Some people (Full Version)

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constructordeguitarras -> Some people (Mar. 13 2023 17:52:32)

I get an email from someone:

I am a Flamenco Guitar Student who planning for my next purchase of a quality Flamenco guitar.
I very much like the details of your guitar making.
I highly value the traditional sound, like Ramon Montoya's, Nin~io De Ricardo and do not like modern sounding guitars.
So a couple of questions:
-Is it possible to get 7 fan strutting? (I assume this gives more of the traditional sound than 5 fan strutting)
-Is it possible to get the back and sides made out of Spanish cedar cedro?

So he likes the way I make guitars ("very much"); therefore he wants me to make one differently.[:@]

Does it not occur to people like this that I may have some experience making guitars? That if the "improvements" he suggests worked, I would be doing them? I restrained myself and wrote back, but I didn't hear back from him. Most likely one of you will hear from him. Part of my reply:

Thank you very much for contacting me. I would be delighted to make a guitar for you or to sell you one that I have already made.

With regard to your question about fan struts, no I don't believe that using seven struts instead of five would give more sound; quite the opposite. Although what really matters is the overall balance of the components of the guitar. For example, it might be possible to make one sound as good as the ones I am making with five struts by using seven struts in combination with a thinner soundboard. But that would require experimentation in the form of building several guitars. I have arrived at the way I build them through much experimentation over the years. They have a lot of volume and I and many others are happy with them and I think you would be too. It would require a lot of luck to be happy with a guitar that I would build changing only one variable.

I do believe that Spanish cedar (cedro) tonewood is available for guitar backs and sides. I have never used it for that purpose. I use cedro for guitar necks. So it could be done, but I don't advise it since it would be an experiment as above. However, the density of cedro is similar to that of cypress, so it would probably not change things much.

constructordeguitarras -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 2:55:45)

Ha, no comments. Just wait until you're cranky old men![8D]

RobF -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 4:05:34)


ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras
Ha, no comments. Just wait until you're cranky old men![8D]


I wonder if he is confusing Spanish Cedar with Spanish Cypress? Regardless, it sounds like he is looking for a custom build experience, probably coupled with a lot of overhead discussion on the finer points. I think your reply was good - polite and clear and with no pandering BS.

constructordeguitarras -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 5:21:25)

Thanks Rob. Just needed to vent.

ernandez R -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 6:45:47)

Ha! I swore off any and commissions, you know, until the next one comes my way. The last one had me plugging and redrilling string holes in the bridge. Not that bad really. The previous one came back to me when the guy said a friend told him it wasn’t worth what I charged him… got the call today from the gallery I sell my guitars that it just sold, for $2k more then I had sold it origanly, so screw him ;)

Told the boss the other day when she asked if I didn’t need to focus on my market to sell more, I told her I had recently decided that I was building guitars for me and no one else, if they love one of my guitars enough to pay the $5k plus I’ve decided they and my time are worth then so be it, if not no worries, I’ll get by washing dishes in my ladies restraunt or cleaning rooms and making beds in our rental cabins, it’s all the same to me. Bla bla bla…

I get the need for venting… it’s been an odd last few years for all of us hasn’t it?

Just finished a couple Flamencas I’m really proud of, but had to go away from the shop for a couple weeks to take care of some other business, didn’t string up the second one yet, super cited to get back and get them on, and I’ve got a 650mm spruce classical in the wings, neck done, back joined, ribs thicknessed, top candeled and ready to join, ha ha haa, still excited about what the next will sound like, how will she play. The 666mm spruce Flamenco I just finished plays so easy with the king scale but I’m not sure why, feels like a 650?

I like the challenge, none of this is easy, and ya I screw up here and there often enough, think I mentioned already how I glued on a side of back kerfed linings with the kerf out on the back… I still don’t get how I did that???? Ya, old man problems for sure!



Stephen Eden -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 8:55:34)

I probably would have handled that differently. His email comes across like he is suffering from the Dunning Kruger Effect. His email comes across as uneducated rather than anything else.

He makes an incorrect assumption about 7 fan struts. 5 fans were also used by Torres therefor is as traditional as it gets. The main differences I can tell between a tradiotanal Flamenco sound and the modern sound is the weight of the guitar. Even then it doesn't paint the whole picture. So really it would have been better just to say that you think your guitars do or don't already have that traditional sound.

Getting mixed up between Cedar and Cypress is very common. Especially when preceded by Spanish and both woods being used extensively in Spanish guitar making. I would have just asked if he meant Spanish Cypress as that is the tradional wood used for back and sides.

estebanana -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 14:17:16)

I received an email like that last week. I wonder if it’s the same dude…

I usually write the first email back very politely, but with a minimum of words. I hit the main points of the message in three sentences or four, because if they are truly interested they will write back. I usually ask them to tell be briefly about what kind of music they like and get them to say a bit about themselves. Then I try to develop a working relationship based on that.

I’ve had too many inquiries wherein I wrote a page of detailed information and never heard back. I don’t mind answering questions, as long as they at least write back and say thank you.

You’d be genuinely surprised how nice I am. lol 😂

Fawkes -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 15:16:23)

I'm surprised you guys don't get so many of these that you're inured at this point.

constructordeguitarras -> RE: Some people (Mar. 14 2023 22:56:50)


I'm surprised you guys don't get so many of these that you're inured at this point.

Part of the frustration is that orders have dwindled hugely since the attempted destruction of the economy by Gates, Fauci, Schwab, etc.

El Burdo -> [Deleted] (Mar. 15 2023 13:58:58)

Post has been moved to the Recycle Bin at Mar. 15 2023 14:13:03

Echi -> RE: Some people (Mar. 15 2023 15:11:30)

Maybe the guy made up some ideas by reading the descriptions of guitars sold in other websites.
These reviews are often boasting certain qualities and associate them with certain features like the bracing.
I remember that a shop based in Friburg had a maker building a limited number of guitars for the shop made with Cedar of Lebanon.
I’ve also seen a guitar made by Andy with Spanish cedar.
Maybe the guy wanted a guitar with that wood.

I noticed that questions like those you mention are sent just to out of curiosity.

estebanana -> RE: Some people (Mar. 15 2023 23:11:13)


RE: Some people (in reply to Fawkes)
New Messages

I'm surprised you guys don't get so many of these that you're inured at this point.

Part of the frustration is that orders have dwindled hugely since the attempted destruction of the economy by Gates, Fauci, Schwab, etc.

Or maybe the world wide wokeness of flamenco consciousness had driven people to become new makers of flamenco guitars and go to guitar making schools in the last decade. This would also account for the flooding of the market with very good handmade flamenco guitars from Beijing, Melbourne and Helsinki ~

Or it could be a multi layered and vast anti flamenco guitar conspiracy by American conservatives against Jewish flamingo dancers, but that’s an old anti semitic trope, so nah.

Flamenco had a trending moment from the mid 2000’s for about ten years. It was slowing by 2015.

Instead of ordering a guitar about a third of the fellas who want a flamenco guitar today are turning to building the guitar themselves. At this time the number of shops that offer guitar making intensive courses is at an all time high, and the quality of instruments that first time builders are making couldn’t be better. Under the supervision and tutelage of Hill, Marshall Brune’, or Trevor Gore et al, the success and finish level of beginning builders is good enough to make a guitar they can play for decades.

It’s a vast guitar teacher conspiracy led by Hill, Gore and Brune’! 😂c

Today you have to take in students as well as build. There’s also a flooded market now so demand is lower and supply is higher. It’s doesn't have much to do with the economy. People who make things by hand did well during the pandemic because the online sales shot up. Artists sold more art online.

My old business partner in the museum exhibition design business turned to art shipping and storage. He was going out of business in fall of 2019, then the shutdown hit in the US, he was living in his art storage warehouse and had just put 34 employees on furlough. By June 2020 he had hired back half the staff and was doing a vigorous business installing art and moving art. At the end of 2022 when i visited him in San Francisco he had just leased 16,000 more square feet of warehouse in addition to the 55,000 he already uses to store, shop and install art. He said the new 16,000 square feet is to house the 9 delivery trucks he has valued at $120,000 each.

I tried to buy him lunch and he wouldn’t let me. He just said every word I utter to another person is a tax write off, and plunked down his card. He’s grateful because I’m the one who hired him to help me do museum installation work in 1998. It got him started.

bftobin -> RE: Some people (Mar. 16 2023 17:35:09)

Sometimes too much information (on the web) is worse than too little. Players who don't know any better want to combine the merits of several different guitars into one, expecting it will be "the best". Not a person I would want to take on as a customer.

estebanana -> RE: Some people (Mar. 17 2023 2:09:25)

Too much information isn’t always good.

Understanding if a potential customer has their act together isn’t difficult to discern. You mention in the first email what you require to book a position on the waitlist. Including the amount of the deposit, final fee due and the wait duration. If they write back after that it’s about 50% to 60% percent chance they will commission a guitar. And you know they are serious and should be treated as a good potential customer. At that point it’s good not to try to oversell yourself and just trust them to figure it out after you make suggestions to their requests.

If they write back after that stage, then they’ll probably be a good customer. The thing that you really know it’s a commitment for them is how eager they are to pay the deposit. If they stall I go into waiting mode, if they proceed quickly to make the deposit, high fives all around.

Stu -> RE: Some people (Mar. 30 2023 11:59:15)

Interesting post.
its cool to hear the perspectives on this lind of first contact with a potential customer and the % that turn into actual customers

I've built 2 guitars and I'm obvs not a pro. but even for myself as soon as I mention I try to build guitars, many people say ooh can you build me one. i say errrr. potentially.

I spent a lot of time frequenting a cafe whilst pushing my sleeping infant son in his pushchair last year. I got friendly with one of the waitresses and we used to chat about this and that. After a few months we swapped instagrams on some premise or other.

A few days later I got a message asking load of questions about "the guitars I build"

She was really keen to know more and perhaps have me build one for a dear friend. she asked how much it would cost.
I was upfront and explained this was not my full time pursuit and perhaps we could chat about time frames and what was required. I also said a hand made guitar would usuall be upwards of £xxxx but perhaps we can discuss and see if we can work something blah blah.
36 weeks later (according to instagram messenger) I'm still awating her reply.


I'm not annoyed that I didn't get a customer/sale. but no reply? It's just rudeness. bad manners.
I mean i wouldve been totally fine with.... "i really wanna pro maker to make it" or "thats too expensive for me sorry"

or whatever other reason

Firefrets -> RE: Some people (Mar. 30 2023 16:00:11)

I have a flamenco with cedar back and sides as well as quite a few others. Sounds great to be fair. Your average player doesn't realise builders build in a way they are comfortable with, so a wish list based on what they've read somewhere is probably not uncommon.

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