Many guitar players have marveled at the stunning craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every Suhr guitar. But the price tag that they come along with is no less surprising (on average, a Suhr guitar might cost you $3000). Why are Suhr guitars so expensive? Well, there are quite a few reasons behind it. Let me tell you; those Suhr guitars are not just any ordinary instrument; they are a work of art that combines traditional guitar-making techniques with modern technology to create mind-boggling guitars.
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When first time I got my hands on Suhr Classic T SS Trans Butterscotch MN SSCII at a music store, and as soon as I saw it, I could not take eyes off. The craftsmanship was impeccable, and the sound was simply breathtaking. Today, I am going to unveil the mystery behind the price tag and help you figure out they are worth your investment.
- Why Are Suhr Guitars So Expensive: 7 Key Reasons You Must Know
- Are Suhr Guitars Good?
- Final Words: Why Are Suhr Guitars So Expensive
Why Are Suhr Guitars So Expensive: 7 Key Reasons You Must Know
Below find the reasons why are Suhr guitars so expensive and have become a highly respected and sought-after brand for guitar enthusiasts.
1. Premium Materials:
Why are Suhr guitars so expensive – one key factor to consider is the premium materials that are used in their construction.
Starting with the tonewoods, Suhr uses only the highest quality woods for their guitars. From Mahogany to Indian Rosewood, flamed Maple to Cedar, they carefully select the wood that has been properly seasoned and dried. If any piece fails to meet its standards, it is thrown away.
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Moving on to hardware, Suhr uses only the highest quality hardware, including locking tuners, bridges, and pickups. Suhr’s pickups are among the priciest available, starting at $100 and reaching as high as $200. In comparison, pickups from top brands like Dimarzio or Seymour Duncan can be found starting at $60. Moreover, Suhr equips their guitars with Gotoh 510 model bridges, one of the top-of-the-line models on the market, with a hefty price tag of around $120.
2. USA-based Manufacturing:
One of the main reasons why are Suhr guitars so expensive is their location of production – the good ol’ USA. Most Suhr guitars are built in their facility located in Lake Elsinore, California, making guitars a bit pricier. Let me break it down for you.
Labor costs in the USA are higher than in any other part of the world. To give you an idea, the average hourly wage for a skilled luthier in the USA is around $20-$30, while in countries like Indonesia or Mexico, it’s around $5-$10. Then comes the cost of materials and compliance costs, which are also high in the USA. USA-based companies have to comply with local and federal regulations, which can be costly and time-consuming.
But, here’s the thing – Suhr chooses to build their guitars in the USA for a simple reason: quality. By building their guitars in the USA, Suhr is able to maintain a level of quality control that is simply not possible with overseas manufacturing. Plus, their USA-based location allows them to collaborate with professional guitar players easily.
3. Exceptional Boutique Concept:
If you are unfamiliar with the term, a boutique guitar builder is one that operates on a smaller scale and typically produces a limited number of instruments each year. It allows for extraordinary attention to detail that is simply not possible in a mass-production system.
Suhr takes the boutique approach to the extreme, with each guitar being hand-built by a small team of skilled luthiers. That’s why the annual output of Suhr is roughly 1,200 guitars per standard model. The necks of Suhr guitars are specially designed to be comfortable to play and easy to access all the frets, even on the highest frets. The body shapes are also designed for extended playing sessions. Suhr claims their guitars are tested by pros before shipping, ensuring the standard of the company.
In addition to the design, Suhr guitars are also known for their high-quality finishes. The ultra-thin Urethane finish is applied with multiple layers of clear coat to provide a smooth and durable finish. Suhr claims that it takes about 20 hours to apply the finish on a single guitar. Now, you can imagine the effort Suhr puts into each guitar, and of course, the effort adds up to the price at the end of the day.
4. Expensive PLEK Technology:
PLEK is a computer-controlled system that uses lasers to precisely measure and adjusts the frets, nuts, and bridge of a guitar to ensure optimal playability and tone. I must mention all the biggest brands use PLEK, but it contributes to the overall price of a Suhr guitar too, and it’s one of the reasons why are Suhr guitars so expensive.
One of the key benefits of PLEK technology is that it allows for an unprecedented level of consistency in the manufacturing process. So, every Suhr guitar that comes off the assembly line will play and sound just as good as the last one.
On top of it, the use of the PLEK machine results in a reduction of playing fatigued and an increase in sustain and clarity of tone. The intricate fretwork on every Suhr guitar increases the overall price, particularly when the machine is expensive, costing around $250,000 per unit.
5. High Demand But Limited Supply:
Once you play a Suhr guitar, it’s no wonder why so many guitarists are hooked. I must say that Suhr guitars are versatile and suitable for any genre, whether it’s blues, rock, jazz, or metal. We, the guitarists, have different preferences and needs, and Suhr provides a wide range of models that can cater to different preferences.
Now, let’s talk about supply. Suhr, being a smaller company, only produces a limited quantity of guitars annually. Each guitar takes several weeks to build, and the luthiers pay attention to every detail to ensure that each instrument is of the highest quality. This level of attention takes time; therefore, some Suhr models were available only in 300-400 units. It’s simple economics – when there’s a limited supply of something and a lot of people want it, the price goes up.
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6. Brand Value:
Founded in 1997 by John Suhr, the company has earned a reputation for producing some of the highest-quality instruments on the market. John Suhr is a master guitar builder and has been in the industry for over 40 years. He and his team of skilled luthiers always try their best to bring out exceptional quality.
A key element of the brand value of Suhr guitars is the commitment to innovation. The company is always looking for ways to improve its instruments, whether it be through new technology or by implementing the latest design trends. Suhr’s commitment to innovation differentiates them from other guitar manufacturers.
7. Quality Customer Service:
When it comes to customer service, Suhr truly stands out in the industry. Whether you need help with a warranty claim or have a question about your instrument, their team is always ready and willing to help. They offer a variety of resources on their website, including a comprehensive FAQ section and a support forum where you can connect with other Suhr guitar owners. Even if you want to change the pickups on your instrument or add custom inlays, Suhr’s team will work with you to create the guitar of your dreams.
The best part is, if you purchase a guitar from Suhr, you are automatically entitled to a lifetime warranty. If something happens to your instrument, like structural defects, Suhr will cover the cost of shipping it to their factory, fully repair it, and return it to you at no additional expense. If the damage is permanent, Suhr will send you a new guitar!
Are Suhr Guitars Good?
Suhr guitars are considered to be quality instruments. They are made with high-quality materials and are designed to offer excellent playability, tone, and durability. Some of the features that make Suhr guitars stand out include their use of premium tonewoods and high-quality hardware, such as their own custom pickups.
Suhr also offers a range of models to suit different playing styles and preferences, including solid-body electric guitars, hollow-body electric guitars, and acoustic guitars. Overall, Suhr guitars are highly regarded by many players and are considered to be quality ones. Whether you’re a professional musician looking for the best instrument, or a passionate hobbyist looking for a top-quality guitar that will stand the test of time, a Suhr guitar is definitely a good choice.
Final Words: Why Are Suhr Guitars So Expensive
With all of those reasons explained, it’s clear that Suhr guitars are not cheap, and the reasons for their high price tag are justified. Suhr brand puts a lot of time and effort into crafting their guitars with the highest quality materials and attention to detail. Suhr’s commitment to delivering the best possible instrument to its customers is evident in every aspect of the guitar-making process.
Apart from all the reasons explained, Suhr’s standing as a highly respected guitar brand and its dedicated customer base fuel the demand for their instruments, resulting in higher prices. So, if you’re willing to invest in a Suhr guitar, rest assured that you’re getting a top-notch instrument that you will fall in love with.