American Luthiers who offer state of the art (headless, multiscale etc) 7+ string custom builds?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by jco5055, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    Hi,

    as I've posted in a few threads, I'm shopping around for my next guitar, and currently I was debating between an Aristides or a more customized Strandberg esque shape, whether that was from them, or possibly Dalbello guitars, or some other company/luthier.

    I was wondering, what American companies/US Luthiers are there who would/could make a highly customized (most likely Strandberg/headless/ergonomic etc) 7+ string guitar?

    I have no issues about eventually choosing a non-US option, whether that is Padalka, Strandberg, Ormsby or whoever, but I'd also like to support a fellow American/the US economy when possible, and also wouldn't have to deal with exchange rates or importing taxes etc.

    The only companies/luthiers I can think of are TK Instruments, Kiesel to an extent, and Abasi, and I guess the US Strandberg custom shop. Anyone else? Seems like most of the ergonomic guitars are coming from non-US sources.

    If this should be moved to a different sub-forum I understand.
     
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  2. makecamera

    makecamera SS.org Regular

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    Edit: Derp. You already mentioned Strandberg USA. :(
     
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  3. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    I also remembered Oakland Axe Factory/Drinkwater also
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire self-appointed sso pickup tester

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    I've heard very good things about TK and OAF/Xen. I know @Daken1134 and @Hollowway own OAF/Drinkwater headless guitars so you could ask them about that brand. @glassmoon0fo or @mphsc owned a TK headless iirc.
    I guess it depends on how customized you want the guitar to be besides wood choices (ie custom scale length, parallel fret, pickup choice).
    If you want a full custom TK and OAF/XEN will do them.
    There's some other smaller builders like Mike Sankey, Forshage, Highline, Minima and Downes guitars that do custom headless builds as well. I can't say if they're any good, since I haven't tried them, and I've never seen any reviews floating around here.

    Kiesel makes great stuff if you don't go crazy with the wood choices, as the cost adds up quickly. Plus they're more semi-custom (ie no custom scale length/parallel fret for multiscale or choosing output jack location,etc).
     
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  5. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Knightbro mentioned most of them.

    There’s also balangauer. I think he will make a custom shop dark matter Multiscale at some point.
     
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  6. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the replies guys! I'm gonna check them all out.
     
  7. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Forgot baker
     
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  8. makecamera

    makecamera SS.org Regular

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    jco5055 likes this.
  9. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Would go kiesel every time
     
  10. oracles

    oracles Australian in Canada

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    Equilibrium out of Boston maybe?
     
  11. cardinal

    cardinal Strat 7 Guy

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    If Kiesel offers the specs you would want and you’re cool with their aesthetic, they will definitely have the best price as long as you keep to modest wood selections and finish.
     
  12. Bdtunn

    Bdtunn SS.org Regular

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    I’ll second and third Oakland axe factory or Drinkwater guitars as Tom is now going by. Awesome person to deal with and he can make some really exquisite guitars. Also he has a new ergo model in the works that should be sick!!
     
  13. RiksRiks

    RiksRiks ERG Player Wannabe

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    If you were talking about Minima Guitars, they're not American, they're Mexican and they haven't even started production yet! I think they've only produced a couple of prototypes.
     
  14. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    A HUGE thumbs up for Tom Drinkwater / OAF. Exceptionally good quality, great price, and a super nice guy all around. He’s my go-to for ERG stuff.
     
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  15. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    They (I'm assuming Tom) told me via their facebook page that they are still finalizing their plans on future ERG models/buying options. I'm waiting with bated breath.
     
  16. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    I have nothing to add to the conversation, other than a "thanks" for not saying, "baited breath".
     
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  17. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    I actually later debated if I misspelled it by not adding the i haha
     
  18. Riker_Maneuver

    Riker_Maneuver SS.org Regular

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    I'm not too familiar with Drinkwater guitars so looked at their website and this neck joint looks like he slapped a rando neck on a rando body. I hope this not typical of their builds.[​IMG]
     
  19. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire self-appointed sso pickup tester

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    it's not. scroll through their instagram feed and look at their work.
     
  20. Riker_Maneuver

    Riker_Maneuver SS.org Regular

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