Ormsby Guitars wrote:$23 for Rocklite ebano fretboards.
Going into $3000-4000 instruments.
And you guys are complaining about the price?!?
Furthermore, spoke with the department handling this new rosewood deal. $70 or so for each shipment or $170ish for a six month 'pass'. Storm in a teacup it seems.
I've bought rocklite and I think it's a good product. But yes, it is overpriced for what it is - engineered wood. There are others available out there. The big names in the business are Alpiwood and Tabu. The Chinese are in on the action too. The feller who sells Rocklite may well be getting it made by Alpiwood, Tabu or the Chinese. Ive seen a few of these products and they are all variations on the same theme - softwood rotary cut veneer, dyed, stacked and glued with one resin or another then recut into "quarter sawn" boards. It's very popular in the furniture and shop fitting world in veneer form. I've some stuff I bought in Germany which is almost identical to Rocklite apart from it's not quite as black. And half the price. You can buy it in 2.5m lenghts, 50mm thick and 280mm wide. You could cut it into sets if you liked. Comes as rosewood, ebony, wenge, zebrano...
Price? Well, when I'm buying stuff, price is always an issue. The margins in building are getting tighter all the time just as the list of restricted products grows. Whilst the high end of the high end seems to keep getting more expensive for the majority of "bread and butter" makers prices are not keeping up. If you look at a big dealer in the US like Dream Guitars, you'll see the average price of sold instruments hasn't gone up in 10 years. It's remained the same. US$5000. Volume of sales has gone up for the market, but so has supply. Its becoming clear that supply is exceeding demand so maintaining $5000 will become harder in the years to come.
It's rare to hear the line "What does the material cost matter" from a maker. Wood dealers love to use the line "what's another $50 (or insert whatever it is) when you're selling a guitar for $5000? What it is, is another $50 that won't be going in my bank account multiplied by 20 guitars a year, multiplied by similar amounts to other parts, materials and components. If you're not careful, it adds up to doing the same amount of work for a lot less money every year.