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Who are you?
My name is Perry R. Morelli. I am a Luthier (a builder of string instruments) and I started building acoustic guitars in 1999. I had been repairing and modifying solid body electrics since the early 80's. After two years in college taking an electronics course in 91 - 92 I realized I didn't really want to build guitar amplifiers after all, I wanted to build acoustic guitars! So I started to learn the art by reading books and buying used acoustics that needed repairs. A few years passed while I perfected my art. I supported myself by working as a flooring contractor who specialized in vinyl flooring installation, on April 1st in 2003 I quit my day job.
How much are your guitars?
My acoustics start at $2450 for the standard Morelli model and $2850 for a custom instrument. These are base prices and many other options are available. So for a little over $3000 you can get a fairly fancy acoustic guitar built especially for you. Harp guitars run from $6000 to $10,000. My price has most options listed but I am happy to quote you a price on a custom instrument.
How do I go about ordering one?
Give me a call or email me and we can discuss what you want and work out a price. Once we determine all of the details you can send a down payment to reserve a spot in my schedule.
How much of a down payment do you require?
I ask for about 50% down and the remainder before the guitar is shipped. I understand that it's a big purchase so if you would like to make smaller payments and stretch them out over time we can work something out. All I ask is for some money up front and that the guitar be paid for before it's shipped.
What type of payment do you take?
You can mail a personal check, cashier's check or money order. I don't take credit cards but I can accept payments through PayPal. For international orders I require either PayPal or an international money order.
How long do they take to make?
Once I start it typically takes anywhere from 2 to 4 months to actually build your guitar (about 6 months for a harp guitar). I will give you the best estimate I can of when to expect your guitar to be done and I'll let you know when I'm about to begin building your guitar.
Can I see my guitar being made?
Absolutely! The favorite part of the process for the customer is seeing your guitar come together. I will email you photos of the progress and keep you updated as to how things are going.
What if I don't like the guitar once I get it?
Happy customers are my best marketing so I want to make sure your guitar is just the way you want it. I will do whatever it takes to make sure it is right for you. And if I can't make it right I can build you a new guitar.
Can I visit your shop sometime?
Visitors are always welcome. If you live nearby or if you are ever in the Seattle area just give me a call. I don't have a retail showroom, just a workshop but I usually have plenty of time to show you around.
What woods are best?
There is no "best" wood for a guitar. Many different woods can be used and they all have their particular tonal properties. The top wood makes the biggest contribution to the sound followed by the back wood. We can discuss what woods are best suited for your tone and playing style. I have more info on top woods and back woods.
Can I supply the wood for my guitar?
Certainly. You are welcome to supply woods as guitar sets or rough lumber plus any other items you might want incorporated into your guitar.
What do they sound like?
All guitars sound different. I strive for a clear balanced tone. But different players are looking for different things. Once I know what tone you are looking for and have a good idea of your playing style I can shape the tone using the woods and bracing to suit your needs.
Where can I play one of your guitars?
I sell through a few retailers but mainly I sell directly to customers. I or you can visit my shop.
How did you learn to make guitars?
I bought a book at the barnes and noble book store! That's how I built my first guitar. So I am basically self taught and I continue to learn more all the time.
How long have you been making guitars?
I began building instruments in 1999 and just started my own business.
Do you make your living doing this?
Yes, I build guitars full time and actually make a living at it, a modest living but I love what I do.
Do you teach guitar making?
I teach guitar making on a one-on-one basis. My students are always amazed that their first guitar plays and sounds way better than any guitar they own.
Do you do repairs?
If the guitar is repairable and I feel I can do the job well I'll take it on ...
Do you buy guitars?
Yes, but not for more than $25.00 dollars. ;-)
What is a harp guitar?
A harp guitar is basically a normal 6 string guitar with some added un-fretted strings, usually bass strings and sometimes trebles which extend the range of the guitar.
How do you bend the sides?
It's done with a combination of heat and moisture. The wood is moistened (not soaked) then bent in a heated press or bent by hand over a hot pipe.
How do you attach the neck?
You can chose Dovetail like a Martin or necks that are bolted on similar to a Taylor.
Can I get a neck like I have on my favorite guitar?
Sure. If you have a favorite neck you can take measurements or you can send me the guitar and I can duplicate it as closely as possible.
What sort of finish do you use?
I use nitrocellulose lacquer.
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