Is this guy from Romania legit?

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by Kyle B, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. Kyle B

    Kyle B Junior Member

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    I'm sure some of you probably will hate this idea, but I would like to buy a early 70's LP Custom and have it customized to look like James Hetfield's Iron Cross "Uncle Milty" (see photo below).

    OK, if you're still reading this, my question is not about whether or not you like the idea, but rather to solicit your advice on the transaction itself. I've been e-mailing with a custom shop / luthier in Romania that specializes in turning old Gibsons (and others) into custom creations.

    Augustin Apostol
    Antonio Guitars
    ANTONIGUITARS.RO
    antonioguitars on eBay

    Has anyone ever heard of him? Purchased from him? My initial research looks pretty good so far. He has a good reputation as a buyer of parts & stuff on reverb and good feedback as a seller of custom guitars on ebay. He has a website with many photos of his projects and a youtube channel with videos demos. He says he already has the 1973 LP Custom in stock (I've requested photos) and the final price seems reasonable compared to others I've seen. He is only asking for a 15% deposit in advance to start the work.

    I was thinking maybe I would use my credit card and PayPal to pay as it might offer me some means of protection in case I get ripped off. Any (constructive) advice is appreciated. Thanks! -Kyle :dude:

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. rabidhamster

    rabidhamster Senior Member

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    I think it depends on whether you live in Romania.
     
  3. Brians Evil Twin

    Brians Evil Twin Poophoria Sōtō Zen V.I.P. Member

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    Well he's been a member of Reverb for over a year and has a 5-start rating. I don't think they'd let him stay on if he was ripping people off. You could give them a call and ask if anyone's had any problems...
     
  4. Duane_the_tub

    Duane_the_tub Senior Member

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    I believe that if you have him send invoices through PayPal and you pay him that way, you are protected.
     
  5. questionman

    questionman Senior Member

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    Wouldnt it be easier and cheaper to find a luther in the country you are in to have this work done?

    So you know, you wouldnt have to ship a guitar to Romania...
     
  6. tzd

    tzd Senior Member

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    Paypal has a 45-day protection limit, so if he has not delivered your guitar 45 days after you placed your deposit, it will not be so easy to get your deposit back.
     
  7. RZK

    RZK Senior Member

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    The guy is obviously reputable. Good feedback scores on Ebay and Reverb. He does fantastic work.

    If the price is right, even after international shipping, go for it. I've had a lot of guitars shipped overseas, never had an issue, and two of them didn't have cases or bags.

    As Duane said, he can send you an invoice with a detailed description of what the payment is for. You should be fine. If he fails to deliver his end of the bargain, Paypal will back you up. Keep all emails from him until you have it in your hands.
     
  8. Oranjeaap

    Oranjeaap Senior Member

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    What's the final price for that '73 you mentioned?
     
  9. cgm

    cgm Senior Member

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    Doesn't he have two completed ones for sale on his site? Couldn't you just buy one of the completed ones instead of waiting for him to customize the other one?
    GIBSON LES PAUL Custom Iron Cross 1973
    and
    GIBSON LES PAUL Custom Iron Cross 1973
     
  10. RZK

    RZK Senior Member

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    He doesn't want a reliced one.
     
  11. cgm

    cgm Senior Member

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    Ahh... I guess I missed that part. I kind of like the reliced one:run: I am not a big metallica guy or a big relic guy, but I think it is a cool looking guitar.
     
  12. RZK

    RZK Senior Member

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    He mentioned it in his introduction thread.

    I prefer the reliced one as well.
     
  13. Kyle B

    Kyle B Junior Member

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    Sorry I haven't checked in on this lately, but I do sincerely thank you for your advice and recommendations.

    Questionman: He already had the 1973 Les Paul Custom, so I don't have to buy one and ship it to him. He is providing the guitar and conversion as a package deal.

    cgm, as RZK points out, I prefer not to have it quite so relic'd. The part that really bothers me is the big area of finish that is (obviously) sanded off on near the top of the body where the player's right forearm would rest. I mean, some wear I could understand, but it just look kind of fake to me. But then again, the idea is to recreate James' guitar and that's how his looks.

    Anyway, I did move forward with the order and have been very pleased so far. He started on it right away and has sent me lots of progress photos. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

    If you'd like to see some of the photos, just follow this DropBox link:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1pytkr2avex6xla/AABeAB5S_HXARj7AN0oxFloAa?dl=0
     
  14. RZK

    RZK Senior Member

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    Oh, wow. That thing is getting a complete makeover. I just assumed he'd be making it from a black one.

    Make sure to keep us posted.
     
  15. Kyle B

    Kyle B Junior Member

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    I added a few more photos to the dropbox folder --looks like it's just about done! :)
     
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  16. avatar2100

    avatar2100 Member

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    Hello guys, I found this topic now, I hope Kyle is happy :) a few pictures for you.
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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
  17. deadlyweasel

    deadlyweasel Silver Supporter

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    Wow that looks friggin sweet!
     
  18. avatar2100

    avatar2100 Member

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  19. Stinky Kitty

    Stinky Kitty Senior Member

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  20. Jaymz0308

    Jaymz0308 Junior Member

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    Greetings my fellow guitar and music lovers,

    I just wanted to take a quick moment to give you all my honest opinion about Augustin of "Antonio Guitars" since some, or most of you may be wondering if he and his guitars are legit... First off, let me say that I met Augustin through eBay, as I was interested in purchasing his 1984 Gibson Explorer. As a seller and buyer on eBay myself, I can assure you that it is extremely difficult to maintain a perfect feedback score, and if I'm not mistaken, Augustin has well over 600 total transactions - that in itself is a major feat, considering he deals in very high end musical works of art. For the better part of 3 weeks, we emailed each other back and forth (in other words, I asked many questions, and he answered) with lightning quick speed! The man never sleeps haha. To be completely honest, Augustin made me feel comfortable with buying the guitar after the few first emails. I told him it was going to take a couple of weeks to come up with the cash, to which he replied "no problem, I'll put the guitar on hold - it's yours"! He then proceeded to take the eBay listing down for me. That's pure class! And mind you, he never even asked for a deposit...we both trusted in one another, period. Oh yeah, I also asked if he was willing to work with me on the price, and sure enough, he knocked off a healthy sum which worked for both of us. The transaction itself was super easy and 100% legit, we both agreed on using PayPal, and I elected to pay him for "goods and services" which protects the buyer - good enough if you ask me! Just as promised, I received my new guitar within 7 business days and the transit was from Romania to California!

    When I finally got home from work, and was able to open up the package, I was beyond amazed... The guitar was even better then described, and 1,000% legit. As a Luthier, Augustin knows exactly what he's doing - he set my guitar up perfectly, and more importantly he did it correctly, cutting no corners and sparing no expenses. He was even kind enough to replace the pickups at my request prior to shipping, and he did this free of charge! He genuinely wants his clients to be happy and satisfied, just really awesome customer service. With all of this said, I can assure you that I have never played a nicer guitar in my life. This thing plays like butter and has literally kept a smile on my face for the past 24 hours. To say that I'm more than inspired to write and play more now, than ever before, would be a gross understatement... Is Augustin legit? 100% yes. Is antonioguitars.ro legit? 100% yes. Is the guitar I purchased legit? 1,000% yes.

    In closing, I just want to assure you all that Augustin is a true professional, and an honest gentleman. If you are hesitant to buy from him...please DON'T BE! I promise you won't regret it - especially if you're looking to buy your dream guitar like I did. I give Antonio Guitars 2 thumbs way up, and fully endorse and believe in Augustin.


    Thank you my brother, from the bottom of my heart!


    James
     

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