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Discussion in 'Dealers & Group Buys' started by Joe Harvatt, Jan 9, 2014.
Top for the build has arrived
I don't think anything is really done differently, and I would question the "he's been doing a lot of artist endorsements" claim. Maybe it's gotten away from me, but I think he builds 1-2 guitars per year for endorsed artists? There's wintersun, soreption, and 1349, and probably a couple more, but we're also looking at deliveries on those guitars that span multiple years (it's not like in one batch all those guys get a new guitar).
It just seems like hype for almost all brands is down from some all-time highs when Tosin/Misha/ and a couple regular guys (maybe myself included) would get 1-2 of every new builder on the scene. When I think back to 2012/2013, all I remember is deposits and waitlists!
Admittedly, I'm not on instagram and maybe all the hype has just shifted there.
From my pov it seemed the problems with the queue started with the finish guys. Because Dylan was outsourcing the finish work to countries where the guys could use really great (but more hazardous) finish products, that was always a bit susceptible to kinks. Then Phil at spectrum finishes died, and that slowed things down. I think there were problems with the next guy. Then like a wall to the shop collapsed or something -- I just remember pics of huge rubble chunks, etc. Now covid. The queue definitely didn't have a lot of slack in it to allow for these sorts of setbacks without just tacking time on the end. But you know, maybe 6 years into building, back when Phil was still there, I got both my guitars in the estimated time.
But I blame it more on these logistics issues than on hype or artist builds.
My fault for being unclear; I wasn't trying to imply artist guitars and social media posts are solely responsible for holding up Dylan's progress.
The two posts I responded to were discussing the waitlist delay and whether it can be a valid point of criticism. My point was that, while Dylan has been around a while as a luthier, he may not have much experience with waitlist log jams of this size; moreover, these delays are as much an administration problem of a growing business as they are the result of a luthier falling behind on his work.
In other words, if we're questioning how it got to this stage, I'd think it isn't just the factors you mentioned but also an overestimation of how much work the team could take when these orders were made a few years back.
On that note:
The point in mentioning the social media and endorsement stuff is that it may not have been clear ~5 years ago that the business would continue to grow at this rate. The delays snowball over time. I'd also be careful not to underestimate how much work it must be to promote Daemoness and its artists, since it goes well beyond building a couple of guitars per year for endorsees.
It wasn't until 2017 that Dylan announced he had been working behind the scenes to build an endorsement team (which apparently was in the work for at least 3 years by that point).
The partnership with 1349 is particularly notable, as I recall he announced he was doing a media(?) partnership with them. I wish I could find the announcement post...I think he made the reveal on instagram, which I don't often use. Anyway, it seems to me that Dylan has put in a gargantuan amount of work to build that side of Daemoness. He was producing custom artwork, 'sets' for videos (another example here) and was going above and beyond what any normal guitar endorser would do for its artists. Plenty of examples on his Instagram, most of them for 1349.
It's why I made the point about Dylan taking a different approach to the promotion of his business than most other luthiers. It isn't right or wrong, but it is apples and oranges in my view. He's facing different challenges than they are. Challenges which are mostly unrelated to his luthiery experience, and which have arisen in the last ~5 years, same as the current delays.
So while I wouldn't put the waitlist delays down to being 'distracted' by endorsements (nor to any one factor, really), promotion isn't as simple as Nolly posting an NGD and putting some pictures on Dylan's website anymore.
Also, this is a foggy recollection, but hadn't Dylan gotten some shop help specifically so he could focus more on the art side of things? Barnes had already been helping with the social aspects as far as I understand.
Dylan is incredibly prolific. It is a miracle he makes as much progress as he does. But good art takes time to make and no artist is immune to that. I'm sure it also doesn't help build specs aren't set in stone until construction begins. A lot of simple specs might've turned into more complex ones because Dylan has been successful at promoting his artistic style.
Or at least have the option of "selling" your spot in the queue. Never understood why that is not an option. Seems like it would be better than giving a refund (if that is even a potential) and for the customer who's wait time is a fair bit longer than quoted a reasonable way out of the transaction. Someone excited about the possibility gets a spot and it would seem that its a win/win/win.
That incentivizes the wrong thing and we've seen slots for other builders go up on the market for more than they were (and I've even done this under the table). And then someone new gets to jump the queue, which is unfair to the other people waiting. That's why it's good to just kind of blanket policy of not allowing even transferring the slot from one person to another, since it prevents money changing hands behind the scenes.
I would say the fair thing is simply to be able to give up your slot, which helps out all the other guys waiting and are more psyched up for it. And when the estimates have grown so long they've becoming basically provably inaccurate even prior to the start of the build, I think it's a bit hypocritical to hold people to that no refund policy. Though, I'll note this is totally different to the one guy in this thread who was adamant about getting a refund just because he changed his mind basically.
I agree. And I think it stems from the fact that these luthiers are skilled craftsmen, designers, artists- not business guys.
Some places do manage. Waghorn is extremely professional. You get replies, truthful estimates and he’s also very productive. He just isn’t very active on social media. Aristides, though not a full custom shop, give very accurate estimates and scheduled updates. I know Mayones and Skervesen manage too. But they’re much larger professional operations. It’s just very difficult to be the craftsperson AND handle media, marketing, customer inquiries etc.
I do wonder whether Dylan has taken on more than he can handle. It took them years to get a basic website up, which should have taken 2 weeks since they already had all the photos and guitar specs. The Cimmerian video never materialised, and with 5 years of orders in a queue there wasn’t even any need for more promotional materials.
With Barnes gone, and the business closed due to Covid, I wonder what will happen next.
I reached a point where I think my money is gone. I wish I could sell my spot. I'll keep an eye out to any developments, but I don't think I'm willing to commit more money.
by commit more money do you mean getting a new order?
Don't despair good sir. everything is on hold cause of what's going on.i don't see you getting screwed but of course there's no guarantees in life except death.Dylan's track record speaks for itself.he hasn't not screwed anyone out of a guitar.keep the faith
I'm out of the loop and sorry if it was posted earlier, but what happened to Barnes?
He and Dylan had a falling out earlier this year. I spoke with Barnes at length about it on skype but I don’t think it’s fair to elaborate much more that, publicly at least. I only heard one side of the story as well.
I assume he means paying the rest of the money if his build is due to start.
Bear in mind, all these wait times of 30 months etc is the time taken to when the build STARTS. We’ve seen builds in this thread taking 2+ years. So I can totally understand hesitancy to hand over £2,500+ and wait even longer.
Hell, if I remember correctly, the black/green stripe Cimmerian, that guy had been waiting a long time. I think it was that guitar where it was at the ‘just needs hardware installed’ stage for about a year. And when it turned up, it was a fucking mess.
But I thought you pay the rest when the guitar is finished not when it starts the build. That's how I did it with my 2 ESP customs. Also there is no way i d be told it needs only electronics and wait for 2 years.
The deposit is only £600. I assume that before the build starts, you need to put down another chunk?
They say that " The remaining cost of the build is to be paid near the end of the build itself", so i guess the final payment is done at the end.
Correct-ish. The rest of the balance is due when the guitar goes to the lacquerer. So technically not completely finished but close.
I paid for my guitar in full in April 2018, and received it 18 months later in October 2019. At least then, Dylan asked for full payment when the guitar went out for paint. That's also when they ordered the hardware. It felt a bit uncomfortable at the time to pay for it in full at that point in the build, but in reading up I found it was what the policy had been all along so I paid promptly. The irony is that I wanted to keep "good customer status" and didn't want to ruffle any Daemoness feathers... And well you all know how that worked out for me.
Obviously if I knew then what I know now, I would have just walked away from the build, bought a nice high end ESP/Jackson, and called it a day. I think for some people that may be a good option going forward. Obviously it would be even better if Dylan refunded the deposits... If a few people walk away, the build list gets shorter and is mostly the die-hard fans remaining... Wait times get shorter, people who have moved on get nice guitars for the same or less money, less stress for Dylan... Everybody wins.
I put down the initial deposit and then was asked to place a 2nd deposit when they purchased the wood and supplies for the build. I was told the remaining would be due on completion.
So how long did it take in total between deposits and the completion
I’m still waiting - I put my 2nd deposit down in Nov of 2019. I was told my build was starting shortly but haven’t heard much since that point. I did inquire earlier this year and told working was halted due to Covid19. I’m going to reach back out this week and see what the latest is...