wow, all this high finance stuff is beyond me. *grins ...but it affects me. I don't claim to understand it all but during these times of crisis, sometime a guy just wants to do something positive. A guy like me does, anyway. This thread (partly) has inspired me to pull the trigger on a new Gibson. Something I thought I'd never do again. I actually own two Gibson SGs that I bought new, and I'm very happy with both of them and have had zero problems with QC. I didn't think I needed another one... Both of my Gibsons were excellent right from the first day, and still remain my favorites. Both were marked down to an affordable price for a seasoned and crafty buyer like me. So it's odd behavior for me to just order a guitar. http://www.gibson.com/Products/Acoustic-Instruments/2018/J-45-Walnut-AG-Antique-Natural.aspx But I did it. I ordered a Gibson J-45 AG... (which is about the least expensive J-45 ever). Here's why: (besides the fact that the J-45 is one of Gibson's best guitar designs) Way back in like 2012 when Gibson had gotten in trouble (again) because of questionable buying practices in the third world Tonewood Black Market, my voice was one of those that asked why Gibson couldn't make guitars out of North American wood. I'm sure I even suggested that Gibson go about buying up old dead bowling alleys, and making guitar necks and fretboards out of the hard rock maple salvaged from the abandoned lanes. *laughs I suggested the Gibson Les Paul "Brunswick" model... with an SG to match. Buyers to pay a premium to get one of those triangle ball guides at the twelfth fret. Some of us (on this very forum) couldn't understand why Gibson felt driven to go shopping in dicey places to get the wood they needed for their guitar designs. Specifically Ebony and Rosewood from Madagascar and worse places. I'm sure I posted more than once about how much I'd love to buy a Gibson guitar made out of North American hardwoods. And here it is, several years later. I didn't hear about this model immediately, but as soon as I did, I recognized that they were actually doing what some of us had asked them to do. So I put my master card where my mouth is. *grins I'll support Gibson in this venture. Walnut body, walnut bridge and fretboard, maple neck, spruce top... NO Tropical "tone woods" and priced about a thousand dollars less than "traditional" J-45 guitar. I bought one. I did something like this before, in like 2013, when I bought a Gibson SG with a fretboard made of "baked maple..." This turned out to be a good move, because the baked maple is an excellent fretboard material in spite of all the Gibson bashing that was spewed on us because of it. Also, all the Gibson bashing ensured that the "baked maple" models didn't sell well, so mine was marked way way down when I finally pulled the trigger. I was just tryin' to help, ya know. I tried manfully to resist the G.A.S. but when they kept marking them down, even my girlfriend agreed that I should just get one. In 2015, when Gibson pissed everybody off by raising their prices and refusing to give us a choice about whether we wanted their "innovations" many Gibson fans closed their minds and their hearts and their wallets and the Gibson bashing jamboree was loud and obnoxious. *yawn My vote in the Great 2015 Gibson Bash-fest was to buy an Epiphone ES-339 P-90 pro which turned out to be an excellent choice, a fine and practical instrument (after lots of modding fun) and this guitar has worked its way into my heart and found a place in my music. So once again, I used my master card to register my opinion... in the only way a corporation might understand. (I also got a fine guitar out of it, for about $600 including mods and hard case.) Gibson seemed to pay attention a year later, so my point was well made (along with thousands of others of course....) Why am I telling you all this? Because I believe that it matters where we spend our money. Lucky me, I don't seem to buy guitars that turn out to be so disappointing. I read Gibson bashing posts with perplexity, because my two Gibsons are so fine, they live up to everything we've been led to expect. So I'm a happy Gibson player, and I usually feel sorry for those who buy a fine guitar and then find fault with it, and can't enjoy it the way I enjoy mine. I own two Fenders as well, and they are both top notch IMHO. I don't know if Fender inspires as much bad rap as Gibson does, but none of that comes from me. My Fender Tele and my Fender Bass do everything I ask of them, and everything I'm capable of. Dependable, solid and excellent. Just like my Gibsons. Lucky me, eh? (but I think most Gibson and Fender players would second this).