Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Paraparaumu, NZ
Re: Why so much
Totally agree - ofcourse using precision engineering machine tools is better than some dude who's been 'building and playing guitars for (insert suitably impressive period of time)' who is carving/cutting by hand. But many people get a kick out of the thought of things being 'hand made' even if it is in fact inferior to a machined job. It's much the same story with cars and motorbikes. To those who buy into that kind of stuff they would describe to you how it gives the product; 'soul', 'character', 'mojo' and 'je n' sais quoi'.... allegedly.... These imaginary attributes are far more important to them than any area of design - the guitar can have terrible balance, be heavy overall, go out of tune easily, have none existant upper fret access and have many other blatant imperfections but these all just get described as 'character and soul' and the owner will slag your ibanez off for being 'clinical', 'bland', 'souless' and 'uninspriing'... How something can be criticised for being better is beyond me. Particularly when those meaningless and annoying words are used!
That said, machining tolerances have varying degrees of quality depending on the factory and how well the technicians involved set things up before the machine cuts anything. My jap RG for example, has a sloppy neck pocket - this is its only flaw but it is a significant one none the less. i've shimmed it now and to TBH it was never a problem from a playing point of view but my sabre doesn't have the problem and i'm quite fussy and want perfection!!!
As for why customs are so expensive even though they aren't actually real 'built from scratch' one offs (like matt bellamy's manson guitars for example), which to me is the only way something really qualifies as 'custom'. I guess its just for the sake of having a custom guitar and whatever the maker is charging, someone somewhere will pay it to have that prestige. I admit that i want a j custom ibanez, not because its fret board, electrics, trem system or body design are better than what i've got, because i know my prestige RG is as good as it gets already. I just want a j custom because i'll get a kick out of owning it and others who understand what j custom means will be jealous. Human nature i'm afraid.