It was a whirlwind 2 day trip to the World Instruments factory in South Korea. At the time of writing this we should have a shipping update from them regarding when the Run 2 guitars will be headed for Australia very soon. On top of clarifying final aspects of the run we have setup many great things for future runs, as well as our Korean pickup models that you can by individually in different colours and standard scale formats, and other secret things we can't disclose just yet!
UPDATE RUN 1+3 - CUSTOMSHOP STUFF - FUTURE RUNS - ETC:
So, we will have a total of FIVE variations of colours for Run Three.
Firstly, this is primarily an SX run, so four colours will be available: 6/7 string, no lefties
Clear Deep Blue over Flame Maple
Charcoal over Flame Maple
Azure Blue (Matte, not gloss)
... and one more TBA
Also, one HypeGTR model will be available: 6/7/8 string, no lefties
Natural Swamp Ash (Matte)
ETA for release of Run Three? Approximately 2-3 weeks. No fixed date, as we are working on Run 1 shipping and need to concentrate on that.
There will be THREE payment plans. Unfortunately, when we offered the "low deposit and lower monthly payments to help people out" plan during run 2, it caused no end of problems. Non payers, arguments (they get an email every payment with a tally direct from paypal, but still argue they are $500 ahead..), etc etc. So, we have decided to no longer offer this. We tried it, but it didnt work. Sorry.
The plans we will have are: (all aussie dollars)
OPTION 1: Pay in full ($50 shipping rebate applies)
OPTION 2: 3 x equal payments of $500, with a final invoice at shipping time.
OPTION 3: 1 x $500 deposit, plus 3 x $300 payments ($900), one per month, with a final invoice at shipping time.
So, the minimum you will need to pre-order, will be $500 AUD ($375 USD)
There will not be a "Limited Ten", like we did for Run 2. Don't know what that is? Don't worry...
We are CONSIDERING a two price structure:
One for Aussies (in AUD). One for 'rest of world' in USD. Ultimately, the same price, but it protects us against movements in exchange rates, keeps payments consistent, and makes it easier for our overseas buyers to see the true price (rather than convert from AUD, or be confused by a higher number they think is USD but isnt...)
The future: There will be a change in pricing later this year. It may be that the pricing stays the same, but cases become an optional extra. Run 1 was always a "introductory price", and it was supposed to be revised for either run two or three. We will hold out until run five if we can.
Run 1 was a total of 257 guitars.
Run 2, 368.
Run 3 will be no more than 250 pre-orders. We will be limiting the volume for our sanity. Future runs will be the same or smaller.
Run 4 will be approximately 6-8 weeks after Run 3. It will feature the HypeGTR model in FOUR colours (2 x paint, 2 x exotic tops), plus a special TX model (most likely a one off model)
As we move forward, we would like to do something LIKE this:
Every second run is a HypeGTR run. Alternative runs are model specific, eg: SX, TX, Goliath, Metal, Split Top, etc etc. In addition to every ALTERNATIVE run, we offer a single HypeGTR model in very cut down specs. No fancy tops, etc. For every main HypeGTR run, we offer one of the other models as a single cut down version (mahogany TX in matte clear, for example).
Goliath: We are still developing hardware. We hope to have a manufacturing date of late September, which means a release date of mid May.
We have ordered 30 prototypes to be built of various models and colours, as predictions of where we will head over the next 12 months. We have ordered: Metal, Split Top, TX, Hype, SX, Goliath, and two new models being straight scale single and double cutaway shapes.
Some changes will be implemented, regarding colour changes and cancellations. To date we have been EXTREMELY accommodating. Unfortunately, people have been taking advantage of this. The new rules will be fair, but firm. They will be much more generous than the law allows us to be. We will also be bringing in a "no change of ownership" rule. Our contract will be with the original purchaser, and no one else. We will not ship to anyone else. We are currently experiencing major issues between original purchasers, and new owners, before their guitars have even shipped. New buyers just want a guitar. Old clients dont want to settle the bill or confirm a sale. New clients are filling in the form for shipping. We can cross reference it against a sale... No more.
CustomShop runs: We were going to announce something this month. But, we have too many cool projects we want to do instead, so there will be no announcements yet. What I can say is this: runs will be smaller, but more often.
SemiCustom runs: nothing new to report, we are still working out the finer details.
Run 1 stuff:
We have been setting up guitars, checking frets, and if needed, fret levelling, then removing strings to polish frets, adjust pickups, etc etc etc etc. We trialled a new sequence, that simply bypasses the first check altogether, and goes straight to a full fret level REGARDLESS of if it needs it or not (one swipe of the fret level file and we can see anyway). It's actually quicker this way, by a long shot.
Our QC sequence: (*indicates we move to a new member of the team so we are all working on the same guitars and can potentially see more issues easier, each guitar is viewed at least six times by up to four people)
Remove plates - check solder joints
Remove nut and tape to F/B
Pack pickups to avoid wobbles
Inspect neck and fix satin if needed 1500grit
Inspect paint and buff if needed
800, 1200, 1500, 2000 grit frets
Smooth off nut edges etc
Setup action 1.3mm treble – 1.6mm bass
Check for buzzing
Pre-final check over
*Final check over
*Load into case/box
Run 1 spares:
Will be released when we are ready to release them. Pestering us will not give you priority. smile emoticon Just be patient.
If we find any guitars with paint blemishes that we do not feel are within spec, we will be respraying them. They will be unique colours not available in the normal runs, so we can experiment and see what looks nice. These will then be offered up at a later date.
We are planning to move into a larger premise later this year. This will give us a heap more space for stockpiling timbers (we are over capacity right now, my spa has been emptied and used for storage), cases (my patio is like case tetris right now), shipping boxes (games room? WHAT GAMES ROOM!), and also allow us to keep stock of GTRs so that runs are less important.
We would also love a small showroom for the local guys, and to bring back the guitar making courses.
At the moment, we could easily handle an extra set of hands around the shop for basic stuff like cleaning and sorting out bits and pieces, but with three of us full time its quite cramped.
We do have a couple locations we are looking at, one being the very same location we started at 12 years ago, but the main workshop, not the side room smile emoticon
So far, signed on, with stock arriving soon:
Red Dragon Guitars (USA) (Jon Pugh)
Lefties Guitar Emporium (AUS - NSW) (mostly lefty stock but some righties, Troi Darlington)
Goodger Music (AUS - QLD) (Nathan Goodger)
Kosmic Sound (AUS - WA) (Alex Lassetter)
Been talking with a LOT more, but, they are all dragging their feet. So, we continue to do direct sales for now...
Starting this weekend we will be emailing people with details on how and when their guitar will ship. There are a lot of people to email, and this process will take TWO WEEKS. If you email to hassle me about when you are getting that email... please note I WILL delay your email smile emoticon (im not even joking, seriously, there are always people who feel they deserve more attention and priority over others. They will be shown that's not the case)
There will be a "no case needed" option, for those that would like to save a bit on the final bill (you'll be credited for a case $$$). Yes, we do know how to package guitars for international travel. Yes the 'no case' option is shipped in a nearly bomb proof box. Yes your import charges and duties will be lower if the case is not included. Yes, your shipping is slightly less also.
Emails will go out based on which plan you chose. Emails will go out based on if you made all your payments or not (priority to those that actually paid!).
Included in the email will be details on what you can use your vouchers for. TIP: It is for products we sell/make. Vouchers are for ORIGINAL PURCHASERS, and will not be sent with any instrument that was sold on the second hand market.
There MAY be an opportunity for some of you to change colours/number of strings/model. HOWEVER, there will be a $$$ penalty for this.
Spares will be release after all orders are shipped. Do not email us asking for a priority or special favour. Some spares will be reserved for dealers and endorsees. There will be an announcement within this group when spares are available, followed by an email to the mailing list (go sign up).
The BassGTR is ready for release this weekend (we will post in this group). We have opened for orders to those that assisted in the design. There are three colours (DragonBurst pictured), and 4, 5 and 6 strings. There will be no more bass runs this year, only this one. Left handed basses are not available.
We're just about to launch the BassGTR lineup. The people who paid for the advanced buy-in***, and assisted with the specifications and design, will be invited to purchase within 24 hours. From there, we will open it up to everyone here within this group, and then, the general public and mailing list smile emoticon
There will be:
4, 5 and 6 strings
Carbon neck reinforcement
The rest of the details you'll have to wait for, but without a doubt, I honestly feel this is the highest level of performance and specifications at this price point (and above).
Hope you guys like what we came up with!
*** If you dont know what this is, it's safe to say you aren't included in that list... but don't stress, you'll be able to purchase too.
GTR Range Blog for updates