Feeling kinda bad for Suhr...

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by Heart Of The Sunrise, Jul 1, 2021.

  1. Heart Of The Sunrise

    Heart Of The Sunrise SS.org Regular

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    Seeing the new Ibanez headless models got me thinking about how in the past couple of years Ibanez and Charvel have managed to grab quite a few "2nd wave shredders" (basically the fusion-inspired shred players that came on the scene in the mid-late 00s and gained prominence in the 10s) who previously either endorsed or frequently played Suhr by coming out with the AZ and DK lines respectively. Basically the general characteristics of Suhrs as compared to the major manufacturers were the roasted maple necks, SS frets, transparent finished bodies, and pickups that lean to the "hot" side but are generally more versatile than their metal-oriented counterparts. Obviously, Ibanez and FMC took note of this popularity and came out with their takes on this style of guitar, and were able to gain a bunch of former Suhr artists with better endorsement deals (since they have larger budgets).

    All of the "Suhr converts" I can think of off the top of my head: Guthrie Govan (Charvel Sig), Martin Miller (Ibanez AZ sig), Tom Quayle (Ibanez AZ sig), Rick Graham (Charvel DK24), Lari Basilio (Ibanez AZ sig), Jack Gardiner (Ibanez AZ), Chris Brooks (Charvel DK) (Chris mostly played Ibbys, but I remember Suhrs in the rotation too).

    Also worth noting is the fact that Ibanez now basically has a deadlock on the mathrock-shred market considering they have both Polyphia guys and both CHON guys, again thanks to the Suhr-inspired AZ, and now already has pull in the headless market because they came out of the gate with an Ichika Nito signature. I believe the dude from Good Tiger (which I've admittedly never listened to, but believe to be around the same genre) plays a Charvel DK24 now too. Considering that Mateus Asato, one of the first popularizers of the clean/compressed/two handed tapping style of playing has been a longtime Suhr endorser, and that the aforementioned Ibanez guys all play AZs (except Ichika), I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to assume at least one of these people would have been endorsing Suhr were it not for the AZ.

    Anyway, all of this was just to say that I feel bad that Suhr has lost quite a few prominent players considering that they're basically directly responsible for a hugely popular style of superstrat in the current guitar scenes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
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  2. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Endorsements are a business, period. Suhr makes stellar products but their artist deals are nothing compared to what Ibanez or FMC will do for an artist.
     
  3. Heart Of The Sunrise

    Heart Of The Sunrise SS.org Regular

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    True. It was a smart marketing decision on both companies' parts to start those lines because it's naive to assume that virtually any player would choose to stick to a small boutique when they get offered a significantly more lucrative deal with a very solid clone made by a deep-pocketed company.
     
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  4. jl-austin

    jl-austin SS.org Regular

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    I don't care what it is, there will always be more $1000 guitars sold than $3000 to $4000 guitars.

    After playing (and owning) a MIM Charvel, I have zero interest in what Suhr is doing.
     
  5. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    I don't know how bad it actually is for Suhr though. They're still a high end boutique, and Ibanez is a mass producer with multiple quality tiers. I always thought that Suhr is basically modern boutique Fender. Whereas Ibby is Ibby, they do their own thing.

    It's a bit weird that something as oddly specific as an HSS strat with a vintage trem and a with roasted maple neck got the traction that it got.
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Suhr doesn't do traditional endorsement deals, everyone has to pay. So they're not going to hold artists like the mainstream production companies that pay out for artists, which is exactly what Suhr wants. It means the endorsement is genuinely about the gear and not a pay check.

    People don't buy Suhr (or any of the boutiques) because so and so plays them, they buy them because they're exceptional guitars.

    Besides, based on recent build time tables, Suhr is doing just fine. :lol:
     
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  7. HoneyNut

    HoneyNut Regular

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    In Bangladesh, guitar players in smaller villages know about Suhr guitars. The avg player buys in the Harley Benton range though.

    I'm really happy with the DK24 range. I can bring it back home and not be 'too' concerned. The DK24, honestly, is doing its job as a Suhr surrogate. It has Suhr pickups in it.

    If it were more reasonable, that I can travel with any where and play with whatever crowd, I really wish there was a Suhr in the mid, or even, reasonable ranges.

    I tried a few Suhrs at Cosmo music, Toronto, and the rosewood neck with the suhr logo and the fretboard roll off is something to appreciate. Nice headstock too.
     
  8. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Suhr's going after a different clientele.

    Not really a big deal. I think they sell everything they are able to make and are just fine with that.

    They did the whole modern Marshall thing before Friedman and could have easily been as big.

    They also attempted the mic low cost line almost a decade before anyone else. John will make moves when he needs too.

    Anderson has never really been worried about any of this stuff either. Just keep selling 5000 dollar guitars.
     
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  9. mystix

    mystix SS.org Regular

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    Funny... I was just playing my ibanez js2450 and Suhr modern satin. As great as the JS is, the Suhr is just on a different level. Playability and tones are stellar.
     
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  10. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    i don't feel too bad for them, i'm sure their bank acct has several more commas than mine so they must be doing something right.
     
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  11. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    The owners cashed out a long time ago when they were purchased, so they're doing fine.

    As for the guitar company, they sell more than they can build.
    Their main target audience is wealthy "older" players who couldn't care less about any modern endorser, so any impact of AZs or DKs will be truly minuscule in terms of demand.
     
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  12. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    Some boutiques just want to be boutiques. And often “exclusive” has an appeal to it as well.
     
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  13. Darkscience

    Darkscience SS.org Regular

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    Suhr is not as big as FMC because they did not invent the Stratocaster, so I could care less that they are not as big and can't do as much. I think they also make Telecaster variants, I mean...not very original if you ask me. If they had invented something different and unique and then someone else took their people then maybe you could feel bad.
     
  14. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Shameless Contrarian Contributor

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    Something to note too is that remember, endorsements are primarily about cash for the artist, and more about gaining brand recognition (and the cash that follows) for the endorsing company. A brand as iconic as Suhr, in my opinion, really doesn't need a whole lot of publicity to get their name out there because those that are in the market for a guitar like that very likely are already aware of who they are and what they do.

    Especially for a shop where quality >>>> quantity, as long as they can keep their order book full (which is a fraction of a fraction of the size of what a company like Ibanez moves), I'm sure they don't really care.

    Granted, it is always kind of a bummer to see someone's "thing" get copied and mass produced, but it's kind of inevitable. And in my opinion, honestly a win all around. Players get their 'cheap Suhr,' Ibanez gets their business, and folks that may not have been in the market for a Suhr in the first place might now want a 'fancy AZ.'
     
  15. Zado

    Zado SS.org Regular

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    I'm quite sure Mr. Suhr doent give a fluff
     
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  16. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    A fancy AZ with actually good factory fretwork, and without that abomination of a headstock.
     
  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Just the fact everyone instantly thinks "Suhr" when any company makes a pickguard-less super Strat with a two point trem is enough to cement how "not bothered" they are with endorsement drama. :lol:
     
  18. Wucan

    Wucan SS.org Regular

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    Suhr can never churn out enough guitars for the amount of orders they get, they'll be fine. They've already built their rep as one of the top boutique manufacturers and won't need to try hard to get a new wave of artist sponsorships.
     
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  19. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    more people think suhr then Anderson and Anderson isn’t hurting. He tried to retire. And he’s said that he’d retire if they have a year where they don’t do enough sales.
    That was like 8 years ago.
     
  20. bzhang9

    bzhang9 SS.org Regular

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    do you feel bad for fender because suhr exists?

    suhr cant be bothered putting out a quality product in the 1-2k range

    both AZ and DK series are loaded with specs that suhr can't match at a fraction of the cost
     
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