Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Chat about Equipment Info
 #154514  by peanutavalon
 Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:41 pm
I've been a longtime lurker here so I decided to join the forum. I'm curious about Phiga guitars. I've read good and bad reviews from threads started years ago. Just wondering if people having any good or bad input from recent experiences. I've heard :

1. setups can be bad.
2. Wiring can be faulty.
3. pickups are fakes.
4. Corners cut with wood working.

Please share your good or bad experiences.

 #154518  by Searing75
 Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:04 pm
I love my Phiga Bolt. I re wired it, and added all Dimarzio pups myself. It's plays, and sounds great. It's heavy, but that adds to the tone.
 #154523  by peanutavalon
 Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:26 am
Searing75 wrote:I love my Phiga Bolt. I re wired it, and added all Dimarzio pups myself. It's plays, and sounds great. It's heavy, but that adds to the tone.
Glad to hear, According to older threads (10 years old) the first guitars produced had some issues. Stoked to hear you are liking yours.
 #154540  by rugger
 Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:17 am
I've never owned or played a Phiga so I can't offer any substantive comments regarding his guitars. For all I know they're awesome.

I have been on the music forums for a number of years now and can paint a picture for your potential experience of dealing with a one man shop. Heck, sometimes it's even larger, established companies. Google Quinn Amps, Farndurk pedals, This 1 Myne, Morgan Amplification for just a few. The Gear Page (and RU Kind to a lesser extent) is littered with these stories. The following comments do not apply to Phiga specifically but rather custom orders at small/one man shops.

Are you prepared for the builder to:
1. take 2-3x's (or longer) the stated build time to finish your instrument
2. require money up front
3. stop returning your emails or calls
4. tell you your guitar is ready to ship and to send the remainder of what's due and then never ship the guitar
5. produce a product that is deficient or doesn't meet your expectations which requires even more money to fix and make right
6. provide no enforceable warranty
7. never produce the instrument
8. never return the money

Certainly there are lots of great small custom shops that produce consistently with little to no hassle. Personally, I'm fairly risk adverse so I wouldn't give money up front for a custom build regardless I think.

Hope I provided a little food for thought. Good luck with your decision/purchase.

John in San Diego
 #154541  by Funky145
 Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:21 am
December will be the three year anniversary of my Eagle. Despite my response below, it's my favorite guitar.

- Nut slots were filed to different depths making the strings uneven. The slots had to be recut
- The ends of the nut were sharp, I needed them rounded off so I would stop poking myself

- I'm not sure if the pickups are fake or not. However, I ended up swapping out the neck and middle pups for something else.
- Incorrect hardware / Incorrectly wired. The bridge tone pot was supposed to have a push-pull option in order to engage the bridge pup independent of the 5 way switch.

- One of the stock locking tuners broke the first time I replaced the strings. I replaced them all immediately.
- I ordered mine with a brass tail. The stock tail is primarily a piece of wood with a brass veneer whose holes aren't wide enough to properly seat the end of strings in the slot. I replaced it with something of higher quality.
- The pickup springs on the brass plate left me scratching my head.
 #154543  by lightningbolt
 Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:10 pm
I bought a Bolt from Phil a few years back. 2011 or 12.

Phil was very responsive and delivered the guitar on time. There were no surprises as far as his integrity. I never spoke with him but he responded to email in a timely fashion both before and after he had my money.

As far as the guitar is concerned:
1) Woodworking was of high quality.
2) Electronics are his weak point. Mine was purchased with a Waldo buffer which was wired incorrectly.
3) Setup was needed as the intonation was off when I received it.
4) I paid extra for 3 Super II's and I believe they are legitimate.
5) The pots, switches and hardware do not seem to be of the highest quality.

For $1850 I feel it was a good deal compared to what other custom builders charge, but I wouldn't do it again. If I had to do it again now I would spend the extra dollars for a Scott Walker.