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> Custom Guitars - What To Choose?
Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 20 2013, 10:23 PM
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I have bumped into a lot of interesting custom guitar manufacturers and I must say, the prices are the first thing that hits me between the eyes like an angry knuckle laugh.gif

Now joking aside, we all know Bernie Rico, Black Machine and these new guys that thefireball has posted: http://www.skervesen.eu/ making fanned fretted instruments, but the question is - would you invest the money in a custom made instrument, or would you look for one on the market that suits your tastes and your wallet's size?

I for one think that with a little tweaking I can get what I want from a regular guitar and not spend a huge amount to get a custom one - I really feel my words smile.gif Not just saying it.

What do you guys think?

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TreyDeschamp
post Mar 20 2013, 11:02 PM
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I know that once my skills are worthy of a custom guitar and I have the money then I'll be getting one.

There is something about a custom guitar that says something about you. It's completely hand made and built to your specs. From the color, to the wood, to the inlays and everything in between.....the guitar says something about you as a person!


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SpaseMoonkey
post Mar 20 2013, 11:03 PM
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I would just buy something I already know I like and fits me. As for customs I think it would be cool knowing you have the only one made.


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PosterBoy
post Mar 20 2013, 11:14 PM
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I love my Tyler. Not completely custom, but I chose from a list of available options and hen patiently waited for them to build it for me


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Mar 21 2013, 12:18 AM
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I think that there are a lot of very known models out there that I could try before I get a custom guitar. I'm very comfortable with my Gibson Les Paul, and I would get an Ibanez, a Fender and many others famous guitars.


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waynedcoville
post Mar 21 2013, 12:31 AM
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klasaine
post Mar 21 2013, 05:07 AM
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If you can afford it and an 'off the rack' brand and model - even with some tweaks - won't satisfy you, then by all means get a custom guitar.

But here's something that is rarely ever thought about. And I'm not trying to be negative - just presenting an alternative view as well as speaking from experience.
Unless you become a famous guitar player(?), that custom axe will be worth literally next to nothing if you ever want or need(?) to sell it. That's the real knuckle in the eye. Best case scenario - you get a Fender or Gibson 'custom shop' model that's essentially a Strat, Tele, LP, 335 or SG and you may recoup 1/2 value (if you have the case and all the paper work including receipts and build order ticket).
Now of course you're saying (because we all do), "I'll never sell a custom guitar built just for me". Maybe so ... maybe not. There are dozens of reasons why one would want or need to sell an instrument.

In my opinion - and this is really just my personal thing - anymore, I won't buy an expensive guitar unless it is a known, historic brand (Ibanez, Suhr, Anderson, etc. count in there as well as the obvious gibson, fender, gretsch, rick, etc.). Not because I think that only a USA Fender or Gibson is 'good enough' - I don't, my fave players are a MIM Tele, a 'parts'caster and an Ibanez artist but I know they will never really be worth much (the Ibby probably holds the highest value). Whereas my '74 Gibson LP special in 15 years will probably pay for a year of college for my kid (if the need arises - because you don't know).

Just something to think about.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Mar 21 2013, 06:54 AM


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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 21 2013, 09:56 AM
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Very good observations Ken - frankly, it just struck me, when I realized that if you were ever to sell your custom made guitar - you would have a hard time doing it just because it was made for you smile.gif



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klasaine
post Mar 21 2013, 04:12 PM
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I have a beautiful Fender 'custom Shop' Strat.
Bound alder body, 3 seymour duncan P-90 pkups, custom switching, green metallic mist with matching headstock, contour cuts in the back, compound radius neck, blah blah blah ... it's what we call a White Elephant. Thank god I like it!

That brings up a whole other potentiality ... what if, after you've spent $3000, you actually don't like it - ?

This post has been edited by klasaine: Mar 21 2013, 04:14 PM


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TreyDeschamp
post Mar 21 2013, 06:10 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 20 2013, 11:07 PM) *
If you can afford it and an 'off the rack' brand and model - even with some tweaks - won't satisfy you, then by all means get a custom guitar.

But here's something that is rarely ever thought about. And I'm not trying to be negative - just presenting an alternative view as well as speaking from experience.
Unless you become a famous guitar player(?), that custom axe will be worth literally next to nothing if you ever want or need(?) to sell it. That's the real knuckle in the eye. Best case scenario - you get a Fender or Gibson 'custom shop' model that's essentially a Strat, Tele, LP, 335 or SG and you may recoup 1/2 value (if you have the case and all the paper work including receipts and build order ticket).
Now of course you're saying (because we all do), "I'll never sell a custom guitar built just for me". Maybe so ... maybe not. There are dozens of reasons why one would want or need to sell an instrument.

In my opinion - and this is really just my personal thing - anymore, I won't buy an expensive guitar unless it is a known, historic brand (Ibanez, Suhr, Anderson, etc. count in there as well as the obvious gibson, fender, gretsch, rick, etc.). Not because I think that only a USA Fender or Gibson is 'good enough' - I don't, my fave players are a MIM Tele, a 'parts'caster and an Ibanez artist but I know they will never really be worth much (the Ibby probably holds the highest value). Whereas my '74 Gibson LP special in 15 years will probably pay for a year of college for my kid (if the need arises - because you don't know).

Just something to think about.


Really interesting view that I've never thought of before. ohmy.gif

Actually opened my eyes a lot!


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Dieterle
post Mar 21 2013, 06:51 PM
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When i look at the EURO and i would have some money left - better buy a Custom Guitar then save to much money on bank .

I can agree with that !



QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 21 2013, 05:07 AM) *
If you can afford it and an 'off the rack' brand and model - even with some tweaks - won't satisfy you, then by all means get a custom guitar.

But here's something that is rarely ever thought about. And I'm not trying to be negative - just presenting an alternative view as well as speaking from experience.
Unless you become a famous guitar player(?), that custom axe will be worth literally next to nothing if you ever want or need(?) to sell it. That's the real knuckle in the eye. Best case scenario - you get a Fender or Gibson 'custom shop' model that's essentially a Strat, Tele, LP, 335 or SG and you may recoup 1/2 value (if you have the case and all the paper work including receipts and build order ticket).
Now of course you're saying (because we all do), "I'll never sell a custom guitar built just for me". Maybe so ... maybe not. There are dozens of reasons why one would want or need to sell an instrument.

In my opinion - and this is really just my personal thing - anymore, I won't buy an expensive guitar unless it is a known, historic brand (Ibanez, Suhr, Anderson, etc. count in there as well as the obvious gibson, fender, gretsch, rick, etc.). Not because I think that only a USA Fender or Gibson is 'good enough' - I don't, my fave players are a MIM Tele, a 'parts'caster and an Ibanez artist but I know they will never really be worth much (the Ibby probably holds the highest value). Whereas my '74 Gibson LP special in 15 years will probably pay for a year of college for my kid (if the need arises - because you don't know).

Just something to think about.

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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 22 2013, 09:38 AM
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What would your dream model look like and what sort of details would stand out? Both aesthetically and technically speaking? biggrin.gif


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Rated Htr
post Mar 22 2013, 11:09 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 21 2013, 08:56 AM) *
Very good observations Ken - frankly, it just struck me, when I realized that if you were ever to sell your custom made guitar - you would have a hard time doing it just because it was made for you smile.gif


Well, if you were to sell a guitar that was made for you, I doubt that it was well maid or that it was for you smile.gif


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PosterBoy
post Mar 22 2013, 11:54 AM
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My Bourgeois Slope D was custom made for me too, that's a beautiful guitar.

I think with a good custom made there are a lot of things that you don't get with production models without going through racks of them or being lucky.

Being able to specify a weight.

The quality of the wood, even the Fender and Gibson custom shops are picking up the CNC'd body and necks off a rack, rather than choosing a certain piece of wood for a specific customer and starting from square one.

Quality, many people are going away from Gibson because of the quality of the guitars at the prices they are at.

And just to get features that aren't available.

I really like a lot of the small shops and builders that are about currently, building some great guitars and the prices are pretty competitive.

Luxxtone make great hot rodded strats.

Danocaster for vintage spec and relic'd strats and Teles etc

I think this is a great time for guitarists. So much choice



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TeoWulf
post Mar 22 2013, 03:13 PM
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My dream would be a dark blue Randy Rhodes shaped guitar made from alder with a short scale length a, quite fat neck, 3 single-coil pickups, and a Floyd. I guess I have to go custom for something like that biggrin.gif
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thefireball
post Mar 22 2013, 04:15 PM
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If I had the money - I would go for a custom guitar that was just for me.


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klasaine
post Mar 22 2013, 05:55 PM
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QUOTE (Rated Htr @ Mar 22 2013, 10:09 AM) *
Well, if you were to sell a guitar that was made for you, I doubt that it was well maid or that it was for you smile.gif


Or, as is the case with many musicians, your taste, interests, needs, etc. change - ?
I use to be into flat, wide necks. Now I dig more of a vintage medium C shape, 9 and 1/2" radius.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Mar 23 2013, 04:44 PM
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I subscribe to that smile.gif Back in 2003 I could've sworn the JEM was the guitar of my life. But when I went over Steve Vai, I realized there are so many other axes I like a lot more.


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Rated Htr
post Mar 24 2013, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Mar 22 2013, 04:55 PM) *
Or, as is the case with many musicians, your taste, interests, needs, etc. change - ?
I use to be into flat, wide necks. Now I dig more of a vintage medium C shape, 9 and 1/2" radius.


Didn't consider that, I take it back smile.gif


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Amp360
post May 16 2013, 04:38 PM
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Buying a custom guitar isn't always the best thing to do. For one thing, a lot of times production guitars have been thought about and designed after some trial and error where someone who doesn't know a lot about building guitars may choose combinations of wood/hardware/electronics that don't work so well. As has been said, the resale can be lower.

The plus side is you can get exactly what you want.

I have some guitars that were custom made. Usually I have had this done to address a set of problems that I am having and that a builder has some solutions for.

Here is an example of a guitar I had custom made and why I ended up with what I did.

Last summer I went out on a tour with someone who was playing about 3 shows a week. The dates were mainly outdoor venues and some casinos and I would say it was less of a full on tour and more of a bunch of dates squeezed into July and August all over the place.

Usually if you're doing a tour or something you can bring a bunch of different things. With these shows there was a rented backline and I knew I would have to fly into a bunch of them rather then traveling on a van/bus.

I went to the Fender Custom Shop and talked to a few people about what I needed - a guitar that I could fly with, that would get a bunch of different sounds, be comfortable to play and work with multiple amps. I also was limited as to how big a pedal board I wanted to carry. After I went through what I 'must have' I concentrated on things I wanted to have.

This is the guitar we came up with. The cool thing is I have been using it for a lot of other things.

The specs are as follows (and I have included why they were chosen):

Fender Stratocaster
- alder body that was contoured a little more in the forearm area so it's a little thinner then usual (my idea)
- quartersawn maple neck with Brazilian rosewood fretboard - Quartersawn necks tend to be a little stiffer. We picked this
because it would move a lot less when flying/moving rapidly to different climates. It's not as pretty as the flamed maple or
exotic type of wood some custom instruments use, it was a functional choice.

The Brazilian board was chosen because my favorite Strat has one (61). The profile is based off my 61 and a 56 that I own.
I also wanted 21 frets instead of 22 to keep the old feel.

It's a little thin at the nut and bigger up the neck. There is a compound radius to solve the fretting out problem/higher
action some of the old ones have and it's very easy to play. My thoughts were if I started out with super low action and had
to adjust it a little higher it would be easy to get adjusted quickly if I needed it to be.

There are small vintage frets which I like because mostly I have always played older stuff. The truss rod adjustment is at the
top of the neck but for looks there is a fake screw in the end of the neck. I had them put the '65 transition logo on it to be a
little different.

- The pickups are the Vintage Noiseless. They're really, really quiet. There is also the Eric Clapton Boost, which gives you 10db
of volume gain by turning the pot. This helped drive the front end of the rented maps better and also gives you more of a
humbucker type sound if you need it.

- The hardware is the standard Fender AVRI stuff, nothing fancy.

- The paint was something I chose because I liked it. It's fiesta red and I got the paint myself from an auto restoration place
that I had do a frame off restoration of an old Corvette. It's different then the normal stuff they use. There is no
polyundercoat and there is no clear coat. It's really resonant but it's already all scratched and dinged up, so I'll probably
respray it after a while.


Here is the guitar:

This shows the forearm contour:



This shows exactly how low you can get it without buzzing. If it moves up a little in transit not that big a deal (I usually play a on the higher action side). You can also see the (cosmetic) non working neck adjust screw.



Here is a view from the front:



Here is the back view. The battery for the boost is behind the cover:





Sometimes custom stuff is done just because it's pretty or whatever. I tend to not be that into custom made stuff based on cosmetics, for me it's more about solving issues that off the rack stuff can't.

Here are some guitars I have had made in certain finishes with neck carves or things they offer on other models. More for looks then anything:



Here is a one pickup SC


This is a Quicksilver with a Korina back


I had this made @ Fender CS. It's a Telecaster with Strat switching and sparkle paint. For a while I was using all sparkle stuff.



This post has been edited by Amp360: May 16 2013, 07:41 PM


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