In Copper #51 we wrote about the demise of Thiel Audio. The reality of the situation was that the Thiel that was important to audiophiles and music lovers, died long ago. The company that recently went out of business merely carried a familiar name.
There is good new coming out of that demise, however. The service department of Thiel was the only part of the “real Thiel” that still remained in existence, and it has been run by Rob Gillum, who started with Thiel in 1981. Gillum recently purchased the service department, parts, materials and all, from Thiel. The thousands of Thiel speakers out in the world can be maintained, repaired and updated—Gillum is working on what he calls “hot rod” kits to upgrade the performance of old models—by the leading expert in the field.
And now for the bad news. Thiel and Gibson have been paired in this column more than once. The big story for Gibson, which owns a number of audio and musical instrument companies, has been the incredible debt load the company is carrying.
Gibson recently elected to present new products at CES rather than at musical instrument show NAMM, as they have traditionally done, increasing talk of financial woes. Just in the last week, the company’s CFO left, and while the company was able to make a $16M coupon payment on a $375M loan, fears of bankruptcy continue, and the company seeks to restructure its debt with a loan package of over haldf a billion dollsrd—$550M.
As usual, Strata-gee has all the details.