Luthiers - What does "Private Stock" mean?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Ridgeback, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    When referring to a build as private stock (e.g. no build sheet), what does that mean to you? Built for your own use? Experimenting with a unique combination of specs? Something else? I've heard the term used before, just curious whether there is a common frame of reference for the term among professional or semi-pro builders.
     
  2. SPROING!

    SPROING! Member

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    The term usually refers to the builder's hand picked pieces of pretty wood. At least that's what I think of.
     
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  3. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

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    I think Paul Reed Smith has that term trademarked...
     
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  4. aliensporebomb

    aliensporebomb Member

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    Basically beautiful wood set aside by the building for special instruments. A PRS private stock model will drop your jaw. I'd be hesitant to play one. I could see myself falling into a trance onstage just staring at it.
     
  5. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

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    My private stock was set aside for clients with tall stacks of long green.
     
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  6. stratter

    stratter Member

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    I think it's just a marketing excuse to charge $8000 more for a nicely figured top.


    Isn't that what PRS calls their custom shop too?
     
  7. rummy

    rummy Member

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  8. icr

    icr Member

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    Probably means something in the guitar you can't detect without someone telling you it is there (assuming it is anything in the first place.)
     
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  9. Totally Bored

    Totally Bored Member

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  10. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I think it's more a marketing term.
     
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  11. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    They say stuff like that to impress the women. "how bout' checking out my private stock, darling". squeal "oh, ok Paul...whatever you say....."
     
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  12. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    Maybe some context would help here. I found a guitar at a local shop that was the first T style guitar that ever impressed me and made me realize what all the hoopla was over telecasters. The ones I had played over the years before left me unimpressed. It was built by a local luthier and was not priced at a premium over ordering the same model over his web site. After lusting over it and playing it almost every week for about a year, I finally had the funds to buy it. It is an alder\rosewood patterned after an early\mid 60's. I have now had it for just over a year and it has impressed me enough to special order an ash\maple Broadcaster version. When I got the build sheet for my new one, I asked him if he had the build sheet for my original on file and he said there was no build sheet because it was a private stock build and he described the equivalent build sheet details. I was just wondering what that meant in the wider (non-big shop like PRS) luthier community. It was obviously not an attempt to jack up the price of the guitar.

    I appreciate the responses to date.
     
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  13. Corinthian

    Corinthian Member

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    Sounds like it means he built it for himself.

    You could just ask him though given you're in communication with him...
     
  14. ultradust

    ultradust Member

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    Whether it's become a proper noun or not ;) at the Moollon shop it's silly in-house nomenclature we occasionally use that won't actually mean much to the average consumer, rather being pre-built (as opposed to "to-order") pieces set aside for one of the few artists we already support, always with especially superior quality woods. Since all of our hardware on all models is 100% custom designed and tested to be identical to pre-CBS-era Fender specifications, the selection of wood and matching of necks/bodies among our stock is the only thing that's actually the "reserve" part of the equation.

    Since we do no more than 60 - 70 total instruments per year, so-called "private reserve" usually means no more than 3/year, but they're often on display for visitors to the shop for promotional purposes (sometimes for months at a time prior to shipping them out), to see what they are and who they are intended for. So in a number of ways they are kinda private and very much reserved.
     
  15. PGrant

    PGrant Member

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    Marketing mumbo-jumbo.
     
  16. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Agreed. It puts a premium on nice wood by creating the illusion that the wood is extra special. One of the major drum companies did that years ago by marketing a line of drums that were made out of very old wood recovered from the bottom of a lake. Were they any better than their usual drums? I have no idea, as I never played them, but it was en effective marketing tool, as the drums sold out in record time.
     
  17. Ridgeback

    Ridgeback Member

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    I did, so I know what it means to this particular builder. My question related more to whether it meant generally the same thing to smaller builders across the industry or if it was just a catch all term. Just idle curiosity as I know there are builders that post here regularly. A few interesting responses so far.

    Just saw the first pictures of my pseudo Broadcaster build. My first custom order. Pretty exciting process.
     
  18. cutaway

    cutaway Supporting Member

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    in my experience, the prettiest guitars don't always sound the best

    (especially if i'm playing them :( )
     
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  19. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    its a term used to jack up the price
     
  20. Torren61

    Torren61 Member

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    I detect a lot of private stock envy, lol.
     

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