• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


My Echopark Guitars Nightmare

Status
Not open for further replies.

VooDooClown

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,682
I tried to order a guitar from Gabe about three years ago, after a few phone calls and emails I decided to scrap the project. Trying to communicate with Gabe was beyond frustrating. I don't think I've ever tried to deal with anyone in this industry that was so forgetful and dysfunctional. He kept mixing up my order and continually had the specs wrong. Glad I dodged a bullet and never got involved with this guy.
 

bbaug14

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,476
I have no dog in this fight as I do not, have not, and will not ever own an Echopark anything. I also realize my input probably doesn't matter much given this. Having said that, I think I represent part of the majority of members of this community that use threads like these to help form a basis of opinion about a builder who I might be interested in. We look for reviews and experiences to help guide us in our decision to put out a sizable sum of money for an instrument, as we would any other product or service purchase.

I just can't wrap my head around the people coming out saying they had a good experience, and if others didn't, they should basically keep their mouth shut. I mean I understand the "if you don't like it, don't buy from him," but saying people shouldn't voice their negative reviews or that they don't have merit, for any reason, is ridiculous.

Part of what holds any business producing a product accountable is user reviews. I seriously doubt that any person here who supports Gabe would apply the same rationale anywhere else. What, now Amazon should get rid of reviews on vacuum cleaners because I'm a full time house cleaner that likes the product I got and because of that your review doesn't matter since you just use yours occasionally at home and don't understand what it's all about? I mean the logic being used to silence the majority here who have legitimate negative experiences is just laughable.

Please keep the reviews and experiences coming guys, good or bad. I for one appreciate having the information to form my own opinion.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,182
Posts deleted.

No insults
No bickering
No profanity
No name calling.
No trolling.

Please behave like adults or you will lose the option to participate in this thread and perhaps the forum.
 

uburoibob

Treehugger, both in the forest and with strings.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,415
I am glad I got to read this thread before it goes away.

I've played a couple Echopark guitars at Chicago Music Exchange and was underwhelmed, not really understanding what the fuss was about.

When the same money can get you a guitar made by a builder the caliber of Joe Yanuziello, or Nik Huber, or John Suhr, or Saul Koll, or two Tom Andersons, or maybe even a Steve Andersen archtop - all great guitars that are impeccably built, play at the top end of the spectrum - AND from builders that have great reputations for dealing with them - or, heck,even a good historic LP or custom-shop Fender, or a Fano (if we are talking guitars that have that beat-up vibe) it seems like the natural inclination would be to avoid anyone with this level of controversy and go with proven commodities. Seems those on the bad end of guitars and dealings with Gabe have have presented their conversations and dealings in a well-documented and completely believable manner.

Whoever said that one builder like this shakes faith in the whole small-builder experience was right on the money. I honestly hope Gabe gets his crap together and makes good to these folks who seem to have gotten so thoroughly screwed by him at all levels.
 
Last edited:

RayRay

Member
Messages
2,506
I am glad I got to read this thread before it goes away.

I've played a couple Echopark guitars at Chicago Music Exchange and was underwhelmed, not really understanding what the fuss was about.

When the same money can get you a guitar made by a builder the caliber of Joe Yanuziello, or Nik Huber, or John Suhr, or Saul Koll, or two Tom Andersons - all great guitars that are impeccably built, play at the top end of the spectrum - AND from builders that have great reputations for dealing with them - or, heck,even a good historic LP or custom-shop Fender, or a Fano (if we are talking guitars that have that beat-up vibe) it seems like the natural inclination would be to avoid anyone with this level of controversy and go with proven commodities. Seems those on the bad end of guitars and dealings with Gabe have have presented their conversations and dealings in a well-documented and completely believable manner.

Whoever said that one builder like this shakes faith in the whole small-builder experience was right on the money. I honeslty hope Gabe gets his crap together and makes good to these folks who seem to have gotten so thoroughly screwed by him at all levels.
Spot on man. All great builders. Add Kauer to the list. Don't know the guy but he builds awesome guitars and is well-respected by good folks on this board. So he's in my trust circle. Put Hartung on the list too. And Knaggs. And others I'm probably forgetting right now. There are some amazing builders out there. Support the good guys.

Also, this one isn't going away. The OP started it specifically so it won't get deleted like that other one. Some trolling occurs and the awesome mods step in and address it. So it might get closed if it gets out of hand but I think the "good guys" have learned to control themselves (RayRay included!)... but it won't get deleted.
 

Mr Fingers

Member
Messages
2,833
Like many, I have had to learn to remember to be accurate and objective in my posts. It's easy to add a "very" or otherwise bump up a solid description into overstatement. That being said, I have found this thread really interesting because despite the occasional nuke, most of the posts, positive or critical, are based on concrete aspects of the guitars Echopark has produced. My own take is that I like many of their designs and finish colors very much, but if I were to purchase one, it would not be on order, but by finding one used, that I could get at a decent price and inspect before paying. The relic fad, combined with the fad for over-appreciating cheapie old guitars, seems to me to feed into the sometimes slipshod workmanship on some of the EP guitars shown here: scratches, mis-drilled holes, clumsy bevels. Honestly, I hope this mess straightens out. I would love to be able to read that EP is delivering consistently clean builds on time, etc. I want builders to succeed. This is a mess.
 

Inspired

Member
Messages
30
I have 3 guitars that I use and they’re all good instruments.
EP often ends up being the chosen one when performing live. It stays in tune.
But if you inspect it you’ll find some misalignment. The neck pocket is cut so there’s a tiny opening between neck and body.
Bridge pickup is not straight and it looks funny.
Luckily none of this harms the guitar in any musical way. Not that I can notice anyway.
If I paid 10k I would think differently.
 

uburoibob

Treehugger, both in the forest and with strings.
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,415
I have 3 guitars that I use and they’re all good instruments.
EP often ends up being the chosen one when performing live. It stays in tune.
But if you inspect it you’ll find some misalignment. The neck pocket is cut so there’s a tiny opening between neck and body.
Bridge pickup is not straight and it looks funny.
Luckily none of this harms the guitar in any musical way. Not that I can notice anyway.
If I paid 10k I would think differently.
Not to be flip, but is $10K the threshold for you? If you paid $5K and had a guitar with those issues would you accept those flaws? We’ve all got what we feel are acceptable ranges of value - quality for the money. To me, a neck pocket cut that allows the guitar to possibly shift with atmospheric changes or would be the deal breaker. But this question is more about what a person’s threshold is for accepting sub-par work. What about it, anyone who is reading...what point is it for you that sets off the “hmmm...seems I might have gotten less than indicated by the builder” in terms of quality for the money I paid. How much is that figure? Also, let’s ask the same question of delivery time. When something is promised in 6 months and 2 years later still hasn’t delivered, is that too long? Is there a threshold here at which one should be given their money back if that’s desired? Or when a guitar is delivered to the wrong specs despite a provable communication archive? What is everyone’s limit? Seems it’s being tested by this company and people have clear ideas what they are willing to take.
 

cholula69

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,091
Not to be flip, but is $10K the threshold for you? If you paid $5K and had a guitar with those issues would you accept those flaws? We’ve all got what we feel are acceptable ranges of value - quality for the money. To me, a neck pocket cut that allows the guitar to possibly shift with atmospheric changes or would be the deal breaker. But this question is more about what a person’s threshold is for accepting sub-par work. What about it, anyone who is reading...what point is it for you that sets off the “hmmm...seems I might have gotten less than indicated by the builder” in terms of quality for the money I paid. How much is that figure? Also, let’s ask the same question of delivery time. When something is promised in 6 months and 2 years later still hasn’t delivered, is that too long? Is there a threshold here at which one should be given their money back if that’s desired? Or when a guitar is delivered to the wrong specs despite a provable communication archive? What is everyone’s limit? Seems it’s being tested by this company and people have clear ideas what they are willing to take.
That's a great question. I bought a Korean made Tokai that had similar problems and wasn't built that well. It allowed me to learn about modifying guitars, replacing parts, doing a set up, and all sorts of things without the worry of screwing something up. I paid less than 200 for it so it was no big deal.

During the in between time I made a few parts-casters that all had some sort of quirk but it was no big deal, I built them myself. I always longed for a professionally built, small production guitar. The kind of thing where the builder has in depth knowledge after years of building experience and leaves no detail to chance or overlooked. That was my first build, I always expected I would pay a premium, and did, for this kind of attention. The EP was the guitar I bought.

I paid over 5k for it. The whole process from, from paying to taking delivery, was a very bad experience. I really regret buying it.

If I pay 200 for a guitar I would expect some flaws. In the 500-900 range I would expect a few quirks but nothing big. Anything in the 1k range I would expect the guitar to be in playable condition but maybe replace pickups if desired. Anything over 2k I would expect it to be perfect, as delivered.
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
Messages
19,959
Whoever said that one builder like this shakes faith in the whole small-builder experience was right on the money. I honestly hope Gabe gets his crap together and makes good to these folks who seem to have gotten so thoroughly screwed by him at all levels.
That would be me. And what is irksome (word of the day), is that I have messaged back/forth with a few of the cats that have taken it on the chin with their EP experiences. A couple of them have been irreparably and negatively influenced by their whole small builder experience because of this one brand - to the point where they simply won't engage in a custom order/build with another small craftsman/luthier.

I personally own some killer small builder pieces by McInturff, Lentz and Danocaster - and have bought guitars from other small builders as well. In the couple (few and far between) instances where guitars arrived in less-than-perfect condition, the builders got the situation rectified -- no b.s. and absolutely zero negativity involved. Quality people are concerned and conscientious about making certain customers are satisfied. After all, their (the builders') names sit squarely on the headstock.

I am going through a current build process with Doug Kauer (@dougk). I'm about 5 weeks in at this point. He has been ultra-communicative; a total gentleman to deal with. He has sent emails and progress pics -- all unprompted by me. I've spoken with Doug over the phone several times, and he has been a total pro. Plus, he seems like a great cat. If my build turns out to be of the same quality as my communications with Doug to date, the guitar will be nothing short of excellent.

The small builder market is highly competitive. Many of these luthiers and craftsmen have made luthiery their life's work, passion and pursuit. But they are all competing for a limited amount of disposable and discretionary income - and also have to compete with Gibson, Fender and PRS.

When a guy sullies the reputation of an entire market segment by being anything less than a solid business person - and by turning out products that are anything less than the best quality possible - it unfortunately chips away at this entire segment of the music industry. And the thought that these other craftsman have to suffer for that type of nonsense is a shame.
 

JPH118

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,482
I have 3 guitars that I use and they’re all good instruments.
EP often ends up being the chosen one when performing live. It stays in tune.
But if you inspect it you’ll find some misalignment. The neck pocket is cut so there’s a tiny opening between neck and body.
Bridge pickup is not straight and it looks funny.
Luckily none of this harms the guitar in any musical way. Not that I can notice anyway.
If I paid 10k I would think differently.
Lots of other builders get those things right though, for far less than $10k, and they stay in tune as well.

In hindsight, the writing was on the wall with Gabe from the start, but before the negative reviews started rolling in, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, like many other guys here. If you don’t care enough to doublecheck the spelling of your own artists’ names on your website/social media, why should you be trusted with thousands of dollars of hard-earned money?? I blame myself at the end of the day.
 
Last edited:

Inspired

Member
Messages
30
Not to be flip, but is $10K the threshold for you? If you paid $5K and had a guitar with those issues would you accept those flaws? We’ve all got what we feel are acceptable ranges of value - quality for the money. To me, a neck pocket cut that allows the guitar to possibly shift with atmospheric changes or would be the deal breaker. But this question is more about what a person’s threshold is for accepting sub-par work. What about it, anyone who is reading...what point is it for you that sets off the “hmmm...seems I might have gotten less than indicated by the builder” in terms of quality for the money I paid. How much is that figure? Also, let’s ask the same question of delivery time. When something is promised in 6 months and 2 years later still hasn’t delivered, is that too long? Is there a threshold here at which one should be given their money back if that’s desired? Or when a guitar is delivered to the wrong specs despite a provable communication archive? What is everyone’s limit? Seems it’s being tested by this company and people have clear ideas what they are willing to take.
I spoke of my experience only.
And 10k was no universal limit.
 

Inspired

Member
Messages
30
Lots of other builders get those things right though, for far less than $10k, and they stay in tune as well.

In hindsight, the writing was on the wall with Gabe from the start, but before the negative reviews started rolling in, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, like many other guys here. If you don’t care enough to doublecheck the spelling of your own artists’ names on your website/social media, why should you be trusted with thousands of dollars of hard-earned money?? I blame myself at the end of the day.
Language does not suggest the quality of the guitars.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.




Trending Topics

Top