Is there a requirement for Customized Guitar and Bass Equipments in India???

Discussion in 'Guitar Gear Talk Forum' started by matli316, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. matli316

    matli316 New Member

    Hey guys, I'm a Practising guitarist pursuing my MBA from Pune. I'm doing a research on the viability and requirement for customized guitar and bass equipments - everything from Custom Rack Systems, Custom Pedals and Pedal Boards as there is a dearth of custom solution providers in INDIA. It'll be great if you could give your valuable inputs through this 1 min questionnaire and help me in my area of study...
  2. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    I have custom made guitar from a guy known as Tulsi in Chennai.
    A lot of ppl have.
  3. aryasridhar

    aryasridhar New Member

    I have a Business Idea that I am working on as well, It is to build Good quality effects pedals and Tube amplifiers in India to make it available to guitarists at reasonable prices.

    I have been facing a lot of trouble paying high prices for good amplifiers, which wouldnt cost as much if made in India, Keeping quality strict, I am sure this can be achieved and almost every guitar player who wants a good amplifier could go for a tube amplifier for a reasonable price.

    What do you guys think of this? I have actually started building effects pedals at home, and in fact my 1st pedal Fuzz Face, will be ready in a week.
    I imported all the parts which make a big difference in the tone and all other parts are bought from here in Bangalore.

    I am working on a few more pedals as well, which I will keep to disclose later.
  4. aryasridhar

    aryasridhar New Member

    Just to add, I have avoided using IC's as much as possible, on my other projects (Fuzz face doesn't need IC's) Point to Point wiring with high quality wires and components and I already love the pedal. Once it is ready will post a YouTube video of it.

    One some pedals, point to point wiring will be near impossible due to small space and a number of parts and even IC's will have to be used, However, I am lucky to have a friend here, who is an electronics parts importer, and that makes it easy for me to get best parts at decent rates.
  5. matli316

    matli316 New Member

    @alpha1 I know that a lot of custom guitar makers are there who make les paul and strat copies at a reasonable rate but effects, amps, custom pedal boards are not commercially available in the market. That is if you walk into your local music shops like Furtados, Onstage etc or even browse sites like Bajao you would not see any Custom Service providers who would make equipments to your preference, something Mr Arya Sridhar is doing. That is the reason why I'm trying to get a first hand view of Practicing and professional musicians here what their opinion on this is.
  6. matli316

    matli316 New Member

    @aryasridhar this is the exact point I'm making....there is a lack of custom gear makers in the market and most of the guitar and bass players go in for digital products like Pod XT or GT 10 due to high prices of Analog products. Can't we have custom products made to our requirements and specifications made at reasonable if not at cheap prices???
  7. flood

    flood New Member

    i'm a tube amp and pedal builder myself.

    to your questions:

    is there a market for this stuff? yes.

    is it enough to make a living off as a main source of income? HIGHLY questionable.

    finally, about quality vs. price - after trying to work with locally sourced components, i've reached the point that i'm importing practically everything (except for pedal passives - i use 1% metal film resistors bought locally, but my tube amp capacitors are either NOS german ERO/siemens/wima or mallory or sprague) from abroad because i've decided that i'd want to take the high road. heck, i've started importing WIRE now cause i don't want to work with locally available materials anymore. i'd rather produce higher quality amplifiers from this point on than cheap amplifiers, while keeping the price point sensible.

    for my pedals, i'm importing switches and enclosures.

    taking all this into consideration, i would say reasonable is probably ok, but cheap is out of the question, especially if you're building on a custom/one-off basis. there's no reason to reduce your pricing to the "cheap" category purely because it's locally made IF you can guarantee the kind of attention that should belong to customized work. living in bombay isn't getting any cheaper either...

    what would really work best is local mass production.
  8. aryasridhar

    aryasridhar New Member


    +100000000000000000000000000 > is it enough to make a living off as a main source of income? HIGHLY questionable.
  9. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Floyd's post takes care of most of the aspects.

    As an addition - to reinstate a point more forcefully:
    When YOU make custom, hand made stuff - your cost/price reflects NOT ONLY the components but also the "MAN-HOURS" you put in.

    Simply speaking - when you utilize say "a whole day" to build something, its not only the cost of the components you've put in that you would want to recover.
    But more than that you would also like to MAKE a living for that day.
    (Plus keep something for the rainy day).

    Please add that to the cost - and then compare it to the assembly line mass produced electronic equipment.

    Is it viable.
    Then please add the price loaders to your goods, because ppl are going to blindly trust the branded stuff more than our custom made.
    (What price loader - hmm, its more of a qualitative stuff - difficult to put value to - but works to be more or less 25-50%) What this means is that say I come across your custom made equipment for Rs 100.
    And a branded one for Rs 125-150. I would weight you both.
    But if the branded one is for Rs 110 - I would go with branded one with my eyes closed.

    You will find that our custom made becomes equal to or higher than the branded stuff - at which point the branded ones come with a brownie point - you can walk into a showroom and try one!

    Next thing, which could become your USP is - uniqueness.
    Something that wont be avialable off the shelf in India, and you are providing it.
    Yes this can work - but the volumes would be too low for sustainence.
  10. flood

    flood New Member

    excellent post alpha1. you summed it up perfectly.

    this is pretty much what i'm going for with my stompers, and yes, the volumes are sparse as of now. dunno if that will change, but i'm not going to depend on it...
  11. abhijitnath

    abhijitnath Fighting GAS frantically

    While off the shelf components you get at Lamington are truly crap, there is good quality around if you look hard enough. For instance, look at these- There are tons of Indian guys on who're making really cool stuff with locally available materials for high end audio. Musical gear, in fact, usually needs slightly lower tolerances. Have a look at this thread-
  12. flood

    flood New Member

    viren bakshi's (lyrita) stuff is quite good from what i hear. apart from that, i know for a fact that he's a great guy and a gentleman of the first order who dedicates himself to doing a good job first...

    i'm not convinced he uses locally made passives though. i know he gets transformers wound locally in delhi, and i will be making the shift to the same winder if i need transformers once my current stock is depleted. however: this particular winder is price-wise on par with certain american manufacturers.

    the other thing to consider is that the search for good materials and suppliers, as well as going out and procuring/testing them, represents a cost point in itself. you really have to spend a LOT of time before you know who you can rely on here.
  13. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    Wait ... this Viren Bakshi - Lyrita guy makes the Lyrita hi-fi amps ... right?

    Well he ain't priced inexpensive ...
  14. abhijitnath

    abhijitnath Fighting GAS frantically

    Dude- 25,000 for an EL-34 push pull??
    Try getting that anywhere in the world (except China) for that price.
  15. flood

    flood New Member


    that can't be right.... can you link me to this? that's not just reasonable, it's dirt cheap! i'm building something similar (EL34 ultralinear integrated monoblocks), and i don'T think that amount even covers my material costs!
  16. abhijitnath

    abhijitnath Fighting GAS frantically

    I saw it either on or hifivision, don't remember.
    The Chinese seem to do it really easily all the time. I went to Singapore a couple of weeks back and there were a whole bunch of sumptuous looking amps there in that price range. In proper hi fi shops too, paired to $30,000 Avantgarde Duo speakers.
    Anyway you could probably mail him for his price list.
  17. MHG

    MHG New Member

    Sorry for bumping this thread BUT....

    Maybe its costly to design tube amps. But for stuff like pedals, the components are often entirely solid state. And they are really cheap too. For example, the LM35 used in the ProCo RAT distortion pedal costs only Rs. 35/- here in SP Road Bangalore. And cheaper alternatives sounding similar come at Rs. 10/-.

    We can build really cheap IC based distortion pedals here. And these will sound as good as expensive stuff from BOSS or DigiTech.

    And there is a huge market for innovation left unexplored. Lemme list stuff which we can add to pedals costing under Rs. 1000 to build that I don't see in mainstream stuff like the BOSS DS-2 (obviously don't expect high quality of build casing though)

    1. Dual Stage amplification with dual OP-AMPs. One acting as a pre-amp and other for real amplification.
    2. A clipper circuit where the resistor used is a variable POT so that the level of clipping can be adjusted - this can change tone from metal to crunch to fuzz to light overdrive.
    3. Replaceable clipper diodes making it easy to switch from warm germanium diode sound to harsh rectifier diode sound. Maybe a knob to switch between clipping units.
    4. high pass and low pass filters both after first and second amplification stages to control final output as well as the input signal into the amplifier.

    If such stuff is mass produced in India, the price of this pedal will come to comfortably 1.5k after raking in lots of profits and improving build as well. Plus consider the job opportunities. A successful Indian pedal company can place plenty of EEE/EIE/ECE based Engineers into good jobs - way better than all the people I see from electronics background ending up in IT jobs.

    Music industry itself in India is highly underdeveloped. Yes there are some amazing custom builders, but there is potential here to make quality instruments (or atleast stuff which can beat the Squiers and Epiphones and cheap Les Pauls) at low prices for export markets. And this can also be combined with commercial growth of Guitar Wood. India has enough climate variety to support growth of almost any wood.

    We can become the next Japan of music.
  18. flood

    flood New Member

    Gentlemen, behold. This post wins the "LITTLE KNOWLEDGE BLOODY DANGEROUS" award on a permanent basis.
  19. flood

    flood New Member

    i don't know whether to laugh or cry. have you ever built a pedal, or investigated the possibilities of setting up a pedal business? how much do you know about manufacturing (pedals or anything else for that matter)? are you aware of the brand value factor playing a decisive role in consumer decision processes? you're not seriously proposing that your manufacturing costs are equal to the sum total of parts?

    the only thing i can read here is 1.5k for a shitty sounding pedal with a lousy casing that no one should be proud of producing, which is pretty much what kustom and stranger did. cheap pedal = cheap parts + cheap casing + cheap assembly = behringer (which is a HUGE company and can afford to produce at the scale that they do, but only because they are so well established otherwise from their history in PA manufacturing, and had the infrastructure practically completely set up). let's not forget the failure rates, and the amount of service necessary.

    looking at your list, you either have very limited experience in building pedals or are unfamiliar with common distortion circuits. also, let's not forget that germanium diodes are getting harder to find by the day - i regret not having bought all the stock i could have 10 years ago at a cheaper price too.

    job opportunities at a pedal company for E*Es.... let's see: you're telling me that an engineer, after working his ass off for 3+ years, is going to skip on his decently paying IT consulting opportunity and the chance to go solo in order join a business with no name, no history, a primitive product that doesn't even require an education to manufacture and a minimal profit margin... yeah. right. and that said company will be able to hire not one, but plenty of these engineers. ROFL.

    are you aware of how many people actually work in effects companies, and that most of them except for the big guys (boss/roland/korg, ehx, digitech, et al) are run between just a handful of people?

    really? damn, somebody better tell that to the forestry department as well as the timber trade associations, so that we can stop importing our mahogany, maple, wenge, alder at ridiculous prices. except for rosewood and ebony, name me a tonewood that is indigenous to india (some maple actually grows in north india along the himalayan range, the wood is far too soft as compared to european or canadian maple though).

    in summary: when i picked my signature, i did not do it unconsciously. there was a reason for me to pick the sig i'm currently using. that reason is posts like this. for my final evaluation... please read my sig. twice. kthxbai
  20. alpha1

    alpha1 I BLUES!

    He has a slight point there though.
    Which I have often repeated.

    Indians have never really taken the benefit of high customs duty on imported goods.
    In fact its given them the opportunity to produce inferior quality product and price it close to the import parity price.

    MHG - just to add something - music industry is not a necessity. Its entertainment.
    And music taken as a hobby is recreation.

    Now where exactly do you see entertainment and recreation industry so highly developed?
    North America, Europe, Japan.
    Is it surprising that these places are one of the most developed in this world, have highest per capita income, and thus ppl are more than willing to pay for something they like, rather than save for something they need (or may need later) ?

    Can this happen in India?
    Not until we become truly developed nation with high national income.

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