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Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by HeHasTheJazzHands, Nov 7, 2015.
I dig it. It might look a bit odd with a straight scale and a Floyd though; not sure.
I don't know, I just didn't think you'd be posting in this thread anymore hahaha
alright so what happened I don't want to read like 100 pages of thread, did this Falbo dude like not expect demand and tap out or what
and why does it seem that Tosin changes what he endorses at the drop of a hat?
Tosin and Frank Falbo parted ways, each seems to still be pursuing ERGs. Everything else is just speculation, so just watch what comes of it and decide based on the product(s) that actually hit the market.
Tosin probably changes endorsements because he can and enjoys new stuff, but I suppose that's also just speculation.
I don’t care about the what or the why of the split up, I just hope both of these guys are getting what they want and happy with the results. Let’s be honest, there have been some absolute tantrums thrown by dealers/luthiers/artists that we all know and love, but this was handled with class and respect as far as the public is concerned. I plan to pay that class and respect back by not going looking for “the tea” as the kids say these days, let them dudes live lol.
tosin and his buddy ivan are trying to get a mass produced version of the guitars going, or at least that's what I'm assuming based off their IG page where they have a bunch of guitars ready to go for namm.
Aren't those just the last of the Falbo ones that have been all over Japanese sites lately?
It's great Tosin enjoys new stuff but he should stick with one manufacturer at least long enough that us random guitar consumer people can also try one out...
For various reasons we kept the internal reality of our business dealings with Frank quiet. Primarily, to focus on not damaging the perception of our brand in its infancy, and to figure out how to deal with the damage Frank has caused.
Long story short:
By early March, we paid Frank the full deposit amount necessary to complete 51 guitars by April 15th (an amount and deadline HE set). Frank told us this amount encompassed all materials, labor, and shop overhead (ie. Rent, utilities, and even equipment maintenance).
After missing the first deadline, Frank informs us that he’s broke due to “cost overruns” and over-purchasing parts for future builds. He asked for further funding to continue the builds.
This made no sense. When pressed for receipts of what he’d spent the deposit money on, he told us he was uncomfortable with our line of questioning and that "he would have a stress heart attack if we continued to ask for answers" and “you can’t walk into Seymour Duncan and ask for receipts to see how much they spent on copper wire”.
This was a serious red flag for us. There’s no honest excuse for not having proper accounting or receipts for purchases - in any properly run organization - especially to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.
Eventually, Frank agrees to disclose every expense he could manifest that went towards Abasi builds. He falls tens of thousands of dollars short of the deposit amount he received, and eventually admits to taking at least $15,000 for personal use (although our accounting shows a deficit of almost TWICE that amount).
He took money off the top while leaving the most expensive components (i.e Fishman pickups, stainless steel fretwire, etc…) left un-purchased in the balance, along with the remaining thousands of dollars needed for labor and rent at his shop. He later willfully and knowingly ordered those parts/services having already embezzled money needed to pay for them, leaving us with the bill.
He began ghosting on his workers when they asked to be paid for completed work.
This is the classic story of a luthier taking deposit money and not building guitars with the money. A situation we explicitly explained to Frank we never wanted to end up in.
Frank could no longer be trusted to receive lump sums of deposit money to spend on guitars. We decided to withhold any further payments to Frank, and took it upon ourselves to order and pay for the missing materials, as well as his laborers - for months in order to try to finish these guitars.
Deadlines continued to be missed, so we were forced to stop taking new orders.
In August, weeks before the fifth missed deadline, we received a picture of an eviction notice served by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, declaring imminent, forceable removal and seizure of assets within Frank’s shop. It seems Frank had not paid his rent since we started working together - information he knowingly and willfully withheld from us, along with not holding a valid business license (which is illegal).
At this point, police were about to lock up all our property inside of Frank’s shop. We decided to remove all our assets we paid for and seek to complete them elsewhere.
Frank had shown his character and deemed himself completely untrustworthy. Any business with him was out of the question. Five missed deadlines, tens of thousands of dollars in embezzled deposit monies, and numerous quality control issues are beyond reason enough to sever the relationship.
A few examples of quality control issues:
We took it upon ourselves to refund everyone with an outstanding order, out of our personal pockets. The incomplete builds that were salvageable were completed in Japan and delivered to buyers. The costs necessary to complete this purchase order and save our relationship with our Japanese dealers and distributors equated in a total loss of profit for the order to us. This, coupled with the fact that we have been unable to take new orders since May of 2018, means Abasi Concepts did not generate a single dollar of profit since inception.
After all this…
He announces a “new” ERG line of guitars that is clearly a re-worked version of our CAD files.
Previous to our relationship with Frank, Falbo Designs had only produced acoustic and semi-hollow guitars - NO extended range guitars, NO multi-scale guitars, NO headless guitars. Everything present in his new line of guitars is leeched off his former relationship with Abasi.
We had hoped to handle this internally, because our priority is to simply provide you guys with awesome guitars. Our silence in the matter doesn’t seem to be serving us any longer, because of the rumors flying around.
Given our experience with Frank, we SERIOUSLY caution anyone who is considering buying a guitar from him. Our experience with him is not unique and we have talked to a handful of other people who have similar gripes with Falbo and are willing to come forward in solidarity if need be.
Forums like this one are important, because we can look out for each other as a community. As unfortunate as this story is, it is not new - we’ve all seen it before. We’re warning you, because we wished somebody had warned us.
Tosin & Ivan
[ noted ]
WOW. Frank's got some nerve, that's for sure.
Wow, this is way worse than anyone had previously speculated. Wonderful explanation w/ proof and examples. I seriously thought about jumping on board w/ a pre-order but wanted to see some more examples after the first run. Seeing the Japanese guitars put up some red flags, but the video of the finish and pics of trem routing and placement was unexpected. As I don't always support airing dirty laundry, I think it's warranted in this case. Thank you!
If there's been trouble with a luthier before (altough unaware of at the time) it might be a good idea to do some thorough research before going into business with them, instead of thinking that everything is a-okay just because nobody warned you. Anyway, that was unexpected and what a bummer. People like Falbo must be people that aren't aware of the power of the internet and social media. Everything will eventually reach the surface and then you're pretty much done for.
another day, another flaky luthier
I'm getting a coffee and a croissant and waiting for the "What do you think you are seeing here?" post/ supposedly exonerating Levi Clay interview/"It was $15000 worth of buffing compound"
Must have been too busy building other peoples guitars are giving wizardly advice to work on the Abasi brand.
SSO's been the ground zero for how many of these situations now? Its gotta at least be 7-10 at this point.