Gathering info for potential warmth les paul build

alfiebennet10

New member
Messages
3
Hi guys,

First time poster here, looking to gather some info on the current state of warmoth as well as some thoughts on the details of my build.


I’ll divide my questions into those 2 catagories below: :)

[about warmoth]
1. What is the current state of warmoth QC? - I’ve seen a lot of threads praising the QC of warmoth however many of these are up to decades old, while there are newer threads suggesting a drop off in standards

2. Pricing? Being from the UK, a warmoth isn’t particularly cheap, in fact it will likely turn out slightly more than a used Les Paul standard. (£1500/1600) I’m wondering if it’s actually worth this price tag?

3. Finishes? What’s the quality like on warmoth in house finishes? (In particular the yellow dye finish which looks nice in the preview) any recent experience or alternatives?

[more questions related to specs of my build (maybe not suited for this forum?)]


4. What specs (neck profile, fret wire size, etc) should i look to for emulation of a Gibson les paul? - of course I’m not looking for anything perfect as when it comes down to it will be it’s own guitar and not a les  paul, however that’s the style im looking for.

5. How similar to a les paul can you get with warmoth? - I know there are obvious construction differences what with a WM being a bolt on neck but surely the woods and hardware count for something ?

Just a little bit of info to add is this build is in part t create a les paul style guitar to have a completely different playing experience from a my only other guitar (Ibanez Jem 7v) while also to provide some satisfaction in ‘creating’ my own guitar that suits me however the possibility of just buying a les paul if this build proves too far fetched is not off the table.



Anyways, quite the dump of questions here, any help at all would be appreciated

Cheers,
Alfie
 

TBurst Std

Senior member
Messages
2,591
Well regarding neck and fret specs? Which era, type , etc as they varied GREATLY over the years. 
Best for you to figure out the specs of that you like.

The neck of my 79 Std differs HUGELY from my R9
 

alfiebennet10

New member
Messages
3
TBurst Std said:
Well regarding neck and fret specs? Which era, type , etc as they varied GREATLY over the years. 
Best for you to figure out the specs of that you like.

The neck of my 79 Std differs HUGELY from my R9


Definitely a older era LP is what I’m looking for, '59 i think

Sorry for lack of clarification
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,316
I've been a customer / user of warmoth parts for over 25 years never a problem.  The finishes are great and a real time saver.  On one of my builds it took me 40 hours just to get the finish done.    How much is your time worth if you have no experience?  As to price ... I have no idea what a pound is worth.  At least if you build it yourself you get what you want to your satisfaction.  Stay cool!

As to specs I recommend you get some books you can get them used cheap and it makes the project fun.
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
412
"Worth" is a common question but one that is frequently misunderstood.  I see this ALL the time in IT -- people asking if certain tech certs or degrees are "worth it."

Worth or value can only be determined by the individual. It's 100% subjective. 

I know that what they really mean is whether if they earn a particular certification, will it lead to a job prospect full of glory and riches.  In that context, the answer is a loud and resounding "no."  In IT, certs without experience to back them up are next to useless.  Yet because it's seen as a cheaper and faster alternative to formal education credentials, and because cert training companies want to pull in new students and their sign-up money, certs are advertised as an in-road to advancement in IT.

It's all very misleading.

So to bring this back around to whether building a WM LP compared to buying a branded Gibson or Epi LP is "worth it," that's up to you to decide what "worth" means.  Does owning a $2,000/€1950/£1660 Les Paul make you sound like Satriani or Di Meola? Nobody here can answer that question for you to your satisfaction.  Only you know your own value system.

Topics posted here by people complaining that their WM purchase failed to meet their unrealistically lofty expectations are peppered all over the place and they're never to be seen again, as if griping about it then storming off in a huff is meant to, I don't know, do something.  And despite the fact that I've only been a member of this forum for a short time and I haven't been building for nearly as long as many of the veteran members here, I can see that those complainers are coming from that place of unrealistic -- almost purely selfish -- expectations.

In my experience, my first WM builds were easily in that $1700 - 2000 range because I had no idea what I was doing (that price being the retail price assumption, not what it actually cost for me to build).  Wasted a lot of time and materials stumbling around like the rank amateur I was.

My actual branded Gibson Les Paul Studio cost me $1100 to purchase off of a scratch-and-dent (but otherwise brand new) listing from a retailer.  It's a beautiful instrument that's lovely to play and sounds fantastic.  Yet its price point was much lower than my own custom builds.

Gibson has an entire manufacturing and supply chain process in place that I don't.  And can't.

If your definition of "worth" is based on price/cost, then I would venture to say that no, it's not worth it.  You'll spend more in the total build than just buying retail.

On the other hand, if your definition of "worth" is, as you said at the end of your post, the satisfaction in having an instrument that you assembled yourself as well as the learning experience and specing out its parts and putting it all together without regard for the capital outlay, then yes, absolutely, the experience is worthwhile.

This is why "worth" or "value" is subjective.

For me, the value in all of this is the learning.  Since late 2019 when I began this journey, I've accumulated so much knowledge of woodworking, tools, technique, finishing methods, chemicals, processes, etc.  I'm still learning every day and I'm hungry for more.  I've also used this experience to tighten up my financial controls.  I've made it a point to fund this hobby with spare cash, not go into debt using gobs of credit or to put my family into debt over it.

Through branching out and some networking, I'm encountering different expressions in visual art, which goes to inspiring new finish ideas. I look at cars on the road, art work in public, and even some unrelated works friends post online that make me think, "huh.....I wonder if I could do something like that on a guitar?"

There's my "worth."  $$$ be damned.  I'm not looking to get rich or save money doing this.  I could easily buy a $900 Jackson and be done with it, and get a phenomenal instrument for a reasonable price made by professionals.  But that's not my endgame here.

 

Spud

Senior member
Messages
940
If you have the fortitude and desire to build something yourself, and the resolve to see it through to the end, you will likely have an enjoyable, satisfying experience. If your heart is not really into the journey, you may find only frustration and disappointment. Monetarily, you would be better off getting a Les Paul if that is what you truly desire. However, there are benefits beyond the guitar itself by undertaking the task of putting your own unique guitar together.

Only YOU can answer this question. IMO Warmoth quality is as good as ever, certainly as good or better  as when I ordered my first neck in 1996/98 it was one year or the other.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,208
A couple of things to add to what other members have already said.

As a none US member of the forum, one thing you really need to factor in these days is the exchange rate which is not in favour of someone ordering from the UK or the EU as compared to previous years. You also need to add on about, as a ballpark, around 25% for VAT and import charges which is charged on shipping as well as the cost of the product.

And of course a Warmoth is a bolt on and not a glued in set neck.



 

alfiebennet10

New member
Messages
3
Some really helpful reply’s here guys!  :) I’m slowing edging in just diving right in… maybe you’ll see me in the new builds section soon enough
 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
In order for Warmoth to be "worth it," at least a couple of the following must be true:
1. You enjoy the journey/activity of building your own guitar.  I love all 3 of my partscasters.
2. You have very specific desires that cannot be found on a production instrument.
3. You are patient and detail oriented and can think on your feet to adjust to things that are happening.
4. You are willing to pay money for someone to do final work.
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,208
mysticaxe said:
4. You are willing to pay money for someone to do final work.

Good point, which only applies of course when someone does not have the skills or tools to do it themselves.
 

jay4321

Senior member
Messages
1,278
If you're unsure about what specs or frets you want, I'd really sort that out first before any kind of custom order. Plus as far as a Les Paul you're really not going to get there. But 59' roundback contour, medium (or smaller) frets, 24.75" scale length for starters. But it will be a bolt on, the truss is different, the type of finish is different than on a Gibson and really a ton of other things. And a good bit of DIY worth.

If you're looking for a Gibson they still make good instruments you can try before you buy, and frankly the newer Epiphone I've seen have been very nice and reasonably affordable too.

Warmoth is the go-to if you want a project, or you just have to have a certain thing in a certain color that's not available elsewhere. Like at the moment I'm itching for a contoured Tele in a certain color I'm just not going to find on the street, and so I know I'm sure to pull the trigger on a body and probably have them make a neck for it too.

Kind of what's been said already but you really have to want to make one. If you just want the guitar you have in your head buying one outright is safer, faster, and likely cheaper. But Warmoth is a great way to go if you're dialed in and understand the differences.

I have good Gibsons but none of their Les Pauls at the moment, I do have a number of Epi Les Pauls from the last two years which I handpicked and am very happy with. I would not use Warmoth to recreate one, there are options for glue-in neck kits elsewhere if I wanted to. I actually had a Warmoth Les Paul body from when they made that shape it was good but not the same thing.

 

mysticaxe

Active member
Messages
45
stratamania said:
mysticaxe said:
4. You are willing to pay money for someone to do final work.

Good point, which only applies of course when someone does not have the skills or tools to do it themselves.

Yup - and that adds to the cost of the project.  I know my first build, I took to a luthier for a final check and fretwork (I wasn't up for that myself), so it added $100 to that project.  I know there are a number of people that go this route because they don't want to take "irreversible" steps on the guitar due to lack of experience (which I totally understand, and fall into for some types of issues).
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
9,208
mysticaxe said:
stratamania said:
mysticaxe said:
4. You are willing to pay money for someone to do final work.

Good point, which only applies of course when someone does not have the skills or tools to do it themselves.

Yup - and that adds to the cost of the project.  I know my first build, I took to a luthier for a final check and fretwork (I wasn't up for that myself), so it added $100 to that project.  I know there are a number of people that go this route because they don't want to take "irreversible" steps on the guitar due to lack of experience (which I totally understand, and fall into for some types of issues).

Indeed and that is understandable. Some of the more specialist tools could cost you a lot more than that. And a good plan to get experience is to get some cheaper instrument to learn on when you have the tools rather than on a $500 neck.
 

NedRyerson

Senior member
Messages
412
stratamania said:
to learn on when you have the tools rather than on a $500 neck.

My personal terror every time I put a new WM neck to my bandsaw for the custom headstock shape I want. I've done it 4 times now.  Doesn't get any easier as far as nerves go. :)

I suppose that's a good thing, though. Helps to keep me from getting too cocky.
 

JohnnyHardtail

Senior member
Messages
319
Honestly I don't think a Warmoth bolt on parts guitar can be a substitute for Gibson.  The Warmoth parts are generally better engineered and more durable than Gibson's, so it not directly comparable IMO.  Tone-wise it will not be equivalent either.  If you prefer an antiquated guitar design with many problems at obscenely inflated prices, then Gibson is still the obvious choice.  :dontknow:

Personally I think it makes more sense to build a Warmoth when you want to built a bolt-on Superstrat style guitar.

PS: I probably need to apologise to any Gibson fans who may be present.
 

Spud

Senior member
Messages
940
I love what other people have done and can do on Gibson's. That said, I am not a big fan of Gibson guitars (for me), but am of some of their pickups!  :icon_thumright:
 
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