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Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by ricoh, Apr 30, 2005.
Was the wait worth it? Was the guitar as nice as you hoped for
and are you completely satisfied?
YES! My Detemple is my favorite guitar out of everything I have owned. Which includes 50's, 60's strats, and a lot of modern syle strats. Think of it this way, the longer you wait, the more attention your guitar received. I was fortunate to live close to his shop, and was able to see the progress about once a month. Detemple is fanatical about the finishes, and it shows. BE PATIENT!
My wait is coming close to 2yrs he is making a Strat and a Tele for me at the moment, but I'm sure that the length of time I have waited will be worth it.
I've been through hundreds of guitars and this is the best strat I've owned period. It's just a cut above all of the others. I loved my Lentz but sold it vs. the DeTemple. Michael is a class guy who wants you happy. I just sent mine to him to put jumbo frets on and he did it for me in a couple of weeks just to make me happy (even though I picked the small vintage frets myself). I'd nvever hesitate to buy another. I was one of the early purchasers when he just started advertising in VG. I took a chance and it was the best and only custom ordered guitar that ever exceeded my expectations.
DeTemple guitars are very nice indeed!
I just couldn't wait 2 years for a guitar I would like to play now. What does Lentz and DeTemple offer that Suhr, Tyler, Anderson or Grosh do not? I'm certain John Suhr can build you a guitar to your exact specs much faster. Or is it the concensus that Lentz and DeTemple build better guitars than the alternatives?
I am NOT saying that DeTemple guitars are not worth the money or the wait! What I am asking is what does he offer that a shop like Suhr's could not create? What is the justification for such a long wait?
for me, the reason i started looking at lentz was what he and others were talking about. fit, finsh,feel, tone and other than the hardware, the guitar is handmade inc the pick ups.
no frills, fancy tops, nothing other than one would expect for a killer classic fender.
now that i have 3 of these wonderful guitars, i can't think of
a reason to sell them. now, if lentz's keep going through the
roof. a Detemple will be something i will look at.
i have talked to michael on his creations before. i would love to play one of his guitars. (i have his titanium block and saddles on
all of the other copy makers used something other than what scott did on his stuff. either slight style changes, or hardware,
or for me, the pick ups. i think scott hit on something that people were looking for. i'm sure all of the others make fantastic guitars,
lentz just had everything i was looking for.
hey, i got slightly off topic sorry, could not help it
scott talked to me about matching neck and body woods, alot.
michael doubled that, if not more.
i have talked to a few others, one even told me this was nonsense.
i didn't know what to think about that till i got my 1st lentz.
now i'm a believer! anyway, Detemples seem to have quite a following. i would have no problem ordering one.
forgot to mention. you might consider scotts new stuff.
an interesting twist on what he was doing.
btw, his P90's sound killer
A friend of mine, Jeff Snider, traded one of his amps to DeTemple for one of his Strats. I played it and it DOES have a cool mojo about it...extremely resonanant and light...impressive guitar. I would wait...but I've got two Grosh's that I impulsively bought...no waiting!
Hey Detemple owners! Do you have any pictures of your guitars?
I ordered mine about 1 year ago, and I am still waiting. But I am hoping to visit Michael in his shop this summer to talk about my guitars.
Up in the thread, someone implied that the wait for a Lentz was on the same order as the wait for a DeTemple. That certainly was not my experience. My first Lentz was completed in three months. The second took five months. Just my experience...
I'd like to know if there really is any difference between these and a Suhr classic, and if the difference is worth the price and wait. I'm of the opinion that there is a ceiling on how "good" a strat style guitar can be. Vintage strats aside, a well made strat like a Suhr seems as good as it gets. Especially one that is made to your specifications.
There's nothing real magical about a strat provided that one starts with quality wood.
The Suhr is a mighty fine instrument, but it does not have a nitro-cellulose lacquer finish. This is a significant part of the vintage tone equation.
The wait and cost of a DeTemple is discouraging.
I'm sure it is a stellar guitar, though.
Check out D'Pergo and Morgaine, too.
DeTemple and Lentz are fine instruments and I can understand that these guitars have a certain "mojo".
For me, life is too short. 1-2 years is a long time to wait, and I personally would rather be playing than waiting.
Just my opinion.
Well, I got 2 years and counting on my DeTemple strat and tele. A little frustrating to wait for a guitar but I guess no point in moaning about it. Heck, I waited 28 months for a Callaham, which turned out to be a great guitar.
2 years wait time on a guitar? I didn't wait that long for both of my kids combined.
"The Suhr is a mighty fine instrument, but it does not have a nitro-cellulose lacquer finish. This is a significant part of the vintage tone equation."
That is one difference! I'm not so sure that nitro finishes are that important, as I've heard arguments on both sides of the equation. Usually the person finishing in nitro argues for it, and the person arguing against it finishes in poly.
Even if there is a discernable difference, it is worth the extra $2K?
I still go back to my point that the Vintage strat is a reatively simple instrument. At some point, spending more money on a strat will yield seriously diminishing returns. Hell, the only reason I can justify my Suhr is that it has certain things that you do not find on a low dollar Fender (compound radius, jumbo frets, Buzz Fietein, better pickups).
I'm admittedly not a collector of guitars. If I was, the extra money to get a dead on 50's strat may be worth it.
I don't know how you could compare the Suhr with the Detemple if you haven't played a Detemple. I have owned both, to me there is a difference. Suhr makes an excellent guitar. I would never say this guitar is better than that one, blah, blah, blah. Sure, the law of diminishing returns comes into play. The difference to me was in the personal detail that went into the Detemple. It may not be what people are looking for in a strat style guitar. Just because it's a "bolt on" guitar, doesnt mean the same amount of craftmanship can't be put in, like a LP/335/etc. I look at luthiers like artists. Each has their own personal touch. Detemple puts out 2-3 guitars a month, Suhr puts out a lot more. There different. Obviously with a two year wait, enough people think they are worth it.
I have seen D'pergo's web site and it looks nice. Do you have any direct or indirect experience with these guitars? I am curious.
There are other builders besides John Suhr who use alternative finishes. Terry McInturff uses what he calls nitrothane. I think the most important aspects of the finish are how thin it is and how hard it gets. My DeTemple has a pink streak from a red shirt I wore during a gig a month after I received the guitar. It was a hot night and I was sweating like a steer and the color came off of my polyester shirt into the nitro. Now it is like having a super custom paint job. Mike DeTemple made a Strat for me with "my" neck. At the time neither Suhr or Grosh would make a neck that big. Don actually said he wouldn't make a neck that big because it would look freakish. I ordered my DeTemple in January of '03 and received it in March of '04. The wait killed me, but I think less and less of that now and more and more about how wonderful my DeTemple '56 Spirit is. I wouldn't do it again, but I'm happy I did. I get the tone of a great Strat in a beautiful lightweight package. I've gigged with it since receiving it and have never had a problem I couldn't fix easily. The waiting period is because Mike picks out the wood with weight, tone and color in mind and the neck wood ususally is highly figured stuff. My fencepost neck is flamed front and back the length of the neck. Wood like he uses isn't always hanging around waiting for someone to come buy it. My strat weighs 7lbs. 6oz. with a huge neck on it. It is balanced and sounds loud unplugged and has all the strat you want when plugged. I'm blowing Mike's horn here because he made my neck for me when others wouldn't. Definitely worth the wait.
John, it was you. I am not knocking anyone or any brand here. Just stating that Mike agreed to do my neck. I own one of your Teles and love it. I do not use it for entire sets (my band ususally does long sets to keep people up drinking and dancing) because my hand cramps. In late 2002 we had contacted you about doing an ash Strat with a big (really big) maple neck any you didn't want to do the neck and seemed to want to build an alder guitar for me. Not a big deal to me now, although I do believe in the law of diminishing returns and would have liked to have saved a buck at the time. My neck depth is 1.125" at the first fret (not including wire) and 1.25" at the 12th with a uniform 12" radius and a slight "V" on the first 5 - 6 frets transitioning to a nice big "C". I guess I wanted a Suhr a little too early on. LOL. It is nice to know that I have options open to me when I order my alder Strat. It was a frustrating time for me. I went through a lot of guitars and loved some of them, but couldn't get comfortable with them. Seems the older I got the crampier my hand got. Even had a Lentz which was another great Strat, but the 1 5/8" nut made me sound even sloppier than usual. Again, I'm just stating that Mike D. was happy to make my neck for me, those dimensions with a 1 11/16" nut. It's a big piece of maple, but it hasn't moved in the 14 - 15 months I've owned it. I'm very happy with the road that got me to it.