Guitar Price List as of Jan. 30, 2020
My price for a guitar is currently $40,000 plus whatever customizing features or design elements you want, plus applicable tax and shipping.
The price includes the following:
- Brazilian rosewood back and sides. Or: choice of East Indian rosewood, figured maple, figured koa, padauk, figured mahogany, wenge, or other exotic. I will provide information on the tonal properties of these materials on request.
- Choice of best quality European spruce, or Sitka spruce, or cedar, or redwood. These can be either with figure or plain, depending on availability (also: full information on tonal implications provided on request)
- Choice of 12-fret or 14-fret model (information on tonal significance provided on request)
- Choice of six string or twelve string guitar (with a slight extra charge for the second set of tuners)
- Choice of slotted or non-slotted peghead
- Cutaway model of the Florentine (pointy) rather than the Venetian (rounded) type
- Choice of neck width, shape, and string spacing (full information on ergonomics and playability can be provided on request)
- Ebony fingerboard with ebony/maple binding, with linear abalone position marker inlays
- Hard (18% nickel-silver) frets
- All wood bindings, purflings, and joinery throughout
- Hand-sculpted bridge and hand-shaped peghead
- Clear pickguard (or no pickguard)
- Choice of gold or Chrome Schaller, Gotoh, or Van Gent tuning machines
- Segmented, sunset, or patio-stone soundhole rosette [NOTE: design details change periodically]
- Clear French polish finish
- Hoffee or Calton travel case
- Full warranty (with some limitations, as described further below) for as long as you have the guitar
- Paperwork attesting to the provenance and legality of my Brazilian rosewood
- A guitar that is custom-made for you that will be responsive in sound, that is unique, that will hold its economic value, and that will be worth handing on to your children
- Information about any and all tonal, ergonomic, and aesthetic implications for anything we discuss.
- Most importantly, I voice each guitar personally. I’ve learned and honed this most important skill over the past five decades, and I am a specialist in it. It takes me two days to voice each guitar. This time span, and the attention that I bring to the work done in it, represents a good deal of what you are paying for.
- And last, but not least (if you don’t have them yet), an autographed set of my books, which are the leading textbooks concerning the making of the contemporary guitar.
- NOTE: There is available a special leather-bound and limited-edition collector’s set of these books. They are first editions, and signed. They cost $550.
Total Price $39,600
(plus special inlays or decoration, and applicable taxes and shipping)
ADDITIONAL POSSIBLE OPTIONS:
|Select Master Grade, figured, matched sets of, or otherwise unique Brazilian Rosewood back and sides;||Upcharge depending on quality and availability;|
|Mahogany from the fabled “tree.” It is extraordinarily figured, and horribly expensive. Somehow, even though the entire world supply of this comes from a single tree that was felled in Belize in [according to some accounts] 1965, some pieces have a lot more tonal potential than others.||Current upcharge is in the $4500 to $5000 range|
|Hand-carved artistic soundhole rosette, or ornamental carving||Upcharge of $3500, or as negotiated|
|“Mosaic blocks” or other fancy fingerboard inlays||Add $500, or an agreed-on price depending on the specifics of the work|
|Decorative back-of neck-inlay, which might be a mosaic one, purfling lines, barber-pole stripes, “Rapunzel” treatment, or other||An upcharge will be added depending on the work to be done|
|Highly figured topwoods||Price depending on their availability and my own cost|
|Custom-made tuning machines (Alessi, Rodgers, Scheller, etc.)||My cost plus 15%|
|Eight, nine, ten, (or other) string guitar models||As agreed on|
|An entirely new, custom-designed guitar model||As agreed on|
|Fanned-frets (requires modified bridge, neck, fingerboard, peghead, and bracing)||Add $2000.|
|Ergonomically tapered body||Add $1250.|
|Fingerboard extension||Add $350.|
|On-board electronics||As negotiated|
|Special commissions, artistic inlays, features, ornamentation, accessories, embellishments, woods, or materials||As negotiated|
ABOUT MY WORK WITH MY CLIENTS
I work closely with my clients to make each of them a guitar that fits them as individually as possible. I build a modest number of instruments each year and I work rather slowly, paying attention to a great many details. Because I am a custom maker, hardly any two guitars I make are fully alike. And because I work slowly I have a backlog of guitar orders.
But I think that my guitars are worth waiting for. They are widely known as all having great presence and depth of tone, and sensitivity of response. Furthermore, the workmanship is excellent. My guitars are also sought by collectors, as they are regarded as being of a quality that any museum would aspire to have in its own collection.
If you commission a guitar from me, I’d like a tracing of your left hand and information about the average seasonal humidity in your area. I’d also like to know something about you, the kind of music you play, how you play it, what gauge strings you prefer, and also the indoors environment that the guitar is likely to live in.
I will discuss with you – at great length, if you want – your preferences of materials, options, and design features. I will make every effort to incorporate into your guitar the features and elements that you like. If any of them is likely to interfere with its sound then I will try to steer you away from that one.
As things stand at present, I would expect the current waiting period for your getting your guitar to be about 2 years from receipt of a deposit. A payment of $3,500 places your order on my list. This payment becomes non-refundable after thirty days.
Once I begin construction of your instrument I will ask for subsequent payments on completion of significant parts of it, as well as when the box is completed and about to have the finish applied. Balance of the price will be due upon completion of the guitar. If the build needs to be cancelled in mid-project for whatever reason, however, and you have paid more than $3500, you will be refunded everything that you have paid that is over that amount.
Please feel free to get in touch with me. I’ll be pleased to answer any questions you might have about my guitars or my work. A lot of information can also be gotten by reading my books.
Many of my custom projects and specially commissioned design/art work are on view on this website. Please feel free to keep on looking and reading.
I’ll stand behind my work and will do repairs if there is any failure of structure for reasons that are in my area of responsibility. I ask that the client be responsible for costs of shipping the guitar to me and back in case of such failure. I’ll take care of the rest. My responsibility for fixing a problem may be undercut, however, if the guitar has had work done on it by someone else.
The soundbox is a relatively fragile construct. There is wear and tear from use, but most of this tends to be cosmetic. Most actual damage is due to accidental impact or from carelessness in exposing the guitar to severe changes in temperature and/or humidity. I can and will do repairs in such instances should they occur, but I will charge for them as though they were any other repair that I was asked to do.
Some damage may occur from hard-to-explain causes, which places the responsibility for making things right again into a grey area. When this has occurred in the past my client and I usually agree on some middle-ground level of payment in which responsibility is shared and that everyone can live with. I should point out that the best tonewoods are brittle, and are the likeliest to suffer from cracking if the guitars are pushed past a certain limit. It is precisely their brittleness – like glass that makes a sound when struck – that makes them so acoustically and dramatically alive . . . as well as likely to crack.