I don`t get it

edwarddavis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,061
I see some of you guys saying that you waited a year or two for a guitar to be built. NObody loves a great looking and playing guitar more than me. I am a Tom Anderson fan by the way and don`t see much on here about him, what a shame. Any way I thank you guys for opening up my eyes to a lot of very cool guitars and I thank you. I have had Anderson`s love them, Heatleys also great guitars and the usual les pauls,prs and so forth . I just don`t understand how it could take so long to have a guitar built. I see a lot of you praising lentz guitars , never seen or played one. I am sure they are great and he is probably a small shop as most of these are but is it the process they use that takes so long or the just build a lot of guitars. There are so many great usd guitars FS even custom made ones I would never have the patience to wait. Then I see people selling them not long after they have waited. I understand that if you want a guitar built just for you its needed to buy new and wait . Some of the guitars I see hee are freakin amazing looking and I am sure it takes time. But some look like just plain strat styles that make me ask how could it take so long to build that guitar.

Just asking. I have no idea what it takes to build a guitar of a high caliber such as the ones here
 

John Hurtt

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,590
Well, it took about 10 months for Ron Thorn to build my guitar. There are/were probably 100 other guitars going through his shop in various stages of completion. Plus, he has his inlay work to do, which is likely the real money maker for Ron.

I'm totally happy with the experience, Ron rocks!!!
 

aleclee

TGP Tech Wrangler
Staff member
Messages
12,545
Well, nitro takes a good long time to cure so if the body and neck are being made to order, I can see that factoring in to the order time.

Throw in a good backlog and it just gets longer and longer.
 

big mike

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,283
Originally posted by aleclee
Well, nitro takes a good long time to cure so if the body and neck are being made to order, I can see that factoring in to the order time.

Throw in a good backlog and it just gets longer and longer.
Yup yup. Chapin was explaining the PIA Nitro can be last time I saw him.
 

scott

Supporting Member
Messages
4,632
Since my name was mentioned...........The wait for one of my guitars is only about 6 to 8 months depending on what you order.....Its still a long time but thats a far cry from 2 years.





www.heatleyguitars.com
 

whoofnagle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,062
I don't think waiting is the end of the world. I have a Heatley on order - been a little over a year, but that is due to a couple of factors. Leading the way is the fact that Scott had to find the wood for my neck. He did not have it in stock and it took a little while to get. He was very forthcoming that this would add time to my order, but it is what I wanted - no big deal. To me as long as the builder keeps you informed about the progress and any potential delays, then I am all for the wait. It is not like this will be my only guitar.

Yes' there are other really niced used guitars for sale, but when you have the opportunity to nail down every feature that you want - it is well worth the wait.

Bill
 

VaughnC

Supporting Member
Messages
17,670
....personally, I don't think I would ever have a guitar custom built....unless there was some sort of guarartee that it met my expectations after it was built. IMO, used or new, running the racks gives you a better chance of finding "the one". When the right neck, meets the right body, meets the right pickups, meets the right player, magic can happen. But I think there are too many variables to plan "the one"....you just have to find it ;).
 

Mike_C

Member
Messages
193
I don't know there is something about getting a guitar built that is jsut for you that is very cool and addictive. I'm a Hamer lover and have had the pleasure and goof fortune to have been able to sort through the wood pile and pick a top for a custom order.
It's a great feeling to see your guitar in raw form as a billet of wood and then see the finished product. I have yet to be let down by a custom ordered guitar. BTW the wait time was a reasonable 4 to 5 months.
 

dirk nixon

Member
Messages
479
Some builders like Anderson have their shops set up like mini factories with employees doing much of the work. Some builders do everything themself. EVERYTHING. So it takes longer. Some builders will customize a guitar to their customers specs. Other builders like Anderson have many options to choose from but they don't do custom work so they can keep their production numbers higher. I guess some builders are more business savvy and others see themself more as artists rather than businessmen. They enjoy the challenge of custom work.

There would be more people posting about Anderson guitars here if there wasn't already an Anderson forum. I know many Gear Page members hang out there too.
 

dirk nixon

Member
Messages
479
Originally posted by Suhr
Not a factory situation at all since in a factory you will have people installing necks to bodies who really dont care or know what they are doing or why, they just follow instructions and many are cheap labor.
Tom is a great guy, he hates browsing outside of his forum ( and wonders why I do) since it is heart breaking sometimes when you love what you do. Tom uses one builder to assemble each guitar the same as we do, except usually a wiring person does the wiring, a paint guy does the painting and in our situation we use our PLEK to level the frets since it can do it better than a human IMO. This way each person does what they know the best, and we and Tom have NO cheap labor, all our people are very experienced. The main issue for Tom and myself is the there is 1 person assembling the guitar so they know that guitar. The Problem with a one man shop is that it is very rare to find a builder who does EVERYTHING well, woodwork, paint, frets, wiring , setup etc....it serves the customer best if that know it all guy runs the shop (unless you want to see some very high prices and very long wait times)
I think the wait time on guitars has nothing to do with a small shop or a big shop but has everything to do with how many orders you have and what your capacity is. If a Shop is being honest they would explain it isnt the build time of an instrument since that isnt going to vary more than a day or so. It is how long it takes to get to your name on the list and whether or not all your parts are in stock, do they have your wood and were there any problems with the order and do they season the necks etc...
Making guitars in a larger qty is just as much of an art to me as making onesy twosy...it is a great challenge and in the end it is the customer who wins with the technology helping the builder to be more consistant and produce repeatable high quality product.
The way you describe Tom Anderson's shop is how I figured it was. I've never actually been there. I didn't mean it as a slam when I said it was like a mini-factory. I used him as an example because his name was mentioned in the original post. I happen to really like Anderson and Suhr guitars.

I have been to Don Grosh's place a few times though and it's pretty much the same way you guys do things. He seems to assemble them himself. Another guy does most of the painting. Another guys does the sanding. I've spent some time with Joe Driskill and Ron Thorn too. It is much different there. Driskill does absolutely everything himself. Thorn gets a hand from his Dad and another guy sometimes but it's mostly him. These guys will do an elaborate inlay if you want and that can really take some extra time. Inlay is an art form in itself.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
40,786
Originally posted by VaughnC
....personally, I don't think I would ever have a guitar custom built....unless there was some sort of guarartee that it met my expectations after it was built. IMO, used or new, running the racks gives you a better chance of finding "the one". When the right neck, meets the right body, meets the right pickups, meets the right player, magic can happen. But I think there are too many variables to plan "the one"....you just have to find it ;).
Vaughn, I'm with you on this one. :)
 

AJ Love

Senior Member
Messages
4,371
Originally posted by VaughnC
... IMO, used or new, running the racks gives you a better chance of finding "the one". When the right neck, meets the right body, meets the right pickups, meets the right player, magic can happen. But I think there are too many variables to plan "the one"....you just have to find it ;).
I think theres a lot of truth in that... I've tried many times to not believe that but ultimately it comes down to playing a guitar first before you really know that its right for you... buying used or dealing with stores that have a liberal return policy can help prevent losing big $$ on a purchase that doesn't work out, but that can take alot of time... ultimately playing an instrument in the store before you buy is the best way to find a great instrument thats right for you
 

twitch

Member
Messages
641
I hear what Vaughan is saying, but I don't think it takes one thing into account. And that is the special talent that some of these small builders have. At least, I know Joe Driskill does. Joe has the ability to understand the people he is dealing with very well. I sent him samples of me playing, We talked alot about the type of music I like to play and the sound I am looking for. I even met Joe pretty early in the building stage of my guitar. I really think all of that went a long weay into Joe delivering me the perfect guitar. I also had played a few Driskill prior to ordering one, and was very confident in it being what I wanted.

I cannot fathom me going to a store and pulling something off the racks and have it feel like this, and sound just like I want it too. And I am talking about being blind folded, so looks are out of the equation.

I really feel like my Driskill is a part of me, and was definitely built for me. And i waited 18 months for it, and much of what I talked about above is why I don't regret that wait at all, and would do it all over again if the bank account would let me.
 

VaughnC

Supporting Member
Messages
17,670
I have no doubt that sometimes "custom built" does work. However, with wood being a naturally tonally inconsistent product, and the fact that a neck & body have to communicate with each other in just the right way, and that no two pickups can be made exactly the same, I think that a custom built guitar is a bit of a crap shoot. Great if custom built worked out for you but seeking out "the one" by running the racks can be fun too. I've played probably several hundred Strats in my life and only a handfull really spoke to me....and only one had it all. So I must be fussy in my old age ;) ....
 

lhallam

Member
Messages
17,017
Originally posted by Suhr
it serves the customer best if that know it all guy runs the shop
What kind of luthier work does the know it all guy do when he runs the shop? QA?
 

Glowing Tubes

Member
Messages
8,574
I could blindly order a Suhr or Anderson and know Im getting an excellent instrument. There certainly is a bit more at stake when you wait over a year for a guitar but Im sure the builders do what it takes to make sure their customers are completely happy.

Richard
 

MightyGuru

Member
Messages
6,980
While I agree somewhat with VaughnC's sentiments, nothing I have ever owned or played is as sweet as my Heatley.

I am a guy that looks through tons of guitars before buying one (I must have tried 70 teles before settling on my Mary Kaye) but there is nothing like playing a neck designed with your hands and style in mind.

The downside is the wait but some can easily reconcile this niggle.
 

lhallam

Member
Messages
17,017
Originally posted by Suhr
Active Q&A is extremely important.
I trained I do all the drawings All pickups are my design I also program. You really cant get more involved than I am, I also intonate and check every guitar before it leaves. If I go on vacation nothing ships.

I also deal with customer, amp design, PC Board design and Amp QC, play thru every amp and put it in the box, wire speakers
:eek:

I think you're due for a vacation. ;)

Thanks for the insight.
 




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