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

tanplastic

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 15, 2018
Posts
2,350
Location
I can see your house from here.
There’s nothing in that list above that won’t have been encountered before, and won’t have been solved before. Especially with partscasters - essentially parts being assembled. I’d understand a bit more if someone was struggling to build a strat body out of noodles, or concrete, but even those two have been done and there’s information out there.

I’m not trying to dismiss years of experience, nor am I trying to claim that any build I make is as good as a CS. However I don’t for one minute believe that we’re at the cutting edge of guitar technology, nor do I think that there are unsolvable problems requiring years of experience when assembling partscasters.

building a guitar from scratch out of solid chunks of wood - now that’s a different ball game, but then again from my understanding that isn’t a partscaster. In any case, even if one is attempting a build from scratch, it will have been done before by someone, and guarantee there will be info somewhere on whatever wood (no matter how exotic) or whatever tremolo or scale length chosen or whatever other combination.
All it takes is a five minute perusal of the build issues here on TDPRi to see that solving problems is the difference between an amateur and a pro.
I wouldn't trust an amateur to do a set up let alone a complete build.
 

KW1977

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 3, 2012
Posts
555
Location
Virginia
I went down this road and ended up getting slightly burnt, but not irreparably so. I wanted a “modern Blackguard” style T, y’know like 50’s spec in every sense but w/ more modern radius & frets. I’d been eyeballing a Berly that kept lingering on Reverb and missed it. Then I just started searching MJT and Musikraft to see what was out there for a build and BOOM; I happened upon one that seemed to nail my list of desires for around $950. I did the math - MJT body, Musikraft neck, Rutters hardware, handwound pickups, and the guy only seemed to be asking cost or maybe $100 above. I debated it for a while until the stimulus check got too hot to hold. Here are the bummers:

1) Didn’t like the pickups AT ALL. They were wound to ‘59 spec and just didn’t pair well with this guitar. Threw a set of Cavaliers in there and it came alive.

2) I was having an absolute hell of a time trying to set it up and actually worried that the truss rod might’ve been bad. Finally took it to a local tech and she’s set now. The sanding & finish never sat right with me though. Seemed like a B stock if anything, just kinda rushed looking/feeling, and then the tech corrected me —it’s actually a WD neck. Not a huge deal but definitely not the same quality as Musikraft and definitely not what I paid for.

While still kicking around the idea of swapping that neck do you know what I realized? I probably coulda picked up a MIM 50’s Road Worn for less and been just as happy.
 
Last edited:

bluetele54

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Posts
2,617
Location
SF Bay Area
"Accuracies," if it is a word indeed, would be the plural of "accuracy," which is not a noun, so a plural of it would be ... nonexistent?

"Accuracy's" as in "for accuracy's sake" is the possessive of accuracy, i.e., doing so for the sake of accuracy.

My wife teaches high school English and I've been a professional writer for 30+ years. Editing is an old habit. Hope nobody got their knickers in a knot. Life's too short.

Love your "Blue" guitar, BTW. What do they call that color exactly? There was a G&L Tele I saw the other day that was said to be "Frost Turquoise," which is the name of my favorite color they painted the first-generation Ford Broncos. Almost enough to get me to buy it ...

So why can't they put fun colors like that on today's vehicles? Seems like all they have is black, white, three colors of gray, silver, and a dark red or blue. Do people really wanna blend in that bad?
Off topic, but inspired by your comment.
“Blue”’s interesting, as it’s neck date is 6-1-54, and a proper single white guard indicative of later ‘54 post Blackguard Telecasters.
I bought it in 1972, and it appears that that metal flake blue is the only finish it’s ever had (if one looks under the hood).
That said, I DID see a ‘56 Strat and P-bass the same color.
All three were seen in the SF Bay Area so it’s a mystery if it was a factory finish, or not.
Possibly a band wanted all their guitars to look the same?
Hard to say, but many knowledgeable guitar dealers have said it’s quite possible it was a factory one off.
But frankly, I don’t care, as the moment my hand touched the neck of the guitar, I KNEW I’d found the one!
At 19, I didn’t have the $355. cash to buy it at that moment, but I offered a black double cut, double pup concentric pot Danelectro (think Jimmy Page) and got $50. for that, sold my maple cap ‘67 blonde Telecaster for $200., and got $75. from my mom (I knew she was still getting that amount from my dad every month).
A friend of mine gave me a ride to Prune Music in Mill Valley, CA, where I found the guitar, and I walked in with $325. cash, and a humbucking pickup in my pocket for any possible extra funds.
I put the cash on the counter, and the salesman I was dealing with, looked at the cash, and said, “need tax man”...
My response was to immediately pull the pup out and placed it on the counter.
He looked at that, smiled, and said, “ok”
I proudly walked out with an instrument that was/is a major influence on my musical life.
Later that year, I moved to Mendocino, and in mid-73, I started playing with ex members of the Byrds (Gene Parsons, who built Clarence’s bender) the Turtles (drummer Johny Barbata)
,Canned Heat/LA Getaway (Joel Scott Hill), the Burritos (Chris Ethridge), who had all moved up and bought houses in Comptche, about 14 miles inland from the coast.
I’d been playing harp since I was 16, and took up guitar around 17.
That started a run of a minimum of 10 hours a day of practice.
Finding “Blue” was even more of an inspiration for that schedule, that and living 2 blocks away from the original “Bananas at Large” which provided me the opportunity to see a lot of guitar players hands.
A great time to ask questions.

Back to our regularly scheduled program...
 

TwoBear

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Posts
2,315
Location
oc. CA.
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.
PT Barnum there’s a sucker born every minute! A few months ago I picked up a brand new Danelectro plastic chicken salad orange vibe. New in the box for $20. It only sounded bypassed but when I pulled up the bottom I immediately saw the contacts where the switch was soldered were bridged. Just a tiny bit of knowledge. I see them for anywhere from 100 to some dude asking $223 on Reverb!!! I see crap Ola like this all the time. I just saw a beat the holy heck, like seriously the worst I’ve ever seen CE2 Boss chorus For 225 or even more. $195 for 23 90° angles, and 17’ cut up cord from a George L set. I myself just bought some George L stuff but only after shopping and making an offer. I think it was 29 right angles (what’s with all the uneven numbers) and a bunch of usable cut off’s along with 11 or more feet of solid cable, maybe 19 total, Advertised at 120 + shipping, I made an offer at 80, and ended up paying 110 delivered. I have to admit I’m such a schmuck I keep going back and proving to myself that I got a good deal!
 

TwoBear

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Posts
2,315
Location
oc. CA.
Off topic, but inspired by your comment.
“Blue”’s interesting, as it’s neck date is 6-1-54, and a proper single white guard indicative of later ‘54 post Blackguard Telecasters.
I bought it in 1972, and it appears that that metal flake blue is the only finish it’s ever had (if one looks under the hood).
That said, I DID see a ‘56 Strat and P-bass the same color.
All three were seen in the SF Bay Area so it’s a mystery if it was a factory finish, or not.
Possibly a band wanted all their guitars to look the same?
Hard to say, but many knowledgeable guitar dealers have said it’s quite possible it was a factory one off.
But frankly, I don’t care, as the moment my hand touched the neck of the guitar, I KNEW I’d found the one!
At 19, I didn’t have the $355. cash to buy it at that moment, but I offered a black double cut, double pup concentric pot Danelectro (think Jimmy Page) and got $50. for that, sold my maple cap ‘67 blonde Telecaster for $200., and got $75. from my mom (I knew she was still getting that amount from my dad every month).
A friend of mine gave me a ride to Prune Music in Mill Valley, CA, where I found the guitar, and I walked in with $325. cash, and a humbucking pickup in my pocket for any possible extra funds.
I put the cash on the counter, and the salesman I was dealing with, looked at the cash, and said, “need tax man”...
My response was to immediately pull the pup out and placed it on the counter.
He looked at that, smiled, and said, “ok”
I proudly walked out with an instrument that was/is a major influence on my musical life.
Later that year, I moved to Mendocino, and in mid-73, I started playing with ex members of the Byrds (Gene Parsons, who built Clarence’s bender) the Turtles (drummer Johny Barbata)
,Canned Heat/LA Getaway (Joel Scott Hill), the Burritos (Chris Ethridge), who had all moved up and bought houses in Comptche, about 14 miles inland from the coast.
I’d been playing harp since I was 16, and took up guitar around 17.
That started a run of a minimum of 10 hours a day of practice.
Finding “Blue” was even more of an inspiration for that schedule, that and living 2 blocks away from the original “Bananas at Large” which provided me the opportunity to see a lot of guitar players hands.
A great time to ask questions.

Back to our regularly scheduled program...
I like that story very much, and it also made me feel a little better about myself as I can be long-winded (hey what are you trying to say there!) JK! It reminds me of my pawnshop experience picking up my chrome top Vox wah, for $13 Out of a pawn shop around Wilshire and Western or Wiltern in Los Angeles. There was a black body white guard small headstock Stratocaster, think Layla up on the wall for $246. Also they were Isles and isles like refrigerators of fender tall piggybacks with bandmaster and assorted heads like you could see Jimi playing, when he wasn’t playing through Marshalls. And me there with $13 of pennies nickels dimes and quarters trying to buy that pedal at closing time, and being told that he didn’t want pennies. I freaked out thinking somebody might sneak in and buy it and I went straight to the corner liquor store where I knew the little Asian lady and she was smart and loved taking coins. I had to do something next morning so I couldn’t be there right when it opened but I remember running back like Charlie and the chocolate factory, and dumping all my silver on the counter and running back like a thief to our apartment so I could practice to my Sonny boy Williamson with Jeff Beck and Jimmy page and Jimi Hendrix albums. It’s the one piece of gear I still have. It’s not like a guitar which would be equal to a dog but more like a leash and collar from a loved but passed on pooch, but with a new pot at least it will bark again!
 

TwoBear

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Posts
2,315
Location
oc. CA.
image.jpg
Hope springs eternal...
Is that five Springs or three and if three are they equally spaced or fanned out. Or God forbid like me, four!
 

TwoBear

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Posts
2,315
Location
oc. CA.
It looks like partscasters are also seeing a high demand, low supply price boost as well. A co-worker just sent me an email today about a modified MIM Tele, asking if it was a good deal at around $1200. That seems quite high to me but, who knows these days.
I don’t think there’s ever a time where that price wouldn’t seem insane to me. But then again I think I remember paying $.47 for milk and that was a half gallon and there was no such thing as a gallon. My 52 LP was $300 used, And My 59 125 was 180 bucks at the pawnshop. Sold my mint UniVibe with pedal for $100. I’m going to have to start using black napkins to wipe my face, So I can check for maggots as I might already be dead.
 

bluetele54

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Mar 27, 2006
Posts
2,617
Location
SF Bay Area
Absolutely! He used to be a mentioned quite frequently on this forum. Then one day, complaints started about delays in delivery of his guitars. I don’t know what caused the delays. The buzz about his guitars slowed and I stopped following any information about him.

He was a hot name and then he wasn’t.

i’m quite sure there are plenty of established builders producing very good T style guitars and they have earned a reputation. Nash has earned a reputation as well but he apparently finishes and assembles guitars rather than building his own necks and bodies.
The aforementioned are much different than Joe Schmoe assembling a guitar in his workshop or garage.

...Chihoe is still making instruments...
I liked them, but I had some solid working instruments already.
 

musky55

Tele-Meister
Joined
Nov 18, 2010
Posts
196
Location
Iowa
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.
ditto Steve
 

Blackshadowrider

TDPRI Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Posts
94
Age
63
Location
Detroit
A lot of Nash-Bash here, sad to see as they make a great guitar. I do think the Lollar pickups is what I liked along with superb set-up. I will buy a used Tele style if I can find an affordable one. Suhr is another name that comes to mind but seem very pricey, more so that Nash.
Some people will just never drive a kit car even if it is an AC Cobra replica.
 

Cyberi4n

Tele-Holic
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Posts
854
Age
49
Location
Chester, Uk
One interesting point on here is something a couple of you have mentioned. Resale value. If you're buying a guitar with one eye on how much it's gonna be worth to move on, and how much of your outlay are you going to recoup, then how committed are you to that instrument, and are you buying the wrong guitar for the wrong reasons?
 

Arfage

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Posts
455
Age
61
Location
Alameda Ca
No matter what I spend to build them $800 has been the ceiling, on average.
After a few pickup changes, tuners I ended up not using, a bridge that didn't fit, changing my mind about pickguard color, insisting on Musikraft necks, I'm always in it for at least a thousand bucks.
 

KelvinS1965

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 9, 2014
Posts
1,396
Location
Wokingham England
All it takes is a five minute perusal of the build issues here on TDPRi to see that solving problems is the difference between an amateur and a pro.
I wouldn't trust an amateur to do a set up let alone a complete build.

Depends on the amateur; I've made mistakes along the way, sometimes cost me to get them sorted out, but mostly just did some more research and/or tried again until I got it right. Took a lot of years though to get confident and genuinely feel that I can set a guitar up properly for me. I wouldn't want to start doing it for others though.

I'm under no illusions about my two builds though: Neither is CS standard, although that is based on the few CS Teles I've played over the recent years. My Tele was more of a bolt together build because the body was supplied already finished, my second build was a step further back with a bare neck and a bare wood body that I had to do more drilling, etc on as well as painting: I made mistakes and it isn't perfect, so I've learnt in the process and nothing that spoils how it sounds or plays, just minor cosmetic issues caused because the body wasn't as accurately made (trem 'butt crack' too wide, so it shows just below the trem, for example).

I already accepted that should I ever need to sell my two builds that I would just part them out, but I'm actually selling my MIM Telecaster because I don't need two (shock, horror, since this is a Tele forum ;) ) and the MIM seems now to be worth a little more than I paid for it.

I figure that my Strat with Fender '65 PVs and Fender mid boost electrics, for less than the cost of a Vintera was a good choice for me: I'd have to go CS to get one with such a fat neck (1" deep 1st to 12th), especially as I wanted a Rosewood fingerboard.

I just did the unthinkable and added up the cost of my two builds: The Tele was done over many years as a sort of 'rolling upgrade' to what started as a £99 Squier Tele. Works out about £850 ($1,200) which is used USA Tele territory over here, but I might still struggle to find one with such a fat neck.

The Strat cost me £600 ($850) which I think is fine compared to what I could have bought used. Again, the fat neck wasn't an option for anything off the shelf even close to that price.

Finished Strat (12).png


I can't take credit for this paint finish, but it's got a few tweaks to suit me, like the cut away bridge sides and hidden mid boost:
Tele 9.jpg


I can't imagine anyone paying me what I've put into either of these guitars, but not a problem to me.
 




Top