Its crazy to me what boutique companies will charge...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by caspersvapors, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    for what is essentially a modded tweed deluxe clone.

    https://www.blackvoltamplification.com/new-products/crazy-horse-amp

    The aesthetic is probably pretty cool for a bit but Ive seen a handful of companies charging north of 2k for “modded” or “improved” tweed deluxes that are probably nothing more than mods lifted directly from Rob Robinettes site
     
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  2. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    But look at those grill cloths!
     
  3. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Holic

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    Slippery slope, adding that much markup for aesthetics. If you can assemble a kit deluxe, you can probably google and execute whatever mods you want.

    Wonder when they'll start offering more niche grill cloths, like black denim, jamaican flag, or an eye test chart? Those sound like where the real money is...
    ;)
     
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  4. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

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    It's just economics 101 .. They move only a few units and in order for that to be profitable they need to raise price to cover costs.

    If they're lucky there is still enough demand at that high price for it all to run else they'll shut down after a while.
     
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  5. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    People will pay big bucks for aesthetics. Function follows form ... right?:rolleyes::cry:
     
  6. tubedood

    tubedood Tele-Meister

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    Naaa. Just no way.

    Any of the builders on this fine site could do those simple mods that this company seems to think are worth about a 1500 dollars for. I would not be surprised if they weren't folks that use this site for some tips anyway.
    They do look cool and I dig the styling, but I have built enough amps to know a realistic price to set. You wont get rich making amplifiers anymore.

    I would put my lil 5F2-A up against that for tone and I spent maybe 350 in parts (and I used as much vintage as I felt was useable and reliable).
     
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  7. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Friend of Leo's

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    A lot of builders want to make a living doing what they love, building amps. I get it, it’s one of the most rewarding hobbies I ever had, and I’ve had my share.
    The trill of putting a bunch of electrical components in a certain order or configuration and having beautiful music come out of speaker is just so damn satisfying.
    But their own economic situation plays a bigger role in their pricing than the cost of time and materials.
    I wish them all well, I hope they can find a way to make it work. Attempting to turn your hobby into a full time business is a noble endeavor and to those who can do it, they may have truly found real happiness.
     
  8. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    i've seen those before and while they are cool, i'll bet they go to joann's for their material. ha!

    play music!
     
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  9. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    Yes, nice grill cloths. But with the controls on the back...?

    And starting at $3,000 US? People joke about the odd person like myself playing a PRS and therefore I must be a dentist. I can't imagine what a fully kitted out amp with premium features would cost. Whoa!
     
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  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Most seem to not understand that boutique builders are businesses. Sure, you can buy parts and a plain cabinet and build an amp at low cost.

    But add up the hours it takes to order and store parts and the parts cost. The actual time involved in amp assembly and testing. Custom cabinet finishing materials and the hours involved.

    Website creation /maintenance costs. Other advertising and promotions - regional guitar shows and the NAMM show.

    Rent, insurance, utilities, business license, sales taxes, income taxes, accounting fees, alarm system monthly cost.

    Employee pay, payroll taxes, insurance etc etc etc.

    Customer service - returns, warranty repairs, packing materials, shipping costs.

    The point is there is a LOT more to "boutique amps" than just building them. And most fail because the "owners" don't have a "business plan" and don't know what's involved in running an actual business. They think they just need to build and sell amps - and that's just a small part of it.
     
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  11. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    how many hours goes into each amp, administrative time included? and how much is the builder paying themselves an hour?
     
  12. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    For the price of one boutique amp ... you can buy all fifteen of these!


    .
     
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  13. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    A long time ago I decided if I wanted something I would just buy the real thing, even if it meant the real thing was repaired, changed, etc....

    These days 99% of the people buying this stuff use it in their basement and play it on 2 anyway. Fools and theire duckets are soon separated.
     
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  14. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Holic

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    I personally think a well programed CNC machine can do better than 'by hand."
     
  15. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    if you aren't selling a ton you have to charge more to make it worth your while. it's why freelancers tend to want more per hour than people who have a set schedule.
     
  16. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

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    Solid post Wally!

    Conversely somewhat ...I've paid close to 3 grand for a custom guitar, and it was absolutely totally mind-blowingly worth it and I play out with it every week. I wish I was that builder when was 28. (Btw: It is a Selmer Django copy, made in France, so the niche-resale audience is tiny. Oh and it is a lefty, so cut that niche candidate buyer pool by another 90%).

    Also, I have built and sold about 40 instruments including archtops and flat-tops and this and that, and lots of amps, and fly rods. The ONLY ones that turned an actual modest legit profit were my 5-string basses, which has surprised me bc I don't play bass, and Japanese medical professionals bought them all...can't explain it.

    Anyway, none of my music-related stuff has EVER paid the rent, EXCEPT my (40% audio) computer career, which has paid the rent since 1985.
     
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  17. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    I used to think like that until I became self-employed and was asked by customers why I charged $150 / hr. The cost of doing business is high and you have to make a profit or there is no survival. You are not paying just for the amp, but the business license, insurance, taxes, employees, building costs, domain names, SEO manager, web manager, etc. Even at $150 / hr, I only netted around $60 while taking all the risks.

    I think these amps are pretty damn cool and in a market that is saturated by thousands of boutique builders mostly pumping out the exact same looking amp...this is actually refreshing. It isn't priced for most of us, but we are not their target customer base either. I applaud their presence in the market and hope they do well.
     
  18. rickthescot

    rickthescot Tele-Holic

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    Gee, why does that Ferrari cost so much more than a Mustang?
     
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  19. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Hard to say it's based on a 5e3, seems more like maybe a 5e5.
    Doesn't look like a 5e3 PT.
    Also hard to say if they just copied all of Rob Robs mods or if they designed a whole amp.
    Price is awfully high, I'd generally prefer a bigger amp for $2950.00.
    But these days nobody wants bigger amps, and if this one really does a number of great things really well it might be just what some players want.
    The fact that an amp looks sorta like a Tweed Fender doesn't make it a copy or the same as all the $600- $1200 5e3 clones on the market.

    My problem with this particular amp is the claimed "25-30 watts of class A output power".

    This foolishness of calling cathode biased amps "class A" is so 20th Century.
    There are a few class A multi power tube amps like the Laney Lionheart 20 (20w from 4xel84) and a few others.
    I doubt this one is.

    Whether a 25-30w 1x12 combo amp with custom cosmetics could possibly be worth $2950?
    IDK, what does a Les Paul with custom cosmetics cost?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019
  20. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    I would think it's some loose homage to Neil Young's modded tweed Deluxe with some additional mods to the preamp. It has an oversized power transformer that can run 6L6 like Neil does in his Deluxe. It just needs the ST 6L6G tubes and the Whizzer amp robot to be more authentic. Larry Cragg tells part of the story.

    https://thrasherswheat.org/friends/amps.htm
     
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