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why no talk about the new exotic relic strats?

Surfreak

Member
Messages
2,584
Who would that be ?
It is no secret that companies like Guitar Mill and USACG make the necks and bodies that several small companies then finish, put together and sell.

Some are upfront about this, some others conveniently omit it and mislead customers into believing that their instruments are lovingly crafted 100% in house.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
11,040
I was just thinking "there aren't enough companies that make Strats..."
The moment I clicked on the video, my first thought was "...it's a strat...with a relic job....yeah we need more of those, and more companies telling us their strat copy with a different headstock is better than the strat copies with different headstocks made by the other 50 small builders using the Fender platform. It's baffling. Just when you think another strat copy couldn't possibly be jammed into the world's already bloated strat copy hole, along comes another builder offering yet another 4-figure strat copy. That market has got to be so oversaturated I can't imagine any but the biggest names shipping more than 100 units per month.
 

JDutch

Member
Messages
2,178
When I saw the word "Strats" in the title, I was hope Fender was doing something cool with exotic woods.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,819
Xotic has been building guitars for YEARS. Perhaps better known for their basses. Their main luthier Hiro Miura exemplifies the "shokunin' tradition among Japanese craftsmen. One of the best boutique "S" style guitars I have ever had, and I look forward to checking out the new guitars. Relics aren't exactly my "thing", but I love the feel of a good broken in guitar.
 

jackxiv

Member
Messages
108
It is no secret that companies like Guitar Mill and USACG make the necks and bodies that several small companies then finish, put together and sell.

Some are upfront about this, some others conveniently omit it and mislead customers into believing that their instruments are lovingly crafted 100% in house.
You would be amazed at how many builders are misleading like this -- some just downright lie. In my 3+ years at Guitar Mill, I have seen posts on Instagram of people sharing bodies they just picked up from us, claiming it was "hot off the router" or they "just finished it up" or something like that.

One time, I even saw an OEM builder we made bodies for claim he only used 1 pc. bodies in an Instagram post......of a two piece body.....with an obvious seam.....that he just picked up from us. Not only had I processed the order to KNOW that it was a two piece body, but it was a paint grade body. The match produced an clear line where the pieces were joined. People will never cease to amaze me.

Anyway, to clear it up, yes, Danocaster and several other builders source parts from us here at Guitar Mill
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
Messages
41,223
The moment I clicked on the video, my first thought was "...it's a strat...with a relic job....yeah we need more of those, and more companies telling us their strat copy with a different headstock is better than the strat copies with different headstocks made by the other 50 small builders using the Fender platform. It's baffling. Just when you think another strat copy couldn't possibly be jammed into the world's already bloated strat copy hole, along comes another builder offering yet another 4-figure strat copy. That market has got to be so oversaturated I can't imagine any but the biggest names shipping more than 100 units per month.
I wish I could like this post more than just once.....
 

DRS

Member
Messages
12,358
They seem like really good guitars for the price. A bit more than an AVRI.
 

PSLUAN

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
416
I just ordered one XSC-1 last week. I have other nice guitars, more specifically owned 5 and still have 1 Suhr since they are the bar of this era. I paid that $2500 instead of purchasing another Suhr. Here is why.
I've done quite some research on the specs of XSC series. They come with 1.68 nut, vintage bridge spacing, flatter radius (usually 12''), no string tree and roasted maple neck (some of them are nicely flamed).
For the same specs, other builders all charge more. Some others mentioned Suhrs are cheaper. I assume they are talking about their Pro line, but Pros do not offer the vintage strat thing like 1.68 nut and 11.3 mm spacing. If you want these, you have to go with custom order or the Scott Henderson spec which is $3450.
I don't care about whether they route their body in house or not, but it certainly seems Xotic guys select their wood very carefully. If you take a look at their Reverb page, all sold guitars have consistent weight and beautiful wood grain. I don't know whether Xotic route their own body or neck, but I would rather pay premium for luthiers who pick the best stuff from a stock pile than spending thousands on a fresh pin-routed 9 pounder.
 

57gold

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,038
Clearly a well set up Squire or other inexpensive Strat will be playable and a good player, like all the guys in videos above (I'd say they are great players, actually) would be able to make music with one. That being said, or re-said for the millionth time on TGP, to me there are playable guitars and amongst those there are instruments that have uniquely musical qualities that inspire a player...I think about EC talking about having a few Strats lying around and mixing and matching necks, bodies and electronics to arrive at Blackie, which inspired him and he played the crap out of it for decades.

I also think about a Gustavsson Astrocaster, which I own along with a couple of 1950s Strats I acquired well before said Mr Clapton put on his auction at Christie's that blew the lid off of vintage values, as it has that combination of playability and musicality that I reach for it instead of the vintage ones on jam night. Some on this thread would say I should be committed for spending even more than what these Xotic instruments cost for just a Strat copy...but value is a personal thing. I live in FL and would pay money not to go to Disney...but I do not denigrate those who do nor Disney who offers all the chance to share their hard earned dollars with Mickey!
 
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S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
I just ordered one XSC-1 last week. I have other nice guitars, more specifically owned 5 and still have 1 Suhr since they are the bar of this era. I paid that $2500 instead of purchasing another Suhr. Here is why.
I've done quite some research on the specs of XSC series. They come with 1.68 nut, vintage bridge spacing, flatter radius (usually 12''), no string tree and roasted maple neck (some of them are nicely flamed).
For the same specs, other builders all charge more. Some others mentioned Suhrs are cheaper. I assume they are talking about their Pro line, but Pros do not offer the vintage strat thing like 1.68 nut and 11.3 mm spacing. If you want these, you have to go with custom order or the Scott Henderson spec which is $3450.
I don't care about whether they route their body in house or not, but it certainly seems Xotic guys select their wood very carefully. If you take a look at their Reverb page, all sold guitars have consistent weight and beautiful wood grain. I don't know whether Xotic route their own body or neck, but I would rather pay premium for luthiers who pick the best stuff from a stock pile than spending thousands on a fresh pin-routed 9 pounder.
Just looked at their page. To their credit, they publish actual neck measurements. Many, many do not.

However, it's hard to believe how narrow their neck choices are for a custom. One shape. only a 1.68 nut. No stainless frets. I don't get the lack of choices on the most important (IMO) portion of the guitar by a custom maker.
 

JPenn

Member
Messages
1,809
when i started playing guitar around 1983, i played s-type guitars with a humbucker in the bridge position. that was pretty much all the rage during that time. i never was comfortable with them, so at some point i became not a hater, but definitely not an advocate of fender-style guitars. there's probably a lot of post scattered over these pages of me banging on companies making strat copies.

now some 30 years later, i have finally figured out all the things i disliked about how those guitars played, and i'm fully a strat player now. i don't seem to dislike anybody taking their turn producing s & t guitars anymore, although i do like to see them change up little things to make them more company specific. i like to see companies do little things like different headstock or pickgaurd, from normal fender. i really like the tyler guitars, but i don't have the funds to own those things.

mr soloway hit it pretty much dead on. folks like the classic look, and that tends to sell.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
12,462
1.68 nut width is NOT vintage, most vintage necks are 1.65"
Also that logic of picking from a stock pile of bodies only works if you are a master builder in the fender custom shop and sort through factory bodies. Most builders like us reject the wood before it is even cut, if we don't like the specs before we pay for it we return the wood. And we pay a premium to do that. IMO cutting wood in house is the key to making a guitar that has no issues. I like to be in control of the complete process and would never personally want to go back to being a kit builder. Been there done that.

I just ordered one XSC-1 last week. I have other nice guitars, more specifically owned 5 and still have 1 Suhr since they are the bar of this era. I paid that $2500 instead of purchasing another Suhr. Here is why.
I've done quite some research on the specs of XSC series. They come with 1.68 nut, vintage bridge spacing, flatter radius (usually 12''), no string tree and roasted maple neck (some of them are nicely flamed).
For the same specs, other builders all charge more. Some others mentioned Suhrs are cheaper. I assume they are talking about their Pro line, but Pros do not offer the vintage strat thing like 1.68 nut and 11.3 mm spacing. If you want these, you have to go with custom order or the Scott Henderson spec which is $3450.
I don't care about whether they route their body in house or not, but it certainly seems Xotic guys select their wood very carefully. If you take a look at their Reverb page, all sold guitars have consistent weight and beautiful wood grain. I don't know whether Xotic route their own body or neck, but I would rather pay premium for luthiers who pick the best stuff from a stock pile than spending thousands on a fresh pin-routed 9 pounder.
 
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Joe Perry

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,143
1.68 nut width is NOT vintage, most vintage necks are 1.65"
Also that logic of picking from a stock pile of bodies only works if you are a master builder in the fender custom shop and sort through factory bodies. Most builders like us reject the wood before it is even cut, if we don't like the specs before we pay for it we return the wood. And we pay a premium to do that. IMO cutting wood in house is the key to making a guitar that has no issues. I like to be in control of the complete process and would never personally want to go back to being a kit builder. Been there done that.
Speaking personally from having over 25 years of working in manufacturing at a precision metal fabricator (machining and sheetmetal - yes, there is such a thing as precision sheetmetal.....haha) in engineering/CNC programming, I couldn't agree more with John about having total control of all processes.

Nothing wrong with kit builders at certain (lower) price points but doing the heavy lifting (making bodies/necks/pickups in house) is what separates the men from boys. I put more value in that type of builder.
 

PSLUAN

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
416
1.68 nut width is NOT vintage, most vintage necks are 1.65"
Also that logic of picking from a stock pile of bodies only works if you are a master builder in the fender custom shop and sort through factory bodies. Most builders like us reject the wood before it is even cut, if we don't like the specs before we pay for it we return the wood. And we pay a premium to do that. IMO cutting wood in house is the key to making a guitar that has no issues. I like to be in control of the complete process and would never personally want to go back to being a kit builder. Been there done that.
Hi John, thank you for response. I apologize if I made wrong accusations in my post above. I have never built a guitar before so I have no idea what is important for making a great instrument. I also have no idea whether Xotic routes their own body/neck or not. For similar price or within $500 margin, I do prefer your guitars over others and I am actually thinking about ordering a custom classic from you again.

As mentioned, I prefer vintage string spacing. This is mostly because the distance from the two E strings to the edge of the fretboard is very small. If someone plays a lot of "Hendrix" chords with their thumb fretting low E and pinky fretting high E, this small margin makes a big difference, especially for intonation since a wider margin would make ones fingers stretch more and eventually go out of tune. Interestingly the modern eclipse neck profile does provide a narrower neck, my custom modern feels great with Gotoh 510 trem and the margin from the E strings to the edge of the fretboard is small.

I know maybe what I am talking about doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but I think there are a lot of us do prefer the concept of "old Strat with modern palyability" thing. I feel the antique line you have now becomes more similar to the pro line except for the finish. I wonder whether you have thought about changing that into a more faithful vintage spec with a Gotoh vintage trem and a bone nut?

Sorry for the typos, I am typing fast in between something.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
12,462
I love Hendrix and I never play a chord without fretting the bass string with my thumb. So I'm afraid I don't have an issue with that. What drives me actually bonkers is when the strings are too close to the edge of the neck since they will have a tendency of slipping off the edge. This drives me crazy. The spacing of the Gotoh and an original Floyd is the same. And for reference all of our necks at the butt end are more like a gibson which is wider than a Strat. The Modern is not actually more narrow than any of oUr others, justmore frets. The gibson string spacing is more narrow than the Gotoh 510 or 1088 or Floyd. I personally find the Fender bridge and neck width unplayable if you have a vibrato. Our necks are slighter wider at the heel so we can use the fender spaced bridge without much issue but if the frets are rounded over to not be bumpy it can be touchy. All personal preference I guess but for me personally I like the blend of gibson/Fender and don't have any issue with thumb playing the bass strings. Hendrix played gibson too and Leslie West used his thumb on a LP junior which is wide neck and much narrower string spacing. But..... it's your choice, you can order a custom with a wider spaced bridge if you like. As far as a bone nut I don't see the purpose, the tusk slips better and sounds the same without having a piece of animal on my guitar but we can do it, you will just need to keep it more lubed. Honestly this is the first request I have heard for vintage Strat spacing to the edge of the neck. Most people get really bugged about the tendency to have the string slip off.
But thanks and it is obviously something we can do for you, just not at a Pro series price.

Hi John, thank you for response. I apologize if I made wrong accusations in my post above. I have never built a guitar before so I have no idea what is important for making a great instrument. I also have no idea whether Xotic routes their own body/neck or not. For similar price or within $500 margin, I do prefer your guitars over others and I am actually thinking about ordering a custom classic from you again.

As mentioned, I prefer vintage string spacing. This is mostly because the distance from the two E strings to the edge of the fretboard is very small. If someone plays a lot of "Hendrix" chords with their thumb fretting low E and pinky fretting high E, this small margin makes a big difference, especially for intonation since a wider margin would make ones fingers stretch more and eventually go out of tune. Interestingly the modern eclipse neck profile does provide a narrower neck, my custom modern feels great with Gotoh 510 trem and the margin from the E strings to the edge of the fretboard is small.

I know maybe what I am talking about doesn't make sense to a lot of people, but I think there are a lot of us do prefer the concept of "old Strat with modern palyability" thing. I feel the antique line you have now becomes more similar to the pro line except for the finish. I wonder whether you have thought about changing that into a more faithful vintage spec with a Gotoh vintage trem and a bone nut?

Sorry for the typos, I am typing fast in between something.
 
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PSLUAN

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
416
I love Hendrix and I never play a chord without fretting the bass string with my thumb. So I'm afraid I don't have an issue with that. What drives me actually bonkers is when the strings are too close to the edge of the neck since they will have a tendency of slipping off the edge. This drives me crazy. The spacing of the Gotoh and an original Floyd is the same. And for reference all of our necks at the butt end are more like a gibson which is wider than a Strat. The Modern is not actually more narrow than any of oUr others, justmore frets. The gibson string spacing is more narrow than the Gotoh 510 or 1088 or Floyd. I personally find the Fender bridge and neck width unplayable if you have a vibrato. Our necks are slighter wider at the heel so we can use the fender spaced bridge without much issue but if the frets are rounded over to not be bumpy it can be touchy. All personal preference I guess but for me personally I like the blend of gibson/Fender and don't have any issue with thumb playing the bass strings. Hendrix played gibson too and Leslie West used his thumb on a LP junior which is wide neck and much narrower string spacing. But..... it's your choice, you can order a custom with a wider spaced bridge if you like. As far as a bone nut I don't see the purpose, the tusk slips better and sounds the same without having a piece of animal on my guitar but we can do it, you will just need to keep it more lubed. Honestly this is the first request I have heard for vintage Strat spacing to the edge of the neck. Most people get really bugged about the tendency to have the string slip off.
But thanks and it is obviously something we can do for you, just not at a Pro series price.
Thank you for explaining the neck width on your guitars. It is very interesting to hear how you think and work on the instruments. I am actually a little surprised on the personal preference thing - one man's junk can be another man's gem. It seems that there is no such thing as a perfect guitar for everyone.

I seriously thought about why the narrow necks on Fenders work for me, and I found I've been playing these narrow necks with a trem bridge since I was a kid. I learned my vibrato from Eric Clapton and Eric Johnson. I found I always vibrate up on the top E and B strings, and my whole hand is floating with only the fretting finger tip touching the neck. Some folks call this "full arm vibrato" or "one finger vibrato". To me this is the only way to get around these narrow necks without slipping off the fretboard. I guess I've been playing like this for too many years and I don't feel any issue with the narrow necks. But I remember it bothered me for a while years back.

I am saving up again, my next guitar will be your Classic with roasted body and neck plus a vintage trem.
 






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