The Lutherie Guitars, when to consider buying one.

Once again, this year’s fantastic NAMM show delighted us with a large section of lutherie guitars, with increasingly interesting and appealing looks, from the most varied combinations of woods and parts, simply fantastic.

The impression is indeed that the lutherie guitar is taking more and more ground, and the desire for customization of one's instrument is almost becoming a requirement for guitarists.

This is exactly what we are going to talk about today, why to choose a lutherie guitar instead of a stock product, and when the time is right for a guitarist.

What does not help in these kinds of considerations is precisely the fact that very often, although the instruments are entirely or partly handmade, they still use shapes that are more than 50 years old, looking like true replicas.
So why buy a luthier's guitar from a line that "looks like" a historical product such as a Gibson Les Paul instead of buying a real Les Paul? Moreover, it is a well-known fact that whenever we buy a lutherie instrument in addition to paying a higher amount of money, it will suffer a greater depreciation whenever we decide to resell it.

Below we will address some of the merits of lutherie guitars, what a these products offers more than a stock product, and when it is advisable to opt for this type of choice.

The first thing that strikes you about a lutherie product is undoubtedly its look. A lutherie guitar allows for greater customization and varied combinations in the choice of woods, colors, and hardware. This will surely be the guitar that will convey something unique to you every time you look at it. It is not hard to imagine that we can succeed in improving what we play by feeding through touch and sight, handling more "beautiful" instruments that we feel extreme pleasure when we play them. The choice of these parts will in its own way go beyond defining what the sound of the instrument is. Although, certain types of woods have different sounds than others. Likewise, the choice of parts such as tuners and pickups.

It is easy to see how everything is strongly related when we think about neck parts. The choice of a rosewood or maple fingerboard and the size of the frets (height and width) that will be used will consequently affect your playing.
The level of care in the workmanship especially when we talk about the neck and fretting will affect incredibly the playability, marrying or not marrying your style. A guitar must make you play well and feel good!

In conclusion, I think the world of Guitar Making is infinitely beautiful and fascinating.

In my opinion, a musician who decides to go into this kind of market, he must have achieved a certain kind of awareness and maturity understood as clarity and the ability to choose each part of his instrument.

It is necessary for a guitarist to know what is researching, what kind of sound and playing. Time and trying a variety of different types of guitars will undoubtedly allow to understand what he likes best. Once is reached that level, then the purchase and of a custom piece will make more sense.

In the production of an instrument, I believe that the workmanship is of EQUAL importance as the parts used. The same average quality parts, when assembled, finished and tuned by an expert can result in a totally incredibly superior and more playable instrument.

I have had more times conversations with Luis Munoz the ModernGuitarTech ( tech for Bush, LP, and many others world class guitarists) about what does affect more the quality of an instrument. He has proved to me how the attention to details can make an instrument playing way better and we both firmly agreed that the workmanship is as important as the quality of material. Unfortunately, nowadays more importance is placed on how many pieces of wood are used in the making of a body rather than who is the Tech who will assemble and fine-tune the instrument.

In my Master’s thesis "MO Guitar Tech," I addressed this very topic, trying to raise awareness among guitarists to be more careful in setting up and caring for their instruments. This paper also demonstrates how a repair shop can be successful and what the steps are to start a guitar making business.

Lutherie is an art that gives life to musical instruments with which the musician will in turn create music. And not least, the guitarist will be able to handle an instrument that will have his or her own customizations and of which he or she may have been part of the development process. Isn't this all great?

Maurizio Pino

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