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  #16  
Old 05-09-2020, 08:44 PM
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There is some ambiguity when referring to a factory and then mentioning that small businesses may have issues keeping the act together. It is but a small nudge to project that the OP might be considering doing business with more serious luthiers.
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  #17  
Old 05-09-2020, 10:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB'sox View Post
I think this thread is comparing apples and oranges. He is not looking for a luthier built guitar as we tend to think about in the custom section. He is looking at a factory built guitar with custom features that he orders through a retailer.
Periodically someone posts here about a custom order from some guitar manufacturer or other.

I have always wondered if this sub forum name Custom Shop shouldn't be changed to Luthiers' Corner or some such name...

Just a thought.

And I was trying to suggest he deal directly with one of our esteemed Builders a few posts back.

Happy Sunday to all!

Paul
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  #18  
Old 05-10-2020, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Periodically someone posts here about a custom order from some guitar manufacturer or other.

I have always wondered if this sub forum name Custom Shop shouldn't be changed to Luthiers' Corner or some such name...

Just a thought.

And I was trying to suggest he deal directly with one of our esteemed Builders a few posts back.

Happy Sunday to all!

Paul

Yes, I think he should as well as you know I am quite fond of luthier built guitars LOL!!! I was just pointing out that those of us discussing the individual luthier does not seem to be his focus. However, in that regard, I would have absolutely no hesitation ordering a guitar now from one of the luthier sponsors on this site, especially one of those I know personally. The guys I know would go to the ends of the earth to finish all their builds before not filling an order.

This thread does fall in a grey zone as to where it best fits.
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  #19  
Old 05-10-2020, 11:25 AM
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Being a 1-man shop is a bonus during this time, and I would not hesitate. The guitar shows have been cancelled and there are hours to fill. You might find the wait time shortening.
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  #20  
Old 05-10-2020, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
Periodically someone posts here about a custom order from some guitar manufacturer or other.

I have always wondered if this sub forum name Custom Shop shouldn't be changed to Luthiers' Corner or some such name...

Just a thought.

And I was trying to suggest he deal directly with one of our esteemed Builders a few posts back.

Happy Sunday to all!

Paul
I agree. Lots of folks confuse ordering a "custom" martin through a shop with working with a small shop builder.

Steve
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  #21  
Old 05-10-2020, 12:01 PM
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It's interesting to see the number of build slots advertised on Dream Guitars. This could be a new addition, but I don't recall this in the past. It's a nice move on their part, but could also represent the times we're in?
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  #22  
Old 05-10-2020, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colins View Post
These are pretty uncertain times but I’d echo mercy’s comments about many fine builders (a) still working at present and (b) having waiting lists. On an overall level I think builders will be more concerned about customers defaulting (potentially with a lot more $$ involved) than customers losing deposits.
This has been my experience. I've had three indefinite postponements on custom builds since the pandemic started to explode. Understandably, people are being very cautious about committing to substantial financial outlays in such uncertain and perilous times.

I still occupy that middle-ground section of the custom build spectrum, where most of my clients are not extremely well off, and for whom a high quality custom guitar represents a substantial outlay of hard-earned money. A lot of people I build guitars for are well-off but not wealthy; they are working-class folks who are fulfilling a long-held dream of getting a custom instrument, but are unable to consider laying out ten-grand-plus to fulfill the dream.
I suspect that if I was in that category of charging more than $10K average for a guitar, and had a two-year-plus wait list, I'd be feeling fairly serene and secure; because most of the people who play in that field are pretty well set to weather a storm like this. I have deliberately kept my prices as moderate as possible for a long time, so I could make my instruments accessible to people of moderate means. Maybe that was a naive business model...?

I was looking forward to a fun, busy summer, but in the space of a couple weeks, I suddenly found myself with an uncommitted build schedule until around October. And who knows what things will be like then.

Fortunately, I did add one new client in the interim, and a couple of new inquiries from people who may take a chance, and book a new build with only a month or two of wait time. I still have two, maybe three custom build slots open this summer. If no one signs up, I will still be out in the shop building guitars, and offering them for sale privately, through the AGF Marketplace. I have two available right now, which were originally intended to be show guitars.
It may be some lean times ahead, but I'm going to keep on doing this work until I can no longer lift a chisel. And I have to say, I feel inordinately blessed, because I always seem to have what I need to get by, one way or another.

Best of good fortune to everyone here; I hope we ALL survive, and eventually prosper.
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  #23  
Old 05-10-2020, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitars44me View Post
My two cents…

This might be an excellent time to start a dialogue with some of the luthier's who support the forum.

We are fortunate to have some very very talented Luthiers around here!!!

Just a thought...

Paul
I strongly second that opinion, Paul!
Making lemons into lemonade (or even better, lemon meringue pie!), people in the market for fine guitars may be presented with some excellent opportunities to scratch that itch without having to wait months and months. And I suspect it is now a buyer's market. Players can support makers, while makers can support players.
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  #24  
Old 05-15-2020, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wengr View Post
So the pandemic hits just as I had decided to sell off many of my longtime instruments in order to fund some new guitars, a few of which will be custom orders. However the typical custom order scenario is that you have to place the order with a dealer who then communicates with the factory.

However with so much speculation that many small businesses will not survive, I am concerned about deposits made up front.
I would think that the same concerns could apply to luthier commissions.

Anyone with similar concerns?
Certainly a valid point. I've had a recent exchange with a local client who expressed the same concerns. We decided to draw up a contract where I would put the deposit first on his behalf and he promises to pay up in full upon completion of the guitar. We went back and forth a couple times and finally decided it wasn't worth the effort and just went ahead with the deposit the old school way

If it's of any consolation, we've actually had a record number of sales this month as a dealer. I believe it's something to do with people being at home with not as much entertainment not spending, and would like to see some of that go towards a lovely new guitar

I believe a few other dealers would have experienced the same!
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