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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
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Question Custom guitars?

So I stopped GC yesterday and ran into one of my friends/ppl I buy gear off of. Anyways he mentioned that he builds custom guitars (not offically a brand or anything). He also mentioned they have a price tag around 2k depending on the woods I pick. I know most customs are in the 3k+ range.

But is 2k too cheap? Im not doubting his work as I know him personally. I asked him how many guitars hes made (hes 35)....he looked at me and laughed, which I took as a shit ton.

Im deff going to check out his work, but I was wondering what kind of questions I should ask...that would only pertain to ordering a custom?


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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:48 AM   #2
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Presuming we are talking dollars, I even thought 3k was pretty cheap! Though you did say 3k+

2k is cheap indeed. From looking around, it's what I'd expect as the base price for a very basic guitar, from a very reasonably priced builder.

As for questions you should ask..I don't know. He's obviously going to be biased to his own work. I think your best bet is to speak to his customers. Aside from that...just check he can give you (technically) what you wish for.

Bottom line is, that's a very good price - as long as you are happy with the guitars you try, and don't hear any horror stories from customers, I'd say it's worth a shot at that price!
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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Nothing is "too cheap" if its worth it to you. If he doesn't make his living building guitars to sell, he can offer customs cheaper then other people. 2,000$ is still a lot of money, no matter who you are.

Questions I would ask

1) what type of neck joint do you use?
2) what kind of material do you use for finishes?
3) how do you finish your necks?
4) do you have any warranties?
5) what hardware do you use?
6) what electronics do you use?

and finally 7) Can I play one you've made?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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^ That right there. I think number 7 is the most important one. I think 2k is quite reasonable for an up and coming luthier but at the same time I think it might be fairly pricey for quite frankly someone who hasn't made a name for themselves. If you do play a couple of his guitars and they are good quality and up to snuff then I would say that you should definitely go for it, as it will be a custom for a good price for you and it will add to the luthier's reputation some more too.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the reasponces guys.

1) I wana take the risk even though it is 2k

2) I asked about the neck joints...he said ANYTHING.

3) im deff playing one.


Basically I like simplicity, nothing crazy as far as design, just the standard rg shape. I just want exotix woods/a natural look. He said as long as materials dont go over 2k its going to cost 2k. He only does guitar building on the side from what I understand.

I will prob hand pick electonics and hardware if I can...he knows I dont like shit either so we shall see.

I was pretty tempted to tell him to just make me a blackmachine rip off

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Unread 04-24-2012, 12:02 PM   #6
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Nice Yeah, as long as he knows how to fix shit together well, do a good fret job, and chooses good quality woods then I don't think much can go wrong with such a build.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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^ I agree.

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Unread 04-25-2012, 04:29 AM   #8
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The price depends on if you're officially a luthier or not. The matter here's is that it's unfair to official builders that have to pay taxes on what they earn. And when you take this into account, you can see that 2k is very expensive in that case. Material cost only 600/800$. So he earn 1200$ completely taxe free.

I really don't agree with this kind of acting... What could professional luthiers do against that?

This guy can cut prices down easily. Read this thread and you'll understand the big problem between building guitars officially or not:
Why guitars cost what they do...
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Unread 04-25-2012, 05:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necromagnon View Post
Terial cost only 600/800$. So he earn 1200$ completely taxe free.
Does he? Granted I don't know much about tax but I was under the impression that income above threshold = taxable, regardless of where it comes from. Proper job, things on the side, bank interest, etc.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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I don't really know how it works outside, but in France, you're just taxed on your job income or on other that get over a threshold, and the threshold is very high. I remember of something around, in euros, 12000€ per year. It represents 6/7 guitars at this price.

But I still think it's unfair for pro. My point of view is, or he does it for fun, and make you just pay material, as I did, of he's a comissioned and then he adjusts his prices on what it costs really to build the guitar, so taking into account all charges (taxes, renting is workshop, machinery/tools) and his own need to live.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 08:11 AM   #11
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I'm having a custom built now. $1200. He's a hobbyist, though. That's probably why.



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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:06 AM   #12
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I build my own guitars too, but i usually just charge enough to the point where i get my money back and maybe a little bit for lunch.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
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Well he deff does not do this full time, so that could be the reason for the price. Also I have no idea how long it would take him to build it.

I dont want to take money away from a pro who builds for a living, but at the same time im not rich, 2k is a lot so I can't see spending much more on a guitar at this point in my life.


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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:42 PM   #14
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Short version: Buying or selling something for less than a given amount is between the buyer and seller, and the only ones who can talk about "fair" in such a case are the buyer and seller.

Really, the fact that we have the disposable income to buy these things, rather than giving that income to those who don't have food and shelter, is just the way of the world, fair or not. Anyone who really felt strongly about fairness might not have the ability to post about fairness, due to lack of internet access.

Otherwise, that line is being drawn in a different place, and "fair" isn't about one's lifestyle. I respect one's drawing that line in a different place. Do those who feel this is unfair at least allow that others can draw that line in a different place? That's the fair thing to do.

If you don't care enough to research your own question, why should anyone else care more?

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Unread 04-26-2012, 02:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Short version: Buying or selling something for less than a given amount is between the buyer and seller, and the only ones who can talk about "fair" in such a case are the buyer and seller.
In fact, not.
Try to sell stuff very lower than everyone else does because you don't leave on this is outlaws. It clearly "unfair competition", in terms of law, that you want it or not.

I really understand the matter of price, and it's always the point on custom guitars, but here, I found the acts like: "Ok, I will make you a guitar not too expensive but enough to earn a lot of money while I have nothing to pay".

What tommychains said is, in my opinion, the best way. Because why this guy give this 2k price? does he have any charges to pay? or anything else? Custom guitars (and everything else) are expensive because luthier have a lot things to pay for. Here, I think that he could make it at 1200$ and still be ok on is fees and have a little rest to pay his food. It's the fact that there's a big amount of money earned with no justification that annoy me...
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Unread 04-26-2012, 03:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konfyouzd View Post
I'm having a custom built now. $1200. He's a hobbyist, though. That's probably why.
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