#1
I ran into these today. Pretty much the most beautiful guitars I've seen with great specs, I love the way he uses two top woods to create that visual effect.



So, I figured that they're probably pretty expensive. Visually stunning, handmade, luxury instruments. And then I saw the actual price.

Just asking your opinion here, is there any justification for a guitar like this to cost over 5000 dollars? Is the split top wood trick that expensive? I'm pretty sure that you can get a handmade guitar with exotic woods for 2000$ from the right brands and luthiers, so is buying a guitar like this just wasted money? Knaggs is an ex-PRS guy though, so maybe he took some ideas from the PRS business plan.

And I'm not actually buying one ofc, if I had 6000$ I'd just buy a bunch of Fenders
#2
Well...I have some guitars made by 2 different luthiers that cost less than that, and 2 of them have the layered look. All of mine cost less than $4k, most less than $2500, and 2 under $1000 (they were deeply discounted).

But all of them were made by single-man operations in the USA, neither of which who has the rep that Knaggs does...and neither of which uses quite the same stuff that Knaggs does either. In the cases of the guys I have bought from, the woods and tuners are first rate, but the pickups are fairly mainstream brands like SD, DIMarzio, and Golden Age unless you demand otherwise. Knaggs, OTOH, uses things like BKPs.

Or, to put it a different way, some of what you're paying for in a Knaggs guitar is the Knaggs name, and some of what you're paying for is premium materials.

Only you can say whether it is worth it, though.
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!
#3
Quote by guitar/bass95
Just asking your opinion here, is there any justification for a guitar like this to cost over 5000 dollars?

Of course there is, that's why the product exists. It's just that the justification is so foreign to most people that it is an easy target for posts like this. It's like a Ferrari or a yacht or any number of really expensive stuff. The justification is that it's really nice and the target market has enough money that they don't need to split hairs over 2K vs 6K on a guitar. If they want that guitar, they'll pay for it.

It's really easy to say that this guitar is overpriced and that you can get a PRS for 2K or that you'd never spend over $X on a guitar, but the fact is that guitars like this aren't made for the UG crowd. They're for the midlife crisis TGP crowd, guys with law practices and enough cash to buy a 6K guitar.

So yeah, it's an easy target because of the price tag, and of course most of us would never buy one, but that's the whole point. This guitar is made and priced specifically for the purpose of being exclusive and luxurious and outrageous. If you thought it was reasonably priced and sensible it would have failed as a product. Asking if there's a justification for it is missing the point. You don't have to justify a product like this, you just have to sell it.

None of this is to say I'd ever buy one, of course, just like I'd never actually buy a Ferrari. They're nice to look at and I'd play one if I had the chance, but as you pointed out initially that is an awful lot of money for an electric.
#4
I guess so, however as someone who is completely unfamiliar with Knaggs I'd say that to me they're way overpriced. That layered look is gorgeous though, so I guess I'll borrow it if I ever get a custom.

But you're saying that Knaggs is such a prestigious brand that people pay just for the name? Because I would never have heard of them if it wasn't for a random YT vid Guess you'll miss a lot of things living in a small Finnish city.

Quote by Roc8995
Of course there is, that's why the product exists. It's just that the justification is so foreign to most people that it is an easy target for posts like this. It's like a Ferrari or a yacht or any number of really expensive stuff. The justification is that it's really nice and the target market has enough money that they don't need to split hairs over 2K vs 6K on a guitar. If they want that guitar, they'll pay for it.

It's really easy to say that this guitar is overpriced and that you can get a PRS for 2K or that you'd never spend over $X on a guitar, but the fact is that guitars like this aren't made for the UG crowd. They're for the midlife crisis TGP crowd, guys with law practices and enough cash to buy a 6K guitar.

So yeah, it's an easy target because of the price tag, and of course most of us would never buy one, but that's the whole point. This guitar is made and priced specifically for the purpose of being exclusive and luxurious and outrageous. If you thought it was reasonably priced and sensible it would have failed as a product. Asking if there's a justification for it is missing the point. You don't have to justify a product like this, you just have to sell it.

None of this is to say I'd ever buy one, of course, just like I'd never actually buy a Ferrari. They're nice to look at and I'd play one if I had the chance, but as you pointed out initially that is an awful lot of money for an electric.


Thanks for the insight, that does make sense. And I guess it is very foreign to me, I've never had a four-figure number on my account, so i can't really imagine paying for something because of the name. I probably have the same problem with manufacturers like these as I have with Apple electronics: they cost a ****ton of money for no apparent reason. But they do indeed look gorgeous and probably feel amazing I'd still be happy if I could muster enough money to buy a basic tele.
Last edited by guitar/bass95 at Sep 23, 2014,
#5
If you're unfamiliar with them, how can you say they're overpriced? That's the whole point. They're exclusive, they're not built for the GC crowd or the UG crowd. They don't care if you know who they are, you're not their target market. People who gladly pay 6K for a guitar know who Knaggs is. They're not trying to be a household name, they're trying to sell guitars to rich people and it seems like they're doing a decent job of that.

It's not just for the name. Have you ever seen a guitar that looks like that? You thought they were pretty enough to make a thread about them even though you'll never buy one, and you see that they've got some PRS pedigree so it's not just your local guy in his garage with a jigsaw and some fretting tools. If you made 500K a year, and you saw that guitar, would you call up your local guy and ask for something that looked like that, wait a few months and hope he got close enough, or would you just buy that guitar? Especially knowing that you could sell it again for nearly what you bought it for instead of your local guy, who is not going to have any name recognition or resale?

The expensive guitar world is weird, to be sure, but it's driven by market forces like any other industry.
#6
Quote by Roc8995

It's really easy to say that this guitar is overpriced and that you can get a PRS for 2K or that you'd never spend over $X on a guitar, but the fact is that guitars like this aren't made for the UG crowd. They're for the midlife crisis TGP crowd, guys with law practices and enough cash to buy a 6K guitar.


HEY!


The justification for buying a guitar like this is that it is more than just a guitar, it is functional art. It is a status symbol. A luxury item.

In all probability, if you played one made to your specs, it would feel better than any other guitar you own. And it would make people gawk. The first bit is worth $2000-4000, the rest is priceless.
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
I know that I don't have a valid basis on calling them overpriced, I came here to ask what people think. Thank you for all the input

I have to say though, that at first I was very interested in Knaggs and thought that yeah, if I had money I'd get one. However, the more I read about your reasoning for the price, the less I like the idea of buying one. I've always believed that the guitarist makes the guitar and not the other way around, and I guess that belief just got even stronger.
#8
Yes, exactly. Trying to make sense of the high-end market by assuming it's just an extension of the consumer guitar market just isn't going to work. It's a totally different monster. Just like the art world, the money gets silly in a hurry, but that's the point. It's not about value any more at this price point - you're buying something else. Exclusivity, status, history, luxury, something to distract you from remembering that all your hair is gone and your penis doesn't work any more.

You're buying a guitar, but you're paying for an ideology, and it turns out that's pretty expensive.
#9
My hair and penis are just fine, thankyouverymuch.
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!
#10
To me, it's just silly. But that is because it seems that I really lack understanding for this market. I guess it would be best for me to focus on simple, reliable manufacturers like Fender, Godin, Hagstrom and Reverend, and leave the world of the rich alone, it actually makes me feel a bit angry almost. But there's no denying that those guitars are beautiful and prestigious, however, in my opinion so is the Reverend Warhawk and the Godin 5th Avenue. I guess the luxury guitar market isn't for me
#11
Oh yes, it's very silly, but so is everything else. It's just silly in a different way, one that doesn't correlate much to the regular guitar market.

Glad to hear about your penis, Danny.
#12
Quote by Roc8995
Glad to hear about your penis, Danny.



I'm not. Tell him to keep it to himself.
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#14
Quote by zgr0826
My culture is worthless and absolutely inferior to the almighty Leaf.


Quote by JustRooster
I incurred the wrath of the Association of White Knights. Specifically the Parent's Basement branch of service.
#15
Quote by guitar/bass95
I ran into these today. Pretty much the most beautiful guitars I've seen with great specs, I love the way he uses two top woods to create that visual effect.

So, I figured that they're probably pretty expensive. Visually stunning, handmade, luxury instruments. And then I saw the actual price.

Just asking your opinion here, is there any justification for a guitar like this to cost over 5000 dollars? Is the split top wood trick that expensive? I'm pretty sure that you can get a handmade guitar with exotic woods for 2000$ from the right brands and luthiers, so is buying a guitar like this just wasted money? Knaggs is an ex-PRS guy though, so maybe he took some ideas from the PRS business plan.

And I'm not actually buying one ofc, if I had 6000$ I'd just buy a bunch of Fenders


Actually, the layered wood thing dates to the '70's. Nothing new to see here. Move along. That said, there's a reverse snobbery thing going on with the folks who will tell you "I'll never play THAT much for a "______fill in the blank_______"!

If you can't afford it, it gets pooh-poohed. I've got a guitar built by Steve Hegelson at Moonstone. It's a special Vulcan series built for Morley back around 1974 or so. I've got the original Guitar Player ad for the thing, and it basically says, "Why would we build a guitar worth $1850 when you can have pretty much anything else for under $500." At the time, that was right around the going price for a Les Paul Standard. The top of the line Gibson L5S solid body was around $800. The body is a solid piece of maple burl and the rest of the guitar has so many custom bits and pieces on it, it's crazy. Morley placed an initial order for 50 of them, but cut it off at 35. If you want the same guitar built today it's going to be $6K and up.

Gibson, back in 2005 or so, built a "pilot run" of 35 Neal Schon sig guitars. These were Les Pauls with a full thickness body, a Floyd, a cut-down neck heel (copied from Neal's even more expensive Dommengut guitars), moved controls, a sustainer, a sweepable mids cut, a Sustainer Intensity knob and more. MSRP was a sort of fanciful $10K, street price around $6500.

They were scooped up almost literally within seconds, and Gibson was stunned. If I'd known about them at the time, I'd have nabbed one instantly. It's almost impossible to pry one loose from its owner, and the rumor is that a total of 90 were actually produced "out the back door", and all of those are gone, too. Gibson will not make you one of these guitars at any price (believe me, I've waved the money in their direction).

There's certainly nothing wrong with targeting the 1%.
#16
Quote by guitar/bass95
To me, it's just silly. But that is because it seems that I really lack understanding for this market. I guess it would be best for me to focus on simple, reliable manufacturers like Fender, Godin, Hagstrom and Reverend, and leave the world of the rich alone, it actually makes me feel a bit angry almost. But there's no denying that those guitars are beautiful and prestigious, however, in my opinion so is the Reverend Warhawk and the Godin 5th Avenue. I guess the luxury guitar market isn't for me

Hey, there is NOTHING wrong with sticking to the under $2.5k market! The Hagstrom Tremar Deuce F is a nice guitar, as are their LP clones. I kick myself for not buying 2 used ones I saw a few years ago. I have a bunch of Godins on my G.A.S. list, and missed out on a good half dozen + used ones I've seen.

And Reverends? Well, my 4th one should arrive in a week or so. And no, that one won't be my last, either.
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!
#17
Quote by guitar/bass95
Since the initial subject has already been processed, this thread is now about Danny's penis.

Short topic.
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!
#18
Quote by guitar/bass95

But you're saying that Knaggs is such a prestigious brand that people pay just for the name? Because I would never have heard of them if it wasn't for a random YT vid Guess you'll miss a lot of things living in a small Finnish city.


Or Dubuque, Iowa, population 50,000 or so. When I grew up there, we had ONE Ferrari in the entire town (lord, what I wouldn't give to have that sucker now, though). Three Cobras, all belonging to one guy. When I first arrived in Los Angeles, I stood on Sunset with my head spinning, thanks to all the cars going by that I'd only ever read about.

There are about 5.5 million people in the country of Finland. There are about 10 million people in Los Angeles county. Rihanna carries more folding cash in her pocket than the entire GDP of Finland. Beyonce and JayZ own Norway and plan to build condos there. If they can find it on a map.

Trussart builds his guitars up in Echo Park. Bodies are made of metal and rust. You can pick one up from him for around $5200, give or take. And I want a Steelphonic in Rust and Cream snakeskin (it's on my short list):



There's a lot that we don't hear about if we're limiting ourselves to Guitar Denters.
#19
Guess you'll miss a lot of things living in a small Finnish city.


Hell, I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area- an area with millions of people with millions of $$$ with the same kind of automotive excesses you'd see in dspellman's LA- and its hard to find anything in stores besides Fender, Gibson, PRS, Gretsch, G&L, Godin, Ibanez, Schecter, BC Rich, Rickenbacker or Dean products. You won't find but half of those in any one store...and many of those will only be available in one or two stores.

If you do find something else, it will be in very limited supplies.

However, have you ever looked at what Finland has to offer? I know Flaxwood and Ruokangas make niiiice guitars.
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!
#20
It's functional art, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While that wouldn't even turn my head very far in a music store, I could cheerfully kill for an original engraved Zemaitis. It's one apsect of mojo, and folks will pay big $ for it - $45 million for a Strad viola?
#21
I'm actually friends with their New England/New York sales rep, so I've played them. Really damn nice guitars.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#22
^I'm sure that they are.

Quote by dspellman
Actually, the layered wood thing dates to the '70's. Nothing new to see here. Move along. That said, there's a reverse snobbery thing going on with the folks who will tell you "I'll never play THAT much for a "______fill in the blank_______"!

If you can't afford it, it gets pooh-poohed. I've got a guitar built by Steve Hegelson at Moonstone. It's a special Vulcan series built for Morley back around 1974 or so. I've got the original Guitar Player ad for the thing, and it basically says, "Why would we build a guitar worth $1850 when you can have pretty much anything else for under $500." At the time, that was right around the going price for a Les Paul Standard. The top of the line Gibson L5S solid body was around $800. The body is a solid piece of maple burl and the rest of the guitar has so many custom bits and pieces on it, it's crazy. Morley placed an initial order for 50 of them, but cut it off at 35. If you want the same guitar built today it's going to be $6K and up.

Gibson, back in 2005 or so, built a "pilot run" of 35 Neal Schon sig guitars. These were Les Pauls with a full thickness body, a Floyd, a cut-down neck heel (copied from Neal's even more expensive Dommengut guitars), moved controls, a sustainer, a sweepable mids cut, a Sustainer Intensity knob and more. MSRP was a sort of fanciful $10K, street price around $6500.

They were scooped up almost literally within seconds, and Gibson was stunned. If I'd known about them at the time, I'd have nabbed one instantly. It's almost impossible to pry one loose from its owner, and the rumor is that a total of 90 were actually produced "out the back door", and all of those are gone, too. Gibson will not make you one of these guitars at any price (believe me, I've waved the money in their direction).

There's certainly nothing wrong with targeting the 1%.


Never said that it was wrong, just said that it wasn't for me, and I don't like how they imply that there is something wrong with "normal" guitars.


Quote by dannyalcatraz
Short topic.


But is it overpriced?


And I grew up in a town which had no instrument stores of any kind. Now I at least live in a city with a few of those, and I can get my hands on Fenders, Gibsons and Ibanez's. The most impressive instrument I've seen around here is an AM std Telecaster that my friend owns, and it is actually pretty amazing.
#23
Quote by guitar/bass95

But is it overpriced?


My penis? Probably.

The Knaggs? To some, yes. To others, no.
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!
#24
To me it seems like a lot of money to show up to band practice spill your beer on it and mess up the chords to Mustang Sally. Looks pretty cool but it is more for the Rolex crowd. Since it is a solid body I really see no reason to spend that much. If it were an Arch top, still to rich for my blood, but I can see the point of the price.
#25
I'd like to know the luthier that will make me a Knaggs-style and quality- instrument for two grand like the OP suggested. Since he is not known yet I suppose I can grab one now before he discovers this thing called internet and gets the "Knaggs-hype"

+Amfisound to Finnish luthier shops.