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

What do 'Master Builders' actually do?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by AndrewG, Feb 17, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    LOL at all the haters! There are some too many folks who drank more than their share of Hater-ade!

    Me, I'm still thrilled by my 2 team built custom shops. In January of 2013 I plan on ordering a Masterbuilt in hopes of having it when I retire later that year. I won't think twice about the decision or my choice of luthier. It will be worth every penny to me. However, it's good to know that if I wasn't as fortunate that I could still buy a fine guitar at 1/10 the price with Fender on the headstock.

    Building my own is not an option as I just don't have those skills.

    Fender serves lots of folks and meets demands in many markets: the beginner, the amateur, the teen, the weekend warrior, the pro, etc. Thank goodness.

  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    I gotta say… I have just been sitting back, watching all this unfold… Then I read it again, this time, substituting me, for FCS…. It was a nauseating revelation.

    I have been on both sides of similar discussions, throwing “darts”, and receiving ‘em. It’s just dumb to throw ‘em…. And it’s no “fun” getting slammed by guys that ya know would have a hard time changing strings, and certainly have never “gone the distance” from “tree” to guitar. As far as throwing ‘em… that’s getting “chalked” up to mistakes made in the past, mistakes that were teaching moments… I have taught my “kids”, there’s no problem in making a mistake and accepting the consequences, the tragedy comes if you don’t learn from it….

    In my situation, I have had guys that began their “careers” by emailing me,,, asking questions, I would send ‘em incredible amounts of info…. Then see them turn around… and begin slamming me… right here on the TDPRI…. Jeezus…. So I know….

    I can only imagine the frustration Mike must have, thinking, “Damn, we bust our asses, trying to make the most remarkable examples of the guitar we have all grown up with, and wham.. this is the kinds Shi* we get hit with…” Sorry Mike that I was ever a part of it.

    Regarding Fender… sure I have “issues” with Corporate…that’s got nothing to do with the building of guitars. . . . but the guys in the shops, as Bill Lawrence told me…and he knows those guys, they’re a great bunch… when ya slam a Fender, you’re slamming those guys…

    I thought to myself, I would never diss Chihoe, Rick Kelly, Tony, the Rices, etc, etc… sure, we all do things differently, but the end product is always amazing…well… that’s true of the CS too… I now see it as simply a collective of “boutique builders” under one “umbrella”. They do things differently, they have access to resources many of us don’t, but the end product, does exactly what it’s supposed to… it makes music in the hands of a musician. Find fault with that.

    While, what ya feel about any product is entirely within your purview, broadcasting it with “half baked” info is just plain wrong, specially when many are simply “piling on”, because they can, from within the “veil of anonymity” the internet affords. I can only wonder if these “guys” would slither away in a “face to face” meeting like the snakes they are.

    I learned, back as a pro Photographer… you NEVER want to “create” anything that, if you wind up in a room of “critics”, you have to explain yourself. Time we all applied that to our dialogue…

    As far as to why are there such divergent opinions… Consider… in our Nation there are two primary Political “camps”. Both have access to the same exact information, yet each comes away with completely different assessments of any given situation. Why, because we all take in info, process it, and draw our own personal conclusions. Those conclusions are filtered through our own personal experiences that shape our prejudices, and preferences. That directly impacts our informational “output”. That’s not an excuse, it’s a fact.

    The same happens as we surf the vast information. We absorb what we take in that survives the filtration our psyche applies, and we reject that which does not. It doesn’t matter what the topic of discussion is, it’s true of anything, could be Cigars, Track Shoes, Beer, Bug Repellant, Shot Guns, or… Guitars.

    An example… the “fray” Mike and I got into last year about the history of Fender… the whole discussion was and is meaningless,.,. but the example… we both had access to information, me, from over 40 years of fascination, Mike, the company archives… we just distilled the information differently, then disagreed on each other's interpretation.

    The reason it’s a moot discussion. We can obsess about the past, over which we have no control, or look to the future, in which our participation is entirely within our control. Except for the momentary diversions when Shi* happens.

    As far as the 6500.00 guitar conundrum… How about a little consistency in the argument. I don’t see anyone complaining about spending 6500.00 for a hunk of carbon the size of a small pea to appease your wife, when out of the same exact hole in the ground, comes a bag full of the same carbon, that sells for a couple a hundred, that gets ground up and glued to a piece of steel so I can use it to crown frets…. It took no more “cost” to dig out a 3 carat Diamond for the ring, than it did the industrial diamond for the file. It Is the same exact substance. It’s just one is more clear than the other.

    The price of a guitar is dictated by what someone will offer for it, as is the “stone” mentioned above. If you have a 299.00 Squire, and some one offers ya 2000.00 for it… you gonna tell ‘em, nah, that’s way too much… I’ll sell it for 350… just to cover the cost of gas to go buy it…not gonna happen… that’s what “they” mean when they say the “market” determines the price. If someone will give you 2 grand for a Squire, your Squire is worth 2 grand. If that "sale" falls through, and no one else will offer you 2000.00 it's no longer worth 2000.00. It's only worth what you can get for it.. that's why the ugly 150.00 Nike sneakers are 29.95 at Discount Shoes.

    Those making the argument, “overpriced” .. that the price just isn’t right…. Again, how ‘bout consistency…. When was the last time you saw something for sale… at a ridiculously low price, and said… “Hey!, I know it cost more than that to make that, so I’m gonna pay ya what it really is worth.”.. Umm anyone???

    Seems the cry, “foul” is only heard when you want something and the price is beyond your means. You spill rationalization, after rationalization as to why the asking price is unfair… or why you think it’s “junk”…when the real reason is, That’s nice, but I just cannot afford it. . . . yet. Just wait 'till you get to my age, and have to pay 300.00 for 30 pills you know cost Merck 13 cents to make. And don't give me that cost to bring it to market argument... they make that back easily the first year something like that hits the market.

    Sorry, there will always be Mercedes, Montblanc, Chateau Lafitte Rothschild wines, Garrard Perrigeaux, Armani Suits, all, when a Ford, a Bic pen, A bottle of Manischewitz, Timex, or a pair of Jeans and a T-shirt will do the same exact thing…

    It’s the market that dictates the price…. Not the cost of production…

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012

  3. mellecaster

    mellecaster Former Member

    If there was ever an Excellent post to sum up, and end a Topic on....

    this one of Ron's would be it IMO....Well done Ron....let's put this Giant to Sleep.....;)

  4. Ron Garson

    Ron Garson Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    May 18, 2003
    Well said Ron!

    I hope you can treat yourself to a fine Malt after that! :)

  5. TDPRI

    TDPRI Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 2, 2003
    Admin Post
    Great post Ron. Thanks for adding those well-reasoned comments to this fascinating and sometimes frustrating thread.

    Well done.

  6. abracadabra

    abracadabra Tele-Meister

    Nov 2, 2010
    +1. well said Ron.

    I can never understand people arguing that anything is worth what it cost to produce, or acquire.

    how much money you actually get for selling something has nothing to do with how much you actually paid to buy it. the transactions are separate.

  7. Latebluesman

    Latebluesman Tele-Meister

    Mr Ron Kirn, and everybody...

    I started washing dishes in restaurants, by hand, in a time that there were no laundry machines for kitchen stuff.
    I then became a helper, then a waiter, then a sous-maître, finally a maître d', in one of the most famous restaurants in Mykonos island, Greece. I have served thousands of people from all over the world. Thousands of Americans too. That is how I met my wife, four years ago, and that is how I finally moved to California, a year and a half ago.
    You can buy a Chateau Lafitte for $250, and a 1959 Chateau Lafitte for $2500.
    I can assure you there is an objective reason for that extra "0", that cannot be described by the statement "It’s the market that dictates the price…. Not the cost of production…"
    Now, I certainly can change 6 strings but I admit I have never “gone the distance” from “tree” to guitar. I don't see why I have to built a guitar, in order to "broadcast" my own guitar, which is a GREAT guitar. Take my world, it is. I can tell, even if I never built a guitar by myself.
    When I am criticizing someones comments that are posted here, I take for granted that
    I can be a judge for the comment, but not for the person himself.
    I don't have the right to be critical about anyone personally, just their comments.
    That is why I don't see what kind of difference can be made by "the “veil of anonymity” the internet affords".
    Is a kind of anonymity I accepted as a fact, from the moment I became a member of this forum. Personally, I have no problem whit that.
    I also have no problem to post (almost,:))any information about me you would like to know.
    I don't mind at all having a face to face dialogue with you, the opposite, I would like to, of course. Would be very interesting.

    Mr Kirn,-please allow me to say that, in a friendly way-obviously there is some kind of anger there.
    I can see that every new post of yours, "includes"-sorry for my not so good English- less anger than the previous!
    I wish all of your anger fly away so you will find peace in your soul.
    Unless this anger feeds you, and makes you more pationated building guitars...

    P.S. Here I am, with my American clients!- the wife is one of them...


  8. Rolling Estonian

    Rolling Estonian Friend of Leo's

    Aug 23, 2009
    Bethesda, MD.
    Hey Ron,

    Less typee typee, more buildee buildee! :D


  9. abracadabra

    abracadabra Tele-Meister

    Nov 2, 2010
    it is just the market. supply and demand.

    of course, there are many reasons why people would demand one particular bottle of wine over another, even 10 times more than another, but those reasons are based on the information and perceptions of the market participants.

    there are also many reasons a seller would want to achieve a certain price, but ultimately if they cannot find a buyer at that price, then it's not worth what they think it is.

    unless there is a market distortion, such as a government saying they will buy all the 1959 Lafitte at $2500, the price will be based on supply and demand, part of which is the opportunity cost of not buying another type of wine, for example, which would be competing for the same money in the buyer's pocket. :)

  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    I'm sanding 'em today..... ;)

    and I don't have a clue what post #407 is about....:eek: anyone have an interpretation?


  11. KCJonez

    KCJonez Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Feb 3, 2011
    best thread ever...

  12. Skub

    Skub Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jul 28, 2010
    Latebluesman is offering you the services of the ladies in the picture if you will not be angry any more. :lol:

  13. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

    there are lots of cougars in post 407... lots and lots of cougars....

    the rest, I think is "don't worry be happy"

    and I had a moment of nostalgia for my days working a hobart dishwasher and how I loved how hot those dishes were coming out clean as a whistle!

  14. Albionic

    Albionic Tele-Meister

    Nov 4, 2011
    United Kingdom
    hope i didn't come across as knocking fender
    i was/am still curious if there is anything in the extra few grand spent that makes the guitar more playable or sound better.
    i there is i'll start saving my pennies :)

    after all i want the best guitar i can afford. but i'd play an unfinnished plank with no brand if it performed the way i wanted.

    and i was serious about the masterbuilt amp. i feel an amp has more effect on the overall sound than anything else in the chain(i guess you could call me an amp enthusiast)

  15. Steveareno

    Steveareno Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 10, 2010
    Dogtown So Cal
    Interesting thread. Some good points across the board.

    Swang on,

  16. Latebluesman

    Latebluesman Tele-Meister

    Do you mean that the reason a 1959 Ch.L. costs much more than a bottle of Manischewitz, is only based on the fact that is hard to find it? The supply is small, and the demand big? That's all? Do you know what it takes to grow a really good vineyard through decades? A vineyard that you were given by your grand father? And how difficult it is to make excellent wine using old equipment? What it takes to let it "age" in the correct conditions for years and years? How much hard, personal, emotional a "job" like this can be?

    I don't really want to talk about wine here, is a huge subject, for another forum. I just don't like the comparisons between cars-guitars, wines-guitars etc.
    Why do you compare apples with oranges? Because of the "market"?
    There are more factors that determine the price of a product, than the supply and demand. Here is an example: Because I admire Leo Fender and his inventions, and because many of my music heroes played his guitars, I want his name "Fender", written on the headstock of my gtr. I also want this headstock to be like the original Fender headstock is.
    That costs -in my case - $2000 extra, because it includes history.

  17. Latebluesman

    Latebluesman Tele-Meister

    I asked my wife what you guys mean by "cougars" and she told me.:lol:
    I can tell why you see me as the lamp between the lions.
    I bet you it is the opposite...:lol:

  18. Latebluesman

    Latebluesman Tele-Meister


  19. abracadabra

    abracadabra Tele-Meister

    Nov 2, 2010
    all those things are taken care of by the terms 'supply' and 'demand'.

    there is a limited supply of 1959 Lafitte. there is a limited supply of wine grown on high-quality land by people who are really good at producing wine. the producers of any wine (or any product, apples or oranges) will try to determine what is the price they can sell their product at to maximise the profit they get for it. if they start selling wine at $100 and there is a huge demand for it, they will start putting the price up.

    from the demand side, people who are flush with cash and who have a taste for wine will demand a wine product based on its quality, its rarity, how much they are willing to pay and how they think the price of that wine might change in the future, plus all kinds of unquantifiable things that are inside their heads. but it doesn't matter, collectively they will decide how much they are willing to pay. I am not willing to pay $2500 for a bottle of wine. some other people are. but anyway, buyers operate in reverse of sellers, generally, wanting to pay as little as possible for the same product (except for being flashy with the price, which is part of luxury goods.)

    so if Chateau Lafitte 1959 costs $2500 and [insert another comparable wine here] costs $2250, they might not buy the Lafitte, but get the other instead.

    when you say you want 'Fender' written on the headstock, that something you will consider when you decide how much you are willing to pay for a guitar.

    also, consider where and when the product is to be sold. you might have no problem fetching $2500 for the wine in a rich neighbourhood, but in a poor neighbourhood you couldn't sell it for that. people might be willing to pay $100, even knowing that they themselves could sell it on in a rich neighbourhood for $2500, because ultimately if they don't have the money to buy, they can't pay the price. in that area, your wine is only worth $100.

    how about if a large Asian nation with a burgeoning middle-class suddenly develops a taste for your '59. they might be willing to pay more than $2500 to get a taste of the good stuff. in which case the price in Europe and the US would go up too, despite the quality not having changed at all.

    consider also what would happen if it was announced that the 1959 Lafitte that you are trying to sell has become tainted. how much would that product, with all the history and good production methods be worth then? virtually nothing!

    conversely, if a ship carrying 30% of all the world's supply of '59 Lafitte suddenly sank, you'd be able to charge a lot more than $2500! and yet how is that price affected by the production costs or quality? it isn't. :)

  20. tiskit86

    tiskit86 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 6, 2011
    Thanks for that memory too! My second job in high school was dishwasher at a high volume breakfast joint on the weekends. There was something immensely therapeutic running rack after rack of plates and coffee cups through the Hobart. Even the worst syrup, jelly, egg over-easy mess didn't stand a chance in there.

    But I digress. Back to the economics of guitar building and the FCS: I think I made more $ per/hour washing dishes than I make on guitars now! What's up with that?

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.