NGD! But... guitar came kind of heavy

Discussion in 'Non-Fender S-Type Guitar Forum' started by diogoguitar, Dec 18, 2020.

  1. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    After 9 long months, a custom made LP copy is complete. I'm very happy with it overall, but wanted to get your thoughts on one specification that didn't come as requested: to weigh no more than 3.9kg / 8.6 lbs

    I asked for all kinds of things in this guitar... ss frets, pickups, gotoh hardware, the kind of finish, neck profile, headstock break angle... you name it.
    the maker did precisely the type of finish I wanted.

    The guitar came exactly as described (see photos), except for one thing: The weight was supposed to be no more than 3.9kg / 8.6 lbs WITHOUT WEIGHT RELIEF. I know it's kind of a stretch for that to happen since basically only Gibson custom shops have this kind of weight range.

    In summary:

    The bad
    1. The guitar came at 4.267kg / 9.4 lbs, about 0.3kg/0.8lbs heavier than what I specified.
    2. I think I need to play more for sure, but the dish carve seems a bit too low, making it slightly uncomfortable to play on the forearm (gibson is perfect for me, but this one was handmade).
    The good:
    1. I couldn't ask for a better guitar. It resonates like crazy, sustains well, it's a crazy good instrument
    2. Everything else checks out as spec'ed. It sounds and plays amazingly. It definitely plays on par with other custom shop guitars that I am fortunate to own
    3. The guitar is beautiful... see below
    what should i do?
    • Ask for a full refund and have them build another one
    • Ask for a partial refund
    • Ask them to build the entire guitar again
    • Suck it up and don't complain at all
    This guitar is made in Brazil (I live in US). I have just a few days this year to decide whether to keep it or ask one of the options above. Ordering a replacement would take me at least a year to get it again. I'm fine if it comes right the second time.


    20201217_151418.jpg


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  2. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    Also, I did a quick research here, and the few things that can be done to reduce weight doesn't seem to do a lot
    • Remove locking tuners and add regular ones - save 42g or 0.1 lbs
    • Remove 2 push pulls pots - (weight savings negligible?)
    • Replace bridge to aluminum (is it noticeable?)
     
  3. BigNorm

    BigNorm Senior Stratmaster

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    With the arms showed in your avatar...I can't believe you've notice .8 of a pound... loll, Seriously, I would'nt bother for .8 of a pound if everything else please you on the guitar...
     
  4. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Stratmaster

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    I think the weight will be hard to live with. I want to say something encouraging, but I know it is hard to get used to a heavy guitar. I also think the carve is shallow. You should be able to roll a wee ping pong ball around the perimeter if you are trying for a 50s carve body. The finish looks great, and locking tuners are nearly a must.
    I think you should either get refunded and keep looking or send it back to loose a pound...sorry not to be more supportive, but I am sure it was not a free guitar, so you need to be happy and inspired.

    .02¢
     
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  5. soulman969

    soulman969 Senior Stratmaster

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    IMHO the good far out weighs the bad. All of what any of us want in our guitars you have in this one. I'm not ignoring what appears to be a 3/4 lb weight difference between reality and the ideal but personal experience tells me you'll adapt to that too.

    My suggestion would be to buy a Levy's 3.5" Neoprene strap for it. It's what I use on my Les Paul, all of my basses which range from 8.5 to 9.5 lbs, and a G&L ASAT which also goes 9lbs.

    These straps have a flex or a give to them that acts to relieve the feel of heavier guitars and basses. They're attractive and by far the most comfortable straps I've ever used. I have 6 of them and IMHO they are well worth their price which is around $40.
     
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  6. Ruscio

    Ruscio Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    That's a really tough call. The guitar looks fantastic, and you say it plays great, so there's a lot to like. But if weight is important--which I completely understand--I don't know that you'll ever be able to really love this guitar, which you should for something custom made.

    I don't understand how they could miss the weight goal by so much. All the hardware, pickups, electronics, and so on are easy enough to weigh. Finishing adds an entirely predictable amount of weight. Necks vary little in weight. The overwhelming determinant of a guitar's total weight will be the hunk of wood they're using for the body. Once that's even roughly shaped, they should check to see if it'll work for your build. Why they didn't do that, or they did but they botched the simple math, is hard to figure. There's so much work that goes into making a beautiful instrument like this, I'm amazed they didn't do a simple weight check given that the customer specified this and it's clearly important to him.

    I'd have them try again. Perfect guitars, esp. lefties, are hard to come by, and I don't think you'll be happy in the long run if you settle on this one. Or maybe I'm projecting my own reaction, maybe all the pros make up for this con for you?
     
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  7. nickmsmith

    nickmsmith Dr. Stratster

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    ah yes, the dangers of ordering stuff, sometimes it's not exactly what people hope for or expect.

    The danger is: What if the next one, the weight is right, but something else is not to your liking.. and you end up wishing you'd kept this one?

    IMO, if it looks right, sounds right, feels right, I'd learn to adjust, or send it back for a refund, and go with something else.

    This is a big hesitation of mine, on spending good money on a neck/guitar. Last time I spent decent money on a guitar I ordered, I was disappointed, and the guitar sits in its case, since resale on new Fenders is awful.
     
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  8. sam_in_cali

    sam_in_cali Scream for me Strat-Talk! Silver Member

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    I would think weight would be one of those areas where a tolerance is allowable, but a 10% difference does seem extreme, especially since you specified a max limit in your custom order.
    At what point did the maker know it was over the limit and did they let you know or did you have to figure it out?
    I'm not sure what the return policy is on a custom order but I'd let the maker know you are not 100% satisfied and see how they respond to try and fix the situation.
     
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  9. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks everybody for the honest responses.

    The maker didn't tell me at all. I even ask him to send a picture of the weight, which he didn't do. I didn't notice the weight that much because I tested sitting (but over the last 3 months I've been playing standing THE WHOLE TIME)

    When I got home, I went ahead and weighed the guitar. Then I played standing. Somehow it feels lighter than my LP, which is "only" 150-200g more
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
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  10. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    Alright, so I sent a note to the guy and he'll try to fix up things. He talked about replacing the gotoh bridge to a gibson aluminum one and carve ever so slightly the pickup cavity.

    I doubt it will make a huge difference.
    We'll see.

    I'll see what happens. I've done work with him for 15+ years and he's a pretty stand up guy. Let's see what happens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2020
  11. s5tuart

    s5tuart Perfecting time travel since 2525

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    Get a wider strap.... 4 inches should do it
     
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  12. SAguitar

    SAguitar Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    I have played a very heavy mid-70s LP for nearly 50 years, and it's a load for sure. In my late 20s I experienced bad effects in my neck and left shoulder that required months of chiropractic remedies to correct my scoliosis. My doctor said it looked like I had been carrying a mail bag for 20 years (that was back when mail carriers carried mail). During that period I began experimenting with lighter guitars, like Strats and Teles. Then I started working with some leather belt blanks and eventually made a great strap that split the load over both shoulders, and since then I have been able to play my Les Pauls with no pain. Now I have 3 of those straps and they work great with all my guitars. It makes sense, you can strap on a 50 lb. backpack and go hiking all day without straining your back.
     
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  13. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

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    9.4 lbs. is about average weight for real LP Customs these days. Perhaps you should have ordered a custom made SG.
     
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  14. Rudedawg

    Rudedawg Senior Stratmaster

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    aw just play the darn thing, it's beautiful:whistling:
    Man Up.jpg
     
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  15. Nick-O

    Nick-O Senior Stratmaster

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    The guy who plays bass with us has one those two sided straps as well, and he swears by it and his #1 is really heavy. That is an honest option.
     
  16. Ruscio

    Ruscio Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member Silver Member

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    Good luck, please let us know how it turns out!
     
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  17. MrIke

    MrIke Strat-Talk Member

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    First world problems, that’s always been my fear with custom order guitars. Good luck
     
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