For a few good reasons, the word ‘kit’ has a bad reputation! Normally, buying a kit (especially a guitar kit) means you are saving a few bucks by using ‘student grade’ materials and because some of the work has been done for you – a great advantage to a beginner hoping to get his or her feet wet in lutherie. But with most of the kits on the market, there is plenty to be concerned about when it comes to the materials. The cheapest kits come from overseas factories, where the components are pulled off the assembly line and often have problems. There are better kits out there – but chances are that you will have few choices of which components are included. And forget about asking the seller to “pick out a nice, dark fingerboard” (or any other specification). You get what you get. End of story.
LMI used to sell “boxed kits”, but it was obvious that our kit customers were tempted (and frustrated) by the smorgasbord of goodies on our website, and the special handling that our non-kit customers enjoyed. So we addressed this need and created the Kit Wizard. With the Kit Wizard, you have the freedom to include any tonewood you want, from great budget oriented choices (lower grade tonewoods) to the highest of the high end. Use the ‘Special Instructions’ box on the checkout page to specify what you’d like your wood to look like. For example “Please select a Rosewood fingerboard with dark brown streaking”. If we can’t find exactly what you are looking for, we will get in touch with you to discuss the options – maybe send you some photos.
So in essence, with the Kit Wizard, you are able to select from the same menu of tonewoods that the pros select from. With LMI it’s first come, first served! We do not hold aside special pieces for special customers, which means your first (or your twentieth) guitar can be as spectacular as you would like it to be! And the savings you get by using the Custom Guitar Wizard are substantial. They sometimes even eclipse the wholesale/discount prices we charge the big manufacturers.
Do professional luthiers order ‘customized/serviced parts’ (i.e. slotted fingerboards, carved necks, bent side etc.)? Most prefer to do all the work themselves, but we’ve found that a growing number see the advantages in time and money of having LMI do some of the bucket work for them. This allows them time to focus on the finer points of building – and get the instrument completed sooner. Another sweet thing about the Kit Wizard is that you can include or remove ANY of our shop services or pre-carved parts that you wish.
Hopefully, this article not only clarifies how the LMI Kit Wizard can help you conveniently gather all the professional (or “student grade”) parts for your guitar in one fell swoop (and save some serious cash) … but, also helped remove the stigma attached to the word ‘kit’!