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What qualifies as a guitar "build?"

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  • What qualifies as a guitar "build?"

    The term "build" seems to be used quite loosely when it comes to guitars.  It seems it could mean everything from sourcing and assembling all the parts to make a guitar, to getting a kit that has all of the parts to assemble and finish, to forming all of the wood parts out of raw lumber and winding your own pickups.

    I am not minimizing what it takes to collect all the parts and assemble a quality guitar.  There is certainly more thought, personalization, skill, effort, and personal satisfaction involved than just going into a store and buying a guitar off the wall.  But to call that "building" a guitar, seems to me to be about the same as saying you "built" a puzzle.  No, you didn't build it, you assembled it.

    I always feel compelled to disclose what parts of the guitars I've built myself from those I purchased or sourced.  For instance, 'I made the body, but got the neck off another guitar and reshaped the headstock,' or 'I carved the neck, installed the truss rod and frets myself, but used a pre-slotted fretboard from Stew-Mac.'

    To me, if you didn't actually create at least some of the pieces yourself, how can you really say you built it?

    Thoughts?

    Please visit my website www.treeguitarworks.com

  • #2

    A guitar that you get from Warmoth or Carvin 

     

     

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    • #3
      I take "build" to literally mean assemble, since few people have the necessary tools to shape the wood correctly, cut frets from hunks of metal, cut magnets and wind pickups... Ok, obviously going overboard here, but you get my point.
      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

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      • gardo
        gardo commented
        Editing a comment

        Build is a confusing word  People say they built a house but in truth they wrote a check and someone else built it.  

        I think built means something like this........

        girl

        Now that's a build

        Attached Files

      • lz4005
        lz4005 commented
        Editing a comment

        kayd_mon wrote:
        I take "build" to literally mean assemble, since few people have the necessary tools to shape the wood correctly, cut frets from hunks of metal, cut magnets and wind pickups... Ok, obviously going overboard here, but you get my point.

        To me that's the difference between building and making.

        You can build a guitar from premade parts, but you make a guitar body from a piece of wood.


    • #4

      stormin1155 wrote:
      I always feel compelled to disclose what parts of the guitars I've built myself from those I purchased or sourced.

      This is the idea I agree with, full disclosure. Using the term "build" or "made" is just getting bogged down in semantics imo. And for the record, I've never built a neck or body from raw wood, but I will try at some point more than likely.

       

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      • billybilly
        billybilly commented
        Editing a comment

        We all define things a little differently, my partscasters are assembled and have yet to build a guitar.


    • #5

      If theres significant amounts of sawdust, bandsaws, chisels, spokeshaves and drill presses and the odd bit of thicknessing we're talking about guitar builds.

       

      If it's screwdrivers and soldering irons we're talking about assembly work

      Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato

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      • stormin1155
        stormin1155 commented
        Editing a comment

        Ratae Coritanorum wrote:

        If theres significant amounts of sawdust, bandsaws, chisels, spokeshaves and drill presses and the odd bit of thicknessing we're talking about guitar builds.

         

        If it's screwdrivers and soldering irons we're talking about assembly work


         

        That's my definition...


    • #6
      Lmao
      Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

      Comment


      • #7

        For me, it means just what it says. Building a guitar. It involves heavy woodworking and lutherie skills.

        Everything else is 'putting a guitar together'.

        The difference in skillset is the difference between someone who can design an engine in autocad then execute it in CNC versus someone who knows how to change the oil in a car. It's not remotely comprable.

        The big catch is, what kind of demand is there really for 'making' certain guitar components when premade stuff can be sourced so damn cheaply and well made.When you arrive at the point of serious lutherie, your relationship with the instrument gets enormously more practical. You understand what's meaningful, you understand the meaningless stuff that gets upsold as being meaningful and you appreciate the economics of global manufacturing. Those guys in Asia can make that guitar body for $60. I can make the exact same thing but given the value of my time, it's a lot cheaper to just buy theirs.

        It all boils down to the irrational and superstitious relationship some people have with the instrument where they sincerely believe that the magical line that seperates Ensenada and Corona imbues the wood with special powers.

        Some folks are just in love with the idea that a small family of Swiss artisans spent two weeks hand-crafting  their $1299 gold plated, door knob. They talk about how great is, how it's just so smooth and feels so good in their hands, so sturdy compared to the 'cheaper' doorknobs and naturally, anyone who buys the regular $39.99 doorknob from Home Depot is doing so because they're too poor to afford the good stuff, like they are.

         

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      • #8
        Very cool, larry!
        Guitars: 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)Pedal Chain: BBE Green Screamer -> MXR Distortion III -> Boss CE-5 -> EH Stereo Pulsar -> Boss DD-20 -> BBE Boosta GrandeAmps: Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5SoundCloud

        Comment



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