Hello there readers!
I had a very difficult week recently where I found out that the guitar I had ordered about two months ago was going to take another two months. I was quite grumpy; and perhaps I had a bit of a headache as well as other life oriented headaches were all around me around that time. Alas, such is the nature of life. But now that it’s all over, and I’ve had a lot of time to think, here’s what I have come up with regarding the custom guitar industry VS the big wig guitar companies.
I have read and done a lot of research in terms of pricing and quality control, and it seems that the difference, really, between custom guitars and the big wigs, is that you can’t try before you buy. You invest (for a good custom) approximately $3000CDN into someone to build you a hand crafted guitar with the finest parts. Or you can go to your local dealer for a guitar that is incredibly similar to your perfect machine of win and actually test it and play it and hear it and feel it. As someone who never had far too much cash, the idea that I have to pay $3000 to someone I’ve never even met in person (most of the time this is the case) and as well had to wait sometimes up to a year or more (Looking at you decibel guitars, etc) just sounds silly.
My next problem is the fact that I actually very very severely need a 7 string guitar to complete my upcoming records. I can’t finish the album without one. And I can’t wait forever. So in terms of practicality and necessity I find that custom guitars are way too much money and way too much time; and are meant more for either the musician who already has enough guitars to do the job and this is just their extra special project, or for someone who plays at home and can afford to wait.
I am not one of those people. I have to leave for a tour in July. I have to finish 2 records. I have to get book a lot of events where I will hopefully be performing. Without a 7 string I can’t do that. And I won’t buy a cheapy and replace the pickups – I am not an amateur musician; and sometimes you have to realize that you can’t keep using crappy gear, if you’re a professional you own your gear and it’s gear that will stick with you for years and it damn well better be expensive and well made.
Looking at my ESP Horizon in the corner, I bought that for about $2500CDN and it has recorded 4-5 albums and played upwards of 50 shows alone. The frets are worn, the guitar needs maintenance every two weeks in terms of moving pots and the input jack being wobbly, but it is serving its purpose and I’m beating the shit out of it recording album after album. That’s the kind of instrument you should invest in if you’re serious about being a musician and playing the guitar; something you can love and learn from and perform beautiful music with.
So now I’ve come down to the decision that I actually would like to buy a Music Man JP BFR 7. Or just a ‘regulah’ JP7. The tone that comes out of my fingers when I play that guitar is marvellous and seriously what a ridiculously easy to play right out of the box guitar. The last guitar that made me feel one with the instrument and truly happy as soon as I picked it up was my ESP and my friends Parker Mojo. Seriously expensive? Yes. Seriously worth it? OH GOD if you don’t understand what I’m getting at by now you should really just re-read the post and have a java or something.
But let me not just bash on customs and bugger off.
The dream for me is to be endorsed by a company which provides musical instruments which I personally love. And to support them vice versa. To have a custom guitar made by such a company would just be the perfect harmony of a great working business relationship in that way. I would love to have a custom; are you kidding me?! I just can’t wait for one right now. I was thinking about which luthier I’d go with and I am really dead set on ordering a Daemoness some time in the future but for right now I’ll be all smiles with my JP7. Once I place that order I’m gonna be a happy noodley shreddy guitarist.