In the second half of the Sixties the electric guitar market experienced a magical moment. Sales skyrocket and attract the interest of major investors, who began shopping around for companies in the industry. These include Gibson and Fender, which enter the orbit of CMI (later Norlin) and CBS, respectively.
What appears to be an opportunity, however, soon becomes a nightmare: the new managements know nothing about musical instruments, their only concern is cost cutting to increase profits. This short-sighted strategy triggers a decline in quality that over the next two decades will have an adverse influence on the entire industry. When the product deteriorates the first consequence is a drop in sales, which for Gibson and Fender is so dramatic that it brings the two companies to the brink of bankruptcy in the first half of the Eighties.