Is this custom made guitar a lost cause? can it be fixed?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by EJTenor, Sep 18, 2019.

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  1. EJTenor

    EJTenor Member

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    Hello,

    I recently pulled the trigger on a custom made stratocaster style 3/4 body tenor guitar with 4 strings.

    However, when I received it, it turned out to be in pretty rough shape, with some questionable craftsmanship. The builder said he had been building them for 40 years. However, this particular model almost seems to be someone's first try.

    The following are pictures highlighting some of the flaws of the make, but more importantly when plugged in the guitar is extremely muddy, even if i turn the lows and mids all the way down to zero, and the gain to just under 1, with the tone nob all the way up, it sounds muddy and toneless. There are also strings/frets/notes that are hardly audible while others that are too loud.



    Some of the frets are also jutting out of the fingerboard and are prickly and rough. The pickups also have weird wrinkly surfaces for some reason.

    I'm thinking about replacing the neck (ive contacted some tenor guitar luther's who may have something available, while also replacing the pickguard and pickups with the bridge to boot.

    Any Suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
  2. customguitars87

    customguitars87 Member

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    ...return it?
     
  3. EJTenor

    EJTenor Member

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    He wont take it back. He feels insulted by me I think. He was very short and abrasive with me during the transaction process. When I approached him about returning it he was the same. I told him I would be forced to write a review, and he said he would sue me if i did.
     
    Ni6htWalker likes this.
  4. naveed211

    naveed211 Member

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    Any hack can attempt to build stuff, not everyone is good at it. This guy doesn’t appear to be.

    Try to return it if at all possible (I’d bet he doesn’t accept returns. Edit: just read your response that he doesn’t do returns. Figured.). If not, sure, try a different neck and pickups and have a pro set it all up. If you have it functioning with an ugly messed up pickguard and paint smudges and whatever else, at least it’ll sound good and it won’t be a total loss.
     
    freedom's door likes this.
  5. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    Looks like most of the issues are related to the pickguard, which could be redone easily enough. The tone issue could be faulty wiring - again, an easy fix.

    As far as the lawsuit threat, I think he's bluffing. Just stick to the facts like you have done here.
     
    Sean C., Ren007, Vintage_ and 8 others like this.
  6. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    That sucks! Are the notes dead when the guitar is unplugged? It seems like the only recourse is to trash him everywhere and have someone else try to fix it. FYI: I played one of those new Fender Mustangs with the short scale. I liked it so much I bought it right then! All short guitars aren't bad.
     
  7. ned7flat5

    ned7flat5 Member

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    I’ll certainly be looking elsewhere for my tenor guitar needs.
     
    Baxtercat, AaeCee and mc5nrg like this.
  8. EJTenor

    EJTenor Member

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    You're right about sticking to the facts. I mean i'm very upset as this was a birthday present, and i play tenor as my main squeeze and I was meant to be gigging with this. So its all kinda been jeopardized. I do however want people to know about it.

    The pickguard is an easy fix for sure. The pickups too most likely. I can probably have a luther look into the wiring.

    The biggest problem will be finding a new neck, most of the tenor guitar luthers ive contacted all say its going to be tough to replace, its a very oddly shaped neck / neckjoint. But if i can replace the neck, then thats like half the battle. Im thinking of getting some lace pickups for it as well.
     
  9. EJTenor

    EJTenor Member

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    there are some "dead notes" too yes.

    heh, yes theres definitely part of me that feels like doing that. But i may take it easy at first and make a video, something detailed but factual, reviewing the model.

    Good..
     
  10. woof*

    woof* Member

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    Really sorry.
    That’s amateur work.
    I’d try again to force a return and find a reputable builder.
     
    Sean C., randall g, cheapgtrs and 3 others like this.
  11. EJTenor

    EJTenor Member

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    Oh believe me I tried.

    either way for future reference this was made Mike Soares of Soares'y Tenor Guitars
     
  12. Winterwind

    Winterwind Member

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    He should be embarrassed for even selling it to you... assuming he actually takes any pride in his work. And judging from those pictures he very clearly doesn't.

    And on what possible grounds could he sue? I don't know US law (assuming you're in the US) but it's pretty much universal that the truth is a defense against defamation and in this case a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. That is shoddy work.
     
  13. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    Yes...like the cool ones Eastwood sells... good quality. Reasonable prices......
     
  14. EJTenor

    EJTenor Member

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    I dont know why I didn't just go for this.
     
    Sean C. likes this.
  15. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    Pull frets, level fingerboard, refret. Possibly leveling and crowning frets might be enough.
     
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  16. stonem

    stonem Member

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    Write the review and include photos. He burned you, return the favor.
     
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  17. Page of Cups

    Page of Cups Member

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    Sell it to Echo Park. They can flip it.​
     
  18. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    Is it made in China? Why buy it in the first place?
     
  19. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Supporting Member

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    He doesn't have a leg to stand on, so long as you stick to documented facts. See, for example:
    https://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-6th-circuit/1213191.html
     
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  20. Colnago

    Colnago Member

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    Is this an Echopark?
    If not, who’s the builder?
     
    TD_Madden, JPH118 and hookakat1 like this.
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