I disagree with any guitar is crap, even the $ 100 guitars are quite playable. To me the only difference between a $ 100 guitar & a $ 3K guitar is how much effort was put in finishing it. Anyone can spend more time rolling frets, polishing a finish or whatever. If anyone does enough work to a kit guitar, they become a Luthier at some level. Recently I shimmed a Bullet proper, since the definition of resetting a neck is different for a bolt on vs set neck. I essentially reset the neck on that guitar. I consider myself a Luthier for that level of work. Regardless of how crappy or good it turned out. That guitar has never played better or held together better, since even just gluing toothpicks for stripped screwholes in the wood, since I bought it in 2019. Would a tech do that ? I think a tech would change the strings, tuners or something anyone should be able to do. I always liked the neck angle on the Bullet, so I had to determine whether it needed an angled shim or a flat one, I had to fabricate a flat one from scratch & I was prepared to level it for neck angle if I didn't get it right. I would've also scrapped completely to restart or added more shim that I took too much material out of. I spent 4 hours of my time slowly sanding that shim, it was trial & error really as the finer tuning got to the end.
Did I take too long ? For someone else maybe, but I took my time as my preference. I may not do that for something I don't care too deeply about and will never see again. But slow & deliberate for at least my things is always the amout of time & effort I put into it. Most customers are fine with just getting a repaired item back. a repair is rarely perfect, but there's relatively passable & exceptionally outstanding work. Depends upon the price.
Well, if we seperate guitar tech (which I am ), instrument repair person (which I also am), and luthier (which I am NOT) into the categories that they should be in the real world, then there is an advantage to be known as a luthier.What is the advantage, fascination, and desire to be called 'a luthier' that you seek?
Anyone can be a tech in a day and a half of learning..
But If you can turn this:
Into a playable this:
...you are a luthier.
Actually this applies to me as well and further illustrates the varied usefulness of titles.Years ago, I was hired at a boat manufacturer in the R&D Department. They hired me to handle the Engineering Bill of Materials (essentially the parts list that goes into making one unit/boat) end of it. I know just enough about boat building to be dangerous. I wouldn't turn me loose on the design end of it. I can make something seaworthy, but the industry is going to make sure a degreed professional that's been blessed as proficient & knowledgeable enough is going to engineer a mass produced item. Legend has it, Noah built an ark though.
Cubans & Haitians can build a raft that might make it from their island to the mainland USA, that doesn't make them boat manufacturers. Sometimes it doesn't end well.
????as a scientist is to an engineer.
AFAIK the middle title of instrument repair person is more recent and I had never heard of them in my former 45 years working on guitars.Well, if we seperate guitar tech (which I am ), instrument repair person (which I also am), and luthier (which I am NOT) into the categories that they should be in the real world, then there is an advantage to be known as a luthier.
But as long as there is no real distinction in popular use of the terms, there's no advantage.
One way to look at it:
a guitar tech can do setups, intonation, fret jobs, replace electronics, etc. even build partscasters.
a repairperson can fix broken headstocks, damage to finishes, repair hollow body guitar bodies, etc.
a luthier can build instruments from scratch - and that includes acoustic guitars.
And there are folks that do all 3.
I agree except that I include a sound box based acoustic instrument that produces musical sound.I don’t agree with this. On paper you would not be a luthier. At best, your unemployment papers would say “luthier,” but that’s all.
A luthier builds guitars that people actually want and would pay for. And other people would then listen to the player play the instrument.
I guess it comes down to “define instrument”. Because if it’s garbage glued together and strings affixed, I don’t think it’s an instrument.In reality I would be unemployed. On paper according to an over simplified description one who builds stringed instruments is a Luthier and I don't agree with it.
What I'm saying is, in reality an actual Luthier would be someone who has received formal training. Without formal training its just someone building a guitar.