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Ever gone on a guitar factory tour?

Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by Mississippi_Kid, Nov 14, 2017 at 12:50 PM.

  1. Mississippi_Kid

    Mississippi_Kid Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Jun 20, 2016
    The Hinterlands, USA
    I've always wanted to go on a tour of a guitar factory, but I've never had the chance. Have any of you guys done one? Did it change your insights or feelings about that particular brand of guitar afterwards?
     

  2. papergoblin

    papergoblin Strat-Talker

    Age:
    36
    249
    Sep 21, 2017
    Alabama
    Never done a tour but when Opryland was torn down (which still sucks) and they built Opry Mills mall, the Gibson shop had a window where you could watch them build and such. That was a long time ago but I remember it being pretty cool, I was around 14 I think.
     

  3. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Strat-Talker

    Age:
    48
    483
    Jan 10, 2017
    San Diego
    I have done 2. I did the Carvin/Kiesel factory and to this day I still want to order a custom guitar from them. They love guitars and it was really infectious to be around them, they were very excited about their guitars.

    I also did the Taylor tour. What can you say? They are top of the line for a reason and the tour only reinforced that for me.
     
    Mississippi_Kid likes this.

  4. fezz parka

    fezz parka Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    I went to G & L after Leo died. You'd be surprised how small it was. :D
     
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  5. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    I walk around my work shop from time to time.
     

  6. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    I did the Fender tour a couple years ago. It was well worth it.
     
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  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    .

    PRS Maryland factory twice.

    Trying to get over to Heritage Guitars since it's only two hours away.

    I was near LA last spring and had free time over the weekend and looked up G&L, Fender, Taylor, Suhr, and another out there but none were open over the weekend. Fender closed their tours altogether and no word on when or if they will resume.

    Factory tours are a great PR and Marketing tool used in many industries. Potato chip, motorcycle, pop, beer, and wineries all use the tours successfully. Usually there is a gift store at the end you can load up on trinkets and products. When I was a kid we took school field trips through the Kellogg factory. I still remember the wonder of a 4th grader seeing fork lift totes rounded up with Fruit Loops and the smells of granola.

    Jiffy Bakery is about forty minutes away and have been there as a kid and parent on tours.

    .
     
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  8. 1980

    1980 Strat-Talker

    352
    Dec 18, 2016
    United States
    I would love to tour the Martin and Fender factories one day. Seems like it would be a cool experience.
     
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  9. Willie D

    Willie D Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I toured USACG in Puyallup this summer. I recommend it for anyone interested in how electric guitars are made. The folks who work there were chill and really happy to give the tour. My wife came away with a new appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into turning lumber into guitars.
     
    Mississippi_Kid likes this.

  10. Willie D

    Willie D Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I'd love to tour G&L and see where my Legacy was born.
     
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  11. BRIANREEVES88

    BRIANREEVES88 Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
    20
    Aug 2, 2017
    Oklahoma
    Toured the Gibson factory in Memphis this summer. We really enjoyed it. Too bad they don't make a guitar that I want to own, I would rather see strats or lesters made. Beautiful instruments to see nonetheless.
     
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  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    It was in a very small industrial park. This was pre BBE. Leo's office was as he left it. Dale Hyatt was showing me around, and asked if I wanted to sit in his chair. He smiled when I told him I wasn't worthy. :D
     

  13. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Nitro-mancer

    Sep 18, 2014
    Victoria TX
    Guy at work told me the same thing.
     
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  14. Electgumbo

    Electgumbo Most Honored Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Scott La.
    I did the Memphis Gibson tour back in 2010. It was cool and interesting. I’m invited to a VIP tour of Fender when ever I can get to California. I hope to go in the spring.
     

  15. mjark

    mjark Senior Stratmaster

    Jul 15, 2015
    Maryland
    I've been through the PRS factory about 4 times. It hasn't changed my opinion one way or the other. The people that work there are enthusiastic about what they do though.
     
    Mississippi_Kid likes this.

  16. Willie D

    Willie D Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter


  17. nuculer terrist

    nuculer terrist Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 12, 2014
    center of the mind
    There is armadillo enterprises in tampa that makes some of the dean guitars and other stuff but I've never been. I keep telling my wife to schedule a class field trip there, and I'll chaperone
     
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  18. lonegroover

    lonegroover Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    57
    Mar 5, 2016
    England
    I did have a tour of a guitar factory, in 1993. I'd bought a Patrick Eggle LA Pro second hand. I got it for a very good price because it had a chip in the body finish. Shortly after I got it, I phoned the Eggle factory and asked them if they could repair it. They said yes. I left it at the reception at their factory in Coventry.

    About a week later I got a call to say it was ready. Went to pick it up on a Saturday and the guy who'd done the repair asked if I'd like a look round. He showed me all their stuff; where they made the bodies out of blanks, where they made the necks and drilled holes for truss rods, where they did the fretwork, the spraying, etc etc.

    But most interesting to me were the prototype guitars they'd made, with finishes and colours that wouldn't necessarily make it to market. I also got to see some of the guitars they'd made for professional customers, including Cliff Richard's guitarist at the time. They gave me an Eggle strap to take away.

    That was a really special guitar, my LA Pro. It had a single piece flame maple body finished in purple, and a birds-eye maple fingerboard. Locking tuners.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 9:12 AM

  19. ddeand

    ddeand Strat-Talk Member

    15
    Mar 3, 2007
    Eagan, mn
    Did the Martin tour in Nazareth, PA awhile back. I was amazed at how fast and accurate the builders were.
     
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  20. CaseCandy

    CaseCandy Senior Stratmaster

    May 9, 2015
    UK/Ireland
    Just looked up Eggle. They are gorgeous and I have added them to my aspirational stretch wishlist.

    I've never done a guitar factory tour but in my imagination the place will have that pleasant aroma of worked wood fighting against the less appealing smell of paint solvent.

    The only factory tour I ever did was Guinness in Dub, and a Pearl factory in Majorca.