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Old 04-28-2011, 06:39 AM
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bdm0509 bdm0509 is offline
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Default Upcoming Builds and a Thanks to Several Luthiers

Hi all-

As many of you have seen, I have a build thread going on for my pair of Raymond Kraut guitars. That's about to gear up, as we're moving into the design phase in another two weeks, and building throughout May. Then, in late May, my buddy and I (who do graphic and web design as well as film, videography, and rich media) will head to Ray's shop to film and photo the heck out of those guitars, including Larry Pattis playing his. Lots more pictures will come on the build thread, and we'll create a new thread for the Shop Tour and features we'll produce.

In the meantime, it's a market where you can't really make impulse decisions. Even newer luthiers have waits, and some of the real gems out there have multi-year waits. So I've spent some time talking to folks, and deciding on the next few years of guitars, as I've got to decide now to play later. I wanted to tease everyone with the guitars to come, which of course means, the build threads to come.

First, I've finally taken the plunge and have officially put down a deposit on a Jeff Traugott guitar. I don't know that anyone needs an introduction to Jeff; he's spectacular and has already impressed the heck out of me. He's also agreed to photo-journaling the entire process, so expect a healthy build thread there. Jeff has said he's going to work my guitar into his "soon" batch, since many of his clients have intentionally set their orders a few years out in order to collect funds. Since I "can move ahead" (that's polite luthier-talk for "I have the money"), he's going to begin my guitar this year and hopefully finish early in 2012. Jeff and I have already picked out what I think is an amazing piece of Brazilian, so I'll start the thread before long. That guitar will be a BK (his 16" model) with a cutaway, a fan fret, and some customized inlay work in Hebrew script. Drool... So that's my 2012.

I've spent multiple hours on the phone with Ray and Jeff and these are real all-stars in our community. It's stunning to get the personal attention from these men when you're one in a long line (particularly in Jeff's case) of suitors.

Finally, and although it's last, the reason I started this thread: I spent a fair bit of time with several other luthiers, many on the AGF, and wanted to thank them for their time, and encourage you all to check them out. Tim McKnight was gracious to a fault, even offering to send me a guitar to check out with no obligation other than shipping; Kathy Wingert sent me several mails and pictures and made me very interested; David Berkowitz and I exchanged a few mails, warmly.

But most impressive were Mike Greenfield and Bruce Sexauer. Mike spent at least a few hours on the phone with me over a few weeks, and ultimately it came down to a few weird options I wanted that Mike could have given me, but he himself said he thought I'd suffer tonally with his builds. We've tabled that, and I would not be surprised if I added a Greenfield at one point. Just an amazing guy who I feel like is a friend, not just a potential guitar-builder. I still want one of his G4 fans...

And Bruce spent a good long time with me in email and the phone, and I came within a hair's breadth of going with Bruce. There was nothing at all wrong; I just ultimately wanted a Traugott, and knew it was now or never. Bruce is a strongly opinionated guy, and I actually found that what I think might sometimes come off as arrogance in a dry AGF post translated to confidence and assurance--and even some fun--on the phone. Like Mike, the day may well come when we work together.

So while I know most of you are already wanting to see how Jeff Traugott bends his sides, I have to say, the real stars in this process where Kathy, Tim, David, and especially Mike and Bruce, who spent a lot of time with no promise of reward. I'd recommend them highly if you're looking for a build, and would be happy to answer questions through PMs if you want to know more; I have nothing but positive things to say.

So enjoy, and there will be build threads soon...

-B
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Last edited by bdm0509; 05-09-2011 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:59 AM
ericcsong ericcsong is offline
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have we seen a Traugott build on AGF? Can't wait to see this one!
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:56 AM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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I notice your Traugott is listed as a 2012. Popular knowledge has Jeff with a 7 year wait list, but perhaps that was 6 years ago?

Thank you for letting your alternatives know what you're up to. Best of luck with your current direction.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:00 AM
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Hey Bruce-

Jeff does have a very long list, but most of the folks have explicitly said, "I'm ready in 2013," or "I'm saving up for four years." In my case, since I am already ready (what an odd construction of words), Jeff is going to work mine in. Nobody is losing a place or being pushed back, but when he (for example) bends sides for a guitar late this year, he'll simply stay late and bend my sides as well.

I could probably say something like, "Well, gosh, I wish he were working on mine, and nothing but mine." Of course, after the Olson thread we've been seeing, if he's doing nothing but one guitar and mine at the same time, I can more than live with that.

So I think his normal list is very long, but if you have cash in hand, Jeff works with you. As he said (and I appreciated very much), "When you're spending this sort of money on a guitar, I'm going to try and get it to you whenever you want it, within reason."

Still eyeing that Braz/German shaded top JB, Bruce... maybe one day...

-B
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:02 AM
ericcsong ericcsong is offline
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you're already ready already?
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:15 AM
vicov vicov is offline
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You're a lucky lucky man. I have never been fortunate enough to get up close with a Traugott but hope that is remedied soon (are you reading this Steve?).
I was (also) surprised that his waiting list is considerably shorter than the 7 years we all hear about. Good for you though.

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Old 04-28-2011, 10:49 AM
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I don't really think Jeff's list is all that short... he realistically has about a 4-5 year backlog these days I believe, and when talking about spending this kind of money on a guitar (or anything for that matter) most people budget and put aside money based on that time frame, so it's not unfathomable that some people would not want or be able to move up their delivery date based on this. So, in this case, it's all comes down to economics for Jeff... a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. If you have a customer (in this economy) that wants to buy a guitar and has the cash in hand, and you have a bunch of customers with deposits/orders that are wishy-washy about funds this year and/or next year, what would you do?
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:52 AM
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What Mike said.

Which is why I get my BK before his new R, heh...
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:57 AM
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I would gladly let you cut in front of me... I already have a few of his guitars kicking around to play.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:38 AM
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Congrats Brett. I am sure Jeff will build you a fantastic guitar. Looking forward to seeing the build process.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:52 AM
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Brett, congratulations on your upcoming Traugott! Most of the people I know who have gotten one don't stop at one...

About Jeff's list, MikeD explained it very well. Even in a good economy people come up on a builder's list who need to push things out due to finances. With builders like Jeff (and a few others in that price range) the financial piece is certainly a big factor. Safe to say we are not in a good economy!

MikeD, sorry you won't have anything to play until your R comes, I'll bring my Kramer up to hold you over.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:25 PM
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Great stuff! I'm a big fan of Jeff.
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