#1
So this is a two part thread.

First of all, what do you guys think about buying no name guitars from local luthiers whose quality is proven but have zero exposure/publicity? Have you ever done it? Did you have a hard time selling it once the time came to get rid of it? I'd be curious to hear your experiences

I'm not talking about small companies with 5 or 10 employees but rather the one guy in his garage who makes them by hand


I'm asking because I'm in the market for a used guitar. A friend of mine is a retired mechanic and has been making guitars for 15odd years. I already bought a cheap bass off him and it's decent but I paid 200$ for it. I also get my guitars set up and repaired by him. I know for a fact that his rates are many times lower than any store close by (he once charged me 15$ for setting up two guitars and he included the sets of strings.)


So I have between 500 and 800 for a big bodied guitar. Something mahogany or hollow bodied to complement my strat going into a VOX AC30C2. I've been browsing craigslist and kijiji a lot and it seems I'm just under budget for a nice used gibson ( I don't want a faded and would prefer not a studio) I see nice godins and hagstrom every once in a while but I need the guitar soon since we're going to record and there's nothing out there now.

I brought my strat and amp for a retubing and guitar set up and I saw a guitar he built about ten years ago and stayed in a case ever since. I had never seen it before...

Mahogany body and neck, maple top, grover tuners, SD pickups (doesn't remember which ones but they sound good....










He's asking 800$ canadian for it but if I get it, he'll set it up, change the pots (they're a little scratchy) set up my other guitars and change my tubes free. It also comes with a hard shell case.

I tried it and I like it and after looking it over, it's in good shape. I know these types of PRS guitars go for a lot more so it seems like a good deal but I'm still a little reticent...

What do you guys think? Both about this deal in particular and buying from individual luthiers in general.
#2
Honestly, most luthier stories I hear are success stories. As with any other deal, I'd ask to play before you bought, but if you liked it, go for it! Hand made stuff for under $1,000 can definitely be a jackpot.

Is that a set neck joint he using, btw? If it's glue, be ware and check it out carefully. Amatuer glue jobs can be really iffy.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#3
Resale is the big problem, as you suggested yourself in the OP.

I'd only go custom if I knew exactly what I wanted, knew I'd never sell it, and knew that there was nothing identical/similar available off-the-shelf with the same level of quality at the same price point.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#4
Looks a lot like my PRS CE24, which I paid far more than that. Me? If it played well and felt good, I'd probably try to talk him down a little and then buy it. However, since he's doing some other work for you, seems like you're getting a fairly decent deal.
#5
PRS CE 22/24 can be had for $900+ and you can resale it for the same
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#6
I now own 6 guitars by independent (read, single-craftsman) luthieries, and it will be 7 by 2014. The first 5 are from Jon Kammerer, and are all sandard designs of his. The 6th is (and the 7th will be) a custom from RockBeach. After that, I'll have more JKGs to buy, and stuff from other luthiers I know of...finances permitting, of course.

My take on it:

1) all of these guitars have been top-notch.

2) resale value is highly variable. I have seen no used RockBeach guitars for sale, and the JKGs I have seen have been valued as low as 33% and as high as 75% of initial purchase price. The JKGs were all in excellent shape, so condition was not the reason for the variance. It was all about brand awareness. Basically, resale value should not be considered as part of the debate over purchasing such a guitar.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#7
Yeah. To clarify- I've bought a custom guitar before, and I'd do it again. But you have to do your research (in other words, find someone who knows what he/she's doing), and you have to keep those warnings I posted above in mind. Resale value can be downright horrible on custom builds- and it gets worse the more idiosyncratic a spec the guitar has. Irony of course being that if you're not getting something you can't get off-the-shelf it's debatable if there's any point in going custom...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#8
Quote by Robbgnarly
PRS CE 22/24 can be had for $900+ and you can resale it for the same



I believe you're thinking of the made in Korea(?) bolt on models. Find me an american made set neck PRS 22 fret for the same price before wednesday and I'll buy it :P

Quote by Dave_Mc
Yeah. To clarify- I've bought a custom guitar before, and I'd do it again. But you have to do your research (in other words, find someone who knows what he/she's doing), and you have to keep those warnings I posted above in mind. Resale value can be downright horrible on custom builds- and it gets worse the more idiosyncratic a spec the guitar has. Irony of course being that if you're not getting something you can't get off-the-shelf it's debatable if there's any point in going custom...


I understand what you're saying about the ambiguity of it being one of a kind. However from my point of view, what makes it unique is the price point. Granted I could get the same from an actual PRS but not at that price.


Also I forgot to mention. He had a a PRS hiding somewhere and he took it out. I think I preferred the dragon pickups to the Duncans, and the neck was a bit smaller, which I preferred. However the PRS neck had some sort of lacquer finish on it that made it a tad sticky running up and down quickly and precisely. Also it had that weird knob style pickup selector. WTF is up with that?? Why would anyone prefer that over the standard toggle switch?

So can possibly see myself changing pickups in the future.. but just terms of feel, I prefered the copy
Last edited by flexiblemile at Oct 14, 2013,
#9
nah he's thinking of the USA bolt-on models. You're right, though, the set neck PRSes would go for more, even used.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
Quote by flexiblemile
I believe you're thinking of the made in Korea(?) bolt on models. Find me an american made set neck PRS 22 fret for the same price before wednesday and I'll buy it :P

No The CE22/24 are USA made bolt-thru models. Built exactly like a custom 22/24 but have a bolt-thru maple neck. I have had one since 2004, they used to be the low-end USA models, but they are amazing guitars. I have a few pic's of my CE22 in my profile if you want to see, Other than the maple neck, they are the same guitars as the CU22/24

www.guitarcenter.com/usedgear there are a few <$1500 CE22/24 and 1 $999 CE24 so.....
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Oct 14, 2013,
#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
nah he's thinking of the USA bolt-on models. You're right, though, the set neck PRSes would go for more, even used.



Hey those must be pretty cool guitars. Are the only differences the bolt on neck and the price? If the sustain doesn't suffer too much, it must make it a pretty attractive deal
#12
Quote by flexiblemile
Hey those must be pretty cool guitars. Are the only differences the bolt on neck and the price? If the sustain doesn't suffer too much, it must make it a pretty attractive deal

Believe it or not a good bolt on/thru sustains best
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#13
Also it had that weird knob style pickup selector. WTF is up with that?? Why would anyone prefer that over the standard toggle switch?


Depends on how its wired, exactly. Might be kind of funky to be able to switch between pickups the same way you'd do a volume swell.

And I know the Reverend Rick Vito sig has theirs set up as a "blend", not a switch. I remember reading about some other high-end guitars- Crimson, I think- that did likewise so you could mix in the bridge piezo to our signal...
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Oct 14, 2013,
#14
Quote by dannyalcatraz
Depends on how its wired, exactly. Might be kind of funky to be able to switch between pickups the same way you'd do a volume swell.

And I know the Reverend Rick Vito sig has theirs set up as a "blend", not a switch. I remember reading about some other high-end guitars- Crimson, I think- that did likewise so you could mix in the bridge piezo to our signal...


Do you have an example where he uses something like this to achieve a unique result?
#15
Can't say I do. Any example I might point to could probably be attributed to a studio effect or fancy schmancy pedal.

(Of course, the same could be said of Tom Morello...)

There might be some good demos of that Rev on YouTube, though.

In this long discussion, at about 5:45 or so, Rick reveals why he likes it: tonal flexibility. Instead of 3 or 5 or how many ever positions, he has an analog switcher that grants him a tremendous number of incremental variations in tone.

And here's Rick playing it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqzFXNNhHgk&sns=em
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Oct 14, 2013,