Refinishers & body work guys, 2021 edition

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by narad, May 30, 2021.

  1. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    So I just got an updated quote for my ESP refinish and refret project -- 285,000Y, probably about $2600, about 20% more than I was quoted when I dropped the guitar off. Even if I have respect for them and would prefer to keep it "in house" for an ESP guitar, that's getting pretty outrageous. Certainly my ideas for future projects of doing some star shapes / banana headstocks / and 80s graphics and crackles via ESP custom shop are pretty much out the window.

    So who to turn to for refinishes and maybe some simple body work (filling pickups) / refrets / fretboard replacements? The big change in 2021 is that Marty Bell, the usual answer with the best reputation, is retiring. So figured it was about time for an update. The other guy I thought about was Radical Instrument Products (RIP). I actually paid him a deposit for refinishing the ESP but then covid made it too difficult to ship to him. Now he asks me to wait another 6 months on top of the past year. Any good options for this at a reasonable price? I really like the idea of restoring these old 80s/90s guitars, but if each one is going to be $3800+ projects, it's just not worth it.

    Still, if anyone knows where I can get an ESP banana headstock neck, give me a shout.
     
  2. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    banana headstocks in general are hard to find. Better off having someone build you one. I know RRR guitars and Northern Redfish out of Canada have built replacement banana headstocks before.
     
  3. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    Is GMW guitar works still open? He pops up on my FB feed quite a bit, and seems to do pro level work every time.
     
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  4. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    Wow, they seem super good and topically relevant to what I want to do.

    Yea, I should probably just cave and get it outsourced. But from that point on it's not really an ESP... it's like a replica. I see some logic holes in that line of thinking but it's my gut response.
     
  5. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    GMW won't do fretboard replacements anymore, as of 2019, so kind of hurts some projects where all the ESP necks have the lame inlays.
     
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  6. 73647k

    73647k SS.org Regular

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    @narad If you find anyone reputable stateside willing to fill in a pickup cavity and replace a fretboard please let me know
     
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  7. Kyle Jordan

    Kyle Jordan Ace of Knaves

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    Or someone willing to build a body for an Ibanez neck. A V body specifically. It’s looking like my Aristides plan just got a hole shot through it by others incompetence. Looking at backup ideas for the next year or so.
     
  8. John

    John New album out now: https://goo.gl/PdPVYh

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    I wasn't aware Marty Bell is retiring. That's a bummer, as he has helped me out with a couple of my guitars.

    Other refinishers with a good reputation as far as I know include Spongebrick (assuming he has time to take in anymore guitars) and Pat Wilkins. As for other other more intensive mods like fingerboard replacement, there's not a whole lot left that come to mind without delays.
    If Lee Garver (GMW) isn't doing that anymore, there's a luthier near the DFW area quite a few of my peers have recommended in the past named Tommy Miller based in Denton to at least try reaching out to. Worst case scenario is hearing 'no' if there's a response, I suppose.
     
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  9. 73647k

    73647k SS.org Regular

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    Really appreciate the info, thanks @John
     
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  10. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    FYI, I couldn't get a reply from Spongebrick even regarding just refinishing an ESP.
     

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