Foro Flamenco
Posts Since Last Visit | Advanced Search | Home | Register | Login

Today's Posts | Inbox | Profile | Our Rules | Contact Admin | Log Out



Welcome to one of the most active flamenco sites on the Internet. Guests can read most posts but if you want to participate click here to register.
This site is dedicated to the memory of Paco de Lucía, Ron Mitchell, Guy Williams, Linda Elvir, Philip John Lee and Craig Eros who went ahead of us too soon.
We receive 12,200 visitors a month from 200 countries and 1.7 million page impressions a year. To advertise on this site please contact us.





RE: Guitar prices   You are logged in as Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >>Discussions >>General >> Page: <<   <   1 [2] 3 4    >   >>
Login
Message<< Newer Topic  Older Topic >>
 
estebanana

Posts: 8324
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I was mostly angry about the fact that we are living in a totally absurd world, value is something you cannot value. Its just money. Everything is just money. But right now I dont care. I´m alive, doing what I like and it looks like I might survive a year more.


I think it is absurd too, but I am learning to love the absurdity. It's all backweirds and you are right Anders you can't put a value on value! That is the cosmic joke.

______________

I think factory guitars are fine and here to stay. I'm glad because they enable people with smaller budgets to get good guitars. I played the cello in a pick up orchestra made of retired seniors and they asked younger amateur folks like me to come and join to round out the sections. We played among other things Beethoven's first symphony. When we were rehearsing the the Beethoven the conductor said something about music I will never forget.

He said: We are here playing this old great music and all types of people are going to come listen, in Beethoven's time this would not have been possible. When this music was written it was to the exclusion of the common man. Only the rich and upper social classes would have been able to afford to attend a symphony concert in Beethoven's time. Then he said the sforzandos need to be louder.

So for that reason I won't judge someone for buying an inexpensive guitar, unless they act like an ass about it. Music and instruments should be affordable for everyone and if they want to make a commitment to more expensive instruments, well great!

_____________________________

https://www.stephenfaulkguitars.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2012 21:35:36
 
frhout

 

Posts: 451
Joined: Apr. 28 2005
From: France

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

For those who have the money, they may buy guitars from different luthiers. For others who have even more money, they may buy collectors' items from auctions which may not even sound properly, but that's just for the name. I'm an amateur, if I had a lot of guitars, I would not be able to play them often enough to acquaint with them and to bring the sound out. I like the sound of your guitars, I would love to have longer videos of different guitars to be able to appreciate the sound on your website. Dynasties do end some time, it could be difficult for successors to continue or to perfect the work. I may have mistaken, I wonder if anyone would buy a Ramirez IV flamenco guitar these days, although it may be just as nice, or better. I have never played one so I can't tell.
But carry on the good work.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2012 21:54:41
 
Morante

 

Posts: 1904
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to frhout

If I were rich, I would go to Postigo, play all the guitars he has, and buy the one that I liked most. He had the best guitar I ever heard and told be it was not for sale. A coule of weeks along he told me he had sold it to a a Japonese for 25.000 euros. Good luck to the new owner.

Meanwhile, I am happy with the guitars I have.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2012 22:48:56
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2955
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I´m also being told by everyone not being a client or a possible client that my prices are way to low...
So why are they to low? Because of fear. Because I´m afraid. Afraid of not selling enough. So I struggle, work to much in order to make enough guitars to survive. I´m afraid of not being able to continue doing what I like doing. I´m afraid of that cruel world out there that I dont like.

So fear shows up in my proud little mind and gets converted into being angry. And since its always been easyer to be angry at someone else, I end up getting angry at Conde Hermanos and I even end up believing that the buyer of the Al Conde guitar is an idiot, when he´s just a guy with enough money to buy a dream.


This is a really great, honest post that you made Anders. I'm sure almost all small independent luthiers struggle with some of the same things.
All of us got into making guitars for the love and passion for the art, not for money obviously. And at some point we realized that in order to dedicate our lives to making the best guitars as a full time job we would have to deal with the whole business aspect of it. I think there is a lot of unfairness out there with regards to independent artisans, and not just in terms of wages. In this country we have absolutely NO security when it comes to things like health insurance unless we want to pay a lot of money that we can't really afford, especially if we want things like a house, a car, a family, etc, etc. We are taxed more heavily than some people making millions of dollars a year.

I guess the nice thing about capitalism is that anyone who thinks they can make something of value is allowed to put a value on their work and try to sell it. But man are we out in the cold when it comes to actually building a good livelihood based on honest, high quality work.

The system by far favors the guy who wants to build a small factory and crank out/import hundreds of guitars a year without ever putting individual attention into making each instrument truly special.

It's a very uncertain business that we're in and making great guitars does not necessarily equal a livelihood. My list of orders is also getting shorter and shorter and I'm starting to wonder what's going on because my guitars get better and better. I imagine there will be many many such cycles to come if I stay in this career. I have a lot of patience but it's also becoming increasingly obvious that I will eventually have to raise my prices quite a bit if I want to have a family, home, etc. Or maybe these things aren't necessarily an option to most luthiers

Being a guitar maker is an amazing lifestyle and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else in the world. I honestly don't really care about money much at all but it is a little frustrating that it will probably be a long time, if ever, before I will even be making as much as a 4th year electrician or plumber.

I guess it all comes down the fact that the world is the way it is and we make our own choices within that. We should try to make ourselves the best people and the best guitar makers we can be and beyond that we can't change much. For me it really is satisfying and endlessly interesting work, so I guess we just have to count our blessings...

I personally don't hate Conde at all. In fact I think I have successfully stolen a little pinch of what I like about that sound and incorporated it into mine. The nice thing is that all of us have a slightly different point of view when it comes to what sound we like, and so do the players. But I think it's foolish to write off the Conde phenomenon as a bunch of brainwashed sheep, although there obviously is an element of truth to that for a lot of people.

_____________________________

Andy Culpepper, luthier
http://www.andyculpepper.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2012 23:44:37
 
mezzo

Posts: 1409
Joined: Feb. 18 2010
From: .fr

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to estebanana

quote:

That is not what I said at all.

oupss, I did not read your post carefully enough, sorry.
I thought you were refering to the independant luthier, alone and upstandting vs the big companies exactions.

_____________________________

"The most important part of Flamenco is not in knowing how to interpret it. The higher art is in knowing how to listen." (Luis Agujetas)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 15 2012 23:50:40
 
TANúñez

Posts: 2556
Joined: Jul. 10 2003
From: TEXAS

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

Your not just selling your guitars Anders. You are selling you! what are YOU worth? your time? your knowledge? your craftsmanship? I personally think you are worth a hell of a lot more than 3000Euros my friend.

_____________________________

Tom Núñez
www.instagram.com/tanunezguitars
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 0:43:27
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

The system by far favors the guy who wants to build a small factory and crank out/import hundreds of guitars a year without ever putting individual attention into making each instrument truly special.

It's a very uncertain business that we're in and making great guitars does not necessarily equal a livelihood. My list of orders is also getting shorter and shorter and I'm starting to wonder what's going on because my guitars get better and better. I imagine there will be many many such cycles to come if I stay in this career. I have a lot of patience but it's also becoming increasingly obvious that I will eventually have to raise my prices quite a bit if I want to have a family, home, etc. Or maybe these things aren't necessarily an option to most luthiers

Being a guitar maker is an amazing lifestyle and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else in the world. I honestly don't really care about money much at all but it is a little frustrating that it will probably be a long time, if ever, before I will even be making as much as a 4th year electrician or plumber.


Andy, if it helps. You´re not the only one. The trade is suffering tremendously..
There are different reasons. The economical situation is not helping at all but other things come out.
The whole internet story has given us our work because we can now sell our guitars worldwide. I have guitars on all continents except Antarktis and south America.... But the same internet might take away our job as well. This because more and more people start building . Its easy to get information about how to build a guitar on the net and most people with dedication and a pair of good hands can produce a decent guitar. So they start building a few a year and sell them. And sell them cheap. Nothing wrong. But prices go down and the rest of us have to find another income.
I will continue a couple of more years as a fulltime builder, but after that, I doubt very much that I will be in the game full time.
The worst thing is that now, there are many builders making few guitars and I have a strong feeling that quality in general is going down. It takes many years and many guitars to know what you´re doing. This has been my work and sole income for 9 years and I´ve built 100 guitars, but I still have a long way to go. Its not so difficult to build something that looks great. Its possible for many to build something that sounds good, but the real problem comes when you want to build something that funcions well and that has the ingredients that is needed in order to funcion as a tool made to produce art. Thats where the real work is and many of the amateur and semipro builders dont even know what it means. Many people still think that if setup is low and tone is bright, then its a good flamenco guitar. Thats just the top of the iceberg. There are so many other things that matter.

This lovely old and traditional trade is on its way to be just another consumer trade with consumer products. Everything has to go fast. And when you want to show of, Its better not to buy quality. Very few people know what quality is. Its better and easyer (if you have the money) just to buy a label. Thats why guitars like the Al Conde exist. You may name it whatever. Al Martin etc. There are many of them out there.

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 7:47:52
 
krichards

Posts: 597
Joined: Jan. 14 2007
From: York, England

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Being at odds with the world of branding is a good thing in my opinion, it sets you apart. It means those who patronize you and and your work are strong enough personally to see beyond branding. It is also the reason why guys like Anders and I don't copy the guitars of others. We study the guitar of others and process this information internally and use it in our own instruments.


Well said, my thoughts exactly.
But there's a fundamental problem. Can you make enough money to live the way you want?
I only make a few guitars a year. Its not my living. I sell cheap. I have to; who would pay big money for a 'kevin richards' guitar?. There's no kudos in owning such an instrument, however good it is.

If Anders wants more money from his work then he has to sell more (and make more) or sell at a higher price. To sell at a higher price he needs to get his guitars endorsed by a BIG name. Its as simple as that.
As was said earlier in this thread; its all about buying a dream.

_____________________________

Kevin Richards

http://www.facebook.com/#!/kevin.richards.1048554
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 7:57:58
 
KMMI77

Posts: 1821
Joined: Jul. 26 2009
From: The land down under

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I have guitars on all continents except Antarktis and south America.... But the same internet might take away our job as well. This because more and more people start building . Its easy to get information about how to build a guitar on the net and most people with dedication and a pair of good hands can produce a decent guitar.



I believe another issue that luthiers will soon face, is the massive supply of good flamenco guitars already out there. Even here in Australia, there are plenty of flamenco guitars around. Many many more than there were only a few years ago. They are also getting cheaper and cheaper as sellers find themselves up against strong competition. A mate of mine just bought a killer Salvador Castillo for $2000 Aus.

I imagine that Conde will try to maintain their high prices for as long as possible, but lets be honest, other than a few of the great sounding classic Condes, the rest are just losing value. There are many Condes out there now, so when it's time for a player to sell one, the options are either drop the price dramatically, keep it, or have difficulty selling it.

I agree with the others Anders. I think you need to get one of your guitars into the hands of a high level guitarist. Just to bring out and display your guitars full potential. Then you can can let the markets response determine where you go with your prices.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 9:08:27
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Andy Culpepper

quote:

ORIGINAL: deteresa1

I guess the nice thing about capitalism is that anyone who thinks they can make something of value is allowed to put a value on their work and try to sell it. But man are we out in the cold when it comes to actually building a good livelihood based on honest, high quality work.


The second is preconditioned by the first, which leaves it questionable whether the first, as legitimation of entirely arbitrary pricing and usury, to be a nice thing or not.

quote:

ORIGINAL: deteresa1

The system by far favors the guy who wants to build a small factory and crank out/import hundreds of guitars a year without ever putting individual attention into making each instrument truly special.


More precisely does it favor fellow men´s exploitation.
Just setting up a factory would hardly do, with you only capable of accomplishing that much as a single person. Hardly enough producing to amortize the tools and to pay maintenance expenses.

What actually favors a factory owner is his ethically ellegitimate permission to employ people and let them do the work while being paid only a fraction of the value they actually contribute to the production and delivery process. This keeping back of labour value is what shoots you up into affluence independently of any aspects quality. ( Whether with finer Condes or or no-name cheapos. Whether with imployees that will be dragged out on litters or even granted a decent salary - yet far below of what be up to.)

... Unless your company´s name was Isthmus corporation, making for an outstanding example of fair conduct.


quote:

ORIGINAL: deteresa1

Being a guitar maker is an amazing lifestyle and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything else in the world. I honestly don't really care about money much at all but it is a little frustrating that it will probably be a long time, if ever, before I will even be making as much as a 4th year electrician or plumber.

I guess it all comes down the fact that the world is the way it is and we make our own choices within that. We should try to make ourselves the best people and the best guitar makers we can be and beyond that we can't change much. For me it really is satisfying and endlessly interesting work, so I guess we just have to count our blessings...


I feel your philosophy coming through in the ways you present your shop and products and not at last in the amazing progress of your production development.
An admirable approach that shall stay of yours, even in days when your name be widely reknown, which I dare to predict happening.



quote:

ORIGINAL: deteresa1

I personally don't hate Conde at all. In fact I think I have successfully stolen a little pinch of what I like about that sound and incorporated it into mine. The nice thing is that all of us have a slightly different point of view when it comes to what sound we like, and so do the players. But I think it's foolish to write off the Conde phenomenon as a bunch of brainwashed sheep, ...


Just in case that it be referred to the sheepishness I mentioned ( which was empirically aiming at other brands and products):
I was once very close to obtaining a Media Luna, and though still overprized ( which was why I didn´t buy it ), it didn´t appear like mass produced at all to me.

I love `flaping tops´ with yet fast tension under your fingertips, and that was what she had.

Their lower range however must be meeting the sheep market with certainly heavily overprized mediocre products.



quote:

ORIGINAL: deteresa1

..., although there obviously is an element of truth to that for a lot of people.

On principle for everyone. The individual question only being in how far. And that can be sheer incredibly far with Joe average.

Ruphus

Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 9:12:49
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anders Eliasson
Anyways, the idea of this thread was not so much about how much I can charge or not charge for my guitars. Thats my business. It was more a reflection about what prices are.


Prices are exactly that - how much you can charge for something. Because everyone knows, there is no need to ask the question how little you can charge for something.
Generally it is true that more expensive goods are better. This might be true for guitars below 2k-3k. Above that i feel that every unit of money, be it Euro or Dollar, you spend is actually for the name of the luthier and not the guitar.

_____________________________

Фламенко
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 11:25:14
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to krichards

quote:

who would pay big money for a 'kevin richards' guitar?. There's no kudos in owning such an instrument, however good it is.


There´s something in this that i dont like. What makes your name different from names like. Aaron Green, Stephen Faulk, Anders Eliasson, Andy Culpepper etc?

Here those of us building professionally have a problem. The problem is called underbidding and in whatever trade, its not considered fair. I dont know how much you charge for a guitar and I´m not going to tell you what you should charge for it. So dont take it to personal. But the attitude is problematic.
Please remember that we all have a name. Yours is not special and we all use a certain amount of time and energy in order to sell our products. Its not just about building and the comes the nice guy and buy it. Unfortunately, the world is not like that.
Here in Spain the problem with underbidding is getting really serious. Small and new builders sell for whatever price. Less than 1000,-€ for a handbuilt and handpolished guitar. Thats totally far out and it only means that we will ALL be out of business and left will be the hobby builders. Guitarbuilding as a professional craft is dying.

So is that what we want in the future???

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 11:48:04
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13336
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to estebanana

about undercutting.... IF it's truly good.... one can feel angry about what it implies. But then why get angry that yet another is charging exponentially higher price for something one feels is not much or any better than the undercutting guy? If you make a piece of art and auction it off at a ridiculous high price...fear of not selling it makes you think it was not a good idea. But what if it DOES? What does it mean for the rest of the art you produce?

A friend of my dad's was a guitar teacher for his living. After some years he got into other things to make money and decided he simply did not want to teach anymore. So he decided to cut back on students by increasing his prices to what he considered a ridiculous amount only foolish rich would pay. What do you guys think happened? He got FLOODED with requests for student spots immediately. THe same think would happen I think with some odd ball guitar builder too. Don't think about it just put a ridiculous price tag on ONE special guitar and see what happens. Or all your guitars if you want. Some one will buy it and then you have whole different market you have to cater too. Its totally true life is not "fair" but that doesn't mean anyone of us has to suffer for it. Put a gold star on the head stock or some silly thing for rich people to feel happy and above the rest about it, then charge the F...K out of em. That's what the whole 1A extra special vs the 2B estudio thing is about anyway isn't it?

Ricardo

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 13:35:49
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

about undercutting.... IF it's truly good.... one can feel angry about what it implies. But then why get angry that yet another is charging exponentially higher price for something one feels is not much or any better than the undercutting guy? If you make a piece of art and auction it off at a ridiculous high price...fear of not selling it makes you think it was not a good idea. But what if it DOES? What does it mean for the rest of the art you produce?


Ricardo. I dont think you´ve understood the initial post of this thread. I was talking about how stupid I felt because at first I was angry when there was nothing to be angry about. It was about a transformation out of anger. The anger was nothing else but my own fears and had nothing to do with the Al Conde guitar. Something very normal.
And besides, the more guitars we see with 10000+ $€ prices the better. Then people get used to that.

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 14:01:34
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3308
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

So he decided to cut back on students by increasing his prices to what he considered a ridiculous amount only foolish rich would pay. What do you guys think happened? He got FLOODED with requests for student spots immediately. THe same think would happen I think with some odd ball guitar builder too. Don't think about it just put a ridiculous price tag on ONE special guitar and see what happens. Or all your guitars if you want. Some one will buy it and then you have whole different market


You have hit on something here, Ricardo. Whether people buy these guitars because they foolishly think that "more expensive" automatically means "better," or because they actually think it is a better guitar, there is nothing "unfair" or wrong about charging what the market will bear. If the demand is sufficient at a higher price, the luthier can charge that price and sleep well at night. No one is obligated to buy the the luthier's product at that price. There are plenty of guitars at a lower price from which to choose. Everyone is happy: the luthier, the purchaser of the more expensive instrument, and the purchaser of the less expensive instrument.

Cheers,

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 14:31:49
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13336
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Ricardo. I dont think you´ve understood the initial post of this thread.


Ok. Glad you are NOT angry anymore...hope you charge more and sell more.

_____________________________

CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 14:42:10
 
shaun

Posts: 176
Joined: May 11 2012
From: Edmonton, Canada

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

And besides, the more guitars we see with 10000+ $€ prices the better.


I disagree. I can't afford that. [:P]

I consider your prices on the lower end of fair. If you charged less, I would be suspicious of the quality without having ever seen the guitar. And you are a long way off from being overpriced. Judging by the videos and pictures of your guitars and by the unanimous praise for them on this forum, you may be undervaluing your work.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 15:48:37
 
turnermoran

Posts: 391
Joined: Feb. 6 2010
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Here in Spain the problem with underbidding is getting really serious. Small and new builders sell for whatever price. Less than 1000,-€ for a handbuilt and handpolished guitar. Thats totally far out and it only means that we will ALL be out of business and left will be the hobby builders. Guitarbuilding as a professional craft is dying.


No one wins in a race to the bottom.

Anyway, I don't know the ins and outs of life in Europe right now, but $3000 euros is $3800 US. Which, for a hand made guitar is on the low-ish side here on the west coast. People definitely make them for less, and builders with 'medium names' (Kenny Hill, Richard Prenkert, John Mello, Glen Canin, Chris Berkov) all charge in the $4 - 8k range, give or take a little (and bearing mind that Kenny Hill is a special case). DeVoe (higher profile name?) is charging $7500 for a blanca.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 16:42:20
 
Erik van Goch

 

Posts: 1787
Joined: Jul. 17 2012
From: Netherlands

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to estebanana

With guitars (or any other kind of art) i don't care who made it or which big name promotes it.... i value every pice of art on it's own merits and i'm willing to pay a good price when it's worth it's money and i'm able to afford it. In the (late) 90ties i had to buy a couple of guitars for my students with apr. 2,5 K to spend. We played all the guitars available to that price range. In general i disliked al of them (mostly jude to the very bad adjusted bridge bones that made most of them extremely hard to play/judge/compare) In stead of finding ourself an inspirational guitar it felt more like a quest to find "the least problematic" guitar in stock.

Out of 25 guitars (including various Condes and even a Manolo Sanlucar approved guitar) we selected a couple of guitars for the final selection, each of which was played for about an hour. In general my advise was not to buy either of them and to safe a little longer for a real guitar or a future "occasion", but patience seems to be a rare quality. Finally 3 were left to argue: 1 (low class) Conde , 1 Manolo Sanlucar approved guitar and 1 unknown and much cheaper guitar, all equally good/bad......My advice: the 2,5K Conde /Sanlucar Approved Guitars will probably be more easy to sell when you get bored with them, but if you insist on buying one i would go for the unknown 1.8K guitar which is equally good if not better.

As it turned out the same guitar was favored earlier by 1 of the top players of the Netherlands. It does help when you have the ears/hands and experience to feel and appreciate the (lack of) difference. They also sold the type of guitar my father bought for me in 1980. In that period of time hardly anyone over here played flamenco and the only flamenco guitar offered for sale (a top class Ramirez) remained unsold for 3 years. When it was down prized from 1.5K to 1 K. my father bought it for his 17 year old son as a future graduation present. Unaware of his intentions i asked for (and received) a motorbike in stead. However, he gave me the instrument 5 years later when i entered Rotterdam University of Music to study flamenco on a full time base. A couple of years later he spend another 1K on a top class Conde which was given to me a couple of years later when i finally graduated Music High school in 1993.

When selecting those 2.5K guitars for my students i couldn't help looking at the prize tag of the guitars my father bought 15/20 years earlier for 1K each. As it turned out they both raised to astronomical levels. Does that make me happy? Not really. I still regret i couldn't afford myself a 12 string Bert Kwakkel resonance guitar in the mid 80ties when he was relatively unknown and in a way even in-popular. Despite lot's of critisism from classical players i knew his 12 string guitars were absolutely world class. Back than he had dozens of instruments on stock, nowadays he is very popular and has a long waiting list of buyers. Last year i finally had the nerve to inquire how much my favorite 12string would cost me. The answer was exactly what i expected.....15K. A fair price and worth every penny but unfortunately (again) way out of reach.

And as far as the 2.5 K Condes are concerned..... i rather play the well chosen triplex japanese ibanez from the early 70ties my father gave me when i was 11. It did cost him 225 euro at the time and you can still find similar ones as occasions for similar prizes. They sound as good as a 2,5K Conde and play like a 15K Conde and were delivered with perfect necks and bridge bones. But don't confuse them with the ones build a couple of years later (under new management) because they are total crap. Like i said each guitar should be judged on it's own merits... big names/price tags/year of fabric are no guarantee for quality and lesser known luthiers/lower prize tags can hide fabulous instruments and become big names overtime (or remain unknown and the choice of the lucky few).

What Ricardo said about the teacher who tried to get writ of (future) students by raising financial demands to exorbitant levels (only to found out he became more popular than ever) is a nice example of how a prize tag can chances ones perception of a product.

* A local super marked who couldn't sell a product for 1.25 replaced the prize tag for a big advert claiming "now temporary 1.75 only"......with success.

*A sculpture maker who used to ask 100-200 raised prizes to 1000,- when he found out people rated the artistic quality of his work to the prize tag involved......as a result buyers indeed started to appreciated both him and the sculptures much more.

* I once received a phone call from local government who were in desperate need for a flamenco guitar player within a couple of hours, preferably with dancers...oh, and unfortunately we can not pay you a lot. Since i needed the money, it involved a free meal and on top was on walking distance of my house i offered my solo services for a very low fee....is that including dancers ?....no it's not, that can't be arranged on such short notice.....OK..we'll hope to find them else were, if not we call you back within an hour................

They didn't ring again so i figured my low financial demand was still to high for there small purse. How wrong could i be. In reality they decided that i was suspiciously cheap and probably not such a good player so they hired an other guy instead who charged way way more than i did (so obviously had to be very very good). It happened to be a student of mine who could only play 1 piece, a Tarantas that he played 20 f****times on a row.....(serves them right, at the time i was one of the very very few locals who could actually play the required 60 minutes of flamenco without repeating a single pice).

So the sculpture guy was right, people actually value you and your work more when you charge them more. Ever hired a plumber or a lawyer?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 16 2012 19:09:38
 
krichards

Posts: 597
Joined: Jan. 14 2007
From: York, England

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

Here those of us building professionally have a problem. The problem is called underbidding and in whatever trade, its not considered fair. I dont know how much you charge for a guitar and I´m not going to tell you what you should charge for it. So dont take it to personal. But the attitude is problematic.


The problem is that we have an economic recession and guitars are luxury items. Everybody already has a guitar and nobody needs another one. So for the professional builder times are tough indeed.

And as you say, lots of people are making guitars these days; its never been easier. I'm building No29. thats 29 in 33 years! When I started, materials were hard to find and the only information I had was Irving Sloane's book. Everything else I worked out for myself, by trial and error. I'm very proud of my work and my 'customers' are equally happy.
But when it comes to monetary value it comes down to the label inside and my labels are not expensive.

How different it is now. Kits and pre production parts, whole necks. pre bent sides etc. And no secrets anymore, its all out there on You Tube and forums like this. So anyone can make a guitar today if they want to.

The thing is Anders, you more than anyone, has been extremely generous and free with your knowledge. Your posts, picture essays, blogs, videos have given the newbies a massive leg up. You've given away knowledge that took me decades to work out for myself. You are free to do this, of course, and its a noble thing you do.

But you cannot then complain when you find these 'hobby' builders undercutting you.

_____________________________

Kevin Richards

http://www.facebook.com/#!/kevin.richards.1048554
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 7:38:54
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to estebanana

quote:

But you cannot then complain when you find these 'hobby' builders undercutting you.

You´re right there and I´m seriously reconsidering my place and activity on this forum. Thats one of the reason I wrote this thread.

On the other hand I will repeat myself. There´s a tendency on the internet to believe that a dude who has made a few guitars that looks nice on photos is capable of making a high end instrument. It might happen, but its VERY rare. The last 10% of what makes a really good guitar takes a LOT of hard work to learn.

The idea with this thread was NEVER to find a way to raise my prices. I find them correct for now. They might get a minor adjustment soon but its not the point.
The thing is that I can see that I have to take my craft serious on a longer time scale and that means looking at the facts I´m living with. These facts tell me that I might have to do other things with my life in order to both survive and to have what I consider a life with a meaning. I think a lot of instrument builders might have to do this because the way things are going now, there wont be many of us left doing this craft full time.
We have very little security. We have to accept that whatever dude sells an almost similar product for a totally unacceptable price. In older days, when crafts were organised in guilds this would NEVER have been accepted. The undercutters would have faced very serious problems incl. having their workshops destroyed. In these fantastic modern and progressed days, people doing something which is not mainstream are totally unprotected and it doesnt seem that anyone really cares.

The huge majority of members on this forum are in a job situation that is far more protected. You have protected income, security and a more or less safe vision of the future. Imagine your life without al that... Thats what we live. Go back and read Andy´s (deterresas) post. He just started a few years ago and he´s already there where he has to really think about if its worth it. Do you think its a good vision for our world. Do you prefer to buy cheap mediocre instruments from China and live in a world where noone is producing anything in a way that was our culture for centuries or more. Do you want to live in a society where the only people around you are doing office jobs, banking, shops, IT, promotion, analysis and service? Thats where we are heading. A no brain consumer society with very little activity between the ears.

Kevin. The value of your label is determined by many factors. The two most important ones: What you decide the value to be and the amount of time you use on selling your product. Noone will give you anything if you dont do something for it.

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 8:32:05
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to estebanana

There appear to be two major ways for PR.

# Either your instrument has been used by a popular player, triggering market demands from there.
# Or a well reputated ( or at least large) shop makes your product accessible to a customer base.

Laying aside for now the first and best option, the problem with retailers is the outrageous slices and margins they have accustomed to over past decades. Meanwhile 60% of our perverted economies consist of non-production wedging between manufactory and consumers. And the higher the wedges reside the more gagging they will do, including the order to you to not offer your products directly for anything under their store´s price.

Such is inacceptable, and would be what you fine luthiers should be targeting at by organizing yourselves.

Make a public platfrom that allows scouting and availability WITHOUT dealers. ( Unless they showed willing to return to reasonable conditions and proportions.) Realizing the advantages of both worlds.

You could start by introducing an internet domain to your demands that will display you and your work in a convincing and sincere way in the same time. With demo clips and videos, customer reviews, excerpts from forum talks and what have you. ( As suggested before: Why not right here with the foro.)

And if you can have a corporate budget sideways, later on your domain could organize promoting actions, like e.g. taking half a dozen of guitars from different luthiers to a reknown player who might be rewarded for his evaluation ( eventually even by acquiring your guitar and thus promoting it even further). Which would be filmed featuring his favorite/s ( while the other contenders shall remain unnamed).
This could be arranged for both your flamencas as well as classicals.

And what do I know; once things were to be up and running a good think tank could be coming up with numbers of promissing layouts ( I´d be willing to participate for free. Just in case of having a good idea. Don´t laugh; Me has once been exeptionally referenced by Porsche´s marketing chief ).

Things could even end up one day with a fine corporate store somewhere in the US, that would in the first line be serving noone else but you and your customers. - And easily become the best reputated of all for contemporary artisan production.


All you need would be an ombudsman whose sincerity you may trust.
In respect of which I would spontaneously be thinking of Simon, who has proven already that he can be idealistic.
( - As you might know I would like to enroll a small publishing project with his help too. Not at last for reason of integrity as well.)

I think Anders himself would be of high intergity himself, quite suiting the job. Only that he shouldn´t put aside his chisel.
Somehow I am of the impression anyway as if especially cobblers and luthiers were to be gathering some extra ordinary average of sincerity in their guild. Don´t ask me why, I dunno.

Anyway, unite, fine luthiers, and find your own means of public relations!
The internet has introduced unseen means of communication and information. These can be used for win-win situations.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 11:46:51
 
z6

 

Posts: 225
Joined: Mar. 1 2011
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

In older days, when crafts were organised in guilds this would NEVER have been accepted. The undercutters would have faced very serious problems incl. having their workshops destroyed. In these fantastic modern and progressed days, people doing something which is not mainstream are totally unprotected and it doesnt seem that anyone really cares.


You could start a guild. Then all the guys that charge 3,000 could attack all the nasty undercutters. Then the Conde/Ramirez guild could attack you.

quote:

The huge majority of members on this forum are in a job situation that is far more protected. You have protected income, security and a more or less safe vision of the future. Imagine your life without al that... Thats what we live. Go back and read Andy´s (deterresas) post. He just started a few years ago and he´s already there where he has to really think about if its worth it.


You have a skewed vision of what it's like for people other than yourself to live in this world. (And if you got your wish and were protected by a guild Andy would have a baseball bat sticking out of his head for undercutting the guild.)

quote:

Do you think its a good vision for our world. Do you prefer to buy cheap mediocre instruments from China and live in a world where noone is producing anything in a way that was our culture for centuries or more. Do you want to live in a society where the only people around you are doing office jobs, banking, shops, IT, promotion, analysis and service? Thats where we are heading. A no brain consumer society with very little activity between the ears.


You think there are not people capable in China of matching your work? Maybe there is no history of culture in China producing beautiful and innovative thngs? The people doing 'office jobs, banking, shops, IT, etc.' have no less claim to being 'artworthy' than yourself. Even if they ain't, someone has to earn enough of a living to buy your guitars, no?

People who never built a guitar in their lives have built many many things of value, and many more contribute great value to all of our lives, even if they work all week and only indulge in their artful hobbies in their precious free time.

It took Conde and Ramirez many years, indeed generations, before they could indulge in such high-end, mass market 'crassness' as plastering names on guitars and outsourcing for all the 'imbecile rich people' I keep reading about here.

Ruper Murdoch famously (as far as my knowledge goes) went after a competitor newspaper with baseball bats early in his career. I guess producing content that people wanted more than his competitors' was something still in his future at that time. But we can recongize the similarities of impulse and strategy open to people doing business in the marketplace.

Life is hard man. We get it. It's hard to make money from one's hobby, for sure.

There are gaping holes in the flamenco guitar market right now, but that would require doing filthy marketing and calling one's output, output or product. Unfortuntely, set against that is the nose dive that the Spanish economy is in and will continue to suffer for a long time. But, when Spain eventually gets around to bouncing out of the euro, things can change for people doing business in Spain or exporting from Spain.

It may be the age old quandry of art versus commerce but then again, it may not. Smallman and Damman and Wagner have spawned a huge new market in the classical world, a world entirely untapped by flamenco builders as yet. These guys command 30,000 dollars or more and have waiting lists to ensure their familes can build dynasties. Other builders have filled the gap for such designs in lower price ranges, and traditional builders get to sell their traditional values to the parts of market unimpressed with the new designs or paradigms.

Of course it's hard. What isn't?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 14:42:21
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to z6

quote:

Life is hard man. We get it. It's hard to make money from one's hobby, for sure.


That was dirty and low.
That was an angry and kind of disrespectfull post Z6...

I´ve never said that I wanted a guild. I only said that far out undercutting is what we have to live with. Something that most other people dont have to face and something they never even think about.
Also i never said anything against people working in offices, banks etc. I stated that our society is getting close to being a society without any culture exept the fast consumerism that is everywhere. What once was our culture is not being valued anymore. Culture is our soul and we´ve ended up selling our soul for cheap mass produced plastic from china. Because thats what they are producing so far. And trust me, I´ve tried ´western´musical instuments from China. Also instruments that were not the lowest range.

What you basically is saying is that I should shut up (maybe I´ll shut up on this foro) and accept being plastered by people like you.
Also all these "intelligent" ideas on how Spain should get out of its crisis are just empty... Because you know absolutely nothing about what you´re talking about. You know nothing about what is going on here. You´re only interested in that we devaluate , so that you can buy your consumer goods cheaper. thats creepy. If you take yourself serious, you should buy everything in China, because thats the kind of world that you want.

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 16:10:11
 
Escribano

Posts: 6322
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

That was an angry and kind of disrespectfull post Z6..


Anders, but I read your comment below as 'angry and disrespectful'. It seems to say that I have nothing between my ears... as I work in IT

quote:

Do you want to live in a society where the only people around you are doing office jobs, banking, shops, IT, promotion, analysis and service? Thats where we are heading. A no brain consumer society with very little activity between the ears.


_____________________________

Foro Flamenco founder and Admin
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 16:23:28
 
henrym3483

Posts: 1554
Joined: Nov. 13 2005
From: Limerick,Ireland

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Escribano

its sad that the economy has caused this situation.

i think what anders is trying to get across is that technology is in alot of respects taking over our society and making it "soul-less"..i mean how many "zombies" do you see on the trains, buses and tube each day engrossed in facebook, mp3 players and useless online games.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 16:36:36
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Escribano

quote:

nders, but I read your comment below as 'angry and disrespectful'. It seems to say that I have nothing between my ears... as I work in IT

quote:

Do you want to live in a society where the only people around you are doing office jobs, banking, shops, IT, promotion, analysis and service? Thats where we are heading. A no brain consumer society with very little activity between the ears.


I did write that it was the society and not the persons that had nothing between their ears. But I get what you say and you´re right, it could sound like its the persons I´m after. Which its not. Its the whole movement of our society and the fact that most people dont care and just let things happen like... "life is like this and what can I do?"
We all have our responsability and when we just let things happen as we do, we little activity between our ears.
The final question is if we want to happen what is happening? It has just started. We cannot base a society on pure consumerism and no culture. But thats what we do. And every day it gets like that.
¿How do you think the flamenco scene is doing these days in Spain? If you dont know, I can tell you.... Its dying because there´s no room for culture. but thats another story I might write about another day.
I cant imagine a society without police, banks, offices, IT tec. But I sure cant imagine a society without culture either.

_____________________________

Blog: http://news-from-the-workshop.blogspot.com/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 16:47:40
 
frhout

 

Posts: 451
Joined: Apr. 28 2005
From: France

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

It may be futile to get into arguments about prices for guitars, or anything else. I'm sure Conde has put in a lot of heart into their products, but so have you. The difference is that Conde are the successors of Esteso. I will never have the money to buy a Conde, irrespective of whether or not it's worth the money. Whereas I'll have a lot to choose from for a 2 or 3000+ guitar, cheap for some, right price for others, and excessive for the rest. What may be true is that no luthier would say his or her guitars are inferior to others, most won't even choose between their own products in front of potential customers (the perennial cliché of saying it's as difficult as choosing a beautiful woman). In the end, it's all up to the luthier to fix the price and the customer to judge. Fame helps, it also helps to inflate prices. Competitions abound, that's true for a lot of us whose job is not safe anymore.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 17:02:50
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3782
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anders Eliasson

¿How do you think the flamenco scene is doing these days in Spain? If you dont know, I can tell you.... Its dying because there´s no room for culture. but thats another story I might write about another day.


Please do, Anders.
I was thinking of opening an extra thread for to ask you about this. Just the better if you grant us the time and insight by yourself.

I am really interested to hear of it, eventhough it will probably be saddening info.

Besides I fully understand what you observe on culture and superficiality.

-

In sight of China production:
It is only self-evident that production there will perform according to efforts taken beforehand.

There used to be huge China bashing in regard of comissioned cheapo microphones from there, until, as predicatable first decent to surprisingly good low budget mics occured from there.
Don´t know where they have reached until now, but I have been predicting years ago that they will be putting out top shelve too one day. Maybe now as we speak.

There exist already a couple of Chinese luthiers whose classical guitars are reviewed as fine handcrafted stuff.

It´s a matter of opportunity and time.

And while we do mainly see trash from China, we must remember that such is what importers preferably chose as it allows the highjest margins. It must not mean that there couldn´t be found better quality on the market in China.

No too far in the future folks there will be manufacturing quite competitive to European standards and sometimes prime. They are already in terms of solar panels for instance. And their windmills are supposed to meanwhile have surpassed the inventors´output.

Oh, and I have a cheapo parlor guitar from China which truely amazingly counts to the sweetest and most perfect steelers I have come across. Certainly a serial production fortuity popped out of a huge batch of mediocrity and duds, but it is there.

Ruphus



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 18:06:40
 
z6

 

Posts: 225
Joined: Mar. 1 2011
 

RE: Guitar prices (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

I did write that it was the society and not the persons that had nothing between their ears. But I get what you say and you´re right, it could sound like its the persons I´m after. Which its not. Its the whole movement of our society and the fact that most people dont care and just let things happen like... "life is like this and what can I do?"


Most people don't care? Really?

I'm amazed that you thought my post was low and insulting. And you quote me saying how hard it was to earn a living from one's hobby as evidence of my crime

Is that a 'put-down' to you? If I had said 'Art' or 'passion' would that have similarly offended your sensibilities? I've spent a large part of my working life trying to earn a living from my hobbies.

To say that I'm waiting for Spain to devalue so that I can get 30% off on all purchases is beyond silly. If you had worked on the trading floor of an investment bank some years ago you might have read some of the reports I wrote pointing out that the euro was an insanely badly-designed financial instrument and it would inevitably end very badly. The current situation was written into the design, the DNA, of the euro.

'Life is like this and what can I do'? You think 'others' think this and not you? Did you read the rest of my post? Did you read the part that talked about three luthiers in the classical world who not only changed the whole game, they have made it possible for others to pursue their ambitions without having to starve on the altar of their art (or hobby or passion). They did it in their own lifetimes.

It can, apparently, be done. In Smallman's case; chase down a guitar legend and torture him into telling you WHAT HE WANTS in a guitar. In Damman/Wagner's case, take a brainfull of talent and experience, maybe get a little lucky, but when the magical moment happens, pounce on it and work like a dog to perfect the idea.

I'll be frank, your comments sounded superior, as if you mattered more than all the poor souls who work 40 hours a day and then go build guitars or write books or watch telly, or whatever. And god help the rich ones... they're all idiots. (I guess it must be easy to get rich but I can never manage to do it, somehow.)

You were whining that you don't make enough money, and giving the same old about how you might have to give up and get a normal job like all the other vanilla people who aren't artists. You might want to broaden your definition of what can constitute art.

Keep building or don't man, stay here or don't. Get offended or don't.

Have you forgotten about all the good things? The freedom? No boss? Tons of people telling you how talented you are?

No, but you want more money for it. Well, go do that. Go get more money for your guitars. No need for a speech about how it's all the fault of the universe, and all the faceless boring ones who know not what tortures you set yourself for your art.

I'm not attempting to insult or goad you. Really. But snap out of it for fcks sake. The world is as it always was. Sht is piling upon you in great effing skiploads. It does thus to us all, unfortunately.

I was just trying to point out that there are always ways, angles, to get you where you'd rather be. A revolution has taken place in classical guitar design (while people argue about whether it's real or not or if the guitars sound strange). It's an avenue. One avenue.

A strategy already applied and inroads already made. There are always ways but one must usually bend somewhat, compromise.

If building guitars is not enough then get a gimmick. If the gimmick is terrific then everybody wins.

It's not the whole world. Like one of those old zen guys once said 'when you feel pain, the whole world feels pain'.

If you have a closer look at all the boring people who make up the world outside your bonce you might be surprised at how few are actually out to get you.

You want people to pay 10,000 euro for your guitars but are they the same people that you can't stop yourself thinking are idiots because they pay so much for a guitar? A little less disdain for the customer is always a good first step on the road to learn about the business of selling your product.

As to 'Western instruments from China'. It's not another planet. I read, a little while ago, a story about how all the high-end microphone manufacturers were all crying about cheap Chinese copies. A little money and creativity later and China was producing 'original' mics a kick-in-the-ass away from superior German models for a tenth of the price. (Assuming that 'the Chinese' can't do what you can do is arrogant and childish. Of course they can... if they want to, why would they not?)

Indeed, I own one. I would never spend two thousand dollars on a mic, but 200, sure. Does that make me bad?

Build guitars that make people salivate. How you get them to do that is the bridge between hobby and profession. And it has never been just about building better guitars... but it helps.

(If any offense at the word 'hobby' is taken, please insert a word of your own choice.)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 17 2012 18:17:34
Page:   <<   <   1 [2] 3 4    >   >>
All Forums >>Discussions >>General >> Page: <<   <   1 [2] 3 4    >   >>
Jump to:

New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software powered by ASP Playground Advanced Edition 2.0.5
Copyright © 2000 - 2003 ASPPlayground.NET

0.109375 secs.