Hi end Custom electrics - Jacobs, JET, PRS, ??

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by jimmybcool, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Hi guys,

    I am new here. I am also just newly returned to playing guitar. I got more money than sense and need another guitar. I have a nice MIA Strat I am taking to my house in Thailand and need one here in the states.

    At first I thought I would just buy another Strat. I researched them until I understood the differences and prices. But, I kind of want something better. So I began to research on the net. I found Ed Roman guitars. Now, I have read enough here to know this is a name with some contention in it. And I am not trying to start a rehash of a discussion you guys may have had before.

    But from surfing his webpage I did learn a few things about guitar manufacture. And I learned some new brand names I had never seen before.

    At this point I am in the market for something along the lines of the customs brands such as Ed carries. The JET, or Jacobs appeal to me aesthetically.

    My only remaining questions are these:

    1) Are these higher end guitars an OK investment? I don't mean that i will see appreciation on investment. Only that if I buy a $3000 guitar I would like to know here is a market for something close to 70-80% of my expense.

    2) Do only cetain names (like PRS) have this high resale or is JET known and Jacobs?

    3) Is there a noticeable difference playing these high end guitars compared to a MIA strat?

    4) What names should I be considering and where can I browse them online? Are there shops in Phoenix or LA or Vegas (other than Eds)? I would like to actually SEE and play (however poorly) what I would get before commiting.

    5) Am I missing any names I should consider in this price range?

    6) Is the Ed Roman issue really one where he cheats people or is it a personality issue? Please, no flames or whatever I just stumbled onto this board an hour ago. And his store is appealing based on his webpage.

    Thanks all.

    James
     
  2. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    I won't get into your other questions, but I can handle 2...

    The guitars you are talking about are set neck, 2-humbucker, mahogany, shorter-scale guitars. They are as far away from a strat as you can get, so they will sound quite a bit different. Whether "different" equals, better, worse, or just different is up to you to decide.

    If you're interested in buying a high-end strat that you can actually play first, I would suggest Suhr or Anderson. If you're interested in buying a high-end 2-humbucker guitar, I would recommend Hamer and Parker. There are tons of other custom manufacturers and I'm sure other people will be throwing their names out, but the chances of being able to play other guitars by these manufacturers before you buy is slim to nil and I don't think you would benefit from paying a ton of money for a guitar that you might not like in a year after you've gotten more back into the swing of things guitar-playing wise.

    Also, if you're not scared of eBay and you have a bit of time to spend in your search, you would probably benefit from buying used. If you end up not liking the guitar, you can sell if for little or no loss and after you've been through a couple, you might have a better idea of what you're looking for from a guitar.

    -Austin
     
  3. MOJO

    MOJO Member

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    as someone whose personally been ripped off by Roman i'd avoid him at all cost, besides their are far too many great honest builders around to deal with then to put up with ED's antics

    try looking into these

    Thorn
    Heatley
    Driskill
    Gadow
    Soloway
    there are a ton of others...
     
  4. PanamaCZ

    PanamaCZ Member

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    James,

    I own 2 JETs and have never played a Jacobs guitar. Sticking to your questions:

    1) I have never tried to sell any of the guitars I've purchased from Ed, but if you're considering a JET purchase I suspect that the JET guitars would garner the resale range (or higher) you've targeted. As it's unlikely anybody would've had a chance to play a JET without visiting Ed or one of his dealers (local area JET owners are obviously the exception), your buyers may be those that don't want to deal with Ed or don't want to pay current selling prices for new.

    2) JET and Jacobs are obviously not as well known as PRS to the mainstream guitar-buying public. But, neither are the luthiers that MOJO posted. Yet the luthiers MOJO posted are well known on this website. And from what I've read here, these luthiers' guitars have good resale value. The tricky part is whether any customizing done by the original owner is of interest to other buyers at resale.

    3) Too subjective a question in my opinion. Different yes, better??

    4) Some luthiers that use retailers as their sales channels will afford you the opportunity to play their guitars before purchasing and some sell direct. In most direct-sales instances an evaluation period is offered (24 - 48 hours) to overcome the issue of no local representation. The probable exception to this is where you have customized your selection to the point there is risk of resale if you decide you don't like the guitar after receiving it.

    5) Already covered and more to follow I'm sure.

    6) All I will say to this question is I have purchased 10 guitars from Ed and returned 2 for personal reasons. I've never been disappointed with my purchases or I returned them. I've always been treated fairly by Ed, but that's my story.

    Mike Meisinger
     
  5. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Thanks guys. While I was away the phone rang and the guitar guy had finished working on my old Guild acoustic. So I ran down to pick it up. Now keep in mind what I am looking for is just another very playable guitar for my other house similar to the strat.

    I get my Guild and am looking at the PRS guitars in his shop. Well, long story short there is an used one, a 1992 EG, that has been "modified".

    In fact the store owner (who I think is an honest guy) thought it had been done by Ed Roman sometime in the past. Instead of the 2 humbucker pups standard in a PRS, someone had installed 3 EMG pups and Schaller tuners.

    He said if it had been original it would have had more value and not the price he had. When he quoted the price I said I'll take it. He seemed surprised and said it was really more the shop player and he hadn't expected to ever sell it.

    So I guess I'm done. It sounds a LOT like my Strat and plays very similar and actually cost less than a new MIA Deluxe Strat. So even if I paid a few hundred too much I'm still OK.

    Now, curious what would this typically be worth in your eyes? $500? $1000? $1500?

    Just want to know for future reference if this is a place I should do all my business at. I don't mind a reasonable profit just want to know I wasn't totally raped.

    Thanks guys.

    PS - At least I don't need to visit ER in vegas now. :)
     
  6. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    I think Prs guitars are the finest production guitar out there. I did say" production", not "custom". I have a few custom guitars and have had many in the past, and I would say the Prs' I have are right there in quality.

    If you willing to wait to have 1 custom made to your specs, there are many good builders out there. I'm a little partial to Thorn Guitars. I think they have great quality, attention to detail, tonal options and most of all "excellent pricing".

    It's like getting a PRS" Private Stock" guitar at half the price. Just don't tell Ron Thorn his guitars are probably the best value out there.

    Thank's.

    Larry

    Oh by the way. I've heard some crazy stuff about ER that I won't get into, but very reliable industry sources and my advice is to "STAY CLEAR"
     
  7. MOJO

    MOJO Member

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    just want to clarify my statements, my comment was not meant to disrespect either Jet or Jacobs guitars. i've played both and both were very nice guitars,if you can get either thru other means other then Ed..by all means you won't be sorry..if you decide to go thru Ed..well It's Russian Roullette time ...some people win and some people lose ( i just prefer not to play )
     
  8. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    I'd buy a MIM or MIK before anything from ER, but that's my .02. I've only played one JET, and while it was a very attractive guitar, I wasn't crazy about the tone/playability compared to some of the other high end guitars that I've played/owned.
     
  9. dookie

    dookie Member

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    If you are interested in a Jaros, hit me up... I need to thin the herd...
     
  10. dirk nixon

    dirk nixon Member

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    I suggest a Roman Quicksilver guitar with black back pickups and all the options Ed can think of. Ed's guitars are handmade so they're the best! A Quicksilver guitar is sure to go up in value because Ed Roman is famous on the world wide web. Ed is a really cool guy too. He's almost my best friend. :D
     
  11. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    never dealt with roman but there are so many bad stories for me i wouldnt touch him - there cant be so much vitriol flying around w/o some truth behind it

    anyway - ron thorn is teh way to go if you want a top end gtr IMHO and as to teh handmade argument where roman rubbishes anderson suhr etcetce -
    b*llocks...you will not find more care attention superb cfaftsmanship detail setc etc than in a thorn and he does use cnc

    anderson and suhr are also exquisite guitars and again they use cnc

    there was a big thread here a while ago where all the top luthiers commented on cnc or no cnc with v intersting results

    look it up

    anyhow get a thorn - itll retain its value and anyway you wont ever want to sell it!

    :dude
     
  12. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    Custom guitars I'd buy from:

    Thorn, Heatley, Soloway, McNaught, Driskill, Melancon, Koll, Grosh, Nash, Lentz.

    Small shops I'd buy from:

    Suhr, McInturff, Anderson, Hamer, Heritage, G&L, MusicMan, Vigier, Sadowski, Huber, Gene Baker

    Big Companies I'd buy from:

    PRS, Gibson Custom Shop, Fender Custom Shop



    Someone I wouldn't buy from if he was the last seller on earth: Roman

    Roman doesn't make guitars, he buys out folks or sets up deals to exclusively distribute and milks them out of biz. He is disrespectful - to say the least - towards his customers and isn't out to benefit any musician or person except his wallet. I could go on, but don't want to. In short, Jet and the other brands he represents/fronts for/pushes on folks/has bought out and contracts to have built have been done grave disservice by Roman. Seek out real folks building real guitars that will give you real service and really care about what you want as a musician.

    Just my opinion, but my *strongly* held opinion.
     
  13. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Well, you guys have made it pretty unnanimous. And until/unless I have a lot more experience that indicates that ALL of you are from a nuthouse I shall avoid ER. As a believer in Occhams Razor I gotta think at least one of you has valid reasons. :cool:

    I will say this about ER. His website is a very good place to learn a bit about the various options for building guitars. He may not be someone you can trust but he has put together some good data.

    I am going to stick with the Strat and modified PRS for now and spend more time actually learning to play them. If the bug sticks I will be back to learn more about customs as I know what a nut I am about nice stuff.

    OH, and did I do OK with the PRS or do you all have any opinion on value of such a beast?
     
  14. fatback

    fatback Member

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    ;)

    Grosh set-neck, Grosh set-neck, Grosh set-neck! Yeah I'm excited about mine. The best 2-hum guitar I've ever owned.
     
  15. tray999

    tray999 Guest

    +1 with Scott!
     
  16. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Well,

    After all this and playing the modified PRS I didn't want it. It was and is a very nice guitar. Basically a superior Strat with a PRS neck. But I didn't want another strat.

    I went back to the store (which is owned by a very nice guy) and looked some more and decided that what I need is a good playing guiter with clean sound. And I WANT IT NOW.

    So I returned the modified PRS and bought a Custom 24 20th Anniversary PRS. I won't be in the market for another guitar for a long time now. If ever. If I stay hooked playing I might get some truly custom made guitars just cause I can. But to learn and play on I am convinced this one will do for me forever. :dude

    So now I just need to get proficient PLAYING the thing.

    Thanks for the advice.

    :JAM :JAM :JAM
     
  17. NuSkoolTone

    NuSkoolTone Member

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    He does have some interesting pages there. Remember though that those are HIS intrepretations of what HE thinks is good/better. Kudos for exposing that there ARE other builders out there besides the big 3 for the uneducated, and that if you can afford it to seek "better." Also keep in mind that the site is a MASSIVE (And VERY well done) manipulative marketing machine. It's subtle and his style of writing is slick, but I wouldn't take his rants/opinions as gospel. He's a little stuck in the 80's if you ask me. :dude
     
  18. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Congrats on the Prs!!!

    I think you will be very happy and enjoy the guitar a whole lot.
    Keep on rockin'

    Larry
     
  19. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    Make sure you check one of the Nik Huber guitars (www.nikhuber-guitars.com).
    One of the dealers (TGP member Vegas Greg) lives in Vegas and could probably connect you to a very intereresting guitfiddle.

    JJ Paul
     
  20. jimmybcool

    jimmybcool Supporting Member

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    Thanks paintguy. We are now past the 24 hour perriod and no buyers remorse. I am happy I bought it. Of course I need to sell some of my rifles to pay for it but I lost interest in shooting a while back anyway and I'm tired of cleaning them once a year ffor no reason.

    jinglejangle, I am probably out of the guitar market for a while but I will check out your link for future. Thanks.

    Jim
     

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