#1
 
Hi guys,

I've been looking through a lot of basses recently and EGC really caught my attention. They make custom built guitars and basses with aluminium necks, priced at around 2000-3000 dollars. I've only heard them in person twice and they sounded absolutely stellar, a lot of great bands seem to use them too (usually stoner, sludge and prog metal players).
The reason I'm asking around is because I'm looking to buy one, but I'm not in the position to try one out. They are notoriously elusive, searching on youtube and facebook yielded only badly recorded demos and occasional rig rundowns. I can't find any used ones here in Europe to try out either. So, what I need to know is:
1) What are your experiences communicating and buying from EGC?
2) Would they be willing to ship to eastern Europe and how much do you think that would drive up the price?
3) Would they be willing to do an entire build communicating just over e-mails?
4) What are your own personal experiences playing and maintaining an EGC instrument? Their website says that instruments should be sent back to them for any kind of maintenance, but I won't be in a position to do so, considering where I live.

Thanks and have a good one.
Last edited by arsenije98 at May 28, 2017,
#2
I think you could answer half of question one by emailing ECG about numbers 2 and 3. I've never bought from them, in fact, this thread is the first time I've heard of them, so I don't know how their instruments are.

as far as 4 goes, if they are building a guitar that needs major send away service as part of the design, I wouldn't buy. If you have to send it out for a truss rod adjustment, I wouldn't buy. But if you can change the action, string height or length, file the nut and similar small services yourself, sure. Basically, if it requires more services than a wooden guitar, why would you bother? 

ECG links to this video in their faq for a demo.

good luck
#3
SovietStar  I've heard the guitars are built like tanks and should require no servicing from them, only to be sent back in case of major damage or electronic failure. But that's just stuff that I've heard, no idea if its true or not. I decided to go for forums instead of contacting them directly because I feel that I'm not yet a serious enough buyer to waste their time going back and forth. I'll wait until I hear from actual owners, or until I get to try one out. Thanks for linking to the demo, this is probably the best one I've seen so far. 
#4
It is their job to make guitars and answer questions about them. an email wont hurt and realistically, it'll take less than 15 minutes of their day. I've sent email for quotes and such with no plan of following up. Sometime you just need a price or shipping availability. If anything, they will likely be happy to hear from another interested customer. Plus, given the apparent rarity of them, you may wind up waiting a long time for a few answers from owners. I've never seen one second hand, you cant find used ones... they might not have a big user base. Do what you will, but as far as questions about shipping and price, only the seller can answer those. 
#5
Here's what you need to know.
The company, such as it is, was founded by a guy who wanted to buy a Travis Bean TB1000, but couldn't find one that he could afford.
A Travis Bean TB1000 is a solid piece of aluminum from headstock to bridge, and everything is mounted on that slab of aluminum.
Here's an original:

The idea was that even the bridge would be mounted on the piece of aluminum, but on many TB1000's it is not. This particular TB1000 is a prototype that DID mount the bridge on the aluminum:


The body on the Travis Beans was *usually* made out of Koa or Magnolia wood (there are others), and they've become pricey (the one you're looking at here was around $5200 four or five years ago).

If you look at the EGC1000S, you'll notice that it's pretty much a duplicate of the TB1000, but with an aluminum body.
The reason you don't dink with truss rod adjustments is because there isn't any (either in the old original TB1000s OR in the EGC1000S) because you don't need one. The neck doesn't bend in either direction. It's a solid piece of aluminum, after all. The TB1000 had a wood fretboard, but it didn't move, either. In short, what the hell kind of adjustment do you suppose you would do on the guitar?

One caution: You probably don't want this guitar. One of the reasons that the Travis Bean guitars weren't particularly successful is that the aluminum neck sucks the heat out of your fretting hand. I don't have a problem with that, but most do. At one point, the Travis Bean were delivered with a coating on the back of the neck that was supposed to reduce that heat transfer. It didn't work particularly well. When Gary Kramer decided he wanted to make his OWN aluminum necks, he cut two channels down the back side of the neck and inserted wood in them. This was supposed to get him around patent infringement and make the neck warmer to the touch. For the most part it didn't work.

The reason I find this guitar charming (the TB, that is) is that it's absolutely one of the best sustaining guitars on the planet. Obviously very little vibrational energy leaves the strings. It also tends to make the pickups a bit more sensitive to a wider range of sounds. That's sort of cork-sniffy, but it's one of the reasons that Jerry Garcia played one.

At this point, I'm not sure that the patent war with Travis Bean's estate has concluded, but if it has, this is a decent way to get what amounts to a new TB1000 at a discount. The other guitars are mostly just copies of other guitars but with the aluminum neck (and, mostly, aluminum bodies). They're not going to have historical value, vintage value, or much other extrinsic value going forward. If you want one because of it's playing or sonic qualities, fine, but don't expect a lot of support from the resale market if you decide you don't like it.

I suggest you NOT get too involved with a "custom build" if you're thinking along traditional guitar lines. These don't really work that way.
#7
Deliriumbassist Unfortunately, trying one out doesn't seem to be an option for me. I don't even know if any of them even exist in Europe, I certainly haven't been able to find one. 
#8
dspellman Thank you for all the useful info. I'm quite disappointed to say this, but the more I think about the points you put forward, the more I lean towards giving up my quest for an EGC or a TB. I'm not looking for any resale or historical value in a guitar (in my country, there is basically no resale market for anything above $1500), I am just drawn in by how unique their look and sound is, but dumping so much money into an instrument I have never tried out simply isn't worth it. There is still the possibility of me moving to the US in the future, although by that time the company most likely won't be around anymore.