My Three Phigas

My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:07 pm

My Phiga Bolt, Tiger, and Wolf. Phil did exquisite work. Some minor wiring tweaks, but setups perfect, work on wood, frets finish is extraordinary, and even though after three guitars I've never spoken on the phone, his emails with me have been no issue at all. All are equipped with Graphtec Ghost MIDI, OBEL and UGB setups.

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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby Blacklodgebob » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:27 am

Meh. I bought one of his 'private collection' cocobolo wolfs and it was full of serious fundamental issues. Most notably neck angle, on a thru neck not having proper relief / neck angle is dangerous. My particular one came with knock off humbuckers (supposed to be super 2s), junk electronics, and funky buffer, and all the routing was really ugly when we took it apart and tried to get it working properly. Ended up swapping out the tuners, had to get the neck refretted, bridge had to get dropped so low they almost had to route the top to get it to intonate, had to swap out the buffer and every single piece of electronics. It was also very very heavy, like 12-13 pounds. So yeah, looked cool in the pictures he sent me, it showed up like a set decoration. Not a players instrument. I was living in New Orleans at the time and had Strange Guitar works go completely over it. They were patient enough to break down each and every build issue and by the time it was ready to go, and spent all that money, I sold it. Something about that deception made me hate the damned thing. After thousands of dollars and many hours driving around having to deal with this guys work, id strongly advise anybody who expects to actually play these things to go elsewhere and never be tempted. Id wanted one for 10 years so it was a major bummer.
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:52 am

Sorry to hear you had that experience. How long ago was this? I have purchased these three over the past four years, with the Tiger just arriving. These are not set decorations or props, they are badass.

I'm curious though, with those kinds of problems, why would you not just send it back to him? I don't care who makes it, if a guitar has neck pitch issues, it goes back. Period. I own over 50 guitars, I'm kind of picky about this stuff.

Mine are flawless, from playability to woodwork to fret work, et cetera. The setup I asked for was exactly what I wanted, super low action like my Les Pauls, with 11's, and the intonation is excellent. I have him add Ghost MIDI saddles to each of them, which makes the wiring even more tricky, though that was really just an issue inside the thinner Bolt tribute. The pickups are Dimarzio SDs, as I asked for. The parts are all quality parts. I could open them up and photograph the lot if you want to see.

My only wiring issues were very minor, a turned input jack causing a short in the OBEL, which probably was happening from it getting loose during use. I use them a lot. I don't think Phil gives me any special treatment because I worked with Merl and some others, I'm pretty sure I'm getting what he ships other people.

When the Tiger shipped, he said,"Remember that it has a life time warranty. Anything you want to change, adjust or fix is free and I pay for return shipping until I die."

Did you ask him to fix something and he refused?

I am a player. These are all players instruments. I do probably at least 50+ shows a year with them with "Hooteroll?" out of Nashville where I live.

As they say on the car commercials, "Your mileage may vary."
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby jalevinemd » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:23 am

Stories like this are very unfortunate. Phiga guitars has some of the most disparate reviews I've ever read pertaining to a luthier. But they're enough to keep me from ever considering buying one. Seems that for every highly satisfied customer, there's one who regrets his decision. I would recommend hands down the builders from whom I've bought in the past...Alembic, Scarlet Fire, Scott Walker and Resurrection (though Tim built my guitar so I can only vouch for his work).
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:25 am

I can understand your concerns and appreciate your decision. All I can say is, I have three and all were excellent. They are not my first guitars, I consider myself a pretty good judge of quality instruments. I don't doubt anyone has had issues, nor disparage them for sharing them. Equally so, I am happy to tell people of my good experiences across three purchases. If anyone is ever in the Nashville area and wants to come see them in person, they are welcome to get in touch.
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby Blacklodgebob » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:46 am

the dude deceived me in just about every way short of not sending the guitar at all. Even if yours are great, recommending them to other people seems lame. i mean clearly its not just me. this is like when I was one of the first people to buy an Equator Instruments fake Languedoc years and years ago. Got it, it was a total piece of shit, the builder was also a piece of work, using menial labor in a third world country, I got flamed by some people who had already sent the dude money for builds. Long story short it was very similar. These are not like opinions about the builds - or preferences to specs, just shitty made guitars. Ressurrections Pat O' Donnell is also famous for making really pretty guitars, that occasionally have problems as hes not a big production shop, the difference is that he will fix your guitar, and not lie about electronics etc. There is a right and wrong way to do everything, just straight up lying and taking peoples money is not cool
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:57 am

I’m sorry you think it’s lame. Your experience is your experience and obviously effected you. I’ve seen many reviews from other happy owners who didn’t have that experience and I’ve seen some who were not happy. I’ve seen that same kind of pro and con for major companies as well.

I am so not interested in a flame war with you over this. I still don’t personally understand dropping a couple of grand for repairs into a guitar you paid that much for instead of just returning it and working toward a refund with PayPal or your credit card or something. Your bad experience and decisions are valid. Mine are as well. It would be kind of you to leave it at that.

If anyone is in the Nashville area and wants to see and play mine, I’m happy to show them to you. You can judge for yourself at least why I am saying they are great instruments, while completely taking into account any negatives others might have.
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby Blacklodgebob » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:51 am

mikelawson wrote:I’m sorry you think it’s lame. Your experience is your experience and obviously effected you. I’ve seen many reviews from other happy owners who didn’t have that experience and I’ve seen some who were not happy. I’ve seen that same kind of pro and con for major companies as well.

I am so not interested in a flame war with you over this. I still don’t personally understand dropping a couple of grand for repairs into a guitar you paid that much for instead of just returning it and working toward a refund with PayPal or your credit card or something. Your bad experience and decisions are valid. Mine are as well. It would be kind of you to leave it at that.

If anyone is in the Nashville area and wants to see and play mine, I’m happy to show them to you. You can judge for yourself at least why I am saying they are great instruments, while completely taking into account any negatives others might have.


Wasnt allowed to return it - no flame war intended!
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby Jon S. » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:35 pm

As long as everyone's being honest, no one's truly lame. Trust the audience to be able to read and sort!

Mike, your guitars look beautiful (thanks for the pic). Others have not been so fortunate - count your blessings. :smile:
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:34 pm

Thanks, I am. All three of them. :)
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby Gr8fulCadi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:48 pm

Nice Guitars!!
My Phiga Eagle works great for me personally. I asked for Super II’s and I got Super II’s. Everything he stated I was gonna get I got. Were there things I wanted and did upgrade? Surely!! I also sent him back the guitar for a minor finish issue and he added a brass nut, installed a new bridge and tailpiece and locking tuners I provided and fixed the finish issue all for $0. I’m not saying everyone is going to be a blown away with Phil but just as some bash his work, I have the right to praise his work. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and experience and mine was great. There are a lot of awesome luthiers out there, choose who you see fit!
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:49 pm

I bought three for a reason. :)
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby tdcrjeff » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:53 pm

One to play in houses made of straw, one to play in houses made of sticks, and one to play in houses made of bricks. :lol:
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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby mikelawson » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:55 pm

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Re: My Three Phigas

Postby Blacklodgebob » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:12 am

weird I had a totally different experience. totally happy you guys are happy. for any reference my issues were relating to a purchase made about 2 years ago - so was more recent... cheers
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