Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

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Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby steveokla on Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:01 pm

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Until about a week ago, I’d never heard of DeTemple—shows you how plugged in I am. Anyway, I was visiting with a dealer friend of mine from whom I buy/trade from time-to-time and he started telling me about this DeTemple strat he’d just picked-up: told me to look at the DeTemple site and construction videos, read the blogs, etc., so I did. Those of you who (unlike me) are hip to these guitars know the story: Michael DeTemple climbs Mount Everest once a month to collect Oxygen molecules to make water to soak the rags he uses to clean-up the shop; each slab of ash is flown in the space shuttle to the farthest reaches of the galaxy to test its compatibility with the cosmic music of the spheres; all metal parts are fashioned from the same material used in the hull of the Enterprise; the nut and pickup switcher are lovingly chiseled from the yang of a wooly mammoth, . . . ., etc., etc.
Well, we talked about a possible trade for the DeTemple and worked out a deal. The guitar would be shipped to me and I’d have a few days to mess with it—play it through all my amps and make a decision. It arrived late yesterday (the pics are from my sends Gbase site) and I’ve been putting it through its paces all day. Is this thing as special as all the reports? Is it worth the price (though I didn’t exactly pay the price)?
In answer to the first question, I guess I’d have to say, yes. Right out of the case, there’s the feel like you’re handling something extraordinary. I guess I’ve owned 20 or so strats, and only a couple really grabbed me instantly—automatic mojo is rare, in my experience (which, I concede, is not considerable). This one’s got it—I thought guitars had to be around for years to acquire this quality: apparently, it can actually be built. Without belaboring the point further, suffice it to say that this is clearly an exceptional instrument. The fit and finish are impossibly flawless, the balance and ergonomics pretty off the charts. The neck is a big chunky V—don’t know that I’d ever have sought that out, but it’s so beautifully made that it feels wonderful in hand. Bottom line, it is, indeed, a thing of beauty in every sense.
I’d also have to say this is the most hand-friendly, playable guitar I’ve ever had the pleasure of handling. It’s simply a delight to wrap your hands around. Is it special? Undeniably. Is it worth $7,000 and a 3 or more year wait? Can’t really answer that. I think the question might better be stated like this: would you pony-up that kind of money and wait that long (actually, I’m given to understand the wait is now longer) for a guitar that you are pretty certain will be the best player you’ll ever own-one that feels like it’s part of your body?
I can’t really answer that, either—without exaggerating, it is doubtless the most exceptional guitar I’ve played, I might cough-up the money, but doubt I’d wait for three or four years for any guitar.
If anyone’s interested, I’ll report back later on my impressions of the tone through various amps.
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Re: Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby Peteyvee on Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:58 pm

Very cool...pretty little thing too! We'll be waiting for the clips...
"The problem with kids today is that their hair's too short and their music isn't loud enough." -Peteyvee
"It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play." -Miles Davis
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Re: Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby steveokla on Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:29 am

Wish I knew how to make them.
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Re: Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby Easto on Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:14 pm

I'm going to the LA amp show this october and I hope he's there with a couple of guitars. I've always just looked at them but never picked on up to try. After your post I'm going to have to take one for a spin.
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Re: Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby steveokla on Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:42 pm

At his site, Michael states that, should you happen upon a DeTemple but not buy it from him, you should contact him right away, get some form to fill out showing the transfer of ownership. You're then 'registered' as the new owner for warranty and other purposes. Anyway, I decided to call. I spent around an hour on the phone talking to him--a very friendly and very informative guy: really enjoyed our visit. I'm given to understand he regularly makes that show--I'd certainly stop by and visit with him, and I'd certainly play one of his guitars. Owing to the economy, he tells me things have slowed some, so the wait time for a guitar is down to 2 years. I also note at his site he's got one or two guitars he's selling already built that clients didn't take--I guess didn't have the money when the time came, or maybe just changed their minds. I'd really like to play one of his Tele's.
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Re: Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby Mayhawk on Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:30 pm

Hate to be a wet blanket, but at that price it should come with a sunburst backup and a pair of flight cases. IMO of course.

Yep, I have never played a DeTemple. But I have played many many strats over the many years. I still cannot see the reason given its method of construction, parts used, etc. for such a price.

I have to assume the body has the most resonant wood on the planet and he scours tons of planks just to find one board. Ditto the neck. And all metal parts are hand machined, pu's hand wound, etc. Yeah, plus he probably is the sole person there, except maybe his wife, or son in law, etc.

That said, I'd love to play a strat that warrants a $7K pricetag, but heck, I wouldn't spend that much on an archtop (well, assuming I don't suddenly come into excess money and lots of it.) So until then, and until I'm convinced axe in hand, I remain an unbeliever. :P






Hey, those NoNecks are pricey enough!
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Re: Worshipping at DeTemple: it arrives, . . . .

Postby B-Squared on Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:05 pm

While I don't own a DeTemple, Mike put some great touches on my Strat.

It's a '56 relic with a '62 R/I neck on it.

He put in his pickups (Sweet Spots), his electronics, titanium string saddles and trem block, and then did the classic nut/string tree/switch tip with mammoth ivory.

He then set up the guitar, and now 5 years later the only thing I have to do on it is change strings. :D

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I use Punky McGoo's pickups...and Grundy MacTavich's electronics in my guitars. :D
I also use some Bardledoo caps, and like what I hear. ;)
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