Prices, So Lets Add This Up...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ShredSquatch, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. customguitars87

    customguitars87 Member

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    I hear you! I frequently search "custom" over on the GC used website and sometimes come up with some real gems...with the "well known builders" it's fairly easy for GC to find a used one and guesstimate a price so those are often priced in line with market value, but with lesser known ones they have no idea because they can't find a used one that sold as a reference point, so they tend to offer very little for it and I get to reap the benefits...

    Yep, I always buy pickups used. I've never had one fail on me or cause an issue so for me there isn't a lot of sense in spending double or more on a new set...
     
  2. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

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    These discussion seems to be conflating the cost of assembling a partscaster with the COG for a manufacturer to make fully built instruments.

    For the latter, all the costs people are throwing around for pickups or whatever are going to be less, either because the manufacturer is producing them themselves, or because they have B2B relationship with another manufacturer that produces them, and they're getting them at OEM prices.
     
  3. guitarmook

    guitarmook Member

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    I would not pay $5K.

    I play parts-guitars I've put together.

    I've been buying and selling guitars since about 1990, and know what I want/like in a guitar, and when I get the itch for something new, or slightly different, I build it.

    But that's MY way. I would never be arrogant enough to suggest that it's the best way, or the only way. Your way may very well be to just buy what you like and can afford.
     
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  4. DiPa

    DiPa Constant GAS Silver Supporting Member

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    I find the mid to high end PRS guitars awesome, but they do cost a lot as well. I don’t care for the low end PRS guitars. Building your own custom guitar that’s unique can add up the cost pretty fast. Those that hate Strats, I think a nice alternative is the Tele.
     
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  5. singlecutarmy

    singlecutarmy Member

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    Yeah, and builders can also buy in bulk if they have a "standard package" meaning they get parts discounted, like tuners, and hardware, necks etc if they are more "assemblers" than builders.
     
  6. El Rey

    El Rey Silver Supporting Member

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    To me and perhaps only me.....absolutely if I truly like whatever it is/was and believed in the immediate I knew of nothing I preferred more.

    But I don't consider any gear purchase as an investment. I consider it more a selfish indulgence, with no expectation to recoup any certain amount/$$$$ of what I paid for it if I decide later I no longer want it. That said, I think long and hard about dumping major $$$$ on gear.

    But yes, to be redundant, if I found something I really liked and had the $$$, I would buy it without caring who made it.
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    not the case with Kauer. But yes with assemblers I agree.
    There are more than a few small builders that used to be lauded on this forum that were ghost built. One I'm aware of who got tons of love for being an 'amazing builder' wasn't qualified to install a pickup.
    The guy making his stuff did a good job.

    No I won't out him, he's not in biz anymore.
     
  8. big mike

    big mike Plexi Loving Admin Staff Member

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    Tele's are good.

    Never played a PRS I didn't like from the S2's and up. S2's are American made BTW. Set neck, satin finish, 2 buckers, beautifdly built. thousand bucks.
     
  9. motokev

    motokev Member

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    I'm a fan of Tom Anderson guitars, I think they're one of the best.
    But, I also have a couple of Warmoth guitars, which are decent guitars.

    My Warmoth strats can be built to my specs for about $1K.

    Would I pay $5K for a guitar ? no

    But, if I was wealthy then YES
     
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  10. Miroslav L

    Miroslav L Member

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    My question and perspective is kinda similar, but in the opposite direction.
    While I can see where a boutique builder or custom shop guitar build could cost a lot of money...because someone wants special woods, custom finish, all kinds of personalized specs, etc...I wonder how much of that is necessary in order to have a really good, nice looking, nice playing guitar...?

    OK, I get it, you want all that specialized, customized stuff, and price is not important, you just want...then fine, spend the big bucks, and get whatever makes you happy...but IMO, there are really sweet guitars out there that can be had for under $1k, and maybe you swap the pups or something to give it some "personalization"...but you may not even have to do that.
    I'm just saying that I don't get why so many people seem to think you have spend (on the low side) at least $2k-$3k for a decent guitar...???

    Picked me up some basic MIM Fender Tele's for under $800...beautiful, play and sound great...no complaints.
    There are also other types/brands in the same price range.
    So I kinda wonder why people spend $3k+ on guitars...unless of course they just want that "special" higher-priced shiny thingy. :)

    AFA some boutique builders charging $5k-$7k+ for a guitar...well, TBH, I think much of the cost is there to make up for the lack of quantity, and lack of profit. If you churn out only a couple of dozen guitars a year...you gotta charge a lot for each one in order to make a living. Are they THAT much better than some mass produced, less expensive guitars...mmm...don't know about that.
     
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  11. Miroslav L

    Miroslav L Member

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    And that's it for the most part...the real high priced stuff is for people who simply don't mind paying in order to have something that's custom...but there is a point of diminishing returns that is hit AFA actual improvement in playability and sound with increase in price, IMO.
     
  12. markjsmith

    markjsmith Member

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    I would never spend $5k on a guitar anyway!

    That said buying something from a builder you have to include advertising, research, business expenses (phone lines, computers, internet, people to do reports, answer phones, etc..), renting a space for the business, transport of parts and finished product, does he do custom finishes? Paint rooms and equipment can be costly and illegal to do in certain zoning areas in many states! etc.............! He's also responsible for local sales taxes and fees!
    Not even taking into consideration the fact that all of the costs you mentioned go up exponentially if said guitar isn't a parts caster! A prefab body is now a custom body that takes hours or even days to build, prep, paint, apply finish, etc.... Same for the neck! And he needs to make a profit!

    Or....maybe the builder thinks you are well off or a pain to deal with and is quoting a higher price accordingly! Not being a jerk, I actually had this happen to me cause the guy thought I could afford to pay more (I couldn't) so I became a pain to deal with!


    I had a friend who built custom guitars for a while! He figured with the hours he spent on each instrument he made around $2.85 an hour! Granted his guitars were pretty one of a kind (custom shaped body and neck). But they were really beautiful, out of my price range at the time though!


    If you're so amazed someone would want to profit off of their hard work or you think they're making too much profit, why not build your own? I suspect you'll build several you're not happy with before you get one you love! Likely spending more than $5k in the process!
     
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  13. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Silver Supporting Member

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    Anytime I see a discussion regarding the price of anything based on the raw materials cost, I just smh.
    An FTE costs ~ 3x what you pay them
    Most meals in restaurants have ~ 12% of their cost in the food.
    etc.
    etc.
     
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  14. ShredSquatch

    ShredSquatch Conspiracy Experience Director & Stunt Guitarist Supporting Member

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    Sorry a partscaster that Lentz built!

    ~ss
     
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  15. Rogan1990

    Rogan1990 Member

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    I think a lot of these new $5000+ luthiers are young people who know how marketing works, and they know that having a high end brand is as valuable as having a good product. If they have both, they can become really really wealthy.

    Look at Gucci, Balenciaga, Supreme... none of those companies make clothing that is exceptional quality, but it's good quality, and the brand sells it.

    It also plays on supply and demand - with a very low supply, demand is always high.
     
  16. c7sus

    c7sus Member

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    Grossly inaccurate generalization is grossly inaccurate.
     
  17. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    I think you'd be surprised to find out that those B2B deals are almost extinct. 20 years ago, you would have been right. These days, with everyone doing business online, individuals can usually buy stuff straight from the manufacturer or through an international wholesaler, even if you're not a business yourself. And you can do it on sites like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba. Unless you're buying in huge bulk, like what a small builder certainly couldn't afford to buy, let alone find a place to store, you're not going to see much of a discount over buying just one. So a small builder who makes one guitar a day may get parts for 5% less than what the average person could find online. Maybe.

    Often times these days, businesses will actually pay MORE for stuff than what an individual would pay. This is because sometimes they have to go through a middleman in order to get such large quantities, or have them delivered in a timely manner. A single individual may be willing to wait two weeks for shipment, while a business may need it tomorrow or they're effectively shut down for two weeks.
     
  18. Gibson Dog

    Gibson Dog Silver Supporting Member

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    As pretty much an outsider all of these posts read 'I can't afford one of these guitars PLEASE help me rationalize that my guitars are as good or better & the 'upcharge' from a small builder that doesn't exist (have you seen Gibson & Fenders Custom Shop prices, it doesn't sound like you have) is not worth it." read all the above posts above all those guys are right about the cost of running a business something you clearly don't understand. Way more involved than the price of a neck.

    If a guitar is out of your price range don't buy it. Also never infer & NEVER say it out loud or post about what someone else is charging for their work & the perception that you think they're making too much money that's none of your business & it looks really, really bad IMO.
     
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  19. smallbutmighty

    smallbutmighty Supporting Member

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    If you are talking about some solo guy making guitars onesey-twoesy, (and I guess we kind of are) I can see your point. If you are a company doing any kind of volume at all, you're getting OEM prices on stuff you aren't already making yourself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
  20. aynirar27

    aynirar27 All You Need Is Rock and Roll Gold Supporting Member

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    personally, I build parts guitars because A) I enjoy it and B)to make something exactly the way I want it, that I can't get "stock" from other brands. Same deal with building amps. It's rare to save very much money building a nice piece of gear
     

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