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Northfield

" Working Man Guitar "

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Part of the problem that arises every single time something is posted on a message board has been demonstrated in the posts above. 100 people/posters want 100 different things.

I think that the BUILDER needs to determine the design, and maybe look for a consensus around a couple significant features. Otherwise, it becomes an unmanageable effort of making every single guitar a totally unique, custom design. That's a fine idea, but when it requires making jigs, prototypes, etc., it could get way overblown in a hurry.

I really like Northfield's idea of a top quality, "workingman's" guitar at an affordable price point. Stick with something, like a Special (not necessarily the double cut LP Jr. style - just ONE body style), as the base platform, and add a small menu of simple upgrades or custom options. It CAN'T be a Strat or Tele, and it can't be anything that another company owns the design outright.

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Based on a Special.

Limited # of solid color options only.

Dual P90 or Humbuckers as options.

Set neck.

2-piece Mahogany body.

Dots only.

Rosewood fretboard.

No binding.

Stadium sized logo only.

Optional Northfield USA, Newman 60 USA, or JackAss USA logo (builder dependent)

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..., and it can't be anything that another company owns the design outright.

Maybe you could design a guitar entirely out of headstock designs...

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

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one pickup special with p90, with second or HBs as an option (not too hot), like butterscotch, wraptail. 1200 OTD (with Hamer quality touches of the neck and frets). I would be all over it... could I pick it up? I'll be there in 45 minutes~ I actually live on route 44... just way east :)

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

THIS! :D with a choice of pickups - HB, P90, even, dare I say, single coils! :ph34r:

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Right now Reverend has some real nice working mans guitars, they are imports, they are on the expensive side of imports, but the ones I own and have played can compete with any big name brand "Gibson, Fender" type axe.

If they could be built in USA at the same price point and be as good as the Rev's, I would be onboard for a try.

Cool Beans

Gene

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Not to be a debbie downer, but I would say working men buy used. So whatever you produce is going to have to compete with the used market and the more utilitarian the design, the more likelihood there will be several alternatives in that market. Good luck.

-

Austin

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Keeping it simple?

Flat-top Sunburst/ Special

Platform that can serve Gibby and Fender scales?

Revive Phantom A5/A7 body...

If it had a Hamer logo on it, you'd probably sell out a limited edition run, no problem (100, 250, 500?), recover costs, and maybe convince ownership there's equity.

New name? Then you're looking at a marketing effort to establish a brand, which could be accomplished virally if the HFC has a magic number of 1000 active/interested fans. Seth Godin "Tribe" concept.

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

This. ^^^

Possibly with something like a not-too pricey non-Floyd but quality whammy. Blade Runner comes to mind.

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Like others here, I think a relatively spartan flattop Special would do the trick. Models could be based on different pickup configurations:

2 HB

1 HB (perhaps with a Floyd for guys like Diablo)

2 p90

Tele SC/neck HB

Simple finishes, good fretwork, and solid neck joints as the top priorities, and you'd have a winner.

Still cannot believe I scored my USA P90 Special for $550 NIB back in the early-mid 90s. Hell, that guitar is nearly legal to buy beer now!

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

Yeah, just like this ^^^^^^^^^^^^

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

I'd buy that. I'd buy a revival bound sunburst style one too.

The hiccup, as Austin pointed out, is that it would have to be reasonably competitive vs buying an old Sunburst...

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Rodip nailed it,

"one pickup special with p90, with second or HBs as an option (not too hot), like butterscotch, wraptail. 1200 OTD (with Hamer quality touches of the neck and frets)."

except for the butterscotch part. At least one color option besides, red, back or TV yellow. All of those are way overdone.

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

I would be hard-pressed to say no to this.

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

I'd buy that. I'd buy a revival bound sunburst style one too.

The hiccup, as Austin pointed out, is that it would have to be reasonably competitive vs buying an old Sunburst...

IMHO the Quality of the instruments that Hamer has produced in the last 13 years surpasses even the Vintage Instruments. If they put out a "Working Mans Guitar" that is of the same quality I will pony up.

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Simple: the Kiz' Senior:

DSC00566_zps9eeff501.jpg

Sustainblock Bridge

Vintage Carve Neck

Two Humbuckers (Rio's are delicious)

Otherwise, maybe all of the above with a maple veneer top, or all of the above with the Prototype body shape.

I would be hard-pressed to say no to this.

Agreed. But.

If you make it will they come?

You gotta keep in mind the marketplace.

Buyer One. The Young Guy Who's into A7x.

He wants something with HSS pickup configuration, locking term, pointy shape. His budget is low, say $750 tops. He will buy at GC until they go out of business, then he'll order from Sweetwater. NOPE, NOT YOUR MARKET

Buyer Two. The Young Hipster.

Plays in a band doing fuzzed-out covers of 70s video game themes with a cute girl who plays a vintage synth and two recent Haitian immigrants who dance in a pantomime horse costume. Wants a beat-up Jazzmaster with the bridge pickup missing, covered in Chiquite banana stickers. NOPE, NOT YOUR MARKET

Buyer Three. The Midlife Achiever.

He played in a band for two years in college, his daughter is filling our applications for UMass and Dartmouth, and he's finally going to treat himself and learn how to play. The Marshall combo is the back of the Range Rover and now he wants that ['burst LP Standard/Gilmour Strat/PRS ten-top/White Falon] and by Gawd he's gonna get it. NOPE

Then there are other buyers : the cover band guy working five nights a week who has a Strat and a PRS, the ponytailed blues dude with his Muddy Waters Tele, the stoner rockers who shop at the indie guitar shop might be a market but they're broke, etc.

I think that a no-frills US-made solid body guitar is what we at the HFC want. I'm unsure if it is meeting an unmet demand in the real world, though. For most people, one of the cheaper Gibsons already fills that bill and they are not gonna really care if you tell then your guitar is superior to that sub $1000 Gibson with matte finish, cheap hardware and mediocre playability. And I bought a Mexican Telecaster last year than kicks ass for $500.

Old people with disposable income want a blingy luxury guitar (if they want a guitar at all, which is another question) while young ones will want something Sam Totman would play or that Jack White would play.

And HFCers will go on an on about how they'll buy a new Special, right up to the point where they have to pay for it, then will continue to come on here to brag about the Studio they snagged for $500 and bitch about anything over $750.

But sure, I'll play. I say it has to be unlike anything out there. You MUST have a USP (unique selling proposition.) That USP must be obvious, not some abstract concept like air-dried wood that only a few geeks will get. And it must be affordably manufactured and must be promoted and distributed effectively, even if you're just making a hundred ever. You need to build on your existing strengths and facilities. So...

  • Yeah, a Special.
  • SUSTAINBLOCK. No one else does it, and this is a tie back to the brand's (well, A brand's) roots.
  • Not the usual Duncan JB/59 shit. I'd put in Dimarzio PAFs to continue that "our roots" thing and stay affordable. Shlobotnock Unobtanium Handwounds will make the price too high.
  • Handful of finishes, none of which are immediately Gibson-esque.
  • Have each guitar SIGNED on back of headstock with the serial number. This is important. People cream themselves the moment anything is "exclusive." In fact, I think this is the single most vital part of getting people to pony up cash for any "luxury" (non food and shelter) purchase: appealing to their little demon of avarice and pride about owning something worth coveting
  • No freaking options. You buy it or you don't. The moment you start offering options, your cost of manufacture starts creeping and suddenly you're selling $5000 Hamers again.
  • Suggestion for a unique touch which MIGHT give you an advantage over used Hamers and the tight wallets of the HFC. If you stuck a proper Standard headstock on a working-man's Special, every last one of us would buy it, PLUS it would look unique in a store. Just sayin'.
  • $1500 out the door.

If you're gonna just make a dozen for buddies and HFC types, build whatever. But I get the idea you're kinda wondering about a real business. Maybe with someone named Paul lending an endorsement, even if his name on the guitars would be prohibitively expensive.

</soapbox>

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Dang Polara calling it on a Sunday mornin' like a preacher talking to the flock.

Sustain Block Special in Natural finished Mahogany with a Standard style headstock? OOH Yeah, Now you really have my attention.

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Standard headstock is a brilliant idea. Kind of like that powder blue one-off Kramer that Billy Squier played for a short while back in the 80s.

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Standard headstock is a brilliant idea. Kind of like that powder blue one-off Kramer that Billy Squier played for a short while back in the 80s.post-110429-0-86752200-1388933692_thumb.post-110429-0-47751800-1388933772_thumb.

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Like a flat-top Monaco Elite (kind of a single-cut Special) with optional pickup configurations. It could come standard with a single bridge humbucker, but be routed under the pickguard for a neck and/or middle. Batman's Standard headstock idea would make it stand out.

A Sustain Block would be awesome, but they ain't cheap to make. A wraptail would be most cost-effective.

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Working man's all Mahogany Standard

Long headstock

Dot inlays

No binding

No maple top

No pickguard

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