Who/What to choose - Traditional/Classic Strat builders ($2k-$3k)

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by racman, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. racman

    racman Member

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    I have already received a fantastic Ron Kirn Strat which is more of a modern Strat than traditional (as per my specs) and am looking at complimenting this with a Classic Strat type. So far I have engaged Ron and Marc Rutters in discussions and was wondering if there are any others I need to look at before I make a final decision.

    Budget is between $2k-$3k max but I would prefer closer to $2k if possible. I may look at a little relicing or distressing but it's not a deal breaker. Suggestions on builders, hardware pickups etc. are not only welcome really appreciated as there are little or no opportunities in South Africa to test or review most builders work or hardware etc.

    I am looking for pickups that give me very Mark Knopfler'ish, type sound with a little more mids that the traditional 2007 Fender USA '57RI I own.

    Noiseless pickups are an option as well but not essential - I have looked at the Kinman Blues or the latest Impersonator '54's which seem to be great.
    In short.....HELP!!
     
  2. mangoman

    mangoman Gold Supporting Member

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    I would suggest looking into a dealer that can carry a grosh strat. The standards are around 2k and a custom is $2700.
     
  3. JefeMaximo

    JefeMaximo Huge Member Silver Supporting Member

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  4. klatuu

    klatuu Member

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    check out the LsL saticoy......really nice traditional strat styles
     
  5. ElDiabloAmps

    ElDiabloAmps Member

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    +1 on the LSL Saticoy's. I've played through a couple and was mighty impressed.
     
  6. SKYHIGH

    SKYHIGH Member

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    Vintage, go with Tuttle, Lentz, or Grosh.
    Modern(ish), go Suhr, Tyler
    Relic, go DANOCASTER!!! for price, resale value, realistic relic, Dano can not be touched.
     
  7. racman

    racman Member

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    Max is $3k

    Thx for the replies so far - much appreciated
     
  8. Rex Anderson

    Rex Anderson Member

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    Used Grosh Retro Classic's can be had for around $1,600 and are great Strat style guitars. Always a few on eBay and come up every now and then on TGP. If you buy used, you can always get your money back out if it's not the right one for you.
     
  9. racman

    racman Member

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    Thx, however being from South Africa it's not really that easy to sell and get your money back on anything other than a Fender or Gibson ...

    I am leaning towards another Kirn, Rutters, K-Line or LSL at the moment.
     
  10. Heatseeker

    Heatseeker Member

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    Check out Chad Underwood. Some of the best S types I have ever played and in your budget.
     
  11. Scott Whigham

    Scott Whigham Member

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    Another plug for a Lentz if you want a vintage/classic strat. They are in the low $2000s used. Amazing guitars.
     
  12. big mike

    big mike Administrator Staff Member

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    My favorite Relic builder is RS Guitarworks. Low 2K's (or lower...it's been awhile since I looked) Roy and Scott do great work. my Esquire is fantastic and very period correct.

    For an amazing take with vintage construction..but leaning toward cutting edge a bit, Bill Chapin does a fabulous job. The Stratohoula if he's still doing them, are incredible.


    My favorite builder, Ron Thorn does the R/S series bolt on. It's modern design accutrements (Revolutionary neck joint, knife edge trem, locking tuners, different woods on request, etc) it's an evolutionary design, well thought out, amazingly built that still feels vintage if you spec it right. And sounds like you'd expect a world class strat too.

    For me, no brainer, one of these 3 builders would get my dough.
     
  13. KeyserZoso

    KeyserZoso Member

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    +1

    I've owned/tried GVCG, Underwood, LSL, K-line, Dano, vintage, the list goes on and on. For me, Chad Underwood's were the best sounding in comparison to some very nice vintage strats that have come my way. Chad's were the best players of all, for my hands at least.

    Please understand that u really cannot go wrong with any of the builders I mentioned. They all make pretty tremendous planks.

    I've got 2 of Chad's strats with Ron Ellis pickups that probably wont be going anywhere, anytime soon.

    If you don't want to play it before you buy it, you should snap up "gearitis"s Underwood Mary Kaye in the emporium and not look back. Maybe get some Ellis pickups.

    my .02
     
  14. whsdhs1

    whsdhs1 Supporting Member

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    I have Roman Rist building me a strat. He build me a Les Paul Jr. type. He builds for many professional players in the music industry. Everything he does is 100% by hand (besides the pups).
    The strat his is building for me is coming in right at $2,000.
     
  15. hawkeyeinexile

    hawkeyeinexile Silver Supporting Member

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    i've still got the first Strata-houla made, and dig it, 'course. week or so ago a friend got a nice one to sound & feel like Matt Schofield's '62. he calls it the Matt-ahoula :) - Bill nailed it again. can sound like Matt doing his "On My Way", e.g. & there was the usual additional magic, no-drag feel on the neck & so forth...

    :cool:
     
  16. SKYHIGH

    SKYHIGH Member

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    Tuttle guitars have th best craftsmanship I have ever encountered from numerous highend guitars I've experienced. Tone is right there with it too.
    His price actually is very good even at $3K ish (list) considering its equipped with Nitro finish, Callaham trem, hep Kluson tuners, stainless steel frets, Madagascar board, and hard case. You get one of above builder mentioned above and include these options and price will change dramatically.
     
  17. joeh77

    joeh77 Member

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  18. apalazzolo

    apalazzolo Supporting Member

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    Yes ...
    Larry Wysocki out of LA (562 927 1482) might do it for 3k ... he has been a wood dealer for decades and has a great stash of stuff ... sinker woods, ultra light swamp ash, brz or maple boards, spalted alder ... they weigh about 6 lbs 2 oz. ... nitro ... jim rolph pups or zexcoil for noiseless ... necks are either dead quartered or dead flat ...


    last batch of six sold in about two weeks and that included a maple board strat that was soooo touch sensitive it was crazy ...

    he's starting a new batch (of 6 or so?) soon ...
     
  19. artguy47

    artguy47 Ol' CuRmUGeOn

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    Agree, with another nod towards Lentz for the vintage strat, Grosh is also great! Haven't tried the Tuttle, but LOVE Suhr's guitars! With the right pickups, feel they could be vintage as well, can even get them antiqued, with added cost.
     
  20. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
    lsl saticoy-templated from an extraordinary "54 strat.
    underwood-exceptional feeling, sounding.
    lentz-resonant, impeccable craftsmanship.
     

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