Why You Should Buy a Custom Shop Guitar

So you’re looking to buy your next guitar. You might be skimming through websites upon websites, but nothing really stands out. How do you make sure you get exactly what you want? There’s only one answer…

Cian Hodge

Cian Hodge

As kids, every one of us pictured the perfect guitar we’d someday own after saving up all our pocket money (and most of us probably still do). You could make your dreams a reality when you order a custom-made instrument.

If you’re in the market for a guitar over £2500, it’s definitely worth exploring the idea of getting it custom made. This is the likely ballpark figure you’d pay at a minimum, stretching into the upper echelons depending on how glitzy or experimental you really want to get. If you want the best, you’re going to pay premium prices.

Very briefly, here’s why you should custom order a guitar:

  • You choose how it sounds and plays
  • Design the perfect looking guitar
  • Exclusivity – stand out from the crowd
  • It can last you a lifetime
  • Premium shopping experience

Best Guitar Builders in The World

There are luthiers around the world, from the smallest boutique company or one-man job right up to the guitar giants like Gibson and Fender who build completely made-to-order guitars for willing buyers.

Some companies build guitars from complete scratch in never-before-seen shapes, crazy finishes and equipped with custom-wound pickups and unique electronics. Others will give you a standard design and let you pick the types of woods, the colour and the hardware.

custom shop les paul

Why should you go through all this hassle for a guitar? Surely there are plenty out there to pick from already, one of which will surely match what you’ve imagined? Well, there’s a good chance a guitar with your perfect specs doesn’t exist. Maybe you thought you’d found the one – until you had the chance to play it and it simply didn’t match your expectations.

Unless you’ve been lusting over a very particular model, you’ve probably said to yourself: “I wish this guitar had a couple of tweaks to make it perfect.”

Pick Your Custom Specs

Luckily, there are loads of companies that offer a base concept, such as a Les Paul or Strat shape and leave it up to you to pick your ideal specs. This way you really can’t go wrong. Say, for example, a 10” fingerboard radius is too rounded and you’d prefer a 14” radius. Or the neck profile on a factory-made model is too thick and you’d prefer a different shape. With a custom shop guitar, you can pick and choose what suits your playing.

When it comes to colour and woods, just let your imagination run wild. Some custom shops keep it a bit more conservative, like Fender, with heavy relic’ing or ultra-thin satin finishes the most extreme options on offer. Pick your favourite woods, from birdseye maple to roasted ash, or AAA flamed maple to Okume.

Other companies like Warwick will go to town on it. Make your bass look like a pirate ship or something equally ridiculous – whatever you fancy.

All you have to do is a bit of research to discover what fits you best and then enter your order. The company will even take you through what each spec is and how it can affect the outcome of the guitar. This is the ultimate guitar shopping experience.

Andertons work with Fender, Gibson and Warwick to bring you your perfect instrument. Tell our experts what you’d like, in as much detail as you want, and we’ll discuss it with you and contact the company to get it built.

warwick custom bass

Tailor Your Experience

When you buy custom, you have the freedom to choose the colours, woods, pickups, hardware, number of strings, neck profile and headstock design from most manufacturers offering the service.

It can take a long time trying to find the perfect production guitar and sometimes it’s simply not worth waiting for the “the one” to appear by chance. After all, this is a guitar that could last a lifetime. You have to be happy with every little detail – what’s the point otherwise? Do your research and make sure you’re happy with the previous work of the luthiers making your guitar, because you won’t get a chance to try it out beforehand.

If you enjoyed this read, check out our other Industry articles!

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Cian Hodge
Cian Hodge
Cian is a writer for the Andertons team. He shares his birthday with Muse frontman Matt Bellamy and believes he will one day reach the same level of stardom. Cian is a big metal fan so naturally loves Bare Knuckle pickups and pointy guitars.

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