#1
ive never played a handmade guitar...is there a huge difference? obviously depends who does it but in general.
#2
Before CNC machining processes all guitars were basically hand made eg. Fender, Gibson, Epiphone & even PRS. Eventually all adopted the computer based method of shaping bodies & necks with people involved in the assembly, final sanding finishing etc. So in the end, the real difference between handmade & machine made is consistency & accuracy when making many of the same model vs minor variations due to human factors.
Moving on.....
#3
you can have a crap machine and a crap luthier, as well as a excellent machine and an excellent luthier

some people might go some stuff about it having more soul or something... but a well made guitar will be a well made guitar
#4
Quote by KenG
Before CNC machining processes all guitars were basically hand made eg. Fender, Gibson, Epiphone & even PRS. Eventually all adopted the computer based method of shaping bodies & necks with people involved in the assembly, final sanding finishing etc. So in the end, the real difference between handmade & machine made is consistency & accuracy when making many of the same model vs minor variations due to human factors.


so are you saying that handmade is normally worse due to human error?
#5
Quote by Phazer
so are you saying that handmade is normally worse due to human error?


when being mass produced by underpaid workers in some third world country, often yes

when being done by someone who knows what he's doing....probably not
#6
no, hes saying they can both be amazing and they can both be s***, it all depends on who or what is building it

EDIT: okay, maybe he is....
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#7
Quote by Phazer
so are you saying that handmade is normally worse due to human error?


Hand made isn't worse, it's just not as consistent. It's the same for everything that is hand made.

A CNC machine will cut exactly the same body every time, a craftsman made body will have varitations - no two will be identical - close, but not identical.
#8
In the world of electric guitar, it doesn't matter if it's hand made or CNC made. As long as the overall build quality is there then in the end it will all come down to the pickups and the setup. A good setup and pickups will make any CNC made guitar sound great but a poorly constructed guitar will make a good setup impossible.

In the world of acoustic guitars then it depends on the luthier. If the luthier is good then they can make guitar that sound significantly more cansistant than CNC machines can. This is because every piece of wood is differerent so if you get a stiff piece of wood a luthier will know to carve it thin and brace it light. If you get a soft piece of wood a luthier knows to leave it thick and/or brace it heavy.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Aug 3, 2008,
#9
Quote by seljer
you can have a crap machine and a crap luthier, as well as a excellent machine and an excellent luthier

some people might go some stuff about it having more soul or something... but a well made guitar will be a well made guitar


Simply put.

My guitar is hand made and everthing is precisely fitted and measured to a T so it's a good luthier there. A CNC machine has very tight tolerance and consistancy so you have mass productions with quality fits.

The end result is still a quality made guitar.

I could say that my handmade guitar has "soul" but that's only because the luthier profiled the guitar in his own designs. My neck is "multi-radiused" in the back not on the fretboard.
#10
Yeah, my guitar was handmade in Indonesia, probably by underpaid workers.

I can't tell the difference between it, and a CNC cut guitar--everything is accurate, but it doesn't have any special flair like some handmade guitars.
Like everyone's said--it's depends on the machine, or the person.
#11
The way I look at the two is that most machine made guitars lack a little something. I dont know what it is, you could say it lacks soul or something. I cant put my finger on it but most handmade ones I've played just have that something extra. At the end of the day though it doesnt really matter wether its been CNC'd or just out on a bandsaw then finished by hand, a good guitar is a good guitar regardless of its manufacturing.
#12
What I was saying originally was that all guitars used to be "hand-made" even at a factory like Fender. Human beings cut wood, shaped and sanded the guitar parts and there were some variances to "identical" models. Back then quality control was more important to remove parts that were too out of tolerance. These days the machining process removes the variances and each guitars size and shape should be more or less identical. This of course doesn't account for slight differences in the wood blanks used which is again a judgement call by the plant inspectors. Whether hand-made is better I think is mainly a quality and design issue. No Luthier can make 100 guitars exactly the same but is that necessarily a bad thing?
Moving on.....
#13
Quote by KenG
What I was saying originally was that all guitars used to be "hand-made" even at a factory like Fender. Human beings cut wood, shaped and sanded the guitar parts and there were some variances to "identical" models. Back then quality control was more important to remove parts that were too out of tolerance. These days the machining process removes the variances and each guitars size and shape should be more or less identical. This of course doesn't account for slight differences in the wood blanks used which is again a judgement call by the plant inspectors. Whether hand-made is better I think is mainly a quality and design issue. No Luthier can make 100 guitars exactly the same but is that necessarily a bad thing?


This could explain why the vintage guitars are so sought after.

Me, I just want a well made guitar machine wise or not.
#14
I like the way that Taylor goes about making most of their stuff. A "Master Luthier" carves one neck that will be used for all of a certain like of guitars. The neck is then either modeled using 3d software and hardware to get the dimensions from the neck, or it is put on a carve copier and up to 8 necks are carved at the same time. I think there are probably a lot of companies that do this.