#1
First off, I want to say I know nothing about building custom guitars/basses. But I was wondering, 1) How much would it cost to make a good one (just a general price range), and, 2) Even if the guitar/bass you're building didn't cost that much, is it still possible that it could sound better than professionally built ones, such as from Gibson or Fender (or other companies)?
#2
1) $600 - $900, assuming you don't go too overboard, keeping it simple in terms of wood, parts, and finishes. For a good one*. The most you can reasonably spend on building a guitar is probably $2000.

2) If you do it right, take your time, and read up on techniques, then yes, you can probably make a better guitar than Gibson or Fender.

*I spent about $250 on my guitar, and I got a dirt cheap body and neck, as well as dirt cheap hardware. I got what I paid for. A warped neck, a damaged body, shitty, soft metal hardware, and now I have a poorly made guitar.
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#3
well Im in the process of my first "build" right now. It's a warmoth strat so not really a build, more like a put-together; either way I'm not really paying much attention to total cost but just buying stuff as I can. I will tell you this much... If you spend $1,000 on parts and take your time reading about how to assemble and do everything carefully you will get an awesome guitar, and just imagine how much it would be if you paid fender or gibson to make it for you. I'd assume a lot more than $1,000...
#4
Quote by Øttər
1) $600 - $900, assuming you don't go too overboard, keeping it simple in terms of wood, parts, and finishes. For a good one*. The most you can reasonably spend on building a guitar is probably $2000.

2) If you do it right, take your time, and read up on techniques, then yes, you can probably make a better guitar than Gibson or Fender.

*I spent about $250 on my guitar, and I got a dirt cheap body and neck, as well as dirt cheap hardware. I got what I paid for. A warped neck, a damaged body, shitty, soft metal hardware, and now I have a poorly made guitar.


^ This, but only if you are comparing your first ever $900 guitar build to a $900 Gibson/Fender. I highly doubt anyones first attempt at building a guitar with $900 will outdo a $4000 Gibson/Fender custom shop.

Unless you're jenrg!.
#5
Hahaha yes! JenRG is a pro.

If you rally take your time, and educate yourself, then I think you really can make a great guitar. Obviously not as good as something made by professionals, but it would certainly surpass the quality of a production line guitar.
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#6
Depends if you have the tools and access to a lumber yard.

If you dont have any of the tools, you're pretty much into the 1000s to buy everything you need to make a guitar, and then if you dont have access to cheap wood in a lumber yard, you're going to get f**ked again to buy that.


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#7
im currently making a explorer/kelly style guitar with reversed headstock and its my first build with my dads help and i have access to all the tools and anything i thinks out of my range he can do for me and so far it has cost about 30 pounds because my dad had just enough mahogony lying around for my body and neck, and i bought a cheap set of pickups, knobs, switch, trem, all the bits you realy need of ebay and that all to gether cost 30 pounds, because i just wanted to get it working as soon as possible and the best fing is the pickups dont even sound that bad, though i will be upgrading them and my trem to a floyd rose at some point soon, so you can really make a cheap guitar providing you know the places that you can get the stuff you need for cheap, ebays a good start, i think ive wrote a bit to much so im gunna end it, watch out for the pics of my build on the forumn soon
#8
I suppose you could make a guitar for really cheap, if you go cheap on hardware and the wood. You can get a piece of mahogany big enough for a body for around 25 bucks at a good carrier, and the neck blank would be under 10 bucks for enough for a bolt on with headstock. You really shouldn't buy wood on line, it's insanely over priced.

There of course are a ton of unplanned costs that arise too. There is the cost to maintain blades on saws, and stuff like that. It's really a good idea to have new bits, and sharp blades when you start a build. There is nothing worse than knowing it could be better.
#9
Well I think the main reason people here build their guitars or their first one is that there is nothing llike making something with your own two hands and then actually being able to use it. Awesome feeling. Which is why i love making pedals.

But... Assuming you are experience with wood cutting, routing, making slots for the neck, drilling, etc then yeah you could probably make some badass stuff.
just like carvin or dragonslayer.us (granted their shitted is expensive as ****)

but then after that you have to buy all the tools that you need... So if you have the wood working skill, and have the tools, yeah you can make some nice very high quality stuff
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#10
Quote by ohspyro89
I suppose you could make a guitar for really cheap, if you go cheap on hardware and the wood. You can get a piece of mahogany big enough for a body for around 25 bucks at a good carrier, and the neck blank would be under 10 bucks for enough for a bolt on with headstock. You really shouldn't buy wood on line, it's insanely over priced.

There of course are a ton of unplanned costs that arise too. There is the cost to maintain blades on saws, and stuff like that. It's really a good idea to have new bits, and sharp blades when you start a build. There is nothing worse than knowing it could be better.


oh the advantages of having a dad that works with wood, and also ICANSEEYOU7687
i know exactly what you mean my dad bought a 335 body and a neck off this man and the bodys a lovely rosewood veneer with cream binding and i had a hand in building it because he saw the dave grohl 335 and wanted to make one so we did and it just makes you feel proud to play an intrument that youve built. that whay i cant wait untill mines finished
#11
I'm building a guitar for my senior project and I'm stoked about it. I think that a homemade guitar is better because you get to set it up EXACTLY how you want it and you get to make it exactly how you want it. I mean sure I love playing my strat, but really I can't wait to build this new guitar because it's everything I've ever wanted in a guitar, it's just better.
#12
I'm thinking about "building" a Warmoth guitar too..
It'll only be my second guitar, but I'm really looking for something high-endisch. It'll cost about $1600, but I think it's absolutely worth it. A carved top soloist alder body (maybe AAAAA grade wood, depending on how much it'll cost..), flame maple laminated top, blue burst paint job, white binding on body and neck, hard maple jackson Sl-1 neck w. ebony fretboard and wizard back, 24 frets, original recessed Floyd Rose, DiMarzio Evolution in the bridge, DiMarzio FRED in the neck (maybe coil tap), etc. The works!
I seriously think this could compete with the much more expensive Jackson Sl-1..
What do you guys think?
#13
Quote by Øttər
Hahaha yes! JenRG is a pro.

If you rally take your time, and educate yourself, then I think you really can make a great guitar. Obviously not as good as something made by professionals, but it would certainly surpass the quality of a production line guitar.


So there's no way it could be better than ones made by professionals? Can't you get help with it, too, like buying already made bodies, necks, etc or having someone else paint it or build it exactly as you want it? Even if it costs a ton of money, I just want to know if it's possible to make one better than professionals, EVEN more than Fender or Gibson Custom Shops.

Basically, I want to know if there's any kind of combination of building/assembling/getting help that could make your guitar/bass better than one you pick up at a store, even really good and expensive ones like custom shops, no matter how long it would take or how much it would cost.
#14
there's ways. it's YOUR guitar so YOU decide how YOU want the fretboard, neck, body, finish, etc. buying a body, a neck and having someone else do your finish work is bullsh*t IMO. If that's the case, just buy a fender or gibson. If you want to build something perfect, you'll have to take your time, research everything, take your time and TAKE YOUR TIME. you have to be experienced with woodworking, finishing, fretting, setup, etc. A proper setup can make a 150 dollar squier play like a 5000 dollar fender custom shop.

That being said, the more you build the better you become. By the 4th or 5th you should be "professional" quality... unless you're just a hack and destined to fail.

If you want to compare build quality of the people on this forum, look up my builds, ormsbyguitars, jscustoms, mintsauce, carousel182 and austinzor among the other builds on this site. it'll give you a general idea of novice, pro and somewhere in between
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#15
Quote by Fzau
I'm thinking about "building" a Warmoth guitar too..
It'll only be my second guitar, but I'm really looking for something high-endisch. It'll cost about $1600, but I think it's absolutely worth it. A carved top soloist alder body (maybe AAAAA grade wood, depending on how much it'll cost..), flame maple laminated top, blue burst paint job, white binding on body and neck, hard maple jackson Sl-1 neck w. ebony fretboard and wizard back, 24 frets, original recessed Floyd Rose, DiMarzio Evolution in the bridge, DiMarzio FRED in the neck (maybe coil tap), etc. The works!
I seriously think this could compete with the much more expensive Jackson Sl-1..
What do you guys think?

I hate you... That is the EXACT guitar I'm building for my project! How did you know every single detail?
#16
Ok I see. How come, though, whenever I see different bodies, most are just the standard type? I would have thought that if people were making their own, they would make their own custom style bodies that no company has ever made before. Bodies that are as radical as Deans or Jacksons; those types of bodies.
#17
one thing i would say not to try and build is a hollowbodied one there are horrible to put the pots and stuff in
#18
Quote by wizards?
I hate you... That is the EXACT guitar I'm building for my project! How did you know every single detail?

Details from the guitar I'm building? Lots of testing and comparing, then putting everything together.. It's a Warmoth, so all you really need is knowing how you want it to be
If you want to know more about the specs of the parts you like you could always visit the sites of the manifacturers (ex. Jackson), I managed to mix the Jackson radius and Ibanez back for the neck that way..
#20
Quote by maidenforce19
Ok I see. How come, though, whenever I see different bodies, most are just the standard type? I would have thought that if people were making their own, they would make their own custom style bodies that no company has ever made before. Bodies that are as radical as Deans or Jacksons; those types of bodies.

Because most amateur builders only see the "big-name" models and want to make something similar to that. Plus, those shapes are tonally accurate when done right. That's not to say every hand-made build is one of the big-names. I'm in the process of starting a build myself. I did a budget for it and figure i can do it for $450.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

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#21
Quote by wizards?
no, I meant those are the exact specs for the one I'm building... It's just creepy.

Oh, then why don't you try something else nono just kidding
Are those really the EXACT specs? You planned to put a FRED in the neck position as well?? FREAKY!
Or maybe we just both like those specs.. or I have the ability to read people's minds and make them explode.. who knows
#22
Quote by maidenforce19
Ok I see. How come, though, whenever I see different bodies, most are just the standard type? I would have thought that if people were making their own, they would make their own custom style bodies that no company has ever made before. Bodies that are as radical as Deans or Jacksons; those types of bodies.

Honestly? Because extreme shapes are often ugly as sin.

It's also kinda hard to be innovative without being kitschy. You've only got so much wood that you can feasibly work with, so it kinda limits the basic shapes. Add ergonomics to that, and you limit yourself even more.


That said, if you like something, go for it. It doesn't matter what other people think of it if you are making it for yourself.
#23
Quote by bv310
I'm in the process of starting a build myself. I did a budget for it and figure i can do it for $450.


You mean a new type of body, or just a general guitar all together?
#24
The whole guitar. I'm cheating and bought a $90 neck off eBay. I'm doing something similar to a Minarik Goddess, but I'm makiing it my own. It's not totally original, but it looks better than a Strat or LP.
R.I.P. Les Paul, 1915-2009

A man chooses, a slave obeys.
Last edited by bv310 at Oct 10, 2008,
#25
look up joelrainville he designed a sweet guitar
Support your local luthier!

Timpson Guitars and TDM Pickups rock ;D

I make guitars and pickups. I also make sh*t that'll blow you the f*k up as well as things that will rebuild you - I have the technology
#26
Quote by nuthinbuttrubl8
look up joelrainville he designed a sweet guitar


Is this the one you're talking about? Here