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's the Story on the Gibson Bodies from Stratosphere

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by D_W_PGH, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    And they have no competition, so they can ask a high price.
  2. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    If you want a new Les Paul, but you desire to use pickups, electronics, and other hardware that are not Gibson... Stratosphere is the way to go.

    So if you planned to buy a new one and immediately change everything (which a lot of people do), this is your better option.
    AAT65, Toto'sDad and BorderRadio like this.
  3. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    that sounds reasonable. I plan on building a few guitars of the type - sometimes it's just tempting to start with something almost done. I don't see gibson's carved top as any kind of advantage over any other guitar (I like the nighthawk better than the les paul, and it's just flat), but if they built it, then I can, too - except I'm going to try to do it without power tools for everything except the binding channel.

    it'll probably take making five to figure out how to make one neatly.

    Buy an entire complete guitar would be smarter, but most of us building aren't going for smarter.
  4. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    I can think of only one kit maker making really tight parts (precision). Maybe there are others. I think the draw to something like an LP body is obvious - it'll still say Gibson on the peghead. It's a mental thing (like like someone cutting a relief on the back of a telecaster or increasing the radius to make it more comfortable - if it's different at all, people freak out. I'll admit, when I see the matched flame pegheads on the precision kits, I freak out, too.

    Those are also in this category where the finished product is probably worth less than the parts, so it's not smart.

    If stratosphere is getting their bodies and parts through normal channels, I don't see where they're really making money.
  5. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
  6. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2004

    I do, because I have sold several guitars to him (his name is Matt).

    In the old days he just combed ebay like everyone else, and bought stuff he thought
    was cheap and parted them out.

    His operation for Fender stuff has gotten much bigger, so it appears he is buying stuff
    also from a distributor or instrument retailer as well.

    The Gibson stuff is a newer idea, and since the volume is not that many, he probably
    buys them from individuals (probably on ebay) and parts them out.

    He also sells old Silvertone, Supro, etc under the same user name as he does the
    Gibson stuff, which he also parts out.
    IronSchef likes this.
  7. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
  8. jtees4

    jtees4 Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 13, 2010
    selden, ny
    I built a nice USA Tele with Startosphere body and neck (which was on sale...otherwise i thought it was too much). I bought a discounted loaded pickguard with the Dimarzio Area T's that I wanted. I made a brand new Tele the way I wanted for $824 total, it was a 2016 which I made in 2017. I didn't love it like I thought I would. I ended up trading it for something worth more, so I did real well. And then I got a used Mexican Tele which I do love. You just never know.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  9. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I agree.

    My inclination is not to assist Stratosphere in any way. But I do like the way they post images of various parts and their identifications are accurate and you can learn what the routing patterns are - go to school on their website (then buy nothing).
    telemnemonics likes this.
  10. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    This whole parting or keeping whole thing used to be and probably still is an issue for some in the vintage tool world. A dealer who bought at auctions once said (here) that he parted out most of the stanley planes that he bought, because they were worth more. He's right. A typical common plane is worth about $40. If it has decent wood, the wood is worth almost $40, and if you're willing to screw around selling the rest of the stuff and waiting, I guess you can make about $40 profit if you buy the planes well. I can't imagine that you could make more than $15-$20 an hour making and posting all of those parts, and then packing them, but some people like to. The more savvy dealers, I guess, are getting the planes for a fraction of $40 and then parting them out.

    The reason that it offends some people is the same, I guess (a perfectly good tool goes out of circulation to be chopped up). I think those parts end up making other partial planes relatively whole again. the market will figure it out, and the gatekeepers (the dealers) are good at knowing if a whole plane is actually worth something (and wouldn't part that out).
  11. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    Portland, OR

    I tried it with a Lamboo Tele and a Texas Special Strat, both US. Put them back together and traded out. I based my prices lower than Stratosphere...

    Oh, well....
  12. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

    Jan 23, 2007
    They have lots of customers, I think, and I have no idea why
    Far too expensive, I don't get it
    I think they are the reason why Fender started selling bodies and necks themselves
    The name on the headstock on both Gibson and Fender parts have a lot to do with the price, I'm sure....
  13. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Nov 14, 2003
    Kittery, Maine
    They're a local business to me and they've made a killing. I've bought odds and ends and have been very pleased - despite not being completely happy about their business model (parting out whole guitars - my problem.) I honestly think they are the reason that Fender started offering parts directly (necks, bodies, etc.) They tapped into a huge market. More power to them.
  14. colnago

    colnago TDPRI Member

    Aug 22, 2017
    The Great White North
    For the most part, he has everything for every model and nobody else does. I can get a unique model truss rod cover or a certain Fender neck with a colored headstock from them and I can't even order that from Fender. That's how he does it.
    Chunkocaster likes this.
  15. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 10, 2018
    In space with Ziggy
    I have purchased a loaded body, necks and several parts from them over the years. I also buy their allparts unfinished necks. I'm pretty sure they buy new guitars on sale and part them out. A few years back i purchased a loaded classic 50's fiesta red body and a classic 60's rosewood neck because I wanted a rosewood boarded fiesta red strat and fender didn't offer one new at the time without going custom shop.

    There are also a few more advantages to buying guitars in pieces online for many foreign buyers what with tax limits, the ability to purchase new fender/Gibson instruments from offshore etc.
  16. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 22, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I drooled over that email they sent out today. I’ve been liking the Music Zoo’s email offers too over the last week or so...

    But I don’t need any more guitars! Really.

  17. DHart

    DHart Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 12, 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ USA
    Stratosphere provides a very nice service. I much prefer to put together my own Fenders, the way I like ‘em, rather than off the wall at a guitar store. I can put together a Fender that’s a lot nicer than most of what is put together by Fender. This way you can cherry pick the neck you want, the body you want, the electronics you want, the pickguard you want. Then set it up to your taste. Very nice way to roll!

    I’ve bought numerous necks and bodies from Stratosphere over the years and assembled quite a few really awesome Teles and a few Strats. I’m very thankful for the ability to buy separate Fender necks and bodies. With Fender necks and bodies, I know I’m getting fully-finished quality parts that go together perfectly.

    Stratosphere goes to a lot more effort to part out and market parts from a guitar than a guitar seller would go through to just sell the completed guitar. So, there’s good reason why they charge a little more than they would for a complete guitar. And I’m sure that some of the parts may sit around in inventory for a very long time.

    I have no interest in buying Gibson parts from them, but I say good on Stratosphere; I’m glad we have them when we need them!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    colnago likes this.
  18. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    I've had great luck with parts from them , just got a lovely bubinga neck from them this week. I'd love to see the Gibson bodies a bit cheaper, but the demand must be a little too strong. If they're just buying and parting, I don't see how they're making much money.
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2003
    It's not "they", it's one guy, as a previous poster pointed out. He's been doing this for years and he sells a ton of gear. I'd guess he's making plenty of money.
  20. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

    Aug 28, 2018
    I see deluxe bodies - one is $1000, one is $1100.

    I don't see the deluxe pickups, so I can't comment on those. But bridge, tailpiece, posts, tuners, are $80 on the guy's site. Maybe he has another outlet.

    I wouldn't trade day jobs with him, it looks like what he does is a ton of work, and he must be making a living to do it, but I doubt any doctors would swap a paycheck with him.
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