The Gibson Guitar Corp. is continuing to diversify its range of products, following the announcement of a strategic partnership with consumer audio leader Onkyo Corporation. The arrangement will add technology resources to Gibson’s Pro Audio Division, which also includes KRK, Cerwin-Vega! and Stanton.
Through the arrangement, Gibson will acquire a majority of Onkyo USA and become the corporation’s second largest shareholder. Additionally, Gibson Chairman/CEO Henry Juszkiewicz will join the Onkyo board of directors and Onkyo CEO/President Munenori Otsuki will join Gibson’s board. The two entities will create a Hong Kong-based venture to design and develop consumer audio products.
“Onkyo makes some of the world’s best audio equipment, and this partnership will give Gibson the ability to bring a deeper and more enhanced audio experience to music lovers around the world,” says Juszkiewicz. “While people may be listening to more music, they are listening to it primarily in a severely compressed format. The aural disparity between a real system and compressed sound is vast, and as a result, they are simply not hearing tremendously rich sounds. With Onkyo, our goal is to bring the same exceptional experience artists demand in the studio to a larger consumer base.”
The agreements are still subject to Japanese regulatory clearance.
In other Gibson news, the New York Times is reporting that rocker (and Nashville resident) Peter Frampton was recently reunited with the Les Paul he played on his classic Frampton Comes Alive album. The guitar was previously thought destroyed in a plane crash in Venezuela, but was apparently removed from the wreckage and sold to a musician in Curacao who has been using it since then. Currently the instrument is at the Gibson Custom Shop in Nashville for minor repairs.