Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Custom Made Guitar

I've always wanted a guitar with my name at the top. I've also been partial to guitars that are spruce top and rosewood sides and back. Ebony is my favorite fingerboard material because its dark and has a very solid feel when you play. I

The headstock design I supplied
knew that it would be very expensive to have this kind of guitar made but... There are several Chinese guitar makers will make you one, to your specifications for very little money. I took a chance and ordered one from a Chinese guitar maker. I used Ali-express to place the order because they guarantee delivery or your money back. They escrow the money until you receive the guitar. Only when you agree that it has been delivered to your satisfaction do they release the money to the seller. 

Mid August I designed a head stock and asked the owner, Kevin Shi, if he could do
The actual headstock on my guitar
The design I sent Kevin Shi
t. He said yes and I proceeded to order the guitar. On October 3rd it arrived in a big styrofoam box covered in packing tape and with stickers in Chinese and English attesting to its tour of American customs. Opening the box was simple enough and out came a beautiful guitar. Shiny and well finished with my name on the top. No labels, numbers or anything else on the guitar. Abalone rosette around the soundhole, beautiful fingerboard markings and even a pretty scallop at the bottom of the ebony fingerboard. The machine heads are gold Grovers and the neck is nice and slim with nice grain and figuring. It is straight and true with perfect intonation. The neck has a visible scarf joint but that is common on Chinese guitars. The frets needed a little dressing and the guitar needed a strap button but other than that is ready to play. I love it.

This is the Guitar. I had to put new strings on it and add a strap button but all in all its pretty nice!

The obvious question is how does it sound? Pretty much like a new, inexpensive guitar. As good as most, not spectacular. I believe it needs about twenty years of age to be really great. I'll not be quite 90 by then. (I plan to be here!) All in all this was a fun experience. Finally a guitar I actually can't sell, who would want a guitar with my name on the head stock? Oops, I guess my son might have an interest in this guitar.