#2
Are you talking about the ones made by Dana Bourgeois?

Because those seem to be a pretty standard price range for acoustics made by established luthiers
But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.
#3
I have one, a Bourgeois MS Sig, currently for sale at Oz$4500. As Dread says, his prices are typical of Boutique makers.

The high end for a basic guitar, from very small or one-man shops, is around US$60 thousand.
#4
Quote by Dreadnought
Are you talking about the ones made by Dana Bourgeois?

Because those seem to be a pretty standard price range for acoustics made by established luthiers


i'd have to agree - prices are about inline with other single-builder shops.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
patticake

I've been thinking about the term "single builder". Guitar makers run through everything from one-man shops like Olson and many less-known makers who might build a few dozen guitars a year if they are well-organised, to decent sized factories like Martin, who make about 100 thousand a year between the US and Mexico. The boutique makers, like Bourgeois, SCGC and Collings are in the middle ground, they have small shops employing a number of workers and make a few hundred guitars a year. I think that the line between factory worker and luthier can become blurred here.

An interesting example is Smallman. He and his two sons make about six guitars a year, and the price is about $40 thousand with a 10-year wait, or $60 thousand off the shelf, if you can find one.

Will, the great bulk of guitars are cheap compared to most orchestra instruments. A shakuhachi, which is a simple bamboo flute, can easily cost $1500, and our local viola maker charges $18 thousand last time I enquired 10 years ago.
#7
I just can't come to grips with the poor man's name. Having read "The Communist Manifesto", (which as either literature or a societal template is pure garbage), "bourgeoisie" appears about every dozen words or so. "Bourgeoisie" can be taken as the plural form of "bourgeois", and I automatically associate those guitars with decadence.

Yes, I know I shouldn't, but at five grand a pop......, hm. How about if I say, I you can play it well, $5000.00 for a guitar is reasonable. If you bought it just to have, then $5000.00 for a "Bourgeois", is well, "bourgeois".

Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 21, 2016,
#8
I find his name a bit odd too. This helps a bit, but not much:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bourgeois_(surname)

I don't know whether I live up to it, but I bought mine after some careful research, and it is outstandingly good at what it was specifically designed for. - Drop tunings and slide.
#9
Quote by Tony Done
I find his name a bit odd too. This helps a bit, but not much:....[ ].....
Marx seems to have corrupted the term to suit his "Communism is the Best Form of Government Ever", fairy tale. As I was checking the spelling, I came upon this:

Bourgeoisie | Definition of Bourgeoisie by Merriam-Webster
www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bourgeoisie
1 : middle class; also plural in construction : members of the middle class. 2 : a social order dominated by bourgeois.


Thus, the name appears to have been attached to a social status, in a similar manner to a trade, such as, "Tailor", "Bookbinder", "Carpenter", and the like.

For his own purposes, Marx rather seems to have altered the definition toward the demographic, which today, we might refer to as, "the one percent".

If he were targeting the actual "middle class", then one might deduce his entire manifesto, is simply the embodiment, of the old saying, "misery loves company, along with a hammer and sickle on all of its military equipment". Or possibly, "misery needs the miserable", as a captive audience for its constant complaining.

Quote by Tony Done
...[ ]....I don't know whether I live up to it, but I bought mine after some careful research, and it is outstandingly good at what it was specifically designed for. - Drop tunings and slide.
I wouldn't worry about it. When evaluating my own playing, I start to get reluctant at about $500.00, $750.00 tops...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 21, 2016,
#10
Captaincranky

I don't know what kind of socialist you would call me, but I believe that the aspiring middle classes are the making of a modern society - look at what China is becoming as an example. And this is what Pablo Escobar almost destroyed in Colombia through money laundering - my father-in-law was a victim of that.

We aren't supposed to discus politics here are we?
#11
Quote by Will Lane
Really? Wow. How, why? Are they that good? What makes guitars like that so special? I thought DUMBLES were bad...


I own a $5000 guitar as well, my Edwinson:



People will pay this much for a lot of reasons. For me personally, I was enamored with the beauty of it before seeing it in person. When I went to Mr. Sheriff's shop, which he shares with Aaron Andrews (another luthier), I played it in person and then fell in love with the sound and feel. For something so beautiful, which plays and sounds amazing, and also so clearly has the love and attention put into it from the luthier who made it (Stephen Sheriff is incredibly passionate about his guitars and guitar players), the money was easy for me to justify.

I'm also a solo acoustic fingerstyle player, so it's basically my ultimate instrument
But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.
#12
I have a $1500 guitar. My Larrivee D40 custom with an Austrian red spruce top and it is an amazing guitar, since I've got it I don't even fancy the thought of getting another acoustic. But when it comes to guitars like that I am a believer in you get what you pay for. I have a friend that has two Wayne Henderson guitars and they are just stunning amazing instruments, he is a good friend of him and we live in an area that is about 45 mins from his shop. Another example is my guitar teacher he has a collings AAA Brazilian rosewood dread, and couple of Santa Cruz dreads, among other high end acoustics. I've had a lot of expeience with these instruments and I can say the price is fully justified for what you are getting.
Last edited by Silent_Crow13 at Nov 24, 2016,
#13
Quote by Will Lane
What about them makes them so silly expensive? Anyone actually have experience with one? I thought Klons were bad.
You know, if I were you, I would have researched exactly all what skills it encompasses to build an acoustic guitar, before I asked this question.

After all, building an electric is sort of a take off on the old elephant joke. "How do you make a statue of an elephant"? You get a huge block of stone, and chisel away everything that doesn't look like an elephant. So, you just get a big block of wood and chisel away everything which doesn't look like a Les Paul, then call Carvin up for a fully fretted neck, and you're there. No so with hand building an acoustic.

With acoustics, it's different. The body sides are produced using steam bending techniques, and there are a lot of critical braces and whatnot inside the body which have to be sculpted and tuned.

Granted building a single guitar is a time, (and therefore money) wasting project. Offsetting that, is the amount of control you have over the final result.

We're all spoiled by mass production techniques and low paid, but highly skilled Asian workers, bringing us mid priced instruments which come uncomfortably close to that of more expensive American built, big name branded instruments.

But think about it, how much time, money in tools, and practice, do you think it would take to learn how to turn out a guitar the quality of the average Bourgeois? I imagine you would be making a few trips to the dumpster with your failures, before you could confidently take on a paid project.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 25, 2016,
#14
Captaincranky

Apparently, one of the reasons Smallman guitars are so expensive and so small in number is because he has a very high wastage rate; if a guitar isn't perfect, it gets chucked.

An interesting example of what I see as compromise custom luthery is the Maton custom shop. It is literally a one-man operation, and I think he does all the important woodwork himself, and then sends them to the factory for finishing. I've tried a few, and they have been nice guitars with a true "non-generic Maton" sound. Each one is unique, and they are only about $1000 more than the top factory models. It seems like a good system to me.
#15
Quote by Captaincranky
You know, if I were you, I would have researched exactly all what skills it encompasses to build an acoustic guitar, before I asked this question.
Well I do know that there are many difficulties to build an acoustic guitar by hand, and I imagine at the quality these kind of guitars are, is extremely difficult and does take time, patience, practice, etc. as you said. I could not do it myself- I just personally couldn't justify the price when I am satisfied with offerings much, much less.

I look at it as if a guitar is $10,000, it should be 20 times as good as a guitar that is $500. However, well before the price reaches the $10k mark relative to the $500 unit, you have well over-stepped diminishing returns and I would doubt it is 20 times as good but maybe more like 2 or 3 times as good. Then again I am not primarily an acoustic player and I have not tried any units like these mentioned. And this thought process has a lot more intricacies but I hope you understand where I am coming from.
Last edited by Will Lane at Nov 25, 2016,
#16
Will Lane

Yes, the law of diminishing returns certainly applies, but isn't that true of everything we buy? You can also think of guitars as visual and tonal artwork, and in that context things can get very expensive indeed.
Last edited by Tony Done at Nov 25, 2016,
#17
Quote by Will Lane
Well I do know that there are many difficulties to build an acoustic guitar by hand, and I imagine at the quality these kind of guitars are, is extremely difficult and does take time, patience, practice, etc. as you said. I could not do it myself- I just personally couldn't justify the price when I am satisfied with offerings much, much less.
How can I respond to that, let me count the ways. First off, let me say I don't own, nor am I likely to own, a guitar worth more than $750.00. But, a buyer of $5000.00 guitars, could look down on us both in ways of snobbery and self satisfaction, of which neither you or I have begun to mention.

The American country scene is particularly gaudy, So the guitar with the artist's name inlaid into the fret board, is sort of standard operating procedure.

Then there's, "you are what you play". Picture a session player just starting out and walking into an audition with an Epiphone Les Paul, while the guys, (and gals), the studio has been hiring for years are there with the real thing.

Hell, when you come right down to it, in this day and age, you could almost say a $600.00 guitar isn't 10 times better than a $60.00 guitar. (Although, I'm probably exaggerating a lot there).

So, the issue of the price of an instrument, vs. it's worth to you, is a personal problem. (I'm not saying that trying to be rude). But rather from the veiwpoint of someone who can't rationalize paying less than $5000.00 for a guitar. Face it, there's guys who think that five grand jobbie, is a practice guitar. And there's Willie Nelson who's so hung up on the idea of only one guitar having the ability to interpret to power of his artistry, he tours with an old junk Martin named "Trigger".

Is that a "stage prop", is that how vivid his imagination has become, or is that what happens to you when you've smoked 20 metric tons of weed over the course of your life?

So, you've miss phrased your question in a major way. What you should have asked is, "tell me all about human nature as it relates to property ownership, particularly guitars".

Eric Clapton's Strat went for some $800,000 or thereabouts. I'd rather spend $400.00 for a MiM copy. Why? Because it's got much less wear and tear, I could get it to sound exactly the way I wanted it to, for less than a grand, and it's probably damned near as good, (or possibly better?), than the identical thing bought from Fender USA.

So, as stupid as it might sound to us "educated people", some cultures believed taking a picture of a person, steals their soul and places it in the magic box.

So, did the nut job who payed $800.000 for Clapton's guitar, think Clapton's soul is locked inside. or was it just a very ostentatious display of being stupid, filthy, gaudy, rich, nothing more?

But then there's the historic value of the instrument, and people would likely pay to see it if they could. But to me, it would be worth much more to pay $20.00 for a DVD or CD of Clapton performing, than to hand out twenty bucks, to just walk by his guitar in a glass case. I guess I just don't have my values screwed on straight...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Nov 25, 2016,
#18
Quote by Will Lane
Well I do know that there are many difficulties to build an acoustic guitar by hand, and I imagine at the quality these kind of guitars are, is extremely difficult and does take time, patience, practice, etc. as you said. I could not do it myself- I just personally couldn't justify the price when I am satisfied with offerings much, much less.

I look at it as if a guitar is $10,000, it should be 20 times as good as a guitar that is $500. However, well before the price reaches the $10k mark relative to the $500 unit, you have well over-stepped diminishing returns and I would doubt it is 20 times as good but maybe more like 2 or 3 times as good. Then again I am not primarily an acoustic player and I have not tried any units like these mentioned. And this thought process has a lot more intricacies but I hope you understand where I am coming from.


As the seemingly only person who's replied who's owned a guitar of the sort you're talking about, I guess I'll do a short response to this.

To your first point, I haven't been satisfied by anything, let alone anything "much, much less" in price than my Edwinson. I absolutely love that guitar, and I've owned it for over 7 years, so the honeymoon period has definitely worn off. Every now and then I go into the acoustic section of local guitar stores, play the most expensive instruments offered by a variety of brands, and I'm always reminded of how much I prefer by Edwinson.

In addition to this, I find it absolutely beautiful. Although I still get jonesing for other luthier-made acoustic guitars (I'm a sucker for the aesthetics), I still haven't one I've found as gorgeous as my own. It was definitely a match made in heaven for me.

You're making the cardinal mistake of trying to approach this from an economic and practical standpoint, someone who values instruments as tools that are gauged by effectiveness of creating a product and the process involved therein; I look at my Edwinson as both a work of art, created by an impassioned artist, and as an impeccable musical instrument that meets all of my particular criteria in an acoustic guitar (minus camp-fire strummer.)

There is no other guitar quite like mine. Does this matter to me, or increase it's worth and what I would pay for? I don't really know, I don't think about it in those terms. However, it does echo the idea that to some, these guitars are works of art.
But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.
#19
Dreadnought

You aren't the only one.

My experience with high end guitars is very small, but it seems to me that there might be a definite break point in performance between factory guitars and the better (not all) boutique or luthier kind. I would not, for example, generally buy a factory custom or "special run" guitar.

My criteria were different to yours, almost entirely performance-oriented. I knew what I wanted - a flattop for slide - and I researched luthiers who made guitars specifically for this purpose. Bourgeois rose to the top on a combination of affordability (I couldn't afford something like a Sobell!) and experience. - He had tap-tuned a lot of Schoenberg Soloist guitars and has written articles on the subject of tap tuning. My tastes in aesthetics are pretty conservative, so the fairly plain look also appealed to me.
#20
To be fair, my search was also performance oriented -- I'm far and away primarily a fingerstyle player, and I was in the market for a smaller-bodied cutaway with particular clarity and brightness (hence the reason I don't consider the Edwinson a good strummer.)

On the aesthetics piece, I can actually relate. Despite the rather flamboyant look of the Harlequin, I actually very much like the look of clean, beautiful woods and a blank fretboard. I appreciate almost anything
But we little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may.