Skip to content
Notifications
Clear all

Guitar Kits Direct... Any experience anyone please...


(@grumps)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 18
Topic starter  

I really want to build a guitar from scratch, but i'm on a budget. From the photos i've seen these guitars look promising and FAIRLY simple for a beginner like me. If you keep in mind that i'm a newbie to making guitars and not the greatest player on earth, (though part of the appeal is understanding how they're put together), can anyone with experience of them tell me what they think of them? As I said i'm on a budget so I dont want a comparison to the real deal, but does anyone have a real experience of whether you get what you pay for? I realise that in part it depends on the work I perform putting it together but i'm asking about overall quality. Will I get my moneys worth or not?..


Quote
(@ezraplaysezra)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 487
 

I don't know this company. Generally, these kits are alright. If you're looking for a gibson type guitar check out bulldog guitars they usually have slight blems at really good price. For the most part the hard ware on these kits are garbage. So if you can buy a guitar only and piece the hardware together from the used market that's the way to go. Guitar fetish has great parts and kits too.


ReplyQuote
(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3711
 

Guitar fetish has great parts and kits too.
+1

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


ReplyQuote
 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

I hope this doesn't come off as errogant but I've built 9 guitars over the past 2.5 years. Mostly, strats and a couple of Tele's. I purchased all the parts from EBay dealers with good reputations with no issues that weren't my fault to start with. (Ordering the wrong finish and the dealers even trying to make it right)

I had no idea what I was doing other than only buying the best parts I could find. I ran into a few "fitting" issues and I'm no wood working expert but I have them all done but one and they all came out really sharp and easy to play. For any challenges I ran into I have a local shop that can fix anything, so I fall back on him when things get out of hand.

What I also found was I didn't save any money and when you start paying shipping on every item it tends to add up quick. I'm sure I have almost $500 USD in most of the guitars and I have no plans to sell any of them. however I did sell 2. And last year I got an order for one for a christmas present.

I basically only asked for what I had into them for parts. I don't feel my labor is yet good enough to charge for but there are also a couple of the guitars that I'll keep forever that came out perfect judging on look and playability.

I didn't go with kits as I wanted to be able to pick and choose the items to make each guitar. My biggest hang up was learning how to wire the pups correctly. I, apparently, am not an electrician, or more specifically, not that hot at soldering.

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


ReplyQuote
 Bish
(@bish)
Famed Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 3765
 

Here's a picture of the finished ones.

The two in the upper right (red and white) were sold already.

I have someone looking at the light blue one but nothing yet.

Bish

"I play live as playing dead is harder than it sounds!"


ReplyQuote
(@shadyharrison)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 279
 

That burst is gorgeous. :) If I were in the market for an electric, I'd be there like a shot. :)

Take care,

Casey


ReplyQuote
(@patriciavicious)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1
 

DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM GUITARKITSDIRECT.COM
I purchased a gift in AUGUST 2012 and still have not gotten the order or a refund when asked. I have called them numerous times and no one has answered and have sent COUNTLESS emails regarding the order with no reply. The tracking number they gave me doesn't work either. They are a scam. Do not buy anything from Guitar Kits Direct.


ReplyQuote
(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306
 

i'd like a figured maple telecaster like the one in the upper left. that looks so cool.


ReplyQuote
(@ezraplaysezra)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 487
 

I hear you Bish! Years ago I started thinking about getting a custom guitar made - than I got the price and I thought I can part out a guitar for much less, but I found some parts prices really high compared to others and I investigated it. Then it turned out getting the paint I wanted added hundreds to the price so I figured I could paint it myself, right. than I looked into buying the pickups I wanted and thought "how difficult would it be to make pickups?" I'm sure it wouldn't cost $80 per single coil ($8 actually)
Years on I have one hell of a workshop in my basement, every book ever produced about manufacturing guitars, wood working, machine design, pickup design and guitar repair and finishing ever produced, a degree in CAD and all told I have spent probably five times on tools what I would have spent on the original custom guitar! But it is the greatest Hobie in the world. I made a few guitars over the years and I'm building one now (slowly) - but I hope in the future to be banging them out pretty regularly, once my youngest is a little less time consuming (she's 7 months old).
Moral of the story: If you want to save money on a guitar buy the most expensive model you are interested in. If you want to labor intensely in pursuit of something you built yourself - get some books and go nuts.
PS I had ZERO wood working and electronics skills when I started and I still have all 10 fingers! Two are tad bit shorter, sure...but it becomes an obsession. I did a home remodel and had an unexpected baby so my new workshop is barely useable right now, but I day dream about building guitars all day long.

Tip of the day - Buy a neck, they are a lot of work to build and aren't too pricey - Musikraft in NJ USA is my favorite. ALL PARTS are great too if you aren't too picky about vintage accuracy. Either are great for under $200.


ReplyQuote
(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

I'm tossing around and reading about building pickups. Im lucky that im pretty handy, and can fix/build most anything. Ive got one lapsteel under my belt, and working out how to build a pickup for it. Not fond of the single coil I have in there... Next on my list is some form of a strat, or tele clone... as said... Ill probably by a neck.. I just love working on the things!!! Maybe in coming years my playing will catch up. :)

Paul B


ReplyQuote
(@ezraplaysezra)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 487
 

If you got something you can spin at a controllable rate you can build a pickup. The hardest part is maintaining tension on the coil as it winds and that is actually a breeze too. I built a pickup winding machine that cost me less than a set of GFS start pickups. The parts are readily available if you don't want to make them (bobbins are $1/per and magnets are about $.80 x's six) the only real expense is wire at about $50/lbs which you'll blow through fairly quickly while you're learning but after that half a pound will net you 4 or 5 pickups if I remember right.


ReplyQuote
(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Oh ya. I have no problem building a winder. I have all kinds of junk laying around. :D

Paul B


ReplyQuote
(@jackflash94)
New Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Hi Grumps......just came on to this site and saw your query.......

G.K.D or Guitarworks......give them as wide a berth as you can !!!!!

I ordered a Jem 77 Kit which was supposed to take 3 weeks for delivery.

Paid my money and waited....and waited......and waited ....for 3 1/2 months....multiple phone calls ,E Mails etc with no response but....... it did eventually arrive.

Nice kit and great finish to body and neck in raw timber (unspecified as to species of timber used ) NO assembly instructions.

The kits come from China and the components all fit as they should....I would suggest upgrading the pickups for better sound
but if it's the build experience you are after ( as was my first venture ) this is the way to go !!!!

I found multiple Kit manufacturers on Alibaba.com....including the same manufacturer as G.K.D/Guitarworx......you can order whatever style you want , and level of finish (including woodgrain , colour etc.

Prices they quote are delivered to your door with no hidden extras. Have a look and give them a go !!!

Regards,

Jackflash94


ReplyQuote