NGD - Driskill Diablo

Down and Out in NYC

Gold Supporting Member
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2,019
The review of the instrument will be added as time permits


Its actually not new guitar day, I've had her in my possession for about a month now. Heres a quick rundown of the process the build and a review of the instrument.


The order was placed in August of 2005. I was told by Joe that due to his backlog the build would most likely take about 3 1/2 years. I decided to move forward anyway. The guitar as originally spec'd was to be built with a mahogany body and neck, a brazilian rosewood or cocobolo fingerboard and a koa top. Joe had no koa top available at the time the order was placed. I volunteered to source the koa top myself. Approximately 6 months later around Feb of 2006 I found a piece of koa. It was HUGE. More than large enough to build multiple guitars from. The specs where changed. The guitar would now have a solid 1 piece koa body and neck. The fingerboard and headstock overlay were also confirmed as customer supplied brazilian rosewood. Joe offered to let the wood season/dry at his shop. We never discussed how much time this would add to the build although he did estimate the wood would need about a year to get to a workable point. I'm just assuming completion would be sometime between 2009 and 2010.


Fast forward about a year. I contact Joe, who took multiple attempts to reach, to see how the lumbers looking. He tells me it isn't ready yet but will be real soon. I let some time go by, 4 maybe 6 months. I reach out again, multiple times. I am told the wood is perfect. He says he will have some pics for me by the weekend. The weekend never comes. Over the course of approximately the next year numerous phone calls and e mails to Joe go unanswered. I finally get in touch with Joe on the phone, he sounds enthusiastic telling me my wood is finally dry. My head practically exploded.

Ya know what, this is way to exhausting trying to do this from memory. Any e mail communication between Joe and I prior to 08/30/2012 was on computers that are long gone, I failed to resave them whenever I replaced my computer. Long story short. August 2012, I still havent seen any progress on the guitar ordered in August of 2005. Communication the entire time was spotty at best. Whenever we would finally speak or he would respond to an e mail it was either I'll have something for you by the weekend or a never ending cavalcade of excuses that tended to repeat themselves more than once. On more than one occasion I had requested a refund, which Joe told me would not be an option.

At my wits end over this situation I started a thread seeking advice. This thread opened up the line of communication between Joe and myself. Within days of the thread work had begun on my guitar. The first pics I received where of the neck in its early stages of construction.





Two days after that , another pic. This time of the headstock being glued on.



As work is moving along on the instrument Joe agrees to give me a written timetable scheduling work on the guitar and assures me I will have the guitar by Xmas 2012. A complete list of specs is finalized. 4 months to complete. Not bad. I never received that written timetable.

Lots of progress pics in Sept of 2012. Here's a couple of em








I don't believe I received any updates in October although communication remains good. November Joe Had multiple videos of various phases of the neck and body carving posted on you tube. Heres the links





If anyones interested you can find 3 other videos on you tube.
I believe they are two of the neck being cnc'd and 1 of the back of the body.


To be continued
( Part 2 to posts below )



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Down and Out in NYC

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2,019
Can't sleep so I'll try to finish this up.

Communication through November and December was solid. We ironed out some little details in the process. Unfortunately Xmas 2012 came and went with out delivery of my Diablo.

I reached out on Jan 25 2013. Joe responded about a week later telling me he was working on the fretboard and he would give me an update the following day. The update did not come.

Through out February he continued to work on the fretboard. We are now 2 months past promised delivery and going on 8 years into the process.

Minor communication in March. Still no more progress made that I am aware of.

I do not attempt to contact Joe again until the middle of July. In the interim I have received no updates. I am informed that the frets are going on and the guitar should be ready to spray in 2 or 3 days. 6 weeks pass. no communication or progress that I'm aware of. It's starting to sound and feel way to much like the first seven years. Minimal communication over the next month or two. Whatever communication there is has to do with his inability to spray do to the weather.

October 1 2013, Joe reaches out to me telling me it looks like he can start the finishing process. Shouldnt be long now. toward the end of october he promises the first coats will be on and I'll have photos by Oct 24. It doesnt happen.

On Nov 9th 2013, 11 months passed the delivery date I request a refund via e mail. No response from Joe. I e mail again on Nov 29 requested an update on the status of the build.

December 5 2013 I receive pics of the guitar which has begun the finish process. I've snuck these into a couple of threads but I will include them here as well.
Some serious flame and chatoyance going on !!!!









We are now 8 plus years into the build and going on 1 year past the scheduled delivery date of Xmas 2012.

Although at some points through out 2013 I was extremely frustrated with the process I am glad progress is being made and that communication has been better. Even on the occasions when I've sent Joe very disgruntled e mails , some of which I regret , Joe always responded with dignity finding a way to make me laugh or put my mind at ease. He has also been very apologetic about the delays since the build began, I do believe some of the delays may have been beyond his control.

To be continued yet again


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yucatown

Gold Supporting Member
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3,005
Not worth it. There are many builders who would have built you a guitar of equal or better quality within a year of your order placement. 9 years for a build is beyond epic.
 

Teleplayer

Moder8er
Staff member
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20,067
If you'd had a child born into your family in 2005, that child would have been in the fourth grade by now.

9 years for a build - not only epic, but sad and funny at the same time IMHO.
 

edwarddavis

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,498
this is so insane , on question did you pay for the guitar up front , how much cash was sitting for all those years . Do you like the guitar , how can anybody do business like his.
You could have built a mansion and a yacht out of wood and metal you scavenged by te time this guy built the guitar .
Theres a few builders I would use and sorry guess he is not one of them .


I know he is not the only guy who operates like this . I guess if you paid when it was done its one thing but what could possibly take that long to build a guitar , World war 2 didnt last that freaking long ,
 

Down and Out in NYC

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,019
If you'd had a child born into your family in 2005, that child would have been in the fourth grade by now.

9 years for a build - not only epic, but sad and funny at the same time IMHO.
My child was 15 when the order was placed. He's 24 now. Same thing I guess.
Epic, sad, funny, amusing indeed. It's definitely been all those thing.

this is so insane , on question did you pay for the guitar up front , how much cash was sitting for all those years . Do you like the guitar , how can anybody do business like his.
You could have built a mansion and a yacht out of wood and metal you scavenged by te time this guy built the guitar .
Theres a few builders I would use and sorry guess he is not one of them .


I know he is not the only guy who operates like this . I guess if you paid when it was done its one thing but what could possibly take that long to build a guitar , World war 2 didnt last that freaking long ,
Yes the majority of the guitar was naively payed for upfront. Joe agreed to waive the remaining balance that was owed on the original quoted price.

NGD stands for New Guitar Decade in this case.....still it is a really nice looking guitar.
Love that. Should've used it in the title of the thread
:banana:crazy:banana:crazy:banana:crazy

Let's make a little more progress on this.
Three or four months pass and I see no progress on the guitar. In December and January I sent some really embarrassing PM's and e mails. Some down right rude, some barely decipherable. I was under the influence of what I will refer to as stupidity, some of which I only have myself to blame for. Some not so much my fault but I still accept responsibility for my actions. I should've done some things differently. Oh well live and learn.

Over the course of the next few months communication still remains spotty. I have no visual verification of any progress until May 21 2013. I'm informed that work has begun on the backplates and I see that some more progress is being made.



June July and into August. Communication is good but no real progress is made. Most of the communication has to do with what all the minor delays are. Most of them have to do with the finish. He's noticing areas that have been buffed through and will require additional finishing.He's also finishing all of the little koa bits that will be going on the guitar.


Early in August I suffered a shoulder injury that would require reconstructive surgery. This left me with WAY to much time on my hands. I sent Joe an e mail voicing my extreme disappointment. I informed him that i was going to have to join every forum in the world becoming very vocal, that i would be starting a facebook page as well as resorting to other forms of social media
i.e instagram, twitter, vine etc etc etc. Late in August I am informed of another delay. This time it's a new one. He didnt realize he only had 5 tremolo screws. He needed to send a single screw out to be plated. I called ******** for the umpteenth time. On August 29th the screw is ready. All thats needed is for him to finalize the nut and frets to my liking. This is also around the time I started an e mail thread mailing him daily with a daycount. Sept 2nd of this year was the 5th day in this e mail chain or day 3293 since I placed the order.

The guitar was eventually completed and delivered on October 02 2014. As per Joe Sept and October were spent tweaking the axe and making sure everything was as perfect as he could possibly make it.
A long time coming to say the least. Even though the build was fraught with delays I feel like I've built a good repertoire with Joe. He's a very funny personable guy. He seems genuinely concerned with building the best guitars he can. I wish him nothing but the best and have NO hard feelings or ill will towards him.


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Down and Out in NYC

Gold Supporting Member
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2,019
Here's what it looked like when I opened the case for the first time.
Not to shabby to say the least







One aspect of the instruments functionality, namely its tremolo has not been thoroughly tested.
Although banging around on it when i first got the guitar leads me to believe it will perform flawlessly
I will wait another day or three, testing that aspect of the guitar before posting my thoughts on the
completed instrument.

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big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
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13,420
Beautiful guitar. I hope after all that you can enjoy it for what it is, and move on with it. It's very stunning..and as I know how koa sounds, I bet it sounds fabulous.
 

M138

100% Fenriz Approved
Messages
4,049
Wow, thats some wait time. At least it did actually arrive. And it is beautiful. Congrats!!
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,292
Only 9 years? Stop your whining, it could have been the Notre Dame de Paris.

Timeline of construction

1160 Maurice de Sully (named Bishop of Paris) orders the original cathedral demolished.
1163 Cornerstone laid for Notre-Dame de Paris; construction begins.
1182 Apse and choir completed.
1196 Bishop Maurice de Sully dies.
c.1200 Work begins on western facade.
1208 Bishop Eudes de Sully dies. Nave vaults nearing completion.
1225 Western facade completed.
1250 Western towers and north rose window completed.
c.1245–1260s Transepts remodelled in the Rayonnant style by Jean de Chelles then Pierre de Montreuil
1250–1345 Remaining elements completed.
Seriously, that's the longest wait time I've heard of ever BUT I must say, that guitar takes my breath away.
 

fretnot

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,360
If the wait time is measured in presidential elections or Winter Olympics, it might be too long.
 

jamess

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,496
Your new Driskill is STUNNING. Among the best looking Driskill's I've seen.

I hope that the very long, and no doubt frustrating, wait time does not prevent you from enjoying your new guitar. From everything I've read Joe has had some very long builds and some annoyed customers, but the end results are always fabulous. He needs to work on his business practice but definitely knows how to build quality guitars.

I don't own a Driskill (wish I did), but from personal experience I know how hard it is to wait a long time for a custom build. But in the end my instruments were incredible. I hope you enjoy your Diablo for many, many years to come.
 

Down and Out in NYC

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,019
I reread your first post. I guess you meant October 2nd 2014 not 2013...

Thanks for pointed that out. When I reread that the first time before posting I had inadvertently typed in 2015. I corrected it with another wrong year. Doh. All fixed ( I think )


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