Is It More Expensive to Build Your Own Guitar

DIY Guitar Kits can be appealing for many reasons. Some people want to experience a fun and rewarding project, some want to work on their hobby and improve their skills. 

Others want to save money on a new guitar. Doing it your self is cheaper, right?

The answer is.... sometimes.

Is It Cheaper To Build Your Own Guitar?

First things first. The term "build" can mean a lot of different things to different people, such as:

  • You can "build" a guitar out of parts of other guitars
  • You can use a DIY Guitar Kit
  • You can source parts piece by piece
  • If you are a purist with lots of talent, you can carve your own neck and body from blocks of wood. 

Your total cost will depend on where you start in the process. We believe (and its why we are in this business) That DIY Guitar Kits give you the biggest bang for the buck. You get all the parts you need, pre-fitted to take out some of the guesswork. We can't all be master woodworkers, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a project suited to what we can do, and what we can learn.

Not All Guitars Are Created Equal. Neither Are All Guitar Kits

Two points to mention here:

1. Some kits are cheaper than others. So starting with the lowest price kit? Sure you might end up paying less for a finished guitar. It might not be any good, but it will be cheap!

2. When you visit your local guitar shop, there are all sorts of prices. Can you build a DIY ST style Solid Body with 3 single coil pickups cheaper than the generic Amazon version of that same guitar? Probably not. 

Can you build a hollow body guitar with nice pickups and a tremolo style bridge for less than the Brian Setzer model hanging on the wall? Yeah. You probably can. 

The beauty of building guitar kits is adding guitars to your collection that you don't already have. Already have a strat? Build something new. If a $1,500 finished guitar is out of your budget, good news. We might have a kit of that model for $150-250. 

Upgrades also Upgrade the Price

What are the 4 most expensive words in the english language? "While We Are At It".

Yes, that's five words. 

You might be familiar with the neighbor that is a 'car guy'. Once in a while, car guys end up rebuilding beautiful cars. New paint, great engine, upgraded everything. Pretty soon you have $60,000 into a car worth about $10,000. Was it worth it? Maybe to the builder. Not a good business, but fun.

Guitars can take the same course. The kit might be $200, but add $300 for the Seymour Duncan pickups you want, a genuine Bigsby tailpiece, Orange Drop caps, fancy knobs and a gold-plated guitar strap, pretty soon the guitar on the wall at the local shop looks like a bargain. Is yours an heirloom? Great. Your grandkids will love wailing away on it.

Where the dollars meet the road

In the end, a guitar kit build might be cheaper, but it might not be. We recommend that if price is your only consideration, it might be a frustrating process. There are cheaper options, like a used factory-built guitar on Facebook Marketplace. But for the experience, for the chance to work in your own Blood Sweat and Tears. For the chance to point at it and say, "Yeah. I built that." There is only one way to go. See the whole selection of DIY Guitar Kits today.

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