from it. If they wanted that ROI to solve larger financial problem then we're both right :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuball48 View Post
    Frono: You are correct----again.

    '67 Starfire I Bass (Cherry)
    '71 JS II Bass (Walnut)
    '82 B-50 Acoustic Bass (Natural)
    '87 Pilot (Black)
    '13 Newark Street Starfire Bass (Cherry)
    '16 Betts Bass "Walnut Bottom"


    LMG I, II, III

    This space available.

  10. #10
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Sillycon Valley CA
    Posts
    28,025
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnW63 View Post
    The Guild production HAD to have helped pay the bills for sure, but, some reason must have been there to " Cut costs ", and it was probably easier to drop an acquired line of guitars than do something to the core Fender brand to have a sale income and a cost reduction at the same time.
    I think the "2 Birds with one stone" is the most likely rationale too, especially if Guild was making a profit, but not enough of one to satisfy the Fender Corporation debt holders.
    Recall there was also speculation at the time that if GC, Fender's single biggest customer went down, it'd take Fender down with it.
    So the pressure was on Fender and like doody, it rolled down hill.
    Last edited by adorshki; 01-24-2020 at 04:29 PM.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •