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What's up with MPG??? (Matt Pulcinella basses)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ricky Caboverde, Feb 22, 2008.


  1. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I sent him a request for a price on a commission for a fretless level5 er. I asked for a setneck (although I mentioned that if he didn't offer that option I was ok with the bolt-on), and 17mm spacing which is tighter than his usual specs. He sent me back a response that practically just blows me off:

    "I don’t really do set necks. Im not real jazzed about 17mm spacing either. This sounds like a job for Callowhill Basses.

    MP"

    Callowhill builds nice basses, but they are nothing like his. I thought Matt would have been more accomodating or at least patient enough to work through to some kind of agreement that would be accomodating to both parties rather than just wave me off to some other builder. :confused::(
     
  2. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA
    Matt builds more to his specs than a traditional "custom" shop. He has his ideas of what works well for his basses and he really does not do special requests unless you are a repeat customer. I have purchased 3 basses from Matt and had great experiences each time, but I really didn't stray from the norm.

    You also may have caught him on a bad day.
     
  3. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    I respect the answer. In my book it reads "RESPECT" from start to finish. Instead of going ahead with something that is not in his comfort zone and providing you with a mediocre bass, he chose to direct you to someone else. Would you be happier with a bad bass arriving your way??? I don't think so.

    IMO and IME you get the best results with luthiers that have a certain frame of work and they give 110% of their abilities on that
     
  4. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I emailed him back that I seriously wanted to work with him and that Callowhill was not an option for me.
    He did get back with me (just now actually), that he would do 18mm spacing, but only as a bolt-on....we'll see where this goes :ninja:

    I was just surprised at his response without any real reason.

    Thanks for clearing that up a bit Mark ;)
     
  5. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    You'd probably get similar responses from many other builders who don't offer set necks or 17mm spacing.

    Some luthiers are open to anything the client requests, and others try to stay within a few design parameters that serve to define the look of the instruments they produce. MPG never seemed to be an "anything goes" custom builder, so another one may be a better choice for you.
     
  6. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maryland
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    One offs are costly for the manufacturer. He doesn't do set necks so that's new templates to develop. He doesn't do 17mm, so that's more templates to develop. So he pointed you in the direction of someone that may be able to help. Not sure what else you expected.
     
  7. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    In all fairness, I don't think it is possible for Matt to build a mediocre bass...really! this guy knows what he is doing and string spacing should have nothing to do with a final product from him.
    I did however get a response about this email, and he told me that he simply did not want anything "weird" leaving his shop, and the 17mm. was "weird" for him. THAT I can respect. Especially since there was a certain lightwave bass that left his shop that has been a thorn in his side ever since.

    We've agreed on 18mm. though, so it's all good:D
     
  8. BruceWane

    BruceWane

    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Are you wanting a narrower neck to go along with the narrow spacing? If so, it could be that he doesn't have the time to re-shape one of his standard necks by hand.

    If you're wanting 17mm spacing on a standard sized neck you might want to explain that to him, since all that should require is using a different bridge. I know I like necks with a little more "shoulder room" on the outsides of the strings than some other basses have - I tend to pull strings off the fretboard on basses where the strings ride really close to the edges. If this is your case, let him know and he might be more open to the idea.
     
  9. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    This is what I expected...and it's so nice...
     
  10. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maryland
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    That was a neck through. As far as I know, that was the only one.
     
  11. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    That's a neck-though, not set neck. Matt offered an neck-through version for little while, but I don't think he ever made very many. Maybe he wasn't happy with the results, or maybe they just took too much time and work.

    Mike
     
  12. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    I am very very happy with my MPG Level 5, that's why it's even more important that he has more of a specific vision instead of "anything catered"
     
  13. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    and like I said...it's cool!
    I told him initially that it wasn't that important for me, but it was something I would have liked. Rather than simply explaining to me that he doesn't think the neckthough would sound as good as his bolt-on or that he's since moved away from that because it's easier...he just flat out tells me I don't do 'em...go to Callowhills...
    Granted he seems like a great guy, especially after responding to my emails that I sent him after that initial one, but that one email that was just so cut and dry had really rubbed me the wrong way.
    That's all I'm trying to say.
     
  14. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I wasn't really asking for that much...honestly.
    My specs are:
    Ash body with "antique" burst finish and matching headstock.
    Lined macassar ebony board
    5pcs. maple neck with wenge stringers.
    Active/passive electronics of his choice.
    17mm. spacing and neckthough (or bolt on if NT is not an option anymore).

    Simple.
    I won't defend myself anymore...I'm sorry if some guys are starting to get offended that I challenged Matt's great reputation of customer service. He is a nice guy I just caught him on a bad day, or I simply am too sensitive...:rolleyes:
    I'm OK now...really
     
  15. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    I just had to add this response from Callowhill guitar's owner :)
    Your post had me laughing, Matt was just in my shop this morning. I just made a 17mm and was complaining about it because it cost me more to develop than I got for it, I wonder if he was busting my chops...

    I feel you made an excellent choice in Matt's basses, I'm glad to see you could reach a compromise that will work for both of you. His are among my favorite basses in the industry!

    -Tim
     
  16. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Chris Stambaugh built exactly what I wanted; 17mm included. He made suggestions of course, and had ideas (and persuaded me in a few regards) but never once refused to do what I asked. And he did a fantastic job...I would not hesitate to recommend him nor to use him again.

    Actually, I did...he also built a bolt-on maple neck for a body I had.
     
  17. Either go with the 18mm or Callowhill, or a Stambaugh. Don't be complaining that your diamond shoes are too tight, eh? :p
     
  18. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    Seriously :)
    It is hard to go wrong now-a-days with so many incredible (affordable too) luthiers around.
     
  19. +1 on what most have said. Though you certainly didn't catch Matt on a bad day. I can actually see some humor in that message with the Callowhill mention :D

    I'll add that Matt likes to be very concise in his emails, which can sometimes seem abrupt if you read it the wrong way, but he has the best intentions for both the customer and of course his business. Different builders offer different options, not everyone does the whole shebang custom order thing. Try getting a set-neck Alleva Coppolo with 17mm spacing ;)

    Oh and FWIW, Matt really doesn't like when his stuff is titled 'Pulcinella Basses or Pulcinella Guitars'. You can read it in his articles, but I'd change the thread title or you might actually get a 'bad day' email :p
     
  20. Ricky Caboverde

    Ricky Caboverde Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2004
    Miami, FL
    fixed...
    :bag:
     

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