What is YOUR favorite T style builder and why?

Discussion in 'Other T-Types and Partscasters' started by horax, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. horax

    horax Tele-Holic

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    There are a lot of builders out there...they are all different.

    I want to know YOUR favorite builder and why?
    Is it price/quality ratio? Certain building style? Customer service?

    What brings you to be their customer?
     
  2. Ronnie2shoes

    Ronnie2shoes TDPRI Member

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    My favorite is me.
    Why? Because they play and sound great. Just ask my three customers.
     
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  3. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Meister

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    Fender. The Tele is affordable and works great for me. I love everything about it.
     
  4. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    I've been admiring Ron Kirn's work for years. The breadth of build designs and the stunning quality of his work is one thing. But he has also been very generous with members of this forum (including me) in terms of sharing build ideas, plans and information gleaned from years of building experience.

    I've long admired Rick Kelly's work since seeing Bill Kirchen live a few years ago.

    And I really like Lucky Dog Guitars. Anthony seems like a genuinely nice guy and does quality work, particularly if you like that relic, barn caster vibe. He's also made some cool innovations on his guitars (like tilt-back headstocks) while remaining soundly traditional.

    With that said, the only builder I've purchased from was a local luthier (Granville Guitars). I was pretty happy with his work. But most of my repeat business has gone to myself. Not long after speccing out my Granville, I specced out my first partscaster and have built a few since. They all play great...and no one can touch my prices!
     
  5. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's fair to say that I have a favorite "T-type" builder: @Bob Logan (yes, he's a member here, although he doesn't post much) of Logan Custom Guitars. Anyone on TDPRI that knows anything about me knows that.

    As for why, well, it started because of two of the criteria you mentioned: the "price/quality ratio" and customer service. I stumbled across an eBay auction he had listed back in July of 2008. (Someone had given Bob a deposit to start a build for him, but lost his job and couldn't pick it up, so Bob was selling it on eBay.) I was impressed by Bob's 100% positive feedback, and reading multiple feedback ratings that not only raved about his guitars, but spoke of having several of his guitars. I followed Bob's link to his web site, filled out the preliminary form, and he called me within a few hours. After 2-3 days of consulting with Bob, I put my money down. Less than a month later, I had my mahogany tele in my hands. Now I have 6 Logan Customs (4 T-types), and another build underway even as I write this.

    Logan Customs are affordable, and the quality is great. And Bob prizes his good name above money, so he's dedicated to his customers. For me, 11 years and 6 guitars later, there is another reason for my loyalty: friendship. Over and above all that he offers, Bob is a genuinely nice guy. I'm honored that he began calling me his friend in 2009. A year later, we had a house fire in 2010. My wife is one of those people that has long done everything on her phone, including taking pictures and posting to Facebook, so she posted the news of our house fire as it was happening, and posted pictures. Within an hour or so, I got a call from Bob Logan, offering to make the 1,400 mile trek from Delafield, Wisconsin to Corpus Christi, Texas just to help out! Fortunately, I had a friend who is a custom home builder down here who had already volunteered, so I didn't need to take Bob up on it. But I've never forgotten his offer, his willingness and generosity.

    There are a lot of talented builders here on TDPRI that make a good product, and no doubt many of them are nice guys. I'm not trying to get into a "Who's better/best" thing here. I'm just saying that Bob Logan is one of those talented builders that makes a good product, and he's one of those nice guys. And he's my friend, so I haven't seen the need to buy electric guitars from anyone else.

    Oh, yeah, pics...
    05-29-2019 - Logan 'lectrics.jpg 06-04-2018 - My Logan Custom Family Portrait - 2.jpg

    Almost forgot the one that's underway...
    06-11-2019 - Firecaster II body glued up - 3.jpeg
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
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  6. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Meister

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    Me. I keep them. Use Fender necks and precut bodies I find. I enjoy finishing the wood. I rarely sell them.
     
  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like the K-Line Truxton best.
    They sound great, maple or rosewood, look cool, aren’t too “relic-ed”, and are somewhat less expensive than their competition.
     
  8. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nobody can ruin a guitar the way I like, the way I can....
     
  9. Vanzant

    Vanzant Tele-Afflicted

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    I like my forest lee jr. with the b bender....it has a pretty sweet neck too
     
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  10. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Holic

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    I’ve got a soft spot for Asher. The middle pic is one he’s working on for me right now—a truly bespoke guitar, for the price of a Fender CS team built.
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. bondoman

    bondoman Tele-Meister

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    T Style covers a bit of ground so varies from user to user. 20170729_190001 (1).jpg
     
  12. Greggorios

    Greggorios Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I own a Ron Kirn and hope to have another some day. Lot's of Kirn fans here. They are great players that rival or exceed custom shop quality for significantly fewer dollars.

    I've also long admired K-Line, Mario Martin and Whitfill. Wouldn't hesitate to purchase new from any of them.
     
  13. horax

    horax Tele-Holic

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    First act?
     
  14. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Holic

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    NEPA USA
    Rick Kelly. He and his staff are cool. His shop is very cool. His customers (Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Jim Campilongo, Marc Ribot, etc.) are legendarily cool. His guitars (handmade from the “bones of New York”) are super cool. When I play my Kellycaster I feel . . . cool.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would like to try a Nash.
    They just seem to do a good job and fly under the radar.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
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  16. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

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    My Nash T-52 will cause me to be a repeat customer.

    T-72DLX with a Strat trem and Lollars is going to be my next ride
     
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  17. TwangBrain

    TwangBrain TDPRI Member

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    Me, & Fender...I'd love to check out a genuine Rick Kelly though...I've heard and read nothing but really great things about him and his awesome pine guitars.
     
  18. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

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    I’ve been intrigued by those Bowery pine Teles since seeing GE Smith’s. Any idea how expensive they are?
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Friend of Leo's

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    I am my favorite builder. ("Assembler" would be more precise, in my case. Fender guitars are, by many people anyway, including Fender assembly-line employees, assembled.) Builds "from scratch" are another category, entirely.

    I start with new "take-off" Fender-brand (MIA and MIM) necks and bodies. I cherry-pick them for precisely the specs, colors, finishes, etc. that I prefer. Sources are typically Stratosphere, Reverb, and eBay. This is not the MOST economical route to assembling a "parts caster", but it gives a wonderful result and the completed guitar is essentially a "Fender", given that the neck and body are both Fender-branded and created by Fender.

    Then, I marry the neck and body together. This is truly a "no-brainer" to anyone who has done this a time or two. The two parts come together exactly as Leo intended them to. Quickly, easily, and with perfect alignment. With a dozen or so of these custom-assembled Fenders under my belt - no problems whatsoever with fit and function. I view these more as custom-assembled Fenders, than as "parts casters".

    Beyond that, I also cherry-pick exactly the pickups, bridge, pots, switch, electronics, and other small parts that I prefer. I don't cheap-out with low-budget parts, either, but I do buy carefully to keep costs reasonable.

    For pickups, I have been exceptionally thrilled with the tones from Rob's Cavalier offerings (usually the low-wind options), also some Fender and Bootstrap pickups, and Gibson, DImarzio, & Duncan offerings - all have been excellent, depending on the objective at hand.

    With Teles, I have been quite happy with Fender MIM modern bridges. I like the finely-tuned intonation, the tone, the look, and the feel under the palm. I'm not particularly attached to vintage-correctness - I just enjoy excellent tone and performance, regardless of how I get there.

    Pots are typically CTS, always a no-load tone pot to allow most of the pickup's inherent tonal range to bloom forth. Switches are always Switchcraft toggles. Wiring with cloth push-back wire, because I like how it works and looks. Caps usually .015uF, to allow most of the full tonal range from the pickups to breathe through when I roll off just the highest of highs.

    Then they all "come together, right now, over me!" :lol:

    Usually, I'm quite thrilled with the outcome, but I have been known to shuffle components around a little, from time to time, until the "magic" of each instrument is fully-realized.

    Different guitars, even with the same neck & body woods, and the same bridge and electronics, DO impart a different tonal character to whatever pickups are installed. Some guitars (regardless of pickup choice) are clearly "warm-toned" and others are brighter in character. The same pickup can sound quite different when moved from one Tele body to another.

    This is why it can be advantageous, to the particular player, to shuffle pickups around a little, and work with different value volume pots. A guitar that you consider to be "just fine" can become "quite fantastic", to your particular taste, with some shuffling of pickups and pot values.

    Ultimately, the results are awesome and the price is right! And... the process of getting there is not only fun, but quite rewarding as well.

    I encourage every Fender player who has an inclination to tweak or assemble his/her own Fender guitar to do so - it's a BLAST! And the resulting guitar can be ideally tuned to your precise preferences.

    Ultimately, whatever the guitar as a complete instrument, or as separate parts, might be sold for will be whatever it will be, and I'm fine with that, as by that time, I will have already extracted my desired utility from the instrument and I’m ready to let it go.

    Bottom line is this: I don't create my guitars as financial investments, but rather as investments in my enjoyment.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019
  20. Otis Fine

    Otis Fine Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Chicago, Illinois
    I like Leo Fender’s work.
     
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