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Guitars with flaws / B grade stock - do luthiers just bin them?   You are logged in as Guest
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mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 293
Joined: May 14 2017
 

Guitars with flaws / B grade stock -... 

Curious what luthiers do with guitars that have unmaskable flaws but still sound good and are playable? Throw them in the bin? In the commerical world, brand reputation is important, plus professional pride etc.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2019 22:05:33
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2665
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

What kind of flaws are we talking here? I've had to scrap plenty of guitar parts but never a fully built guitar. If it had a flaw that bad it would never get to the point of hearing what it sounded like.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2019 22:18:42
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 293
Joined: May 14 2017
 

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to Andy Culpepper

Very hypothetical as I'm not a luthier. Miscarved headstock? Problems or ripples in the guitar sides where bending has left cracking that could be braced but isn't -perfect-. Gouges on back due to workshop mishap? Splinted crack in top? Neck issues that can be patched up but would be noticable.

In a world where every guitar is unique since every raw piece of wood is, a percentage surely mustn't pass muster?

Just feels a bit odd tht you never see as a guitar sold as 'not one of my best visually, but plays okay'.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 22 2019 23:59:01
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2665
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

quote:

Very hypothetical as I'm not a luthier. Miscarved headstock? Problems or ripples in the guitar sides where bending has left cracking that could be braced but isn't -perfect-. Gouges on back due to workshop mishao? Splinted crack in top? Neck issues that can be patched up but would be noticable.

In a world where every guitar is unique since every raw piece of wood is, a percentage surely mustn't pass muster?

Just feels a bit odd tht you never see as a guitar sold as 'not one of my best visually, but plays okay'.


Ah, sounds like you're describing my first dozen or so guitars there

When I started building, I placed a high priority on just finishing guitars and getting them out the door for cheap even though they may have cosmetic flaws. I wanted the experience and mostly just wanted to see what they sounded like, and sold them for student level prices. My guitar #3 was an Indian Rosewood classical and the sides came out rippled. I was too broke and impatient to just throw them out so I used them. The guitar came out fine and I ended up keeping it for a while and then selling it for I think $900. Every guitar was basically a prototype/experiment at that point. Minor cosmetic or finish flaws were par for the course.

Gradually you make fewer and fewer errors as your workmanship naturally improves, and as you charge higher prices, major flaws become simply unacceptable. Don't want to jinx myself but I've never done something really boneheaded like dropping a guitar, leaning on the top until it cracked, leaving a big gouge with a chisel or anything like that. I suppose if some kind of serious flaw were to manifest, I could sell the guitar for cheap but it would still feel pretty bad to lose $1000 in a day or whatever it ended up being. Better to be present, mindful and attentive and just not **** up
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2019 0:29:33
 
edguerin

Posts: 1501
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

When I commissioned Anders with a blanca 10 years ago, it got a ding in the neck in the last finishing phase. He offered to give me a different guitar, but I decided to keep the one built "just for me", and Anders gave me a decent discount...

You can read the full story here

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El aficionado solitario
Alemania
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2019 9:07:46
 
JasonM

Posts: 897
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

Was just wondering the same thing as I “hack” my way along with this first axe. Just made a binding channel boo boo yesterday that is now an inlay ornamentation.

I’ve seen pictures of guitars on luthier’s websites that had costemetic mistakes. One guitar had a lopsided carved heel, and another had sides that didn’t come in to the heel block on the same plane. Not sure why they posted the pics but it made me feel better about my own work! And I’m not sure everyone would notice these errors - I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t started building a guitar. For example, only now have I started to notice all of these flaws on my Sanchis carpio that I’ve had for 15 years!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2019 15:31:06
 
El Burdo

 

Posts: 442
Joined: Sep. 8 2011
 

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

I'm not a luthier but I have a go. I decided to re-back and front this guitar but forgot the sides were under tension. They expanded so it ended up being a very fat guitar (now named El Gordo). I took direction from Steven Eden's favourite rosette (OK, maybe 'copied') but then accidentally over-routed the bottom bout edge, which became progressively worse with each attempted fix. So, I decided to use echoes of the rosette at the bottom to balance it. Still not neat but it makes me smile.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 23 2019 20:34:49
 
Escribano

Posts: 5862
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to edguerin

When Anders was finishing my blanca, 12 years ago he uncovered a sap pocket in the neck. He offered to start all over again but I too chose the keep the guitar. It's like a beauty spot.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2019 9:02:32
 
RobJe

 

Posts: 666
Joined: Dec. 16 2006
From: UK

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

In 1968 Jose Ramirez III gave me 40% off a guitar which had a repaired crack in the top. It was a better guitar than any of the other cosmetically perfect guitars available at the time – so a bargain twice over.

Rob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2019 11:09:08
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11058
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

Guitars with no flaw or scratch scare me.... I refuse to play them.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2019 14:30:07
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1329
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to mrstwinkle

I have given away guitars that I felt were not up to my standards.

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Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 24 2019 17:30:13
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11058
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

ORIGINAL: constructordeguitarras

I have given away guitars that I felt were not up to my standards.


Oh man let me have one of your worst please!!!
Tax write off for a charitable cause!!

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CD's and transcriptions available here:
www.ricardomarlow.com
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 25 2019 13:21:23
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1329
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to Ricardo

Thanks for your confidence, Ricardo. I don't have any to give away now. I had used a plantilla that came on a printed pattern that was supposed to be Santos Hernandez's plantilla, for two guitars with hard maple back and sides (not soft maple like on violins), and I decided I didn't like them. They worked fine but they were heavy and I decided the plantilla was ugly. I gave them to friends who have no flamenco intentions.

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Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2019 4:31:02
 
rombsix

Posts: 6869
Joined: Jan. 11 2006
From: Beirut, Lebanon

RE: Guitars with flaws / B grade sto... (in reply to constructordeguitarras

quote:

I gave them to friends who have no flamenco intentions.




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Ramzi

http://www.youtube.com/rombsix
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Feb. 26 2019 18:54:56
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