NGD - Daemoness Cimmerian

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by frogman81, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Pat

    Pat SS.org Regular

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    What's going on with the wonky line where the black paint meets natural wood? And why does the line randomly jut out above that paint spot?

    I still can't work out in my head what is going on here haha
     
  2. dhgrind

    dhgrind SS.org Regular

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    Op if you still have the guitar on hand could you snap a pic of the control cavity
     
  3. frogman81

    frogman81 SS.org Regular

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    To answer your question, yes - the guitar was picked up just now and is on its way back to Daemoness. I'll post a detailed follow-up of the transaction and my thoughts when the money is back in my account.

    Here you go.

    upload_2019-11-7_14-52-3.jpeg
     
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  4. frogman81

    frogman81 SS.org Regular

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    I mentioned that I would post a follow-up once I received the refund, and the money arrived yesterday so here it is. Barnes handled the refund admin and was very pleasant to deal with.

    Let me start by saying that it took me a few days to come to terms with just how bad the guitar was. My first reaction upon opening the case was that it just wasn't that black. Like, it was kind of greyish. Secondly, the ebony looked quite dry, but I figured no big deal to fix that. Then I noticed the finish swirling/polish marks. I thought it was play wear at first, but quickly realized it was all over the guitar. I drove home from the post office outlet thinking it over. Maybe it was a bit disappointing in the finish, but hey such is life. Rarely can something so anticipated live up to the hype. This is where I would say that these builders really benefit from expectation bias. If you anticipate this amazing guitar for YEARS, it causes some real cognitive dissonance when you finally get it and realize it's not what you'd hoped for, or maybe not even close. I played it that night, and while the action was surprisingly high, I will say that the tone was quite nice. It was modelled after my old ESP M-I (Alder, Maple neck, and Ebony fretboard) and I found the tone quite reminiscent of that guitar. It was nice and resonant and had no noticeable fret buzzing (of course the relatively high action would help with that). Eventually I had a local tech measure the action at the 12th fret and he found it at 3.8/64" on the treble side to 5/64th on the bass side. He said that if he was setting up a "shredder" type guitar it would be more like 3.5 and 4/64ths.

    I think it was the following day (day 2 of ownership) that I looked it over more closely and noticed the neck pocket crack. That was the nail in the coffin for me that made me accept that this just wasn't a nice instrument. It honestly felt like a $400 Schecter from 2005. Honestly, probably worse. I still took a couple more days to decide how to approach the situation. Keep in mind that life/work/family was going on the whole time. I think I had had the guitar for a week when I sent the email asking for a refund, but had been away on a 3 day work trip in that period.

    I had a Skype call with Dylan and Barnes the day after I sent photos and asked for a refund. Their tone was very apologetic. Dylan was quite eager for me to give him have the chance to build a replacement, but I expected this and told him I wasn't interested. Barnes was helpful and understanding. I didn't get a great explanation as to how the guitar turned out so badly, however. Dylan mentioned that he's been overworked and thinks he had some eye strain the day that he buffed the guitar. He also alluded to the possibility that he may need glasses. He felt almost positive that the neck pocket crack was just a finish crack (whether it was a finish crack or wood crack didn't really make a difference to me). I did ask why the neck pocket was painted (I have a theory that this played a role in the pocket crack) and he said that lots of guitars have painted neck pockets, citing Ibanez as an example. I haven't come across this myself, but then again I haven't taken many necks off of guitars. I had been wondering if I had gotten an apprentice-built guitar. I asked Barnes if he is apprenticing or does any building. He said no, he just helps out, does some sanding, admin, and wiring.

    One thing I didn't mention before is that the guitar was paid for in full in April of 2018. That means I paid the full price and still waited another year and half for it. I think that is a little offside. I believe the agreement stated that full cost would be due when it returns from paint and is ready for final assembly, but I think it is reasonable to expect your guitar to be finished in a few weeks to MAYBE 3 months after it's been fully paid for. The other thing I haven't mentioned is that Dylan built how many endorsee guitars while I was on the waiting list? Kyle, Jari, 2 for 1349, 1 for Soreption, 1 for Crypt Sermon... I think that's it? Dylan can of course do whatever he wants at the end of the day, but I don't think it's very nice to keep paying customers waiting YEARS while you build endorsement guitars.

    One bit of irony is that one of the factors in my choosing a bolt-on is that 5 YEARS AGO, when I was deciding, I couldn't really get a good look at the paint lines where the neck meets the body on his set neck guitars. I thought it was safer to go with a bolt-on, plus I was trying to spec it for longevity (possible neck replacement if it ever needed it), and kinda buy into that "snappier" sound from bolt-ons theory. Anyway, I chose a bolt on and ended up with what I would say was the most poorly executed bolt on that I've ever seen.

    That's it for now. I wish Dylan and Barnes well, but I will say that Dylan let me down in a way that can never be forgiven. I'll still follow Dylan's work on social media, but I'm quite happy to no longer be a customer.
     
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  5. narad

    narad Owned a Zune

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    I'm a huge Daemoness fan but I'd feel the same way. That looked pretty bad and there's also just a extra bit of sting in that some hand painted, fully inlay board, all-out crazy spec gets done proper, and a simple understated pin-stripe paintjob comes out looking shoddy and rushed.

    The one thing I'll say where I expect Daemoness to always take the higher ground is in trying to make the customer happy. You'd like to say that such a shop would never let a guitar like this out, but I think you, me, AND THEM -- we would all agree that that guitar had unacceptable problems, and while that's very little consolation, it actually should be in the grand scheme of things (in the custom guitar world at least). The number of custom guitars I've received that were not quite right and I had to go and say, "Hey man, look at this reference photo - that's the wrong finish.", "Look at this spec sheet - that's the wrong spec", etc., and not be offered really anything but an empty, actionless apology, and have to move these things along at huge losses.

    So in this case I have a deposit with Daemoness and should be coming up in the next batch. It might be surprising to hear but this horror story really gives me no pause for concern, because I've been chatting with Dylan about guitars since like 2008, and I trust that he's always going to take action to remedy these situations if they ever were to happen again.
     
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  6. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    eye strain? bad enough to be unable to buff a guitar properly? just on one day? localized entirely to one guitar?

    All that fiddly inlay work could be bad for your eyes I'm not doubting that.
     
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  7. Pat

    Pat SS.org Regular

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    AURORA BOREALIS?
     
  8. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Urgh, that's super disappointing.

    I have a deposit down with them. Those excuses honestly don't sound convincing. Eye strain? Needs glasses? Come on. He's painting all those crazy details and doing inlays with hundreds of tiny pieces being glued in. You can definitely see those massive tool marks around the frets, or the uneven green paint bleeding into the black.

    I simply don't believe those excuses. Clearly Dylan IS capable of doing great work. Your guitar has been at the shop for AGES. And being asked to pay in full in 2018 and then not receiving it for so long is suspicious. IMO, something happened to it and this is a very hasty, secret re-build, which might have been outsourced. Of course they'll never admit that, but that's my gut feeling.

    I also agree with you about how many guitars he's build recently. I visited the shop and there really aren't that many guitars on the go. Only 3-4 on the wall. and no signs of active working that day. Nothing half-built. I also visited Tom Waghorn, and he had maybe 10 half-finished guitars which were literally being worked on when I visited.


    It's great that he got a full refund, especially when Daemoness is almost certainly not legally obligated to give him one. I have a deposit down too, so that's comforting at least.

    But still - you don't believe those excuses, right? Eye strain? That guitar has been in Dylan's shop for AGES, and the mistakes are everywhere - the frets, the fretboard, the paint job, the finishing, the routing. It's not like he had a bad day, or a bad week, and messed up one thing, one time. The whole thing is a disaster.

    I reckon it's a hasty re-build. Maybe it was even outsourced.
     
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I don't think it was outsourced. It would probably be more difficult to setup another shop to make then to just half-ass it.

    All the issues are pretty much related to someone rushing and not caring about the outcome. I say that as someone who has worked on, built, and assembled guitars. They skipped steps to be done with it. That's pretty much it.
     
  10. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, you're probably right. And likely compounded by the fact that OP had been waiting 5 years for this very simple build. They presumably wanted rid of it, didn't want him waiting ANOTHER year etc.

    I assume something went wrong which "necessitated" this though. Like, they completely forgot to start building his guitar. Or something required a re-build.
     
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  11. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    I think this is probably more likely - going through old paperwork/spec sheets and finding one that hadn't been completed from foreevr ago, panic build and get it out the door. A situation not uncommon and not unique to guitar builders either, happens in all sorts of industries.
     
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  12. narad

    narad Owned a Zune

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    Except that there's photos of this guitar around the shop from forever ago, even out of finish for a long time.
     
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  13. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    Well shit. Ignore me then haha.
     
  14. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, well we assume it's the exact same guitar. But who really knows.
     
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  15. narad

    narad Owned a Zune

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    Everyone but conspiracy theorists, I guess.
     
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  16. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

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    After reading this whole thread, I feel compelled to add my opinion that something really fishy went down with this build. Yes, too many mistakes and no good excuses. And totally out of left field for Daemoness. It sounds like they were super keen on an instant refund, as if they knew the complaint was coming down the pipe.

    So here's the story I came up with: guitar was loaned to a friend who played it extensively. Friend fucked it up and in desperation tried to repair and buff, either via his own means or outsourced. Could the guitar have even received a new paint job at this point? But what about the routes?? Either way, guitar was returned last minute AND missed final inspection before going out the door.

    I doubt we'll ever know for sure, but there is definitely a story behind this one. Definitely not just a case of the Mondays.
     
  17. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    Then what's the explanation for the complete guitar hanging around Dylan's shop for over a year and OP only getting it, in a shitty state, last week?

    OP was asked to make his final payment more than a year ago. That is usually when your guitar just needs setting up and shipping out. So there's no explanation for the unusually long time taken, and no excuse (except "eye strain") for the shoddy quality of OP's guitar. Everything looks rushed, and given that it's one of the simplest Daemoness guitars I've seen, and it's taken 5.5 years, it's not a wild guess that something happened to the original and this is a hasty re-build.

    Hell, if that guitar has been around Dylan's shop for a year and he didn't see and correct those obvious flaws, more shame on him.
     
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  18. narad

    narad Owned a Zune

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    No explanation for the unusually long time taken? But...most Daemonesses take that long.

    Whoa, wait, I think we're on to something here. If that guitar took so long because it was outsourced, probably they're all outsourced!! Man, once this story breaks, shit's going to get crazy. I can't believe these guys, trying to pass of Korean-built guitars (because that's probably where they would outsource to) as handmade UK instruments. Shame on them.
     
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  19. Blytheryn

    Blytheryn Musical Adam West

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    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
  20. dmlinger

    dmlinger SS.org Regular

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    With the pickup cavity clearly green in the Instagram photos, and black in OP's photos...it seems that this guitar was damaged sometime after finish.

    Since Dylan outsources his paint work, it appears that it was a shoddy attempt at refinishing the instrument.
     
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