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  #31  
Old 06-14-2015, 11:53 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
While production CF guitars are justifiably expensive, CF custom guitars strike me as incredible deals. I've had three custom guitars from Emerald and one from Blackbird; those guitars were roughly half the cost of similar custom wooden instruments.
Actually there are dozens of builders who will build you a full custom wood guitar for less than what a custom Emerald will run you. One of our sponsors, Halcyon for instance.
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  #32  
Old 06-14-2015, 12:12 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Ted;

I think Halcyon makes a beautiful guitar and the available options make it a desirable choice. Indeed, you've offered what may be the best example of a very reasonably priced custom wooden guitar. The pricing is very close to what I've paid for my custom Emerald instruments. Given the cost of production model CF instruments, I think the CF customs are a remarkable deal.
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  #33  
Old 06-15-2015, 11:34 AM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
Ted;

I think Halcyon makes a beautiful guitar and the available options make it a desirable choice. Indeed, you've offered what may be the best example of a very reasonably priced custom wooden guitar. The pricing is very close to what I've paid for my custom Emerald instruments. Given the cost of production model CF instruments, I think the CF customs are a remarkable deal.
I actually think CF guitars in general are a great deal.
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  #34  
Old 06-15-2015, 06:14 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Ted;

I've really liked your position between wood and CF guitars. I liked Michael's shop because of his set-ups and free-wheeling forum. But I've liked your shop because you put out the best you can and have a pretty good assessment of what works and what doesn't. Thank you,
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  #35  
Old 06-16-2015, 12:20 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Originally Posted by EvanB View Post
Ted;

I've really liked your position between wood and CF guitars. I liked Michael's shop because of his set-ups and free-wheeling forum. But I've liked your shop because you put out the best you can and have a pretty good assessment of what works and what doesn't. Thank you,
Thanks Evan. I was a collector long before I became a dealer so I have tons of on hands experience with many, many guitars. Although I do have my favorites, I have no loyalty to any material or brand, and I understand that what works for me today, may not work for you, or me tomorrow.
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  #36  
Old 06-17-2015, 02:32 AM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
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Originally Posted by jwayne View Post
According to a sampling of people at a 2014 composites trade show:

Even assuming a lower volume purchase doubling the carbon fiber price, that still is only about $100 for a guitar body & neck.

So what is holding up its wider use by guitar makers, in particular at the more budget levels. You can get a helluva wood guitar for $500 (and less). But not carbon fiber. Does it take so much more labor to make one than a wood guitar? Is it the equipment costs? Do you foresee its adoption for the budget market segment?

Curious mind wants to know.
Why would the price ever go down. The sound is exquisite, the playability is superb. The price / value should be based on what the product produces, not producing the product. Particularly when you're discussing an item used in the arts.
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  #37  
Old 06-17-2015, 06:46 AM
epluribus36 epluribus36 is offline
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Originally Posted by Finger Stylish View Post
Why would the price ever go down. The sound is exquisite, the playability is superb. The price / value should be based on what the product produces, not producing the product. Particularly when you're discussing an item used in the arts.
Well spoken -- uh, typed. I find myself wondering why I would ever own a wood guitar again, unless I wanted to give it away to somebody.
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  #38  
Old 06-17-2015, 09:47 AM
Finger Stylish Finger Stylish is offline
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Originally Posted by epluribus36 View Post
Well spoken -- uh, typed. I find myself wondering why I would ever own a wood guitar again, unless I wanted to give it away to somebody.
Well just to be clear, I never suggested Carbon was a better material for a guitar. Wood or carbon have their own place, and I for one am happy to own & use both.
Now if I ever were to have to choose one over the other, that wood be a tuff, tough decision. (I may have left a subliminal hint in there somewhere)
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  #39  
Old 06-17-2015, 10:34 AM
John Morciglio John Morciglio is offline
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Default Hello,

First post here, long time lurker.

Disclaimer;
I am a custom carbonfibre mfg.
Mostly build bikes.
Have been building carbon guitars for about 3 years now.
Started building wood guitars in the 80's.

First let me say that I also hope the prices don't come down?
Cheap offshore stuff already floods the bicycle market. I fear it is coming.

The prices being thrown around for full Al. molds are WAY OFF!!
If the builders are paying that much for tooling, they need to do some research, move to Michigan, or hire a production manager???

You could buy a top of the line CNC 5-axis mill for less than 50k!

Tooling, or "molds" can be made from many different materials with the exact same results.

Cheap gelcoat, high-temp polyester resins/surface coats and fiberglass can yield high quality parts; Formula 1 tooling is mostly molded.
Smaller parts may use Al for tooling.

We also (mfg's in MI) use "casting resins". They have the same, or in some cases better properties for "fast-cycle, high heat" cures. They can have Al., TI., steel, or other additives depending on the application.

I use a Boeing Mil-spec. epoxy resin that will "air, or open" cure.
Still has a 56 thousand lb. "shore or tinsel" strength.

My first experience with carbon was in 79' at a factory that built racing boats w/ solid carbon sails, (they looked like vertical wings)

Here are some molds, (made from carbon, w/epoxy high-temp resins and surface coats;


You could pull a 1000 parts without damage as long as they are properly prepped before molding.

It obviously took many man hours to create the design, drawings, plugs, then molds before finally pulling any parts.

But 50-80k would cover me for a year.
These were done in weeks. The carbon used for the molds were mostly from the scrap bin. AL. angle and a strip of TI. was used to keep the neck area stable under higher heat.

My necks have .005-007 thous. relief built in. Still use a truss rod on all carbon necks. Built a dozen prototype necks and 9 full guitars before committing to molds.

JM
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  #40  
Old 06-17-2015, 10:43 AM
John Morciglio John Morciglio is offline
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Default Plugs, molds;




Meant to post those plug/mold pics.

JM
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  #41  
Old 06-17-2015, 10:57 AM
epluribus36 epluribus36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finger Stylish View Post
Well just to be clear, I never suggested Carbon was a better material for a guitar. Wood or carbon have their own place, and I for one am happy to own & use both.
Now if I ever were to have to choose one over the other, that wood be a tuff, tough decision. (I may have left a subliminal hint in there somewhere)
Sure, my opinion is my own, but cf has spoiled me now.
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  #42  
Old 06-17-2015, 12:15 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Originally Posted by John Morciglio View Post
...The prices being thrown around for full Al. molds are WAY OFF!!

...You could pull a 1000 parts without damage as long as they are properly prepped before molding.
Welcome to the forum John. A few questions for you. What should an aluminum mold for a guitar cost? Could your molds be used with pre-preg carbon fiber? And finally, would you still use your system if you were building 2000 guitars a year?
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  #43  
Old 06-17-2015, 12:51 PM
John Morciglio John Morciglio is offline
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Default ???

[QUOTE=Ted @ LA Guitar Sales;4536302]Welcome to the forum John. A few questions for you. What should an aluminum mold for a guitar cost? Could your molds be used with pre-preg carbon fiber? And finally, would you still use your system if you were building 2000 guitars a year?[/QUOTE


Thanks!

As far as actual pricing for an AL mold(s).

I was a diemaker by trade. So I would/could make the molds myself;
have NOT ever priced the job?

Not saying I know what was paid by who?
Used to MFG Harley parts;
you can get a full custom 23" wheel milled for about 10k.
"supposedly" about 30+ hours of mill time and includes a one-off design/program.

My close friend with a full machine shop, including 3-4 5-axis mills charges about $165,00 per hr. I'm sure you can find higher prices but you can also find lower.

I would use casting resin over a plug even if I had a larger budget.

Pre-pregs require a "controlled environment, (cooler temps) for working and storage.

They also do not conform to complex curves/radii etc.

Their benefits are many (mostly for the MFG and mass production ;-)
Can cure in as little as a half hour before de-molding.

This does not yield a stronger, OR lighter part. It can be made faster with (probably) a higher cost for material.

Could I use my molds with pre-pregs ?" yes but I would coat all the exposed wood with the same high-temp surface coat used on the molds.

If someone said they wanted to "fund" or invest to build bikes, guitars, or whatever and I had a million dollar budget, I would still not use pre-preg unless mass production and "X" number or volume HAD to be met.

(simply because of it not conforming to compound curves) well.

Pre-preg alone does not create a "better" carbon product.

The recipe/formula, R+D, trial-error, and experience by the builder is what will create the highest quality and best sounding instrument.

Tops (flat or arch) can be built many different ways.
With a wooden top, you can build it exactly the same and get a different sound depending on the wood itself.

Carbon is more predictable. Build the same top with the same lay-up and you would not likely be able to hear a difference.

Still a "tough sell" in most cases?
2000 guitars a year ??? (I would need a bigger shop and a marketing team!!!

JM
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  #44  
Old 06-17-2015, 01:27 PM
ac ac is offline
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This gives some good solid insight into how Emerald has been producing guitars without aluminum machined molds or prepeg and is also able to change to new designs quite quickly.

I'd love to see and learn how one of their guitars is produced from beginning to end.

Your archtop looks fantastic, by the way. How does it sound?

Have you sold any or are they just for yourself?
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  #45  
Old 06-17-2015, 03:20 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
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Thanks for the reply John.
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