Callaham Guitar

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by will132, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. will132

    will132 Member

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    Does anyone have one on order? I placed mine some time ago and nothing yet. I emailed Bill, but no response about the status. Is he still building or not?
     
  2. tone dog

    tone dog Member

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    I received mine about two months ago after waiting 41 months from the time of order. When I ordered the guitar, the advertised wait was 18 months. He doesn't make many guitars, and isn't very communicative during the process. I was prepared to hate the guitar and sell it when it finally did arrive, almost out of the blue.

    I must say, that now that I've got it , it is a really nice guitar with the best strat neck I've ever played, including my three Lentz S's. It has its own sound, slightly darker and a little less articulate than a Lentz, but a mile wide tonally and very big sounding. Although the price went up considerably over the 41 month period, Bill charged me the sale price when I ordered the guitar.

    Worth the wait? Hard to say really. Had it not come, I would be quite happy with my Lentz guitars, which have a much more precise fit and a finish that is absolutely second to none. I do know I'm keeping the Callaham.
     
  3. will132

    will132 Member

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    Well, I'm at 30 months now so I guess I still have some time to wait. I ask once in a while and get a short response.

    Did you pay full in adavance, or put down a deposit and wait till it was finished?

    Thanks for the reply.

    Jim
     
  4. KLB

    KLB Member

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    I've had one since July 2004. The wait was 30 months. (It was supposed to be 19).

    Mine is Alder/RW/58 soft V in Ice Blue Metallic. Like the previous description, my guitars tone is fat and slightly dark with beautiful mids. Other than the long wait, my gripe is that the edges of the fretboard weren't rounded, and the fret ends were rough. I expected that old broken-in feel based on Bill's claims on his website. I had to file/sand the fingerboard edge and frets to make them more hand friendly. I keep it tuned to Eb. This guitar is a keeper!

    However, my number one S-guitar these days is a black EJ Sig Strat. While not as fat and juicy as the Callaham, it has more versatile tones, and weighs over half a pound less.
     
  5. jesper

    jesper Member

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    Jeez 41 month. He or you could die from old age before its shipped.
     
  6. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    I have always wanted a Callaham.
    Since the days when they were 1800 which was a lot in 2001.
    But yeah the wait of 2 years just seemed too long for me.
    Wish I had just done it & forgot about it though as I would have had one by now.
    I did just see one go on ebay for a pretty reasonable price
    I think it went for like 2700 but I had just bought my Suhr & am still quite happy with it.

    Thinking more about a Tyler now as they sound pretty cool.
    A lentz would also be cool I think.

    Hey Tone Dog you selling any of those 3 S's you have? ;-)
     
  7. tone dog

    tone dog Member

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    I did just sell one of the Lentz S's, an Ocean tourquoise alder hardtail with a brazilian rosewood board. Boy was that a tough decision. The Callaham came, I got the frets dressed on my '61 Fender strat, couldn't put down my alder/maple Lentz and I just felt bad looking at it sit there not getting much playing time. What are you going to do. Nice guitars deserve to get played.
     
  8. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    I know but then again I sure wish I had a few of them back ;)
    I'm like you though. I tend to sell if I have a few I really like & the other does not get played I feel guilty.

    PS: I see upir selling a LP now?
    I just traded mine with RS Fralins in on a new Suhr Tele
     
  9. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    I waited I think 28 months for mine. Bill yelled at me when I called to check progress around 25 months and that pretty much did it for me. Perhaps he was having a bad day. Had I not been waiting for over 2 years I would have told him to get ****ed.
    I was disinterested when it arraived but It was nicer looking than exspected. Unfortunately the frets ends were sharpe and the nut was not cut properly (sitar effect). I sent it back for the frets and Bill fixed it. The sitar problem was still there unless I didn't use the string tree.

    Sold it but kinda regret it these days.

    Cool guitars but you have to order and forget about it.
     
  10. Distortion

    Distortion Member

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    I owned a Lentz S type, Callaham S type and a John English Fender Masterbuilt Strat and was able to compare them side by side.
    The Callaham was my least favorite of the bunch.
    I am not saying it was a bad guitar because it was quite nice, but it was not as nice as either the Lentz or Fender.
    I also had to send the guitar back for fretwork.
    I have to wonder if he uses fretboards that aren't totally dry which causes the ends to pop up later .
    Baker had a rash of this with some of his guitars.
     
  11. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    hmmm that is not too good
    I have a couple of Suhr's & that has really spoiled me for
    excellent fret work.
     
  12. tone dog

    tone dog Member

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    My Callaham is a one piece ash body and has his one piece maple neck with a 57 V carve. The edges are nicely rolled and the fretwork fine to this point.
     
  13. NuSkoolTone

    NuSkoolTone Member

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    Man 30, 40 months wait AND some needed fretwork?! There are WAY too many good choices to put up with that. Whatever happened to "all strats not meeting standards are burned?"


    I say stick to his hardware and get the guitar made by someone who has reasonable turnaround.
     
  14. JPERRYROCKS

    JPERRYROCKS Member

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    There's way too many good custom strat and tele builders out there to have to wait 3 plus years to get a bolt on neck guitar.

    And then you get bitched at by the luthier when you complain about how your 24 month wait turns in 40 months? I wouldn't need that kind of attitude from anybody. Many fine archtop & acoustic builders don't even take that long.

    But people keep buying into these "mythical" strat and tele builders like they're doing something so special that no one else can do.
     
  15. will132

    will132 Member

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    Just got word that it should be done October. Looking forward to it either way.

    One thing though, I forgot what color I finally decided on. Instead of asking I think I will wait till I open the case up. :eek:
     
  16. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    :D LOL it will be like a early christmas congrats
     
  17. Teleplayer

    Teleplayer Silver Supporting Member

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    3 1/2 year wait for a guitfiddle?
     
  18. will132

    will132 Member

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    It will be about 30 months when I get it. Its just one of those things, send $200.00 deposit and forget about it. For the first two years I really didn't give it much thought, but now I'm excited.

    Will be sure to post pics when it arrives. Any bets on the color....



    Jim
     
  19. R14

    R14 Member

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    hawaii
    I have 58 birdseye maple neck w/one piece superlight swamp ash body ,marykay finish,made in98,about 2 years wait.It is my main gig guitar ,fat long sastain sounding ,very musical ,ican get enough chime out of it .I have owned 30plus strats ,10 of them are 50'-60',another 10 are custum,But I always go back to callahum for gig,itis very versatile,light wt7.1/4Lb ,great neck and frets work.Also I have him made me 57 tele w/ 54 birseye neck ,One piece superlight swamp ash body.This is also my favorate Tele to play, out of other 10plus tele .It sounds fat and crisp,articulate and sustain like gibson.this was made in 99'
    took 3 years. Bill is the typical craftman kind of guy ,not sales person,He can built good guitar but you have to be patient and patient,and patient. Then he will built you great guitars.When I ordered my guitar he is the only guy in the shop, and he built guitars from scratc from his own lumber collections.
     
  20. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    FYI, most people don't know but Bill Callaham got his start with Paul Beard Resonator Guitars. Beard makes high end reso's in Hagerstown, MD. I have not ordered one of his guitars but I have ordered his Cryo-pickups, guts and parts, and they are of the best quality I've experienced. Yeah, you have to waite for a while, but you sure do get a unique and superior quality guitar and what's wrong with that?
     

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