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Old 23-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #7111
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Saddle up James, you're next out the door.
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Old 23-07-2012, 12:19 PM   #7112
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Surely it must be time now for Alex's guitars to have their own thread?

EDIT: Oh and also! When are you doing a guitar without a natural finish
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Old 23-07-2012, 12:55 PM   #7113
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Sounds good Alex but don't go bumping your prices too high just yet and putting yourself out of the game. It wasn't long ago you could by a Manson for a very reasonable price and to say they are well established would be an understatement.
Sounds like you're on track so I'd keep trucking if I were you. You put your prices up when you can afford to turn away the work.
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Old 23-07-2012, 01:17 PM   #7114
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Good call Phill

They aren't in the Manson range by any means, but the base price is around $2,500-$3,000 depending on what's going on. The average seems to be $3,500-$5000 for builders in California.

And as long as its a build that I'm doing for myself, or given the option by the customer to do what I think is best, they'll be natural and oiled. Wood is such a beautiful thing in its natural state. Grain patterns, natural pigments, the pore size in which the oil is soaked in. Wood is a life form in its own, and I feel that it's a disgrace in a sense to want to cover that all up. Not that finished guitars look like shit, a lot look great. But I prefer natural always.

When I take a few days to recover/rest and get back onto James' build, I'll start a thread. No use slamming a general use forum
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Old 23-07-2012, 02:18 PM   #7115
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Good call Phill

They aren't in the Manson range by any means, but the base price is around $2,500-$3,000 depending on what's going on. The average seems to be $3,500-$5000 for builders in California.

And as long as its a build that I'm doing for myself, or given the option by the customer to do what I think is best, they'll be natural and oiled. Wood is such a beautiful thing in its natural state. Grain patterns, natural pigments, the pore size in which the oil is soaked in. Wood is a life form in its own, and I feel that it's a disgrace in a sense to want to cover that all up. Not that finished guitars look like shit, a lot look great. But I prefer natural always.

When I take a few days to recover/rest and get back onto James' build, I'll start a thread. No use slamming a general use forum
Yep. I have the documents from the department of agriculture to prove this

excited to get this guitar. not sure if it would be worth starting another thread since it's basically finished though? it's really just the neck and a few tweaks to the body you have to do, right?
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Old 23-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #7116
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Not just for one guitar, but any current and future projects
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Old 23-07-2012, 03:15 PM   #7117
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Don't pop in here too much but that's pretty impressive. Congrats!
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That was a bit anticlimactic. Can't you be a little more like Bs?
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Old 23-07-2012, 03:35 PM   #7118
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Yea man, great story, be chuffed. Also that geetar you posted a pic of on the last page is quite a cool shape to.
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Old 23-07-2012, 04:36 PM   #7119
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Just thought id post a quick picture of my first router template coming together for me mb-1 project, this is my first ever build and after reading a million books and articles im hoping what I have learnt for building a guitar will pay off.

The template is looking in good shape so far, just got to work out how i will get the mesaurements of the mb-1's kill switch and control cavities now!

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Old 23-07-2012, 09:23 PM   #7120
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Just a few points I'd like to leave here.

First: Alex, congratulations on another successful build for the YTG guys--they seem like a real class act, and I'm glad that your work with them has been such a good experience and, it seems, yielded some more interest and potential clients for you.

Second: BUT, you're still not an established luthier. You've made two guitars for one band, but that really doesn't mean a whole lot--they've not been road tested for years. You've only had two clients so far. And, that's to say, two clients who don't know a thing about your history as a luthier. And sure, you appear to have more in store, but when are you going to get an order from someone just looking for a nice custom guitar? My point, without meaning to sound rude, is that you're just not yet at a level where you can call yourself a full-blown custom guitar luthier.

As for prices There's no way you should be charging $2500-3000 per guitar. A couple of months ago, you told me the guitar you built for Jacob would've cost about $2000. Like I said, you're unestablished in the world of custom guitar builders. People like Andy Elliott, John Suhr, and Tom Anderson--legends in their own right, especially the latter two--build guitars for around that price. And if I were looking to spend another $3000 on another custom build right now, I'd definitely go for one of those three--three well-established, well-respected luthiers, one of whom is already building me a guitar--over an unknown guy from San Francisco.

Third: While I don't doubt that you've made strides in the quality of your work since the early years of Barnett Customs, you still seem to be going through builds hastily and without proper planning, as you yourself mention in your description of Eric's build. If a luthier delivered a guitar to me and I somehow found a post by him about my guitar that contained the information yours did, I'd be mortified. Especially for the prices you're wanting to charge.

It seems to me that your perception of yourself and your work, while maybe not entirely untrue, is further in advance of your actual work. What I mean is, you seem to want to base current pricing on a product which hasn't yet been delivered, but is in planning in your mind. That's all well, but you need to deliver a product which is consistently worth $2500-3000 before you start charging that much, and you also need to find a consumer base which will consistently pay that price for your work instead of Andy Elliott's, John Suhr's, or Tom Anderson's.

Just some constructive criticism from my end Keep up the good work!

Oh, and as an afterthought, you should really create some sort of real web presence if you're serious about churning out some custom builds to a wide range of people who will give good feedback. Facebook won't cut it--create a website and start an account on TGP. There's a wealth of knowledge there, as well as a forum specific to small builders and luthiers--people like John Suhr post there regularly, as well as on another forum that I can't remember--I think Sherpa and James are on it. Rig Talk?
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Old 23-07-2012, 09:35 PM   #7121
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Well that was entirely expected.

Good job Alex, keep it up!
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Old 23-07-2012, 09:39 PM   #7122
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Well that was entirely expected.

Good job Alex, keep it up!
Surprised it took him this long.

And it's stunning Alex, I'd kill to have that guitar!!!
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Old 23-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #7123
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1) Thank you

2) There is no road testing or test of time, it is either right, or it isn't. Guitars are simple in that way. Regardless of my history, what matters are the instruments coming out now.

The guitar that I built for Jacob was before my proper training. Over the past 3 1/2 months, I've worked on hundreds of guitars, with each result ending up having to be perfect, or it doesn't leave my bench. It doesn't sound like much, but doing it 9-12 hours a day really adds up.

The shop I am working with is equipped with the highest quality tools available for any and every job and process in building. The minds I am working with and who are training me in building as well are brilliant.

3) There is nothing wrong with coming across challenges. I told him the entire way what was happening, what matters is the end product. It came out flawless, and there were no compromises. This wasn't an absolute set design, it was open ended. So I was able to go into it, and while proper planning would have made it much smoother, it wouldn't have yielded a better result.

I have 5 guitars that I have lined up to build, which will all be finished before the first one that is charged the raised prices.

People want to know that they are getting something of quality. If I put countless hours into a project and only ask for a small payment, it shows that I do not value my time and my skill. I'm not trying to sound arrogant by any means, but I value my knowledge and skill level, and people will recognize that. It's as simple as this: I know I am capable of putting out a product that is absolutely perfect and flawless. People value that, and will want to pay for something like that.

Website currently in the works
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Old 23-07-2012, 10:42 PM   #7124
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Lol, how did I know The Gear Page would come up in that post

Do you talk about how great KnT is on TGP?
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Old 23-07-2012, 10:45 PM   #7125
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To be fair, TGP is kind of a big deal.
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