How Long Does it Take to Build a Guitar?
Each custom acoustic guitar is unique and build-time can vary anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. The finishing process of a handmade guitar alone can sometimes take upward of 2-4 weeks.
Do You Require a Deposit?
Yes, as I am about to commit to your build, this deposit assures me of your commitment so I can move forward with the hours of planning the details of your custom acoustic guitar. Final payment will be billed prior to final shipping.
What is Your Warranty?
Any issues related to the construction of a Zoe Guitars custom acoustic guitar has a 6 month warranty. If an issue arises where the care of the instrument was a contributing factor, each instance will be on a per basis situation. Heat and humidity is the number one cause for instrument issues.
Do Your Guitars Include a Pick Guard?
Yes, of course. That is, if you want one. I really hate to cover-up the beauty of the woods I use, but also understands the long-term care of an instrument. Pick guards can be clear, black, or tortoise.
Do You build Cut-A-Ways?
Yes is the simple answer. However, if you are a purist and understand the science behind an acoustic instrument and how sound is produced, we understand the debate when it comes down to the difference between cut-aways and non-cut-aways in regards to sound quality, sustain, etc. However, for most, having a cutaway allows access to the upper frets and that is where the fun begins.
Zoe Guitars offer cut-aways in the OM, Dreadnought, and both Jumbo's. The only model that isn't offered as a cut-away is the Parlor model.
What is a Guitar Scale?
Guitars scales are the distance from the nut to the compensated saddle. Each fret is placed at precise intervals according to the scale chosen. I currently offer 4 scales: Martin long and short, and Gibson long and short. What are the differences? Experts could write dissertations on the subject, but an easy answer would be that finger pickers and lead players might prefer a shorter scale as the individual notes are easier to bend since the shorter scale requires less string tension. Flat pickers and chord players, who typically stay “down the neck”, tend to prefer long-scales. However, this is not set in stone and preference will vary from player to player. What works for you might not be preferable for someone else. The best way to to determine what is best for you is to play the different scales. I have a small showroom where you can demo guitars with different tone woods, scales, neck styles, and string action, to name a few. Otherwise, head down to your local music store, as most have instruments in various scale lengths. Personally, I like small differences between the different scales and can never settle on just one.
Does Your Price Include a Case?
Yes. All build prices for a custom acoustic guitar include a case. Depending on the model and build quality. You will be offered many options and choose which one best suits you. We do not, under any circumstances, advise using a soft shell case. Zoe Guitars uses cases made by the following case builders:
How Do I Take Care of My New Instrument?
This could easily be a very extended answer, but I will give some basics that I require to maintain your warranty. But always use common sense, wisdom, and error on the safe-side.
1. When you receive your shipment, the first 24-48 hours will be some of the hardest to endure. Unfortunately, wood reacts to temperature and humidity. Allowing time for your instrument to become accustomed to your part of the world will help it adjust without unneeded stresses. When your custom acoustic guitar arrives, it must remain in the case for the first 24 hours.
2. When not in use, please place the guitar in it’s case and at a room temperature that doesn’t exceed the temperatures of 65-85 degrees. Preferably, 75 degrees is perfect. Never store your guitar with a capo on the neck.
3. Never, under any circumstances, leave the instrument in hot or cold cars, extreme humidity, either dry or moist climates, or directly in the sun. Drastic temperatures in either direction and drastic sudden changes in humidity are a guitar’s worst enemy.
3. When traveling, always insist on carrying your guitar on board the plane. Even though most cargo areas are pressurized, unseen instrument handling can lead to issues. No one is going to care for your instrument like you do. If traveling by automobile, never leave the instrument, even for a short time, in a locked, enclosed situation. Temperatures raise and lower extremely fast.
4. When changing strings, do so one at a time to allow neck stress to remain constant.
5. When traveling or storing, it’s always best to de-tune the instrument slightly. Never completely taking off “all” of the string tension. Just a step or two usually helps.
Do Your Guitar Prices Include Shipping?
No. Shipping for each instrument, both in stock and custom made, will be calculated individually and charged separately. There are many options in the shipping world today and we will try to accommodate your time-frame and budget. Each instrument is carefully packaged and protected to get to you, no matter where you are. We've not lost one yet!
Do All of Your Guitars Come With Electronics?
Most of our "in-stock" guitars will not have electronics installed. These guitars were either "spec" guitars or guitars built for the sole purpose of being displayed and used as demo's at luthier shows. However, any of them can have electronics installed before they ship. Custom builds can include any of the electronic packages seen below.
What Electronic/Pickup Brands Do You Use?
This subject can be discussed for hours. Everyone who has had time on stage or "plugged-in" will have an opinion. Over the years, we have found that a simple under saddle pickup will allow you to plug-in but not offer the sound quality capable with a nicer system. Why have an amazing guitar if it doesn't sound like one! And lets be honest, if you want the absolute best sound out of an acoustic guitar, you won't install a pick-up system at all. You will strategically place two high-quality microphones at the 12th fret and the soundhole. Couple this set-up with an amazing sound technician and you have a winning combination. Unfortunately, that's not incredibly practical or within reach for most.
The best systems, in our opinion, offer an under saddle pickup and a microphone pickup accompanied with an on-board, active soundhole preamp that allows for a blend of the two.
We can install just about any brand of electronics, but prefer ones listed below that offer non-invasive installation in regards to the construction of the instrument. In other words, we do not install electronic systems that require a large cutout on the side of the guitar, for obvious reasons. The brands listed below are proven systems used by world-renowned musicians.
Systems we suggest and install:
LR Baggs - Anthem, Anthem SL or Lyric
Fishman - Ellipse or Infinity
K and K Sound - Pure, UltraPure, or Trinity
Copyright © 2021 Zoe Guitars - All Rights Reserved.
101 Copperwood Way, Suite A, Oceanside CA 92056
I want to thank all the people over the years who I’ve met and who have been a part of my success. Without all of you, this journey would have been a glass half-full. Especially, to the musicians that have trusted me and my art enough to allow my instruments to be a part of your brand.
After a lot of contemplation and going back-and-forth, I’ve decided to retire at the end of June. The decision is definitely bittersweet, but feel like the timing is perfect to pursue the next chapter. Thank you!