Anybody else waiting 10 years for their custom guitar to be built? (Vik)

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^ Possible. But I'd assume that OP has provided adequate documentation to prove he's got an order with Vik that hasn't been fulfilled.

I would think that there would be some kind of statute of limitation that would apply here. Not to mention the headache and money that it would likely take to go at this from a civil or criminal standpoint... and no guarantee that the victim would ever actually receive compensation. Someone that's dealt with this scenario would have to chime in on this. I honestly have no idea if OP might have any recourse now. My point was more from the standpoint that after 10+ years, most people have no intention nor conscience to make things right.
 

Thrashman

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^ Vik Kuletski even less so, a guy who's known to cancel builds for customers that ask for an update more than once every 6 months :lol:
 
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Adieu

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Vik built a guitar in a week once.

I would assume he's NEVER spent longer than a week on a guitar... if he actually paid taxes and successfully built and delivered guitars for profit at some point (as opposed to pyramid scamming deposits to live off)
 

Hollowway

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I feel for you. I lost one on the BRJ thing. And I had a guitar that was being built for a little less than 10 years, and it was finally delivered. And I was scammed out of an amp. So I've been there.

As others have said, it sucks, and it's why I don't do customs anymore. I only buy used or production. Hell, I won't even jump in on these "production runs" from Axe Palace or Ormsby, etc., just because who knows what could happen. I prefer stuff to be in stock when I order it, or at least within 6 months so PayPal can protect me. I'm not sure what the best path forward for you is, other than doing what you're doing, and being firm with him, and maybe getting some people like us to hit him and ask for your guitar. What is your first name? I can DM or post on his FB page and tell him to get your guitar to you. Maybe if enough of us do it that will help.
 

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There's a lot of people who are shit out of luck here.
Basically the situation seems to be that like many builders, he got swamped and behind at some point either in terms of workload or finances - various ways it can happen which are understandable and happen to a lot of people. The question is how they manage it - his approach seems to have been to notice that there are a handful of happy customers who will return again and again so are worth serving with great customer experience. At some point he'll have observed that the money from this handful of customers keeps coming and that they clearly don't care about his bad history - so he has decided he has nothing to be gained by spending time and money completing builds he has already been paid for without having to do the work. He can live off a small happy customer base and leave the rest in the dirt now in distant history. At least the subject gets talked about often enough that potential new customers are still likely to find it before placing an order.
I do sometimes wonder, now that I know there are a lot of people from the same time frame that never got served, whether my flawless customer experience was partly due to the publicity that he could gain by building the internets first 'famous' 9 string. Potentially I just got lucky before his popularity surged enough to cause problems, as it seems I was perhaps the last customer before things went really downhill.
 

Lorcan Ward

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^I remember you and Paul being the last to get Viks before he dropped off the planet for a year. When he came back he was a different person. He said he didn’t like building guitars anymore and then came the headless comments. I’m so lucky I got my guitar, he really didn’t want to build it.

Finding out it takes 3 1/2 months to build a handmade electric guitar was a big eye opener to how much of a mess the custom guitar world is
 

Hollowway

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^I remember you and Paul being the last to get Viks before he dropped off the planet for a year. When he came back he was a different person. He said he didn’t like building guitars anymore and then came the headless comments. I’m so lucky I got my guitar, he really didn’t want to build it.

Finding out it takes 3 1/2 months to build a handmade electric guitar was a big eye opener to how much of a mess the custom guitar world is
It really is ridiculous how high a percentage of luthiers are scammers. It's endemic to the profession, apparently.
 

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It really is ridiculous how high a percentage of luthiers are scammers. It's endemic to the profession, apparently.

I suspect they're actually just financially fooked and end up on the sauce or other substances, which eventually turns into a psychiatric crisis...and voila.

Or they're just stuck in the freelancer trap of being used to not having enough customers and then have no idea what to do if they're suddenly swamped with orders. Then they see that dragging their heels seems to be fine for a while and "learn" the worst behaviors like collecting deposits and hoping maybe-someday...
 

Hollowway

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I suspect they're actually just financially fooked and end up on the sauce or other substances, which eventually turns into a psychiatric crisis...and voila.

Or they're just stuck in the freelancer trap of being used to not having enough customers and then have no idea what to do if they're suddenly swamped with orders. Then they see that dragging their heels seems to be fine for a while and "learn" the worst behaviors like collecting deposits and hoping maybe-someday...
All plausible, but I will go on record to say these guys that collect, and then actively never deliver are self centered assholes. Full stop. For some guys, life gets in the way, and then it takes them longer than planned, but they do deliver (KxK), but others are shameless in keeping the money and going on about their business (Sherman, Siggery, Vik). Still others are unwilling to accept the reality of the situation (Darren from Decibel refusing the help of two talented luthiers). I don't think I'm saying anything that isn't unanimously agreed upon, but it's entirely possible to be overcome with the business AND help the customers out in the long run. They're just choosing to not do it, because "business." Fuck them.
 

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I found it interesting that he built one for Tosin way back and Tosin never put out any videos or nobody ever saw him play that green 8 string Vik, only one or two pics of him holding the thing. The again a few years later Tosin made that Eidolon prototype for his Abasi brand with Vik and then even that fell through. Would be interesting to know wtf happened there because Tosin sold those both away. And why would Tosin associate with him even after all the headless drama and other stuff.

Again, would be cool to hear if anybody in the recent past or upcoming future got/is getting their guitars. And he didnt forget my order. He has replied with stuff like oh its nearly done let me take pictures to make you feel better and never sent anything. Then i try contacting him where are the pics, half a year goes by and he comes with all the excuses. So he didn't forget, he never replied who the F are you, just excuses.
 

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I found it interesting that he built one for Tosin way back and Tosin never put out any videos or nobody ever saw him play that green 8 string Vik, only one or two pics of him holding the thing. The again a few years later Tosin made that Eidolon prototype for his Abasi brand with Vik and then even that fell through. Would be interesting to know wtf happened there because Tosin sold those both away. And why would Tosin associate with him even after all the headless drama and other stuff.

Again, would be cool to hear if anybody in the recent past or upcoming future got/is getting their guitars. And he didnt forget my order. He has replied with stuff like oh its nearly done let me take pictures to make you feel better and never sent anything. Then i try contacting him where are the pics, half a year goes by and he comes with all the excuses. So he didn't forget, he never replied who the F are you, just excuses.

On the Facebook groups I've seen people getting them, though most seem to be the regular "heavy hitters" that somehow can afford $100k+ of guitars, so maybe he only takes money from people he knows will pay? Not that I think people on this forum are trying to buy without somehow paying etc, but just only from the "rich boys club" who buy stuff like Toones
 

jco5055

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^I remember you and Paul being the last to get Viks before he dropped off the planet for a year. When he came back he was a different person. He said he didn’t like building guitars anymore and then came the headless comments. I’m so lucky I got my guitar, he really didn’t want to build it.

Finding out it takes 3 1/2 months to build a handmade electric guitar was a big eye opener to how much of a mess the custom guitar world is

Do you mean that it really should only take that long, so people who take years to build (unless they have a massive wait list) are just wasting everyone's time? Or that doing the math a builder should only be doing like 4 guitars a year, and anything more means they are almost guaranteed to either rush things or fall behind? Though I imagine with glue drying etc one could work on multiple guitars and have different steps while things do have to dry and such.
 

budda

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All plausible, but I will go on record to say these guys that collect, and then actively never deliver are self centered assholes. Full stop. For some guys, life gets in the way, and then it takes them longer than planned, but they do deliver (KxK), but others are shameless in keeping the money and going on about their business (Sherman, Siggery, Vik). Still others are unwilling to accept the reality of the situation (Darren from Decibel refusing the help of two talented luthiers). I don't think I'm saying anything that isn't unanimously agreed upon, but it's entirely possible to be overcome with the business AND help the customers out in the long run. They're just choosing to not do it, because "business." Fuck them.

I know the story's been told, but iirc all decibel buyers got a guitar or a refund.
 

Hollowway

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I know the story's been told, but iirc all decibel buyers got a guitar or a refund.
Yep, he made good on it. Which is actually awesome, because it's unheard of to wrap up business AND give customers refunds. But, I still think he should have accepted help when it was offered.
 

Lorcan Ward

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Do you mean that it really should only take that long, so people who take years to build (unless they have a massive wait list) are just wasting everyone's time? Or that doing the math a builder should only be doing like 4 guitars a year, and anything more means they are almost guaranteed to either rush things or fall behind? Though I imagine with glue drying etc one could work on multiple guitars and have different steps while things do have to dry and such.

Ignoring wait times. In batches of 10 it should take a builder 4 months at most to build them all. Allowing extra time if finishing is outsourced but as long as work on new builds is planned during that time. The time it took Vik to make and install my pickups is the time it took a luthier who makes higher quality guitars build 3 full guitars for me. As much as most luthiers are awful businessmen they are also very poor at time keeping.
 

thrsher

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I just don't understand how everyone just sits back and appears to take no action. I did get my guitar from Vik but was worried I might not as things were staying to hit the fan. I would have taken action the moment I knew he was stateside if he didn't deliver or refund.
 

diagrammatiks

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Ignoring wait times. In batches of 10 it should take a builder 4 months at most to build them all. Allowing extra time if finishing is outsourced but as long as work on new builds is planned during that time. The time it took Vik to make and install my pickups is the time it took a luthier who makes higher quality guitars build 3 full guitars for me. As much as most luthiers are awful businessmen they are also very poor at time keeping.

it's like 2 weeks of work. 6 weeks of hanging out on facebook groups. repeat.
 

Hollowway

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I just don't understand how everyone just sits back and appears to take no action. I did get my guitar from Vik but was worried I might not as things were staying to hit the fan. I would have taken action the moment I knew he was stateside if he didn't deliver or refund.
The problem is it’s difficult to know what action to take. I’ve tried the following:
1) be super nice, and see if they’ll feel sorry for me and delivery. This had some initial positive response, but short lived.
2) apply social media pressure by “outing” them. This also had some positive response, but usually the luthier doesn’t give a shit about public image by that point.
3) threatening to involve the police. He goe pissed and threatened me.
4) try to sue. I never followed through, because even if I won, if he doesn’t pay me back, then I have to sue AGAIN to get payment. And then again, etc. It’s very difficult to get someone to pay via lawsuit. Abs expensive in time and money.
5) offer to take the work in whatever state it’s in. That didn’t work, because someone who’s not interested in working on something also isn’t interested in taking the time to box it up, and drive to the post office.

The one thing which MIGHT have worked is showing up at the luthier’s house abs make it clear I am not above violence and vandalism to him or his family. That would likely work. But, as it turns out, I AM above violence to him and his family, and I am not that coordinated or strong.

So, honestly, the best thing we can do is band together and make sure no one we know dumps money into one of these losers. That’s really about it.
 

SVMMONYR

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On the Facebook groups I've seen people getting them, though most seem to be the regular "heavy hitters" that somehow can afford $100k+ of guitars, so maybe he only takes money from people he knows will pay? Not that I think people on this forum are trying to buy without somehow paying etc, but just only from the "rich boys club" who buy stuff like Toones

Oh I did pay him more than just the deposit. In 2014 he sent an e-mail that the guitar was basically next to being finished and that he needed more money at that point at which I did pay him an amount Im embarased to disclose here haha because that was an idiot move on my part.

His business is just weird, I would assume everyone who paid the deposit would also afford a guitar. He just picks and chooses and maybe he has a get in front of line price? Who knows...

Do you mean that it really should only take that long, so people who take years to build (unless they have a massive wait list) are just wasting everyone's time? Or that doing the math a builder should only be doing like 4 guitars a year, and anything more means they are almost guaranteed to either rush things or fall behind? Though I imagine with glue drying etc one could work on multiple guitars and have different steps while things do have to dry and such.

They basically are or they are trying to do everything to run a business as a one man show. I made a friend of a luthier last year and his workshop was quite near where I lived and visited/spent time there many times. The holds up with building instruments mainly were due to waiting on the physical materials or certain equipment they didnt have and needed to order. One time it took 2 months for one drill part to arrive from America = a 2 month hickup on a build.

Managing a business as a one man show with a webpage, social media sites, inventory, woods, mails, bills etc. and at the end you have to have time to build a instrument is a reason why most of these turn into a shit show. If you are passionate about building, the process doesn't take years. Im thinking most of these luthiers get held up with all the different aspects of a business besides the building instrument part and then they get backlogged. Also most of these guys, their ego's get inflated INSTANTLY they get even the slightest praise for their work and essentially they are above the customer.

And yeah, that Vik in a week was like the biggest middle finger that you could give to people who at that point had been waiting YEARS for theirs to be built. I remember he built an 9 string to Frederik Thordendahl also at one point. To my knowledge there is no video of even a picture of him ever holding the instrumet.
 

Winspear

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And yeah, that Vik in a week was like the biggest middle finger that you could give to people who at that point had been waiting YEARS for theirs to be built. I remember he built an 9 string to Frederik Thordendahl also at one point. To my knowledge there is no video of even a picture of him ever holding the instrumet.

The 9 was mine with the walnut top, the first to use the Domineer shape that had only been used for one bass previously. Fredrik liked the pics of it and asked for (I don't know whether it was a paid order or what) "basically the same thing but an 8" - he received the redwood(?) top 8 string and I recall hearing somewhere (maybe from Vik himself) that he wasn't sure about the fan on it. Not sure if he really disliked it or what, or whether ViK or Fred was more responsible for the decision of the fan, but it seems copying my wide fan was a bad and unnecessary idea for an 8 string ordered blind. It's definitely a very different playing experience and one I was willing to adapt to for the range of a 9 string to work properly
 


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