Your instrument...stock or custom?

My custom guitar, and Phil Keaggy - This photo is of Phil Keaggy's concert in 2002, where he played my custom Zion guitar, shown here. On the left is the guitar's designer, Ken Hoover, prior owner of Zion Guitars. Ken now works at another company called Moriah Guitars. Check out both sites at and
United States
October 1, 2009 12:39pm CST
Some people say that custom made instruments are more expensive than stock. Taking guitars for instance, I nearly bought a $1500 Ibanez, but decided to spend an extra 450 to get one made from the ground up for me. I still love and play that one of a kind piece. On the other hand, there are some manufacturers out there (Gibson cough cough...Fender cough cough...) that think they can sell "vintage" spec instruments for insanely high prices ($3500-6000) a piece. These marked up guitars have no additional features or special wood used...they just have the feel, that to most, is indistinguishable from a $1000 model. Why not pay the same amount and get one special made for you from a luthier who can give you more than you could ever get in a stock instrument? For instance, I have been thinking about a Les Paul for a while, but couldn't stomach paying the price for the name. I found a great guy who will build me everything the way I want it, let me choose the setup and electronics...even put in an acoustic pickup system!...all for 3500, and in my opinion, how can a Les Paul compare? The same goes for brother finally got himself a set of custom Truth drums. He says the sound is unbeatable (I'm a guitarist so drum sounds really isn't my forte) What about you? Have any experience with this dilemma?
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