Semi Custom Shops

rick_fears

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Shopping around for a semi-custom shop. I have been looking for somewhere that can get me a all mahagony Neck through 7 with a quilted transparent finish top (ideally a natural back but i can do that myself if its not an option), Maple board, hard tail bridge, 27in scale yadda yadda yadda. I have talked with Kurt from Rondo about spec'ing out an Agile septor. I did my homework on Halo guitars and have decided they are a viable option. They DO offer returns up to 7 days after recieving merchandise and from what ive read they are willing to stand behind their product. Their customs are USA made, MUCH more in depth, and wouldnt be much more expensive than the Agile...... Any other shops that offer customs in the 1,000-1,500 range?
 

HUGH JAYNUS

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Id just say go with Agile. They are amazing. Just make sure to upgrade to the stainless frets. Otherwise Agiles are surprisingly good
 

Razzle

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+ 1 on Agile

Amazing that even though they're semi-custom orders, you can return it -- no questions asked. Kurt is really fair about that.
 

technomancer

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Shopping around for a semi-custom shop. I have been looking for somewhere that can get me a all mahagony Neck through 7 with a quilted transparent finish top (ideally a natural back but i can do that myself if its not an option), Maple board, hard tail bridge, 27in scale yadda yadda yadda. I have talked with Kurt from Rondo about spec'ing out an Agile septor. I did my homework on Halo guitars and have decided they are a viable option. They DO offer returns up to 7 days after recieving merchandise and from what ive read they are willing to stand behind their product. Their customs are USA made, MUCH more in depth, and wouldnt be much more expensive than the Agile...... Any other shops that offer customs in the 1,000-1,500 range?

Halo's semi-customs are not USA made, and their customs that are USA made are nowhere near $1000. The cheaper semi-customs are imports.

For what you're looking for and your price range I would go with Carvin (I've also owned lots of Agiles over the years, and Carvin builds a much better guitar) :2c:
 

RagtimeDandy

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Carvin is great if you can break the $1000 limit. Just do a .... ton of research prior to ordering, otherwise you end up like me and have a beautiful, great playing guitar that you can't stand because the gloss finish :lol:

Otherwise Agile is a great option for a tight budget. But Carvin is definitely upper-tier quality.

Also check out Blackwater guitars. I'm not sure exactly how far above your budget they will be, but I know they're around $2500+
 

7stg

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Carvin dc7x is the best bang for buck high end 7 string out there.
 

asher

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Carvin is great if you can break the $1000 limit. Just do a .... ton of research prior to ordering, otherwise you end up like me and have a beautiful, great playing guitar that you can't stand because the gloss finish :lol:

Otherwise Agile is a great option for a tight budget. But Carvin is definitely upper-tier quality.

Also check out Blackwater guitars. I'm not sure exactly how far above your budget they will be, but I know they're around $2500+


OP definitely said $1-1.5k budget :lol:

But 1.5 gets you a sweet Carvin with room for options. You'll get nicer woods on a guitar that'll play circles around the Agile. And I say that owning a Custom Shop Agile that I like! But I went with Agile because they got me closer than anyone else could to a silverburst 80's LPC.
 

Convictional

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If you take a quick run through the builder on Carvin's website, you can get exactly what you're asking for with somewhere in the 1400 dollar range:

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Edit: I hate how the default option on the 7s/8s Carvin sells are actives.
 

TheWarAgainstTime

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^replacing the active pickups with the D26 passives is a no-charge option.

But yeah, a barebones Carvin will be better than just about anything else in that price range. The only things that "need" to be upgraded from the base price of a model are stainless steel frets ($40) ivory nut option ($5) and a tung oil finish on the neck ($60) that is, unless the whole guitar is already tung oil finished ($0 upcharge). You'd also have to add $59 for the Carvin soft case, but that's for the good of the instrument anyway.
 

Convictional

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If you get the tung oiled top wood for the body, they tung oil the entire thing.

I actually think that if you go the natural wood route, getting something other than flame or quilt is way better. You can get a koa or figured walnut top for less than it costs to get a tung oiled quilt maple top and walnut (in my opinion) looks so much sexier than maple. It'll also match better with a mahogany body.
 

7stg

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^replacing the active pickups with the D26 passives is a no-charge option.

But yeah, a barebones Carvin will be better than just about anything else in that price range. The only things that "need" to be upgraded from the base price of a model are stainless steel frets ($40) ivory nut option ($5) and a tung oil finish on the neck ($60) that is, unless the whole guitar is already tung oil finished ($0 upcharge). You'd also have to add $59 for the Carvin soft case, but that's for the good of the instrument anyway.

I would add a 5 piece neck for extra stability.
 

ovlott

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Halo's semi-customs are not USA made, and their customs that are USA made are nowhere near $1000. The cheaper semi-customs are imports.

For what you're looking for and your price range I would go with Carvin (I've also owned lots of Agiles over the years, and Carvin builds a much better guitar) :2c:

I've been on their website and you can spec out USA 7 string Customs for $1100 for a base, and still have some options for changing things up at that price (woods, finishes, bridges, scale length etc.) I would still Recommend a Carvin though, much more reliable and consistent company and as long as you stay away from options 50's their return policy is great I find.
 

Konfyouzd

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^replacing the active pickups with the D26 passives is a no-charge option.

But yeah, a barebones Carvin will be better than just about anything else in that price range. The only things that "need" to be upgraded from the base price of a model are stainless steel frets ($40) ivory nut option ($5) and a tung oil finish on the neck ($60) that is, unless the whole guitar is already tung oil finished ($0 upcharge). You'd also have to add $59 for the Carvin soft case, but that's for the good of the instrument anyway.

That or a used high end production, but that wouldn't be semi-custom... :lol:

My RG2228 is my baby. I hear from some it's a close call between the two and from others I hear it's a landslide one way or the other. I can't help but think the ones in the latter group are partial to one or the other.
 

Rap Hat

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I've been on their website and you can spec out USA 7 string Customs for $1100 for a base, and still have some options for changing things up at that price (woods, finishes, bridges, scale length etc.) I would still Recommend a Carvin though, much more reliable and consistent company and as long as you stay away from options 50's their return policy is great I find.

Direct from Halo's site:
Why are the prices so affordable?
We build all our guitars from scratch at our own factory overseas. We sell all our guitars directly to you (the end user). This means you get factory-direct pricing because there are no 3rd party guitar manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or other middlemen between you and us.

Assembled and Set Up in the USA.
Components assembly (ex: bridges, pickups, potentiometers, switches, frets, etc.), set up and quality control is done right here in Cupertino, California. While some companies ‘hide’ address and contact information, our facilities, including the office, showroom and warehouse, are always open by appointment during business hours (Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm).

I can't find anything on the site about the guitars actually being made in the USA, only being assembled here. Halo has a pretty storied history of screwing people over and creating guitars with terrible flaws, so even if they have "changed" like I've seen mentioned by like one or two people here I wouldn't trust them.

As a side note: was it Halo that built the guitar with no string through body holes for the Hipshot, so you'd have to take the bridge off every time you wanted to restring?
 

rick_fears

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Oops! I can't believe I forgot to put carvin in the op. I've ran through their options a few times. But yeah carvin is obviously an option and realistically it's probably the best option. I just wish they offered a carved top option for the dc7. I'd be willing to spoon out some extra for that. Then I'd be at least close to the ct7 range........ Might as well just save a bit more and go all in. Go big or go home. If I'm going to pay this much for a guitar it better make me wet my pants everytime I see it across the room you know lol
 


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