Gibson’s Mat Koehler refutes the idea that the the brand is a “faceless corporation”

Gibson’s Mat Koehler refutes the idea that the the brand is a “faceless corporation”

It’s safe to say that Gibson is a relatively controversial guitar brand, partially due to its generally “premium” approach. Rising prices across the board, alongside product launches that seem a little out-of-touch with what the average working musician can afford (such as a $999 set of pickups) have garnered Gibson a fair bit of criticism over the last few years.

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But love them or loathe them, you can’t deny the impact Gibson guitars have had on the industry at large. With this in mind Gibson’s vice president of product Mat Koehler has recently stated that the company’s goal is simply to create the best instruments it can. Speaking to Guitarist,  has spoken out against people who misunderstand Gibson’s core values. “A misconception is that we’re this [faceless] corporation,” he says. “But I can tell you, on the inside, it does not feel that way. We are a family. We’re a family of people who are extremely passionate about guitars and music and making instruments.”
Koehler clarifies that this does manifest in that premium-focused approach, saying: “we just want to be the preferred choice of artists, you know? And we recognise that we’re making not only tools for artists – but the best tools that someone can possibly choose.”
“So we feel a huge sense of responsibility to be providing that experience, and it’s palpable throughout the organisation, wherever you go.”
This “misconception” Koehler references is likely in reference to the general tone of the conversation about Gibson that has developed over the last few years. Internet commentators are quick to point to claims of poor quality control, and the brand’s history of litigation. Its steeply rising prices have also come under fire – particularly when it comes to the ostensibly affordable Epiphone lines and the once-affordable Les Paul Studio. Additionally, not too long ago YouTuber Rhett Shull examined how younger artists appear to be playing Gibson guitars less and less, instead opting for either Fender or just more out-there and forward-looking guitar brands.
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