KxK Guitars

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by 2liveis2die35, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    They didn't want dealers to fight to the bottom or for the largest dealers to destroy the smaller dealers that Fender was trying to woo at the time. This was right after Mars folded and Fender needed to get into as many stores as they could. They had gone "all in" with Mars and thought they could forgo the mom and pop shops.

    I still think they handled it fairly poorly.
     
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  2. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    That having been said, there are a decent number of boutique luthiers who specialise in Les Paul copies and the like. I don't think all segments of the guitar market suffered equally. Again, I think it partly boils down to demographic...the type of person who buys those guitars skews older and has more disposable income than what we see in the metal guitar scene.

    That's why I said I wonder if it will ever change. 5 of the 8 members with posts on this page joined SS.org between 2006 and 2009, over 10 years ago. We used to be in our teens and twenties, now we're in our thirties or even forties in some cases.

    Late stage capitalism aside, there is something about metal guitar culture that makes it more thrifty than that of your typical tone hounds. People still drop loads of money on gear in these circles. But they get five $2000 guitars rather than two $5000 guitars, etc.
     
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  3. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Not to belabor the argument, but again those are the ones that survived and thrived (at least for a time). Who knows how many builders in the late '70s made a handful of guitars and then disappeared.

    And maybe the market competition is more fierce, but maybe the market is bigger now?
     
  4. cwhitey2

    cwhitey2 BlackendCrust Metal™

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  5. Seabeast2000

    Seabeast2000 lifetime novice Contributor

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    Interesting. This was still a time when companies were trying to figure out or just get on the internet (yes even 2001/2002) I figured it was an overly cautious Boomer company thing but your reply makes more sense.
     
  6. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    It's been the same since at least 2004...probably longer, but that's when I first visited. Things like their spec sheets have been the prototype for many sites that followed. When I ordered my first custom guitar around that time, I drew a lot of inspiration from Alembic.

    I love that a lot of luthiers are still stuck in the 90s/2000s with their website designs. Seemed like a simpler time...
     
  7. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I don't think any sector has been left untouched.

    I doubt we'll ever see another Bartlett or Yaron. Even those who might cater to a different segment.

    The metal scene of this generation, as developed as it is, is thriftier by virtue of being worse off than previous generations, which is what I was getting at.

    The fact that what you can get under $2k is so good and diverse verses a generation ago is a big factor.

    I certainly don't disagree.

    I think the market itself is bigger (China's addition alone compensates for a slower market in North America and Europe), but so fragmented.

    It's the only thing they're minimal about. :lol:

    Mars went belly up in 2002, so the timeline works.

    You can usually tell how good the website will be based on how old and involved with the company the luthier's kids are. :lol:
     
  8. MAJ Meadows SF

    MAJ Meadows SF on a tone quest

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    More pictures you say?
     

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  9. Dyingsea

    Dyingsea SS.org Regular

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    Really great guitars (annoyingly thin necks though) so it's unfortunate to hear all the circumstances here. The guys who are still waiting on guitars after all these years deserve better. Once again it feels like another "insert luthier here" SS.org story where they just dissapear.
     
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  10. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    I wonder if prs started today they'd be able to get as big.

    I mean there are a lot of brands building in WMI and Cort that are able to turn out production lines...

    but starting from scratch and eventually building your own factory and having employees..
     
  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    That's sort of what I was getting at in my other posts.

    The industry and market has changed so much with the internet and consolidation of manufacturing that we'll probably never see another larger boutique operation grow from nothing.

    Everyone will just have a one or two person home operation and then farm out the bulk of production to Cort or World or whoever.
     
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  12. fantom

    fantom Misses his 6 strings

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    Doesn't surprise me that Rob stopped building. I contacted him in 2013 about an in stock guitar after seeing many posts from technomancer. I asked some straightforward questions about the neck profile measurements, setup/action, and kxk pickups.

    At the time, I was more curious to try one of the in stock guitars so I could decide about placing a custom order. I was pretty much offering to buy an in stock guitar or come to the shop to play it in order to commission something to my specs.

    He pretty politely shut down the conversation saying he wouldn't want to sell me a guitar, never answered any of my original questions, and didn't even attempt to sell something that was already built and sitting at the shop. He wasn't rude, but he seemed to write me off as a potential customer, which was a huge red flag for me. His loss. He is probably right to assume I'm happier with the Skervesen I bought instead.
     
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  13. JP Universe

    JP Universe Giggity Contributor

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  14. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    In his defense...we are a bunch of annoying fucks...

    Although I expect any hype builder in 2020 to at least have the following information listed in the build catalog so I don't have to pester them with questions.

    Angle of the headstock.
    brand of the tuners.
    string spacing at the bridge
    string spacing at the nut
    string spacing at the 12th fret
    string spacing at the 7th fret just to make sure everything is looking good
    neck width at nut
    neck width at bridge
    neck thickness at nut
    neck thickness at 12th fret
    neck profile with at least 5 closest examples
    size and length of pickup screws in metric and imperial measurements
    exact fret brand, size, and material
    there's 40 other things but I can't remember them right now
     
  15. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    This is usually what came in from guys that Rob politely told he didn't want to deal with... another one that got people turned away was wanting to duplicate a neck from X model of Y brand with no details or asking how it compared to the neck on X again with no measurements or information. Pretty sure one guy actually told Rob he should buy one and copy the neck then return it :facepalm:

    He also dealt with a lot of stuff like the assclown from the 7S run with a 3 month delivery time that emailed constantly to make sure his build was going to be done by a specific date and changed specs multiple times during the build process... and then didn't have the money to pay for the guitar when it was done on the promised date. That was actually the point when the runs switched to no delivery dates after he busted ass to get all the guitars done on time and several guys couldn't pay and/or backed out.
     
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  16. fantom

    fantom Misses his 6 strings

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    Really? It isn't exactly like people could walk into a store and play one of his guitars back then. $2000+ on a guitar sitting in a shop with no return policy (I offered to pay shipping both ways if necessary). It is totally reasonable to ask about playability on concrete accepted terms like neck shape, thickness, and string height.

    If he couldn't deal with customers or delegate to a small store that would, I'm not surprised he stopped building. I get some customers can flake and that can burn a small business, but he made assumptions about me and showed zero interest in supporting or promoting his own product. Why would anyone want to do business with a company like that? Maybe he was more enthusiastic before 2013, but the writing was on the wall by then. Definitely did not think anything bad about him, but that isn't a profitable business model.

    Either way, it turned me away from considering his guitars. He has every right to do that, but the result of him disappearing as a builder is self-inflicted (and I suspect intentional) if you ask me. I just hope he did the best thing for himself.

    Edit: also hope he follows through with customers he didn't turn away
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
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  17. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    I don't think turning down customers and going out of business is necessarily related, although it obviously appears that way on the surface.

    In your case, it seems you were genuinely trying to buy an in-stock guitar. But he could have turned you down on the assumption you were either 1) a tire-kicker, 2) someone who'd try to return the in-stock instrument once you decided on your specs for a custom, which would put him no further ahead with the in-stock, or 3) someone who wouldn't be satisfied to buy without a shop tour. Not all places of business are comfortable with people coming to the shop.

    Diagrammatiks was being facetious (I hope), but some people genuinely do pester builders with questions like that. At a certain point, these customers need to realise the builder is just offering a product for sale and isn't obligated to jump through hoops.

    The choice to buy over the internet (with the inherent obstacles that comes with) is ultimately the customer's. Some will never be satisfied with the supplied descriptions and specs, asking for increasingly specific elaborations.

    With things like neck shape, I think it is enough for a builder to give some basic specs and/or a description of some of its characteristics (i.e. if it is a 'shredder' neck profile, asymmetrical, etc.). That's all most guitar companies give anyway.
     
  18. fantom

    fantom Misses his 6 strings

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    As I said, he was well within his rights to politely turn away customers and I had no issues with it. My post was motivated by the first page that stated interest / orders / finances were related. He had an eager customer within a day's drive round trip that turned to a competitor on a different continent. Perhaps he misread more people than just me?

    As also mentioned, crap hit the fan with other builders around that time. Customers had a right to be skeptical about in stock or commissioned guitars just as he had a right to be skeptical about demanding customers that might flake and waste time. No one was obligated to do anything (and hence this is all said with indifference and best wishes to everyone)
     
  19. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    Man you think I’m kidding...
    Do you know how many so called “luthiers” don’t even bother weighing both sides of a book matched top, neckthrough body wings, or neck pieces to make sure that they are all evenly weight matched?

    it’s like they don’t even understand that having one side heavier then the other is going to kill your reflected waves and destroy your tone.

    and these guys want my business.

    it’s 2020 I need photographic evidence of this shit.

    try and sell me a lopsided guitar.
     
  20. Sermo Lupi

    Sermo Lupi SS.org Regular

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    Who knows? Perhaps at the time Rob had other enquiries about the in-stock and decided to pursue those instead because it was less work for him. Perhaps he felt he had enough on his plate for custom orders and didn't want to accept any new orders at that time for fear of putting himself behind schedule or disappointing you.

    That's the benefit of the doubt. However, I agree it seemed like a mutually beneficial situation. If you lived within close driving distance and Rob might have gotten two orders out of it, it seems like a no-brainer. That's why I suspect he wasn't eager for more business at the time.

    Oh, I'll sell you a lopsided guitar all right. It's a feature...all the cool kids are doing it...

    [​IMG]
     

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