Re: Custom JEM vs Production JEM
Let me first state that I think Jeremys prices are fair, and the pics of his work show the great work he does. The inlay work is just incredible.
Nontheless, while it is true that you probably wont be able to get a custom guitar made in North America or Europe for the same price as a production guitar, you certainly can get a custom guitar made for the same or less than a production guitar if you are willing to order from other countries. Mexico, South America and probably some other places (eastern Europe, Russia) may be able to offer cutsom made guitars for vey low prices.
As an example, Mexico and Brazil have very low labour costs, and they are the source of a lot of beautifull and fine exotic woods (that can be found for very low prices in those countries). So this allows for a very low price. I know amazing luthiers here in Mexico, and Im sure there must be very good luthiers in Brazil aswell. Argentina also has very low labour costs and has some very experimented Luthiers (particularly when you are talking about classical guitars).
Now, the problem is that you cant be certain about the quality of the work, or about the final product. You may find yourself dealing with someone who (even though he may actually be the finest luthier on earth) you have no feedback about. As there are great luthiers, there also are lame Luthiers. So the problem is, how can you tell? If you dont have several sources of positive feedback, you are taking your chances.
The other problem is that, you will probably pay more for the guitar than a local customer. Most of this Luthiers are aware of the international cost that any of this guitars has, and though they will probably charge a lot less, they will still charge you more than they would charge a local customer.
Having said all these, I would never order a replica from a Luthier. There are amazing designs to be created, and great Luthiers can make those ideas come true. Not only you will end up with a one of a kind guitar, but you are also creating something new, that may inspire other people to do the same. In my personal expierience, Luthiers trend to put more love and care when they actually fall in love the project. They get involved in it, and it shows.
So, weather you choose and can afford to play it safe, or weather you choose to take your chances and order from other country, I will always suggest to make something unique.
Last edited by RCB; 03-30-2005 at 02:10 PM.