How Long does it take to get my Heckler Custom Guitar or pickup(s) made?

Typical lead time is approximately 3 months for a guitar and about 1 week for a set of pickups.  I always strive to meet deadlines, but I will not compromise quality to do so.

Why can’t I order a guitar or pickup right on the website?

I prefer to talk to the customer before starting any build.  I always try to learn about the needs of the customer in a sort of “interview” process where I start to get a feel for the persons playing style, preferred setup, and desired tone.  I would like to be able to offer the customer something that cannot get anywhere else...

What are the terms on ordering a custom guitar?

40% payment is required up front.  This amount is non-refundable even if you decide that you do not want to or cannot purchase the instrument when it is finished.  The remainder of the purchase price is due before the buyer can take possession of the instrument (or before shipping).  Buyer will be responsible for shipping costs and insurance is required.

Do you accept credit cards?

                 No.  But I do accept Paypal.

Do you keep any guitars or pickup models in stock?

No.  I like to be able to provide custom guitars and pickups that are made to the customers specifications.  Sometimes on occasion items will become available for immediate purchase and will be displayed for sale in the “Featured” area on the home page.

What is the difference between the different grades of AlNiCo?

Most modern pickups use A5 so that is a safe choice for todays modern rock guitar tones.  A5 is also the most powerful of the AlNiCo grades that I use.  Substituting a different grade like A2 (Slightly less pull) with the same amount of wraps of wire around the coil will give a slightly warmer and more loose bass response.  A2 is a good choice for classic rock tones.  Other grades such as A3 and A4 offer even more tonal options.  The force/pull of a magnet can be measured in Gauss and the strength of the various grades go from highest to lowest: A5->A2->A3->A4.

How does the DC resistance of a pickup affect the sound?

This is a tricky question because DC resistance actually has little to do with tone.  It is more of a leading indicator of what is inside the pickup. Other factors that have much more impact one the tone are # of wraps of wire, insulation thickness, inductance, coil shape, metal allows, magnet type.  By knowing the resistance alone you cannot accurately predict the response of the pickup, but if you also know the wire size and insulation type then some assumptions can be made about the tone that it will produce.

Why don't you offer "Over wound" Pickups?

I prefer a standard wind or under wound pickup.  The reason is because the more wire that is added to the coil the more focused the response of the pickup becomes.  Sure, an over wound pickup has increased output to drive your amp harder but it comes at the cost of bass and treble.  The more wraps added to the coil, the more pronounced the midrange becomes.  I will wind pickups per a customers request but I always try to make them aware of the pros and cons and make sure that the pickup fits their playing style and musical taste.

Can you do custom inlays?

                Yes.  Custom inlays made of wood, pearl, or other materials can be worked into any design.  Email me
                for a quote.  Please include a sketch, size, and any specific materials that you would like to be used.

Can I order a totally custom body or headstock shape?

                Yes.  Anything is possible (within reason).  Email a sketch for a quote.

Can you use hardware other than what is listed in the options section?

Yes.  I can get just about any type of hardware that is available.  I can also fabricate custom hardware for a personalized piece.  Inquire for a quote.

What about wood or material options that are not listed?

For the most part, as long is it is legal and generally available I am willing to use it.

Do your guitars come with cases?

No. I have had multiple customers that prefer to select their own custom case so my prices for guitars are priced to not include the case and give the buyer that option.  On the other hand, I am a dealer of TKL cases (I recommend TKL because of their quality and industry reputation) and can offer them to you at my dealer cost plus shipping if you purchase one of my guitars.

Do you do finish repairs like chips, cracks, checking, etc?

No, I prefer not to do these types of repairs because for me the risk does not outweigh the benefits.  A finish repair is very hard to execute perfectly and most of the time is still visible after the repair.  On the other hand, I do offer a complete strip and refinish option for those guitars that need this repair.  My preferred finish is Mcfadden’s Nitrocellulose lacquer.

Will you make an exact copy of a Telecaster, Les Paul, Stratocaster?

No.  If you want one of these guitars then I encourage you to go buy one, because I have no interest in making exact copies of these already commercially available models.  Instead, I like to offer customized but “Familiar” body styles that will catch the eye of people walking by and provide a personalized feel to the player.

What type of strings do you use?

Standard for repairs and for new guitars are:
Electric - D’Addario EXL110’s (Light gauge 10-46)
Acoustics - D’Addario EJ16 (Light gauge Phosphor Bronze 12-53)
All other string gauges and brands are available upon request.