90% More Awesome. 11% More Human.
What "Small Batch Level III Boutique Production..." really means.
The Creative Vision. That's the fun part. It's the Level III part that's the hard one. To work up into. To direct. And to maintain.
Many a night was spent Skyping with our CAD designer pal Yuri in Sri Lanka while working up
our initial rounds of CAD formatted templates for our first Classic Series guitars.
For our DYNAMIC Models, our onsite CAD designer Harrison is right at our new factory, able to instantly
make revisions and refinements as we tweak our specs during production. It was a joy envisioning and designing
these guitars, and hopefully that comes through in the final product. (For our first run we made 18 guitars. )
Who doesn't love getting creative with an Excel spreadsheet?
We squeeze our tiny Boutique-size production runs (usually 12 per model, doing 4-5 models at a time, so maybe 48-60 total) in between the huge waves of 2,000 piece orders from the big name big box store brands, following runs with production stamps such as "Prestige" and "LTD."
We feel our unique small-scale process and tight quality controls throughout production creates a guitar
several steps above similar pricepoint mass-produced cookie-cutter competitors.
Sure our guitars are handmade (just like everybody's.)
There's a misconception about the term "handmade guitar." Because even in the most modern high-tech
high volume factories, it's quite surprising how much hand-time is involved. On every guitar. Every step of the way.
And all the more so on a small batch limited run of custom-spec'd guitars, as the number is comparatively so small
it's usually not worth it to set up any automated equipment, and better to simply do most all of the work by hand.
Modern technologies do speed up certain steps in production while bringing a higher degree of precision and consistency,
which can sometimes be a good thing and sometimes not such a good thing. But either way, so much of the detail work and
finish work still requires hand-time. And a lot of it.
(How our warehouse shelf is labeled for incoming guitars.)
Even with the tightest factory quality control we can muster, our Level III spec'd guitars
still often require reassembly, adjustments large and small and a full final set-up.
I would actually greatly prefer they were perfect right out of the box,
but many of our customers seem relieved to hear our guitars receive
"Final Assembly & Set Up" in the USA.
Recap: 90% More Awesome. 11% More Human.
This is then the fine line of "Small Batch Level III Boutique Production" - custom shop size production with lots more
hand-time, unique high end features and components...and then, often somewhere a little moustache on the Mona Lisa.
In this way, amid a sea of conformity and uniformity, perhaps there is a bit more of a human element in these guitars.
But even if they are somehow not 100% flawless, they are certainly not bland. And they do have personality.
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