What to Consider Before Ordering a Custom Guitar

Ordering a custom guitar is exciting. You get to make an instrument that is built just for you and has one-of-a-kind characteristics. Our bass player, Rom, uses a custom build Sadowsky from New York. If you are thinking of getting a custom build, here's a guide on what to expect.

Placing the Order

When you place the order the staff will walk you through the selections including:

... and some possible extras

Now The Fun Part - Selecting the Top

Almost immediately, the staff will show you a full array of woods to choose from. There's a wide range to choose from so the selection process may take a few weeks, allowing for time to "sleep on it" and change your mind a few times.

Here's the final Buckeye Burl top selected for this build.

Top of guitar in Buckeye Burl

First Pictures - The Cut Body

Just like the anticipation of seeing your unborn baby's first ultrasound image, the first picture of the cut Alder wood body and top arrive in a few months, and the excitement starts to build.

The New York custom Sadowskys have hollow bodies which make them super-light. Sadowskys made in Japan have solid bodies.

Be warned, once you use a Sadowsky hollow body bass you will forever-after complain about the weight of other bass brands.

First picture of body cut

Second Pictures - The Neck

Pretty soon, the pictures of the neck and fingerboard arrive. This build has a roasted maple neck with ebony fingerboard.

Custom fingerboard inlays are also available but add extra cost and time to the build time.

This build has standard fender dot inlays.

First pictures of neck

The Most Important Part - Colour and Finish

Uh oh, the colours didn't blend together correctly. We're going to have to try again. We actually experimented quite a few times to get the colour blend just right for this build.

Incorrectly blended colours on guitar body

Nailed it! Now we finally have the color tones right.

Finished colours on guitar body

It's an exciting moment to see the completed neck and body joined together. Delivery day is fast approaching.

Completed neck and body joined together

Ready to Drill Holes

We only get one shot at drilling the holes, so we need to plan out the positions of the 4 control knobs and the 2 selector switches for the EQ's and kill switch in relation to the bridge.

Planning hole drilling

Piecing It Together

All the holes have been drilled and electricals are in place. Now it's time to put all the pieces together. It's starting to look like the finished product.

Just adding strings, strap connectors and control knobs.

Putting together the guitar

Final Inspection and Shipping

Each delivery is personally inspected by Roger Sadowsky himself (not in photo) and packed with a fingerboard protector and shipped. Total build time is usually around 14 months but this could be longer depending on what custom changes you want like custom fretboard inlays, colours and finishes.

Guitar being inspected before shipping

Ultimate Test - Playing it Live!

Time to use it live with the band, and see how it looks and hear how it sounds on stage.

That's up to the audience to decide. We love it!

Guitar being inspected before shipping

Disclaimer: Black Rain Sky has no affiliation or endorsement agreement with Sadowsky Guitars.