Guitars made by hand are not the same as guitars made in factories. They are made differently, for different purposes, and in different markets. They are finished differently and are made with different intentions, aims, and skills.
What exactly is handmade?
As you mentioned, things were handmade long ago, when tools were simple. The primary difference between handmade guitars and factory guitars is that factories are mass-produced, while handmade guitars are not.
While this may seem self-evident and obvious, many implications emerge from this simple fact.
- Relationships with individuals
A personal relationship may occur with an individual guitar maker if you deal with him or her individually. This relationship may last for years, and it may become a vital one. They will almost be available directly to you for consultations or technical difficulties. They will consider any work done on your behalf a matter of utmost importance.
- Price and value
The price of a handcrafted guitar matches it’s real value, in terms of labour and overhead, more accurately than that of a factory-made guitar with the same price. Some people may devote 200 hours of conscientious time and skill to the latter.
Handmade guitars are priced so that a maker can survive without being able to override the profit motive.
A real hand-crafted guitar almost plays itself. Its sound quality and playability are its defining attributes.
The skills and creative talent of hand makers vary, and they have different conceptions of “best”.
- Mastery of craftsmanship
Hand makers are flexible and efficient enough to do customized work in every place where it counts.
The best craft workers will always strive to learn new techniques and to improve the quality of their work.
Research on the elements involved in tonal production reveals the fact that small alterations in structure at precisely the right moment can make important, specific differences in response.
This study takes years because there are so many places where a small amount of wood can be taken or added, and because the difference between a little more or a little less can have a critical effect on a specific aspect of tone.
An individual who works like this will end up making guitars that are consistent in quality and are satisfying to his clients.
The goal of traditional instrument makers is to make instruments that are delicate yet responsive enough to be handled gently by musicians. Guitars can be purposefully made that way — so that it is louder and more responsive.
Man who makes guitars by hand cannot afford to overbuild. They would end up being the same as factory guitars but at a much higher price. They wouldn’t have that extra dimension of responsiveness that makes them so appealing to a buyer.
Handmade guitars are for those needing specific details to be met. You can’t get the same quality from factory-produced machines to your exact liking. It is for the musician who knows exactly what he or she wants.
Finding amazing craftsmen of these handmade is the only problem since there are few of them. They constantly have to know and master every skill available in their arsenal to satisfy their clients. If you need a specific and fine-tuned guitar then consider going for a handmade option.