I went to the greatest place I never knew existed today!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Dredmahawkus, Jan 19, 2013.


  1. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    So I bought a Fender jazz a couple months ago and the neck twisted like a pretzel. I was going to buy a warmoth...then said to myself self its probably under warranty! I looked under Fenders site for places to bring it back and the closest place was like 20 miles from house in Attleboro MA. So I called them they close at noon but said they were going to be there a while today! So I drove down couldnt find the address. down this brick alley I found the little sign that pointed to the end that said Becker guitars. I went in and there were a dozen hand made guitars and basses on the wall. the place was like watching the Fodera video on youtube! there was rooms and rooms of wood and people sanding and building guitars and basses. I was then more interested in the workshop then my own bass. I played one of the basses on the wall and it played amazing so smooth! I then told the guy I was thinking about going to luthier school....and he said they were thinking about starting to teach people. So I might have to go there to learn. There goes my thoughts of buying the new fender AVRI....now I have to have one of their basses! He took me on a quick tour of the place and showed me all the purple heart and ebony and all the different woods. It was really the best 20 minutes I have had all weekend! Check out there site beckerguitars.com great stuff!
  2. bassasaurus

    bassasaurus Zonker Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2003
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I also stumbled across Becker Guitars recently do get a quick set-up done on my Fender Jazz. They did a great job with quick service. I now have a local luthier for my extended musical instrument family. I do need to go back and play their custom instruments. Very interesting what they are doing
  3. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    Cool,
    What are they going to do about your Fender neck?
  4. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    Oh yeah forgot about that....I think they are just sending it back to fender for a new one. I just emailed him and asked if I could pay more and get an american neck....I doubt fender will do that but...I wish never bought that mexifender.....it just sucks compared to my american. I just watched a video on youtube about them



    I want a custom built one now!
  5. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    I asked him if he could build me a neck for it too! lol I would love to have a jazz bass with purpleheart 5 piece neck....that would be unique! but their basses dont really have bolt ons...one he showed me was a bolt on. Dan Becker was the guy who showed me around...if you like wood this place was like a porn shop!
  6. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The guys in that video seemed stoned :D

    I kind of lost them when they were talking about air dried lumber being better than kiln dried for tone.
  7. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    Well I asked them about how they stored there wood....did they use a humidifier or anything...they told me they leave it out in the air....If the woods going to do something its going to do something. made sense to me since my mexifenders neck twisted the first time the air went dry here.
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    But air dried vs kiln dried will have zero effect on tone. That is a misleading sales pitch. Dry is dry, regardless of how it got that way. Moisture content and tone are not related. Wood needs to be dry for stability not tone. A 50 year old board is no different than one thats only a year old if the moisture content is the same.
  9. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    Disclosures:
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Not to open a can of worms but how a wood is dried does make some difference in the resulting lumber. Stability is not only a function of moisture content but internal tension which does depend on how the wood was dried.

    Tone? I won't go there.
  10. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, north Texas
    Disclosures:
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    Yeah, I can see time being a factor. Off the top of my head, it seems like consistency might make up for it. Properly done, I'd imagine both methods would be fine. Maybe kiln dryers are more likely to try to rush the process?
  11. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    I'm no expert, but I would think a kiln dried board, would do all the moving its going to do in the year or so after it was dried. Am I wrong on this assumption?

    I could see a kiln dried board still moving after its been dried, because of the speed in which it was dried. Where an air dried piece would do all of its moving in the very long process of drying out.

    My point was, I don't see how a 50 year old air dried maple board would be any better than a 3 year old kiln dried board. It just seems like they are trying to pass off air dried lumber like it has some sort of mystic property to it that makes it better than kiln dried.
  12. Scott in Dallas

    Scott in Dallas

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, north Texas
    Disclosures:
    Builder and Owner: DJ Ash Guitars
    My logic tells me that this is probably correct. There might be places that pull the boards out of the kiln and hand them to the UPS guy as well. If you're making high-end instruments and you don't have to compromise, you might figure you're less likely to get burned by always using air dried lumber.
  13. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Location:
    Maryland
    Disclosures:
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I'm not an expert either, but I would not assume all stresses will work themselves out in a year. You can introduce tension in the wood by improperly kiln drying, or you can produce dry lumber of great consistency with a kiln.

    "Understanding Wood" by R. Bruce Hoadley is a great resource for those who are interested in learning more about wood and drying it (or if you have insomnia) and is available at many libraries.

    I personally don't think that there is anything magical about old, air dried wood. It is more likely to have worked out its internal stress, and is less likely to have been screwed up in a kiln, which is good. But you can get high quality lumber out of a kiln, too.
  14. Dredmahawkus

    Dredmahawkus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Location:
    Boston
    Now if you were a huge place like Fender and was planning on being around for another 10 years....wouldnt you let the wood dry kiln or air for like 10 years....then every year rotate the stock so you always use the 10 year old stuff? wouldnt that be stable? my meixfenders neck was not stable! all twisted after owning it for 9 weeks!

    speaking of Becker guitars....I think I am going to bring my new sterling classic to them tomorrow for a setup. I dont trust myself with the trussrod!

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