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We are currently about to start developing a range of kits for the DIY community, based around our Multiscale designs.

These will be manufactured in Indonesia, rather than the usual Chinese kits, to allow for a high quality level. This will of course mean they are a little more $$$ too.

We plan on 6 and 7 string versions, but there are some things we arent sure about.

Most kits come as a premade body, and you basically finish it yourself with oil or lacquer, then assemble. Usually a headstock is either precut, or its the paddle arrangement so you can design your own.

We'd like to consider either having a precut body, OR simply a body blank with all relevant routs completed (eg: pickups, controls, neck joint, plus bridge location). This will allow end users to cut their own body, but still avoid the more difficult parts like routing.

So, you'd be free to design and cut your own body shape, plus your own headstock, but still have a completed neck shaft, frets, control and pickup routs, neck joint, etc.

Of course, all kits will include hardware and pickups too, with upgrades available. 

Thoughts?

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Selling body blanks and mating necks with all of the important geometry and precision work done is a great fast track to a finished instrument, and being a blank allows the buyer to take ownership over the physical appearance.

The Ormsby name carries a lot of weight these days, so congratulations on your hard work gaining traction and paying off. I'll talk to you more about this on Facebook....

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Sounds nice kind of a mid level kit that would allow for different unique body shapes.

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I like the concept for what is going be included in the kit.

I'll be interested in seeing what kind of response it gets. On one hand those that are ready to tackle a multi-scale build stand a good chance of already having the skills required. On the other there may be plenty of multi-scale enthusiasts that are ready to jump into building with both feet.

SR

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We're the converted though. We have the abilities to take things from scratch. Kit building is a gateway into a deeper and far more pernicious building afflication.

I'm all for it, and I definitely want to be hands on with this Perry.

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Some more brain ideas:

  • One area where builders may want to put their own mark on their kit is to upgrade the pickups. Consider limiting the pickup routes to accommodate off-the-shelf units rather than custom slanted, for which the choices are much more limited. Also consider whether you want to do the pickup routes square to the body or angled to match the angle of the multiscale frets/bridge.
  • Will the control cavity be large enough to install a 9V battery if the builder wants to install actives?
  • Left-handed kits too?
  • I assume the kit is not going to be a reboot of a Strat or Les Paul as a multiscale incarnation, so the arrangement of the headstock no longer needs to follow those "traditional" shapes. Consider the pros and cons of offering a pre-drilled paddle headstock vs a plain paddle - If pre-drilled, what configuration will it be offered in (3x3, 6 inline, 6 inline reverse, 4x2, 2x4) Will you also include the tuners?
  • What about including documentation with the kit? Maybe not a full blown set of assembly instructions like in an Airfix kit, but certainly something more akin to assembly tips. Stuff like how to check alignment between neck and body, recommended minimum tools required to put the kit together, wiring diagrams etc

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4 hours ago, curtisa said:

Some more brain ideas:

  • One area where builders may want to put their own mark on their kit is to upgrade the pickups. Consider limiting the pickup routes to accommodate off-the-shelf units rather than custom slanted, for which the choices are much more limited. Also consider whether you want to do the pickup routes square to the body or angled to match the angle of the multiscale frets/bridge.

We have a full range or 6, 7 and 8 string slanted multiscale specific pickups coming soon :)

  • Will the control cavity be large enough to install a 9V battery if the builder wants to install actives?

Ultimately, we wont offer slanted actives, but there would be space for a 9v if a preamp was required.

  • Left-handed kits too?

So far my experience has been that lefties are very vocal about wanting guitars, and very laid back about ordering. Lefties have a 50% higher order cancellation rate, and a 50% higher chance of changing their ordered. Its amazing the stats you can start generating once orders increase. We came out guns blazing on the GTR range, including lefties. Unfortunately, the profits from righties have been enough to support the order volumes required for lefties, but honestly the volumes being sold are not worth it. We've continued anyway, despite my accountant's protests. Lefties, if possible, would be well after the regular right hand models have been proven to sell.

  • I assume the kit is not going to be a reboot of a Strat or Les Paul as a multiscale incarnation, so the arrangement of the headstock no longer needs to follow those "traditional" shapes. Consider the pros and cons of offering a pre-drilled paddle headstock vs a plain paddle - If pre-drilled, what configuration will it be offered in (3x3, 6 inline, 6 inline reverse, 4x2, 2x4) Will you also include the tuners?

Correct. If we predrill, we are limitng their choices of shape, BUT, we are also making it a tiny bit easier to achieve a good outcome. 

  • What about including documentation with the kit? Maybe not a full blown set of assembly instructions like in an Airfix kit, but certainly something more akin to assembly tips. Stuff like how to check alignment between neck and body, recommended minimum tools required to put the kit together, wiring diagrams etc

Having run building courses for years, we've got a pretty good handle on instructions :)

 

 

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1 hour ago, rhoads56 said:

We have a full range or 6, 7 and 8 string slanted multiscale specific pickups coming soon :)

Even so, don't discount that some buyers may already have a set of Alumitones/EMGs/Bareknuckles/Dimarzios/GFS etc in mind for their kit and may want to drop them straight in. Or may want the option later on to experiment with swapping other brands in and out.

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I would guess that this has to be a balance between the sheer cost of adding in even one custom option versus a proposal that is more or less universal. I would suspect that the people that would buy the application-specific slanted pickups will outnumber those wanting another option. At least to the point that it would make the run profitable. Every custom option increases overhead, whether that's realised in the price of the end product or soaked up as part of the run in the first instance.

A true blank blank with no pickup routes and the option of purchasing templates might make this more flexible from a manufacturing standpoint I guess. That way the end user can take the responsibility on whether to use something outside of the manufacturing options.

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curtisa said:
  • Left-handed kits too?

So far my experience has been that lefties are very vocal about wanting guitars, and very laid back about ordering. Lefties have a 50% higher order cancellation rate, and a 50% higher chance of changing their ordered. Its amazing the stats you can start generating once orders increase. We came out guns blazing on the GTR range, including lefties. Unfortunately, the profits from righties have been enough to support the order volumes required for lefties, but honestly the volumes being sold are not worth it. We've continued anyway, despite my accountant's protests. Lefties, if possible, would be well after the regular right hand models have been proven to sell.

Whilst it sounds brutal on the face of it, that is what you have to do. Protecting and growing the business is always the number one priority. If that means lefties have to suck it for a while, depriving them of gruntles for a while is the way to go. I'm sure I might feel differently about this if I were a lefty.

 

curtisa said:
  • I assume the kit is not going to be a reboot of a Strat or Les Paul as a multiscale incarnation, so the arrangement of the headstock no longer needs to follow those "traditional" shapes. Consider the pros and cons of offering a pre-drilled paddle headstock vs a plain paddle - If pre-drilled, what configuration will it be offered in (3x3, 6 inline, 6 inline reverse, 4x2, 2x4) Will you also include the tuners?

Correct. If we predrill, we are limitng their choices of shape, BUT, we are also making it a tiny bit easier to achieve a good outcome. 

Is that important? I mean, there are so many things that an end user will have to do in order to realise the kit as a finished instrument that drilling for tuners is a minor task. Hell, providing printable PDFs for location marking and even supplying a cheap set of sized drills with the kit simplifies things in that respect! It opens up the options to the customer whilst reducing the number of operations needed on each blank kit.

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Obviously this is Perry's baby, however I am under the impression that this is a long game. The GTR runs seem to be occupying most of Perry's life space right now.

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I discussed this proposal with my wife, who has a lot of experience in music sales and instrument dealership management. There's something we can work out PG-side if that benefits the project. Again, it happens if and when it happens.

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Well, the market's there even if it hasn't been completely prepared or gathered up yet. People are more informed and capable now then they ever have been about self-builds. Multiscales have been Perry's du jour for more than a few journées, and he's continuining to define that market. Thing is like ProjectGuitar.com, the money needs to be there to develop the good ideas into fruition....currently that focus and resource is in the GTR, custom and finished product stuff; growing his brand so that it can either support or garner investment to maybe branch out to these ventures. At the very least, this is how it seems to me anyway.

I've stuck my brand in the fire. I think the Ormsby name is strong enough to generate a wave of self-builders making multiscale kits their own. Perry doesn't put out shit, doesn't talk it and people know that. Something genuinely lacking these days.

It is what it is.

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Yeah this will happen, especially now that my little group of luthier followers have all announced they will release kits too (seriously, does anyone not come up with their own ideas anymore?).

We will do 6+7 kits to start.
Blanks with routs + bodies ready to paint.

If we sell enough, then 8's will be added, plus headless, plus new shapes.

$500-600 AUD range all in. 

Hopefully we can have a kit where you choose hardware, pickups, etc all inclusive. 

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So completely finished rather than the paddle head? It cuts down on spec proliferation, definitely.

Original ideas are thin on the ground these days, Perry. Even when people think they've hit something unique, it's often the case that convergent evolution means somebody else more or less arrived at that same idea too. Cheers, golden age of information accessibility, cheers very 'king much. :party

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On 12 June 2016 at 6:27 PM, Prostheta said:

Original ideas are thin on the ground these days, Perry. Even when people think they've hit something unique, it's often the case that convergent evolution means somebody else more or less arrived at that same idea too.

 

Yep.

 

Kits are certainly not a new concept, but they are a nice little cash cow for when things are quiet, I was "ghost building" neckthru blanks for a Melbourne guy for years, doing the joinery but leaving the body and heel square, carving the neck and doing fret installation and leaving a headstock paddle. He then routes and sands, cuts his shapes and finishes, puts him name on them, no one the wiser. It is however something I've stopped as my own brand grows I'm taking on more of my own orders these days and don't have time.

 

In Perry's case it's another market to tap into, and in a multi-scale as opposed to the gazillions of standard kits on the market. Good on him. If it takes off then it's another income, if it doesn't, then it's still a success of sorts as he knows he tried and didn't just wonder "what if".

 

You only have to look at places like Warmoth or Carvin to see that entire businesses can be built around the "kit" guitar. Although these days I think Carvin is more focused on complete guitars than kits. Warmoth however are virtually a household name as far as kits go.

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23 hours ago, demonx said:

I was "ghost building" neckthru blanks for a Melbourne guy for years,

It amazes me how many "luthiers" actually dont do ANYTHING.

We employed a guy who had a fantastic reputation. Basically he would be "another Perry". He wasnt local, so we relied on skype for interviews. Wasn't until he started that we realised he was a 'bit rusty and needed a bit of time to settle in'. With all my commitments at the time, a month passes pretty easily. That's more than enough time to settle in, right?

Nope. We got so frustrated, that I made him sit down an write a list of jobs he could do without supervision. Demeaning? Yep, I was at my wits end. He actually asked one of my guys with help him compile that list:

1. solder jack wires to jack
2. Install jack if hole is in body
3. check jack works
4. put strings on
5. tune strings
6...

:(

It was only at this point he revealed that he used Fast Guitars in Canada for ALL but one build, and that one build was done in a class over six months....

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Sounds like a story I heard from a guy I know who hired a ex PRS inlay guy to do inlay for him, resume stated he had done inlays for years at PRS. 

 

Problem was when he was hired to work at the small handmade guitar workshop assisting with inlays, he didn't know how to, he had only ever taken parts from pile A and put them into parts from pile B.

 

Funny you mention "Fast Guitars" as  all these supposed "luthiers" popping up really irk me, starting Facebook pages and websites and selling to people who know no better, presenting themselves as real luthiers who are selling boutique guitars.

 

It's pretty insulting to all those who are real builders in my opinion. Plenty of them popping up on SSorg lately and I'm sure other places are riddled with them also.

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I dislike the term "luthier" since it should only apply to the real journeymen and masters with deep experience across more or less the entire field. I could see where the PRS guy thing was headed. He's probably at the same working standard as jack guy. A total expert....in everything there is to know in a very very narrow field....

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Please dont assume that because Im not here posting meaningless updates every week, that stuff isnt happening.

When the kits are ready, you'll know all about it.

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