Why doesn't Suhr have more mainstream adoption?

bugsbunny

Member
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103
Being one of the best high end brands, Suhr doesn't seem to be popular among major music acts and it's players are mostly only known by the guitarist community. The closest comparison to Suhr is probably Tom Anderson. Brad Whitford, Keith Richards, Kirk Hammett all played Tom Anderson guitars live. However, when it comes to Suhr, I can only think of Steve Stevens played a Suhr Modern with Billy Idol very occasionally. Is there any reason that Suhr didn't get more popular among the main stream musicians?
 
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Too expensive...cool guitars, built well, but nothing that rationalizes that kinda money...they arent Rick Toone guitars...more, especially as people can now assemble and/or build similar spec/quality (or much better) guitars in their garages and basements for a fraction of the price. This is just my experienced opinion. Loads of great builders/brands available and accessible now, but the pricing these days is very predatory.
 

the_Chris

It's All Been Done Before
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I'm sure they're nice guitars, but the distribution is sorely lacking as are the options unless you go full custom shop. I've never once cared for a modern production Suhr because the necks are invariably thin and I'm not looking for a Strat or Tele (which is the majority of what they do).

There's something to be said for refining a classic design trying to do a perfect version of it and I can respect that, but if you're going to cater to different people you need more than a slim C neck on every single offering.

I'm not anti-Suhr as I have a RLIR that's a Godsend - it's an amazing piece of equipment and a game changer to me. I just don't understand the guitar distribution.
 

Lt Dak

Silver Supporting Member
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3,110
Maybe suhr has a different marketing budget?

Gear is a business. People, even wealthy and famous ones, like to get paid. The big brands probably throw big $$$ at the big names.
 
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Defendant

Member
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6,395
Thing with the TA comparison is: Tom was making guitars earlier. Kirk got his in the late 80s. There was also a brief moment where Vai was using one. So there was abuzz about TA back when guitar was at its peak.

Suhr Started to gather steam much later, in a period where the entire musical landscape is different. The endorser list for Suhr is packed with stellar musicians, but simply as a function of the time we are in these artists are not as big a deal.

BTW I suspect both Tom and John are happy with their approaches and user base.
 

BlueRiff

Member
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6,283
Too expensive...cool guitars, built well, but nothing that rationalizes that kinda money...they arent Rick Toone guitars...more, especially as people can now assemble and/or build similar spec/quality (or much better) guitars in their garages and basements for a fraction of the price. This is just my experienced opinion. Loads of great builders/brands available and accessible now, but the pricing these days is very predatory.
Certainly at higher end but are they really that expensive at this quality level? Wouldn’t his quality be higher than a Gibson at similar price point?
 
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4,374
He started building guitars in 1974, and he created the first Suhr Custom guitar in 1984.

John didn't officially start the Suhr company until 1997, the stuff in the mid-80s was a partnership with Rudy Pensa (hence, Pensa-Suhr guitars). They did actually make models for some known artists including even making one for Eric Clapton that I think was sold at auction for something like $30K-ish later on. Other people playing their guitars at that time - Mark Knopfler, Peter Frampton, Lou Reed, Reb Beach, etc.

Tom Anderson started his own company in 1984 and for a while made and sold necks to Suhr...so from what I have read Tom was up and running a full fledged operation on his own way earlier.
 

ldizzle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,356
He makes wonderful guitars. BUT. Pricepoint.
The old PensaSuhr is wayyy out of the working musician budget.
Current Suhr is quite expensive as well. I have a T and it was one of the more pricey guitars I've bought. It's more of a hotrodded tele to me and does it well.
 

AltecGreen

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,343
Too expensive...cool guitars, built well, but nothing that rationalizes that kinda money...they arent Rick Toone guitars...more, especially as people can now assemble and/or build similar spec/quality (or much better) guitars in their garages and basements for a fraction of the price. This is just my experienced opinion. Loads of great builders/brands available and accessible now, but the pricing these days is very predatory.

I really can't see money as being the issue. A Suhr is not more expensive than a Mayones, Skervesen, Overload, Aristides,.... Yet these are fairly popular brands used by touring musicians in the metal world. A core PRS or Private Stock PRS are certainly the on the same price level as a Suhr and I see tons of them used by fairly large bands. I know at least one fifteen year old in Japan who gigs with a Private Stock.

On a different note, I do find a number of pro musicians (touring) that play Suhrs in Japan, albeit they are mostly women.
 

Jerrod

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
13,114
Being one of the best high end brands, Suhr doesn't seem to be popular among major music acts and it's players are mostly only known by the guitarist community. The closest comparison to Suhr is probably Tom Anderson. Brad Whitford, Keith Richards, Kirk Hammett all played Tom Anderson guitars live. However, when it comes to Suhr, I can only think of Steve Stevens played a Suhr Modern with Billy Idol very occasionally. Is there any reason that Suhr didn't get more popular among the main stream musicians?
Do you know that your premise is true?
 
Messages
656
Certainly at higher end but are they really that expensive at this quality level? Wouldn’t his quality be higher than a Gibson at similar price point?
Yeah, it sure will be a higher quality and standards than a like-priced Gibson. But Gibson is brand-assurance, not quality assurance...and they bank on the fact that they were HISTORICALLY a trusted quailty brand...their true quality is suspect, to say the least. And there's absolutely nothing "authentic" about the brand apart from the logo and their TM design shapes.

And as far as Suhr is concerned, i kinda feel like they are representative of what Fender was in the golden 50s/early 60s era of Fender...with the added features and quality control that modern, internet-era, info-maniacal guitar players demand.
 
M

Member 37136

While I’m admittedly not a gear hound, I’d never heard of Suhr before joining this forum. But like I said in the Collings discussion elsewhere, being a little less ubiquitous can create the cachet of luxury/exclusivity, and that’s not necessarily a bad marketing tool in and of itself — provided the product measures up, of course.
 
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656
I really can't see money as being the issue. A Suhr is not more expensive than a Mayones, Skervesen, Overload, Aristides,...
To be completely fair, the other makers in your list here are completely unique and offer many features you simply can't find elsewhere. Suhr banks on tried, true, popular designs, and targets the middle age, keeping up w/ the Joneses crowd. Suhr is a lifestyle brand...more money for less "more", more or less. :) lol like Danocaster stuff...assembly guitars made using parts that anyone can order from Musikraft or USACG. Lifestyle branding...AND IT WORKS! What a sick joke. (Though Suhr certainly manufactures their wooden bits themselves)
 
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Resonate01

Member
Messages
1,302
Very nice guitars. I've loved the Suhrs I've tried/ heard.

Point is, my American standard tele cost me 700$ Canadian and my friend bought his Suhr Classic T for 4299$ Canadian. It's a real nice guitar and all but that is some serious cash to drop on a guitar.
 

bugsbunny

Member
Messages
103
I really can't see money as being the issue. A Suhr is not more expensive than a Mayones, Skervesen, Overload, Aristides,.... Yet these are fairly popular brands used by touring musicians in the metal world. A core PRS or Private Stock PRS are certainly the on the same price level as a Suhr and I see tons of them used by fairly large bands. I know at least one fifteen year old in Japan who gigs with a Private Stock.

On a different note, I do find a number of pro musicians (touring) that play Suhrs in Japan, albeit they are mostly women.
Exactly; money isn't an issue at all for "mainstream acts" or famous bands. Brad Whitford and Keith Richards can buy anything they want; but they mostly play Gibson, Fender and occasionally Tom Anderson. Kirk Hammett has endorsement with ESP and mostly play ESP, but he also plays Gibson and Tom Anderson live. Many modern rock bands play PRS that are not any cheaper than Suhr.
 

Golem

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
820
I thought Suhr was gaining traction among the players that have social media, YT followers. I've always assumed that the more notable ones at least got discounts if not free guitars. Maybe that's not mainstream enough, but I think it's excellent marketing in the sense that you're going to have a lot of high quality sound samples where you can see the guitars up close.

I think it's worked with the Ibanez AZ, for example and the prestige Talmans. I think Fender is courting some younger players that have that kind of presence (if not I at least see them playing Fender gear anyhow). So clearly it's not just Suhr who thinks this crowd is worth courting.
 




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