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 Post subject: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:27 pm 
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The key word there is especially. I don't post that much, but I read through threads everyday, and all this talk of dealers being dropped and production being behind and the 'you'll be lucky if you see your guitar within the next year or two' type thing, is making me wonder.

Not so long ago I asked how easy it'd be to find a 360/6 FG in stock anywhere in the general PA/NYC/NJ/DE/MD USA area. John Hall and some others advised not to worry too much, and that I'd most likely be able to find one pretty easy, maybe not at the lowest price for stock in hand, but it's a common guitar, so no worries about availability.

But I'm wondering, with all this behind schedule talk, is it going to be increasingly difficult within the next year to find even the most common of RIC models pre-ordered/in-stock at guitar shops?

Or is this simply the demanding production-schedule Rickenbacker has already been dealing with for years?


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:53 pm 
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Quote:
But I'm wondering, with all this behind schedule talk . . .
First, let's clarify that this is not a "behind schedule" issue. We don't publish a "schedule" to be behind with. What it is, of course, is demand far exceeding supply and our capacity has not increased fast enough to meet that demand.
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Or is this simply the demanding production-schedule Rickenbacker has already been dealing with for years?
This has been the same for 10 years or more. Every time we increase our production it seems, another wave of bigger orders comes in. Our (totally guesstimated) measure of the market suggests we're satisfying only about 1/8th of the actual demand right now but I'm absolutely unwilling to send that production outside the US or otherwise outsourcing it such that there is any question of quality.

There are really only three simple solutions to this problem:

1. Further fiddle with the dealer policies to artificially limit availability or new orders.

2. Increase the prices drastically to reduce demand.

3. Vastly increase production.

Our strong emphasis has been on item 3 and will continue to be but in the end, it will probably require a combination of all these elements to tame the backlog in the short term.


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:56 pm 
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And that's one of the things I love about your company, John. The unwillingness to a) send jobs outside the US (which I strongly am against), and b) your unwillingness to compromise quality for quantity. It's like my dad always told me, "you get what you pay for", and in the case of Rics, it's a high quality guitar at a great price that you might have to wait on getting, but it's well worth the wait.


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:02 pm 
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One thing separates us 'Rickies' from other guitar owners/collectors/players is that we KNOW a Rick will be always be the best quality it can be,extremely affordable given its quality and rarity and always US made.Any other way and it would be the end of something special.Why meet demand anyway? Once that is done the next step is to over produce,then have discounts and 'firesales'.Second hand values would drop dramatically.At least the present course of action sees a reasonably healthy equity in our purchase/investment and RIC workers are not worried about layoffs.For textbook illustrations on how to decimate your industry just look at the current state of Ford Motor Co.Losses,losses, jobcuts and a constant quest for cheaper overseas production facilities and for what? They don't even have a healthy demand for their products anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:02 pm 
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One thing separates us 'Rickies' from other guitar owners/collectors/players is that we KNOW a Rick will be always be the best quality it can be,extremely affordable given its quality and rarity and always US made.Any other way and it would be the end of something special.Why meet demand anyway? Once that is done the next step is to over produce,then have discounts and 'firesales'.Second hand values would drop dramatically.At least the present course of action sees a reasonably healthy equity in our purchase/investment and RIC workers are not worried about layoffs.For textbook illustrations on how to decimate your industry just look at the current state of Ford Motor Co.Losses,losses, jobcuts and a constant quest for cheaper overseas production facilities and for what? They don't even have a healthy demand for their products anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:06 pm 
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Good point nightfire...just as I always go after US guitars (Rics mostly) and British Amps(Vox, Hiwatt, Marshall), I only drive foreign cars(my wife and I each have Subaru's right now)...quality is quality no matter what, and a little investment now means a better product for a longer lifetime of the product, as well as better resale. Just like Rics!


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:07 pm 
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Of course by British amps I mean ones actually MADE in the UK and not the newer ones made in Asia!


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 12:29 am 
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John, you can always move the plant to southwest georgia where the wages are low and the unemployment is high. Of course you can always build a new plant with more production lines to move out guitars faster. I think the you would come out ahead if you moved the plant to thomasville, ga and hired me to head production. Oh, I must be daydreaming again. peace ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:41 am 
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The amp point is very relevant.We all know Marshall are highly respected and make quality stuff but I never understood why they brought a budget line,called Park, and sourced them abroad.It cheapens the image of Marshall.Same with Martin.Why make Sigmas and pretend they are budget Martins.Either make a quality item and stand by it or not.Chasing the lower end of the market in order to gain customer loyalty when that customer is ready to 'buck up' and lay some serious money doesn't work.The one problem I have discerning quality is Fender.I once bought a brand new 40th anniversary American Stratocaster and the accompanying handbook assured me my new purchase was crafted to the highest standard using the best materials available.Note the use of superlatives.You cannot get better than 'best' or higher than 'highest'...... unless you buy a Fender when if you REALLY want the bestest best and the highest highest you have to buy a Custom shop.So, what was my highest crafted strat then? Second division?Buy a Rick and you know it's a thoroughbred.


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 Post subject: Re: Ric production especially tight?
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 1:45 am 
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Great points on all counts, nightfire.
And even the nicest Fenders feel cheap and mass-produced to me, and I've played a bunch of the high0-end/custom shop stuff, not to mention the plain ol' USA standard stuff...and their non-US made stuff is absolute trash in every sense. I've been pleasantly surprised by my Epiphone, believe it or not. But other than that, I'm stickin' to Rics!


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