Glossary of Luthier/Builder Complaints: Caveat Emptor

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by KnightBrolaire, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    I thought there was a sticky on this subject, but from my cursory search it doesn't seem like there was a dedicated thread for this.
    The biggest criteria for adding a builder to this thread is consistent lack of communication, consistent lack of meeting build deadlines and consistently poor quality of builds.
    Feel free to add other builders so long as they meet the 3 criteria, with the consistently poor quality of builds obviously being the biggest issue.
    Etherial : horrendous build quality, poorly thought out ergonomics
    see etherial thread, most recent negative review is on pg.69, there's more dating back years

    https://www.sevenstring.org/threads/etherial-guitars.223317/page-69
    Bernie Rico Jr: ran off with multiple customers' money, zero communication towards the end, terrible build quality at the the end, reselling customer builds
    http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/...ates-for-by-customers-ad-free.138377/page-267
    Decibel Guitars : ran off with multiple customers' money (eventually refunded some), middling build quality, extremely inconsistent output, fundamentally unable to meet deadlines
    http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/...tars-thread-builds-in-progress.107761/page-69
    Sims Custom Shop USA (horrible communication, unable to meet deadlines, poor build quality)
    Proof: https://www.jemsite.com/forums/f29/patrick-sims-custom-shop-tn-usa-experiences-88423.html
    Sherman (ran off with customer's money, non-delivery of guitars,etc)
    http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/anyone-heard-from-sherman-lately.96533/page-13
    Invictus (horrendous build quality)
    proof: http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/invictus-guitars-revealed-to-be-idiots.225396/
    Roter (horrendous build quality)
    proof: http://avhguitarrepair.com/repair-blog/poorly-designed-roter-8-string-rebuild/
    http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/caveat-emptor-my-roter-situation.145555/
    Blackwater (high quality builds but has terrible communication and can't seem to meet deadlines consistently)
    proof: http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/black-water-guitar-company.184440/page-58
    Vik (poor communication, basically ran off with people's money/guitars at certain points, used customer builds at namm, borrowed parts of customer builds, etc)
    http://www.sevenstring.org/threads/vik-stole-my-money.314157/
    http://sevenstring.org/threads/vik-duality-8-string-run-closed-run.220532/page-6
    Hart Guitars/Bass:
    http://mail.sevenstring.org/threads/experience-custom-7-build-thread.305645/page-2
    https://www.facebook.com/HartGuitars/
    consistently crooked pickup routes/general poor build quality
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    In the past, we've tried to avoid a list like this.

    I'll be watching this pretty closely, but if gets out of hand, or other mods or Alex don't like it, expect it to get nuked.

    Also, if this is going to work, you're going to have to provide sources and links for everything.
     
    Dcm81 likes this.
  3. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    fair point, that's part of why I was posting my criteria for the list. Hopefully people follow it instead of just jumping in and flaming random builders.
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    See my edit. We're going to need "proof".
     
  5. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    What exact tolerances are you aiming for in your three criteria? Those are formulated quite abstract...
     
  6. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I've never seen a Blakhart NGD on this forum since I've joined 5 years ago. Is this list based off reviews from this website or is the info coming from somewhere else?
     
  7. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire pickupwhoricus americanus

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    Like I said in the OP, I'm mostly looking for builders with evidence of consistently poor build quality. That's the most heavily weighted criteria as far as I'm concerned. Some other builders that I added in there were more for their inability to meet any kind of deadline (or at least consistently meet them)/their lack of consistent communication.
    Both of those factors are less critical than consistent build quality, but I'd say all the very highly regarded builders on here are more consistent in all three aspects.
     
  8. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Slightly off-topic, but what worries me is how many of them *were* respected, reviewed and hyped and had reputations and waiting lists - before it all went to shit. Kinda scary when you do want to go with a custom build, because you never know when something could change.
     
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  9. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    ^Kind of like becoming a victim of one's own success. For some, it seems, their workload overcame their ability to handle it (or ability to say "no" for that matter) and things spiraled.
     
  10. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    Where a lot of these builders fail is communication. "Sorry but I have been far too optimistic in my estimation, it's going to take x time longer" for a build in progress and "Really sorry about this delay, you can have a refund if you want to cancel the build." for a not-yet-started guitar. People are happy to wait if they are just told what the situation is and get to see a progress pic from time to time.

    Some builders just don't seem to grasp this and will be off the grid for months or the more dishonest ones will only answer someone looking to start a build.
     
    Jacksonluvr636 and M3CHK1LLA like this.
  11. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    or be blackwater decide that you actually hate this shit and disappear forever.
     
  12. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Agreed. I contacted two legit builders recently. Carillion was one. Feline guitars was the other. Both have good reputations as far as I know.

    Feline simply never replied to 3 separate emails (one per month). I understand being busy, or missing emails occasionally. But they aren't *that* busy that they can't respond to simply requests. They chose to ignore it. Maybe they're so successful that they don't need new customers. Or maybe you need the secret handshake to ask questions about the B6.

    Carillion also didn't reply to a quote request. I chased up on social media twice, and both times Chris read the message, then replied days later saying soon. Then, after more than two months, I did get a very apologetic email from Chris saying he'd totally dropped the ball, had been busy etc. I appreciate him apologising, but the damage was already done IMO. I couldn't sensibly hand over £3000+ to somebody that disorganised who just disappears without contact. (Also, upon checking his Instagram activity, he's online constantly and likes thousands of photos of suicide girls. So he has time for that, but is "too busy" to answer customer inquiries...)

    I ended up putting TWO deposits down with a builder that I really liked, who replied to everything in a helpful and timely manner, and who was totally happy to meet up, chat etc.

    So yes, communication is essential. And I'd never, ever give large amounts of money to people who can't manage to reply to emails or talk on the phone. If they can't even get the ordering right, I have no faith in them handling the build, updates, changes etc.
     
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  13. jco5055

    jco5055 SS.org Regular

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    Same with me and Skervesen, I sent emails to various companies/luthiers (Roehrs, Ran, Padalka to name a few) asking if they had more options than was listed online, could you do X etc, and Skervesen still hasn't responded and it's been a month or so.
     
  14. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Disorganised is the last thing I'd call Chris. He's one of the few builders nowadays who has super strict build times accurate to almost a date, both my builds were even done under the estimated 4 months, great communication, constant updates with spec confirmation messages throughout the build. I've been through the custom process a lot and nobody is more organised than Chris. His output is twice some shops with several workers cause of how on top he is with his business.
     
  15. cmtd

    cmtd SS.org Regular

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    I had the same experience with Feline. Multiple emails, never got a response. Figured I didn't need a b6 that bad and moved on.

    I actually had the exact opposite experience with Skervesen. They answered all my emails typically within 24 hours. We had 100+ emails back and forth during my build. This is when Bogumil was doing the communications, I believe it is someone new now, and I don't have any first hand experience with whomever that is.
     
  16. Ziricote

    Ziricote SS.org Regular

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    I try contact Feline asking about guitar available that I was ready buy on the spot and nonreplies from him
     
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  17. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Also wrote Feline about a guitar (via FB), no response...
     
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  18. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I know. In fact, it was your post which convinced me to contact him. You said the build quality was equal to your Daemoness, and I trust what you say.

    Either way, he totally dropped the ball with my request (by his own admission), and he was extremely apologetic about it. Fair enough, but at that point I didn’t feel I wanted to give him £3,000+.

    Just my experience. Maybe other people will have different experiences.
     
  19. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    I’m in the UK right now. I’ll call them when they open and see what they say.

    Their website not updated since 2014, and I find it particularly ironic that their ‘how we do business’ link is broken.
     
  20. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Building other people's designs is very time-consuming.
     

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