Gibson, the iconic American instrument brand, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Mesa/Boogie, one of the most respected and prestigious brands in sound and guitar amplification. Mesa/Boogie – the original “Boutique” amplifier company – was founded 51 years ago by Randy Smith, who is responsible for creating the ground-breaking circuits that drive some of the most influential sounds of our time. Randy will join Gibson as Master Designer and Pioneer of Mesa/Boogie and beyond. In his new role, Randy will continue his passion for tube technology and his vision for building hand-crafted, high performance amplifiers, that continue to redefine how we experience sound across Mesa/Boogie and Gibson.
Beginning in a converted dog kennel under the redwoods of Northern California, Randy Smith was wrenching amplifiers for all the great San Francisco area bands over 50 years ago when vintage gear was new. Being close to so many great guitar players, from Bloomfield to Santana and The Rolling Stones,Smith learned the virtues and shortcomings of the era’s gear and began a process of innovation that continues today. Mesa/Boogie, the company Smith founded, was the first boutique amplifier builder and revolutionized amplifier performance in ways that impacted rock music worldwide. Simultaneously respecting and improving the vintage classics he grew up with, Smith, through Mesa/Boogie pioneered the invention of High Gain.
“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,” says James ‘’JC’ Curleigh, President & CEO of Gibson Brands. “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”.
“I’m 75 years-old and still at work every day,” says Randall Smith founder of Mesa/Boogie. “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. 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 realizes 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!”
“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,” adds Cesar Gueikian of Gibson Brands. “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 honored 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.”
“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,” says Adam Jones, guitarist for the multi-platinum and multiple GRAMMY-Award winning band Tool. “I have been using Mesa Boogie amplifiers and cabinets for a long time. I use them at home, in the studio when I record and on stage when I play live; they go across all of my needs.”
“I’ve been using Gibson guitars together with Mesa/Boogie amps onstage with the Roots for well over a decade,” says Captain Kirk Douglas, guitarist for the legendary, multiple GRAMMY-Award winning hip-hop group The Roots. “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.”
Photo Credit: Gibson
About Mesa/Boogie: One of the most respected and prestigious brands in the musical instrument industry, Mesa/Boogie – the original “Boutique” amplifier company – is an American company which manufactures amplifiers for guitars and basses. Founded by Randall Smith in 1969 in Petaluma, CA, Mesa/Boogie began as a small amplifier repair shop. Randy’s ear for tone, passion for tube technology, and innovative vision for building high performance amps has redefined what we think of as amplified guitar. Randall has been creating the iconic circuits that drive the most influential sounds of our time and his ground-breaking modifications gave small amps much more input gain, making them much louder, as well as creating an all new, high-gain, distorted guitar tone. Prominent early customers included Carlos Santana, and Ron Wood and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones. Exposure from these top players and more helped to establish Mesa/Boogie’s position on the market. Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s a score of additional innovative and patented improvements saw MESA Engineering® emerge as the leader in tube amplifier technology. But none of these vital, now-commonplace improvements sparked the kind of attention Mesa received in 1991, when high gain was re-defined once more with the birth of the Dual Rectifier® Solo Head, which commanded the Rock airwaves for the next 20 years. Now, 51 one years later, Mesa/Boogie® Ltd. hand-builds the fifth generational offspring of that pivotal amplifier (and many more) now known around the globe as the MARK I Boogie®; the world’s first high gain, high power, compact 1×12 amplifier. This revolutionary combination is the “missing link” in amp design… the pivotal nexus between Vintage and Modern guitar amplifiers. Today, every product is still hand-built, and our artisans are tenured with an average of 15 years at their post, many for much longer. We still hold true to the simple but increasingly rare principles Randy used to catapult Mesa/Boogie onto the world stage: hand-building the very best instruments we can and treating each and every customer as we wish to be treated. Mesa/Boogie remains the first and premier manufacturer of boutique amplifiers to this day. For more information, visit: https://www.mesaboogie.com/about/our-story.html.
Gibson Brands, the world’s most iconic guitar brand, has shaped the sounds of generations of musicians and music lovers across genres for more than 100 years. Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Nashville, TN, Gibson Brands has a legacy of world-class craftsmanship, legendary music partnerships and progressive product evolution that is unrivaled among musical instrument companies. The Gibson Brands portfolio includes Gibson, the number one guitar brand, as well as many of the most beloved and recognizable music brands, including Epiphone and the Gibson Pro Audio division. Gibson Brands is dedicated to quality, innovation and sound excellence so that music lovers for generations to come will continue to experience music shaped by Gibson Brands. Learn more atGibson.comand follow us onTwitter,FacebookandInstagram.
For over 140 years, Epiphone has been a leading innovator in instrument design with models like the Casino, the Texan, and Masterbilt Century Archtop Collection. Epiphone began as the “House of Stathopoulo” family business in Sparta in the 1870s and rose to fame during the jazz age in Manhattan before joining Gibson brands in 1957. Today, Epiphone continues to make history from its headquarters in Nashville, TN. Epiphones have powered classic recordings by Les Paul, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones along with today’s top artists like Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., Tommy Thayer of KISS, and Lzzy Hale. Epiphone offers innovation, history, and a lifetime guarantee. Whether you are learning your first song in your bedroom, or rocking an arena, Epiphone has always been there, for everyone, for every generation, for every stage. For more information, visit Epiphone.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.