A proper FAQ about having a guitar or bass custom-made is probably overdue around here. I'll add it to my To Do List and, in the meantime, I'll offer this hastily cobbled together blog post in response to some of the questions I'm getting about the Super Amazing Win A Custom Haze Guitar With Radio Nova's Rocktober 500 Countown (from here on in referred to as Rocktober as that's a lot to type). Naturally enough, I've gotten some queries from people who want to know how it will all work for the ultimate winner and from those who have questions about doing the custom guitar thing in the normal, non-competition route.
Hopefully this will help a little. If you think of something I haven't covered, feel free to shout in the comments and I'll do my best to answer.
Q: What can I win?
A: You can win yourself a completely custom guitar or bass. By that, I mean that you can sit down with me and we can design and specify as much or as little of your guitar as you like. Then I'll build it.
Q: How can I win?
A: Tune in to Radio Nova on 100FM or listen online. Call when they tell you and make a guess at what the number one song in the Rocktober 500 Countdown will be. All correct answers go in a draw to win.
Q: Do you know what the number one song is?
A: Nope. And if I did, I wouldn't tell you. Well, maybe for cash. Or biscuits. It's all moot though. I don't have a clue.
Q: I can play a few chords but I don't have an in-depth knowledge of how capacitor value and no-load potentiometers can be used in a tone control. How can I design a guitar?
A: Don't fret (guitar humour). We can talk capacitors if you like but you can just as easily chat about what guitars you think look cool or sound cool and I'll handle the science bit.
Q: Can you build me an exact copy of <insert famous guitar here>?
A: Not really. Legal issues aside, that sort of misses the point of a 'custom' guitar anyway. This is your chance to get something unique. Now, that said, there's no problem looking at existing guitars to garner some inspiration. Exact copies are out, though.
Q: Did you really make a guitar for Joe Bonamassa?
A: Are you calling me a liar? Sure did. Check it out. You can have one too if you like.
Q: I want a guitar made of jelly, with a Waterford Crystal neck and pickups that can curve space-time in such a way that I can see the Big Bang. Can you do that?
A: What flavour jelly? The honest answer is that I may need to advise on practical considerations as we progress through the design and specification process. I'll do my best to accommodate your craziness but it may not always be possible.
Q: Ha! I've caught you, Hayes! You mean to tell me there are terms and conditions to this?
A: Of course there are terms and conditions. You can check them out on the Rocktober competition page and they'll be here after that's moved on in case you need a reminder.
Q: How long will it take?
A: It depends on the specification you want and the availability of any parts that are needed for your guitar. Custom orders are generally turned around in a few months but I'm estimating around 20 weeks for this to be safe. It most likely will be shorter but could be a little longer if you want something mental.
Q: I live on a small island off the coast of Laois and I need to charter a Lear Jet to meet you for the design process. Will you reimburse me?
A: Nope. You'll have to make your own way, I'm afraid. I might make you a cup of tea though and, let's face it, you'll get a snazzy guitar out of it so it's not all bad.
Q: I reckon that the solid gold guitar and platinum strings I want falls well within budget. Is this ok?
A: Nope. I get to assess the actual realism of costings and final value. I'm not daft.
Q: I never win anything. Can I have a guitar anyway?
A: 'Course you can. And for a surprisingly reasonable wad of cash.