Do people really pay $1-2K for partscasters?

Golem

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I keep on seeing them on Reverb and TGP's emporium for prices Nash, LSL, and K-Line go for used. Sometime they're pricey than a used MJT made guitar when made from MJT parts. I just don't get it. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

edit: It's clear to me people don't realize that I meant they'll put together some parts (Warmoth, USACG, MJT, All Parts, etc.) put some boutique pickups in it and then charge more than Nash, LSL, K-Line.
 
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Telekarster

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The real question is - Are they selling for those prices? Now... having said that, I can tell you that there's no way that I have found (unless one uses the China parts which I don't trust personally) where one will not spend at least 6-700 bucks for parts alone, unless you're literally carving your own bodies and necks, to build a quality Tele or Strat. Even if you can find deals on some of the tid bit parts, you're still not going to get away with spending good money on quality hardware. Couple this with the time it takes to build a quality partscaster, 80-100hrs IME, even at 1000 it's hardly worth it to build and sell... Just my 2 cents... ;)
 

John C

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I keep on seeing them on Reverb and TGP's emporium for prices Nash, LSL, and K-Line go for used. Sometime they're pricey than a used MJT made guitar when made from MJT parts. I just don't get it. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

Actually you've got two different kinds of manufacturers mixed here.

Nash does get their parts from somebody else - not sure who they are using these days, but it does appear that whomever makes their parts does them to Nash's specs; they aren't "off the shelf" parts. Then Nash finishes them and assembles them - so you're paying for their assembly expertise vs. just paying for the parts.

But K-Line and LSL do their own parts - I'm 99% sure LSL has their own router and cuts their bodies and necks in-house; I think K-Line is still using a local-to-him in St. Louis wood shop to CNC the bodies and necks from wood he buys (this shop makes custom furniture so he basically pays them for use of their CNC router and operator) so he has full control over the process. Having that higher level of control over the wood parts makes both of them manufacturers as opposed to assemblers to my way of thinking - which admittedly is a "fine line" distinction.
 

Steve Holt

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Yeah. Think about it. A custom body painted from a vendor goes for 3 to 400 or more easily. Add a custom neck for another 3 to 400. You're at 600 to 800 and that's before adding any pickups that can range from 50 bucks to 250 or tuners that can range from 30 bucks to 100 or more. Pickguard, screws, electronics, strap posts, bridge, etc. All that stuff adds up, and when you buy it piecemeal on the internet you don't get the price breaks the big guys do when they import an entire container of one part from China.

Does it make good financial sense to pay that much for a partcaster when you can buy a fender for 700 to 1200 bucks? Probably not. But not everyone cares about that. It's about building or putting together exactly what you want that may not be available to buy.

I've invested a lot of money into tools to build my guitars from the ground up, but those builds still cost me 400 to 600 dollars depending on what I'm doing. But I do it because it's fun. At the end I have a guitar that plays way better than any Fender MIM that cost more than my build and the satisfaction that I built it.

This entire forum exists to analyze every single facet of playing/building/owning guitars down to the finest detail. So yeah I'm never surprised when I see people drop a ton of money on a guitar that then becomes essentially worthless. But if it plays well then it plays well. Now the people selling them... They have to understand that it'll be hard to get what they think it's worth.
 

8barlouie

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Those who list their guitars in a forthright manner, list them as Partscasters right in the title of the ad. They typically sell for between $300 and $700, depending on the quality of the components. The ones to watch out for are the ones who don’t expressly identify the subject guitar as a partscaster, but neither do they try to misrepresent it as a genuine Fender or whatever. They have all the essential parts listed, then let you figure out on your own that it’s a partscaster. Those seem to be the ones that are asking $1500 for them. Caveat Emptor!
 

Beachbum

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I do it because I want something that can't be had any other way. Fender doesn't make it and if they did it would cost 2 - 3 times as much.

Fender body & hardware, Warmoth neck and EMG pickups & electronics = $750.

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Nickfl

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Couple this with the time it takes to build a quality partscaster, 80-100hrs IME

What are you doing that it takes that long to assemble a parts guitar?! 8-10 hours seems more like it and thats if you are really taking your time and getting everything just so. Even if you are doing the finish, that should only add a couple more hours unless you've never done it before (drying time doesn't count).
 

mkdaws32

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Even if you are doing the finish, that should only add a couple more hours unless you've never done it before

Precisely what takes me so long ;) I SUCK at finishing, only getting a little better each time. Most of the guitars I've finished/refinished have been on average 3 or more attempts! I'll agree with the rest, though. Even if I have to do some refitting of the neck, solder all the electronics and line up the hardware and drill the holes myself, 8-10 hours seems right.
 

Telekarster

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What are you doing that it takes that long to assemble a parts guitar?! 8-10 hours seems more like it and thats if you are really taking your time and getting everything just so. Even if you are doing the finish, that should only add a couple more hours unless you've never done it before (drying time doesn't count).

In my case, I double and triple check everything as I go along. I am a perfectionist. I'll admit that I take a long time, but for me it pays off. Yes I do my own paint and finish following the traditional ways they did it in the early 50's, sanding by hand, polish by hand, etc. I cut my own bone nuts, I do not buy them. I literally make them from scratch out of a piece of leg bone from a cow. I pay extreme close attn to historic details, using original examples, to try to capture every nuance. All this takes time if you want to get it as close to 100% historic. I also do not relic... just a personal choice but, to me, aging should happen naturally.

Otherwise, you're correct. If I bought a body already to go, neck all ready to go, and just threw it together then 8-10 hrs sounds about right. And yes... Laquer does take quite a time to cure well enough to continue working so... IMO... you do sort of have to add that into the equation cause work is at a stop until that is done ;) Also, you have to test the color coat vs. the laq before you actually put it on the body, or at least one should do this, because laq has a funny way of reacting to certain paints and colors and the results can be very bad... So testing takes time too.
 

NC E30

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I keep on seeing them on Reverb and TGP's emporium for prices Nash, LSL, and K-Line go for used. Sometime they're pricey than a used MJT made guitar when made from MJT parts. I just don't get it. Maybe someone can enlighten me?

Look at what those brands sell for new. Even if they are based on Fender's patent, they are closer to the custom shop than the standard line. It's not fair at all to call them partscasters, a term that denotes it was put together by an amateur that may or may not know what he is doing with parts that may or may not be questionable.

I built my MJT after playing a Nash that I loved, but was out of my price range. My build ended up costing about what a new American Standard would have cost, but I have a nitro finish, custom made pickups, stainless frets, the neck I wanted, cloth wiring, quality pots, essentially a custom guitar. I'm not worried about resale, because it cured my Tele GAS, and I'll never sell it.
 
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Telekarster

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My build ended up costing about what a new American Standard would have cost, but I have a nitro finish, custom made pickups, stainless frets, the neck I wanted, cloth wiring, quality pots, essentially a custom guitar. I'm not worried about resale, because it cured my Tele GAS, and I'll never sell it.

Yep! Agree completely. If someone offered me a CS Nocaster for the one I built myself, I'd have to think about that... and even then it best be as sweet as mine, both in feel and in sound ;)

EDIT: Oh yeah.... and historic detail :)
 

burntfrijoles

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I would never call Nash, LSL or K-Line partscasters. I understand them going for higher prices although to resell at higher prices, you have to target a specific audience who knows about those lines.
I simply don't trust any amateur's skills enough to buy a partscaster.
As for true partscasters, assembled and setup by someone in their workshop, I wouldn't pay $50 for one. In fact, if I see an ad for a Fender or Gibson that I like and it has any modifications listed, I immediately lose interest.
 




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