#1
Hi everyone, it happens that after some months of work I've spared some money, which I wanted to invest in a new guitar.

I've really got crazy for this jackson here http://www.thomann.de/gb/jackson_dk7q_transparent_red.htm : it really has all what I look for on a guitar and it's exactly in my price range; yesterday, though, I was hanging out with a friend of mine who is also my luthier and, out of nowhere, we started discussing about him making me a guitar.

Now I'm really bugged about this: on one hand, I know he is really good with work on factory made guitars, even complex works you understand involve lot of knowledge, and the idea of an instrument made over my specs is sure tempting
; on the other hand I really have no opportunity to try a custom instrument he made since he has none in stock/ready to be sold, so I can't be sure of his guitar making actual abilities.
My biggest fear is to throw those 800 euros I worked so hard to get an instrument which, for what I know, could be not even worth the money. The thing is that it can also turn out tho be amazing for the money I pay (being him a big friend of mine and charging me almost only the pieces cost)

What would be your advice? Is it better to just get that Jackson? Or will it be not so stupid to go for a custom?
Last edited by The_Flesh_Storm at Aug 31, 2014,
#2
If you can afford to go custom, go custom.
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#3
Don't you think it's a bit naive without being sure of what I'm going for? though yeah it just sounds better to have only built for you and you only, I agree
Last edited by The_Flesh_Storm at Aug 31, 2014,
#4
Quote by The_Flesh_Storm
I really have no opportunity to try a custom instrument he made since he has none in stock/ready to be selled, so I can't be sure of his guitar making actual abilities.
My biggest fear is to throw those 800 euros I worked so hard to get an instrument which, for what I know, could be not even worth the money.

anybody can slap 6 strings on a piece of wood.

making a quality musical instrument is another whole thing.
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#5
That's my kind of fear, tbh his only "building abilities" I know are dissembling and building guitars with no particular issues, and also turning a 7 string into an 8 string quite nicely

That's not like building a guitar from the start though
#6
Going for a custom guitar made by your friend requires a huge leap of faith, especially considering it'll be his first build.


With that Jackson, you can try it before you buy it to see if it feels comfortable, if you like the neck, etc.
Also, you'll probably have a return period during which you can take the guitar back if you decide you don't like it after all and get a different one or a refund.

If your friend is a skilled luthier, albeit an amateur one, you can end up with a really nice guitar, tailored to your taste and needs.
But I'd give him extremely detailed specs about the neck -- for me it's the most important part of the guitar in terms of playability, feel and comfort. A body can always be modified later, but you should have a great neck and fretboard from the get-go.

Unless you're absolutely, undoubtedly, 100% sure of his abilities, I wouldn't do it.
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#7
thanks for the feedback, I've tried the Jackson I posted and it feels and plays great to me, it's my first choice since I have yet to find a guitar in my price range I like better.

I believe it's not his first build though, even if he has no electric guitars he made in stock now. The think is I don't really know if the stuff he built was worth the money or a complete piece of junk.

Yeah I know it's not something you guys can give a certain answer, but opinions are helpful enough to make me see the thing from different perispectives so thank you, keep sharing your opinions if you please
#9
Quote by The_Flesh_Storm
Hi everyone, it happens that after some months of work I've spared some money, which I wanted to invest in a new guitar.

I've really got crazy for this jackson here http://www.thomann.de/gb/jackson_dk7q_transparent_red.htm : it really has all what I look for on a guitar and it's exactly in my price range; yesterday, though, I was hanging out with a friend of mine who is also my luthier and, out of nowhere, we started discussing about him making me a guitar.

Now I'm really bugged about this: on one hand, I know he is really good with work on factory made guitars, even complex works you understand involve lot of knowledge, and the idea of an instrument made over my specs is sure tempting
; on the other hand I really have no opportunity to try a custom instrument he made since he has none in stock/ready to be sold, so I can't be sure of his guitar making actual abilities.
My biggest fear is to throw those 800 euros I worked so hard to get an instrument which, for what I know, could be not even worth the money. The thing is that it can also turn out tho be amazing for the money I pay (being him a big friend of mine and charging me almost only the pieces cost)

What would be your advice? Is it better to just get that Jackson? Or will it be not so stupid to go for a custom?


Jumping into the unknown world. How scarry it can be!

As it is your goal is to find something that will work for your current guitar goal and that Jackson seems to be it according to what you write so go for that.

The problem you have with a luthier is that you do not have an idea of what he should be building for you in mind! Without that decided you can't go in that direction and as for his expertise keep it as an option to try something with him to see what he could come up with at some later date.

As for me I love custom instruments and to challenge the world for what guitars I want not letting an expensive price tag stop me or anything else.

You can always find a smarter way to earn the money! If its hard you are not doing it right as there are 3 ways to do that.
Last edited by anders.jorgense at Aug 31, 2014,
#10
Personally, I've gotten several guitars from luthiers, and have always been quite happy with the results. But I also knew they were established builders.

You could always ask for references. See if any of his past customers- if any- are willing to let you see or possibly even play what he's made in the past.
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#11
it depends on what the factory guitar is and who the luthier is

resale sucks on customs from luthiers.
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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?
#12
luthier or friend that knows how to do a set up?

big difference.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#13
I'd only recommend going custom if A) you know exactly what you want in your instrument and B) you can't find that elsewhere.
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#14
I would go factory or boutique, even in acoustics, where the arguement for custom is stronger.

Resale value is not so good on many customs, and after all, it is just a fancy lump of wood that a CNC router can do just fine. The pickups and amps are really the important stuff.
#15
Quote by gregs1020
luthier or friend that knows how to do a set up?

big difference.


yeah

Quote by reincarnator
I'd only recommend going custom if A) you know exactly what you want in your instrument and B) you can't find that elsewhere.


Agreed (though I'd add a caveat to B) of "at a similar price" since customs can often get you features at a fairly reasonable price that off-the-shelf might cost far, far more).

I'd also add C) You need to know you never intend to sell it.

Obviously you never know exactly what will happen down the line, but you need to go in with the intention that it's your guitar, built for you, and it's going to be perfect. If you're hmm-ing and hah-ing about the spec or whether you even want it, that's a bad sign. As I said above, resale is terrible (generally) on customs. You don't want to be having to sell it unless you have absolutely no choice, and having to sell it (and take the associated big hit on resale price) because of a reason which you suspected you knew before you even bought the thing is gonna sting.
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?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 31, 2014,
#16
Thanks a lot everybody, I kinda have made up my mind now. Just to answer a few points:
-By know I would actually know my "ideal" specs on my dream guitar, from woods to pickups to fretboard radius, that's not the problem
-He is actually a luthier, he builds stuff both from stock pieces and/or from handbuilt parts, I just don't know if he actually does it decently xD
-the "reselling" one is a good point, but actually if the guitar is built on my specs with the righr amount of building ability I don't think I'll take that path (and I hope future doesn't force me to)

That being said, I think I'll just ask him for contacts of some of his previous customers, just to take a look at how he works, if it COMPLETELY statisfies me I'll go for it, of there is even a single thing I'm not conviced about I'll go for the Jackson. Actually it would have been a fairly easy solution but I was too dumb to think about it

Well, this was useful anyway since I gathered a lot of infos anyway! Thank you all again
Last edited by The_Flesh_Storm at Aug 31, 2014,
#17
Having gone custom- in more than just guitars- before, one piece of useful advice:

If the person or persons doing the work ask you "Are you sure about _______?", take that as an opportunity to reflect on what you're discussing.

When my family built a house, we got that question a few times. When we simply said, "Yes.", it was almost invariably a mistake on our part. When we thought about it, it was usually the right decision.

The same was true of some jewelry I designed and the guitars I had made.

Because that question is the craftsman looking at a situation and seeing that you're asking for something unusual, and he wants to be sure- before he commits- that what you're asking him to do is REALLY what you want him to do.


...without asking you, "Are you some kind of idiot?"
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 Aug 31, 2014,
#18
Good 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?