Official Daemoness Guitars Thread

Emperoff

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I wonder if these guys also have reparation/luthier services in addition to just building guitars. As Max said, building is not a sequencial procedure so it's a good thing to have another cash flow source instead of opening more orders to fund older ones (and get swamped).

One of the most respected builders in my country lives near me. He also does luthier services besides building guitars. It takes a long time to get your guitar back (since he probably works on them on those "gaps"), but it's damn worth it. His services don't come cheap either so I'm pretty sure he's doing just fine business-wise.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Most artists aren’t businessmen and that’s always been what brings down boutique builders.

It's an industry problem.

Production stuff is just so wide ranging, spec filled, and relatively cheap these days. It's not like 10 or 15 years ago where you could find a fairly large, serviceable niche, or 30 or 40 years ago where all you had to do was make a Strat with a couple options.

Competition is so dense, especially as the world has gotten smaller.

So now you either need to have something really really special, or just luck into trends.

Overhead has always been so high, so small builders have always had to run lean. Now you have to price even more competitively.

If you have a day job, unless it's pretty plush, you're not going to have the time to put into the guitars without burning out.

But reality is always waiting to fuck you in the ass.

Daemoness is a perfect example. Dude did everything right and he still got smacked. His apprentice wound up being a dipshit, his business partner got bored, his paint guy kicked the bucket, there was a world crunching pandemic, etc.
 

frogman81

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I hope Dylan is doing ok and he is just off at his Aunt's house in the countryside recharging or whatever, but I'm a little concerned. I don't imagine giving back those deposits a couple years ago was great for his financial position.
 

MaxOfMetal

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I wonder if these guys also have reparation/luthier services in addition to just building guitars. As Max said, building is not a sequencial procedure so it's a good thing to have another cash flow source instead of opening more orders to fund older ones (and get swamped).

One of the most respected builders in my country lives near me. He also does luthier services besides building guitars. It takes a long time to get your guitar back (since he probably works on them on those "gaps"), but it's damn worth it. His services don't come cheap either so I'm pretty sure he's doing just fine business-wise.

Most builders of this size only do it part time. They usually have a day job, or if they've been at it for a good while they stay in the industry doing repair/setup work if there's demand.
 

JimF

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Most artists aren’t businessmen and that’s always been what brings down boutique builders.

Very good point, but there's a difference between being a savvy businessman, and simply communicating with your paying customers.
 

possumkiller

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Idk, I still give the guy credit for refunding deposits which is something BRJ, Vik, Darren and others would never ever do. However, the silence without much coming out of the shop in the years since he supposedly broke down and got his shit together is not a good sign.
 

Emperoff

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Most builders of this size only do it part time. They usually have a day job, or if they've been at it for a good while they stay in the industry doing repair/setup work if there's demand.

I can't imagine doing that job part time. That's just a bomb with a random timer.
 

MaxOfMetal

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I can't imagine doing that job part time. That's just a bomb with a random timer.

Folks do it as a labor of love, or a calling, or a hobby, etc. Most of the full time or close to it builders I've known over the years monetized it simply to keep doing it.

That's the thing though, it's too much work not to love and when builders fall out of love with it, it shows.
 

dmlinger

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It is so hard to scale guitar building as a business. The tasks involved don't really flow well into one another, and there is a ton of waiting/down time. For example, when you build a body blank, you mill the wood to the size you need, joint it and glue it. Then you wait 24 hours. All of the wood working leading up to the glue takes maybe 30 minutes. Then 24 hours of waiting. Any time you glue something, it's a 24 hour wait with no work on that piece.

And the steps you take to build a guitar pretty much have to go in order. You can't do electronics until the end. You can't grain fill until after all of the carving is done. You can't route the body until you glue on the top. You can't spray finish until all of your prep us done. Press in frets until radiusing the board, etc. etc. It takes forever.

That's the reason the factories you see that show tours have different departments for each task. Instruments can churn through each "station" quickly and move on to the next station or sit to dry.

A small, one-man shop can't do that.

I still believe Danocaster has the best model...he builds whatever the hell he wants, when he wants, and posts the guitars as "in stock."
 

MaxOfMetal

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I still believe Danocaster has the best model...he builds whatever the hell he wants, when he wants, and posts the guitars as "in stock."

A lot of the small guys that "make it" go that route. At least the ones who still like making guitars. :lol:
 

dmlinger

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A lot of the small guys that "make it" go that route. At least the ones who still like making guitars. :lol:
Haha! It has to make it more enjoyable. When people message me about weird ass specs, or color combos that would look awful, I just shake my head. "No I won't build that and put my logo on it."
 

BlackMastodon

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Haha! It has to make it more enjoyable. When people message me about weird ass specs, or color combos that would look awful, I just shake my head. "No I won't build that and put my logo on it."
Look, you already said no when I asked you to make the Sasquatch TeleCockster, complete with human hair inlays and designer bush behind the bridge. You don't have to throw shade at me in public, too.

(Real talk, though, the" in stock" method seems like the most logical way to not have a wait list that completely runs away from you, and maybe the only way to avoid burnout)
 

Flappydoodle

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I think it's industry standard to do that for artists, so definitely not considering that. I think it'd just be weird for endorsers to hop on the back end of a 7 year queue. But we actually have some way of confirming if Dylan was doing this since you have the deposits you have to pay when your batch starts, so if those are winding up really out of order, then that's getting suspicious. But just to be clear, I don't recall seeing that in the thread previously.

I think Lorcan summarises well below. I was careful in my post not to accuse or point fingers. I only said that the queue does not move in a logical fashion. And some times it has appeared that it is not first-come-first served. Somewhere in these 250 pages it was discussed that people put down deposits before others but those others were seemingly ahead (like 2nd deposits, Skype calls etc). I don't think there are any blatant examples of people just paying their way to the front.

As Lorcan says below, maybe it's just how things work out with batches, more/less time-consuming builds. I don't know the inner workings.

That said, I do think some artists or endorsers have skipped the queue.

Since Dylan works in batches some guitars get finished quicker. There was a good 6 months between some when I ordered, so someone who ordered after me got their guitar before mine. Wether our of luck, had all the hardware ready or took his interest more. I could see how that looks like skipping ahead but it’s just the nature of working in batches, especially since Dylan has been doing 20 builds at a time. One person could have a year less wait that way.

I can confidently say Dylan didn’t allow any kind of queue jumping a few years ago, nor selling of spots. Some guys used to get angry he wouldn’t do a Vik and offer quick builds at a premium.

Yes, I expect this is the case

And in that situation, maybe some advice from people working scheduling in that particular domain from people working on exactly those problems is maybe helpful, but again, do you think you're going to get helpful advice from some random person who knows nothing about the industry and spent only a few minutes thinking about it/researching it?

I think it's something many people can relate to -- you meet someone, get talking about work, and they offer some "advice" about how you could do things better. It's never good advice, why would it be - they don't know anything about specifics, but you smile and nod. But when you flip it around, do you really want to be that guy?

I see your point, but it seems like an over-analysis. Do you really believe there is some sort of complex industry issue that an outsider couldn't possibly comprehend? Isn't it more likely that Dylan simply doesn't have his shit together? Guy can't answer emails or even keep the same email address. He can't update his website for years. Apparently he can't pick or maintain good workers.

End of the day, he's a bit of a wildcard and an "interesting" personality. It's probably why many of us put down deposits, but it obvious comes at a price lol.
I can't think of many independent craftsmen with 5 year plus waiting lists and international demand taking unsolicited advice concerning their already successful business...

Define "successful". I could be wrong but I'm not seeing much output in terms of guitars. Demand and a queue doesn't mean anything IMO.

I wonder if these guys also have reparation/luthier services in addition to just building guitars. As Max said, building is not a sequencial procedure so it's a good thing to have another cash flow source instead of opening more orders to fund older ones (and get swamped).

When I visited the last time, Dylan had a couple of Jari's Ibanez guitars in for Evertune installations

Daemoness is a perfect example. Dude did everything right and he still got smacked. His apprentice wound up being a dipshit, his business partner got bored, his paint guy kicked the bucket, there was a world crunching pandemic, etc.

Well, I think "everything right" is too generous. You select your apprentice and business partners and have to take responsibility for running a business and delivering products.

But still, I think everybody is reasonable enough to understand that shit happens. The worst part is the total deficit of communication. I heard about the "breakup" via cryptic WhatsApp messages with Barnes.
 

MaxOfMetal

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Well, I think "everything right" is too generous. You select your apprentice and business partners and have to take responsibility for running a business and delivering products.

I think he did everything as right as you can without having a crystal ball. Obviously speaking about before shit hit the fan.

The go-to armchair quarterbacking in these situations is pretty much "hire hire hire". Hire another set of hands, hire an email guy, etc. and that's exactly what was done.

I understand that folks feel that Dylan should perform some sort of penance for everything, and I think offering refunds is about as real as it gets. If folks chose not to cash out, when it's pretty obvious everyone should have, can you really keep blaming Dylan for everything? I don't think he's tried to shed responsibility for his part.

Let me make it clear, Dylan fucked up. That's without question. But it's not like he put it in his arm like Bernie Rico.

Like I said, this isn't a very forgiving industry, and trying to do it the right way doesn't guarantee it'll work, which is the message I'm trying to convey.
 

bostjan

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I haven't been watching this thread closely, but I just read the last three pages twice and I feel like I missed something. Did Daemoness actively offer to refund everyone?

I know no one asked my opinion, but, five years is a long time to wait for anything, but I think it's acceptable if it's communicated. Right, like, if you order a pizza and they say 30 minutes or less, and then it's 150 minutes later and you haven't heard anything - something is clearly wrong. If, on the other hand, after 15 minutes, someone from the kitchen tells you that they ran out of pizza dough, and have to prep more, and it will take an extra 45 minutes, then, after 90 minutes, they come and tell you that they ran out of artichoke hearts, so you can either get your pizza without that topping or else you'll have to wait another hour until someone goes to the store and buys more... you catch my drift.

If the pizza restaurant never says how long the pizza should take, you still have an unspoken expectation unless something is communicated.

What I'm getting at, is that the communication part of the delay is what's key. Coming back to the pizza analogy, maybe I really want pizza from this one specific pizza place and I don't care if it takes two weeks, but I still need someone to tell me what's up, otherwise, I'm eventually going to get tired of waiting and go someplace else.
 

mehegama

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I haven't been watching this thread closely, but I just read the last three pages twice and I feel like I missed something. Did Daemoness actively offer to refund everyone?

I know no one asked my opinion, but, five years is a long time to wait for anything, but I think it's acceptable if it's communicated. Right, like, if you order a pizza and they say 30 minutes or less, and then it's 150 minutes later and you haven't heard anything - something is clearly wrong. If, on the other hand, after 15 minutes, someone from the kitchen tells you that they ran out of pizza dough, and have to prep more, and it will take an extra 45 minutes, then, after 90 minutes, they come and tell you that they ran out of artichoke hearts, so you can either get your pizza without that topping or else you'll have to wait another hour until someone goes to the store and buys more... you catch my drift.

If the pizza restaurant never says how long the pizza should take, you still have an unspoken expectation unless something is communicated.

What I'm getting at, is that the communication part of the delay is what's key. Coming back to the pizza analogy, maybe I really want pizza from this one specific pizza place and I don't care if it takes two weeks, but I still need someone to tell me what's up, otherwise, I'm eventually going to get tired of waiting and go someplace else.
He definitely gave refunds to people that their build has not started yet. I was told at the 30 months waiting time point that my guitar is not going to start anytime soon, so i opted for the refund.
If the build has started, then there are sunk costs involved and i m not sure what would the case be.
To set expectations there are people with deposits from 15-16 that have not seen their guitars yet.
 

Negav

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I have been away for ages. Recently came back to the forum to see the state of things. My build was supposed to start years ago and nothing ever came from it. I think I submitted my deposit 2015-2016? Basically the day the books reopened. I was unaware refunds were being given out. Reading part of this thread tells me I'm not getting that refund any time soon, right?

I can live without the money, but it is very disappoint to see this fall out the way is had. At this point I think Daemoness should license their designs and use the sales of those (clones, basic models or sub-brand) as stable income as he brings his brand back. But well... some great artists are not great businessmen.

I wish everyone good luck. I'll go back into hibernation until there is any different news.
 


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