Are "Custom Shop" Guitars Worth the Money?

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by rednefceleb, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Sct13

    Sct13 Gold Supporter Premium Member

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    I have had more than a few encounters with Custom Shop guitars being completely not worth it....

    Breaking it down ...

    Its a guitar....pieces of wood with some wires and electronics, and a snazzy paintjob...or ....the "stonewashed jeans" look as my wife so kindly puts it...(she doesn't get aging either) but then she's the brains around here anyway....

    I do have to say something regarding craftsmanship and Attention to detail ...small details... that cheaper guitars just cant follow, because its not prudent to add those details in that price group ....and may not ever matter to a working musician. To many its an exercise in futility, because its seen as a tool ....a wrench is a wrench ....be it snap -on or Craftsman ....whats in your tool box?

    Tell me about it....I'm in a band, who cant get why I dump so much money into this stupidity ....and their right ....but then again... they always want to play my stuff...Which is fine....I encourage it.

    But its in the details that matter, to people that feels it matters....

    In 45 years of playing I have been though 75 or 100 "new guitars" ranging from the $50 Sears les paul copy all the way up to the ones I have now, and everything in between....I went nuts in South Korea ....sending 5 home, bringing 2 with me ....One was almost as good as a 58 strat ....which got stolen because it was so good.... (it has my Army serial # engraved on the back if anyone sees it)

    My Martin is also a work of art, and its a custom shop piece.

    My 93 strat is also an amazing guitar and its not a Custom shop guitar ...so far NO Fender Strat has it equaled ...and I have had many ....
     
  2. John Dewey

    John Dewey Senior Member

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    Custom Shop guitars, Fender or Gibson, in my opinion are absolutely worth the money. Buy used though. Shop around because the minute you pull the trigger the very next day you'll almost certainly see one that you like more.
     
  3. Encrypted

    Encrypted Premium Member

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    I completely agree with this. They are 100% worth the extra dough, but you gotta buy them used. Depreciation is your friend when you're buying anything 2nd hand that is expensive. In addition, to quality, craftsmanship, etc.. they also hold their value much more than the standard production models, or probably even appreciate depending on the model.

    I ONLY buy used Custom Shop, and will never dare to pay full price for a Custom Shop instrument.
     
  4. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Senior Member

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    Yes. It's up to the buyer. Denim is such a good comparison. Everyone's right. :):jb:.
     
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  5. Olli

    Olli Senior Member

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    That Les Paul is a Rossington, right? So a big part of the pricetag will be for collectors value.

    That being said, If I compare the guitars from the non Customshop production line with Customshop guitars, be it Fender or Gibson, I tend to find that for me it is usually money well spent, I you don´t go for the uber pricey ones.
    Couple of years ago the prices were way better for what were basically the same guitars, so from that point of view the current prices are not justified imo.

    If I was in the US, I would always buy used as there are so, so many really stunning guitars out there, especially R9s, but here in Germany you´re practically forced to buy new, because usually the private sellers of R9s or Customshop guitars in general tend to proce their stuff close to retail of the new ones.

    I see no reason to buy used, if In the end I maybe save less than $500 compared to just walking out of the store with a brand new guitar in the current spec. (afterbeing able to A/B several guitars in the same store before buying)
     
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  6. RAG7890

    RAG7890 Premium Member

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    Ask yourself the question, do you want a great playing / sounding Les Paul or a nice piece of Maple to go ooohhh & ahhhh over?

    If you don’t want to break the bank & you want a great playing / sounding Les Paul get a ‘57 GT or even a ‘58. Both can be had for ~ $2,400 - $3,600.

    There is no need to blow 6 + large of a Les Paul. They’re not collectible.

    If you’re flush then buy what you want & what makes you happy............then you can do the pump & dump, sell & repeat, many times over.

    Re FCS the best two I have ever had were a Team Built Strat that I specced out in about 2004 or so & a 2nd hand 2005 Ltd. Edit. Tele. I’ve had a lot of new FCS MB Guitars & even though I always got close to Wholesale pricing, I don’t think they were worth the money.

    My 2c FWIW. I have certainly wasted enough money to find this out........even though I probably came out reasonable well ahead over the long haul.

    :cheers2:

    P.S. Keep buying & help HJ, he needs every sale he can get.
     
  7. Olli

    Olli Senior Member

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    In the end, if a guitar inspires you and gives you joy, then the proce was justified and is easily forgotten over time.

    When I play a guitar that I really, really like, even if it is more expensive than I would like it to be, I have no real problem in paying the price.
    Hurts only once, and if I´m happy every evening when I pick it up to play after work, hell even if I just look at it and grin happily, it was worth it.

    (I´m still not talking about those crazy 12.5 aged/signed Les Pauls - even I cannot justify that)
     
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  8. Petergrifindor

    Petergrifindor Senior Member

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    I think my personal upper limit for ANY guitar would be around 6000$ (although until now I never reached even 2000$). If they want me to pay the amount of money they ask for one of these custom guitars, the instrument has to be PERFECTION on all levels. Sound, feel, looks, weight... everything A+++. Like God himself made a instrument that fits with me. 0,0 compromises at that price.

    Then yes, I would gladly pay and think it´s worthy.
     
  9. rich85

    rich85 Senior Member

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    Yes they are worth the money. I have an R6 and R8 so that covers every Les Paul tone I need.

    To gig I use an Epiphone 1955 reissue which was 25% of the price and is 80% as good.

    It is getting all the small details right and feeling much more refined that makes it worth it.

    So they are not great value, but not a rip off. They are premium guitars with prices to match. Unless you spend over 5 grand on one. Then thats just silly.

    Fender custom shop is no different. I have only played a few custom shop strats but holy crap. Every single one made an American Standard feel no different to a Squier in comparison.
     
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  10. toymaker

    toymaker Senior Member

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    The question can only be answered by the individual buying, as it is completely relates to the individual and several factors - chief being their financial level and comfort level

    IF I were 21 years old, making minimum wage and struggling to make rent each month - its unlikely I would prioritize owning a CS instrument over a MIJ/MIK model or low level US made - I could customize these to get me closer to what a CS model gives me electronics and appearance wise. I could not change the build quality or the finish as easily - but I'd put more value on price over those features in that position

    IF I had a seemingly unlimited cash flow supply and was a professional musician who didnt want to risk damage to my prized vintage pieces while touring - then absolutely, yes the CS option would be a no brainer - the price isnt a factor, and I can easily replace something if need be - versus my vintage pieces which are typically much scarcer.

    Since I fall into the vast middle ground (where most of us reside) its a question only I can answer for myself - its worth it to me because I like them and feel its a value to me.
     
  11. joff

    joff Senior Member

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    Most of my guitars are Custom Shop...3 Les Pauls, a Strat, a Tele and a couple of Martin acoustics...i think that i'm worth it! :naughty:
     
  12. Olli

    Olli Senior Member

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    No, "You are ready".....


    (FCS pun intended :D)
     
  13. Dick Banks

    Dick Banks Senior Member

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    The instrument quality is typically worth it. It's the relic jobs I can't get with. I buy my guitars shiny and new, and then they just get "relic'd" in the course of my own clumsiness, going to the gig, coming back from the gig, at the gig, at home with my wife and two cats, etc.
     
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  14. frozenotter

    frozenotter Premium Member Premium Member

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    They are great but the price is per interpretation. Gibson is certainly taking us to the cleaners on these if that's what you mean. In a lot of ways you really need not go beyond a basic Traditional.
     
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  15. Deadletteroffice

    Deadletteroffice Senior Member

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    For me they are definitely worth more than the majority of the standard line guitars, with a few rare exceptions. But I never pay full retail price for them, and that's where most of the debate seems to lie. However the other day I got into a debate with a guy on Facebook over his assertion that a $400 Tele is just as good as any Custom Shop Tele, because by his reasoning a Tele is a simple guitar, slab body, 1 piece neck that bolts on and that's where the important aspects end, for him. He went on to say that anyone who would pay more than the bottom tier offering was a sucker and an idiot and blah blah. Exhausting troll activity.
     
  16. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    it all depends on the indivual guitar. The price range for RI/Historic Lesters is insane. 4-5k, yeah! 11k? ..um no! IDC what the 11k has it's basically the same instrument as the 5k ones, with some "Special Treatment". As far as slab guitars, no! You can order a kit from Warmoth and for $1k have a better strat than any factory makes!
     
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  17. I Break Things

    I Break Things Senior Member

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    As far as an improvement in playability over standard production guitars? I don't think so.

    As far as how cool they can be? That depends how much money you have to spend and how much of a premium you out on the cool factor.

    If I had $10,000 just to spend, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a really nice Gibson or PRS. Would the playability be $6,000 or $7,000 better than a production model? Almost certainly not, but... They're still really dang cool.
     
  18. DanD

    DanD Senior Member

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    I could easily make do with just my '13 Standard. It does everything I need from an LP.

    LP Standard 13.jpg

    ..but I'm spoiled rotten and the Rs are just a better feeling and playing guitar.

    I agree you pay a lot for the extra attention to the details and I'm OK with that.

    Used is usually my choice on CS Gibsons and 3K can go a long way.

    20170630_195531(0).jpg

    :fingersx:
     
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  19. Jymbopalyse

    Jymbopalyse Senior Member

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    Even using Made In US cost$

    Woods, craftsmanship, labor . . .

    I find it hard to believe any top-of-the-line solid body electric guitar could be WORTH more than $1500.
    ( I picked that amount from my arse, it could be $1300 or $1600, but you get the drift)

    Every penny after that, is perceived value IMO. It becomes an I WANT factor.
    Is it worth it to YOU.


    If $$$$ is spare change to you. You may want, and get, lots of these if you like them enough.
     
  20. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Silver Supporter Premium Member

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    Why do people start threads with questions that there are no answers too? OP, it's a SUBJECTIVE question. Worth, just as beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If you buy something that you get enjoyment out of, and you are happy with it, it's worth it. If not, it's not. Doesn't matter what it is.
     

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