Whats New Pussycat - Feline Guitars Updates thread.

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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5985
    Continuing our promotional campaign we wanted to have some new printing done....

    We had somenew Feline Postcards arrived today - whoo Hoo.
    One is the Vince Ray designed Electric Warrior image, and the other is a condensed version of our last guitar review by Guitar and Bass Magazine....

    image

    image

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • CHrisP86CHrisP86 Frets: 179
    Jon showed me one of the 25th anniversary guitars today. The new inlays look good in the pictures above but are stunning in real life! Very intricate work.

    The top on the one I saw was amazing as well.
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  • We are tinkering with a design to put a floyd rose on one of our Lion Special models 
    We are trying it in a swamp ash body first time and made it 25.5" scale with an HSS pickup configuration.



    Still got the All access neck joint and we've used a standard LP control cavity , although I think we may go with a longer cavity on any future ones to allow the control layout to be somewhere more superstrat like

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 5796
    Oh I do love the look of swamp ash!
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  • adamrossadamross Frets: 18
    Continuing our promotional campaign we wanted to have some new printing done....

    We had somenew Feline Postcards arrived today - whoo Hoo.
    One is the Vince Ray designed Electric Warrior image, and the other is a condensed version of our last guitar review by Guitar and Bass Magazine....

    image

    I've seen Feline guitars around for a number of years and always had the same negative opinion of the logo. You should have Vince Ray redesign your logo and font because they look like the logos you might see on cheap Chinese made guitars at the moment and definitely put people off buying - me included.

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  • hubobuloushubobulous Frets: 2170
    edited August 2016

    Horses for courses I guess. I love the logo - looks classy and immediately identifiable


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  • SporkySporky Frets: 15054
    We are tinkering with a design to put a floyd rose on one of our Lion Special models 
    We are trying it in a swamp ash body first time and made it 25.5" scale with an HSS pickup configuration.
    I'd like (to see) a Lion with a modern non-locking tremolo. A Hipshot Contour, fer example, or similar, with Superstrat style control layout.

    However, worth bearing in mind that I'm awfully unlikely to buy any more guitars.
    Every year, I grow half as pretty, and twice as drunk. 
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  • Sporky said:
    We are tinkering with a design to put a floyd rose on one of our Lion Special models 
    We are trying it in a swamp ash body first time and made it 25.5" scale with an HSS pickup configuration.
    I'd like (to see) a Lion with a modern non-locking tremolo. A Hipshot Contour, fer example, or similar, with Superstrat style control layout.

    However, worth bearing in mind that I'm awfully unlikely to buy any more guitars.
    Yes - we plan to do it with the Hipshot tremolo too - hence looking to use a narrower headstock for straighter string pull

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5985
    edited August 2016

    adamross said:
    Continuing our promotional campaign we wanted to have some new printing done....

    We had somenew Feline Postcards arrived today - whoo Hoo.
    One is the Vince Ray designed Electric Warrior image, and the other is a condensed version of our last guitar review by Guitar and Bass Magazine....

    image

    I've seen Feline guitars around for a number of years and always had the same negative opinion of the logo. You should have Vince Ray redesign your logo and font because they look like the logos you might see on cheap Chinese made guitars at the moment and definitely put people off buying - me included.

    That's alright - we're only looking to continue building for another year or so , so you wont have to be put off for long.

    You can't please all the people all the time , and many people have moaned but wouldn't buy one even if you changed it to their own design

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • In the meantime we have an update to the case candy we were putting together


    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • hubobuloushubobulous Frets: 2170
    I really like useful tools being thrown into a case candy package, but for some time now I've been put off by the tool not matching the colour of the guitar it comes with. Can you get someone to design an array of coloured tools please?
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  • I really like useful tools being thrown into a case candy package, but for some time now I've been put off by the tool not matching the colour of the guitar it comes with. Can you get someone to design an array of coloured tools please?
    This forum needs a sarcasm font!

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 5796
    That's alright - we're only looking to continue building for another year or so , so you wont have to be put off for long.

    You can't please all the people all the time , and many people have moaned but wouldn't buy one even if you changed it to their own design
    Hold on now, you can't just casually drop that in, what's all this about?  

    You're too young to retire - I know because I'm a year older than you and I'm facing another 15 years with my nose to the grindstone.
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  • DeijavooDeijavoo Frets: 3111
    I had heard this rumour too back in Feb at the guitar show.


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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 5985
    edited August 2016
    My accountant has been telling me for years that the margins on the custom built stuff is way too small and brings with it a huge amount of turnover for very little profit and that as we have so much repair work which pays a proper rate for the hours we spend on it, we should concentrate more on the repairs and less on the guitar building ..if not give up doing it entirely.
    Either that or seriously rejig the pricing on the builds to reflect the man hours that go into it.
    Actually he pointed out that without the custom builds pushing our turnover so much we might go back under the VAT threshold, and the loss in profit we would face may actually be only around the amount of VAT that we have been having to pay added to the extra admin costs too.
    But what would also happen is it may halve my working hours and stress levels......much of that from the paint finishers alone (lol)

    I have never wanted to stop making guitars as I love it and I have especially wanted to see through the 20th and 25th Anniversary milestones, but it is time for a rethink.

    One problem we inflicted on ourselves was when we went VAT registered we should have added 20% to the cost of our guitars but we didn't because people said it would make our guitars too expensive, so we elected to absorb that new extra cost within the existing build price. 
    The sad thing is that if we sold a £3000 guitar: HMRC want £500, our paint guys want £420, and the price of parts and components (all high end stuff) keeps going up and up and certainly not helped by the dip in the exchange rate post Brexit vote, and there too little money to cover the hours we like to dedicate to making a fantastic guitar.
    I know that being in a town centre makes rent and living costs high, but it's where my family is and also it makes it relatively easy for our repair customers to get to us, and it's one reason why we have so much regular repair work (other than the quality and thoroughness of our work)

    But between the repairs, the custom builds, the Blackmachine builds, the business admin and maintaining the business I am pretty much working 12-16 hours a day and have been for years and it is taking it's toll. 
    I kind of need to give myself a break from it and whilst the promise two weeks on a beach is a fun break, within weeks of going back to work it's like I never had a holiday, so I need to do something to get the work/life balance back in check.

    I'm not giving up though...
    I will complete the builds we have going on , make the 25th Anniversary Lions & Lion cubs and a few more and complete the commitment to the Blackmachine B6s we already have parts for. 
    After that..... which will possibly be 2018 I feel like I will concentrate on some new projects alongside the ever growing repairs work and I will probably make a couple or more "special" guitars for that year on a strictly limited basis. 
    I do want to work on that 1970s F1 themed project I have had in mind too.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 5796
    edited August 2016
    I'd never really considered how your profit margins would differ on the custom builds versus repair work.  And swallowing the VAT after registration must have been a real killer.

    Oh well, I hope it all goes as planned Jon!  Improving the work/life balance may make all the difference, it's certainly something I think about as I get older (not that I actually have a life....)

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  • Oh there is much to look forward to and not that much will change but I might extend my chances of living a bit longer.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • If I were in your position,  I'd keep the guitar building as a smaller part of the business, but rejig the pricing. Charge the cost of parts and services + 10%, and the Labour cost being the same per hour as the average repair work. 

    Then pass the VAT onto the customer. 

    This would allow you to continue making guitars,  but with a higher profit so it would be more viable. 

    Also get a new website. 

    Best of luck whatever you choose to do though. 
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  • Hertz32Hertz32 Frets: 2244
    edited September 2016
    I'd hate to see Feline stop building, I've been lusting after one as long as I've been a member and always promised myself I'd own one eventually. Though I can certainly see why it's not profitable and I totally understand your reasons to reconsider doing it professionally.
    You could probably charge a fairer price for yourself and limit yourself to only the guitars you *want* to build, with the appropriate expansion of build times. Hell, I'd not mind a 3 year wait list if it was a guitar that you were looking forward to build, and a guitar I was looking forward to receiving! Making Building the profitable hobby in comparison to the guitar work that pays the bills more effectively! 
    'Awibble'
    Vintage v400mh mahogany topped dreadnought acoustic FS - £100 
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  • For now I intend to carry on building things I like building and in the meantime I really want to get the 25th anniversary guitars out there. There will crtainly be a few more Blackmachines
    After that which will probably be in the second half of 2017 - early 2018 I may still build but maybe starting to concentrate on special limited editions with a limited number for that year (maybe like 2 or 3 per year).
    I just need to get the work /life balance back in line so I feel that I can enjoy being creative again.
    And maybe do a few new things that I have wanted to try out.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • If I were in your position,  I'd keep the guitar building as a smaller part of the business, but rejig the pricing. Charge the cost of parts and services + 10%, and the Labour cost being the same per hour as the average repair work. 

    Then pass the VAT onto the customer. 

    This would allow you to continue making guitars,  but with a higher profit so it would be more viable. 

    Also get a new website. 

    Best of luck whatever you choose to do though. 
    A new website could be on the cards if I am making changes but it is a huge undertaking when feeling overwhelmed .
    It will follow on and the focus on more repairs and speciality stuff will become apparent.
    Anyway - I have a few days off now to contemplate such matters

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • skelfskelf Frets: 182
    Why not separate the guitar building from the repairs allowing you to de register both. A bit more paper work but would allow you to continue without the VAT problem in both businesses.
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  • Not sure how happy HMRC would be though...
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  • skelfskelf Frets: 182
    edited September 2016
    It is done all the time. As long as they operate as separate entities there should be no problem. Easily checked via accountant.
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  • I am an accountant.  

    Not wanting to derail the thread with boring tax stuff, and it's a good idea in theory, but I think the activities of building and repairing guitars are too similar and HMRC would challenge any split for VAT purposes.
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  • skelfskelf Frets: 182
    edited September 2016
    Sure you are right but worth exploring sure the HMRC would be happy to say one way or the other. I looked into separating building from wood sales a while back and it seemed to be ok but that may be a better degree of separation. 
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  • NPPNPP Frets: 154
    I fully understand the reasons why it isn't rational to continue production on the current scale. I also admire the work posted in this thread and think that it would be sad to see these instruments disappear from the market. 

    Would there be a business model that allowed you to cut out the bits of the build that are causing you trouble without contributing anything in earnings? For example selling kits (body and neck glued together, fretted but unfinished)? Customers would then have to worry about finishing and electrics - but you might supply a booklet or maintain a website with recommended parts, suppliers of complete wiring harnesses, people ready to paint a guitar? As an intermediate step, you could sell the guitar unfinished and without electronics, but with hardware and strings and perfectly set up. 

    Obviously, I don't know whether the figures would add up on this. 

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  • Really sorry to hear that Jonathan :(

    You have to keep building until 2020 as my wife has promised I can have a Feline for my 40th!
    Handsome_Chris said: Like white Nile Rodgers. 
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  • Thanks for the positive input and suggestions.
    my accountant and I discussed the option with respect to splitting things in two and he also said that it wouldn't wash with HMRC. Anyhow I think it's the work/life balance I want to get back in check and to stop the job feeling like a production line that I am no longer in charge of.
    I'd like a chance for a bit of creative time to come back into the mix and in reality a short break is what I need and then pick up the reins in a more controlled way.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, BKP, Oil City And Monty's pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com.  Facebook too!

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  • derndern Frets: 300
    I hope you find a way to do what you want in a way that doesn't wear you down, I think it's what all of us are looking for ;)

    Also from a selfish point of view I hope that you find a way to continue to make guitars without wearing yourself down as I've promised myself that I can come and talk to you when I've cleared my mortgage in a couple of years :)
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