Volitions Advocate

Hero Member
I didn't realize there was a Suggestions forum. good idea!

My suggestion to warmoth would be expansion.  Get a bigger shop, some more employees, and more equipment so you can keep up with the customers.  I would hate for you guys to turn the way of all the independant luthiers that I know who decide to "take a break" for a couple years because they dont have the time for new customers and need to finish the orders they have..  which they dont mention also drives the prices of their work up by thousands of dollars.  Now I know warmoth isn't quite in the same situation but I do have a valid point I think.  Theres a guy who lives in Calgary that I've heard about from my girlfriends dad who is a bluegrass nut.  He makes mandolins and they sell for crazy amounts of money because all these bluegrass artists love his work.  somewhere around 3 - 5 K for a mandolin.  Well he took his "break" and now all his mandolins are going for 10K a piece.  Apparently. This is all heresay but still.

Im still waiting on my first build.. But from all the hype and positive feedback I've heard.. Warmoth really has something good going for them.  Maybe a bigger shop and the ability to catch up on the customers orders will give them the freedom to do a little R&D for these cool ideas we want and that they want to be able to deliver.  And I know that theres a "small town" kind of vibe that we've got with these guys because its so personal. and that might be compromised a little bit if they expand.  But I think it'll still work like it is now.

Bob told me my build should be ready and shipped out by June 23.  Seeing as how I put my order in somewhere around the end of february/beginning of march.. It would be a good thing to be able to close that gap a bit.  I'm not complaining (at least not vehemently) but I know we all think a shorter waiting time would be ideal.  If they've got this back log of customers who are so anxiously freaking out about getting their dream guitar.. maybe they could afford it? (warmoth I mean)

What do you guys think?
Get a bigger shop, some more employees, and more equipment so you can keep up with the customers.
That's been the constant goal for 29 years. It is bigger, there are more employees and there is more equipment than ever before. I don't think Ken Warmoth has taken a business break for 29 years and he's given no indication one is coming. It just takes a lot of time and effort to build a solid business. By "solid" I mean if a recession came along, it would survive.
Stay As Small and lean as you can, Dont turn into a giant corporation that ends up with so much management that the prices have to increase to pay for the non productive management. A few people working together have a better chance of a family atmosphere than many employess. I have taken the online tour of the shop and looked at all the pics. I dont know, But i think those people probably love their jobs and coworkers. I would love to work there.

I see plenty of necks and bodies in the showcase, I can't for a second believe there are people out there waiting too long for their parts, Boo Hoo Too bad.

If your building a new warmoth guitar, plan ahead. I cant believe anyone "Needs" their parts in 1 week,  I will wait a month for stuff as long as that company keeps the quality and price of product where it is now. Expansion for a new line of product is acceptable as long as the demand warrants.

I dont wanna buy a neck someday and be paying for a bunch of non productive upper management

I agree to some points, but I think expansion would be only useful if it supported customer demand for options/products.  Expansion for its own sake is self-defeating.  I don't mind at all to wait for 2 or 3 months when I place an order for something like this and so I expect to get the neck going 1st at the very least, if that's all I can afford, then I worry about the body.
I tell my luthier here in Austin to take his bloody time and do it right, and he never lets me down.  Only fools rush in, especially when you're talking about a grand worth of wood.