[Not] New Tosin Abasi signature [maybe] in the works - Abasi Guitars[Concepts] w/[out] Frank Falbo

Discussion in 'Extended Range Guitars' started by HeHasTheJazzHands, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. animalsasleader

    animalsasleader SS.org Regular

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    Hey Guys,

    I figured I’d address some of the speculation regarding ABASI Concepts. The long and short of it is that Grover’s shop has been struggling to meet our deadlines. The charitable view on this is that he’s prioritized producing hundreds of guitars for Friedman, his primary contract, and didn’t scale sufficiently to handle our PO’s (he currently has a staff of 3 full-time employees).

    Add the fact that ABASI has a custom order business model and you end up with the reality of large purchase orders being placed where no two guitars are the same. We had a sense that this complexity could potentially be an issue, so we let Grover himself determine the number of options we could offer. No “kids in a candy store” vibes, just materials he told us he was comfortable with (that’s the reason we didn’t offer wenge necks, for instance).

    Between guitars already shipped to customers and some that are imminently being completed, we received about a dozen of really high-quality instruments from Grover. Unfortunately, we also rejected about 20 guitars that needed re-work (mostly paint issues) or had mismatched specs.

    Considering the most severe bottleneck was occurring at the paint stage, we’ve elected to job-out paint to Pat Wilkins. We think this new approach will do wonders for lead times and consistency of outcome.

    It also means that we’ll be leaving the custom shop model behind and will be switching over to an inventory-based business model. This means we’ll only sell guitars that exist, freeing us from being beholden to quoted lead times. It will also allow us to take our time with any instrument that needs rework, without it creating longer waits for customers.

    With regards to USA production with Grover, we have decided to limit the scope of his services to cutting necks and bodies with a simplified range of woods. (Maple, Alder and Richlite, for the time being.)

    Some of you have noticed the Japanese-produced bolt-ons. We began this relationship over a year ago and love the work they do. Super clean construction and consistent delivery dates (imagine that!) Concerning criticism of the bolt-on design, I relate to some of the observations, but these builds really are great and neither the playing experience nor aesthetics are impacted.

    These things slay! (funnily enough, every Ibanez prototype and LACS I own is a bolt-on because they never intended to release this design as a set neck...) Honestly, I dig both bolt-on and set neck and I actually love that I can get that bolt-on response out of this design if I want.

    For customers who haven’t received their guitars, we’ve either already reached out or are in the process of reaching out to offer a USA guitar with the new wood specs and reduced customization. Alternatively, they can switch their order to a J Larada guitar, which as it stands will be shipping at the beginning of January. A full refund is also available to any customer that wants it.

    Anyway, I’d be lying if I said I understood the intricacies of this business when I set out to do this. The truth is, I trusted that agreements would be honored and professionalism maintained. I’ve been a buyer of custom guitars for close to two decades and the thought of being able to design and provide passionate players, especially extended range guys, with a chance to build something unique that they love has become a new passion for me. The past two years of attempting this endeavor has definitely put that passion to the test, but I’m certain the adversity has been informative and strengthening.

    We’re appreciate the ongoing interest. This community is smart and observant, and we intend to give you guys an honest product that stands out amongst a sea of choices. Hopefully some of you will be at NAMM. We’d love for you to try the gear yourselves!
     
  2. ThePIGI King

    ThePIGI King Ibanez Enthusiast

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    I, who has no horse in the race, appreciate the post. Better late than never.

    As for the bolt on design thing you said, I prefer bolt ons, but I usually don't prefer a visible gap between body and neck. You said (and maybe I misunderstood) "neither the playing experience or aesthetics are impacted", yet a gap indicates a mistake, and looks wonky. It's like saying someone never messes up anything critical, but can't make their bed. If you have a gap between body/neck, what else is being messed up or passed as good enough?

    Still, I love the design and hope it flourishes.
     
  3. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Forgive me for asking this, you've spent more time with this design than I have and I'm sure there is a reason for this. But to address the observed critiques of the bolt on, the "G A P", why aren't you using a sort of Stephens extended cut away? It would be more efficient in the tooling department as I understand it and would eliminate said gap if I understand correctly.


    Pics attached -
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. remco mayer

    remco mayer SS.org Regular

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  5. Thaeon

    Thaeon Cosmic Question Asker

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    Tosin, and other guitar players like myself, still use amps live. I tried the modeler thing for over a year of shows. Never connected with it, and spent more time looking for new sounds than I did playing. Besides, my Diezel does almost everything I want it to do. So I run a small pedalboard with a clean boost, an OD, Delay, and Verb, with a MIDI switcher.

    I appreciate the post from Tosin as well. It's good to hear a little of the behind the scenes struggles. It makes for some empathy. Though I think I would have attempted to be a little more transparent about that stuff. Its hard to predict a lot of this stuff. Just being honest about being green in the manufacturing world I think would go a long way towards the trust of at least this community. So many of us have been burned by previous builders that took the non-transparent approach because they had a lot to hide.
     
  6. Jack McGoldrick

    Jack McGoldrick SS.org Regular

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    whoa whoa whoa, regular guitars first
    hey Tosin thanks for the input
    I love this Mess of a thread
     
  7. Ordacleaphobia

    Ordacleaphobia Shameless Contrarian

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    This is definitely the way to go, honestly. Paint outsourcing also sounds like a great idea, with 4 guys it's no wonder Grover is so busy.
    Wishing you guys the best.
     
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  8. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Not sure I can see this catching on.
     
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  9. The906

    The906 lifetime novice Contributor

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  10. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    It's the classic "Build it in bits" approach - a modeller does everything however has a high initial up-front cost where as pedals are significantly (this is on average mind you) cheaper and you can just get the ones you need/want to start with. Especially if you already have an amp that does a sound or two that you particularly like. Yes, pedalboards can easily get more expensive than modellers and can be a pain to assemble however if one pedal fails, just bypass it and you're good to go. If a modeller fails, you're fucked.
     
  11. Thaeon

    Thaeon Cosmic Question Asker

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    That's actually a great point. It's fairly cheap to have a pedal board power amp as a backup. If you derive a lot of your sounds from pedals, you just can bypass an amp failure and run the one on the board. If you run a modeler and have an issue with it, you need another modeler as a backup. Last I checked that's about $5k of up front investment to make sure you can finish a gig with an equipment failure. If you run a power amp and cab too... That's a lot of money for convenience. Modelers aren't necessarily a cheaper route and create a single point of failure if you don't have something to take their place. If you're a bedroom or studio only player, this is probably not an issue for you.
     
  12. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    My live rig has a EHX 44 Magnum on the board solely for the situation you just described haha. $319AUD vs $2k+AUD for a spare head/rig.
     
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  13. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    Yea, the S.E.C. is a nice solution to that problem. J-Laradas with that would be an improvement, but the veneer top would have to go over the area usually dedicated to the S.E.C., so it may not be possible (even apart from licensing costs and concerns).
     
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  14. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Well it doesn't have to be a Stephens cutaway really. The way I modelled it, that was just the easiest and most efficient way of doing it. It wouldn't have to bolts similar to a Stephens. It was just the easiest way for me to explain it.

    I think, particularly with the way recent legal cases regarding musical instruments have gone, it would be hard to argue the neck joint modelled out IS a stephens cutaway, and more just the nature of design.

    Basically, why is there a gap? When the first and most logical way to model this out solves the problem?
     
  15. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    For what it's worth, the Stephen's Extended Cutaway is no longer protected and anyone can use it. Also, the SEC has the bolts away from the playing surface, not under the fretboard at all. The render above is nothing like the SEC really; the Claas bolt on design is much more like the SEC, certainly in concept if not exact execution. The J Larada/Ibanez design is a compromise between the Fodera single cut bolt on design and the possibility for efficient mass production. The render is the full on minimise blockiness but keep the bolts under the fretboard.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. cip 123

    cip 123 SS.org Regular

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    Thanks, it was just the easiest way for my brain to explain haha!

    But a neck joint like what you posted seems fine and out of the way.

    For efficiency I can understand why it might be easier for mass production, but I feel like we're moving further and further away from that. And that point was exactly one of the reasons Tosin started this company, so not to compromise on the design.
     
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  17. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Lots of guys just love pedals. They're a relatively inexpensive way of getting new stuff, and new stuff is fun.

    A super expensive pedal is around $1,000. These days, if you spent that on a guitar or amp, it'd get you something "nice" but not jaw dropping. But a few hundred bucks can get you a rare/cool/vintage pedal that you can easily put into a small box and sell to the next guy.

    It's sorta of a hobby in and of itself.
     
  18. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    I think the emphasis is on pedals because you can target a lower income demographic. But I agree with all that -- pedals are fun. I'll debate for a month about buying a $300 playstation VR, but I'll blow $300 on a vintage fuzz I'll never use like it's a reflex.
     
  19. Vyn

    Vyn Not a Sparkly Vampire

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    +1

    Nintendo Switch - nah, can't justify it, I won't use it enough
    Flavor of the Week Boutique OD/Boost Pedal - Bought, used for 2min, in the pedal draw/on the pedal bookcase as a glorified ornament.
     
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  20. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    As a dude who uses a modeler, pedals just look cooler. Total pain in the ass managing the board space, power supplies, MIDI switching etc. but collecting pedals is fun. I'm happy I don't do it though.
     
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