I have had my Ray4 with the SIMs pickups in it at my Luthier for him to put a real, custom pickguard on it for over 3 months.
Every couple weeks I check in and get some excuse or another … got slammed, screwed up template, etc. I actually do not mind if things take long if there is communication along the way.
I do understand as actual musicians started playing again they all found luthiers to get their gear in order and he did get slammed. I do understand that ‘emergency repairs’ for gigging folks tend to rise to the top of the list over things that ‘can’ sit. But I also expect a reasonable amount of time to fix something, and, if not, communication and then prioritization when the time has gotten out of hand.
Last week before I went on my trip for work, he said it would be done last week and he would let me know when it could be picked up…heard nothing. He is a really great luthier, and I had plans of starting to spend some serious money with him, but deprioritizing me into oblivion loses me as a client. I had tried out a very popular sax tech in NYC who did the same thing, and, I truly believe if I didn’t go to the shop and sit there while he finished the work that he would have never gotten to my horn. He not only lost my business but also got very bad reviews online from me too.
So with the above issues I decided to try out another guy who is based in a very famous shop here (that has one in NYC and one by me in Westchester). I brought my semi-hollow Fender to him for some piezo balancing (something I haven’t messed with and figured would be better for a tech to do since it might need a new piezo and finding the proper one seemed difficult. After two days he called and said it was ready. When I went to pick it up, no sound from the G string…seriously…none. He said “well it worked when I called you”. He then determined he needed to reshape the bone saddle for more even pressure and would be done in a week, that was 3 weeks ago.
In the land of saxophones, I have spent a great deal of time finding good techs. My horns are all 90-100+ years old and are very specialized. I have found there are less than 5 people in the entire country that really know what they are doing with saxophones. The rest is very hit and miss.
NYC and the tri-state area is a very odd market, in that there are so many people/musicians and so few repair places for all instruments. Even fewer worth a damn.
So when I read about @Wombat-metal’s woes with the luthier, I get it. Sometimes finding the good ones can take years.
So now, today, i have to start the incessant calling/texting bothering to become the squeaky wheel they just want to go away so they will fix my gear and get it back to me. Shame really, cause it will lose them business.