Are "Custom Shop" Guitars Worth the Money?

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

  1. StubbyJ

    StubbyJ Senior Member

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    Jan 25, 2012
    mudface likes this.
  2. lpthomas

    lpthomas Premium Member

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    Apr 13, 2017
    Sometimes I think about another question: Who in their right mind would buy a top-of-the-line US-production Les Paul. Same for Fender. 2000 Dollars for a US Strat? If one can afford this, they could probably also afford CS stuff. My theory at least.

    And to me, it’s simple: I’d rather wait another x months/ a year and buy the Custom Shop model. (Sure, depends on the circumstances: If you have to save years to get a 2000 dollar guitar, then thats just reasonable. And they are awesome as well).

    I’d never wanna own 4 guitars for 7-800 Dollars. I don’t buy into the variety argument. Way cooler to have ONE really nice one. With time, more can be added.
    Blue Blood, EasyAce, DanD and 2 others like this.
  3. mudface

    mudface Non-Deadbeat/Non-Prominent Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    Aug 29, 2016
    I actually own several under 1k guitars and i don't own them for variety sake, they are really great instruments. I have found them over the years and knew they were great the minute i touched them. I also put my hands on tons of them that were just crap, i kinda knew they were but i had to try them anyways.

    Now Historics on the other hand takes a little more effort to find the ones that ARE crap,.....the search for a great one is a little easier and not so much by accident and the dough your paying is for that selection.....

    I love a great guitar no matter what the price is or the brand...........but that just me....everyone has their own process to find what they like.:D
    cherrysunburst00, DanD and lpthomas like this.
  4. Curious George

    Curious George Premium Member

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    Nov 23, 2012
    100% agree with everyone... def worth the money. While overall better than their non CS counterparts, not all custom shop guitars are created equal and it pays to spend time and look around to find the one that speaks to you.
    cherrysunburst00 likes this.
  5. JesseXGibson

    JesseXGibson Senior Member

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    Aug 24, 2017
    I myself would advise not to spend more than one can comfortably afford, wether its custom shop or not, but you can’t tell someone what to do with their money.

    I suggest always taking into consideration the law of diminishing return when buying a guitar, Example: If you know that you’re not going to get a guitar that’s not necessarily worth the extra $1000-$2000 or more over a traditional les paul or Strat as far as features go, and still want the CS for the history, or luxury, whatever reason, I think it’s worth it. But if you’re sitting there scratching your head asking “why would I” it’s probably best to move along to something more standard.
  6. freebyrd 69

    freebyrd 69 Premium Member

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Well, you aren't going to get your money's worth out of "features", per se. They all have the same features. Volume knob(s), tone knob(s), and a pickup selector switch.

    If you buy right, you'll recover the extra money you spend on a CS guitar. I own them because they are damn nice guitars, with quality build and quality materials. I have a 2017 Fender American Tele that I bought used for $925. It is, by all means, a kick ass guitar, but, it's not the same as my Reissues. Definite difference in feel and playability.
  7. The General

    The General Senior Member

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    Jan 11, 2016
    Up until 2 weeks ago, I would have been in the "not sure it's worth it camp." After playing 4 or 5 of Freebyrd69's CS guitars, I am now of the opinion that they are noticeably better both in terms of playing feel and sound than any guitar I have owned. All I had prior to buying my own CS were guitars in the $400-800 range. The PRS Navarro I have is a great playing guitar on par with anything else I've played, but it doesn't come close to the depth of sound the CS has. With new PUs and wiring mods maybe, but then I'd be in the $1200 range for total cost. My heavily modded Epi isn't close in either category. My Tele is a different and great animal, comparing is difficult, but the CS sounds better with distortion. Clean, they are both good but very different. Nothing matches that Tele spank for clean.

    Of course, I'm sure some are better than others, just like every other make and model of guitar out there. FB69 has several outstanding guitars in his collection so it could just be a function of playing really good high end guitars.

    All I can say is after plopping down some heavy bucks for my CS, I have zero regrets!
  8. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

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    Dec 16, 2009
    Life is too short to play cheap guitars.
  9. JeffH66

    JeffH66 Pelham Blue Addict Premium Member

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    Oct 31, 2010
    Every time I pick up my '57 RI it reminds me why it's worth $1K+ more than a used Traditional or Standard. Every single time.
  10. Blue Blood

    Blue Blood Senior Member

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    Dec 11, 2010
    My reply was specifically about the 2 guitars the OP posted, not all Historics.
    I don't mess with Fender CS instruments.
  11. zaqintosh

    zaqintosh Junior Member

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    Feb 15, 2016
    When it comes to hand made guitars you'll get anecdotes all over the map, in particular a custom shop as huge as Gibson's. From a raw quality consistency standpoint, I find the Custom shop unfortunately has a lot of variance, whereas the Standards are more consistently good because a lot more of it is "machined" rather than hand made.

    So while I adore my 2016 made Gibson Custom R9 (it's feel, it's sound, it's look) over my Les Paul Standard. In my particular case, my R9 has more problems with it, whereas the Standard is kind of perfect from a quality standpoint.
    Example: My R9 G string is a bit dead on spots of the fretboard (and this is because of an uneven carved fretboard and frets according to a tech I trust). The R9 also has a few sharp fret ends that weren't filed well enough in my opinion. My R9 has a small scratch under the lacquer which was overlooked by whoever QAs instruments before it goes out. My standard, while I think is a lesser guitar, has NONE of these quality issues, but because a robot made more of it :)

    That said, I still think for personal reasons, it was worth spending the money on a Customer Shop guitar, because I like the idea it was hand made in USA, and uses more of the legacy glues, practices of the 50s and 60s. If someone else doesn't care about that, and only wants the most perfect guitar with fewest "faults"... That alone is NOT justification for a custom shop guitar in my opinion.
  12. rednefceleb

    rednefceleb Premium Member

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    Nov 16, 2017
    I'm buying a Bacchus 2003 L.P. '59er Vintage Series <handmade>. It's mint. I compare this guitar to Gibson CS. It's fourteen hundred. I believe in the great playability of a CS guitar but don't agree with the high prices. The used 70's LP's that I bought years ago, were always fretless wonders. Beautiful builds. It strikes me as odd that a company that is obviously capable of still building these better playing <custom shop> fretless wonders, have jacked the prices up to $4000 to $15000. I disagree with the profiteering attitude involved. Insult to injury, is that some people believe that a guitar that has been sanded to wood in places, been dented severely, just plain butchered overall, should be 'valued' somehow. This is just my opinion of course. I expect some disagreements for sure. I hope that they flow in. :) :)

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