Aristides Guitars

Agalloch

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It's a bargain if you want what's possible within the fairly structured niche these sit in.

I've tried several Aristides now, and unfortunately none of them made me want to buy one. They're fine instruments, but neither the body shapes, neck profiles, or really anything especially spoke to me. That happens and in no way reflects on anyone but myself.

The cool thing about Aristides is they're doing their own thing and they've managed to carve out a completely singular niche with virtually no competition. If you want an Aristides-style guitar, well...Aristides is the only option.

Contrast that with all the other "modern" guitars that are mostly fancy superstrats--there are tons of options in that area. So yeah, if you don't dig the Aristides aesthetic/specs, then they're not going to work out for you. But where else can you get a super modern one-piece neck-thru Telecaster or LP-style guitar? Or a wild superstrat that looks like it's from a (mostly classy) cyber-future? No where!
 

jyym

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The cool thing about Aristides is they're doing their own thing and they've managed to carve out a completely singular niche with virtually no competition. If you want an Aristides-style guitar, well...Aristides is the only option.

Contrast that with all the other "modern" guitars that are mostly fancy superstrats--there are tons of options in that area. So yeah, if you don't dig the Aristides aesthetic/specs, then they're not going to work out for you. But where else can you get a super modern one-piece neck-thru Telecaster or LP-style guitar? Or a wild superstrat that looks like it's from a (mostly classy) cyber-future? No where!
Well there is RUF, but for some reason they decided to make the heel actively bad.
 

MaxOfMetal

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The cool thing about Aristides is they're doing their own thing and they've managed to carve out a completely singular niche with virtually no competition. If you want an Aristides-style guitar, well...Aristides is the only option.

Contrast that with all the other "modern" guitars that are mostly fancy superstrats--there are tons of options in that area. So yeah, if you don't dig the Aristides aesthetic/specs, then they're not going to work out for you. But where else can you get a super modern one-piece neck-thru Telecaster or LP-style guitar? Or a wild superstrat that looks like it's from a (mostly classy) cyber-future? No where!

There are plenty of builders making something more "modern" than how we figured out to build boats in the 50's. They're just usually going to be even further removed from what we picture as contemporary guitars. Not to mention a heck of a lot more expensive. :lol:

I think Aristides really did well to keep their guitars looking like guitars, albeit with those "speed holes" that seem to be just for the heck of it.

The biggest downside of course is they're pretty much "stuck" with one configuration per mold, so one neck shape, one scale, one headstock/orientation, etc. Most other builders have a much wider amount of options. So if all you want is something a bit different looking and in a fancy color you're covered, but if there's a neck shape or something you're looking for you're SOL.

I've played almost a dozen of them now, a few long term, and there just isn't anything I really found special. The bodies aren't overly ergonomic, the weight isn't anything special, the neck shapes across the range aren't especially thick or thin or anything, the fretwork isn't special, the inlay is just the "flooded" style, there's just nothing to really grab me. They did look cool though, and the build was par the course for the price and market.

The way folks talk about these things I was expecting something special, but it's quite apparent that most of the chatter is just that, chatter.

That's why I hesitate to say these are especially a "bargain" being that the level of customization relative to price and real competition is practically non-existant. The more you have to asterisk that statement the less true it is.
 

Agalloch

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There are plenty of builders making something more "modern" than how we figured out to build boats in the 50's. They're just usually going to be even further removed from what we picture as contemporary guitars. Not to mention a heck of a lot more expensive. :lol:

I think Aristides really did well to keep their guitars looking like guitars, albeit with those "speed holes" that seem to be just for the heck of it.

The biggest downside of course is they're pretty much "stuck" with one configuration per mold, so one neck shape, one scale, one headstock/orientation, etc. Most other builders have a much wider amount of options. So if all you want is something a bit different looking and in a fancy color you're covered, but if there's a neck shape or something you're looking for you're SOL.

I've played almost a dozen of them now, a few long term, and there just isn't anything I really found special. The bodies aren't overly ergonomic, the weight isn't anything special, the neck shapes across the range aren't especially thick or thin or anything, the fretwork isn't special, the inlay is just the "flooded" style, there's just nothing to really grab me. They did look cool though, and the build was par the course for the price and market.

The way folks talk about these things I was expecting something special, but it's quite apparent that most of the chatter is just that, chatter.

That's why I hesitate to say these are especially a "bargain" being that the level of customization relative to price and real competition is practically non-existant. The more you have to asterisk that statement the less true it is.

Oh yeah, I agree that there are plenty of niche builders making all sorts of wacky modern guitars (especially in the headless space). But that stuff is way more niche than Aristides. So you've hit on what makes Aristides stand out--modern guitars that still look like guitars. They've struck a nice balance between being forward-thinking while not looking like some crazy-ass space triangle that most people wouldn't even consider buying.

And, in that space, I don't see any real competition to Aristides. They also have time on their side. They've been at this for a while now and no one has to worry about them disappearing overnight like some of these other small niche builders.

But yeah, at the end of the day, they're not for everyone. And while I like their guitars, I certainly don't think they're the pinnacle of luthiery. But they are very good and they make guitars that no one would mistake for anything other than an Aristides.

And I wouldn't call them a bargain either, especially given the lack of options. They only builder I've seen that's probably a "bargain" relative to other custom shops is Kiesel. You can get a spec'ed-to-the-gills Kiesel for probably $2000 less than a similarly-styled Suhr or Tom Anderson. Will it play as good? Debatable, but the Suhr or Tom Anderson definitely won't play $2000 better.
 

xzacx

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That's why I hesitate to say these are especially a "bargain" being that the level of customization relative to price and real competition is practically non-existant. The more you have to asterisk that statement the less true it is.
Especially when one of the biggest notes in that asterisk is in reference to the current euro-to-usd conversion rate.
 

Xaeldaren

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There are plenty of builders making something more "modern" than how we figured out to build boats in the 50's. They're just usually going to be even further removed from what we picture as contemporary guitars. Not to mention a heck of a lot more expensive. :lol:

I think Aristides really did well to keep their guitars looking like guitars, albeit with those "speed holes" that seem to be just for the heck of it.

The biggest downside of course is they're pretty much "stuck" with one configuration per mold, so one neck shape, one scale, one headstock/orientation, etc. Most other builders have a much wider amount of options. So if all you want is something a bit different looking and in a fancy color you're covered, but if there's a neck shape or something you're looking for you're SOL.

I've played almost a dozen of them now, a few long term, and there just isn't anything I really found special. The bodies aren't overly ergonomic, the weight isn't anything special, the neck shapes across the range aren't especially thick or thin or anything, the fretwork isn't special, the inlay is just the "flooded" style, there's just nothing to really grab me. They did look cool though, and the build was par the course for the price and market.

The way folks talk about these things I was expecting something special, but it's quite apparent that most of the chatter is just that, chatter.

That's why I hesitate to say these are especially a "bargain" being that the level of customization relative to price and real competition is practically non-existant. The more you have to asterisk that statement the less true it is.


Max, what do you consider special? I'm being completely sincere in asking this, as I've seen a huge amount of hype around Aristides, and my only experience with high-end guitars is owning a Mayones.
 

MaxOfMetal

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You can get a spec'ed-to-the-gills Kiesel for probably $2000 less than a similarly-styled Suhr or Tom Anderson. Will it play as good? Debatable, but the Suhr or Tom Anderson definitely won't play $2000 better.

I feel like most folks who say this haven't spent much time with either.

I don't think I'd put a specific dollar amount on it, but if you take the time to spec these things out and spent time playing them, you'll probably understand the context a bit more.

I paid a lot less than $2000 more for my Suhrs than for a Kiesel, but It might as well been $10000 with how much more I enjoy playing my M7 vs. and Carvin or Kiesel I've ever owned.

Plenty would say the opposite, which is totally fine too. We tend to like guitars for all kinds of reasons, real and imaginary.

Max, what do you consider special? I'm being completely sincere in asking this, as I've seen a huge amount of hype around Aristides, and my only experience with high-end guitars is owning a Mayones.

There's a sort of "generic-ness" that I tend to assign to otherwise good instruments that I don't at all bond or find compelling or interesting. Nothing to make it stick out in the sea of other good guitars.

Aristides fit that to me.
 

Agalloch

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I feel like most folks who say this haven't spent much time with either.

I don't think I'd put a specific dollar amount on it, but if you take the time to spec these things out and spent time playing them, you'll probably understand the context a bit more.

I paid a lot less than $2000 more for my Suhrs than for a Kiesel, but It might as well been $10000 with how much more I enjoy playing my M7 vs. and Carvin or Kiesel I've ever owned.

Plenty would say the opposite, which is totally fine too. We tend to like guitars for all kinds of reasons, real and imaginary.

Eh, maybe I'm looking the wrong place, but the dealers I've looked at have a Suhr Modern starting at $3000 for an absolute bare-bones model. The $2000 difference was certainly an exaggeration, but that base price is quite a long way from $1449 for an Aries. But yeah, I'm purely talking about what's a "bargain" in the custom-space. Kiesel is the only thing that comes to mind for me (again, relative to other builders).
 

MaxOfMetal

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Eh, maybe I'm looking the wrong place, but the dealers I've looked at have a Suhr Modern starting at $3000 for an absolute bare-bones model. The $2000 difference was certainly an exaggeration, but that base price is quite a long way from $1449 for an Aries. But yeah, I'm purely talking about what's a "bargain" in the custom-space. Kiesel is the only thing that comes to mind for me (again, relative to other builders).

And the point I'm making is that it isn't a bargain if you don't like playing it.
 

Metaldestroyerdennis

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Eh, maybe I'm looking the wrong place, but the dealers I've looked at have a Suhr Modern starting at $3000 for an absolute bare-bones model. The $2000 difference was certainly an exaggeration, but that base price is quite a long way from $1449 for an Aries. But yeah, I'm purely talking about what's a "bargain" in the custom-space. Kiesel is the only thing that comes to mind for me (again, relative to other builders).
There's a reason Kiesels are cheap and Suhrs/Andersons are not, and that reason has nothing to do with customizability
 

Kyle Jordan

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The biggest downside of course is they're pretty much "stuck" with one configuration per mold, so one neck shape, one scale, one headstock/orientation, etc. Most other builders have a much wider amount of options. So if all you want is something a bit different looking and in a fancy color you're covered, but if there's a neck shape or something you're looking for you're SOL.

This is probably my main point of divergence with Aristides.

For the 8 string, my 080 is damn near perfect for what I wanted it to be. I'd love to get a second version with a trem, but that's a no go.

Similar on their 6 strings as I just do not get along with 42mm nuts.

If you get along with what they offer, they're hard to beat though. Kind of how I feel about Anderson, but there's more variety from Tom. And you could up until recently spec a barebones TA for under $3k. That's a bargain to me.
 

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I've nothing against Aristides, but regarding the recent conversation about worth and playability I'd like to say that for me there's nothing that comes close to the ebmm jp12 and Majesty 7-string. Regardless if you can feel the feeling of not thinking about the instrument you're playing whilst playing it, you're in heaven :)
 

MaxOfMetal

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There's a reason Kiesels are cheap and Suhrs/Andersons are not, and that reason has nothing to do with customizability

It has to do with how they're sold.

Any Suhr or Anderson is going to have significant retailer markup, which unsurprisingly is pretty close to the difference in pricing between them and direct to consumer Kiesels. Somewhere in the 25% to 40% range depending on region, bulk discount, etc.
 

Stuck_in_a_dream

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This is probably my main point of divergence with Aristides.

For the 8 string, my 080 is damn near perfect for what I wanted it to be. I'd love to get a second version with a trem, but that's a no go.

Similar on their 6 strings as I just do not get along with 42mm nuts.

If you get along with what they offer, they're hard to beat though. Kind of how I feel about Anderson, but there's more variety from Tom. And you could up until recently spec a barebones TA for under $3k. That's a bargain to me.
If u are not anti-MS, I can tell u that my H/08R (w/ trem) is absolutely insane. If anything, my only complaint about it is that it is too resonant! I have it w/ Juggs, 20" radius, and black/titanium trem hybrid. IME, my 2 Aristides guitars have the best playability in my collection. Granted, I never tried a Suhr, but they don't make 8-string, MS, headless & woodless guitars either.
 

Kyle Jordan

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If u are not anti-MS, I can tell u that my H/08R (w/ trem) is absolutely insane. If anything, my only complaint about it is that it is too resonant! I have it w/ Juggs, 20" radius, and black/titanium trem hybrid. IME, my 2 Aristides guitars have the best playability in my collection. Granted, I never tried a Suhr, but they don't make 8-string, MS, headless & woodless guitars either.

I was looking very hard at an H/08, but I’m almost certain I don’t want a multiscale. Haven’t completely ruled it out however and if I decide to give it a shot, the H/08 is exactly what I’d pick up.
 

Stuck_in_a_dream

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@Stuck_in_a_dream How are you digging the juggernauts? I got them in my tides as well but still have a few more weeks to wait.
I like them, suit my picking style (I'm a digger lol), and I love the parallel tones. Yes, a lot of mids, but not a problem for me, and the neck pickup is really nice imho. This is my 1st experience ever w/ BKP, my H/07 order will feature Nolly's Polymaths, can't wait for it.
 

Kyle Jordan

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I'm surprised we haven't seen more 9s. There's still a boat load of 8s I'm seeing, but I figured we'd have seen more than just a couple so far.

Not sure where at, but I think we are fairly firmly in the baritone six strings portion of the pendulum arc now.

That seems to be what I'm seeing more of in the extended range arena and from personal experience have been having thoughts of exploring it myself. I always wander back somewhat to the plethora of pickups for six strings vs. the rest. Especially since I'm a player that likes pickups that are not the norm for what I play or just even downright odd. (I love single coils and Filtertrons with distortion and for metal.)

Could also be that while gear is still selling, the more esoteric and less fundamental stuff is not moving as quickly with money being an issue for many and all the other issues at hand.
 


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