VSK/ Brett Marino guitars complaint - Issue has been resolved

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by KnightBrolaire, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    VSK guitars/Brett Marino guitars has built some cool stuff, but apparently he's devolved into yet another flaky luthier.
    a fb post from one of his customers:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Ebony

    Ebony Drums

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    I need to make an actual list of all these guys, I have enough things to remember as is...
     
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  3. Randy

    Randy ROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOUROOMFORYOU Super Moderator

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    Those pickup covers tho
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  4. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    instrumental makes some really nice pickups, just wish they'd offer something other than black bobbins for 8 strings. That's part of the reason I like guitarmory/elysian more, they're both willing to do custom covers/bobbins for ERGs.
     
  5. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    Excuse the cynicism, but yawn... what else is new?

    On a less flippant note, fuck flakey luthiers/guitar companies, as well as companies/people that do shady shit.

    Better include the reason for their place on the "Avoid these fuckbags at all costs" list.
     
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  6. Ebony

    Ebony Drums

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    Actually now that I'm thinking about it, it will be much quicker to just write a list of the people we can actually trust.
     
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  7. GraemeH

    GraemeH SS.org Regular

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    Two of those things listed are absolutely fine though? Paying an upcharge for a one-piece body doesn't mean you get to determine what does and doesn't happen to the off-cuts... As long as you get what you paid for in the contract (the one piece body) the rest is irrelevant.

    And I would be very surprised if any builder would allow another builder to finish something his name would be on. There's a risk the finishing builder botches something and the negative perception goes back to the original guy whose name is on the headstock.

    So if we take out the retarded customer bits, this is just "build is late, communication is poor". Fair enough bringing those things into the open though.
     
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  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    :agreed:

    I read those complaints as:
    1. Taking too long.
    2. Taking too long.
    3. Taking too long.
    4. Poor communication.

    I think luthiers and customers don't see eye to eye. Building a guitar for a customer takes a lot of time because of the attention to detail. Customers can get needy by asking for updates. But when you are falling behind for whatever reason, there's no excuse for a complete lack of communication.

    Unfortunately, this guy might be a scammer or not, but we won't know until he either a) develops a reputation by delivering quality guitars to a large number of customers or b) gives solid evidence he's a scammer.
     
  9. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    The customer bought all the wood himself from secretstashhardwoods, and most of it is pretty uncommon according to the customer. I do think it's a bit dumb for the customer to expect to keep the offcuts (unless the luthier agreed to it beforehand).
    I'm more bothered by the fact that he's taking too long and basically went radio silent in all communications and on social media. That's how all the bad shit with luthiers start, from decibel to blackwater. Plus, the customer is a repeat customer, so if the luthier is treating him like this I don't have high hopes for the rest of us.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  10. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    well given the fact that the luthier basically went radio silent across the board (no posts on social media for over a year and he stopped responding to the customer) it doesn't bode well. Doesn't help that he was working on a personal build instead of finishing up the customer's build. Not being able to deliver a guitar on time is one thing, but when it combines with really poor communication then it's pretty understandable to get squirrelly. Without those two aspects that are hallmarks of the better luthiers out there (consistent communication and realistic deadlines) we're approaching blackwater/decibel/etc levels of flakiness.
     
  11. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    ........yet another one of these companies emerges.
    sigh.

    I will never do this custom build route. No offence to anyone who does and has better patience than me etc, but screw that and screw these rip off merchants.

    A dude I know who is getting regular build orders, told me he could still pump out a build in like 4-6 months max and his builds look awesome!. (wacky resin tops etc) specifically said there is just no justification of a guitar build taking as long or longer than 1 year.
     
  12. jwade

    jwade Doooooooooom

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    It's pretty strange that any builder would use the leftover wood purchased by the customer (especially without asking), but how stupid do you have to be to use it for your own build before the customers build is even done?

    I mean, unless the customer says 'hey, I want every scrap of the wood that's leftover,' I'd say sure, ask about using the offcuts later once the guitar is finished and delivered.
     
  13. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    you been talking to dawe or alpher?
     
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  14. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

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    A batch of hi-end boutique customs can be built in 3-4 months(Not including sending instruments away for finishing). Factor in another 2-3 months if the builder has a family or other obligations outside the workshop which are going to limit his hours. Most builders just don't have their workflow and time management down. Its crazy how long it takes some guys to build. I know exactly how the opening poster feels since it once took a builder 8 months to just install my pickups and then he ripped them back out for a NAMM build.

    The most common reason for a lack of communication is because they don't have any updates. We all have camera phones on us, it takes seconds to take a progress pic and send it to a customer.
     
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  15. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Dawe :)

    great guy. He helped me with some RG8 mods a few years back. Made me a Carbon Fibre pickguard up.
    His new CNC machine is killer and some of his resin creations are unreal.
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire baritone zone

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    He's definitely putting out some cool resin pieces. more reasonable pricing than californiahardwoods too (not that I'm looking at getting a resin top any time soon).
    yeah it's cool to see how much his work has improved, I remember catching some of his build threads on here before he decided to build full time.
     
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  17. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I thought that too.
    he is a perfectionist so the early builds, whilst decent, just did not sit right with him.
    He did want me to go down to his shop and jam on some builds to video record and use it for marketing (as Im like the only solid 8 string player he knows) but that never materialised sadly. Presume business took off without the need to do it in the end.

    The guy was doing tree surgeon work during the week so was obtaining his own wood easily.
    So cool haha
     
  18. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I've done 4 full custom builds and 4 partial custom builds, and I've been burned twice. I think with stuff like this, when you get burned, you usually get burned really badly, but when the experience goes smoothly, any headaches with delays get almost entirely forgotten once you have your instrument and it's exactly what you wanted. Out of those six successful builds, though, I only had one that was finished ahead of schedule, and it was one of the partial customs, and it was the one with the least amount of communication. That guy got his money and then I was like "when will you be able to start?" and got no answer until my guitar just randomly showed up on my doorstep. And the build with the most communication, where I was getting progress reports every two weeks ended up being one of the times I got burned badly and never received the guitar (it's a long story, but it is possible that a guitar never existed, and the whole thing might have been make-believe - I never received any photos).

    So delays are par for the course. Lack of communication during an unexpected delay is always a red flag.

    I'm not saying this particular builder isn't throwing up some interesting and obvious red flags with the way he's handling this, but I don't know if this alone is enough to pass judgement from the outside perspective.
     
  19. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Just to give another shout out to one of the few honest dudes out there, Tom Drinkwater and I talked about the off cuts from a top he did for mine, and we were brainstorming a use for it, like phone cradles, etc. So it's not hugely unusual to have a luthier (who is super honest and a good guy) let the customer have the extra, if he wants it.
     
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  20. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    And there's really no "expectations" that a customer can have, these days. Running well over the estimated time is not unusual. No communication, no photos, etc. is not unusual. Having other customers jump the line is not unusual. It's sad, but I'd almost tell people getting a custom to either get a 6 month build quote, and dispute in PayPal if it doesn't show up, or treat the money like gambling. FWIW I've been burned a number of times, myself. But, we're all just moths to a flame.
     

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