Gibson acquires iconic boutique amp brand Mesa/Boogie

The brand is set to be "Gibson's Custom Shop for amplifiers".

Following speculation on social media earlier today, it has now been officially announced that Gibson has acquired iconic amplifier brand Mesa/Boogie.

Gibson president and CEO JC Curleigh said of the partnership: “At Gibson, we are all about leveraging our iconic past and leaning into the innovative future, a quest that started over 100 years ago with our founder Orville Gibson.

“Today this quest continues with the addition of Mesa/Boogie into the Gibson Brands family, along with the visionary leadership of Randy Smith and his team who, for the past 50 years, have created an iconic and innovative brand that has stood the test of time. This is a perfect partnership based on our collective professional experiences and passion for sound.”

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Mesa/Boogie began in Randall Smith’s workshop, initially just in the form of him hot-rodding Fender amplifiers. Since then, the brand has established a reputation as one of the earliest, if not the first, ’boutique’ amp-makers in the world.

“I’m 75 years old and still at work every day. This is my art and many of our crew have worked along my side for 30 to 40 years. As we witnessed JC and Cesar transform Gibson, we saw kindred spirits sharing common values and a fierce dedication to quality,” Smith said of the partnership.

Gibson's Cesar Gueikian, Mesa/Boogie's Randall Smith and Gibson's JC Curleigh
L-R: Gibson’s Cesar Gueikian, Mesa/Boogie’s Randall Smith and Gibson’s JC Curleigh. Image: Gibson

“Today, Gibson’s guitars are the best-ever – and when they asked if we’d like to become Gibson’s Custom Shop for amplifiers, we envisioned a perfect collaboration that would expand our outreach while preserving our legacy beyond my time. Gibson realises the unique value of what we’ve all built together and this next chapter in the Mesa/Boogie story is a continuation of that dream. I am so fortunate for this partnership with the new Gibson after 50 years of doing what I love. It’s been the ride of my life… and it ain’t over yet!”

Gibson CMO Cesar Gueikian added: “Mesa/Boogie, led by Randy, has been in service to sound without compromises since the very beginning, and that’s a perfect fit for us. We are looking forward to being the best custodians of Mesa/Boogie’s iconic heritage that we can be, and at the same time, be a steward of its future.

“We are honoured that Randy and the Mesa/Boogie team have trusted us to lead Mesa/Boogie into the future. Together, we will continue to pursue our mutual quest of sound, quality and craftsmanship and to push the boundaries of how guitar sound is delivered and experienced.”

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You can see Gibson’s official announcement below.

We are pleased to announce the addition of Mesa/Boogie to the Gibson Brands family. One of the most respected and…

Posted by Gibson on Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Gibson artist Adam Jones, who just last year launched his long-awaited Silverburst signature Les Paul and has been a long-time user of Mesa/Boogie amps, said of the acquisition: “This is very exciting, I can’t think of a better company to carry the Mesa/Boogie torch, and I can’t wait to see what we can do together.”

Captain Kirk Douglas, guitarist for The Roots, added: “Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of home recording with my Mesa/Boogies; it’s exciting to see the two brands joining collaborative forces.”

Randall Smith
Randall Smith in the Mesa/Boogie workshop. Image: Gibson

Gibson’s last foray into amplifiers was the Goldtone series, but it has a long history of making amplifiers that goes all the way back to the 1930s. Given Randall Smith’s mention of the brand becoming “Gibson’s Custom Shop for amplifiers”, the acquisition leads to a wide range of possibilities, from Custom Shop reissues of classic Gibson amps to entirely new lines.

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