Boutique builders a la Tom Anderson/Suhr/Vigier etc that will do more pointy/extreme shapes?

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
Hey guys,

So I've recently kind of went anti-GAS, meaning I used to (aka like less than a month ago) have a list of countless builders/brands I wanted to try, and I myself have done the constant buy/sell/trade thing and have probably had 20+ different brands come through my place in the past year. But because of a trip to Paris and getting to play some Vigiers, I've come more to the conclusion of just sticking to semi-custom or production guitars (a good example is to think of the difference between a Schecter USA vs Masterwork), as that will be still a great guitar, and I'll worry about every tiny spec I enjoy if I ever am so rich I can drop upwards of like $8k on a guitar without a second thought , I ever am successful enough musically where I'm getting endorsed, and/or I have some kind of injury or something where I NEEEEED a spec that really only comes mega-custom.

Now as you can imagine, this has pretty much led me to now being into stuff like Tom Anderson/Suhr/Vigier guitars and the like, and in fact I am very tempted/close to pulling the trigger on an Angel. However, the one thing that makes me slightly hesitant is that all these brands really do their take on a superstrat- and more specifically a Fender w/24 frets kinda superstrat, none offer even a slightly more Soloist/Dinky style one. In fact, I would at least ideally like to be able to consider a more extreme shape such as a V or X style shape- even a Flying V kinda style would be fine.

So with that said, does anyone know of any I guess "peer" to the above brands that would do some more "metal" shapes? My only requirements are

1)has a 43mm nut width,
2) stainless Jumbo frets,
3) some form of locking tremolo,
4) not a mega thin neck, or if it's thin at least one with shoulders like a D or U, and
5) passive pickups.

So unfortunately the ESP USA V is out haha....but other than that I was thinking maybe Sully? It really seems like the world of I'll call them "reliable" boutique builders that aren't going to be $6k+ for what I'm looking for, and/or need to go true custom like Waghorn, is only superstrats.

Funny enough, it seems like maybe the original version/mission statement of Daemoness before it got to it's current wait time fiasco and such was about the closest that would match my preferences.
 

jephjacques

BUTTS LOL
Joined
May 29, 2012
Messages
3,671
Reaction score
4,689
Location
Halifax, NS
Keep an eye out for dealers getting in Jackson custom shop stuff- Chondro, The Music Zoo, and Axe Palace all get one-offs on the regular, and something might pop up that ticks your particular boxes. We've all heard horror stories about JCS build issues but I trust all three of those businesses to not sell anything subpar. I just got an absolutely flawless CS Kelly via the Axe Palace.
 

MaxOfMetal

Likes trem wankery.
Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
40,813
Reaction score
37,734
Location
Racine, WI
Keep an eye out for dealers getting in Jackson custom shop stuff- Chondro, The Music Zoo, and Axe Palace all get one-offs on the regular, and something might pop up that ticks your particular boxes. We've all heard horror stories about JCS build issues but I trust all three of those businesses to not sell anything subpar. I just got an absolutely flawless CS Kelly via the Axe Palace.

This, if you're not very picky, just wait for a run from a reputable shop to come down the pike.
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
Keep an eye out for dealers getting in Jackson custom shop stuff- Chondro, The Music Zoo, and Axe Palace all get one-offs on the regular, and something might pop up that ticks your particular boxes. We've all heard horror stories about JCS build issues but I trust all three of those businesses to not sell anything subpar. I just got an absolutely flawless CS Kelly via the Axe Palace.

Jackson Custom shop is the obvious answer to me.

yeah, if anything I feel like I could have/should have been like "what is a Jackson CS/USA guitar that isn't extremely overpriced and/or has build issues" haha...though as mentioned they exist out there just not instantly available.
 

MaxOfMetal

Likes trem wankery.
Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
40,813
Reaction score
37,734
Location
Racine, WI
yeah, if anything I feel like I could have/should have been like "what is a Jackson CS/USA guitar that isn't extremely overpriced and/or has build issues" haha...though as mentioned they exist out there just not instantly available.

Anything you want built isn't going to be "instantly available" either. You're going to have to wait awhile unless you want something used or a shop that subcontracts with one of the big Asian shops, like Balaguer. Kiesel has a quick turnaround time too, and offers everything you're looking for, but I'm sure you know that. :lol:
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
Anything you want built isn't going to be "instantly available" either. You're going to have to wait awhile unless you want something used or a shop that subcontracts with one of the big Asian shops, like Balaguer. Kiesel has a quick turnaround time too, and offers everything you're looking for, but I'm sure you know that. :lol:

haha yeah, I should have clarified I meant the issue with Jackson is a non-scoping reverb and sites for something to pop up is "pay $6k and wait 2.5 years for something that might have build issues" which you don't get from the Andersons of the world
 

MaxOfMetal

Likes trem wankery.
Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
40,813
Reaction score
37,734
Location
Racine, WI
haha yeah, I should have clarified I meant the issue with Jackson is a non-scoping reverb and sites for something to pop up is "pay $6k and wait 2.5 years for something that might have build issues" which you don't get from the Andersons of the world

There's no Jackson that's not Jackson, at least cheaper or that faster, so if that's what's going to scratch the itch following places like Chondro or AP on socials might be the way to go. :shrug:
 

Church2224

Guitar Whore
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
3,784
Reaction score
1,803
Location
Richmond VA
I would say Jackson but their USA Stuff is really hit and miss these days.

Why did you rule out the ESP USA V? That's your best bet for quality honestly.

Also idk how the B.C. Rich custom shop is these days, maybe check in with them. Also there is a small company called GMP guitars that has different shapes that might suit your fancy.

I may talk to my guys at Schecter. They talked about doing a USA Production E 1 explorer shape. If they do I would go that route I swear by their USA Stuff

Honestly your options at that quality level are somewhat limited. Most people, myself included, looking at buying guitars in that range of quality want more strat, tele, super strat/tele, and LP style guitars.
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
I would say Jackson but their USA Stuff is really hit and miss these days.

Why did you rule out the ESP USA V? That's your best bet for quality honestly.

Also idk how the B.C. Rich custom shop is these days, maybe check in with them. Also there is a small company called GMP guitars that has different shapes that might suit your fancy.

I may talk to my guys at Schecter. They talked about doing a USA Production E 1 explorer shape. If they do I would go that route I swear by their USA Stuff

Honestly your options at that quality level are somewhat limited. Most people, myself included, looking at buying guitars in that range of quality want more strat, tele, super strat/tele, and LP style guitars.

really it's just because the nut on the ESP V is 42mm, and I prefer a 43mm nut. Kinda interesting, as all the superstrats from ESP USA are 43mm.
I emailed Schecter about their USA options in general as it is very sparse (just wanted to confirm if you have to go through a dealer for options), but haven't heard back yet. If they made a USA V I'd be very interested.

I'll check out GMP, so thanks for that!
 

Church2224

Guitar Whore
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
3,784
Reaction score
1,803
Location
Richmond VA
really it's just because the nut on the ESP V is 42mm, and I prefer a 43mm nut. Kinda interesting, as all the superstrats from ESP USA are 43mm.
I emailed Schecter about their USA options in general as it is very sparse (just wanted to confirm if you have to go through a dealer for options), but haven't heard back yet. If they made a USA V I'd be very interested.

I'll check out GMP, so thanks for that!
As I tell my girlfriend I am not too picky about my nuts but I understand.

Schecter does not have a USA Production V Currently, they may have an Explorer shape though. I also would not go off their website on what models they have as it needs a massive update. Hell they have a USA 24 fret 7 string PT Tele style that people would be all over if they knew about it.


GMP has a more traditional V shape and a destroyer style shape, but still high quality and decently priced for what they are. A lot of guys on JCF Online swore by them because Jackson had been lacking in recent years.
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
As I tell my girlfriend I am not too picky about my nuts but I understand.

Schecter does not have a USA Production V Currently, they may have an Explorer shape though. I also would not go off their website on what models they have as it needs a massive update. Hell they have a USA 24 fret 7 string PT Tele style that people would be all over if they knew about it.


GMP has a more traditional V shape and a destroyer style shape, but still high quality and decently priced for what they are. A lot of guys on JCF Online swore by them because Jackson had been lacking in recent years.

yeah I dont HATE 42mm or anything, it's just since 43/1 11/16th is very common I can be picky about that; if it was an option that was like only one company seemed to do non-mega custom I'd live with it haha.

What do you think is the best way/place to contact Schecter about options for USA? Should I just wait for a response from them, or am I better off contacting a dealer, like maybe Drum City or someone similar who's like "the" dealer?
 

Church2224

Guitar Whore
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
3,784
Reaction score
1,803
Location
Richmond VA
yeah I dont HATE 42mm or anything, it's just since 43/1 11/16th is very common I can be picky about that; if it was an option that was like only one company seemed to do non-mega custom I'd live with it haha.

What do you think is the best way/place to contact Schecter about options for USA? Should I just wait for a response from them, or am I better off contacting a dealer, like maybe Drum City or someone similar who's like "the" dealer?

I usually go through my contact but I do not want to give out their information, but I would call DCGL, The Axe Palace or Killerburst guitars. All I highly recommend
 

Esp Griffyn

Play more music
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
5,572
Reaction score
765
Location
Gradually going Tornado
What did you think of the Vigiers? I've order the last matte alder finish Shawn Lane Excalibur that will ever be built and I can't wait to get it.

I've never played a Vigier before but I expect the quality to be excellent.
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
What did you think of the Vigiers? I've order the last matte alder finish Shawn Lane Excalibur that will ever be built and I can't wait to get it.

I've never played a Vigier before but I expect the quality to be excellent.
I love Vigier! If the specs were slightly more in tune to what I like (Jumbo frets, 43mm nut) I'd 100% just stick with them...I actually owned a SL for a bit just because I had to try the infinite radius etc and it was very nice; just a tad strange for me haha.

Is there a reason it will be the last ever built with that finish?
 

Esp Griffyn

Play more music
Joined
Nov 8, 2005
Messages
5,572
Reaction score
765
Location
Gradually going Tornado
Is there a reason it will be the last ever built with that finish?

Patrice Vigier is retiring and isn't taking new orders. Once the build queue is cleared, that is likely to be it for Vigier Guitars as there doesn't seem to be any sort of handover in place for Patrice when he leaves.

I spoke to Vigier's customer services to locate Shawn Lane models that had been pre-sold to dealers around the world, there's a few black ones and even fewer natural ones to be built. Thankfully I was able to contact a dealer in line to get the final natural guitar and get a deposit down on it. I am super excited but it's also quite sad that it seems to be the end for Vigier.
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
Patrice Vigier is retiring and isn't taking new orders. Once the build queue is cleared, that is likely to be it for Vigier Guitars as there doesn't seem to be any sort of handover in place for Patrice when he leaves.

I spoke to Vigier's customer services to locate Shawn Lane models that had been pre-sold to dealers around the world, there's a few black ones and even fewer natural ones to be built. Thankfully I was able to contact a dealer in line to get the final natural guitar and get a deposit down on it. I am super excited but it's also quite sad that it seems to be the end for Vigier.
oh yeah, I also talked to DJ (american CS) as I had been told about the retirement, he told me they are hoping/planning on continuing Vigier in some capacitiy, but who knows what that will be... fingers crossed!
 

Hoss632

SS.org Regular
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Messages
922
Reaction score
631
I know it's not necessarily Anderson/Suhr type stuff, but have you thought about Kiesel? Their hyperdrive, ultra V and v220's all have the nut width you are looking for and have Floyd Rose locking system's as options. They are pretty customizable and for the most part well built. Turn around time to get one in your hands may not be as long as a boutique builder. I know their reputation is hit or miss, but thought they might be worth mentioning.
 

jco5055

SS.org Regular
Joined
Aug 11, 2010
Messages
1,072
Reaction score
579
Location
Chicago
I know it's not necessarily Anderson/Suhr type stuff, but have you thought about Kiesel? Their hyperdrive, ultra V and v220's all have the nut width you are looking for and have Floyd Rose locking system's as options. They are pretty customizable and for the most part well built. Turn around time to get one in your hands may not be as long as a boutique builder. I know their reputation is hit or miss, but thought they might be worth mentioning.
Thanks for the suggestion, but I'd just go with a normal shape before Kiesel. I don't hate regular superstrats or anything, just a preference.
This may be out of the ballpark but wanted to throw it out there - Carillion guitars I think do more pointy shapes but yeah, that’d be more on the true custom side and pricier too I’d imagine.
Carillion looks awesome, but besides all his 6 strings being 42mm nut widths it's my understanding he is pricey, like I'd probably spec out something that was like $7k or more.
 


Top