Lutherie, or the building of stringed instruments is a craft requiring a wide variety of artistic and technical skills to be present and applied by the craftsman performing the work. The commissioning customer who is placing an order and trusting the luthier or instrument builder with the task of building a custom guitar to his specifications understands that the work is sometimes subject to inspiration and is also very tedious and time consuming from the early design and material selection process to the conception and execution of custom inlay and other adornment details and ultimately the completion and delivery of the instrument. The customer also understands and accepts that the finish process is, due to the materials used and technical nature of the process itself, subject to varying and unpredictable times being necessary for it to be completed properly. All projected completion times and dates for steps of the build process or for the overall completion of the instrument are purely estimates by the luthier and are subject to change without notice at anytime during the construction process. Photos and updated will be provided to the customer as regularly as possible according to the schedule and time available to the luthier. The nature of a small shop where custom instruments are being handcrafted by single luthiers one of careful attention being given to each and every detail of the construction of the instrument. The environment is one that makes the accurate prediction and offering of exact dates of completion of any step or entire instrument by the luthier to the customer impossible.
Every guitar built by Steve Saville is handcrafted using a wide variety and selection of hand tools and specialized industrial machinery and power tools. All the aesthetic and adornment details such as bindings and purflings, inlay and decorative details in the headstock or fingerboard and the entire finish processes are carried out by hand. The charm of every handcrafted product or item including stringed instruments is elevated by the presence of evidence of the hands of the craftsman being used throughout the process of creating it. The results that are possible to achieve in a large and automated production shop should not be expected and are typically not desired when commissioning a custom guitar to be crafted by an experienced luthier.
Tone is a subjective matter and can never be exactly predicted or guaranteed. The ability to effectively coax tone, volume, and harmonic complexity that are as close to those of the full potential of the particular woods used is the result of the proper marriage of high quality components and is one that is developed with experience and training through the design and construction of many instruments. The use of high quality woods and materials coupled with the skill of the luthier will consistently yield good tone and volume. It is always the goal of the luthier to bring the wood to its tonal potential through careful attention and the tedious and painstaking process of voicing the necessary components. Most experienced players have enjoyed the phenomenon of a guitar’s tone improving and its volume increasing over the first few months or years after its creation when it is played. This obvious series of changes that take place as the guitar is played has been known as “Playing in” or “Opening up” the guitar and is quite dramatic in most cases.
In the event that the need or desire to cancel and order should arise, cancellation of a guitar once started will be effective immediately upon notice by the customer to the luthier and will be irreversible. The luthier will send notice of the cancellation to the customer via mail. The guitar will continue to be built on its original schedule and at its original pace. Upon completion, the guitar will be offered for sale and as being available immediately in a forum or venue of the luthier’s choice. When the instrument is sold, the customer original deposit will be refunded in the form of a check with the exception of a processing fee of 25% of the originally quoted price. Additional fee charges will be withheld from any refund as the result of an order cancellation on a guitar of a personal or highly customized nature and those fees will be determined by the amount of additional work that is required for resale to be possible by the luthier. If construction has not been initiated, the customer forfeits the $250 deposit.
I, the commissioning customer, understand and accept the above explanation of the craft of Lutherie and its possible variables and limitations is accurate and reasonable. I understand the guitar will be built according to the attached Specification Sheet. Any changes may result in an increase in the total cost of the guitar. I also understand the conditions of the commissioning a guitar from Steve Saville and the conditions of cancellation of any order. I understand that all dates are estimates for the completion of both individual steps in the building process and the entire guitars construction. By submitting a $250 deposit with this signed commissioning agreement, I initiate the order to be filled according to these conditions as close to an estimated date of completion as possible. I understand that the instrument being built will meet will be covered by a limited lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship to me as the original purchaser of the guitar. I have read and understand the terms of that warranty and the luthier assumes responsibility to honor them as part of this agreement. The balance of 50% of the quoted price is due upon the beginning of construction, and the remaining 50% is to be paid in addition to all shipping costs and charges upon completion of the instrument by the luthier.
Signature of Luthier and date.
Signature of Customer and date.