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  #16  
Old 04-12-2021, 07:58 AM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by posternutbag View Post
This is a purely hypothetical situation, but say you placed a custom build, and the luthier gives you a time frame. That time frame comes and goes; the luthier says her/she is working on your instrument but it will be late. What would be considered the protocol for “touching base” with the luthier regarding your build. Once a month? Once every two months? Every six months?

Let’s then take the hypothetical one step further. The luthier gives you a time frame and then blows past it. You contact the luthier regularly, let’s say once every two to three months and he or she consistently says they are working on the instrument, but you are now six months plus past the original delivery date. What should you do? And please note, I am not talking about a situation that is a completely understandable reason for the build to be late, such as the builder was ill (or a member of his/her family was ill), supply issues with wood, shop fire or flood, or any other unforeseen issues that are completely beyond the builder’s control. The build is just late by six months or more, and all you have are vague promises.

Note, this is hypothetical situation. I don’t have a custom guitar in the works, and I am not looking to out a builder. I am considering a custom build, and planning for a worst case scenario.
In your particular situation I would make this exact posting one of the main points for YOU to bring up to the potential luthiers. They should know that this is a concern of yours, and that this is the way your are, for better or worse.

Once you get past satisfying this exact possible criteria, the rest is cake.

It's a two way street.

Best regards,
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  #17  
Old 04-12-2021, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
In your particular situation I would make this exact posting one of the main points for YOU to bring up to the potential luthiers. They should know that this is a concern of yours, and that this is the way your are, for better or worse.

Once you get past satisfying this exact possible criteria, the rest is cake.

It's a two way street.

Best regards,
Howard Emerson
Someone famous once said, "Worry is a complete misuse of imagination."

Still, hard to avoid it sometimes...

Salud

Paul
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  #18  
Old 04-12-2021, 08:19 AM
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Patience is required with most builders. And is usually rewarded. Some are great at maintaining close contact. Some aren’t. Some meet promise dates. Most don’t. Most of the builders I’ve worked with have been very generous with their time and communication.

If a strict timetable is really important to you, you are highly likely to be disappointed.
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  #19  
Old 04-12-2021, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
In your particular situation I would make this exact posting one of the main points for YOU to bring up to the potential luthiers. They should know that this is a concern of yours, and that this is the way your are, for better or worse.

Once you get past satisfying this exact possible criteria, the rest is cake.

It's a two way street.

Best regards,
Howard Emerson
To quote Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.” I try to be very precise with my words to eliminate any potential misunderstandings. However, I do have Asperger Syndrome and social interactions that are easy for most people can be quite challenging for me. That is why I am asking these questions before I consider a custom build. It is also why a custom build may not be the best idea for me.
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  #20  
Old 04-12-2021, 11:41 AM
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Some years ago, on other forums, I followed a couple of unpleasant cases with builders of electric guitars. The guys were offering something that people in those circles wanted, at very attractive prices. Lots of people started ordering guitars. And they accepted the orders. But then they couldn't keep up with the promised schedules, panicked, and didn't communicate. Many nasty words were said in public.
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  #21  
Old 04-12-2021, 12:32 PM
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That has happened here before too, quite some time ago.
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  #22  
Old 04-12-2021, 12:49 PM
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I have the vast experience of exactly one (1!) custom build. This discussion inspired me to go back and check and I can report that my guitar was completed exactly when the luthier estimated in his very first response to my very first inquiry. I think we may have had a delay after completion due to the company who makes his cases (covid-related shortages), and then I requested a shipping delay to avoid the crazy weeks between the winter holidays. All that totaled about a month of delay.

Experienced solo builder, does all work in-house, long time in same location, apparently has his process and scheduling down pretty well. I received many iterations of a digital "build sheet" which represented a running catalogue of the instrument's attributes with all changes highlighted - whether or not they represented a price adjustment.

First-build excitement probably made me more annoying! The guitar more than meets my expectations!
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  #23  
Old 04-12-2021, 05:03 PM
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As a builder I get a little nervous when the customer is unresponsive. That does not happen often but when it does i usually stop work on that guitar until i i get a reply to my emails
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  #24  
Old 04-12-2021, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Sexauer View Post
Not all customers are interested in close communication, some prefer to spec the guitar, and then pay for it on delivery. Most of my customers talk to me between 4 and 10 times before the build stars, and then we talk, text, or email virtually every day during the build itself. I encourage this from the beginning (once the retainer comes in) as the more of the customer’s “DNA” is in the guitar the better their bond with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by j. Kinnaird View Post
As a builder I get a little nervous when the customer is unresponsive. That does not happen often but when it does i usually stop work on that guitar until i i get a reply to my emails
I greatly appreciate the input from luthiers who have been gracious enough to provide feedback. I have a tendency to expect the worst, although my actual experience has not has not born this out. But again, thank you for your input, it is appreciated.
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2021, 07:48 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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Why not bring up your question to the luthier and get his take on it? We, luthiers and customers both, are all different in what we want or expect. Mine have mostly been on time or a bit delayed. One was quite delayed because of the finisher. The Appollonio and the Hatcher were amazingly close to the original predicted date.

However, one builder was not even within a year. Months would go by with no communication. I would write or call religiously every 3 weeks and get no reply. Than at last an abject apology would come.... and then the process would repeat itself. Again and again. Finally, after completion, he held on to it for another 3 months. Bizarre.


With that single exception, luthiers have all very communicative with me and each has been a joy to get to know and to work with. They have made the process fun for me.
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  #26  
Old 04-18-2021, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j. Kinnaird View Post
As a builder I get a little nervous when the customer is unresponsive. That does not happen often but when it does i usually stop work on that guitar until i i get a reply to my emails
This is why I call John occasionally when a build is in the works...
Plus, he is full of information and fun to talk with!!!

I hope you go forward with a build and I hope you are thrilled with the results

Cheers

Paul
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  #27  
Old 04-19-2021, 04:29 PM
ZeroFretWear ZeroFretWear is offline
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Seems like a lot of the people in this thread are collector types who get multiple customs built and don't have issues waiting. But I don't think that ordering a custom guitar is a privilege, unless you're getting a Henderson for 1/5 of its market value. Luthiers should be held to the same standards as any other business.

For example, I once asked Matt Arcara about a build, and he told me very honestly that he couldn't promise a specific completion date, and that honesty was appreciated. If, on the other hand, a luthier promises a specific delivery date to get you to put down a deposit, and then doesn't deliver (and worse, routinely at that), it's a bait and switch.
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  #28  
Old 04-19-2021, 07:40 PM
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It makes me squirm that anyone imagines there is an average reliability factor upon which one can decide whether of not it is too chancy to commission a guitar. Every luthier is his/her own person, and most of us have an easily gleaned track record, especially as time passes.

Personally, I book my commissioned work loosely enough that there is time to build a few spec pieces in my typical year. This means that even if there are personal or health issues, unless they are last minute, I am unlikely to be unable to keep my commitments. This is a matter of honor and integrity, and it is a bigger deal for some than for others.

There is no average, do the research.
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  #29  
Old 04-19-2021, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by posternutbag View Post
To quote Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “A vague disclaimer is nobody’s friend.” I try to be very precise with my words to eliminate any potential misunderstandings. However, I do have Asperger Syndrome and social interactions that are easy for most people can be quite challenging for me. That is why I am asking these questions before I consider a custom build. It is also why a custom build may not be the best idea for me.
A reputable builder shouldn’t disappoint you. Pick someone with a great reputation. Alternately, I bought a Warmouth hard tail Strat with Harmonic Design pickups and find I do not play it. I’m a single-cut guy. If you’d be interested in it, let me know. $700 shipped and PayPal. Happy to send pics.
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  #30  
Old 04-20-2021, 12:30 PM
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I just placed a custom order with Brook Guitars and was told they are about 7 months out. Haven't heard how punctual they are but will hope they can meet that time frame and I'll do my very best to not bother them during the process. I've already seen my back & side wood and know what the top will be. My inlay is simple and the purfling standard and binding curly maple so there's not much left for me to decide. Will ask for the occasional photo however.
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