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

telemnemonics

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The way I phrased it clearly confused a few people here.
  • Nash has always made partcasters. I don't get how people I've never heard of can charge more than Nash.
  • K Line used to make partscasters. That's how he started out. As time has gone on he has eventually gotten to increasingly making things in house when possible. People are definitely asking more than K-Line partscasters go for but even the more recent used ones as well.
  • LSL, from what I understand, was doing everything in house as much as possible. But then he sort of chilled on that with a more recent less expensive line.
Anyhow, in all of these situations I don't get why some random person would put together a guitar from parts and charge more than these high end builders.

@John C I had no idea anyone made furniture in STL. But K-Line started with partcasters and I now realize my comments confused people.

Well you're stating facts that exist in your mind.

I've been making parstcasters since 1980, so that's 41 years.
Nash has me beat with "has always made partscasters", but how long is that exactly?

And how did you measure the quality of Nash guitars?
Are they all equally good? or are some better than others?
My point being that YOU assign a value to every Nash that's around $2000, while you reject a $1200 value of a guitar you never even saw or played.

Are Nash parts better than Warmoth parts?
Is the value here primarily about used resale value?
Reputation has used resale value, but the quality is not tied to the reputation, only the market value is tied to reputation.
 

61fury

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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.

The finishing, that takes me some nerve. I've had the guitar test-assembled for a long while now. I just have to take a flying leap and waste the first 60 dollars worth of paint I bought. I've refinished 4 guitars and like you, with marginal improvements each time. I think I can lay the paint on OK, but it's the sand throughs that worry me.
 

telemnemonics

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I simply don't trust any amateur's skills enough to buy a partscaster.
The parts are now devalued because they have been altered by an amateur.

Buyer beware always works for me, look it over, take off the neck, pay the $300- $800 I've paid for parts Fenders.

Buyer beware applies the same to a $2000 brand name partscaster.
I know for a fact that there is no way a vintage style fake Fender is worth $2000 to me, so that line of reasoning and line of guitars is effectively defective before I even pick one up.

One might argue that their beloved Nash makes them a better player, or makes them want to play, or fulfills some childhood dream of owning Gilmour's guitar or Clapton's guitar.

I'm still seeing more to like in a good partscaster under $1000, which I will assess the value of and pay no more than it's worth to me.

Certainly lots of hobbyists damage parts during assembly.
Look and don't buy if damaged.
Ironic that many here assign ADDED value to assembly workers who damage the entire surface, and charge double based on much of the value being in the hours they spend damaging it to look beat up.

Hobby assemblers sometimes making mistakes don't make every Warmoth Tele only worth $500 and don't make every Nash worth $2000. Relic finished or not.
 
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mistermikev

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do people list them for that - sure. do they sell for that - sort of doubt it but who knows.

that said... it is pretty easy to spend 2k building a parts caster. back before I got into scratch builds my last strat build was a musikraft neck that cost me nearly $500. body was unfinished 4A WD? $300ish. bridge was babics fc $150ish. pickups were approx $150ish. tuners were gotoh delta 510 $125. pots, switches, wire, jacks $50. nut, strap pins, shielding paint, finish supplies, back plate, pickguard screws, neck screws, control plate, trem plate, etc... and we are pushing pretty close to 1500 off the top of my head.

doing a scratch build for a friend right now and he is just paying for materials so keeping meticulous track. we're at around $1450... crazy how fast that stuff adds up.

if you were one of these guys building partscasters... what do you pay yourself? figured avg 1300 in parts pretty easily and lets say 20-30hrs to assemble/wire-up/set-up/finish?

is it worth it (1500+ guitar)? not to most people, but it is to me. i think fender builds some fine instruments and if you know what you are doing you could easily visit a couple of stores, pick through a few, and get a really good guitar for reasonable prices. I think if you are a guy just looking for the "solid guitar" w typical 3 pickups and a 5 way... look no further.
 

Octorfunk

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I just thought about this today; saw a partscaster tele on my local CL asking $1,100. Am I crazy to think that's crazy?
 

bgmacaw

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If you go over to Warmoth and price out a fancy Tele it can easily reach a $2k plus figure, especially once you add in expensive pickups and paying a luither or tech to assemble it for you.
 

bgmacaw

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I just thought about this today; saw a partscaster tele on my local CL asking $1,100. Am I crazy to think that's crazy?

Yes and no. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, co-worker asked me about a similar 'deal' today. It seemed like too much to me, but, we have to remember the times we're living in now.
 

Gris

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Let me put it this way. I was playing a show several years ago. The other guitarist had a nice old USA Strat thru a 67 Vibrolux. I was playing a parts Tele thru a miced up modded Princeton. Nobody coveted the other guys Strat, but a player came up between sets and offered me $2K for my guitar after handling it. I said no way. Had many many offers after that. Finally ‘gifted’ it years later to a recording studio for a few thou worth of gear. Same thing with the amp. Great gear is great gear. The label matters not.

Only an investor, no player, would pass on a dream playing guitar. It’s all in what you want the guitar for, to play or for an investment...

And I dunno how you can make a great guitar for $300... no way. Parts will cost $800+
 

oregomike

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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!

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.

Building partscasters to sell (and make money) is a losing proposition for most people. Reminds me of those tricked out cars/trucks you see in CL "I put $40k in to this baby and ain't letting it go for any less than that." Lol, okay skippy. That'll make a great lawn ornament for years to come. It's odd to me that people do this, but understandable, I suppose. I've built partscasters, but they were for myself, so I could have the specs I wanted, and which never seem to be available off-shelf. I probably spent about $1000 give or take. A good chunk of that was getting the neck I wanted. Baseball bat sized hunk of 1/4 sawn maple, wide/large radius ebony board, etc, etc. And because I have a hard time skimping on parts, (Fralin, Emerson, Callaham, Gotoh, etc.) Voila. Now that I have a guitar that feels and plays better than anything I could get stock, why would I turn around and sell it?

I feel like I've posted this reply before....
 

JamesAM

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All good responses so far- but what does the tdpri hive mind think about all-fender partscasters? Like, all the parts are no kidding fender parts, just not put together at fender.

I’ve got two:

- a 2008 American std strat with a 2020 American pro neck (I still have the stock neck but it needs a new truss rod nut)

- a tele that’s made up of a Britt Daniel neck, American special body, cs51 nocaster pickups, fender stamped bridge, and all fender wiring and pots. Even the Bakelite pickguard is a fender part.

Neither carry any warranty, but are all 100% fender- no warmoth or mjt anywhere.

what does the group think the the appropriate market value would befor those? In perfect condition, how much of a depreciation hit over a fully stock 2008 American pro strat and (let’s say for argument) 2018 American pro tele would you assign?

not that I’d sell them, but I’d assume that I’d probably be better parting them out if I ever needed to.
 

telemnemonics

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All good responses so far- but what does the tdpri hive mind think about all-fender partscasters? Like, all the parts are no kidding fender parts, just not put together at fender.

I’ve got two:

- a 2008 American std strat with a 2020 American pro neck (I still have the stock neck but it needs a new truss rod nut)

- a tele that’s made up of a Britt Daniel neck, American special body, cs51 nocaster pickups, fender stamped bridge, and all fender wiring and pots. Even the Bakelite pickguard is a fender part.

Neither carry any warranty, but are all 100% fender- no warmoth or mjt anywhere.

what does the group think the the appropriate market value would befor those? In perfect condition, how much of a depreciation hit over a fully stock 2008 American pro strat and (let’s say for argument) 2018 American pro tele would you assign?

not that I’d sell them, but I’d assume that I’d probably be better parting them out if I ever needed to.

We've discussed all Fender parts guitars value loss to mods before.

As I recall there general common idea was that on top ofthe loss being used, take off another 25-33% of whatever all original value.
We debated over an example of two MIMStrats worth $400 each used, swap the necks between the two and have the same two guitars.
Those $400 used Strats became $300 used Strats.

If your parts came from wildly different guitars it's harder to nail down but we also know that used guitars don't have a nailed down value.

Lots of (IMO idiots) put Squier and Fender parts together and claim they have a Fender.
That's the major problem with value, so many false claims muddy the waters.

In 2005 I bought a '50s Esquire body with a '73 Tele neck for $700.
In 2002 I bought an ESP Tele body with a '64 Tele neck for $800.
Way less than even the '73 Tele would have been worth if complete, and that was hanging in a heavy traffic Boston guitar shop for more than a week before smart (!) me snagged it.
 
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ben smith

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I happily spent 1k building one that's for sure! and may I say it's the best guitar out of all the hundred I must have owned, it's incredible...
IMG_20210511_002001_047.jpg
 

JamesAM

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We've discussed all Fender parts guitars value loss to mods before.

As I recall there general common idea was that on top ofthe loss being used, take off another 25-33% of whatever all original value.
We debated over an example of two MIMStrats worth $400 each used, swap the necks between the two and have the same two guitars.
Those $400 used Strats became $300 used Strats.

If your parts came from wildly different guitars it's harder to nail down but we also know that used guitars don't have a nailed down value.

Lots of (IMO idiots) put Squier and Fender parts together and claim they have a Fender.
That's the major problem with value, so many false claims muddy the waters.

nice, that tracks. And yeah, I’ve seen folks on reverb advertising things like an “American professional 60s strat” and the like, which, I mean, come on.

About a quarter hit makes sense to me- at least until 50 years from now when we can call them “hybrid guitars” like they do with a 62 neck on a 59 body.
 

chucker

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hope springs eternal with pricing.
i would really like to buy a fender guitar, and a fender amp. i am doing neither. it's better to put something together to your own specification and satisfaction.
worst case for a parts guitar is use the parts for future projects. it isn't about good money management. it's about spending modest money for a very gratifying hobby and way of life.
 

tanplastic

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Buyer beware always works for me, look it over, take off the neck, pay the $300- $800 I've paid for parts Fenders.

Buyer beware applies the same to a $2000 brand name partscaster.
I know for a fact that there is no way a vintage style fake Fender is worth $2000 to me, so that line of reasoning and line of guitars is effectively defective before I even pick one up.

One might argue that their beloved Nash makes them a better player, or makes them want to play, or fulfills some childhood dream of owning Gilmour's guitar or Clapton's guitar.

I'm still seeing more to like in a good partscaster under $1000, which I will assess the value of and pay no more than it's worth to me.

Certainly lots of hobbyists damage parts during assembly.
Look and don't buy if damaged.
Ironic that many here assign ADDED value to assembly workers who damage the entire surface, and charge double based on much of the value being in the hours they spend damaging it to look beat up.

Hobby assemblers sometimes making mistakes don't make every Warmoth Tele only worth $500 and don't make every Nash worth $2000. Relic finished or not.
How can you assess the damage done to the parts without disassembling?
Especially online? You can't, so expecting more than $500 for a hobby is unreasonable IMO.
If you experience problems with your Nash, there's a company to support you.
Joe Bloozbuilder is simply less skilled and less experienced recognizing and solving problems than somebody that has built a hundred or so guitars.
There is some value in Joe's build, but it's the value of used parts only.
 

mkdaws32

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The finishing, that takes me some nerve. I've had the guitar test-assembled for a long while now. I just have to take a flying leap and waste the first 60 dollars worth of paint I bought. I've refinished 4 guitars and like you, with marginal improvements each time. I think I can lay the paint on OK, but it's the sand throughs that worry me.

Same here - it’s just starting to get warm enough and the right humidity level here to start again. I’ve got 5 bodies to practice on this summer ;). A Strat, two basses and two Teles. Got an hvlp sprayer for Christmas so hopefully that will help once I get my head around using it!
 

whetherkings

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I think for a lot of buyers it’s really just down to choice. I build partscasters to order for a shop here in Sydney and 99% of the time it’s because the buyer doesn’t want a standard guitar but equally doesn’t have the budget for a FCS. So I take the time to source specific combinations of necks, bodies, pickups etc. And in a lot of cases just being able to offer a less common finish or an older style finish really makes them stand out amongst all of the more common finishes. I’m sure there are some partscasters out there that are literally thrown together but I also know there are people like me who actually take a lot of time, care and effort to assemble what might ultimately be the buyers dream guitar. And that includes great attention to detail for historic specifics a decent setup so it plays the way that want it and helping them navigate the myriad of options for tone, pickups, saddles etc. I genuinely don’t do it for the money, I just love building guitars for people.
 




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