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> Custom Guitars - What To Choose?
Cosmin Lupu
post May 17 2013, 09:08 AM
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Wow, man it seems like you have a lot of experience in the field and an impressive collection smile.gif That SC looks great - how does it play and what's the story behind it? I noticed a sort of a mark in the 12th fret - is it a special PRS?


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Amp360
post May 21 2013, 02:53 PM
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The SC has a longer neck tenon and a neck more like a 58 LP (big). It plays and sounds great. There is a push pull to split the HB, so it gets a lot of sounds.


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 22 2013, 10:36 AM
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Cool! is it like a baritone guitar? I own a Mike Mushok PRS that has a scale length of 27.7 "


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Amp360
post May 22 2013, 02:12 PM
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No, it's a regular guitar.

I have a PRS Baritone. They made 24 of them a few years back as Artist/Private Stock models.

It's a really nice guitar but my main go-to baritone is one of the inexpensive Danelectros.



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Cosmin Lupu
post May 23 2013, 07:15 AM
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QUOTE (Amp360 @ May 22 2013, 01:12 PM) *
No, it's a regular guitar.

I have a PRS Baritone. They made 24 of them a few years back as Artist/Private Stock models.

It's a really nice guitar but my main go-to baritone is one of the inexpensive Danelectros.



Wow, so you have a PRS baritone which is not an SE biggrin.gif Can you tell me more about it mate? I'd appreciate that a lot! That pic looks like the Tremonti model

This post has been edited by Cosmin Lupu: May 23 2013, 07:15 AM


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Amp360
post May 23 2013, 11:31 PM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ May 23 2013, 06:15 AM) *
Wow, so you have a PRS baritone which is not an SE biggrin.gif Can you tell me more about it mate? I'd appreciate that a lot! That pic looks like the Tremonti model


Yes, PRS made 24 Private Stock baritone guitars. They're not SE models, they're Maryland made. If you look at the size of the frets, strings, neck, etc... you can see it's a baritone.

Elderly has one for sale right now with all the specs listed:

http://www.elderly.com/vintage/items/30U-17776.htm


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Cosmin Lupu
post May 24 2013, 06:55 AM
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Hey man, thanks for the info - the link says that the service is temporarily unavailable, but I'll take a look into the models by myself wink.gif


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Todd Simpson
post May 31 2013, 08:35 AM
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The truth is, I"ve read TONS of posts on various outside forums from folks who have put down thousands for a custom only to be kept waiting. Then when they get it, it still needs work. Frets need crowning, issues with fit and finish etc.

Also, if it gets shipped, it can easily get dinged in transit, even in a case, and temperature/humidity can cause more problems. Eg. The guitar is made in Finland, then travels to Peru. The humidity change makes the fretboard swell, etc. Just a "could happen" thing.

I recently bought a Blakhart Custom on a "blowout" sale and it's the same guitar they charge $1,200 U.S. for if you buy it in the custom tier 2 shop. (Tier one customs are 3k). And the fret work is not perfect on mine. Thats fine, it was cheap to buy and they threw in a hard shell case. I plan on taking it to a luthier who lives close by so I can work with him to perfect the instrument.

If he were in say, Bolivia, or Germany, or Japan, shooting the guitar back and forth would be problematic. So I wanted to get the bulk of the deal cheap as I could, then spend a bit to finish the guitar up. It will still be less than half what a custom bid build from them would run and I"ll be thrilled to have the guitar and save some money smile.gif

Todd


QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Mar 20 2013, 05:23 PM) *
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?

Cosmin



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Mertay
post May 31 2013, 09:12 AM
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I want a custom one day but still giving it time as it must be as close to perfect as possible. It takes a lot of equipment experience to hear the tone in your head before building it smile.gif

-Probably the neck will be very similar to a production guitar. Either older ibanez or Jackson style not sure yet but I do know I like slight V shape. Neck must be very heavy.

-Probably it will have a pickguard as then its easyer to deal with change or modifying pickups. I have lot of pickups in mind smile.gif from neck to bridge; p90, hot humbucker single, Air norton, Tonezone hehehe yeah I don't know how it will look or if it will ever sustain but simply dreaming biggrin.gif

-lightweight body with oil finish or natural probably strat-like shape. I like guitars that are neck heavy, they're not bassy sounding but the mid.s sound really nice.

-Bridge can be a dive-only floyd. No locking nut, if possible fretwire was nut but bone is ok too.

-Not sure about scale.

There are actually so many detail to think about but these are the first that comes to mind smile.gif


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Amp360
post Jun 4 2013, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ May 31 2013, 07:35 AM) *
The truth is, I"ve read TONS of posts on various outside forums from folks who have put down thousands for a custom only to be kept waiting. Then when they get it, it still needs work. Frets need crowning, issues with fit and finish etc.

Also, if it gets shipped, it can easily get dinged in transit, even in a case, and temperature/humidity can cause more problems. Eg. The guitar is made in Finland, then travels to Peru. The humidity change makes the fretboard swell, etc. Just a "could happen" thing.


I have heard those stories too. I think the best advice is that if you really need a custom made guitar go to a reputable builder. I have had great success with the Fender Custom Shop. The main thing there is that they used to do pretty much anything, now they do variations on guitars they actually make.

I have owned and/or played some great custom guitars from Ed Roman's (www.edroman.com), Jim Triggs (used to be a master builder at Gibson), Jeff Terwilliger (JET guitars) and for acoustics Jim Boyce (www.jcboyce.com).

I would be extremely weary of "custom builders" who use Warmoth/USACG bodies and necks, as these people charge several thousand dollars to bolt something together and give it a paint job and a setup.


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klasaine
post Jun 4 2013, 06:57 PM
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QUOTE (Amp360 @ Jun 4 2013, 10:37 AM) *
I would be extremely weary of "custom builders" who use Warmoth/USACG bodies and necks, as these people charge several thousand dollars to bolt something together and give it a paint job and a setup.


+1
You can easily get those companies bodies and necks for under $600.00 (US) total.

*If you're looking for a good custom neck, the place to get it is Musikraft ... http://www.musikraft.com/product-list.php?pg1-cid156.html
They are far superior to most of the other 'made to order' necks and they have WAY more options available to the customer.


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 4 2013, 10:58 PM
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I got the BLAKHART RA ELITE in smile.gif It's probably the nicest guitar I've ever owned and may be the nicest one I'll ever own. Anyone can have this same guitar built by them, FOR $1200 OUCH!! But I was really lucky to grab it during their inventory blowout for $350 with hardshell case!! For that price, I was willing to GAMBLE. I've never played, or even seen one of their guitars before. Only online which is not really enough to judge.

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QUOTE (Amp360 @ Jun 4 2013, 01:37 PM) *
I have heard those stories too. I think the best advice is that if you really need a custom made guitar go to a reputable builder. I have had great success with the Fender Custom Shop. The main thing there is that they used to do pretty much anything, now they do variations on guitars they actually make.

I have owned and/or played some great custom guitars from Ed Roman's (www.edroman.com), Jim Triggs (used to be a master builder at Gibson), Jeff Terwilliger (JET guitars) and for acoustics Jim Boyce (www.jcboyce.com).

I would be extremely weary of "custom builders" who use Warmoth/USACG bodies and necks, as these people charge several thousand dollars to bolt something together and give it a paint job and a setup.



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Todd Simpson
post Jun 4 2013, 11:31 PM
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SPEAKING OF CUSTOM GUITARS!!!

I"ve been working with a manufacturer (fairly new, only making guitars for a few years now) on a 7 string design that will be made according to my specs and sold under their brand.

They don't have a 7 String Neck through Design yet so I"ve been suggesting parts, specs, etc. and today I heard back from the owner and they have been approved!! I can't wait to try one of these. I can't say the vendor name yet though, but here are the specs.
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Neck Through Body, ROSE 7 tremolo, SEYMOUR DUNCAN Nazgul 7 or Pegasus 7 (for Bridge) and Sentient 7 (for Neck) , EMG PA2 Preamp booster, GROVER 7 in line Tuning Machine, Neck Thru construction, Mahogany Body or Basswood Body, D shape neck profile with 19mm at 1st fret and 21 at 12th fret.
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I"m thrilled they agreed to use the NAZGUL pickup!!!! I thought they might not want to due to cost. Also a REAL Floyd Rose! Not a "floyd special" or knock off. Real Grover tuners, not cheapies, and best of all..... 19mm Neck profile!!! On a 7 STRING that's a very thin profile. This is gonna RAWK!!!

Todd


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 5 2013, 08:26 AM
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Woohoo biggrin.gif I also read this on Facebook! Great going Todd meister! I would really like to see what sort of an axe would come out if i had the opportunity to be involved in such a thing - but honestly, I don't know that well what goes good with what, so I can only imagine I could create some sort of a cheap parrot like guitar laugh.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jun 5 2013, 10:05 AM
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I'm sure you could work with a company and come up with something to rival a PRS smile.gif I sorta started with my fav guitars as a template and worked from there. On paper is scary close to my 7 string IBBY RG7620. The main difference is the Neck Through Body construction.

I've never owned a neck thru ibby, but I'm guessing this will be similar smile.gif Also, I avoided going with EMG's despite Ibanez and most of the rest of the world throwing EMG 707's in all manner of 7 string guitars. I suggested the new NAZGUL passive 7 string pickup from Duncan and added a EMG PA2 active boost switch instead smile.gif That way, you can turn the "active" part on and off. smile.gif

I'm not aware of any guitars that come stock with the PA2 boost that don't sport EMG's so this will be a bit of a rare bird.

Todd




quote name='Cosmin Lupu' date='Jun 5 2013, 03:26 AM' post='646390']
Woohoo biggrin.gif I also read this on Facebook! Great going Todd meister! I would really like to see what sort of an axe would come out if i had the opportunity to be involved in such a thing - but honestly, I don't know that well what goes good with what, so I can only imagine I could create some sort of a cheap parrot like guitar laugh.gif
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Sensible Jones
post Jun 5 2013, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (Amp360 @ Jun 4 2013, 06:37 PM) *
I would be extremely weary of "custom builders" who use Warmoth/USACG bodies and necks, as these people charge several thousand dollars to bolt something together and give it a paint job and a setup.

That's a fair assessment. Personally I have built a few guitars from Warmoth parts for customers but I don't charge anything like I would for a complete scratch built custom!!
biggrin.gif


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Amp360
post Jun 5 2013, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (Sensible Jones @ Jun 5 2013, 04:52 PM) *
That's a fair assessment. Personally I have built a few guitars from Warmoth parts for customers but I don't charge anything like I would for a complete scratch built custom!!
biggrin.gif


Yeah don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the parts those companies make. When someone is claiming to be a guitar builder and is ordering parts and bolting them together - and charging $2000+ I don't understand it.


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PosterBoy
post Jun 8 2013, 12:15 PM
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I agree with you to some respects Amp but there are exceptions like Danocaster, he doesn't make the necks and bodies in house, but works very closely with the company who does it, and is very specific about what he wants.

Fender Custom shop isn't much different, even the masterbuilt guitars, the builder isn't making the neck and body just selecting them from a big pile.


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klasaine
post Jun 8 2013, 04:51 PM
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QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Jun 8 2013, 04:15 AM) *
Fender Custom shop isn't much different, even the masterbuilt guitars, the builder isn't making the neck and body just selecting them from a big pile.


Except that the 'big pile of necks and bodies' are made by Fender at the factory right there. And they definitely will shape/re-shape them to your specs and desires.
I think the point that 360's making is, "don't pay $3500.00 for someone to bolt together a neck, body and electronics you can buy on-line for well under a grand". (Un-finished bolt neck and body from Musikraft - w/tons of standard options - is $380.00 total. And these are licensed by Fender.)
IMO, around $2000.00 is the most one should pay for a well 'put-together' and maybe well relic'd axe with parts of your choosing.

*And it speaks again to a 'possible' potentiality of one needing/wanting to sell it later. If your custom axe was made with Warmouth, USACG, Musikraft parts you will not be able to recoup the cost.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 8 2013, 05:35 PM


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Amp360
post Jun 11 2013, 02:47 PM
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klasaine,

That is what I'm saying. There are a few companies out there selling 'custom built' guitars that are just parts finished, bolted together and setup. Spending over $1000 on one (some are close to $3000+) to me seems dumb.

The Fender Masterbuilt guitars (which used to be Custom Shop until they started using the CS logo on all the other stuff) are hand made from beginning to end by one person. They're not made by selecting a neck and body and adding parts.

The Masterbuilt program allows you to specify pretty much anything you want and they'll do it. You could order a AAA flame maple top on a Korina body with a set neck and get it made. The builder does every step from making the body/neck to finishing, fretting, wiring, etc.... Years ago CS guitars were all like this.

The regular CS guitars (Team Built) are usually limited run guitars based on a certain year or set of specs that's not in the regular lineup. A lot of times lighter wood, pieces with better grain, etc... are chosen for these. They make all of them together and they're machine made and hand assembled. They get a little more time with setup, fretwork, etc... and are nice guitars.

Personally, I'm not that into custom made guitars. I think that unless you want something completely off the wall then chances are there is something out there that exists for you to buy. The custom made guitars that I have owned have all either been built to make a live situation easier or to look cool (which is the dumbest reason to order something. Most of them I wouldn't have ordered if I wasn't getting some kind of deal from the manufacturer.

I can tell you that if I were going to drop serious money on a custom made guitar I would spend the extra money to get it built by someone who had been doing it for a while. Going with Fender/Gibson, etc... costs more but your chances of resale are better. Builders like Ed Roman (he passed away but his shop has some well known people - Ron Blake, etc...), Jol Dantzig, etc... are solid choices as well. Having the local repair guy do it may or may not get you what you want. Also, someone who has done a ton of builds for a lot of players will be able to give you a lot of input into your design.

The other thing about custom made guitars is that people assume that from the player's perspective they know what they want. Sometimes it is the case and people are really happy with what they get. I have seen the opposite happen a lot of times too, where someone designs their dream guitar on paper but it doesn't end up sounding and/or playing the way they thought it would, or maybe it does and the player finds a LP and a Strat are better for what they're doing. Also, tastes can sometimes change and what is your dream guitar today may be less interesting tomorrow.

As with anything YMMV.

This post has been edited by Amp360: Jun 11 2013, 02:54 PM


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