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One Piece Guitar


lobo
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I was trying out one of the one piece guitars that pauliemc has on here in a store today. there was a bolt on version of the same guitar beside it with the same hardware on it. the difference in tone was huge, even with mahogany bodys on both guitars.

i liked the one piece more but it was 2 times the cost,

has anyone else on here ever tried a one piece guitar ? what are the benafits & why do they cost so much more?

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I'm surprised it was only double the price for a one piece. The difficulty in finding a piece appropriate timber big enough would increase the price, as would the amount of timber that would be wasted compared to a guitar built as separate body and neck. Then as Our Souls mentioned, the technical challenges building it would make it even more.

That said, I wonder if you would notice the same difference in tone with a neck through compared to a bolt-on. Or if the differences can be attributed to the specific instruments - timber from the same tree can give different tone, so it may be more of an individual instrument difference than a construction difference.

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I've played a few one piece guitars from by a few different builders (well not really one piece, they all had some wood removed & glued in to put in a truss rod, & most of them had fretboards that even if they were from the same piece were sliced off then glued back on, & often have fretboard shims). I find it to be diminishing returns compared to neck through or even long tenon set necks.

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I thought Paulie used mostly walnut?

But yeah,Paulie actually builds them from one large piece of wood,so the cost of the wood is much,much more..plus the difficulty and time involved is very high..so yeah.Paulie is a niche builder..he builds a specific thing that nobody else really offers...and I have seen his prices and they are extremely reasonable for the product offered

Did Paulie build the bolt on as well?

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The guys have kinda said it all above when it comes to the price for my Lotus models.

The time involved in just finding a piece of timber large enough to accomodate a neck/body/headstock single piece is prohibative. Added to that, the man hours involved in carving one & not having the neck warp is sometimes double or more the time involved in a traditional set neck. Lotus models often take well in excess of 6 months to make because of the time required to trim the neck down & avoid warpage. Whereas an Alpha model (the bolt on version of a Black lotus model 6) is typicaly finished in less than 3 months with time to spare.

So I charge a standard fee of €2000.00 for a Black Lotus, be it the 6 or the 247 model. Thats less than most factory standard models, So I personaly dont think its expensive. For what it is I feel the cost is fair, but I have been told I should up the cost by at the very least €1500.00. But I cant justify that kind of cost for such a simple instrument.

Westheman .

Yea i typicaly use walnut for these things, but I have done a few in Sapele, Limba & birds eye maple.

I know the guitars he tried out. I loaned 2 of my personal guitars to a local store to try them out. The lotus he tried was my own personal Black lotus 6 model. Its sapele.

The bolt on version is the shops own Alpha. its sapele with a birdseye neck.

So to answer you lobo, I charge double the cost of the bolt on because its a bitch to build a lotus compared to a standard, & the exclusivity of the model demands a higher cost ;)

Although the prices I currently charge wont be around for ever, As I sell more, expand & my overheads rise, so will my prices. So get em while they are affordable <_<

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There realy is no comparing one of those to a bolt on guitar. I played a JS single piece he has with a trap neck on it & just so nice to have in your hands. even with a square neck it just felt right.

costs are funny with him. he hates charging loads of cash for his work, says it doesnt "feel right" because he finds it so easy to do this stuff it not even like its proper work to him.

but i kinda have to say good things about the lotus because I HAVE ONE ORDERD :hyper

for a custom built playable sculpture the price is a joke, its like stealing.

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the other thing i tink i should mention. I talked to a few other people before i was pointed to aeolian. the quotes i got were between €4000 - €6000. some places just wudent take the comision. so its not like you can even just go to a store & get something like this.

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Well done Paulie......and it sounds like you are being invited to make a little more on your masterpieces. I am envious of those guys that get to test drive your guitars.

SR

Yea. another lotus getting ready to go out the door. I realy like building these things but they so rarly get orderd. biggest issue is the time involved in building one.

I was talking to lobo in the workshop today, checking the neck dims, hardware, weight & balance were OK for him on the Omega he is getting. He was trying to prize a lotus style jem out of me, Im building it for a friend as a gift - so no joy there. :D

The guys in the store that had a loan of my own guitar said it didnt go down too well with the majority of customers, They said the feedback they got most was that the thing was too cheap to be genuine, that It must have fake duncans & cheap knockoff chinese hardware. So they started asking the test players what they taught it cost before they told them the price & I couldnt believe some of the numbers that were coming up. one guy rekoned it was around €5000.00 second hand (used) & probobly about €8000.00 for a custom comission. He based this on his factory customised PRS costing him €11000.00 *** ??

I realy dont understand these kinds of prices for such simple guitars. Something like an arch top or mykahs sunbeam or dragonfly OK. but a fookin solid body ? for €11000.00

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Not for a Lotus, couldnt possibly justify it. The most expensive gitir I ever built was €6000.00. & that was one of my ultra custom omega models.

It had a 5 piece multi laminate neck with birds eye maple, ebony pinstriping & a AAA flamed maple scarfed headstock, ebony board with jeweled heather block inlays, flamed maple binding. body was carved front & back from Quilted maple, F holes on the front bound in abalone, red cedar core so chambered the thing had braces like an archtop. trapeze tail piece made of ziricote (only piece i have ever had here) 3 TV Jones humbuckers, a tun-o-matic with piezos, lignum knobs, waverly tuners, a custom fit aluminium flight case. The absolute works. Must have had over 300 hours in it. & even with all that I still did not feel right charging that price.

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I understand guilt. You need to step back and look at not only the market but what your name has become in the industry. Not saying you should charge 11k for every geet you build but it seems that others think you are underselling yourself which is also an issue.

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It's not an issue.People with large overhead think everyone should sell guitars for exorbitant amounts so that they themselves don't look overpriced.

Charging as much as the market will bear is no way to build a business.you start by charging less than the competition,because it is going to take some serious cash savings to get people to buy from you instead of the guys with the bigger names.You build up your name and then when you start having trouble keeping up with the orders that's when you raise your prices.

Everybody is about money,money,money these days,and I think it's nice that Paulie keeps his reasonable..after all,inside we are all still the same kid that wished he could afford a better guitar and could not.

Personally,I think Paulie's price list is right on the money.Those same goobers that complained it must be "fake" because of the price would still never buy it if it was 5k because then it would be "too expensive". Sales dictate prices,not idle guitar shop talk

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As usual Wes is spot on. the cost does not dictate the quality of the instrument. I have plenty of work come my way month after month from guys with brand new Gibsons or Fenders they paid well over €2000.00 for, all needing fret levelling, dress & setup. & some of them cant be helped even with that work.

I see no reason to up my prices at this point. in fact im in the process of sourcing a cnc machine to allow me to produce standard models at a reduced cost. let the machine knock about %70 of the hours out of the build.

As to the guys who knocked the guitars in-store, 2 of them have been in & ordered guitars.

& lobo (the guy who started this thread) found me in a similar fashion.

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i was asking about the price here because so many of you are guitar makers & would know things about this that i would never think of. i didnt think it was so much different to a normal styl bolt neck guitar. but i saw 2 in the aeolian workshop when i was checking out my new guitar. it seems to be so much more complicated but you would never even think of it when you pick one up to play. it looks & feels so simple when it finished.

PS.

if paulie makes you a guitar dont let him play it. he plugd in a V he has to demo some pickups for my guitar & i was embarrised to take the guitar after him,

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Never be embarrassed.There will always be someone better than you.I am 90% a rhythm guitarist and people blow me away on leads all the time,but IMO some rock solid riffing is more pleasant to listen to than a speed competition...

If keeping up with current music trends has taught me anything,it's that it is all about the music...you don't have to be overly competent...just look at Kurt Cobain.Great songwriter but a guitar hack

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interesting, glad someone does this. My first fully from scratch project is going to be a "one piece" (body and neck with headstock from a different piece). I know I'm ambitious but I did learn a lot from my first refurbishing project. If I might pick your brain though on one thing, I'm struggling to come up with a surefire way to angle the neck other than slowly working it with hand tools or creating some rediculous jig. every other aspect I feel very confident about, just really concerned about getting a slight angle in my neck. Any other tips or tricks would be much appreciated as well if you are willing to part with them.

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I don't see any reason that you couldn't do it like an angled neck through with a shim from the 16th fret (± depending on the desired angle/scale) calculate the appropriate neck drop, & plane it to spec w/ a #6, #7, or #8 plane.

Tim is correct. You would preferably dodge the neck angle & do a flat set guitar. The main reason (for me) is that the only glue I want to use is to apply the fret board. the addition of the shim from the 16th fret & the angled headstock would taint my Lotus philosophy. As little glue joints as possible is my goal.

Also. working an angle into the neck would mean that the grain of the neck is not running along the correct axis, ie - with the strings. This would be an issue for me. In a case like a Les paul, where there is a pronounced neck angle I still maintain the single piece philosophy. The neck is made with the grain of the timber & the body is then carves on an angle. So for the sake of the build I angle the body & not the neck. this wa I maintain straight grain in the neck, where I want it.

But making a one piece with a neck angle is very very expensive. A billet of timber would need to be sourced that was 14 inch wide, about 4 foot long & 4-4.5 inch thick. all with the grain running is a fairly uniform direction.

The guitar you propose is best tackled as a multi laminate neck thru. Try it as a one piece when you have a bit more experiance. Trust me, a one piece needs to be worked very slowly to prevent the neck from twisting & even at 6 months for an average Black lotus (which is a very simple looking guitar) I will typicaly loose 2 out of every 10.

Sorry if im being a bit vague here as Im a bit fried at the moment. But I do have a build thread for a black lotus on here that you can follow that may help you a little. Although it does not realy go into intimate detail on the process, It still may help

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Yeah,I don't know how you do it...The most I would go is a neck through where the neck blank is wide enough to cover the entire bridge.I do have a Steinbergerish thing I want to do soon which will be a one piece in order to attempt to counter the lack of "tone" normally present in such a guitar,but obviously without a headstock and large body the wood required will be minimal

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