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Thread: Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

  1. #101
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by ratherdashing View Post
    Thanks Pete for staying up so late!

    1. Can you estimate how many hours of work goes into each guitar, from selecting timber to sending it out the door?

    2. How much of your work time is taken up with business tasks (basically anything other than guitar design or production)?

    3. 22 fret vs. 24 fret guitars: some say that the neck pickup placement on a 24 fret guitar makes for weird tones. What are your thoughts on this?

    4. Related question: What do you do differently on the 24 fret models (other than add two more frets, of course) vs the 22's? Different template, wood choices, neck joint, etc.?

    Thanks again. Your instruments look fantastic, and I would love to play one someday.

    not a true hour estimate, I like to get 4 guitars out of here every 12 weeks.

    2 a surprising amount, things like going to the hardware store for sandpaper, superglue, PVA glue, stanley knife blades etc etc etc. Doing Manuals, I also take photos of the build as it progresses for the clients to remain in touch with their new babies. so I would estimate an average of one - 1.5 hours a day doing all that stuff.

    3. Yes to some degree a 21/22 fret guitar does allow the neck pickup to sit in an "ideal" spot under the harmonic, however we dont seem to think that this should also apply to the bridge pickup??
    I personally play a 24 fret guitar, and have a 22 fret guitar, and I dont notice any great differences, although my ears have been hammered over the years !!!

    4. Not a lot, I spread the difference between the neck/body position and the bridge it doesnt account for a great deal. the distance from the nut to bridge is still constant.
    a lot of this stuff I actually do automatically, the numbers are there in my head for when I need them.

  2. #102
    Administrator Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    What's the future for Crossley Guitars? If you could become a major international brand, would you want to? Or do you like keeping it small and custom-made? What are the advantages to each in your mind?

    And how much coffee have you actually consumed during this session?

  3. #103
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Skopp View Post
    What's the future for Crossley Guitars? If you could become a major international brand, would you want to? Or do you like keeping it small and custom-made? What are the advantages to each in your mind?

    And how much coffee have you actually consumed during this session?
    I would like to think that I could take Crossley Guitars up a couple of notches, I do want to do it slowly so that the control of the business stays within my grasp.
    I have seen businesses fail due to too rapid expansion, and i would hat for that to happen,
    The other thing that is a worry, is maintaining quality control if the company grows to employ several people. Will they care about the guitars as much as me??
    I know to survive I must grow, I would just like the rate of growth to be a controlled curve, if at all possible.
    I really admire Paul Reed Smith. He made his name as a small production luthier and then went on to the next stage almost seamlessly, whilst still maintaining great quality control.
    They are still are the standard bearer in a mass production environment,

    I have lost count of the coffee consumption. but its not good!!!!

    poor kidneys....

  4. #104
    WeirdScienceologist scottish's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    This is kind of an add on to evans last question. I remember inquiring about the price of one of your guitars a little while back and while i couldnt afford it at the time, it was a really amazing price for a fully custom guitar from a one man shop. Do you think there is something about the way you do things that allows you to offer these kind of prices? For example, do you think that if you expanded and brought on other people, you would need to raise the price even though you would have more guitars going out the door? Or do you look at your current pricing as still "introductory" while you further your reputation.

    There are a whole lot of custom luthiers out there (i wont name any names) who are charging 6-10k per guitar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    yngwie sounds like an orchestra of cartoon bees.

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    Super Toneologist ganzosrevenge's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    To follow up my previous question:

    What's one memorable job where the sum was just "what do people THINK is possible?!" *ie: pickup wirings, body stylings, and which one was the most interesting?

    Can a person supply his / her own pickups (ie: a set of duncans that are really liked, etc.)

    Are there any woods (besides the endangered BRW) or parts that you simply will not use

    What part of the guitar, that most people would think is insignificant, do you feel is the greatest factor on tone / sustain / resonance? (ie: pound for pound, which is the most important?)

    What types of caps and pots (companies) do you find brings out the best in a guitar, and with the greatest consistency, and why?

    Jason
    <--- these guys fight, so we can enjoy large tracts of land

  6. #106
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by scottish View Post
    This is kind of an add on to evans last question. I remember inquiring about the price of one of your guitars a little while back and while i couldnt afford it at the time, it was a really amazing price for a fully custom guitar from a one man shop. Do you think there is something about the way you do things that allows you to offer these kind of prices? For example, do you think that if you expanded and brought on other people, you would need to raise the price even though you would have more guitars going out the door? Or do you look at your current pricing as still "introductory" while you further your reputation.

    There are a whole lot of custom luthiers out there (i wont name any names) who are charging 6-10k per guitar.
    I am a little old fashioned in that I believe in an honest price for my labour.
    However, certain components are rising in price, and quality timber is rising even faster.
    I do belive that because I have conciously kept the business at the size it is, I can still sell guitars for a good price. I would hate for my guitars to be bought exclusively by the rich !!!
    It is always a fine balancing act. I dont want to charge too much, I want to produce the finest guitars I can, and I know that one day in order to continue this I will have to raise prices, just to survive.
    so good thought provoking questions...

    what will I be dreaming about when I finally hit the sack ..hahaha

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    WeirdScienceologist scottish's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Well Pete, i cant think of too much more to ask so im just gonna say thank you very much. Been a pleasure talking to you and reading your answers. Thanks again for pulling an all nighter to make this possible.

    One last one for you. You mentioned the steeply rising costs of quality timber, have you ever considered trying some more sustainable options like laminate birch (cough gibson cough) or more realistically, something like carbon fiber?
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty Pockets View Post
    yngwie sounds like an orchestra of cartoon bees.

  8. #108
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by ganzosrevenge View Post
    To follow up my previous question:

    What's one memorable job where the sum was just "what do people THINK is possible?!" *ie: pickup wirings, body stylings, and which one was the most interesting?

    Can a person supply his / her own pickups (ie: a set of duncans that are really liked, etc.)

    Are there any woods (besides the endangered BRW) or parts that you simply will not use

    What part of the guitar, that most people would think is insignificant, do you feel is the greatest factor on tone / sustain / resonance? (ie: pound for pound, which is the most important?)

    What types of caps and pots (companies) do you find brings out the best in a guitar, and with the greatest consistency, and why?

    Jason
    I am in the middle of a build at the moment for a player up in Sydney. He plays in a progressive band , along the lines of Robert Fripp Brian Eno etc..
    His brief was to build a P series, Hollow, Tremolo, standard passive pickups 2 x humbuckers a Roland G3 midi pickup and assorted circuitry.
    This has been probably the most interesting build, because of the hollowing of the body, yet still retaining enough "meat" to install a tremolo, and still have space for all the paraphinalia associated with the Roland system.
    so the controls are
    vol pus/pill neck split
    3 way selector passive
    tone push/pull bridge split
    vol G3
    LED g3 operational
    3 way toggle midi/guitar/blend
    2 push pad operators
    standard 1/4 jack
    13 pin midi jack
    This has been a lot of fun so far, the body is sooo hollowed it weighs next to nothing.


    I'm always open to the clients take on pickups/wiring etc. from these differences many good designs are found. Supply of items like favorite pups etc is all part of the deal.
    The idea is "custom" guitars, built to the customers spec's. with as much guidance as I can provide.

    I honestly dont think any one part of the guitar outweighs another in the importance stakes.
    without the various components and parts, different timbers etc it just would not be a guitar.
    I believe that the fretboard plays a big part on the tone of the guitar, Pickups- most definetly, body/neck timbers also important. I cant think of one that takes precedence, although the sound is primarily determined by the pups.

    I dont really get too much into the relative values of different components such as caps and pots.
    I have used CTS and Alpha pots and I cant hear any difference.
    I have used Orange drop caps by Sprague, metal film, plastic film 5% tolerence and 10% tolerance.
    The only difference I noticed was with the Sprague caps.
    and I'm not sure if that was me wanting to believe there was a difference in tone, or whether there really was a difference in tone....

  9. #109
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by scottish View Post
    Well Pete, i cant think of too much more to ask so im just gonna say thank you very much. Been a pleasure talking to you and reading your answers. Thanks again for pulling an all nighter to make this possible.

    One last one for you. You mentioned the steeply rising costs of quality timber, have you ever considered trying some more sustainable options like laminate birch (cough gibson cough) or more realistically, something like carbon fiber?
    yes I have thought about carbon fibre. I'm a great admirer of Ken Parker, he really went out there with the fly.
    I'm still investigating different timbers, part of the trouble is that everyone wants a flame or quilted top. so the market determines the build...
    yeah been great talking, the sun is just starting to come up 6.21 AM nearly bedtime !!!!

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    Butterball speed2dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Pete,
    Thanks for doing this! Sorry that I have not been able to read all the previous posts (I'm at work), but will definitely get to it later tonight. Anyway, how did you get into guitar building? Is it rewarding work or simply work? Do you consider making a guitar a process or an art form? I know these all seem off point, but I enjoy business and would love to do something that allows me to use creativeness as well as being rewarding, beyond just the regular paycheck.

  11. #111
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by speed2dirt View Post
    Pete,
    Thanks for doing this! Sorry that I have not been able to read all the previous posts (I'm at work), but will definitely get to it later tonight. Anyway, how did you get into guitar building? Is it rewarding work or simply work? Do you consider making a guitar a process or an art form? I know these all seem off point, but I enjoy business and would love to do something that allows me to use creativeness as well as being rewarding, beyond just the regular paycheck.
    It is rewarding work, ther is something really cool about building a guitar for a client, then watching and hearing him play it.
    Its making an instrument that is a window to a players soul. and that is very special. I count myself as a very lucky person to be able to do this.

  12. #112
    Administrator Evan Skopp's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    OK guys, get your final questions in. Peter will be with us for around 30 more minutes.

  13. #113
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Evan,
    Thank you for the opportunity to share a little of my life on the other side of the world with a bunch of great people.
    I have really enjoyed my time here tonight/today even though I am a little weary at the moment.

    Thanks to everybody for the great questions, what you have done in many cases tonight is make me look at what I am doing, and my principles and reasons for doing it. It really has been an eye opener for myself, and I thank you again for this opportunity.

    I hope you all have a great evening, as I watch the sun come up. Isnt the world a crazy place !!!!

    Cheers
    Pete

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    Butterball speed2dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    If one wanted to start building guitars, where would you recommend starting? Mastering the skills of woodworking (i.e. cut & shape guitar bodies), electronics, or simply assembling (buying pre-made parts and slapping it all together)? What's the best learning process for one to work their way to building their own, completely custom guitars?

  15. #115
    Ultimate Tone Member playas's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Any other Aussie builders you think are doing good work and what is/are the best guitar(s) you have played that was made outside of Australia?

  16. #116
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by speed2dirt View Post
    If one wanted to start building guitars, where would you recommend starting? Mastering the skills of woodworking (i.e. cut & shape guitar bodies), electronics, or simply assembling (buying pre-made parts and slapping it all together)? What's the best learning process for one to work their way to building their own, completely custom guitars?
    I really think that getting some good hand skills in woodworking would be the best place to start.
    It also has added benefits in the form of impressing the ladies by making pieces of furniture !!!!

    Putting together kit guitars such as Warmoth etc. is a valid way of getting a guitar. but It wont lead to a career as a luthier. That takes a different set of skills.
    If you are looking to do it, good luck, you wont ever get rich, but you might just get happy..

  17. #117
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by playas View Post
    Any other Aussie builders you think are doing good work and what is/are the best guitar(s) you have played that was made outside of Australia?

    Craig O'Donnel is a good luthier,
    Ian Noyce, psooibly the godfather of Aussie luthiers

    best o/s guitar..... Parker fly

  18. #118
    Vintageologist crusty philtrum's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Has anyone had a guitar built by you and then later sold it? If so, how did you feel ?

    Will you come along to the next SDUGF Melbourne get-together and meet people like Will_ST, Dr. Ad, Golden Vulture and as many other Melbourne/Victorian members as we can get ? (it's pencilled in for sometime this month as far as I know).
    Lumbering dinosaur (what's a master volume control?)

    STALKER, NO STALKING !!!

  19. #119
    Ultimate Tone Member Peter Crossley's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
    Has anyone had a guitar built by you and then later sold it? If so, how did you feel ?

    Will you come along to the next SDUGF Melbourne get-together and meet people like Will_ST, Dr. Ad, Golden Vulture and as many other Melbourne/Victorian members as we can get ? (it's pencilled in for sometime this month as far as I know).

    yes,

    I can handle that, people move on for different reasons, and I have to respect that.

    I would love to , PM some details.

  20. #120
    Super Toneologist ganzosrevenge's Avatar
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    Default Re: LIVE NOW - Guest Luthier Series - Peter Crossley (Crossley Guitars)

    Peter, on the question about "woods that were off-limits", I think it was slightly vague the answer, does that mean that only endangered woods are off-limits, nothing has every consistently just "sucked" to where it's on the "do not use" list, or a mix of both.

    Also, as for the prog-guitar... what's a G3-switch?, and what's it look like? (pics!)

    Jason
    <--- these guys fight, so we can enjoy large tracts of land

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