Custom Made Guitar Straps

Pros: Gorgeous Italian Leather, beautifully crafted with tons of custom options. Super responsive staff and great customer service. They have sales every once in a while offering up to 45% off and they have a Loyalty Member Club that earns you discounts on future purchases.
Cons: Because of Ethos' popularity and the fact that each strap is handmade, it can take about 4-5 weeks lead time until delivery. Some guitar strap prices (depending on strap, style and custom touches) can exceed $250+ but they do have straps starting at just $70 (with the current 45% discount).
I've got to admit that I have a bit of a Guitar Strap problem; I believe that each guitar I own requires its own "special" strap. Of course that would be OK if I didn't own over two dozen guitars as I'm too attached to each and every one of them. At first (and in the imortal words of Don McLean "A long, long, time ago") a guitar strap in my opinion was just a means to an end.

I didn't care anything about a guitar strap as long as it kept my guitar on my body. Getting paid at the end of a gig was my ONLY priority in those days. Then after several years of being in a pretty popular band in my area, (the early 80's) two things occured; I saw one of my Guitar Heroes with a strap that made me rethink my outlook on straps (Stevie Ray Vaughn's musical note guitar strap) and I had a strap come off at the botton of an LP Standard and a big dent resulted. That did it for me. And that's where my journey started. Fast forward to today, and my "go-to" strap company is Ethos.

Here's a shot of some of the Ethos straps I purchased:

Ethos Straps.jpg

First Impressions:

When I received my first Ethos strap last year, it was that smell of fine high quality leather that first caught my attention (it's akin to the smell of the interior of a new Gibson Les Paul's case in that the LP's Nitro finished goodness that's been trapped in the case oozes out and overwhelms the senses). The next thing you notice is the quality of the feel of the strap; it's soft, pliable and stitched perfectly. They are almost to the point that they feel "broken in" making it so easy to gig with brand new. Ever had a cheap leather strap edge cut into the side of your neck during a gig? I have.

Then (and this is a biggie in my book) the hole to accomodate the strap locks (or end pins) are cut just right so you don't have to struggle by tugging, twisting or using a screwdriver to push the edges down so the strap lock or strap pins fit nicely. They're firm enough for those that don't use locks and only use the straps pins on the guitar. *I highly recommend strap locks though, especially if you gig a lot, as no matter what strap you use, (save from Eddie Van Halen's contraption), the strap pin openings will eventually wear and you might just drop your guitar.

The dyes Ethos uses are all so vivid in color that the straps really catch the eye and the final waxing just give them a beautiful luster. Also, the website is set up so you can check out all their straps close up from multiple angles, as well as add customization (your name, band name, initials, symbols, etcetera) when you find the strap that you want. I also love the adjustable option as I have certain guitars that require longer or shorter strap lenghts. They come in 2.5", 3" and 3.5" widths and adjust from 45" to 56". In all they currently offer 82 different strap styles, so you'll have a lot of fun finding the perfect strap for your guitar.

Final Verdict:

Even if you think a strap costing more than say $30 is a waste, I'd like to counter that opinion with this one thought: There's something about having a "special strap" for that one guitar you have that you love. And whether you have a vintage '59 LP, or a '54 Strat or a Norlin era or new SG Standard, Ethos Straps has a "legacy" strap that will add that final touch of pizzaz to your current #1 or future NGD that will have you showing off in no time. It's like adding a beautiful tie to the new suit you bought:)
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