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!!METAL MATT!!

Offering to Build Blank Guitar Bodies

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If it were me, I wouldn't sell my own design as an unfinished body. I would sell to the masses and make Strat and Tele shapes since most people could get whatever parts they needed anywhere else to make a good guitar. You may not want to be just-another-strat-body builder though.

I agree with Perry that it's not worth it to soil your reputation by selling your design in an unfinished body. There are so many other things that could go wrong on the rest of the build.

If your goal is to make and sell guitars, I'd stay the course and build the whole guitar and then sell them. Don't part them out.

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Personally, i think he should forget about selling them, and just keep building. Get a second job to help afford the addiction, like i did, and go from there. Detail the builds on a web page, and the rest will simply slot into place. Thats how it worked for me, i did no advertising, and im now booked out until march next year, have around $50,000 worth of work to do (plus repair work), and ive only been at it full time for 18 months (and part time for less than 18 months before that).

If you do a good job, word of mouth will support you.

This sounds very familiar to what I did. I have been at it for almost 2 years and I am also booked out for several months with custom orders and a consignment outlet that I cannot keep up with. I am starting to turn away orders that aren't artistically what I want to do for exactly that same reasons that you should stay away from making bodies. Do what you love and nothing else.

Perry, your advice on this is excellent.

~David

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One question I have though, what if he kept his idea of selling his product but decided to add the neck and bridge. That way the only thing that the customer would need to do is the electronics, add strings, and tuners.

That makes no sense. He may as well make complete guitars....

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QUOTE

One question I have though, what if he kept his idea of selling his product but decided to add the neck and bridge. That way the only thing that the customer would need to do is the electronics, add strings, and tuners.

That makes no sense. He may as well make complete guitars....

I was just trying to throw some ideas at him, since he just wanted to do bodies and rhodes made a good point of people screwing up on the most difficult part of the guitar, so if he did the hardest part for them there really wouldn't be much to screw up and he wouldn't have to finish the rest. I know that a finished guitar would be the best idea by far, but I since he didn't want to that at first, I thought that this would have been a compromise. But yes you are right might as well finish the guitars, it just seemed a better idea than giving up. Jason

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I am starting to turn away orders that aren't artistically what I want to do for exactly that same reasons that you should stay away from making bodies. Do what you love and nothing else.

And how cool does THAT feel huh?? OMG i get the biggest adrenaline rush after i turn someone down and say i would rather pass on their project because its not fancy or different enough. I tell ya, a lot of them just end up changing their minds to make it into something you DO want to make :D

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QUOTE(Myka Guitars @ Jun 23 2005, 12:40 AM)

I am starting to turn away orders that aren't artistically what I want to do for exactly that same reasons that you should stay away from making bodies. Do what you love and nothing else.

*

And how cool does THAT feel huh?? OMG i get the biggest adrenaline rush after i turn someone down and say i would rather pass on their project because its not fancy or different enough. I tell ya, a lot of them just end up changing their minds to make it into something you DO want to make smile.gif

I can't imagine how good that would feel, thats mostly everyones dream in life to do what they love most and make a living doing it! How long have you guys been at this? Also how many years were you building before you started selling custom guitars? And one last question is did you guys have a base model like one similar to a jem, tele, LP or any common shape that you started with or did you completely leave it up to the customer and just bought or made a template for each project? Thanks for posting what you guys make and all the tutorials you do, I know you guys don't have much time on your hands and that makes what you guys do even more special, thanks for lookin out for us new and hopeful builders! Jason

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I must agree with Perry.

Beyond what he's said, there is another problem.

First of all, as soon as you start selling bodies, you have "released them to the public" so now you are limited on a timeframe to get a patent. This means somebody could say, "hey, I like your body designs, I'd like one of each" and turn around and copy them and call them THEIR design. Now, if they apply for the patent before you, you're screwed, now all your hard work and design is for nothing. The problem with releasing them to the public (and I believe it's already considered releasing to the public since you've shown your designs here) is that you only have one year to apply for the patent from the date that you released it.

By the time I showed the first Leviathan, the patent had already been applied for.

Also, in the same vein as Perry is talking about. Suppose you do become a big name guitar builder, look at how many fake LP's, or Strats get sold on ebay everyday as the real deal. Do you really want some abortion of a guitar using your body being sold as a "metal matt prototype 2005" or whatever?

When I started out, I stated strictly as a custom modification shop. No complete guitars, only mods on existing guitars. Then the first guitars I built as complete customs were based on existing designs. I never offered one of my own designs until I was protected and ready to sell them ONLY as complete guitars. I get many emails every week asking for Leviathan bodies only, sorry, won't do it. Complete Leviathan's only.

It's really not cheap to do your own designs, the first 3 leviathan prototypes with the jigs, and patents have cost me an incredible amount (I'll tell you in PM if you want to know) but they're protected, I know that Fender, Gibson, Jackson, Ibanez, or any regular john smith on the street cannot legally copy them.

Since these are your own designs, I'd just hate to see you lose out on a possibly large potential for sales in the future.

Jeremy

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Hey Man I would Like To know!

!!METAL MATT!! :D

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if you need to ask Matt, you cant afford it... seriously, patenting is expensive!

You got that right Perry! but, if some big organization steals your design and starts selling tons of guitars you'll sure wish ya had one :D

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if you need to ask Matt, you cant afford it... seriously, patenting is expensive!

Yes it is. I looked around alittle on Canada's patent website because I had an idea for something and my friend said it was only a couple hundred dollars to patent something......WRONG!!!!!!! It was thousands. $2000 alone to have the governor general look over and approve your patent, not to mention a yearly fee that increases evey few years for 20 years, and nasty penalties if you miss the payments, from what I recall, as well as paying a patent attorney......

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SH!T what The he11 Is pore Bum like me suppose to do! There Is no way I can afford that :D Ok what About this registered mail thing Im hearing about

what kind of protection would doing that offer me, anything I can do That wount require me to sell my liver and kidneys!! they happen to be very usefull

to me :D

!!METAL MATT!! B)

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i guess you could say it's like university or college tuition. Maybe Matt you could do what Perry said, get 1-2 jobs, keep going and build guitars, combined with

When I started out, I stated strictly as a custom modification shop. No complete guitars, only mods on existing guitars. Then the first guitars I built as complete customs were based on existing designs.

then make a nice budget and put a percentage of money towards the whole patent thing and all.

but what do i know. i'm just a 18 year old lol

EDIT: don't think it's the end of the world. You're 21 or 22? you got time to get this whole thing off the ground. Heck, my Brother is turning 25 in September and he's still in university lol.

-Jamie

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The registered mail thing is useless when it comes to design protection. It's more of a simple way to copywrite written word. Text, music etc. Even then, it's not a sure thing, but as for design protection, it offers nothing.

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Man I didn't think having good ideas could suck so much! Matt if you are still totally into making it eventually, maybe you should just post your not so good designs, because these guys are right you don't want to lose out on all your good ideas. Still build them and take pictures, just put them in a folder named future PAF file. That really sucks but it may be worth your while to do.

If you patented a design, would it be better to sell off your design to a major company, build and sell yourself, or give the design to a company and take royalties if thats how it works? Jason

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Ok now This Is something That I have thought of for a long time Now, How do I sell my designs to a larger company? Do I need to have my design's patented before I can do anything like that? Has anyone ever done anything like this before? And It this A bad idea?

!!METAL MATT!! :D

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If you patent it before you sell your designs (or rather the license to use your designs), the companies will have to, I believe, pay you royalties. If you don't patent it, they will buy the design, patent it themselves, and you won't get anything more.

You might be able to get a company to buy licenses for your designs, but common sense would say that they would rather buy the design outright because it means more money for them.

If you are wanting to really get into the business, I would say either patent the designs or don't sell them yet.

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If you don't have a patent protection you're just asking for the major guys to take your design and run with it because I guarantee that they will have a patent application ASAP. You probably won't even get the opportunity to sell the design to them because they'll already have stolen it.

As for selling designs, talk to Kevan about licensing and what you have to go through. Finding a company who likes your design enough to use it without making enough modifications to simply call it their own will be the first challenge. Typically taking your designs out to companies is not the way to do it. They want to see the market value of it first, this usually means they will not be interested unless you can show them that yes, it's popular and it sells well. They are more interested in designs they "discover" rather than designs that somebody is trying to push on them.

My personal opinion is, don't design a guitar ever in hopes of selling it to a major manufacture, they have designers hired already :D Design a guitar for yourself, or because you want to build it for people. Just make sure your ass is covered because if a big company decides to jump on board with it, you don't want to be ripped off.

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Matt, you've gotten (as have many of us reading along) excellent advice here. Far be it for me to put myself into a position of someone who is entitled or experienced enough to offer another builder advice but I have a question/point as well:

Unless I'm mistaken, I've yet to see a full build of yours. That is, neck, fretboard or a poly/nitro (sprayed, sanded, polished) finish. I, like you, hope to be able to sell my guitars one day and I don't think I'd consider myself ready if I couldn't do those things. That's why, for my first guitar, I decided to build the neck, etc.

I don't have the history here that others, like you, do but I seem to see mostly, bodies and designs of yours and I think, only one complete guitar (the Impaler) with a pre-built neck.

Please don't be offended but wouldn't you think you'd need more experience in those areas and more whole guitars under your belt before you could go into business? You'd only be better for it.

I love your enthusiasm for what we do and look forward to seeing what else you've drawn but find myself hoping to see more than drawings and bodies off the bandsaw. Know what I'm trying to say?

I've PM'ed you before so you know how highly I think of you and hope I'm not taken out of line here. Keep it up, Matt.

Oh, and I'm a little confused by this quote by, I think, Perry...

what they will do, use MATTs name to boost THEIR chances of on selling

Again, begging my pardon, would anyone outside of this forum or maybe the Moser site, know who "METAL MATT" is? I'm not sure how someone could use his name to boost their chance of selling something. I'd tend to think that the Ebay community is no more aware of a METAL MATT than they are of CudBucket or Micter etc.

Dave

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i think you gotta slow things down a bit matt. I know you like money (hell so do i), and building guitars, but remember you got time, you're young, its not the end of the world, so don't worry about trying to get all these bodies out right away.

if you get a patent and sell the body to a company, and you keep building them and selling them, their is a possibility of a lawsuit going on there.

LGM is right, companies aren't all gung hoe to taking independent designs, look at what happened with Les Paul. He brought in his first design, they laughed at him, now it's not so much Les paul is Gibson but Gibson is Les Paul. They have other popular designs but none so much as Les Paul. There are a few times too when Gibson screwed around Les Paul with royalties, endorsements, and other things. I think the most noted was with the SG. Les Paul wanted to change the design and Gibson said no and pulled the plug on him (i believe). Every recent picture i've seen of Les Paul he's playing the Les Paul recorder, it seems like him and Gibson have a social agreement, "lets leave each other alone until some kind of anniversary comes up" lol.

I say forget about patenting and selling the idea. I say make yourself some small goals and large goals and write down what you're going to do to attain them, and work your way up, and if you're stuck you can always PM LGM, Myka, Perry or anyone else around here that i forgot to mention who has their own guitar business.

"If you BUILD them, they will come" - if you really love what you're doing, and work at it extremly hard, you can make it. No one says "NICE AXE MATT!" for nothing.

-Jamie

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Again, begging my pardon, would anyone outside of this forum or maybe the Moser site, know who "METAL MATT" is?  I'm not sure how someone could use his name to boost their chance of selling something.  I'd tend to think that the Ebay community is no more aware of a METAL MATT than they are of CudBucket or Micter etc.

Dave

That may be a fact, but it is totally irrelevant when some guy who DOES decide to part himself with an abortion of a guitar build, advertises it as "i built this from a body by METAL MATT, bla bla" People who DONT know matt are more likely to remember an abortion than they are to say to themselves "hmmm, ok, here is a really reaallly badly built guitar, im just going to assume METAL MATT DESIGNS who MADE THE BODY (according to the seller), only did the bits that were perfect, the same bits i didnt even notice because i was too busy crying from laughter at some poor souls attempt at building guitars..... what was it that stuck in my mind, oh yeah METAL MATT DESIGNS"

Now tell me, when i say the word "LITCHFIELD" what do you think of??

a guy who made thousands of posts in this forum?

a guy who has a wife and kid?

a guy who honestyly helped out here, and was even a moderator?

a guy who got the carrieburst thread to 500 pages long?

OR

a guy who used food dye for stain (one thread)

a guy who made terrible terrible guitars (three guitars, three threads)

??

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I understand your point Perry, I just think that right now, Matt is well under the radar. Oh, and hopefully he wouldn't use METAL MATT DESIGNS as a commercial name! :D Can't say that would inspire me to buy.

As for Litchfield is concerned, I think all that happened before my time although I get the drift there. Are those threads still available for reading?

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