Etherial Guitars

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by jkiernanguitar, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. jkiernanguitar

    jkiernanguitar Guitarist & Composer

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    So I'm looking into getting a new guitar and I've been in conversation with the guys at Etherial Guitars. All carbon fiber bodies, beautiful works. I was wondering if anyone has had the experience of playing one and if they could shed some insight on them. They look great and some of their artists show some great tone from them!

    Home - Custom Made Electric Guitars For Sale - Etherial

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    Solo album debut track!
     
  2. thrsher

    thrsher \m/-_-\m/

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    i currently have a build in progress with them but thats all i can really offer. i think two or three people on the board have guitars from them
     
  3. LIPCoelhoq

    LIPCoelhoq SS.org Regular

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    i'd like to know a bit more about them too
     
  4. HOKENSTYFE

    HOKENSTYFE HeartWyrm

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    My good brother Kim Forbes, who is an endorsed guitarist with Etherial, has his signature, Miranis Taranis. And it's pretty hot. I haven't played it but, he raves about it all the time. Check out his Facebook page or PM him here. Kimthebutcher. Super easy to talk to and he will give you his honest opinion.

    Matt is a pretty swell guy. I've been specing out a guitar with him for about a year. I'm taking my time to get it right.

    The Exotype boys just got their guitars done. I can't wait to hear their take on them.

    I got some time invested with Etherial so I plan on following this thread.

    Good Luck-
     
  5. CaptainLuckeyBeard

    CaptainLuckeyBeard El Capitan

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    I've actually been talking with Matt for a few months now getting a bass drawn up and I know I couldn't be more excited. Its not all carbon fiber, I like the natural finishes that really show off the grain and he has access to a lot of cool australian timber that a lot of other builders wouldn't have immediately available. Super easy guy to work with and I've talked a little to Sarah Longfield who has a custom also and she had nothing but great things to say about Etherial
     
  6. MetalBuddah

    MetalBuddah 0000 00 0 0 00 000

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    NaYoN has that crazy 9 string, torn-inspired guitar and I have played around on it a bit and it definitely a solid instrument. He is genuinely happy with it and from what he was saying about how Matt runs things over there, the instrument is truly a custom, a.k.a exactly to his specs, instruments. He was even telling me that he went to some other custom companies (2 of which are highly respect around here) before hand and they refused to do anything remotely crazy/out of the ordinary. Which to me kinda defeats the purpose of a custom guitar. When he found Etherial, he was very pleased to find out that Matt will pretty much do whatever you tell him to do when it comes to making your instrument.

    If I ever decide that I can justify ordering a guitar like that, I will definitely consider Etherial.
     
  7. capoeiraesp

    capoeiraesp Ormsby nutter

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    I'm probably gonna get burned for this, but here it goes.

    Etherial have some cool stuff going for them and they're crafting their own niche market in today's guitar builders. Their recent builds have some very unique finishes with the clever use of carbon fibre wraps and glow in the dark inlays. They also stand out as a very open minded builder that appreciates unique concepts. Kudos to them/him.

    That said, I'm not convinced about their consistency of quality. I only came across them a year or so ago and I was honestly laughing when I saw the quality of finishes being done eg poorly cut nuts, rough finishes, inlays with too much filler, 'interesting' intonation,and some unique side markers. Yes, most of these issues seem to have been rectified as of late (I'm assuming they're using CNC for glow in the dark inlays and vinyl wraps or something for bodies - my apologies if I'm totally wrong.
    Looking at Chris Storey's recent 7 sorta brought up my feelings I had about older Etherial guitars. The headstock in particular just looked unfinished.
    [​IMG]

    I realize that most guys here care more about playability than looks. Well that seems to be the argument when finishes of custom guitars aren't quite up there. I've not played an Etherial so I may not be worthy of commenting here but after having a very high quality custom built and building my own guitar, I have learned a lot about the little things that really make a custom, world class guitar.

    I'll finish on this. If you've got a concept and Etherial is the only one willing to take it on then go for it. It will probably be a pretty sweet instrument but just be mindful of what I've said here and be sure to have a thorough look at Etherial's builds, past and present.
     
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  8. HOKENSTYFE

    HOKENSTYFE HeartWyrm

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    What a sec my good man. If you have some more to say, say it. You may be on to something. It always starts with someone who had an issue and never said anything, that allows a company to get big and crash. The recent S7 is a good example.

    People don't want to say anything because of tempting supporters of a brand to lash back. I for one, would like to hear all you have to say. As long as it is verifiable and backed by pictures or, some sort of ownership proof. That picture looks telling. I have seen Chris' recent Etherial build, I dig it, a lot. Is that a picture from that one of his?

    We all need more transparency nowadays with custom instrument builders. So if you have some information, I would appreciate the heads up. Maybe things were done different before or whatever. If you were to raise some points that I could pick up on, when specing out a guitar with Matt. I could stop him from facetiously using those same methods.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  9. capoeiraesp

    capoeiraesp Ormsby nutter

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    In light of Strictly 7's situation and your desire for me to explain myself more, here it goes.

    [​IMG]
    It's simply not tidy work.

    [​IMG]
    An older build but I'm sure you can see what's going on here.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is not so major but again, paint masking lines around the neck and heal just don't look clean.

    [​IMG]
    Excessive grain filler.

    [​IMG]
    Just take a close look at this.

    I probably look like a totally arrogant dick for pointing this stuff out, particularly since most pics here are from 'older' builds. There were some other pics but I just can't find the right now.
    There are definitely other builders out there who will take on unique concepts. Etherial seem to have a reasonably good build time but who knows what strain increased demand could place on that.
    As many before have said. Pick 2 of the following - time, quality or price.
     
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  10. Pikka Bird

    Pikka Bird Vaya Con Cornholio

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    Agree with capoeiraesp on all points. Even on recent builds, sadly... And I do think their tribal design aesthetic is like something out of a 13 year old boy's school notebook. The cuber stuff is much nicer and more "accomplished", so to speak. They may have the structural elements down, but the finishing touches on their woodworking are far behind from what I've seen... Granted, I haven't seen many detail shots of anything since that Longfield thingy, except for that Tron-looking 8 stringer. I have browsed through their Facebook page and saw the usual shortcomings in their wooden builds, but I did like most of their cyber builds, which looked nice, but the inlays on those don't exactly require what I'd call traditional inlaying craftsmanship.
     
  11. capoeiraesp

    capoeiraesp Ormsby nutter

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    So, just going back to the OP, has this helped at all? Also, I'm not 100% certain that Etherial use carbon fibre bodies as such. I believe a polymer body of some kind is used and then a carbon fibre wrap is applied. I could be wrong though and they may now be offering full carbon fibre bodies.
     
  12. Danukenator

    Danukenator Kane's Bane

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    To my knowledge, this is what was done on the Tron guitar. I have seen or heard that they started doing full carbon fiber stuff.
     
  13. ECGuitars

    ECGuitars SS.org Regular

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    Dude you don't look like a dick at all, poorly routing an inlay and trying to make a piece fit and slapping some filler in it is just shoddy workmanship. I don't care what anyone says. If you are going to go out and do all these inlays, at least make an effort to make it look clean, customers deserve better than that. It's cool that he's out there doing what he enjoys, but IMO his quality/consistency is not on a level for him to warrant the prices he is charging... Just my two cents
     
  14. capoeiraesp

    capoeiraesp Ormsby nutter

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    Thanks dude.
    I've had a more thorough look at other pics and builds and there's instances where imperfections and sloppy work were on par with an Emperion guitar I bought years ago. Enjoyment and passion for the job is one thing, but being good at photoshop doesn't qualify you as a quality builder. I love Etherial's concepts and the imaginative nature of guitars like Noyan's Tron model have given me a great idea for a custom. I think more attention to detail or perhaps taking on less complicated/ambitious builds until the art/skill is developed may be a better approach.

    Edit:
    So, this is a very recent build, based on when the photos were uploaded. There's also a few others.
    Please don't take this the wrong way. After seeing the BRJ and Strictly 7 issues I would rather this is out now instead of 1-2 years.

    [​IMG]
    What happened to the bridge mounting screws?

    [​IMG]
    Why aren't the side markers squared-off and tidy?

    [​IMG]
    I hope it's just lighting but I doubt it. That's a dent in the neck from not being caved properly. And that control cavity hasn't been recessed, nor have the screws.

    [​IMG]
    The edge of that cutaway is not smooth.

    [​IMG]
    This is an older one but jeez, why are there still router/sander burns?

    [​IMG]
    These bridges would only need to be cut that deep if the neck angle was not calculated properly.
     
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  15. HOKENSTYFE

    HOKENSTYFE HeartWyrm

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    @capoeiraesp - Thanks for the heads up. I have noticed the Longfield last year and the fretboard/neck of some other builds. The turn around time is a plus and the designs are also sensational. Etherial has a lot of ambition going on. But the problems that are going on seem more rushed than anything else. They don't seem like there incompetence or careless. That, plus Etherial is relatively new.

    As long as the issues are what they are, this company can recover. I will take my time with Etherial though. I want to give them time to get comfortable, experienced and more savvy in their direction.

    I for one, thank you for the time put in to exposing the problems.
     
  16. jkiernanguitar

    jkiernanguitar Guitarist & Composer

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    Sorry for not responding to the thread:

    This definitely brings a lot of things to light. On more recent builds, Etherial's craftsmanship has skyrocketed. I've been looking deeper into many of these things and I've seen that since the work has been more carbon fiber builds, Etherial's work has been much cleaner and precise. I've heard some good tone tests from them as well and I can't complain.

    I'm going to be working with them on a guitar coming shortly with art done by Spire Art (the art here is not the guitar art, but a sample of April, the artist's, work):
    Spire Art (April Ness)'s Photos | Facebook
     
  17. Wings of Obsidian

    Wings of Obsidian Banned

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    I have a build underway with Matt.

    Now all you guys are just being damn nitpicky. We are talking about one guy slaving away by himself to do everything. In case you haven't noticed, Matt has now finished and shipped out six custom built guitars in the past month. Now, speed is not what I am getting at. But he takes his time with the process. I am sorry that every damn Gibson turns out perfect coming from the assembly line where fifty people build guitars day-after-day, hour-after-hour, doing the same shit every day until they become good at it. (*sarcasm*) Mass production guitars can have their flaws too!

    I have full faith and confidence in Matt's abilities as a luthier. While I am not supporting nor backing anything in this thread, nor am I necessarily backing his craftsmanship, I am slightly nervous that there could be little "flaws" like this. But for now, I am overlooking my slight fear.
     
  18. capoeiraesp

    capoeiraesp Ormsby nutter

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    Wings of Obsidian, I can understand your perspective on what I have pointed out and I know it would be tough given that you have a vested interest in the brand as a customer. I don't believe that what I've pointed out is 'nitpicky' (That superstrat with the horned headstock is a recent build and I've only pointed out 4 pretty obvious flaws, there are others) because there are a number of other solo custom builders out there who produce quite a number of guitars in a reasonable period of time too. The big difference is you don't see these sorts of imperfections (that's what they are) in their builds.
    Just to note, Gibson do not produce consistently high quality guitars either, I can assure you of that.

    I don't doubt that these guitars can probably sound pretty mean, what with modern production techniques and wonderful amps and equipment.
    Let me ask you this. If you were buying an off the shelf production guitar like ESP, Schecter or Jackson, would you be content with any 4 of the issues that I pointed out above?
    Granted they're not custom, but when you're throwing thousands of dollars at a custom build, why should you have to put up with that many 'minor' flaws?

    I understand that Etherial is an excellent option for having great, imaginative guitar concepts realised, more guitar builders should be as open-minded. The reality is, if you're spending large amounts of hard-earned cash, you shouldn't be receiving guitars that are below an industry standard for quality.
    Just because Etherial's guitars are cheaper than most custom builders and you get more 'bang for buck', it doesn't excuse cutting corners and producing poorly finished guitars. Clearly more time is required to get things right so maybe their prices should be higher.
     
  19. Thrashmanzac

    Thrashmanzac plays in 69/42

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    so he churned out six guitars in a month by himself and you think that's a good thing? Jesus the glue would still be wet on some of those wouldn't they? :lol:
    from what i have seen from this company there is no way i would put my cash down on one. :2c:
     
  20. AwDeOh

    AwDeOh SS.org Regular

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    I wonder if Sarah Longfield or any others playing Etherials could weigh in here?
     

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