Those who follow closely the guitar industry news may have seen the news that the well known musician and youtuber Rabea Massaad (chaîne YouTube) was leaving Chapman Guitars (chapmanguitars.com) with whom he was with for 10 years.
Rabea Massaad announcement
The video lasts just over 11 minutes but the announcement itself only takes up the first 3 minutes.
Analysis by Philip McNight from Know Your Gear
In a live broadcast the youtuber Philip McNight of Know Your Gear (whose content I appreciate) makes a very interesting and argued analysis of this departure:
My 2 cents
What I found interesting about Philip McNight's analysis is that he doesn't treat it as a typical clickbait "They had a fight, what happened?" trying to get a cheap buzz. No, instead, he explains what he believes could be the various reasons for the decision.
He discusses the subject of endorsement, royalties, advances, etc.. In short, of all the workings of the world of the musical instruments industry on which many fantasies circulate.
He specifies that he has no direct information on this Massaad / Chapman separation, but his experience in the field allows him to give an argumentative insight.
Personally, I have never had the opportunity to test Chapman guitars properly. The ones I've seen at shows or in stores haven't really impressed me but the price/quality ratio seems to be interesting on some models.
In fact, I think I'm more bothered by the whole principle of a guitar brand launched by a youtuber, no matter how talented he is musically. Indeed, it's not because you're a good musician that you'll be able to create a guitar brand and have a story to tell with it.
Ola Englund is another youtuber who launched his brand of instruments made in Asia. His Solar brand is still around, as is Chapman, so that's proof that there's a market for it. As I always say, the market is always right.
Nevertheless, these brands don't really have their own existence. The instruments are made in the Cort factories or others that make for a lot of brands. Sometimes the same brand can be manufactured in a factory during a period and then change a little later. You can imagine the impact on quality and on the follow-up of the specifications.
The big brands do exactly the same thing with Squier, Epiphone, etc. This is not the appanage of youtubers' brands.
We'll see what Rabea Massaad's plans are in the future and the future of Chapman Guitars. In my humble opinion, Rabea will land an endorsement with a bigger brand or launch his own brand.
We'll see at NAMM 2023, I guess.
Until the next event that makes a ripple or tsunami in the small world of the musical instrument industry, keep on playing the guitar!