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Mystery of James Tyler Guitars?


Why such a Hot seller?
Captial guitar who post here on classified sell them Tyler's like a hot cake...at a premium price too! It also seems that you don't see many on used market and when you do, they fetch higher price than Suhr, Anderson, Grosh, etc and go very fast.

There is also blue Shmear on ebay now that went over $3300 as soon as it was listed.

Now, as a owner my self, I know why I think they are great. But still very curious to why they sell soooo quick and have such a high resale value.



I think there are numerous reasons why Tyler's values stay so high. The guitars have a different feel and style than the others you mentioned. I have owned all of the ones you mentioned. They were all great but the Tyler is the one I always reached for and kept. It may sound cliche, but the Tyler's just feel organic. Impeccable build quality without feeling sterile. Not to mention that the production volume is very small so... higher demand.


Gold Supporting Member
It's the headstock ;)

Only half joking... the Tyler headstock is one of those love-it-or-hate-it things (I love it btw). So someone who buys a Tyler generally really wants one - less case art collectors than with some other boutique brands.

All of which wouldn't matter if they weren't singularly great playing and sounding instruments, which they also are.



Silver Supporting Member
I have a friend who has 2 of them and he kept the Tyler's over his Anderson because he felt like they were an updated version of a vintage guitar. He thinks they "feel" more vintage than some of the colleagues that Jim T. has. Me? I think they are great guitars. But sometimes in commerce, there is a bit of Oz, the man-behind-the-curtains, if you know what I mean.

pass it

Tylers have always held their value higher than most small builders. It is partly because they don't make as many guitars a year and so there are fewer on the used market. They have a different feel and are deserving of their status as one of the best guitars being made today. Their pickups are terrific as well.

The quick sales and higher values lately may partly be due to the fact that Tyler hasn't taken new orders for a long time. They've just been completing custom orders they were backlogged on. There are very few new ones being sold right now.


Supporting Member
All the above answers are factors. There may be other reasons. His base price may be a bit higher than others (for similar models). I think that's because some options are built into the base price. Things may have changed, but the last I heard -

With the exception of bird's-eye all maple necks are quartersawn. IOW, it's not an option with an upcharge, it's standard.

If you want a custom shaped neck there's no upcharge. (This doesn't come up much because Tyler is known for his great neck shapes.)

If you want a flatter radius (up to 16") there's no upcharge.

He uses Glendale bridges/bridge parts for T-style bridges. No upcharge, it's standard. (They're pricey.)

I'm not sure if Jescar fret wire is standard with those other companies, but with Jim it's standard. (Again, pricey.)

All that stuff adds up.


Silver Supporting Member
Known for a great feeling neck, which, in my experience, only Ernie Ball is also known for (as a distinguishing feature). Mostly, my guess is the rarity of them and fact that many session guys who are well respected use them, so that creates some demand.

Not bagging on them at all - I have had a couple and loved them, but they weren't all I was seeking. I will try again, at some point - they really feel great. AND, I love the cool finishes!


Silver Supporting Member
Well, I've never even played one, but the distinguishing features from a marketing standpoint seem to be:
- uncompromising and eccentric (the finishes and the headstock and the proprietary pickups and "mamywo" and the ultimate weapon model);
- excellent reviews on internet forums, especially re: the neck feel;
- an insidery feel ("either you know or you don't");
- limited availability;
- and, maybe, 80s nostalgia.

I'd love to play one if I had the chance.


Gold Supporting Member
The super cool finishes, the neck feel, the weight (light), the contours, the overall playability, the cool pickups, etc. I own a couple.


All of the above is true with tyler guitars. Tyler's ooze mojo. that seller has to have a nice connection somewhere. they've had about 15 killer BWs/Schmears in the last few months. Some sold at above new prices(street). They also make a great presentation. A good pic is worth a million words in the selling guitar biz. Hats off to em. I wouldn't buy at those prices, but many would. tyler from what I hear is beyond back-ordered but catching up. New staff members I believe. Btw, I'm looking for a nice BW or IW or a cool Schmear? :D


I've played a couple of Tylers over the years - absolutely stunning, one of the few guitars in that kind of price range that I feel are actually worth the money.

But that headstock. There's just something about it that rubs me up the wrong way. I want to put a paper bag over it. Sorry Tyler owners. :D


They are very good guitars and nothing else feels like them, nobody has yet successfully reproduced shmear finishes either. I can't imagine ever selling mine, and so do most owners. Something that is loved and hard to replace, you don't let it go.


Supporting Member
Well Tyler is now making different headstock variants, which IMO is blasphemy because they are the best.


Well Tyler is now making different headstock variants, which IMO is blasphemy because they are the best.
Don't tell me things like that - the headstock was about the only reason I didn't bankrupt myself and buy the last one. :D

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