Official Daemoness Guitars Thread

Lorcan Ward

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Another small UK builder is Chris from Carillion. And the impression I get from social media is that he works like a machine. You see lots of builds in progress, lots of batches in progress, lots of guitars being finished and shipped. He re-opened the build queue fairly recently after closing it around 2 years ago, so he's clearly getting things done and working through the queue. So at least as far as impressions go, it would be amazing if Dylan could be more like Carillion in communication and output.

Chris is a machine. He had the bad luck of starting his business after Sabre, Siggery and Invictus had ruined the reputation of UK builders so he had to work really hard on his build times + communication and also on his guitars, ensuring they were perfect. A lot of successful businesses learn from the failures of others and this is where the Carillion brand was able to excel with strict build times gaining customers trust again. While Dylan and Chris both make hi-end metal guitars their business models are very different.

Chris from Carillion is a beast, I'd even say that hes atleast on par with Dylan when it comes to inlay work. I know Lorcan can attest to his work and so can I.

He’s an amazing builder. I cant say enough good things about his work.
 

jco5055

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Chris is a machine. He had the bad luck of starting his business after Sabre, Siggery and Invictus had ruined the reputation of UK builders so he had to work really hard on his build times + communication and also on his guitars, ensuring they were perfect. A lot of successful businesses learn from the failures of others and this is where the Carillion brand was able to excel with strict build times gaining customers trust again. While Dylan and Chris both make hi-end metal guitars their business models are very different.



He’s an amazing builder. I cant say enough good things about his work.

honestly I wish I knew exacfly what I want to go with him, otherwise at this point I'm more of a "I'll pick up a Jackson or Esp " kinda guy
 

StevenC

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mehegama

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I really hope things will get better for him, although this post is very similar to the one 2 years ago. I honestly think, given his circumstances the best thing would be to focus on doing concepts rather than full builds (especially without CNC it is not very viable).
I hope the people that have been waiting for 7+ years, at least, get some answers.
 

YannHeartfield

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:'( I hate insta, facebook and twitter... just a wolf pack imo... so I can't verify the source but Courage and support to Dylan if that's actually the truth, I'll wait for ever, he got talent and he is the only luthier I want to deal with so courage to him, that's hard for a lot and the UK are having a hardcore time right now, patience and I wish him the best, will not do the capitalism wolf number 5 billion on this one... not at all, courage mister Humphries!
 

Lorcan Ward

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I had a feeling he was moving workshop. Hopefully he can get set up soon and back to building. An explanation like this would have gone a long way earlier this year.

How bad are price increases on building materials for guitars? Some of my business costs have quadrupled with no chance of coming down for a year or two. I’d guess the prices of guitars will go up worldwide?
 

KnightBrolaire

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How was his "productivity" from 2008-2020? Weren't people still waiting 5+ years for an instrument?
basically. The estimate when I put in my order in 2016 was 4 years or so.
I had a feeling he was moving workshop. Hopefully he can get set up soon and back to building. An explanation like this would have gone a long way earlier this year.

How bad are price increases on building materials for guitars? Some of my business costs have quadrupled with no chance of coming down for a year or two. I’d guess the prices of guitars will go up worldwide?
dunno about the UK but lumber prices here in the USA have basically doubled from what I've seen pre pandemic.
Hardware and tools haven't gone up exponentially yet. Pickups, eh it depends on what you're slapping into the guitar, but when duncan/dimarzio are both pushing 200-250$ for basic sets, and boutique guys like BKP are well into the 350$ range.
 

jco5055

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I had a feeling he was moving workshop. Hopefully he can get set up soon and back to building. An explanation like this would have gone a long way earlier this year.

How bad are price increases on building materials for guitars? Some of my business costs have quadrupled with no chance of coming down for a year or two. I’d guess the prices of guitars will go up worldwide?

I know Chris from Carillion makes amazing guitars, but I hope everyone doesn't start having his prices. I know his stuff is all handmade, but other than "because he can" and he is pretty much a guarantee that he won't flake etc, and/or because he is just making sure he actually can have a decent lifestyle/income stream, is there anything else he does that warrants his guitars starting at almost $6k at this point? Just compared to his peers which start at the most barebones of builds like $3k or so....I know Juha of Ruokangas has talked about the actual cost of making guitars and that's why their stuff is like $5000-7500 barebones because they are actually paying their workers a fair wage and such.

With Dylan, I'm still skeptical, I really hope he does only do in-stocks after he finishes his queue, but just from an outsider looking in aka no skin in the game I feel like his most recent explanation is the last straw...if there's no action and in 2 years or something he posts another "here's why there's been no progress" I'd just write him off completely
 

IbanezDaemon

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hope he gets back on his feet soon.

was a new shop address given?

Just that he's had to relocate the whole business to Devon. I'm pretty sure that's where Dylan is originally from so he's bound to have lots of contacts there. Rent prices along with cost of living have gone through the roof in the UK recently with landlords really hiking the prices up.
 

Blytheryn

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Dylan posted this in the Daemoness Guitar Owners and General Discussion Facebook group last night.


Apologies that it has been a long time since I made any statements on here or social media. Dealing with the Pandemic, the huge increase in materials costs due to Brexit, and some other very unfortunate events which have affected me personally, together these have massively compromised my ability to run Daemoness effectively in Bristol, where it has been since it's beginning in 2008. The housing crisis in Bristol is now so acute that I can’t afford to rent a place to live and premises to work in the city I have called home for 20 years, as it experiences the highest rent rises in the country. I've spent the last few months relocating my workshop to a smaller premises in Devon. I appreciate that the pandemic has caused problems for nearly everyone, but for me it is part of a perfect storm of negative factors that have made it impossible to carry on as normal, or access my normal levels of creativity.

I feel I have let down people who have been waiting for their guitars a long time, but with this new workshop set up I can get back properly to making guitars again and hopefully get back to the levels of of productivity I had between 2008-20. These two years have easily been the most difficult of my life, and presented the most profound and unpredicted difficulties to me. I hope you can empathise, and I want to turn the situation around. This new workshop, although smaller and more limited, should hopefully give me that opportunity.

I am really sorry. I just feel that many decisions I have taken have been poor, and people I have trusted have let me down, and thats has a reflection onto my customers I never would have allowed if I had known that was at stake. I have been away from contact with message on email and social media recently as I didn’t really know how to put this into words. If you have need to discuss affairs with me I will be available on email.”
 

mehegama

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With Dylan, I'm still skeptical, I really hope he does only do in-stocks after he finishes his queue, but just from an outsider looking in aka no skin in the game I feel like his most recent explanation is the last straw...if there's no action and in 2 years or something he posts another "here's why there's been no progress" I'd just write him off completely
given that he is currently working on 2015 orders, with multiple people on 7+ years (if you read the comments on this and some other posts, there are a few people in this category, some of them told 2 years ago that the guitars were almost done) it will take him like 5-6 years to clear the queue, if he works properly. My 2018 order was out of the upcoming batch with an unknown date of starting the build. If there are financial issues on top of this (people have complaint that he final cost went up significantly from the initial agreed price), I really hope the Devon move will help him turn this around as he ll need to upscale his production output 10fold.
 

Flappydoodle

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is there anything else he does that warrants his guitars starting at almost $6k at this point?

Well, I don't think there has to be anything to "warrant" it. Wood just isn't that expensive. Even though lumber prices have gone up, guitars are made from tiny little pieces compared to things like construction work, or even furniture. The costs for a guitar are pretty small. Fret wire for one guitar costs less than $15. A premium bridge like hipshot or Schaller is $150 at full retail price. A set of super nice Graphtech Ratio tuners is $160 at full retail price. The total raw material cost of all the "stuff" of even a boutique guitar is likely less than $1000. Pickups have become more expensive for no good reason. They're just magnets and wire which cost maybe $5 at the most. But even then, it's not massively raising the price of an expensive instrument.

What is actually expensive is the time taken per instrument. So all it comes down to is - Chris deserves to make a good living. I'd personally say he deserves to earn at least £100k/year (number out of my arse, but I think it's fair) for being a highly-skilled worker, running his own small business etc. For a highly-skilled worker, something like £30 per hour would be a floor for the value of his time. And if he's charging those prices and he STILL has a full order book and a queue, then good for him.

It also makes business sense, meaning that every instrument actually makes a good profit. That means you can keep your doors open I very much doubt Dylan was/is making any sort of living from Daemoness, which is very sad IMO. Charging so little for an instrument that takes a huge amount of time is amazing a few customers but it isn't a good business practice. For a guy with so many loyal fans, and a unique product, he damn well deserves to make money.
 

narad

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Well, I don't think there has to be anything to "warrant" it. Wood just isn't that expensive. Even though lumber prices have gone up, guitars are made from tiny little pieces compared to things like construction work, or even furniture. The costs for a guitar are pretty small. Fret wire for one guitar costs less than $15. A premium bridge like hipshot or Schaller is $150 at full retail price. A set of super nice Graphtech Ratio tuners is $160 at full retail price. The total raw material cost of all the "stuff" of even a boutique guitar is likely less than $1000. Pickups have become more expensive for no good reason. They're just magnets and wire which cost maybe $5 at the most. But even then, it's not massively raising the price of an expensive instrument.

What is actually expensive is the time taken per instrument. So all it comes down to is - Chris deserves to make a good living. I'd personally say he deserves to earn at least £100k/year (number out of my arse, but I think it's fair) for being a highly-skilled worker, running his own small business etc. For a highly-skilled worker, something like £30 per hour would be a floor for the value of his time. And if he's charging those prices and he STILL has a full order book and a queue, then good for him.

It also makes business sense, meaning that every instrument actually makes a good profit. That means you can keep your doors open I very much doubt Dylan was/is making any sort of living from Daemoness, which is very sad IMO. Charging so little for an instrument that takes a huge amount of time is amazing a few customers but it isn't a good business practice. For a guy with so many loyal fans, and a unique product, he damn well deserves to make money.

You can hear Dylan saying repeatedly in old interviews establishing the brand as metal guitars for metal players, so the idea of charging a huge sum kind of defeats the idea of getting them into the hands of players. But then again, I suppose it could be argued that most of his orders are not that sort anyway. Maybe it would be a better compromise to have orders from more financially secure metal fans buying fancy guitars and subsidizing guitars to like Vitriol or Crypt Sermon.
 

mehegama

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It also makes business sense, meaning that every instrument actually makes a good profit. That means you can keep your doors open I very much doubt Dylan was/is making any sort of living from Daemoness, which is very sad IMO. Charging so little for an instrument that takes a huge amount of time is amazing a few customers but it isn't a good business practice. For a guy with so many loyal fans, and a unique product, he damn well deserves to make money.
I agree.
From the post it seems that 1. He has serious financial issues, something that is very worrying for the pending builds and 2. Other personal issues on top. His productivity is super low as he has produced very few guitars over the last 4-5 years (the issues were present way before the pandemic), so if he doubles the prices, i m not sure if that will help his financial situation, even though i agree he deserves to be well paid for his talent. Only problem is he has not been using it. When you say someone your guitar is almost done, after 7 years, and then 6 months later they hear nothing back, it is idefensible.
Many other respectable one man businesses like Carillion and Kiiras that offer similar builds are super transparent and keep producing.
His admission of financial issues is not promising at all imo.
 


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