How To Find The Custom Guitar Builder Who Is Right For You?

Find The Perfect Custom Guitar Builder For Your Custom Guitars

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a custom guitar builder build custom guitars just for you? I am not talking about buying a guitar from the ‘custom’ shop of a major manufacturer. I think we all agree that these guitars are no more custom than any other that is being sold with standard specifications listed on a website. Okay, they may use a different style knob, a different tuner and have a different decal on the head stock but other than that, if two guys order the same ‘custom’ model from the catalogue they will pretty much get the same guitar.

You can start building your specification list for a custom guitar today. Download my PDF Checklist via the button below and get started now

 Get the Custom Guitar Specification Checklist

Should I Get My Own Custom Electric Guitar or Custom Acoustic Guitar?

I was sitting on the fence for a while with regards to having a custom guitar built for myself. I am into electric guitars more than into acoustic guitars at the moment so I was focusing on those. There were several things going through my mind when I thought about buying an instrument from a boutique guitar luthier.

  • How can I determine what I really want in a guitar that I cannot get from a production guitar?
  • How do I find a luthier, a custom guitar builder, who I want to work with and who wants to work with me?
  • I will not be able to try it out and ask for changes, especially if the luthier is interstate or international. What if I do not like the guitar?
  • How much better can the custom guitar be in comparison to what I can buy off the shelf?
  • Will it make me a better player or is it just a mid-life crisis thing?

Custom Guitar Market Research

I decided to do some market research about custom guitars and posted the following questions in an Australia based Facebook group where group members have been showing off their new purchases (NGD New Guitar Day) of custom guitars:

Hi, I have been following this group with interest and sometimes with envy for a while now. I really like my Les Paul Standard Plus, my PRS HBII and my ESP Horizon. The one questions that I have is what is the big deal about custom-built guitars by small luthiers.

Is a small luthier custom-made guitar in the same price range as a mass-produced guitar like a PRS Custom 24 worth the money?

What makes a great custom guitar?

What is the price range for a great custom guitar and who are the best luthiers who can build such a guitar?

A Custom Guitar Is a Guitar Made For You

While my questions did not get answered like for like, the replies I received are quite interesting reading.

R.E. wrote: A custom guitar is exactly that… a guitar made for you. I love my esp horizons but natural wood grain is amazing. To me getting a custom is a reward for working hard. It should be your dream guitar.  Getting a Custom is a Reward for Working HardFirst decide if you want to deal with getting it built overseas. More luthiers/builders but sometimes there are language barriers, extra cost of postage, custom fees etc.

If building in Australia depending where you live you can visit the luthiers and try a guitar first or even pick you own wood. Once you know if overseas or Australia we can give you a list to look into. The next step for me would be body shape, the choosing of a nice top…from there its all hardware choices, colour stain, neck woods etc.

Prices will vary from around $3k upwards

Also wait time is a big factor … it can vary from 1-3 years and in that time your spec choices will probably change too.

Production Guitars Not Meeting Standards

I.C. said: I am in the same boat as you, hoping to get my first custom done by Ormsby when his Hypemachine run opens. I currently play a Suhr modern and I just don’t know if another guitar could be better in terms of fit and finish. It is my perfect guitar. I just love the look of the Ormsby copper top and I will keep it in a lower tuning so that is why I am going for it. Would be interested in hearing other peoples thoughts on the actual tone and playability comparison between say a Suhr or PRS and any customs they have.  Waiting Time can vary from 1-3 Years. In that time your Spec Choices will probably Change too!

D.M. replied:  I have a collection of over 25 top of the range guitars, and recently got a custom made guitar. It leaves all the production ones in the dust. I had a specific tone I was after, a particular neck shape I wanted, a particular fret size I wanted, particular woods I wanted etc. etc. and you could not get all those things in a single guitar. It’s all the features of the best guitars I have in one guitar. I would never pay top dollar for a production guitar again. They don’t come close to a custom. Plus I could get custom pearl inlays on the fretboard as well and specific small customizations too. I love it.

K.W. stated: I got sick of production guitars not meeting my standards, so I invested in two custom made Rizzolo’s – a solid body Special and an acoustic – best decision I ever made.

Recommended Custom Guitar Builder

A.M.N. recommended: If you’re in Melbourne check out Lucas Guitars

D.D. suggested: DiQuattro Guitars Melbourne

K.W. said: If you look up Rizzolo guitars, the top one on the page (the Cherry Special) is the one Gary made for me – well worth the money. He does other solids as well.

S.M. posted: I would highly recommend Cillia Guitars in Sydney.

Check Out the Top 5 Recommended Guitar Luthier Businesses

in alphabetical order

My Thoughts about Considering a Custom Made Luthier Guitar

Check out my post about my thoughts on how to decide whether you should order a luthier made custom guitar. THis is the post where I am trying to answer some of the questions that I raised at the start of my quest for a custom guitar. If you are considering such a purchase then I strongly recommend that you ready as much as you can from people with experience buying a custom guitar. Go on, click here!

My Dream Custom Guitar – Full Specifications

I came up with a list of the specifications for my dream custom guitar. Maybe this could be a starting point for you.

You can also review to the Ran Guitar custom build list for some ideas about what to research next. Or you can download my my custom specification check list via the button below:

 Get the Custom Guitar Specification Checklist

Do You Need to Skill-Up First?

Do you feel that you need to skill-up first to justify getting your own custom guitar. This can be helped easily. It has never been easier to learn new tricks. Guitar Tricks is my favourite online training program. You can check out my review and even find a coupon for a discount. You may also want to consider JamPlay Online Guitar Lessons. I wrote a review about them too.


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PS: Do you have experience with custom guitar builders? Who do you recommend? – I’d love it if you share it in the comments below!

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