Echopark Guitars

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by datguytim, Jan 27, 2013.


  1. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    I once had a blank Strat pickguard, and I wanted to cut out holes for Tele pickups. I masked the guard, marked it, drilled holes, and then used a file to make the shapes right. It worked, but it was of course crooked and rough. Echopark style, you might say. How this guy can charge these kind of prices is just way way way waaaaaaaaay beyond me.
     
  2. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    And how about the alignment of the tuning machines?

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Mooster

    Mooster Member

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    Go to page 23/24 and see the photos of my guitars. The level of workmanship on this pickguard is similar. In fact that El Cabillo, with my experience on EPG, isn't a bad one. If I was to hazard a guess, he probably finishes the pickguards with a craft knife. You can see in one photo where he goes over and over an area but comes at it from multiple angles. In the beginning I was being charitable and thinking that he intentionally wanted them to look this way to highlight his "handmade" credentials. After all, if everyone else can make pickguards that looks decent, (and he must have been asked to do decent pickguards working for Tak Honsono and Mike Lipe), why can't he - there must be some method to his madness. Nowadays, I conclude that he's being pig-headed and doing it in a way that in his head makes him out to be an "artiste". Then he charges crazy money for it because he spent hours faffing around doing it his way.
     
  4. Da Geezer

    Da Geezer Supporting Member

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    Oh my.....that's pitiful
     
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel Supporting Member

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    Because The one I have and the ones I had Play and sound as good as The Yaron, Thorn (s) Huber (s) and Collings I have owned. And A hell of a lot Better then Then a lot of the Highend Guitars That are praised on this sub-forum, Maybe they are not Trophy quality But as a Tool I really dig them.
     
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  6. 2016aug29

    2016aug29 Supporting Member

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    Tone and playability sure are big factors, agreed. Still though ...
     
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  7. jerrycampbell

    jerrycampbell Member

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    That's some pretty wobbly wabi sabi on that pickguard there.
     
  8. yucatown

    yucatown Theory-free noodling enthusiast Gold Supporting Member

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    Better how?
     
  9. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel Supporting Member

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    You know, I have seen you own and sell a Bunch of them.
     
  10. beorn

    beorn Member

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    I've wondered that too, so when Mooster wrote:
    ... I read the article. And it was not really about the materials or process of making guitars, or the specific details of the guitars, or the logic behind either the process or details. It was all about perceived mojo, with a healthy dash of celebrity endorsement.

    And I think we've all seen mojo sell guitars from many luthiers, for many years, on TGP -- usually with far superior build quality, but it wasn't really the build quality that was selling the guitars.
     
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  11. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    In my limited experience attempting to do both the cabs & guts, it's far easier (and better for everyone) to focus on one aspect while letting someone else handle the other. I could wire amps all day, but if i was constantly switching gears for the woodshop, both would suffer.
     
  12. Mooster

    Mooster Member

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    I agree with you that they are not trophy guitars but tools. They play well and the tone depends, as you know, on each individual instrument. They aren't in general tone-dead. What gets me is that if it is a tool, then why is it sold in the price range of a trophy guitar? Ah, because he builds them himself one-by-one, with old-school methods, down-to-the-dirt vibe, etc. But then if the outcome of doing that is the QC you see here, then what is the justification for the price or the way it is made? If it's not the looks, the attention to detail, the QC, the build quality, but something inherent in the tone, what makes you think he builds them with some secret sauce or mojo that is elusive for other high-end luthiers. And what makes you think he can do this time and time again, imbue a guitar with a magical soul, when he can't cut out a pickguard right. Or attach a set of tuners right. Or route accurately.
     
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  13. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    I agree with you, although I haven't compared my EPG to all of those builders personally, the tone and playability was never the issue. It's the little things that you expect to be right on a $5000+ purchase, like pickup wiring, strap buttons, and rough edges, after waiting double the initial estimate for it, being treated like a housefly when contacting the builder, and dealing with some highly questionable invoicing. That's all.
     
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  14. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel Supporting Member

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    I see your point, But I have had some brilliantly crafted beautiful Guitars That were dogs that cost more than EP's. Would I do a custom Build with Gabe? Hell No. But My local shop is a dealer so I get to Bond before I buy. I have done Custom Builds and Not one has Ever lived up my expectations, I do not believe in MOJO or Special Sauce it is really down to How it sounds and how it feels in the hand. If I can hear and Feel the Value I am in.
     
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  15. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    I'll never do a blind build again either... i may have mentioned here that after getting my EPG and then playing a Collings DC, i would've been just as satisfied with the Collings for quite a bit less. Gabe's neck carve is nice, but it's not worth 30-40% more than the competition IMO.
     
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  16. kbgear

    kbgear Silver Supporting Member

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    PSA: This was a jerk reply. Declaring something objectively better and refusing to accept your subjectivity or to offer any rationale for your opinion, and turning guitar-brand ownership into a childish pishing contest, has vacated your credibility. IMO.

    It would be interesting to hear what brands offer guitars for more than EPG's $11k, because none of the brands you mentioned do. Unless you've owned something like a Monteleone, and pics or it didn't happen.

    The brands you mentioned that sound as good are much less expensive. Value is key? Really? I'm not sure the majority of people with interest in high end guitars have the same unique illogical take on musical instruments. At least I hope so.
     
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  17. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    There is a lot to be said for all that and isn't that what it really is about? The playability and the sound. Man I can dig a perfect guitar as much as the next guy. I totally appreciate perfection in the execution but that doesn't not always lead to a fantastic sounding and playing instrument. I have experienced this myself as well as talked with many musicians who have told me that they have had the exact same experience. Perfection in the execution but to be blunt the guitar was sort of a dog. Some of our favorite, highly praised builders. Not to say that is the norm but it happens.

    I can also appreciate hand workmanship, flaws and all. I mean sloppy binding and pickguards do not really change the tone but I get it that at a certain price point there should be some adequate workmanship. I pretty much have a love for both camps, but to be honest my guitars that are battle scarred are the ones I feel more at home playing and not worrying about a scratch or ding or whatever. Look at all our guitar hero's and their guitars. Do you think they are too concerned with the aesthetics? Hell their guitars are road worn and battered at best.

    I'm not defending Gabe but at least he gets the tone and playability thing right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  18. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel Supporting Member

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    Not a jerk Reply,
    I do not wish to Name other builders that I feel the guitars were less impressive to EP. My Ep was less than 5k I would not spend 11k on a New Instrument.
     
  19. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    In spite of his inability to spell and occasionally be his own worst enemy, somehow Gabe is a good marketer. And he is persistent with his marketing efforts. That must be what has set him apart to get his cred and charge the prices.

    Because he really isn't that unique.

    I have several custom builds. I often compare my two Ashers, both in luthier experience, my customer experience, , endorsers, instrument quality and price to what I see in this thread. It is mind boggling. Bill just doesn't seek the limelight like Gabe, I guess.
     
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  20. dB

    dB Supporting Member

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    Asher has been in the business for a long time. He worked for some notable luthiers and then established his own brand 20(?) years ago. He has built a business on craftsmanship, design and customer relations. He doesn't need to seek the limelight in the same pathetic way that EP or the Kardashians do, because he has confidence in his own technical chops, business acumen, and interpersonal skills to secure longevity in this business.

    Truly successful and talented people don't typically feel the need to be the loudest guy in the room.
     
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