Your first guitar is likely to be at least slightly less than perfect. I could find nothing at all wrong with the tail block. If you already have some experience, the Martin kits may be attractive at sale prices if you are content to build them as supplied and some visible defects don't bother you. They each have their sweet-spot, though. If for any reason you’re STILL not satisfied, you’d better head over to the DIY guitar kit vendor review article! My first build was a basic Mahogany and Sitka Spruce dreadnaught. Another best pack bag of guitar or musical tool kit that contains 3 File, 3 Hex wrench, 1 Screwdriver, 1 Steel ruler, 1 String Action Ruler, 1 Guitar string winder cutter pin puller, 1 Storage bag. The big fish in the luthier “pond” is Stewart MacDonald, often referred to as “StewMac”. Share on LinkedIn Share. It was pure luck that I got it right. Temper the following comments with the fact that I don't have any first-hand experience with StewMac Kits. Overall, I was extremely happy with LMI but I’m also fully aware that I would not have been able to build this guitar without help from my luthier friend Dave. This was deeply stained a matching Rosewood color on the outside where it would show. To sum it up, if you've never built a guitar, the plans, templates, written and video instructions and live help alone, that come with the StewMac kits are likely to be worth any extra cost. Kits are not exact replicas of any Martin models. In some ways the choices can be overwhelming, but if you’ve already made a couple guitars and you know what you’re doing, this option to customize is very appealing. The X-braces as supplied, are fully shaped and notched. If this is the first guitar you've built, using the Richlite parts may be attractive if you don't feel confident about making these parts from wood or don't want to pay the premium for pre-made ones. In Martin nomenclature, it’s the International Mahogany 000 24.9 Guitar Kit and has a list price of $400 plus shipping. If you have a Martin Owners Club membership, you might get a further discount, as I did. What are your thoughts? Not only does Martin sell some of the nicest guitars on the market today, their 1833 Shop also sells kits and a limited selection of tools. StewMac kits don't include tuners or strings, perhaps due to there being such diverse personal preferences for these items. Those first two guitars wandered away from me but I still possess the third one, a roughly 00-sized 12 fret, slot-head with D side depth. Finally, if you’re a Martin-junkie and you can’t live without an authentic Martin guitar, there’s nowhere else to go but Martin. Like many Martin guitars, it is very much understated. It's perfectly camouflaged and probably will still be after finish sanding. In this you get all parts or tools that provides you great help in tune up and perfect for maintaining. Also included are a set of standard Martin light 80/20 bronze strings. This is a somewhat subjective question. The saddle appears to be Tusq (a molded bone-like synthetic). The fretboard and bridge are slotted and pre-shaped Richlite, a durable but heavy and tonally dead composite material with a uniform consistency somewhere between wood and slate. Be assured that Richlite has a long history of being tougher than wood and some players prefer it for fretboards for that reason. The kits themselves aren’t terribly expensive but the options are limited. Under string tension, the fretboard pulled up straight and the excessive relief was cured, at least for now. On the other hand, if you’re a beginner and you want a simple, quality guitar kit, they offer some of the best. If so, please leave a comment below sharing which company you used and how your experience was. You also won't necessarily get only parts that were intended for the model of Martin guitar the kit appears to represent. All for a price that's several hundred dollars less than you'd pay for an off-the-shelf Martin. The major wood parts in Martin kits are factory rejects, byproducts of guitar manufacturing. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The kit parts can produce good instruments but were judged to be unsuitable for use in Martin guitars, usually for visual reasons. The sides were bent around a copper pipe heated with a propane torch. Have you build a guitar from kit before? Get the guaranteed best price on 6 String Acoustic Guitars like the Martin Build Your Own Guitar Kit at Musician's Friend. Several years after building number 3 and using it for gigging, camping, letting friends engrave the top with misdirected flatpicking and numerous all-night jams, the repurposed rod broke inside the neck. I won't discuss the actual construction, since I'll be substituting parts and not building it to spec. In the end, it boils down to three major companies that supply quality kits for acoustic guitars: Let’s look at each one of these companies and their kits individually.