Ian Elson Guitars - AVOID!!

What's Hot
jimcroisdalejimcroisdale Frets: 38
edited June 22 in Guitar
Hi all,

I'm a guitar tech based in Leeds. A client of mine bought a custom guitar from Ian Elson, a guitar maker from the Norwich area.

All I can say is that it's been a total disaster, and one that I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through. I've written a blog on my website about it that you can read here:

https://jimsguitarworkshop.co.uk/2021/05/26/avoid-ian-elson-guitars/

TL;DR - AVOID IAN ELSON GUITARS!

Cheers,

Jim
1reaction image LOL 21reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
«13456714

Comments

  • grungebobgrungebob Frets: 2282
    Blimey. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 5503
    Holy moley !
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • stonevibestonevibe Frets: 5465
    He looks like a trustworthy business...
    How much does it weigh? & Does it play like butter?

    You can now read my insane guitar ramblings daily here http://www.gearnews.com and here https://guitarbomb.com 

    https://www.instagram.com/jefstone/
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • JetfireJetfire Frets: 1348
    I've been following him for a while on FB and I like the look of his builds, very stripped back and very simplistic but I'll have a read of this
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 5516
    I have seen so many custom/DIY builds that look great in photos and when you pick it up in person it's pretty crude. This is a bit worse than that when you look at the nut and bridge and the top finish edge is the most boggling
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • uksaint7uksaint7 Frets: 143
    But apart from that it was ok?
    20reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • GrumpyrockerGrumpyrocker Frets: 2372
    Me opening the thread. "Surely this is just nitpicking and scene drama, I'll just read the link....."

    YIKES what a dog. It looks like I'd made it.

    2reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • Bennyboy-UKBennyboy-UK Frets: 821
    That’s blurring the line between handmade and homemade pretty badly.

    The customer facing bullshit lies are the icing on the cake though...
    I'm always looking for interesting USA Hamers for sale. At the moment I'm looking for Virtuoso, Watson, SS2, Vintage S, Vanguard, Centaura HH/2HB, Vector. Drop me a message.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • rze99rze99 Frets: 1087
    Very poor thank you for the head up.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom
  • jonnyscaramangajonnyscaramanga Frets: 427
    Wow. 

    I actually did my bit to help promote Ian back in 2015. He spammed me on Facebook asking me to promote his brand (we'd had no previous contact). I was a bit annoyed but for some reason I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, and made this thread:

    https://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57197/

    Various builders commented pointing out that it is not economically viable to build quality guitars by hand at the prices he advertised. Something was amiss. These points were made quite reasonably. Ian's replies to these reasonable criticisms were unnecessarily defensive, and I was quite embarrassed that I ever posted the thread.

    And now this. At least we know why they were cheap now.
    My YouTube channel, Half Speed Solos: classic guitar solos demonstrated at half speed with scrolling tab and no waffle.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • LogieLogie Frets: 367
    edited May 31
    I bought a custom build from eBay about 10 years ago and it looked as good in the flesh as it did in the pics from 18” away but up close the build quality was fairly poor and it choked out from about the 10th fret downward. Plus, it weighed just under 14lbs for a double cut which was a bit of a surprise.

    However, I got in touch with the guy and he immediately offered me the money back and would cover the postage. I felt a bit guilty in case I was being too picky ( in hindsight I wasn’t ) so I paid the postage and lesson learnt.

    This guitar looks to be in another class of hacked about driftwood altogether and he sounds like a prize cocknugget to boot.

    If you’re buying a custom build, it’s the height of optimism to rely on pics alone before laying down your wedge. 

    You can pay to do any number of guitar building courses but if you’ve got the hand to eye coordination of Oliver Reed after a two week bender it’s not going to worry PRS.

    1reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • SkippedSkipped Frets: 2343
    That was a hard read.
    But Jim was right to share this.

    On the original Fretboard thread (about a new UK builder),  @octatonic  gets 12 wisdoms (now 13 wisdoms)  for his advice  and his measured concern about the low price point for a handmade guitar.






    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • octatonicoctatonic Frets: 30347
    edited May 31
    Skipped said:
    That was a hard read.
    But Jim was right to share this.

    On the original Fretboard thread (about a new UK builder),  @octatonic ;; gets 12 wisdoms (now 13 wisdoms)  for his advice  and his measured concern about the low price point for a handmade guitar.


    Thanks.
    As I said 5 years ago I saw no way to run a business making high quality, hand made guitars for the amounts he was charging without losing money.
    In my opinion something has to give- either the price goes up, quality goes down, or you get into mass production to bring the cost down.
    I wrote a dissertation about this specific issue, use PRS as a case study.

    As an aside, I got out of guitar building because of these issues- I won't go into specifics but it was at least in part because I couldn't charge what it cost me to make in terms of labour and I didn't want to invest in CNC/automation technology without having an established business.

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
  • jimcroisdalejimcroisdale Frets: 38
    Yes, I saw that old thread as well, around the same time. I think that's when I started to follow him on Facebook etc too. As others have said, they look okay from a distance, but up close it was another story.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • SquireJapanSquireJapan Frets: 461
    edited May 31
    Hi all,

    I'm a guitar tech based in Leeds. A client of mine bought a custom guitasr from Ian Elson, a guitar maker from the Norwich area.

    All I can say is that it's been a total disaster, and one that I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through. I've written a blog on my website about it that you can read here:

    https://jimsguitarworkshop.co.uk/2021/05/26/avoid-ian-elson-guitars/

    TL;DR - AVOID IAN ELSON GUITARS!

    Cheers,

    Jim

    Wow.

    If I'm honest, before I read the blog post, I'd assumed it was case of a bit of bad experience, with someone venting.

    How wrong I was!

    Even I can tell that's a complete mess of a "guitar shaped object".

    What a shame
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • skunkwerxskunkwerx Frets: 5237
    Holy moly. Yeah I’d have sent that straight back!
    The only easy day, was yesterday...
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • SupportactSupportact Frets: 58
    Well done Jim for raising this and for helping out your client.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
  • mendymendy Frets: 171
    edited July 26
     B)
    6reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom
  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 17275
     I must admit I assumed the OP's blog post was going to be an unnecessary hatchet job but so many failings on a single instrument make you wonder how the guy is happy to send out something with that many things fundamentally not right. 

    Sadly doesn't seem to be a surprise given the general naivety shown in the old thread here.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
  • ICBMICBM Frets: 56948
    I was worried it might be a case of buyer's remorse or needing to hear both sides of the story too, but the guitar speaks for itself.

    Appalling. Worse than most DIY builds and 'luthier course' guitars I've seen... not remotely acceptable as a commercial product he's charging money for. There's also a horrendously bodged fingerboard inlay dot in the first pic, which seems to have been overlooked in the catalogue of other faults.

    Add shady business practices and outright lies on top and it really isn't a good picture.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom
Sign In or Register to comment.