Luthier recommendations

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by neuk01642, Jan 15, 2018.

  1. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Hey all
    I'm on the cusp of pushing the button on selling some stuff so I can either:

    Stump up for one of the Abasi 8 strings when they launch them at NAMM

    OR

    Get an 8 string built by a British luthier.

    Now I don't have endless cash. I think the very very top end of my budget would be $3k and I'd like to keep it below that if possible (I've seen speculative posts that the Abasi guitars are going to be retailing for around $3200 which at current exchange shakes out to around £2.5k ish).

    I was looking at Siggery stuff but he seems to have vanished of the face of the earth and the last bits of news I saw were people having been left high and dry after he ran into financial difficulty and ill health.

    Recommendations appreciated ya'll.

    Thank you.
     
  2. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Theres no production 8's that you like?
     
  3. A-Branger

    A-Branger SS.org Regular

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    what exactly is that you want?

    specific shape?, color/wood/finish?, scale?, multiscale?, other specs?
     
  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire self-appointed sso pickup tester

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    like the other guys said, what exactly are you looking for in a guitar that you can't find in a production guitar?
    If you're going with a UK luthier then I'd talk to waghorn, they build really high quality guitars and are pretty open to unique specs/shapes, though you might have to increase your budget a bit.
     
  5. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    There are lots of production 8s that I like bits of to a greater or lesser extent.
    Love the wood choices from Mayonnes, the ergonomics and inventiveness of Strandberg, the playability of the Ibanez neck, the multitude of tone options from something like the TAM100, the multi scale options of Ormsby guitars. But There are bit's of all of them that I'm not particularly fond of.
    I have two Agile 8 strings that, for the money, are amazing fun and offer features you rarely get on guitars for twice the price (thru neck for instance).
    So rather than compromising on something thats 90% there I thought I look at building 'the guitar' from the ground up.
     
  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear Vendor

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    Especially talking about the UK you need not look further than Carillion , imo
     
  7. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check Waghorn out.

    In terms of spec.

    Shape, I think either something around the super strat works in terms of playability and access and I love the body carves on the back of Mayonnes guitars that or I loved playing Strandbergs when I tried one at GuitarGuitar.
    I love the neck-thru thing for 8s SO much resonance and sustain and I'm sure it adds to neck stability as well so I'd be starting there (unless a luthier can convince me otherwise).
    I'm looking for maple board (birdseye specifically) and a maple ply neck (my 5 or 7ply combined with wenge and walnut again, open to advice here). Fan fret, 25.5 on the treble side and 28 on the bass. Jumbo stainless steel frets. Luminlay side dots no fretboard markers (although if the luthier has a cool logo and wants to bung it in the 12th fret in a bit of abalone then what the hell).
    Body, not sure would take advice on this, although I'd maybe want to go somewhere other than mahogany as both my current 8s have mahogany bodies so it would be good look at something different. Maybe swamp ash. Maybe black limba... again to be discussed. I LOVE burl tops, so I'd be interested in a good chunk of poplar or walnut burl on the top, bit of reveal binding... lovely.
    Hardware - Hipshot of Gotoh would be good although I see a lot of luthiers build their own. Graphtec nut.
    Pick ups - either two humbuckers or two humbuckers and a single coil on a 5 way switch. I really love Bareknuckle pickups and I love the idea of medium output hot PAF style pick ups with 8 strings as it keeps a little more string/note definition and I'm clobbering the front end of my amp hard enough with Fortin boost pedals so want to keep the PUP output under control. If I was going for two humbuckers I might be tempter to try the Fishman Fluence set (tried them in a Strandberg seven string and they are remarkable and I normally detest active pickups).
    That's pretty much it I think
     
  8. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check them out.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire self-appointed sso pickup tester

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    yeah definitely talk to waghorn then. They have some superstrat shapes that are probably right up your alley and they could easily do the kind of specs you want. The only real issue would be getting multiscale Bare knuckles as they only come in certain angles, so you'd have to go with custom pickup makers like fokin, elysian, instrumental, etc. If you get the fluence then obviously the point is rendered moot. Carillion is a fair bit pricier iirc but his work is ridiculously good and he could also do whatever you want.
     
  10. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    Since you are in London I'd highly recommend Carillion guitars. As someone who's been down the custom route many times if you want consistent regular communication, a strict build time and a high quality instrument then you can't do better than Carillion from my experience.

    Since you can visit the workshop to spec out everything from woods, pickups, hardware to specific measurements and then pick it up directly where you can further tweak the setup to your liking. This is what I did and I got to design my own neck profile and hand pick the woods I wanted. Send Chris Dehlia a message on FB and he will sort you out.


    Plenty of builders offer superstrat shapes but next time you are on guitar guitar pay special attention to how the forearm contour is. For some people this makes no difference for others it is one of the most important parts where your forearm is positioned against the body.

    A well made instrument will sustain and resonant well regardless of construction.

    All good but make sure you are comfortable playing a multi scale guitar that doesn't have fret markers because the dots on the bass side don't really line up with the treble side when you look down.

    If you don't want mahogany then black Limba would be a good alternate option. Swamp Ash too since it will match the look of the Maple.

    Pickups is where you will have trouble. AFAIK Bare Knuckle only publicly offer a 10 degree slant(Aristides have custom BKP's at a much larger angle so it would be worth checking with BKP if you can order those). BKPs can be turned to about 14/15 degrees before they start lining up but it will still out of line with the lower strings. If you like Fishmans they could work, although not sure if they can cover a 2.5 inch fan.
     
  11. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Awesome reply thanks for all the info.
    I terms of fan fret, I played a Strandberg (admittedly not the most aggressive fan) but I don't recall that having any fretboard markers and I don't recall any difficulty in finding my way around that.
    It's a fair point on the pick ups. Having had conversations with BKP a few times they seem relatively happy to do customisation to meet requirements (to the extent that the said they'd happily build me an 8 string single coil even though they don't actually offer a production version), so they may well be happy to make an adjusted set although I suspect it will cost more. In terms of the Fluence set, Tosin Abasi's Ibanez proto which has his signature set in has a pretty pronounced fan (could say what it is for certain but its a LOT more than Strandberg) and they seem to cover that pretty well.
    I'm not sure that the forearm contour matters as much to me as the belly carve and over all balance. Both my Agiles have a good carve but not really an huge contour on top and I don't really find that a problem. I will keep it in mind next time I'm playing anything.

    Thanks again for the insight. Really appreciate you taking the time.
    I've dropped Carillon an email to make contact and will see where we go from there.
     
  12. neuk01642

    neuk01642 SS.org Regular

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    Hey all. Quick update.
    After a few months of humming and harring and a little while to sell of some stuff to build up a war chest, I've taken the plunge and placed and order with Waghorn. They were super accommodating and ever so slightly more affordable than Carillon (also amazingly helpful). They've accommodated all of my requirements and offered a few new ideas. So now, I've just got a painfully looooonnnnnggggggggg wait for the guitar.
     

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