Gibson Guitar reorganization News

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Gibson is set to sell its Downtown Memphis factory after 18 years.

According to Memphis Daily News, the guitar company is putting its current factory on the market and seeking to relocate to a smaller premises in the area.

The Memphis factory is predominantly used to produce Gibson's semi-hollow and hollowbody instruments, and recently announced a relatively small range of new models for 2018.

Gibson's current Memphis factory measures 127,620 square feet, and also houses a large entertainment venue, as well as a 330-space parking lot. The price? A snip at $17 million.

The company hopes to stay in the current facility for another 18 to 24 months while a new location is found.

Presumably it's hoped that the sale will go some way to paying off Gibson's debt, which reportedly approached $520 million in August.


Gibson Guitar Factory Looking For New Home
By Patrick Lantrip Updated 5:14PM

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Gibson Beale Street Showcase and Guitar Factory
Nashville-based guitar maker Gibson Brands Inc. is putting its Downtown Memphis factory on the market as it looks for a new, smaller home.

The 18-year-old Gibson Beale Street Showcase and Guitar Factory – located on nearly six acres at 145 Lt. George W. Lee Ave., across South B.B. King Boulevard from FedExForum – clocks in at 127,620 square feet and has an adjacent 330-space parking lot. And it could be yours for $17 million.

"It's very difficult to accumulate this much land in a downtown market," said CBRE executive vice president Johnny Lamberson, who is handling the sale along with CBRE vice president Terry Radford. "In fact, I really haven't seen a sale this large probably since (FedExForum) was put together."

Lamberson said that while the Gibson factory won't be leaving Memphis anytime soon, the owners feel the current location is too big for what they need.

"They are definitely going to stay in Memphis, but when this venue was built it had a large entertainment venue (that) hasn't been utilized in a couple of years," he said. "And that's approximately half of the building."

Once Gibson figures out the square footage needed for its new location, it will again tap CBRE to handle that search. In the meantime they are looking to sell the current facility and sign an option to stay in it for another 18 to 24 months.

Lamberson said he would like to see the building adapted for reuse but could not rule out the possibility of new ground-up structure replacing the factory/entertainment venue.

"One of the fun things about being a broker sometimes is the unknown," he said. "I can't sit here right now and tell you what it's going to ultimately be, but this is certainly an exciting location and we're looking forward to seeing the next chapter."

A call to Gibson was not immediately returned.

The Memphis plant is one of Gibson's three production facilities, and the only one open for tours. It produces semi-hollow electric guitars, including the Gibson ES line, and custom instruments. Gibson's solid-body electric guitars are made in Nashville, while its acoustic guitars are produce in Bozeman, Montana.

Gibson's Memphis and Nashville locations became a national flashpoint in 2011 when federal agents raided the factories and offices in both cities, seizing several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. The government alleged some of the wood Gibson imported to manufacture guitars violated the Lacey Act, a law that bans the import of environmentally threatened plants and animals.

Gibson's corporate response turned the episode into an attack on the size of the federal government, with company postings on Twitter including the hashtag #thiswillnotstand. Days after the raid, U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee invited Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz to be her guest at a joint session of Congress as then-President Barack Obama unveiled a jobs proposal.


What's lower than a B? The financial rating of Gibson Brands Inc.

The famed guitar maker had its rating lowered to Caa3, nine notches into junk territory, with a negative outlook, as maturity of $520 million in debt approaches.

The privately-held company will need to refinance the debt before July 2018 or it faces a likely default. Moody's Investors Service Inc. said last week that there's "uncertainty" about the company's ability to refinance this debt and that its capital structure is "unsustainable." Gibson didn't respond to request for comment.

Although Gibson's finances are the most stressed, according the rating firm, it's not the only music company that's playing the blues.

In December, Moody's moved piano maker Steinway Music Group to Caa1, from B2, because of the company's highly-leveraged balance sheet. The company, owned by Paulson & Co., has a $300 million senior secured term loan due in 2019 and is leveraged at 8 times debt to Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization), according to Moody's.

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Last year, Fender Musical Instruments Corp., partly owned by Servco Pacific Capital and TPG Capital LP, was able to pull itself up to B1 from B2, which is still in speculative territory but only by four notches. The upgrade followed Fender's move to pay down $40 million of debt in 2016, bringing its leverage to 2.5 times debt to Ebitda. Still, the company has posted small revenue and has poor product diversity, Moody's said.

Music retailer Guitar Center Inc. had its outlook changed to negative in April (rating maintained at B2) as a result of the challenging retail environment and substantial debt maturities approaching in the next two years. Guitar Center is owned by Bain Capital LP.

None of these companies responded to request for comment Tuesday.

The industry generally is vulnerable to any dips in consumer spending, due to the often-discretionary nature of musical instrument purchases.

But for Gibson specifically, Moody's also cited a reduction in the number of products it's selling, new regulations and turnover among senior management as causes for concern.

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"We expect Ebitda to remain essentially flat this year as we think margin enhancements will not be enough to offset revenue declines," Moody's said in the Aug. 17 downgrade. "Moody's expects a significant decrease in revenue this year as the company reduces the number of SKUs in the Audio business and deals with the lingering effects of supply shortage issues that began in the first quarter of the fiscal year ended March 2018, new government regulations for certain wood products, and long-term secular pressure on guitar volumes in the Musical Instrument business."

Turnover at the "senior financial management level creates challenges to executing a quick operational turnaround," the rating firm added.

Levered at a rate of 10 times debt to Ebitda, Gibson has $375 million in senior bond debt maturing on Aug. 1, 2018. An additional $145 million in senior bank debt has a springing maturity of June 23, 2018, if the company doesn't manage to refinance the bonds.

The Nashville-based company, famous for its Les Paul guitar, has $1.2 billion in revenue annually, according to Moody's, and manufactures brands Gibson, Philips, Epiphone, Kramer, Baldwin, Onkyo, KRK and Stanton.


It's a slow train coming, but it's coming. We predicted this two years ago. Gibson deferred the debt a couple of times, can't do it forever.

The guitars of my dreams as a teenager. I had the famous mid-sixties catalog with the Tal Farlow, Barney Kessel and Trini Lopez models. Yeah, baby those were some guitars!



Gibson responds to Memphis factory sale news
By MusicRadar 14 hours agoGuitars

Improved efficiencies and better quality cited in release hailing 'next phase of growth'

Following hot on the heels of last week's breaking news that Gibson is selling its iconic Memphis factory, the US guitar giant has released a statement.

Against a backdrop of gloomy reports on the company's falling sales and mounting debts, the release accentuates the positive, while aiming to reassure locals that the company will remain 'in the greater Memphis area'. The facility, predominantly used to produce Gibson's semi-hollow and hollowbody instruments, is on the market for $17 million.

"A new facility will allow the company to improve the product quality, increase production capacity and potentially increase employment in the area," reads the statement. "Gibson is seeking a buyer for the current location that will allow it to continue to operate in this location while building and leasing an appropriate facility in proximity to the current factory location."

Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said, "We are extremely excited about this next phase of growth that we believe will benefit both our employees, and the Memphis community.  I remember when our property had abandoned buildings, and Beale Street was in decline. 

"It is with great pride that I can see the development of this area with a basketball arena, hotels, and a resurgent pride in the musical heritage of the great city of Memphis.

We are extremely excited about this next phase of growth that we believe will benefit both our employees, and the Memphis community.

Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz
"We continue to love the Memphis community and hope to be a key contributor to its future when we move nearby to a more appropriate location for our manufacturing based business, allowing the world the benefit of our great American craftsmen."

Prime corporate spin, or simply a business responding to changing conditions? Or possibly both? You decide.

Gibson Memphis factory tour: where the magic happens

Tony Raven

I'm a Washburn fan. They sold to Jam Industries late 2009. Their Mundelein offices (including the Custom Shop) were closed 2012 while Jam looked for a new, smaller place to put it -- sound familiar? Five years later, NOTHING has happened.

I think Gibson is talking out its corporate butt. If they were believable, they'd be able to at least drop hints about where they've scouted; if there were reason for optimism, they'd aleady be transitioning.

My guess: it's all going to Nashville.


Quote "I'm a Washburn fan"

I am also a Washburn fan. Seems like you get a lot of quality for the money.

There's a Washburn J5 at Reverb now for $510. I'd buy it, but I've told that I already have a lot of guitars that I don't play. :)



Pull out the acoustic guitar you bought for $75 at a garage sale and place it in a local consignment store for sale. Explain to the interested party that you will have the SAME number of guitars when you buy the Washburn, and that you will net a profit because it will be worth more in the future than you paid for it.

GAS math works every time.  :)


Quote from: Rhcole on November 24, 2017, 01:41:15 PM

Pull out the acoustic guitar you bought for $75 at a garage sale and place it in a local consignment store for sale. Explain to the interested party that you will have the SAME number of guitars when you buy the Washburn, and that you will net a profit because it will be worth more in the future than you paid for it.

GAS math works every time.  :)
I think you're onto something there. I've got two acoustic guitars that fit that description. Maybe I'll put them on and they'll sit there and probably not sell but at least they're off the books so to speak.

Theoretically I now have room for two new to me guitars. ;)

Or one guitar and a Behringer Model D when they get released.

I like your math.



Smashed guitar ends up playing happy note
By Frank Juliano and Tom Cleary Updated 11:22 pm, Friday, January 11, 2013

The guitar case for a 1965 Gibson ES-335 is seen stuck in a Delta gate. (Dave Schneider/Facebook) Photo: Contributed Photo / Contributed photo
Photo: Contributed Photo
IMAGE 1 OF 4 The guitar case for a 1965 Gibson ES-335 is seen stuck in a Delta gate. (Dave Schneider/Facebook)

It was a musician's worst nightmare.

Fairfield rocker Dave Schneider watched as Delta Airlines employees yanked, pulled and ripped at his smashed 1965 Gibson ES-335 guitar, trying for more than an hour to free it from where it had been wedged between a service elevator and a loading dock in an airport baggage claim.

A guitarist and singer in the hockey-themed band The Zambonis, and the Jewish group The LeeVees, Schneider begged Delta to let him carry his fragile guitar on a December flight from Buffalo to Detroit, as he typically does.

But airline employees denied his request, and said it wasn't their policy.

Actually there is no policy, Schneider said Friday, and one would be helpful. Most airlines will try to get musicians to check their instruments, and some suggest buying an extra seat for it. But usually, through a combination of cajoling and resisting, he has managed to bring his guitars on board flights and stow them in the overhead bin.

It was already a bad day for Schneider and his LeeVees bandmates. They started in Portland, Maine, and were headed to Tampa when their flight was diverted to Rochester, N.Y., because of bad weather.

The musicians rented a car there and drove to Buffalo, planning to fly into Detroit, and from there catch a direct flight to Tampa, where they had an afternoon appearance booked.

It ended up being a 20-hour trip, punctuated by the screeching machinery when his prized guitar slipped off the luggage cart and fell between the dock and the elevator.

Schneider, who owns Jimmy's Army-Navy in downtown Bridgeport, posted his story on his Facebook page Dec. 26, including photos of his damaged "baby."

While Schneider said he got several halfhearted apologies and an offer of $1,000 to repair the classic Gibson -- about half what the work would cost --the story spread across the world via news sites and social media.

"I never cared much for the terms `trending' and `viral' before, but there is power, like a wizard's wand," he said.

On Jan. 4, when Yahoo News picked up the story, it blew up. CNN, Gawker, and several other media outlets ran the story. It even made the news in Russia, where an English language radio station called Schneider, who has never played pro hockey, but does sing about it.

Delta, which initially offered Schneider a $1,000 check, was suddenly apologetic, and offered to pay for the repairs. The airline also gave Schneider vouchers for two free flights.

But it was the generosity of another company that gives Schneider's bad dream a happy ending.

On Tuesday, Gibson reached out to Schneider, offering to repair his smashed guitar for free. They also offered him a brand new 50th anniversary re-issue of a 1963 Gibson ES-335 in the same color -- cherry red -- as Schneider's guitar.

"As soon as we saw the picture of the crushed guitar case and heard Dave's story, we felt immense sympathy for him," Gibson CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said in a statement.

"At Gibson, we're committed to music and those who love and appreciate their instruments. For musicians like Dave, instruments are practically members of their family. It was only right to replace his guitar, and we are happy to have him at our showroom."

Schneider toured Gibson's New York City showroom on Thursday and left with his new guitar. While there, the Bridgeport musician talked to the company's luthier, or guitar maker, who told him that he only heard of two musicians buying an extra seat for his guitar, one of them possibly Peter Frampton.

That's not an option for most musicians, Schneider said Friday, but most would pay a small extra charge of, say, $50.

His experience, as upsetting as it was, isn't unique, Schneider said. Canadian musician Dave Carroll had a guitar smashed after a flight in 2009, and wrote a song and book about it, both called "United Breaks Guitars.''

The two men connected through Facebook and later talked on the phone. Schneider said he is also working on a song involving baggage handlers and smashed guitars.


<sigh...>  The previous owner of my 1965 ES-345 (a dear, late friend of mine) had the headstock snapped clean off by US Air.  Airlines vs. musical instruments is a never-ending struggle.


If guitars were meant to fly, they'd have wings.   ;D
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Epi Les Paul Standard
Gibson SG 50's prototype
Squire classic vibe 60's
Epi LP Modern
Epi SG Custom
Martin acoustic

Princeton chorus 210

Helix LT
Waza Air Headphones
Boomerang III

And, a lot of stuff I DON'T need


Quote from: snhirsch on January 05, 2018, 01:24:02 PM
<sigh...>  The previous owner of my 1965 ES-345 (a dear, late friend of mine) had the headstock snapped clean off by US Air.  Airlines vs. musical instruments is a never-ending struggle.

funny you mention ES-345

this just arrived  ( Freddie King)  - got a good deal


<<If guitars were meant to fly, they'd have wings.>>   ;D


Based upon above  - we see average 650% inflation since 1960

1960  Les Paul Standard ( regular production model) was $265 +$42.50 for the case ($307.50)


2017 Les Paul Standard ( regular production model) with case  - which the inflation chart above reflects should cost $1,998.75 in 2017  - which is typical for a regular production Les Paul Traditional in 2017  ( $1,950)

FWIW - as a former Ernie Ball Employee ( 1999-2001), I can tell you if it were not for the profit from EB Strings, there would not be enough positive revenue stream from MM guitar division alone to support making EB/MM guitars before going bust after 7 years

Same with D'Addario - the profit from D'Addario strings supports investing in CAD/CAM and creating the Planet Waves division.'Addario

in both scenarios - the annual high profit margin from String sales are the "cash cow" with a 10 to 1 return ( slinky's cost EB $0.50 cents a pack to manufacture)   ( Ive worked with LA session players who changed strings on 6 guitars once a week - or more frequently)

Explains why former EB sales manager did the math and then started his own string company

and I know a few boutique guitar  / amp builders who are very passionate about their products which are quite good and well known , - but many of those small manufacturer's would not exist if it were not for their spouse being the  "breadwinner" in their family selling real estate.

in todays world, maybe Henry J could generate more sales if he provided a built in Philips  / Onkyo paranormal ghost box ghost presence detector inside the brown case of every Custom Shop VOS guitar

I swear Freddie King visits my guitar case time to time


Yes, Elantric but...

Guitar building has changed over the last 25 years. CNC machines make even dirt-cheap guitars playable today. A $50 electric when you and I were kids was firewood with strings. An equivalent modern guitar might be $300 - $500. Pretty playable if you like Squires or Epiphones. A thousand dollar guitar can be a very good instrument.

I'm not saying selling guitars is a big money opportunity- far from it. Tons of competition, foreign counterfeits, a declining market...
I admire ALL vendors in this space 'cause they must be doing it for the love.
Fred Gretsch Jr. probably is doing it for that reason.


Quote from: Rhcole on January 05, 2018, 04:49:30 PM

Fred Gretsch Jr. probably is doing it for that reason.

Well today Fender reaps the rewards there






National Resophonic

are among the last family owned USA Guitar production line MFGRs

There are builders ( Suhr, Tom Anderson. James Tyler) - but they have lower production numbers 

in 2013 we lost Phil Kubicki ( sad as I always enjoyed learning from him at many NAMM shows )



Gibson 'running out of time — rapidly'
Company faces big debt deadlines; CFO exits after less than a year

AUTHORS Geert De Lombaerde

"Gibson Brands, Inc. today announced that the company made a $16.6 million coupon payment to holders of its $375 million, 8.875% senior secured notes due 2018."

That simple statement issued a week ago — at all of 26 words, it's less than a quarter the length of Gibson's boilerplate company description that accompanied it — suggests a business-as-usual tone of a company taking care of its contractual commitments.

But the situation facing the iconic Nashville-based music instrument maker, which has annual revenues of more than $1 billion, is far from normal: CFO Bill Lawrence recently left the company after less than a year on the job and just six months before $375 million of senior secured notes will mature. On top of that, another $145 million in bank loans will come due immediately if those notes, issued in 2013, are not refinanced by July 23.

Less than six months out from those crucial deadlines, the prospects for an orderly refinancing — Gibson has hired investment bank Jefferies to help with that — look slim, observers say. And the alternative scenarios look likely to sideline longtime owner and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz.

"At the end of the day, someone will take control of this company — be it the debtors or the bondholders," Debtwire reporter Reshmi Basu told the Post this week. "This has been a long time coming."

Basu said some bondholders have complained about a lack of clarity from Gibson — a situation that has not improved by the arrival of GSO Capital Partners, a unit of private equity giant Blackstone that about a year ago extended Gibson a lifeline via $130 million in loans. Basu told the Post GSO's arrival on the scene has unsettled some bondholders, who have organized and hired financial and legal advisors to protect their interests.

Kevin Cassidy, a senior credit officer at Moody's Investors Service, says Juszkiewicz essentially has just three options: He and his team could negotiate an exchange of their debt coming due for new notes, which may not be feasible at a reasonable price. He also could be persuaded — or forced — to give up some of his equity in exchange for the debt payments. Or he may end up taking one of the most globally recognized brands that calls Nashville home to bankruptcy court.

"This year is critical and they are running out of time — rapidly," said Cassidy, who last summer downgraded Gibson's debt rating. "And if this ends in bankruptcy, he will give up the entire company."

Attempts to reach Gibson executives via a spokesman this week were not successful.

The company recently gave itself a bit of breathing room by selling a former Baldwin Piano warehouse in The Gulch for $6.4 million. It also is trying to sell the nearby Valley Arts building on Church Street, although that deal has landed in court. But those sales — the Valley Arts property will bring in about $11 million — are unlikely to make a big enough dent to stave off a painful overhaul.

Gibson needs to report by next week its final numbers for its fiscal third quarter to stakeholders. One thing bond owners will be watching for is an improvement in the company's electronics business, which has been built up in the past few years via debt-fueled acquisitions but has seen sales slump of late.

Still, even a solid turnaround on that front won't be enough for Juszkiewicz to avoid difficult conversations.

"Some type of restructuring will be necessary," Cassidy said. "The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one. But you have a balance sheet problem and an operational problem."


Quote "The core business is a very stable business, and a sustainable one. But you have a balance sheet problem and an operational problem."

Which is same thing I recognized in 2009 when Henry was boasting his new 2009 $10K Wurlitzer digital Jukebox prototype - looked Like a church podium.

Henry J would not listen when I told him I thought my iphone already did all that and whole lot more)

Id be happy if Dave Berryman ( Epiphone CEO) could take over

although Id fear that USA production would cease - and  "Orville" guitars would get rebranded as "Gibson"



QuoteIf Restructuring Fails, Bankruptcy is Inevitable
Gibson's Memphis factory
Is Gibson's golden empire about to crumble?

A source told us that Juszkiewicz's insistence on maintaining majority ownership is a major stumbling block to potential lenders/investors. If Gibson's debt restructuring isn't completed by July, then bankruptcy is inevitable.

Existing Gibson noteholders have retained financial advisors and "anticipate that the company will be unable to recapitalize its debt by July and will face a bankruptcy filing within the year." Once that happens, the group would likely end up with more equity in the company through the bankruptcy.

Creditors Have Retained Japanese Lawyers

One final interesting note in the Reorg Research report, current Gibson noteholders have retained Japanese legal counsel "to determine whether the notes' security interests in certain subsidiaries, including TEAC and Onkyo, have been perfected." It is obvious that any financial holdings of debtor Gibson are valuable assets that could become entangled in a bankruptcy filing, and potentially turned over to the company's debt holders, depending on the court's decision. But we found it quite interesting that Gibson's current noteholders are thinking...and acting...this far ahead.

While Gibson CEO Juszkiewicz still has time to get the recapitalization done, the window of opportunity is beginning to close. Then, things get much worse...


Quote from: Rhcole on January 05, 2018, 03:41:43 PM
<<If guitars were meant to fly, they'd have wings.>>   ;D
or at least flight cases.



Gibson Brands demands Bangor luthier stop making some of his guitars

Micky Bedell | BDN
Dallas Seger of Seger Electric Guitars hand makes custom guitars.
Seger Guitars/Michael Hallahan | BDN
Dallas Seger's YG guitar model, which Gibson claims is a trademark violation of their SG model.
By Emily Burnham, BDN Staff • February 16, 2018 1:00 am
One of the largest guitar makers in the world has sent a cease and desist letter to a Bangor luthier, claiming that two of his models are in violation of its trademarks.

Gibson Brands, Inc. late last year demanded Dallas Seger, owner and operator of the Bangor-based Seger Guitars, to stop making two of his models — the YG and the V — claiming they violate the trademarks of two of their models: the SG body, and the Flying V body and headstock.

"They asked me not only to stop making them, but to pay them a settlement on the ones I've already made and sold," said Seger, 37, who has been making guitars for nearly 20 years.

Bates & Bates, the legal firm retained by Gibson to represent it in its various trademark lawsuits, did not respond to a request for comment.

Seger complied with one of Gibson's requests, and in December removed his V model from his online store, he said. But he contends that his other model, the YG, is entirely his own design and said he will continue making and selling it.

"The YG model is entirely my own. I've been making it for years," said Seger.

[Michael Hallahan] Dallas Seger's YG guitar model, which Gibson claims is a trademark violation of their SG model.

Seger, who is also a guitar technician at Northern Kingdom Music in Bangor, makes a limited number of guitars per year, declining to name an exact number of how many he'd made or sold over the years. He takes custom orders and then spends six months crafting each one by hand, carving them out of solid wood and building them to the client's exact specifications.

Gibson has sent similar letters to a number of guitar makers of various sizes over the years, from boutique companies like Seger's to larger makers like U.K.-based John Henry Skewes, which took Gibson to court and had an $8 million lawsuit dismissed in Oct. 2016.

Most recently, in Dec. 2017 Gibson sued vinyl toy maker FUNKO Pop over usage of alleged likenesses of its guitars in figurines of members of Metallica, KISS and Guns n' Roses, claiming it did not have permission to use the designs.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Gibson Brands has had a financially tumultuous past year, according to the Nashville Post. With a recent $16.6 million payment on a $375 million loan backed by the company's own assets, it has managed to stay ahead of a heavy debt burden. But it must refinance that loan by July 23. If it doesn't, another $145 million bank loan will come due, putting the company's future in question.

It currently is trying to refinance its debt into a $550 million loan. If it can't, debtors could come calling. In that case, the company could try to negotiate an exchange of its debt, give up some equity to debtors or potentially declare bankruptcy.

BDN writer Lori Valigra contributed reporting.

Tony Raven

Quote from: admsustainiac on February 16, 2018, 05:11:12 AMGibson ... currently is trying to refinance its debt into a $550 million loan.
...while pissing away millions pursuing frivolous lawsuits that will do nothing to protect their IP yet manage to discourage off potential investors.

Yeh, now THAT is the sort of marketing I'd be looking for if I was in a position to approve/extend a loan.


Speaking of crass marketing ploys (;D), I can't overlook that this is the company that in 2010 issued "Gibson Historic Bumblebee Capacitors," presently selling for $125/pair.

Then some smart-alecky cynics decided to open 'em up --

{the entire discussion on}

Even Allparts was selling similar (non-Gibson) for a mere $60 each. :P Clearly, someone is buying the damned things; anyone who wants to make some legal shady cash can buy Spragues by the handful, like this lot of 14 (presently up to $31 + s/h) --

(A guy down the block used to be my go-to amp repair guy but wasn't making enough to justify gov't regs for disposal of lead-based solder. :( For all I know, he's still got boxes of the originals sitting around... Probably going useless for any powered circuit, but fine for guitars.)

My understanding is that crappy ol' "tiny tan" ceramic disks are MUCH more suitable for guitars than foils because the latter are prone to RFI. If I was tasked with restoring a vintage LP that, okay, maybe deserved to be as "original spec" as possible, I'd trawl the local thrift stores for a beat-up old radio & hope to find a Sprague or two wired in. And I'd be doing a good thing for the environment, as the Spragues used PCB dielectric. :o

It's one thing for fanboys to get all worked up about such (likely imaginary) minutiae. It's quite another for a large established company to engage in blatant counterfeiting in order to cash in. And that very behavior clearly demonstrates the sort of attitude that indicates deep internal rot.