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Thread: Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

  1. #41
    LifeIsGoodologist BTMN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Always great to read posts from a guiding force of a major manufacturer. Thanks for the good read so far.
    Aint no pro but I know what I like....
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  2. #42
    Dir. Mktg. Fender Custom Shop
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by newking70 View Post
    How do you feel about the CBS headstocks?
    I like the bigger headstocks. It's a cool look, I mean...Hendrix. C'mon.
    Blackmore!!!

    ME

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    Heel Whacker tone4days's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Eldred View Post
    I like the bigger headstocks. It's a cool look, I mean.......Blackmore!!!

    ME
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    "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

    Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14

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    ObsoleteChickenPickingologist Butch Snyder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    10k Nocaster bridge pickup - please bring it back.....

    Oops, sorry Evan.....
    -Butch

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    Heel Whacker tone4days's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by ImmortalSix View Post
    Big thanks
    hunter, no posting for kidney sales in the trading post, ok?
    gear list in profile

    "no seymour - no tone ... know seymour - know tone!"

    Is it not the glory of the people of America that, whilst they have paid a decent regard to the opinions of former times and other nations, they have not suffered a blind veneration for antiquity, for custom, or for names, to overrule the suggestions of their own good sense, the knowledge of their own situation, and the lessons of their own experience?" - James Madison - Federalist #14

  6. #46
    Dir. Mktg. Fender Custom Shop
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by elscorcho View Post
    Hey Mike THANKS FOR BEING HERE!

    I know I'm in the monority, but I prefer a hadtail strat, any plans for any new hardtails?
    You and me both!!! I saw a 59 at GC Hollywood once, and had to walk out because I was thinking of selling all my stuff to get it!

    We don't do runs of things unless we know that they will get snapped up quickly. the fact is, most people prefer a trem. BUT, we are a Custom Shop so most of what we do is ordered and that kinda determines what we make ya know?

    ME

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    OCDologist XSSIVE's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Mike, thanks very much for taking the time for us to assault you with random questions hahaha.

    i own a 2007 custom shop Charvel i ordered as a 1 off to my specs which for the longest time was my holy grail guitar, a strat headstock charvel with a "Vintage Eldred Flames" graphic. i was real happy to be able to order a modern version of it with the strat headstock when fender bought jackson/charvel and allowed the use of the headstock. anyway, since the graphic has your name on it do you have any history from your Charvel days about that finish? it's easy for me (a car guy) to assume the flames and the separate panel (for lack of a better term) look of the back of the graphic came from the hot rods and lowriders driving around California at the time you were working with Charvel but was there a specific car perhaps that sparked the idea? or perhaps some hotwheels cars? or am i way of with my guess?

    for those who have no idea what i'm talking about here's my charvel...


    and i'd kick myself later if i didn't sneak in another Charvel question...do you still own any Charvels from back in the day when you worked there?

    thanks again!

    -Mike

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    LifeIsGoodologist BTMN's Avatar
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    Arrow Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Now that Hamer is under the FMIC corporate umbrella, have you ever played a Hamer Daytona? If you ever get to go check out the Hamer shop in West Hartford I highly suggest the visit. Some great cats working there.

    My Daytonas...



    Black one is gone but that Natural is gonna be here a long time.
    Aint no pro but I know what I like....
    Guitar to sound output:
    Hamer, Dean, or Various, Levy's straps, Dunlop straplock/picks, Daddarrio strings 10-46, Duncan, Dimarzio, Mogami, Monster, MojoDrive pedal on occasion, Marshall, Crate, Vox, Mesa Boogie, Black Shadow Celestions, Eminence,..

  9. #49
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Eldred View Post
    I like the bigger headstocks. It's a cool look, I mean...Hendrix. C'mon.
    Blackmore!!!

    You've just made my day. I went for the CBS headstock because of Hendrix and Blackmore...

    Also, I'd love to see more modern takes on Telecasters... like the Richie Kotzen MIJ... not a question, just wishful thinking.



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    Jolvisologist gripweed's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    I hope I'm not too late...

    Was there anything unusual about the Hendrix Strats you inspected?

    What is the most unusual request you've gotten for a guitar?

    I have a great idea for a guitar I've always wanted built by the Custom Shop, I hope I can afford it one of these days!
    Gibson LP Melody Maker -- stock, Epiphone Dot -- Jazz neck and '59 bridge, Fender Telecaster Blackout Deluxe -- stock, 90's MIM Standard Strat with Duncan Texas Hot Custom in the bridge.

  11. #51
    Tone Member fakiekid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Hi Mike, its wonderful to see people such as yourself taking the time out to talk to fans/customers. Props to you and everyone at Fender.

    Will we be seeing any cool Seymour/Fender collabs in the future? Like the old Pearly Gates Plus? Would love to see a Twisted Tele style pickup from Seymour .
    http://crazytrainmusic.co.uk/

    Squier Tele Custom, Nickel JB and Seth Lover

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    Fender Precision Bass, SPB-3

  12. #52
    Dir. Mktg. Fender Custom Shop
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyGuitar View Post
    Hi Mike, thank you for doing this.

    It seems that Fender has been facing competition from a lot of custom builders and part suppliers, like Warmoth, Nash, Suhr... I know the Custom Shop is competing with the higher end custom builders but I wonder how do you deal with the mid priced competition... is there a plan to make some sort of a build your own guitar service with standard parts?

    Also, I bet you have worked with a lot of artists and seen a lot of of people who are putting in different upgrades in their guitars - pickups, active electronics, hardware, special comfort cuts, scalloping, etc... What do you consider to be the ultimate upgrade for a Strat and/or Tele?
    To be honest, we aren't looking at that aspect of the business. We don't feel like we compete with those guys really, and I mean they offer other services that we don't get involved with.

    We make Custom Fender guitars for you. To YOUR specs.
    If you want a Suhr, that's a different guitar. There are some similarities but not really what we do. He makes a GREAT guitar for sure, and if you play both and you like his better, that's what you should buy.

    As far as how we feel about the "midprice-point" builders, I dunno. It's not who our customer is. Our customer knows what they want, and is very specific. Whether it's Eric Clapton or just a person who has always wanted a custom Strat built for them. That's kind of why our tag line says, "When You're Ready". Because some people just are not ready to make that instrument. It is a highly specialized segment of Fender. We don't feel it would be prudent or advantageous to expand it, or make it more accessible to be honest. And, that allows others to fill those areas of the marketplace.
    Hopefully, they will look at our regular models too.

    Ultimate upgrade? Man, it all depends on what you want. we make a Strat Pro and a Tele Pro that has LOTS of features that we get called for from artists and those guitar really have a bunch of cool features without having to get a Master Built guitar.

    ME

  13. #53
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    nice guild with the staples!

    why do the necks on the custom shop guitars always feel so right?

    we you part of the team that did the '54 masterbuilt strats a while back? absolutely some of the best strats ive played.

    it seems like leaving a (good?) job at yamaha to go on the road might have been a hard decision. did you think of it as maybe one of your last chances to hit the road and tour or was the opportunity to play with lee too enticing or ?

    thanks for doing this. ive enjoyed reading your posts
    Thanks for the kind comments.
    I think the necks feel that way because of the people there. We all love guitars and there is a respect for certain aspects of the guitar especially the neck where your hand really has the most contact.

    the 54's were a very hard project for us. the parts, the pickups, the opinions! Most 54's are very different, so we had to ALL decide on the ONE that we would make...it was hard.

    Yep, I liked Yamaha a whole bunch, but they weren't really having the idea of me out there on the road, playing a Tele, etc. I still get to see some of the people there and Paul Meizenzahl works for us now and he used to be one of my bosses at Yamaha!

    ME

  14. #54
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphial View Post
    Hey Mike

    Glad to have to here at the SD forum!

    1 very silly question (just wanted to confirm) and a few hopefully not so silly

    1) Does the CS Shop still do customer request one offs? I'm guessing if you want specific neck profiles, etc that would be masterbuilt rather than team built territory?

    2) What projects are in the pipeline for the CS? I've seen some fantastic Custom Classic runs at Wildwood and was wondering if that thype of thing would be continuing?

    3) How does one get into working for the custom shop nowadays? Still apprenticeships etc?


    Thanks
    1) Absolutely! We never stopped that! That's the main part of our business. It depends on what you want. Just a neck shape change? Just a color? No problem. It's when it gets into lots of changes that you may end up with a Master Built guitar.
    2) All of our Showcase Dealers try to do custom runs of things. we are working on some really cool guitars for June / July release, and those will be out soon. the new website is going to really be cool too, much more interactive.
    3) Depends. The CS employees are the best at Fender. Usually, you work in the main plant, and as you progress, we look for certain things that set you apart as far as talent. it may be paint, frets, sanding, it all depends. Rarley do we hire from outside right into the CS. It does happen, but you have to have lots of experience for that to be a way in.

    ME

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    Mojo's Minions J Moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Eldred View Post
    Man...tonal differences are hard. A vintage trem as opposed to a two-point trem we use on our Strat Pro for example: The Vintage has bent saddles (steel) and a CRS (cold rolled steel) block. The Pro trem has milled stainless saddles, and a CRS block that is smaller than the vintage. The bent saddles don't have as much mass, but the vintage block is bigger, the Pro saddles are milled STAINLESS which is brighter but there is a smaller block, so there is this...balance thang. It all depends what YOU hear, and what YOU like.

    ME
    Aww man! I already know what I think, I was wondering what YOU think!

    Specifically, I was wondering if you had noticed any trends to either type of system... figure you've probably built & handled more guitars on a technical basis then I've played... which is also not a small number!

    Anyway, next question!

    Are there or have there ever been plans for a 'modern vintage' line of guitars? Take the traditional appointments and refine certain things for the way playing styles have evolved over the years? Thinking of things like a heel cut, flatter radius (12" ?) and pickups with flat or at least modern staggered magnets...

    I had a very low serial number EJ strat which was amazingly great... one of my clients has a real '55 or '56 and it was like the junior version of that guitar... really resonant & so alive and responsive, but after a while all the usual stuff that bugs me about strats started to get to me... like the size of the heel & string balance.

    I realize the Am. Deluxe hits some of those points... but I like the bigger neck with the flat radius, 6-point trem & that sort of thing. I can't be alone there...
    J. 'Moose' Kahrs
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    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire View Post
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    Butterball speed2dirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Hey Mike, thanks for doing this. You mentioned several posts ago a "historical responsibility" to Fender & their legacy. Do you feel this hinders growth and innovation for Fender products? People may not be as accepting of a redesigned strat from Fender as opposed to another company doing the same thing.

    Also, there was a recent thread voting on Fender vs G&L. The results were pretty even with no clear-cut winner. What are your opinions of G&L compared to Fender products, throwing all biases aside? A quote from the thread stated "One is Leo's original and the other, people say, is Leo's perfection." Do you feel this is accurate?

  17. #57
    Super Toneologist JordanM82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Mike,

    Do you feel like the instruments that are most often requested through the custom shop drive the direction of what production line instruments fender is offering? Also, are the instruments most often build by the CS unique in some way to the instruments offered by Fender; or is it that most people/artists are just looking for a higher quality instrument with more attention to detail?

    Thanks for joining us today, it's great to have a someone from a shop as well known and respected as the Fender CS join us for a Q&A. Have already thoroughly enjoyed reading all the answers.

    -Jordan
    "This is my hat now, this is totally my hat..."

  18. #58
    Dir. Mktg. Fender Custom Shop
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandturk View Post
    Hi Mike - loved the run of Master Built strats that the Music Zoo offered - HSS, Floyded and beat to heck. Any future plans for a similar Custom Shop (non master built) run on these?
    Not at the moment. Maybe sometime down the road. we like to protect the integrity of the original run. If you bought one of the Master Builts, and we released a Custom Built version a month later, would you be upset? I know I would!

    ME

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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    Quote Originally Posted by Butch Snyder View Post
    10k Nocaster bridge pickup - please bring it back.....

    Oops, sorry Evan.....
    We do it now on certain models. Hot Nocaster is what we call it.

    ME

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    Mojo's Minions J Moose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Live Chat Now - Guest Luthier Series - Mike Eldred

    One more question, cause I gotta get back behind the console & likely won't be able to check in again...

    Given that you've been on the other side of and played & toured as a musician at a fairly high level, could you share any stories from that experience? I personally love the hairy ones where it all seems to be going wrong & then ends up being so right! But whatever... anything truly memorable or mesmerizing tales from those days that you can actually write about?

    Thanks again!
    J. 'Moose' Kahrs
    mixer|producer|recordist
    mooseaudio.bandcamp.com

    Quote Originally Posted by the guy who invented fire View Post
    All you need to make a record is a mic, some tape and maybe some bad reverb...

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