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!