Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Custom Shop or Ron Kirn?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Alex M, Sep 27, 2010.

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  1. Alex M

    Alex M Tele-Meister

    May 3, 2010
    Fort Worth
    I've decided to save up for a high-end guitar! My '57 Champ RI has inspired me. It deserves a companion equally sweet and soulful. This is a big step for me, as I haven't bought any big-ticket items before (I got the Champ new at half-price!), and I'm kind of nervous.

    I have my eye on a Fender Custom Shop Tele:

    But I also know that Ron Kirn's guitars get a lot of love around here:

    The idea is to have a guitar that will always be the best. An ideal electric that I won't ever be tempted to mod, a standard against which to judge the mods I make on my other guitars.

    What do yall think of Fender CS guitars? Kirn's? If there are any of you so fortunate as to have *both* a CS and a Kirn, how do they compare?

    This is a big question, and I'm just nervous about committing to save--and then spend!--this much money, so any input that yall have will be helpful. Thanks in advance! :D
  2. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

    Mar 24, 2007
    I would get a Kirn, the B.S.that ad pumps out about the CS makes me sick. I wouldn't pay into that crap. Who do they think there foolin !
  3. tristanavakian

    tristanavakian Tele-Meister

    Mar 25, 2008
    This has been debated ad infinitum. If you have a set of specs in mind, go with Ron - he will build whatever you want, within reason, to a standard (so I have heard) that is second to none. The Fender CS will basically ask you what color you want it in. And you are paying a hefty premium for the logo.

    On the other hand the Fender logo will ensure you get most of your money out of it should you decide to sell. And you can go to a store that has a decent FCS selection and try a few til you find one that "speaks" to you, and is well made - the price tag being no indicator of quality. Can't do that with a custom-ordered instrument.
  4. gatc

    gatc Tele-Meister

    Oct 4, 2008
    Whatever guitar you get, you will still be tempted to mod it :)
  5. Televised

    Televised Friend of Leo's

    Apr 26, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I can't speak from personal experience but based on what I've read in guitar mags and on this forum, I think you'd be happier with the more individualized custom built and reasonably priced guitar by RK.
  6. Mark Davis

    Mark Davis Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Bakersfield Ca.
    A CS Fender isnt handmade Rons are.

    Thats all I need to know.
  7. Spider

    Spider Tele-Meister

    Aug 21, 2009
    New York
  8. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I considered both plus several other builders. There is a shop here in Jax has Kirns and I have noodles on them. They are very nice.
    However, after considering all thing I chose the Fender CS. My guitar will still be built to my specs and is as custom as I wanted it to be.
    Nothing against the Kirn. It is a fine instrument .
    Different strokes for different folks!
  9. cc9cii

    cc9cii Friend of Leo's

    Feb 24, 2009
    CS. You'll always be wondering.
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    While I'd love to tell ya that my guitar is the only way to go, those that know me know that's NOT me...

    The determining factor should be what do you really want down deep in your core. If you keep seeing Fender on the headstock, then my guitar will never do it for ya... However, if you want something completely custom, and a RK on the headstock does it for ya, then there is no question.

    Here, lets do a picture/word association test... what's the first Name that pops into your mind... ;)

    Ron Kirn

    Attached Files:

  11. mrmorrison

    mrmorrison Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 7, 2008
  12. Lerb21

    Lerb21 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 10, 2007
    New Florence, PA
  13. h20man

    h20man TDPRI Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Bethany Beach, De
    Danocaster, Hahn, LSL, if you want something other than Fender Custom Shop. It sounds like you want a Fender CS so thats what I would go with. I think you will be happy.
  14. backsideslappy

    backsideslappy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 21, 2010
    If you want the guitar to have that "collectible" feel that comes with the Fender logo - CS

    If you want the guitar to feel like it's been made for you, with your input, to the extent that the dude who made it for you even commented on a forum thread to help you decide whether you should buy his guitar - go with the Kirn.

    Both will be great guitars.
  15. Alex M

    Alex M Tele-Meister

    May 3, 2010
    Fort Worth

    Thanks for this advice, backsideslappy. I like that word "collectible"--it sums up the reasons folks are giving for why a CS would be better--but I don't think that a collectible is what I want. :neutral:

    Is that really all a CS is worth? A brand name on the headstock?
    It's a shame, I thought they were handmade guitars, not just well-spec'd MIA's.

    Guess that makes my decision easy, though! :D

    Mr. Kirn, thanks for your input. I'll be writing you once I've taken care of the saving part of this operation, and you can help me with the *spending*!
  16. backsideslappy

    backsideslappy Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 21, 2010
    I wouldn't go as far as to say that. For sure CS guitars are very high quality instruments made of high spec. materials and with a fair bit of user control over the end product.

    Personally though, I think the sense of personality and 'ownership' you'll get from a Kirn will be greater.

    Whichever way you go, keep us updated on specs etc!
  17. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Tele-Afflicted

    I would personally get a KIRN.. and then get a used Fender CS with the specs I want and in the color I want it.. problem solved!
  18. 65flh5326

    65flh5326 Banned

    Jan 1, 2008
    walla walla wa
    Aside from the BS, the wood does not know if its cut on a Haas cnc mill, old band saw, or hand saw.
    There is a lot of hand work in Fender custom shop guitars and it shows.
    If I am buying a Fender guitar, it going to say Fender on it.
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    So very true, but the owner does, and that's what really matters.

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