Here is the deal
It is time for RGI to expand into bodies and more diverse necks. In order to do that, I need to get a CNC machine that is capable of large parts, and diverse material sets. The machine I’m currently looking at is from Avid CNC, and is a large bed with 4th Axis, to quickly and easily machine some cylindrical curves (fancy for saying the fretboard radius can be machined easily)
So instead of attempting a kickstarter (which takes 30% of the money) or traditional bank loans, I think a limited launch of 10 full custom guitars will get the capitol needed to make this purchase, and subsequently design and build each guitar. All designs would be confirmed with each customer before production.
So I imagine you have some questions, let’s answer those
What do you mean by custom?
I mean almost anything you want, I will make. Let’s list some stuff I will make: Short scale, thicker necks, thinner necks, lighter necks, custom inlays, aluminum bodies, acrylic bodies, wood bodies, neck through body designs, semihollow, well known body shapes, and more
Things I don’t want to make (at least as of this moment):
Different headstocks. It’s the signature of RGI, I’d like to keep it that way.
Curved / carved tops. As of now, I think that challenge would be for after I have a couple of bodies ironed out. A german carve can be done, but a classic LP might be a whole mess of work
Custom abstract body shapes. let’s not do some reverse V for the first thing I mill
Colored guitars. I want to stay away from paints, but standard stains for wood based applications will work
Non-Aluminum necks. Sort of obvious, but I want to be 100% firm on that one, I will only make aluminum necks
So what would 3600$ get me?
You would get a complete guitar, including everything but a case. Somewhere between build #1 and build #10, complete with pickups and knobs and bridge and tailpiece and hardware and strap and pickguard and all the little things that add up. It would be as finished as the guitar I am showing, my semihollow JM with SG controls. I would consider this style to be the most likely design for the first flagship model
When would I get my guitar?
So this is where it gets harder for you, as a customer. I would like to say that the delivery would be within a year, but that is still no guarantee. I have no idea what kind of complexities could arise during this process, and each new design comes with a new set of problems. I am 99.9% confident I can complete these bodies and concepts for each customer, but I have no idea how long it will take to design, model, CAM, mill, and finish each part for each process.
If you want one of these, you have to be OK with an unofficial delivery date of at least a year
What if you fail?
This leap is part of RGI’s continued business plan, which I work on full time to progress and grow and build. Moving milling over to my own control is essential for this, so the timeline should move quickly. If it has been a year and I am no closer to finishing build #1, I will sell the equipment and refund you the money. I will not refund the money under the following circumstances:
You need it for something else that came up
I have passed the year mark, and haven’t delivered your guitar specifically
You don’t like the choices you made on your guitar and want to send it back
What if I don’t have all the funds right now?
While the entire guitar needs to be paid for before I can start, send me a message in the contact form! If we can plan it where the total is all paid for in 2 - 3 months, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t make that work.
What if my idea is less expensive?
The price point is assuming you are going to pick unique shapes, unique profiles, expensive hardware, and custom options. If everything is simpler and using already existing design choices, your price would be under. Once your guitar is complete, and it’s costs are under the price point, you will be refunded the remainder.
You mentioned neck through body?
We can certainly try it. my plan would be to have the neck run through the body all the way to the bridge / tail. This does not mean I will be somehow gluing the body to the neck, it will still be two separate pieces in all applications, including aluminum body. This does have a major drawback that both the body and the neck cannot be reused on other instruments with standard mounting without massive alterations and complications.
Additionally, a blend of both may be the best option. With a intermediary aluminum piece that runs between the neck joint and the bridge, it would be the best of both worlds. this would leave the neck with standard mounting, the body with a standard mounting, and an aluminum to aluminum joint for near-maximum stability from nut to bridge.
You mentioned that harmonic tail you’ve been working on?
I think I can finish that design for this, but I cannot mill them myself on the machine I intend to get. They will still have to go through the old shop, and will still be costing me a pretty penny. If you do want one on your build, and also a behind-the-bridge pickup, I think it will be possible but might extend your build time and pricing.
What if I’m not sure on all the details?
That is ok, there will be plenty of time to iron out your order, your choices, and anything left up in the air before I start your guitar. Can’t decide on shape? We can chat about it. Can’t decide on anything? No worries, I will help you find your way to the appropriate guitar.
This seems scary
It is. Let’s make something beautiful.