Precision Guitar Kit Product Review

“Les Paul” ’59 Guitar Kit Review -

Precision Guitar of North America

  This may very well be my last LP style guitar kit review for a myriad of reasons. For one, I’m tired of building the same style guitar over and over…  Rant/ And for two Gibson has cracked down on protecting their trademark guitar design and companies like BYO Guitar, and Bartlett are no longer offering kits. Precision’s kit is not an exact replica of the Gibson Les Paul and is not advertised as such so it may very well slip under the legal infringement wire and continue to be available as it stands… Even so, nobody is going to confuse this for a knock off copy… That is not what building a guitar from scratch or a kit is all about… And if Gibson can’t stand the flattery… Well I say screw em… I paid for and own half a dozen of their Guitars and I love them… Building a guitar is a different thing. /Rant.

 

Okay… Single Cut, Arch Top, Set Neck Guitar kit Made in Canada Review:

  My expectations of this kit were pretty high because I have been in contact with many “hobbyist luthiers” that have purchased one and the only real complaints I’ve heard have been about the time it takes to get one. With only one exception they have all been very pleased with the fit and finish of  these guitar kits.

 

Precision Guitar Les Paul kit review

Precision Guitar “Les Paul” Kit Made in North America (Canada)

 


The Kit As Advertised:

“Chambered LP Style  Carved Top With Trapezoid Inlays, Maple Veneer On The Headstock… The body based around the 59 standard, it has  a sweeping carved top, a shaped lower bout, the mahogany body is chambered for less weight but still retains tremendous  tonal qualities… attention to detail, the fit of neck and body, the carved top, the lower bout, the transitions of the head stock, the geometries, all come together to make this the best “guitar bones” available.

 Current List Price: $444.00″ ( http://precisionguitarkits.com/)

Features

  • Mahogany body with carved solid maple cap, Quarter-sawn two pc mahogany neck, Neck pocket precisely cut for precision join, Ebony fretboard, 1 11/16” nut width,12″ FB radius, Jescar Medium Jumbo Fret Wire (.100” x .045”), 60’s Medium “C” neck profile, .8″ thick at the 1st fret, .885″ thick  at the 12th fret, Neck angle is 4.4 deg, Long tennon, cut for pickup, Maple headstock veneer, 13.5 degree headstock angle, Channels for electronics, Bridge and Stop Piece are are drilled for large studs – 11.3 mm or  7/16″ diameter, Bridge Post spacing is 2.83″ or 72 mm, Stop Tail Piece Post spacing is 3.25″ or 82 mm.

 

 The Precision Guitar Kit as it Arrived 

 I was surprised it was shipped so quickly due to the fact I’d heard so many complaints about how long Precision took to do things and how difficult they were to contact. From many of the posts on guitar forums and message boards,  I had been left with the impression this company was flaky…  I was thinking: Yeah… drunk Canadians building guitars after hours in wood shop... Funny how the littlest thing can give you the wrong impression. My order was handled in a timely manner (about 5 weeks because I requested a kit without bridge and tail holes pre-drilled) The packaging was (in my opinion) a little light but my guitar arrived safe enough.

And oh… It came with a Hex key for adjusting the truss rod… Thanks Guys, That is really nice!

 

precision lp style guitar kit

Precision Guitar’s LP Style Guitar Kit

 

The first thing I noticed is how remarkably clean the wood is… Hell… That’s damn nice Mahogany and the Maple cap (even though I ordered the least expensive plain top) is really pretty… The Ebony fret board is clean and black as sin and Oh my god the fretwork is phenomenal… Truthfully… Better fret work than any Gibson USA Guitar I’ve ever seen, played or worked on.

 

plain maple top

Plain Maple Top – Nice Grain and Very Clean Carve

 

The Quality of Wood and Workmanship that went into this kit compared to the Asian Import  kits is like catching a clean breath of air while standing in a Mexico City Dump… Something to be cherished.

It is a two piece back but I’ll be damned if anyone could tell that after it’s finished because the wood is so well matched and joined. The routs are sanitary and Gibson OEM Control cavity covers drop right in.

 

2 piece Mahogany Back - Super Clean Control Cavity Routs

2 piece Mahogany Back (looks like 1) – Super Clean Control Cavity Routs

 

Humbucker pickup routing

The pickup routing is 100% perfect – Precise and Clean.

 

Plain maple cap and faux binding

The Maple Top and Mahogany Back are joined so look like they were grown together.

 

One of the more interesting aspects of this kit is the neck tenon and heel joint, as you can see they have a radius.  This is not the traditional way the joint is made on a Les Paul but it has a big advantage of allowing for a tighter fit and a stronger joint because it reduces the stress in that critical area.

 

neck tenon and pocket

Neck joint and pocket radius.

 

Because the workmanship is so clean the neck drops in the pocket like… Well… You can’t get a tighter or cleaner fit than this:

 

Set neck pocket fit

The neck slips in the pocket just like that.

 

Fitting the neck on Precision Guitar's LP Kit

Fitting the neck on Precision Guitar’s LP Kit

 

Neck and heel joint Precision Guitar

You couldn’t slide the tip on an X-acto blade in this seam.

 

  I could go on and on about the Quality and Precision of this guitar kit but it will only get redundant… There is nothing about the quality of this DIY Guitar kit I can criticize… So here are some more pictures of  Precision Guitars really nice work:

 

Ebony Fretboard and Neck Heel

Ebony Fretboard and Neck Heel

 

Maple Headstock Veneer 10mm Machine Head Holes.

Maple Headstock Veneer 10mm Machine Head Holes.

 

head stock back

Back of the Headstock – Perfect Cuts and Drilling

 

Control Pot Holes Will Take Short Shaft USA Pots

Cleanly Drilled Control Pot Holes Will Take Short Shaft USA Pots

 

Alright, I’m sure you want to know…

What are my complaints?

Well… I have exactly two complaints, and neither is with the quality or workmanship of the guitar kit or Precision Guitar’s customer service.

 Complaint #1  The headstock is based on Gibson’s open book and I like that… I also understand that this is not a Copy of a Gibson but something doesn’t seem right to me about the shape… Too flared, too tall and too wide at the top:

 

Open book headstock Maple Veneer

Open Book Head Stock… Just my opinion but it’s too something and not enough of… Umm… Something else… It’s ugly.

 

Complaint #2 Again only a mater of preference and taste… These kits come pre drilled for Metric hardware for the most part and it is necessary to special order them either un-drilled or drilled to your specs. I’d rather see them come “stock” drilled for historic style machine heads and US bridges and stop tails… Just my 2 cents.

Okay… I’m Done Griping.

 

 High Quality Les Paul Style Guitar Kit

Precision Guitar Kits based in Canada wins hands down for quality in Workmanship, Materials and Service… I mean it,  Hands Down the Best Build Your Own Guitar kit available at a very reasonable price… Even with ALL the up charges for things like body and neck binding  the price is reasonable considering the quality of the product. These guy’s obviously care about what they do. The high points: Perfect Cuts and Joints, Excellent Quality Wood , Brilliant Design Innovation, and Amazingly clean fret installation and finish.

I can easily recommend this guitar kit for the hobbyist luthier because there just aren’t any problems to overcome… I can also recommend this kit because it is the the makings of what could be a truly fine musical instrument if assembled and finished with care.

 I’m so impressed I’m going to toss them a link:

Precision Guitar Kits of North America 

And to all of you that have asked me to review this kit… Yeah this is the one to buy.

 

Ebony Finger board

Precision Guitars – Just Plain Nice Work

 

I will update this review when the kit is finished (Probably by the end of summer… If the wife and kids will leave me alone). I have some interesting plans for this guitar and I’m sure there will be some spin off articles related to the build.

 

 Precision Guitar kit Update:

I am so impressed with the quality of  Precision Guitar Kit’s Product… I bought another one:

 

precision guitar kits review

Precision Guitar Kits – Currently the Highest Quality DIY guitar kit available

 

19 thoughts on “Precision Guitar Kit Product Review

  1. man this is a awsome looking kit, i wish the top had a little flame in it. but i have one on order

  2. I tell you truthfully… I have hands on with a lot more kits than are published in reviews here (some are still waiting to go to press… Well… Maybe) and I swear this is the cleanest work I’ve seen to date.

    The company that produces them are a decent bunch as well. Prior to ordering this kit I had heard a lot of whining and bitching about their customer service and communication… But if that was the case, they are sorting it out.

  3. So glad you finally got to this. Soon as I got the bread I’m pulling the trigger. Thanks for doing what you do man!

    See you on the boards

  4. That looks great.

    I’ve been tempted to get a kit because I’d love an LP that’s unfinished and natural. I really like that raw look.

    Maybe some oil to seal it I suppose.

    Thanks for the review.

  5. “The Quality of Wood and Workmanship that went into this kit compared to the Asian Import kits is like catching a clean breath of air while standing in a Mexico City Dump… Something to be cherished.”

    There is something about your humor that is so wry, and so sublime. Some of the things you say bust me up for days.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, if I were a builder I would certainly buy one of these kits.

    Do you take commissions?

    RW

  6. This kit sounds pretty sweet. I’m thinking of getting one. I have experience with wood working and am wondering if it would be possible to add my own binding instead of spending the 200$? Thanks

  7. On the body yeah you could add binding, but on the neck not really.

    $200 is indeed a handful of money but all things considered, I’d spend it if I wanted one with binding.

  8. Thanks for answering so quickly. So I am going to order this kit today or tomorrow. Chambered, 4a flame, block inlays, body/neck bindings, 60′s slim. I’ve been browsing your site and read about the spray lacquer. But I haven’t found recommendations on hardware and electronics on the site unless I’ve missed it somewhere? Do you have recommendations, maybe a bundle? I am going with the humbucker rout and I think I will have all the holes pre-drilled.

    Thanks again! Your review has gotten me right stoked!!!

  9. The Bridge and tail stops as well as the machine heads offered by Precision are very nice and the price isn’t bad.

    The pots and caps I use I reviewed on here someplace CTS 500k and Jensen .022 Caps (Champtone is the company that I got them from they had the best proce at the time). As to the plastic, knobs etc get Gibson OEM from Sweetwater.The best nuts to work with I’ve found are Graph Tech’s TUSQ

    pick-ups? There are just too many choices… I like Gibson Burstbucker pros and I like Symour Duncan’s stuff.

  10. If you are tired of Les Paul kits PVXguitars makes a very nice looking kit that resembles a certain famous other three letter guitar companies work. They only make a single and double cut kit, but both are made here in the US (in my home state of NC no less). Prices look comparable to Precision (who I am ordering a kit from thanks to you) for neck and body and look very solid.

  11. Hi…
    wondering if you could help….
    i’m about to take delivery of my first LP kit guitar.
    i have plans to finish it in the style of a 59′ Les Paul.
    http://www.guitarvillage.co.uk/admin/pages/upload/GibsonLesPaul/R9VOSicetea.jpg

    like this….
    i have seen so many ways to finish it… starting with wood stain on the top then working in the colours…. i think amber and a light brown/red sort of colour for the burst….
    but i saw one of yours which you lacquered over the top and put the amber straight on …..
    which have you found works best and what stain would i need if any for the top ?
    Also for the back ?
    many thanks :) ….
    great work !
    Mark

  12. The method I would use if you are a novice is tinted nitro… The reason being if you mess up you can sand it back and try again. Just use a few coats of clear first (after you grain fill the neck and back) so you have something to sand too when you mess up.

  13. I just got my kit. It was one in his F’up section. 4A mastergrade quilt top w/body and neck binding and a one piece mahogany body. There were 4 little swirls in between the pup’s. They add character to me, but he greatly discounted the kit because of this. Top notch quality and craftsmanship and service. Got my kit down here in South Mississippi in 4 days. Phil answered my emails and phone calls immediately. Hats off to these guys. CAN”T wait to finish this beauty and play it.

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