1. The target date for the upgrade is August 11, 2020. We expect a few hours of downtime during that process. We will post on Twitter and Facebook to keep everyone updated on the progress.
    Dismiss Notice

Build a Warmoth guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by mbratch, May 8, 2005.

  1. mbratch

    mbratch Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Webster, NY
    I was just musing.... has anyone here built their own guitar from components from a place like Warmoth? Is it a cost-effective way to get a good quality guitar (assuming you put it together right, of course ;))?
  2. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    I've built several Warmoth guitars and they haev all turned out well. It is a good way to get your feet wet in luthiery and end up with something very useable. I have found Warmoth to be excellent to deal with.
    bsacamano likes this.
  3. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

    Jun 16, 2004
    Munich / Madrid
    I've built four Warmoth guitars and I'm finishing my second bass. The've all turned out excellent quality for the money. All the woods were very "musical", the finish work they do is top notch (I wouldn't say it's expensive for the quality you get but you could save good cash if you finish yourself), the fit of necks and bodies is perfect (you will have to sand down a bit the heel of a finished neck so it fits though) and the fretwork is very good, I always dress the frets just in case but usually it wouldn't have been necessary. They also have a good selection of hardware at good prices and the choice of body shapes, woods, fret sizes, neck contours, peghead shapes, etc. is huge. All the guitars and basses I've put together would have been impossible to find off the shelf and would have costed a lot more if custom ordered.

    The cons are: you obviously can't play the guitar before buying; low resale value, if that bothers you; if you order custom pieces, not from the Showcase, you don't know what they will look like till you get them (in my case they've always turned out way beyond my expectations). Oh, and they don't provide a truss rod wrench with each neck, which they should.
  4. j_hotch

    j_hotch Member

    Jun 5, 2004
    I built my frankenstrat out of Warmoth and Stew-Mac parts. I lived in an apartment at the time, so everything had to be pre-finished. It was my first assembly project I am extremely happy with the results! The Dan Erlewine book was of immense help to me in getting the guitar set up just right after assembly.
  5. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

    Dec 4, 2003
    Austin, TX y'all
    If you want something out of the ordinary, like a les paul body with a telecaster neck, and jazzmaster pickups, it's definately cost-effective to go with warmoth, et.al.

    If you want a 'good strat' or a 'good tele', you can probably get the same quality for less $$$ if you look for your basic used Fender.

    I've had a couple warmoth pieces, and may do more... but IMHO, the way they compete is with the options and combinations you can't just go purchase... they can't really compete w/ Fender on a straight-up strat or tele...
    Pablo likes this.
  6. johnmfer

    johnmfer Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Like Gary Ladd said, the selection of options is huge at Warmoth (and just keeps getting bigger), and that's why I went with them versus other parts manufacturers when I built mine. I had some ideas about how to modernize a jazzmaster, the same way teles and strats had evolved over time to include more modern features. Warmoth offered most of what I was looking for at the time including all the hardware and everything. It just seemed easier overall, and hardware compatibility (proper holes drilled) seemed assured by ordering everything from one company.

    I had some finish issues with the neck within the first year. The finish was peeling off on the bass side of the neck around the 12th fret markers. They were very helpful and refinished the whole neck for me with a warranty claim, leaving me very impressed with the customer service. However, I am starting to have the same issue again, only on the treble side of the neck that faces down, and it's only about the size of the head of a pin. The guitar is about three years old now, so being out of warranty I can't send it back for another refin. Luckily I don't see the flaw unless I'm looking for it, and it hasn't gotten worse since I first noticed it several months ago. While the rest of the guitar is beautiful, this kind of quality is somewhat disturbing. It was my main gigging guitar for about two years and while it has a few bumps and bruises, the finish should not be flaking off anywhere.

    I'm seriously GAS-ing for another project and have been hearing great things about USA Custom Guitars from various sources around the 'net.
  7. Mark C

    Mark C Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    El Paso
    I've ordered from both Warmoth and USACG and have to say that USACG's customer service is second to none. So far I've only received some uncut swampash from USACG, and that was a killer body blank. I have two necks and a strat body on the way, so I hope they live up to their reputation. I'll probably never order from Warmoth again, I wasn't happy with their service and quality.
  8. flicker180

    flicker180 Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Westford, MA
    loved Warmoth.

    did all my transactions over the phone with them; they were patient, really knowledgable, and haven't had any problem.
    tight fitment, one of the best necks ever (flat radius birdseye onepiece neck), and just generally awesome. my AAA quilted maple laminate body was really quilt heavy (which i prefer) and fantastic.

    ordered electronics from Stew Mac. meh. they're ok.

  9. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Member

    Nov 2, 2003
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Warmoth has been great for me. I've put together about 6 or 7 guitars and currently have a body and neck on order from them. I called them up at the end of their work day recently to check on the progress of my parts. The rep went out to the floor and checked on each of my items and gave me a detailed run down on where they were at. Nothing but good things to say from me.
  10. PAF

    PAF Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    Western WA
    best tele I've ever played is my USACG
  11. Twangmaster

    Twangmaster Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Central Illinois
    Thats' pretty hard on employees, isn't it... I mean slinging a hardworker at a wall...

    Warmoth has good stuff, no doubt. No resale, usually, but then again, if you build what you really want, what reason do you have to sell it?
    David MacNeill likes this.
  12. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

    May 5, 2003
    Still haven't gotten over that AAAAA top, have you Gary?:rolleyes: Your constant Warmoth bashing is getting a little old.

    The neck pockets are cut with a CNC machine, as I'm sure you know. They are as tight a tolerance as you can get with wood. The pockets are as tight as they have ever been. Do you really think they've gone in and changed the program to mismatch the pockets and the necks? As for "over-sanding the neck pocket", you've lost all credibility.
    Go Cat Go!! likes this.
  13. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    bridge pickup
    EVERY piece that ive ever gotten from warmoth has been top-notch. never have i ever had a problem with a neck pocket. the necks always fit super tight. sometimes i hafta litterally push the neck into the pocket using some pretty hefty elbow grease. im not saying that warmoth doesnt put out some lemons from time to time, but everyone that i know has always has great luck with there stuff....
  14. hemlock

    hemlock Guest

    Sorry to derail such a precious thread.;)

    But I am surely enjoying the Reverend, Mr. Twang. Helluva guitar for that price.
  15. c_mac

    c_mac Member

    Oct 19, 2004
    14 1/2 years later, yes, Warmoth is still awesome!
    woof* and smallbutmighty like this.
  16. stratamania

    stratamania Member

    Nov 12, 2012
    UK and Europe
    That is not something I ever had to do with a Warmoth neck. I am not saying this could not happen just that it is not that somebody "will" have to do so.

    This probably does not apply to yourself but they need to be pressed down from above not slid in from the front of the body as they are tapered.
  17. Paul Rathjen

    Paul Rathjen Member

    Apr 9, 2017
    If you're buying to play and keep it, they seem to be just as good as any typical USA fender in my experience as far as quality of woods and finishes. I've thought about doing it just to tinker with building and customizing but I really just need to practice playing!!!
  18. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

    Aug 25, 2017
    Hiding from Murder Hornets in Atlanta, GA
    Twice in the last 3 years, both smashing successes!

    I researched every component before I got started, and had a local luthier help with final setup and adjustments.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    David MacNeill likes this.
  19. Frank67

    Frank67 Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    Do it!
    I have five, 6th on the way ... they are awesome! Cheapest way to get the guitar you always wanted eith no compromises necessary.
    Pay a luthier to perfect the setup and the frets after the build and you have a guitar that no production model can compete with.
    warmoth has quite a range from screaming deals to all custom, but it never gets custom shop type expensive.
    HERSCHEL and Sean Mac like this.
  20. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Gold Supporting Member Vendor

    Oct 21, 2006
    Yes, I've built hundreds over the many years... some from Warmoth, some from other suppliers... it is an excellent way to wind up with a world class guitar for about half the cost of a CS..

    but more importantly it is a world class way to learn about maintenance and repair of the rest of your herd.. that alone is worth more then the cost of the parts to build one... thus on Washingtonian eccomnomics.. that makes the build free.. :p

    perhaps this menagerie of ramblings may help.. and of them all, the one on fret leveling, followed by the setup are most important..

    Awhile the build thread goes from raw lumber to the final setup... you can pickup from where the body and neck are ready to be assembled...









Share This Page