Why have so many luthiers stopped making S style guitars, but not T style?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by tonehoney, Sep 10, 2005.


  1. tonehoney

    tonehoney Member

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    Why have companies like gvcg and chapin stopped building S-style guitars, yet have continued with T-style? Has Fender dropped the hammer on the S simply because they didn't trademark the T bodystyle?
     
  2. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    I noticed in the recent Guitar World that Fender's ad for the Tele states "Telecaster and the body and headstock designs of the Telecaster guitar are the trademarks of FMIC"

    It's the first time I've seen "body" included in any of Fender's trademark disclaimers.

    Ron
     
  3. GeetarGoul

    GeetarGoul Member

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    S styles are considerably more work to make and they cost more to produce. The contours take time, as does the trem route etc... Also, there's an extra pickup to make/buy and a trem assembly to buy and install.

    In short they are less profitable since they sell for about the same price new.
     
  4. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    That explanation doesn't hold up as there are plenty of Teletypes with three Pick ups and trems.

    Best, Pete.
     
  5. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the update John.
     
  6. GeetarGoul

    GeetarGoul Member

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    I didn't know that Tele's ever had three pups and trems? Humn.

    When speaking about classic three pup strats and two pickup teles, you can't argue that a strat has a larger and more expensive part list and more time/work needed to shape the body.
     
  7. ROB OWENS

    ROB OWENS Member

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    Interesting you ask...I have wondered why the likes of Scott lentz has been 'leaned on' by Fender, with the result that his S and T type guitars are no longer made and new shapes recently introduced , yet the likes of Michael De Temple S and T type guitars are, semmingly still in production????
     
  8. fatback

    fatback Member

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    Headstock shape. De Temple, Suhr, Grosh, Melencon etc, all made changes to Fender's trademarked headstock design. Scott didn't.
     
  9. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Well, one thing that's come out of this is that I will never buy a new Fender. Or Gibson, for that matter, given their shot at PRS over the Single Cut. If they were going to go after anyone, I'd have thought they'd chase ESP - that one always looks more like an LP than the PRS did.

    Even though god and the laws of the land are on the side of the small builders, I can certainly understand that they might not have the cash or bandwidth to fight. The Big 2 have lawyers sitting around on the payroll with nothing better to do than harrass the little guys.
     
  10. Ron Thorn

    Ron Thorn Gold Supporting Member

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    They did, and ESP agreed to make changes to their models. After two rounds of modifications, Gibson signed off on the changes and life goes on.
    I understand PRS had the opportunity too, they chose to duke it out instead.
     
  11. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    That is true, but the T-type does require more hand-finish work for the electronics, which makes it a bit of a trade-off. The S-type needs more work at the carving stage, has more parts, but is simpler to wire up and final assemble than the T-type.

    All the electronics on a traditional S-type except for the output jack is loaded on the pickguard, which can be wired up in advance and installed as a unit. You are only installing two electronic items compared to four on the traditional T-type: the neck pickup, the bridge/bridge pickup assembly, the control plate assembly, and the output jack, all of which require the assembler to run some wiring through channels.

    Of course, this is only for the traditional S- and T-type guitars.
     
  12. TonyF

    TonyF Member

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    Hey:


     
  13. Scott Lentz

    Scott Lentz Member

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    John's right, Fender does not have a trademark on their body shapes and I could have came back with my headstock and their body, but I didn't. My current guitar represents my attidute towards the guitar building climate, things for me are changing! I am happy to see the PRS dissission reversed, and no I do not believe FMIC will get their trademark on their body after 50 years.
     
  14. ROB OWENS

    ROB OWENS Member

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    Good on you Scott.....good for the guitarist and for the future of guitar design.
     
  15. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi Scott,

    Being swedish I would like to clarify this.
    Has the Gibson - PRS ruling been reversed or are you saying that you will be happy if the first ruling get reversed?

    Sorry for not being more intimate with the idiomatic use of your language.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  16. abergdahl

    abergdahl Member

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  17. Vince

    Vince Member

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    I couldn't be happier about the reversal. It rights a major wrong and more than likely sets a case precedent that means that some of us can breathe a sigh of relief regarding Fender's pending actions.

    As far as the S and T shape thing, we've never done an S shape simply because I've always thought there have always been plenty of great ones out there and I didn't want to do another one. A lot of people see our Legato as a T shape or style, (probably more because of the bridge than anything), but it's really a true hybrid of both bodies, with a single cut but skinnier horn, a tummy cut but no arm contours and a larger corner radius. We're getting ready to release the trem version, so that may tip the scales in the other direction for some people.
     
  18. fatback

    fatback Member

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    Thanks for posting Vince. The lawsuits results seem like great news for everyone except Gibson and Fender. The Legatto you built me is one of the ballsiest, yet still very versatile bolt-neck guitars I've ever played. Great job. Those trem models sound very tempting...
     
  19. Zane

    Zane Member

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    posyed by Scott Lentz:
    Can't wait to get my ATTITUDE adjustment ;)
     
  20. Robboman

    Robboman Member

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    I had just read in the thread about Jörg Tandler Morgaine Guitars that he had 'been stopped by Fender' from making T and S style guitars. Weren't his headstocks unique?

    I would think the Gibson Vs PRS appeal decision would set the precedent for Fender vs others, in favor of the small builders. Any evidence or thoughts on this?
     

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