Just got back from a vacation to Las Vegas. Went to Ed ROmans, there were alot of very nice guitars USA Jacksons, Ibanez Prestiges, PRS, Romans, and Bakers etc. There were some very cool Jackson Rhodes Vs, Soloists, USA BC Riches, Kramers and Hamers alot with custom graphics and paint

His prices were way high like $429 for MIM strats that MF has for $369. The Bakers and Roman guitars were impressive but were like $3000 - $4500, why would I pay that when I can get a real PRS that looks better for $2500? I didnt like the ROman or Baker shapes vs. PRS. Yeah I know about the extended neck and mounting pups into the neck wood but most of these high dollar Romans had maple necks (mostly bolt -ons for $3000+ ?!?) so whats the advantage of mounting pups into midrangy maple instead of an all mahogany Gibson or PRS? none to my ear. And the argument over 24 fret vs. 22, there may be a dead spot harmonically on a 22 fret but to my ear the neck pup on a 22 fret always sounds sweeter with the pup moved towards the middle of the strings.

I saw Ed himself talking to Lemmy Kilmiester from Motorhead about a custom bass. Seemed like a nice enough guy despite his cankles (calves melting into his ankles) Ed eats well His staff was a nice as a person could be in a locality where there are an average of 72 days a year above 100*F and like 120 days over 90*F, F'n hot in Vegas But I demoed an Ibanez Prestige RG2570 (or something) and the sales guy hooked me into a lame Krank Chadwick (after I specifically asked for a real high gain amp) The Chadwick sucked, no low volume tone and as soon as you got the volume up it boomed way too loud for practice playing and when it did get loud the distorion was weak no mater how eq'ed. I moved to another Krank but not the Krankenstien (they didnt have one in stock) and it sounded the same too loud to practice and not enough distortion. I ended up using a SS Peavey Transtube which sounded like ass too. There was a Hughes&Kettner with a bazillion tubes and a $4600 price tag that I didnt want to mess with. If I was trying to sell someone a guitar Id make sure I plugged them into a good amp for a demo, if I wanted to make a sale that is. So that was dissapointing.

Why would I pay double the price for a Roman or Baker when I could get 2 PRS Custom 22 or 24s for the same $? The whole hand made vs. CNC'd argument doesnt hold water imo. Id rather have the CNC tolerances of 1000th of an inch vs. the tolerances of someone from Vegas covered in tattoes who's definately had thier share of party favorites in thier lifetime, you can see the Roman shop and Luthiers working in the back from the floor of the store. Does General Dynamics CNC or hand make parts for an F-16 fighter jet? So long as the mahogany is grade A or above from South America whats the differance, Id rather have a computer cutting and routing to exacting tolerances. If I hit the lotto Id still buy a PRS.
Very informative and well written. +5 scene points.

Although we could've done with some more info about the selection he had there.
A dwarf might hear you. What then?

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For body and neck shaping, CNC is better than most luthiers. It's just more exact and consistent. The ideal way, imo, is to start a guitar with CNC and then refine it by hand.

Ed Roman's seems to be more of a tourist attraction than a functional music store. It's kind of like Hard Rock cafe.

American Stratocaster + Blues Junior

I called them a few times coz I wanted to buy a guitar. I won't say how much I was prepared to spend, but it was a whole lot. The salesguys were pretty rude and unpleasant over the phone and they tried to jack up the price over what their website quoted. I went elsewhere and I'd never actually buy a guitar from Ed, even if it was the only guitar shop anywhere. I'd make my own.
The only thing a CNC has over a luthier cutting/carving/routing is the time it takes for the process to be complete. Bodies and necks come off CNC's VERY VERY rough, and require a lot of hand sanding, although you can do a body in less time on a CNC then by hand.

Ed Roman sucks, period.
'Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable. However, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose despondency and laziness make them give it up as unattainable.'

i tried before commenting on how he paints custom guitars and i got a warning that next time i would be banned. Some people really dont like him because of his way of overprcing and ripping people off.