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  #1  
Old 09-30-2023, 03:00 PM
eyesore eyesore is offline
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Default anyone have a guitar built?

This is probably the wrong place for this ;but since I just can't seem to find a guitar to fit my specs; I am thinking of having one built . Does Martin do this or can anyone recommend someone? I don't want to go crazy ,pricewise ,I just want something kind of plain but built the way I would like it .Any you guys ever do this? Thanks.
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Old 09-30-2023, 03:05 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
This is probably the wrong place for this ;but since I just can't seem to find a guitar to fit my specs; I am thinking of having one built . Does Martin do this or can anyone recommend someone? I don't want to go crazy ,pricewise ,I just want something kind of plain but built the way I would like it .Any you guys ever do this? Thanks.
I've had it done by one of the best, John Monteleone.

If I were you I'd give Bill Bonanzinga a call. He's on Long Island, and he's very reasonable, primarily building in the 'Gibson'ish style.

His email is [email protected], or if you're on Facebook, just send a friend request and then you can message him. Feel free to mention my name!

As with all things: MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR HANDS, EYES AND BODY!

Best of luck.

Howard Emerson
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Old 09-30-2023, 03:12 PM
Deliberate1 Deliberate1 is offline
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A bit of light reading.
David

https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...splay.php?f=38
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Old 09-30-2023, 03:33 PM
sinistral sinistral is offline
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I was going to say, is this a trick question? There’s an entire sub-forum dedicated to custom guitars.

Builders like Martin and Gibson have custom shops where one can make minor tweaks to existing models that aren’t significantly more expensive than the base model being tweaked, or one can make more elaborate modifications. Boutique builders (Collins, Bourgeois, Santa Cruz, etc.) offer custom options (SC is actually all custom now) as do smaller shops and solo luthiers. Depending on your budget (e.g. <$5k), the pool of choices isn’t as deep.

What are you looking for that you can find in a stock guitar?
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Old 09-30-2023, 03:43 PM
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ljguitar ljguitar is offline
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…Any you guys ever do this? Thanks.
Hi e-s

Twice - 12 yrs apart.

Best guitars I've owned, and better than most I've played.


1993 Olson Dreadnought - ERI/Cedar
2005 Bashkin OM - fanned fret…Myrtlewood/Italian Spruce









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Old 09-30-2023, 04:03 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I’ve had several guitars, several mountain dulcimers and one mandolin custom made. The more hands-on experience and exact knowledge of what it is you need and don’t need that you have going in, the better the results.

What are you looking for?


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 09-30-2023, 04:08 PM
k_russell k_russell is offline
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I received my new classical guitar last week. The builder was able to accommodate my requests. I'm very happy with the instrument.

I have two other custom built guitars. The buying experience was good with these 2 guitars, also.

My aging joints prefer a shorter scale guitar, so I'm selling my first 2 custom built , standard scale, guitars. One caveat of owning a custom built guitar is that your custom specs may not suit many other players. Selling your custom build may prove to be a challenge.
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Old 09-30-2023, 04:30 PM
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colins colins is offline
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Yes, Martin has a Custom Shop. Do a search here and you will find people that liked it and others that didn’t.

Or, as David says, the Custom page is a great place to get ideas and advice. Here is a particular thread about commissioning a custom guitar - https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=589449

Threads here on the “why” of getting a custom build show great variation, from wanting a particular tone or responsive top (my drivers) or neck shape, through to enjoyment of certain types of wood or inlay, to the sheer enjoyment of the process.

In my multiple custom builds and from what I read of others’ successes and failures; three words stand out. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Play guitars to get a feel for what you want that cannot be found in an off the shelf guitar. Learn which builders you like, because they each have a signature sound. When you have one or more builders whose instruments match your requirements, talk with them and decide if you are a good fit in your approaches to work. Describe what you want, and listen to their responses, which often bring decades of experience from hundreds of builds to the conversation.

The custom route is not for everyone, but it can be a fun process that results in a very special guitar.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2023, 05:14 PM
Charlie Bernstein Charlie Bernstein is offline
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I wouldn't go to Martin or any of the big booteek companies. I'd visit some local luthiers to try some of their guitars and talk about pricing and options.

Then I'd pick one and talk with him or her about prices and what I want.

Then I'd agree on a price, stand back, and let the pro take it from there.
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Old 09-30-2023, 05:32 PM
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Bill Kraus Bill Kraus is offline
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I just said this recently on another post but I'll say it again,
I can make a guitar for you. I'm in my 20th year as a builder, sold through Mandolin Brothers, Gruhns, The North American Guitar/Carter vintage instruments, and have displayed at the Woodstock and Artisan shows multiple times. Check out my website at the link below, as well as my Kraus Guitars Facebook page.
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Last edited by Bill Kraus; 09-30-2023 at 05:34 PM. Reason: Bad grammar.
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Old 09-30-2023, 05:33 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is offline
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Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
This is probably the wrong place for this ;but since I just can't seem to find a guitar to fit my specs; I am thinking of having one built . Does Martin do this or can anyone recommend someone?
From least to most expensive:

a) Many of the big manufacturers operate a custom shop, where you can get a 'standard' model with different (your) specs.

b) There are some smaller companies and individual luthiers who specialize in (re) creating designs of the classic companies, often with their own enhancements, and many will incorporate your specs.
An example is Santa Cruz, who I believe makes a better Martin than Martin in many ways.

c) Then you get to the luthiers that build certain designs, but allow for lots of customization.

d) Finally, there are some luthiers (not many) who will build a truly bespoke instrument, with almost every spec decided on by you.

If you like standard instruments from known manufacturers, then stick with a or b.

Only consider c or d if you KNOW you want something that may be significantly different than what you find on the wall at 99.9% of guitar shops.
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Old 09-30-2023, 05:33 PM
HFox HFox is offline
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I'm old ....but I have had 2 SCGC custom builds and Have bought all of my preowned SCGC instruments from folks who had them custom built.
If You can afford it, without entering into nonrecoverale debt, the experience of having a custom built guitar from a high end builder will be one of the most memorable times of your life.
But don't do it with the idea of monatary gain...rather realize that you are creating an heirloom to pass down to your blood.
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Old 09-30-2023, 06:03 PM
BlueBowman BlueBowman is online now
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Eyesore, search google in your region for luthiers. I'd be willing to bet there's more than one who can make you a custom build (and maybe for a great price). And as others have stated, it's VERY important that you know exactly what you're getting into with the builder's guitars, as they can vary tremendously. If it's someone close to where you live, you can audition some of their guitars first.

What are you looking for, specifically, and what style of music do you play? That will help, and you'll get some amazingly helpful responses from people here if you get specific.
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2023, 06:05 PM
Mycroft Mycroft is offline
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Originally Posted by eyesore View Post
This is probably the wrong place for this ;but since I just can't seem to find a guitar to fit my specs; I am thinking of having one built . Does Martin do this or can anyone recommend someone? I don't want to go crazy ,pricewise ,I just want something kind of plain but built the way I would like it .Any you guys ever do this? Thanks.
What are the specs that you can't find on an off the rack instrument? Basics like neck shape, scale, nut width, woods, etc, you might be able to get from a large manufacturers custom shop. Things like responsiveness or tonal profiles you will need to go full custom.

I have three. Two McAlisters built a dozen years apart (Not sure he does custom orders still) Different tonal profiles, although they have similar responsiveness, as I play mostly with fingers. I love 'em.

The third is a very out of left field instrument: a Baritone Weissenborn built by the mad Canadians at Rayco. It is an instrument that is almost by definition going to be a custom order. Also a lifetime instrument.

The takeaway: know what you want and why you want it.
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  #15  
Old 09-30-2023, 06:10 PM
BlueBowman BlueBowman is online now
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Originally Posted by ljguitar View Post
Hi e-s

Twice - 12 yrs apart.

Best guitars I've owned, and better than most I've played.


1993 Olson Dreadnought - ERI/Cedar
2005 Bashkin OM - fanned fret…Myrtlewood/Italian Spruce




Beautiful guitars, Larry. I bet they are both amazing. Brings me a bit of pain to see, because last year I had a chance to buy a Bashkin (2005 model, as it happens) for a ridiculously good deal...and I balked. It was selling for half of what they go for used today. Yeah, I think about it a few times week. Painful.
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