Specimen Products

Custom Guitars and Tube Amplifiers

Handcrafted instruments and tube amplifiers made by luthier Ian Schneller. Instruments include electric guitars, upright basses, violins and ukuleles made from materials like aluminum, phenolic and exotic hardwoods. Specimen players include Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Buddy Guy, Veruca Salt.

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5 position switch

Recently I had my guitar dropped off for me at specimen for a 5-position switch? The day before I was to pick it up I was asked to call Ian, who asked me how I wanted it wired. It’s a standard strat with a coil tap for the bridge pick-up. I told him just make it so that all the pick-ups work. He then tells me that he wired it in the same way the old one was wired and that to get the pick-ups to all work would cost me more. In addition to that it would take an extra day. I declined, as I need the ax for a jam session. When I went to pick it up I asked him what the problem was. And apparently he assumed that I wanted the pick-ups wired the same way and didn’t bother to test it until he had finished. When I explained my dissatisfaction with the job, I was verbally accosted and told to just take the damn thing and never come back. Ian seems to me to be a fine technician and a superior craftsman. His shop is quaint and inviting. I was referred to him by word of mouth. I can't imagine how such a wonderful place to get work done can have such bad customer service skills. I finally agreed to pay for the part that was ineffectively installed. And heard Ian mumble something about my not respecting his work while his wife yelled at me some more. I had high expectations before I went to specimen, but after all this I can't see myself encouraging anyone whose in the market for repairs to go there.

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