New Gustavsson guitars at Wildwood

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Blauserk, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    I DO NOT like the way the Gustavssons at Wildwood are listed under the Johan Gustavsson logo (not a PBG logo anywhere), and there is no mention of PBG. That is very misleading, IMO.
     
  2. matte

    matte Member

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    my body.
  3. dzo

    dzo Member

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    At least Infinity Guitars said "This is our first Johan Gustavsson Bluesmaster to receive from Premier Builders Guild. " I didn't see any reference to PBG on the other links.
     
  4. matte

    matte Member

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    my body.
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  5. tylerfreak

    tylerfreak Member

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    I thought originally that PBG was going to have all of the masterbuilders under one roof with a shared staff...the reality is its Gene Baker is alone as the masterbuilder there overseeing the rest building guitars. I was handed one that was proudly going out to a store and I found 3 flaws in 1 minute. These were not setup issues...binding and construction problems. Having said that, Gene and the guys that work there are great guys and this was in the infantcy of the whole thing with one of the first guitars to go out to a retailer (I would think those in particualar would have the MOST attention placed on them). Genes personal B3 Wood is one of the best guitars I have played. The problem lies in the management...the guys at the shop dont even like being pushed around and told what to do by a guy who doesnt know how to talk to people or play guitar well enough to understand these problems. There was an original built by a masterbuilder guitar there as a template where the rest of the guys were trying to build the same guitar. Kinda strange.

    I wish the guys building the best, but I would have choosen to name the guitars differently as JG didnt even ever touch that guitar at all. In this sense I agree with what "fretnot" said above.


    PS. Does anyone know where the wood comes from for these guitars? Is it the JG wood stash, or is it the same wood pile that the other guitars are made from? If its not made from the same wood, or by the builder the name should be changed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  6. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    Right now the reality is that people put real value on a premium guitar being built at that builders shop. Many need their Koll to come out of Saul Kolls shop, JG's from Johan in Sweden...etc...it's just the boutique market as it exists right now. This is no reflection on the quality of the guitar. I think that the perception would be the same if you bought a Baker B3 that was built at the Fano or Koll shop. The guitar could be the same killer instrument that Gene would have turned out...but he didn't so many wouldn't consider that a "real" B3.

    I also think that the lack of the PBG references on the websites are conscious omissions by the dealers. They see the value as well, and are marketing these guitars to get the biggest dollars possible. Total marketing decision...
     
  7. onemind

    onemind Supporting Member

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    I'll ask the question a different way, Are the B3s then the most "real" guitars coming out of that shop? It seems an absurd question.
     
  8. Route234

    Route234 Member

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    They very clearly show a big picture of the back of the headstock that says "made in arroyo grande". Whats so silly to me is I just cannot imagine anyone mistaking these for the guitars JBG makes himself. I can see the argument to some degree with some of the other lines, but in this case you would honestly just have to be asleep at the wheel or just stupid to not catch that.
     
  9. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    Yeah...it does seem kind of an absurd question. But...and this will sound even more absurd...I think that the perceived value of the B3's are hurt as well with the general boutique buyers. They might feel that Gene doesn't spend the time on his guitars since he is doing so much overseeing the other builds. And, some might even not realize that Gene is building his own guitars as they might see the shop as some giant faceless manufacturing place.
     
  10. scott

    scott Supporting Member

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    Ten years ago you guys would be surprised at how many so called boutique builders outsourced their bodies , pickups, necks, finishes to other shops and didnt say anything about it. In a couple of cases the whole guitars were cut with frets installed and everything. All the builders had to do was finish them. Some actually said that they were handmade when they clearly we're not. I called one guy on it and he asked me not to tell anyone.....lol. I have a feeling some still do it and charge full boutique prices.
    At least these guys are being upfront about it. I don't think the dealers are though.
     
  11. Saul Koll

    Saul Koll Member

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    I think the PBG Johan guitars are pretty amazing. I want one. I would so rock that thing!
    These models were designed by Johan to be built at Gene's FTI shop in Arroyo Grande. From the start. These models would not exist otherwise.
    Johan still makes his Bluesmasters in Malmo as always and where they will always do so.
    If you want to wait in line for a guitar from Sweden, you can do that, and I hope you can! If you want a great guitar designed and blessed by Johan TODAY, that is now an option.
    Same with my stuff. If you want to wait forever and deal with the ups and downs of someone who considers himself more artist/craftsman than business man, Please call me. Let's get started on something. Not all can stand that and are not willing to wait or deal with my unprofessionalism. For those, I proudly offer work I designed, approved and am thrilled about, built in my home state, California, by old friends.
    Not only that, these models are available through an extensive dealer network-dealers who I'd never be able to support with the tiny output of my Portland shop.
    The PBG guitars are EXTRA.
    When I was trying to make my living as a punk/rock musician we hustled everything. No label? No problem, let's play some gigs and print our own records. Now we have a label but no tour support? No problem, we'll book our own tour and get in the van. Etc. I do the same thing with my guitar making, to this day. But now, in addition, I feel I've got a good label backing me, helping with distribution and such. My "records" are now in the stores. You can still come see me play in a crappy dive bar, and I'm having a hell of time, but now you may also hear my music on the radio... (something like that anyway.) For me, it's win-win.
    I know not everyone likes that I "sold out", but I like where I'm at today.
    Here's a grainy shot of my pals:
    [​IMG]

    and another. It's been a blast trying to make this thing happen:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    I've bolded the 3 items that I have no problem with. The other stuff is pure opinion, and quite frankly, some of the dumbest crap I've read in a while.
     
  13. pcovers

    pcovers Member

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    Perceived value and what they cost are not the same. I didn't say they would never cost less, I said they will retain their perceived and real value. Value is not the same as buy/sell cost.

    I think many would take issue with the apples and oranges reference. It is not unreasonable to argue that the $2500 PBG version is every bit as "good" and "quality" as the Gust... made version. It isn't a Ferrari vs Toyota comparison because both guitars share the same brand name on the headstock, the cars don't. If the original Farrari guy was still around making cars in his shop, it would be more like choosing between the Ferrari made by the Ferrari guy, or the Ferrari made on the limited production line. I think there are few real analogies that can be shared with the PBG phenomenon.

    I think it is likely that a well made PBG guitar is every bit the equal of fit, finish, materials, tone, playability as the guitars that share the same name on the front of the headstock but that are built by the original builder.
     
  14. Robert1950

    Robert1950 Member

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    +17 or whatever.
     
  15. pcovers

    pcovers Member

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    Your point is refreshingly honest. Rational has never been the question or issue. In fact, what keeps this forum going is the often the irrational and lack of empirical support for a great majority of what people believe. Guitar - buying, selling, playing, planning for, dreaming of, etc, - it is more of a religious experience, or maybe cult, than anything you could discuss as rational or objective. People buy $10k guitars not primarily because there is a proven or objectively measured quality that they posses that you cannot get in a guitar that costs $3k - unless that measurable quality has to do with "feelings". The reasons we buy what we buy and hold allegiance to what we hold allegiance to is never about rational. Harley guys know it, Gibson guys know it, Gustavson guys know it, Ruger guys know it, and on and on. We choose brands or builders and then they become an emotional extension of ourselves. This is not about the rational and objective, it is about arguing over the unproven and the anecdotal as though it were a long held part of our Sunday morning doctrine.

    So, have no concern for wanting a Saul built Saul if that's what you want. There is nothing particularly rational with any position. It's all about what makes you feel better.
     
  16. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    Marking them only with a city/state of origin makes it far too easy for a dealer/reseller to leave out the (relevant, IMHO) fact that it's a PBG built guitar, rather than one from the original designer's own shop.

    They may be -by all accounts, certainly seem to be-stellar instruments. But even so, I think it's only fair to the buyer, the builders involved and even PBG themselves to be sure those guitars are represented as what they are, rather than something hand-made by the person who's name is on the headstock.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  17. clint

    clint Member

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    ^^ So you mean my $10K JG doesn't make me sound like .....(insert vintage guitar hero who played a Les Paul)?
    Would a $3K JG do the same?
    :)
    In the end it's just fun owning and playing really nice guitars if you are blessed to afford one.
     
  18. tylerfreak

    tylerfreak Member

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    Cool pictures. Genes personallity really comes through, ha!

    Back to what you said in the first paragraph...

    So, if JG had his friends build guitars with his blessing never seeing/personally touching them or using his own wood and allowed them to be called JG guitars, are they really? BTW, its not these 4 guys building the guitars in Arroyo Grande. Gene is there with a team of younger guys that get no picture time who do a lot of the work.

    Seems like if I go to see Van Halen, I dont expect to see a cover band with no original members and not even using any of Eddies guitars or gear copying their songs under the name Van Halen...they would be called something else.


    Really these guitars are all PBG GUITARS DESIGNED BY ________ .
    That is what they should be called, similarly to the way Seymour Duncan pickups have a different name for their designs built by other folks...its called Duncan Designed.


    Either way, the guitars at Wildwood look badass...cant say I didnt drool over them a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  19. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Gold Supporting Member

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    Saul. . .really cool pictures, and thanks for your input.

    Here's another argument. . .Does a Mercedes S class owner who dropped 100 Large on his S class feel that his vehicle is being devalued by Mercedes also marketing its C class to the masses. How about a BMW 7 series owner. Should he be miffed that they are now making 1 and 3 series vehicles available to the masses. Does he feel like his BMW is worth less now that some BMW's are being built in the US instead of Germany? And, does a vehicle built in America somehow mean that it's any less of a BMW.

    I, for one, do not really think it matters. Like mentioned above, I've got a number of guitars, built by the original luthiers. I would not hesitate for one minute to purchase a PBG built guitar if I saw one that I wanted. I think it's pretty plain to see that those guitars are the only models that you'll get from PBG, and if you're still wanting the premium model with all the whistles and bells and personal input and such, you'll still have to get in line and wait until such time as the luthier can accomodate you. I really think it's the best of both worlds.
     
  20. dzo

    dzo Member

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    Only people who hang out at TGP would know it's a PBG guitar.
     

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