Recently got a email from a person who was having some mixed feelings about my
Frankly I can't say as I blame him.
I will print anything that anyone send me as long
as it's relative and intelligently put together, I don't care if you
call me the lowest scum sucking maggot on the planet as long as you
do it with decorum and intelligence I will print it. This
website is my soapbox, I stand behind everything I say and it's only
fair to print any customer gripes along with any customer praises.
Fortunately for me I don't get too many letters like this one. Some
of the things the gentleman said in his review really hurt. But I do
see his side of the story, I think he has judged me a little too
harshly in some of his statements but he is of course entitled to
his opinion, just like I'm entitled to mine.
I've tried calling twice now to tell you that my (Rick Gledura "Pegasus"
Heavily Quilted - Root Beer) guitar finally arrived in Germany. Both times I called, I was put on hold and nobody ever answered again ... I
hung-up after 10 minutes of waiting
(that's bad business
Anyway, I invite you (at your leisure) to read through my review of both the
guitar and moreover, Ed Roman Guitars. This review will be published on the internet for other readers to be
informed. Of particular interest to you might be the sections titled: "Action, Fit &
Finish" -and- "Customer Support" (See attached file: Rick Gledura
Testimonial) (See Below)
I hope to someday purchase another guitar from you
(Jeff Terwilliger or
Having said that, then you'll know that my current purchase & delivery were
you've become the "Microsoft" of Guitar Shops in that I have no choice but to do
business with you to satisfy my taste in handmade, custom-built guitars. No
other guitar shop (that I've seen) can compete with what you have to offer ...
Just like Bill Gates (Microsoft) you've done well to surround yourself with a
highly skilled, knowledgeable staff.
Brian in shipping was simply FANTASTIC in helping me !!! Brian did an OUTSTANDING job packing my guitar so that it arrived in
EXCELLENT physical condition. Brian was the only person (besides your wife) that put my mind at ease about
the delay in arrival (due to shipping to an APO via USPS).
Give this guy a raise (really) ... He truly deserves (at the very least) a
really BIG thanks you from me !!!
I was much less impressed with whomever did the Buzz Feiten implementation
(the action on the guitar was just plain horrible).
Rich (the salesperson who sold the guitar) was also O.K. (but he had the easy
job). The thing about Rich though worth mentioning is that he got all the
information I gave over the phone correct, e.g. shipping address, etc. Maybe
this sounds like a little thing, but it's NOT ... He got it all right and for
being a GOOD listener, that makes him quite valuable.
Thanks Ed. I'll be back to purchase again.
68723 Oftersheim (Germany)
Before reading his review
My sincerest apologies for your phone problems with being on hold etc.
That I am afraid I have no cure for. No matter what I do I have not been
able to solve that problem. It's a HUGE problem and we lose tons of
business over that one. (Ouch)
I am relieved and happy that the guitar arrived safely. I know
you will love it Rick's guitars are the greatest !!!!!
As far as the Microsoft comparison, I don't know if that is a complement
or an insult but please be aware we don't have the Microsoft attitude.
Maybe we will in a few years, I can't predict the future, but as of right now we
are so swamped we have no time to bask in complements or attitude!!!!
Then I opened up his
attachment which I have printed below: I have not edited it in any way.
This guy is a very meticulous guy who obviously spent a lot of time tweaking the
guitar and tweaking me. See his assessment of me which is a little harsh but
basically truthful in his eyes.
Action, Fit & Finish
Rick Gledura "Pegasus" model  with Korina body and
neck ... Even from the backside, the guitar is absolutely incredible to look at
and has a perfectly lacquered finish that shows off the amazing grain pattern of
the Korina wood (neck and body) so wonderfully. From the front side, the guitar
has a 1/2 inch thick (at the center) "arch type top" (Quilted Maple AAAAA) top
that is a dark brown root-beer color that is absolutely stunning in it's
perfection. Deep set neck tenon (Korina) with Ebony fretboard (with 24
"playable" frets) has square [Mother of Pearl/Abalone] inlays similar to that of
a Les Paul ... Only the inlays are infinitely more exquisite and beautiful with
wonderful and unique multi-colored patterns. There is a single volume & tone
with a 5-way selector switch. The pickups are Seymour Duncan Black-Backs (quite
powerful). The hardware is all gold and the tuners are Sperzel Trim-Loks with
Tone-Pros (Tune-O-Matic) bridge, and string-through-body design. My heart skips
a beat like a young man in love for the first time every single time I open the
Buzz Feiten tuning system pre-installed. I use a Marshall
JCM 25/50 Watt 2550 Amplifier with a JCM 800 Lead - 1982 four speaker cabinet. I
use a Rocktron (Voodoo Valve - Online) and/or a Roland GP8 multi-effects
processor as my pre-amp. Which is to say, I get my distortion, equalization, and
effects from the Rocktron Voodoo Valve -or- Roland GP8 and use the Marshall for
my volume, e.g. running clean with minimal distortion. My choice of tonal
combinations is limitless (literally) ... But I seem to drift towards an
out-front (in your face) heavier sound. Dare I say, Hendrix, Santana, Vaughan,
or Page ??? Probably not ... Since they're the Gods of Guitar (in my eyes) and
I'm just a humble follower. The Seymour Duncan Black-Back pickups on the guitar
are quite powerful so I keep them turned down. This is different for me compared
to my other guitars where I use Dimarzio Super Distortion pickups. The guitar
(which is ultimately what I'm supposed to be discussing) is perfect insofar as
"sound" ... I can dial-in more tone easily for a brighter sound, or less for a
heavier rhythm. The tone and volume knobs have a wide "throw" range (so-to-say)
which give me good variation. The Korina wood of the guitar lends itself to a
heavier, thicker type of sound (I think) and it's not as bright as say "swamp
ash" ... I think you could compare Korina to Basswood or Solid Mahogany insofar
as sound. But you can't compare it to either insofar as "looks" or "grain
pattern", which are simply incredible to look at.
Fit & Finish:
The guitar was purchased at Ed Roman Guitar Shop (over the
internet) and shipped to Germany. It took (literally) six weeks through the USPS
to arrive. During this time, I agonized hoping everything would be O.K. (I'll
never EVER do that again). And so it was with GREAT relief that the guitar
finally arrived in EXCELLENT condition. No scratches, no physical damage
whatsoever. Man-o-man was I sooooo PLEASED with that. Now, the ACTION on the
thing SUCKED. I had severe string buzz going on and my first reaction was that a
12 year old must have set the thing up. So I was kind of pissed ... And
unimpressed with my Buzz Feiten Tuning.
But in all fairness, considering that it was winter and the guitar was six weeks
in transit, I'm now calmed down and thinking the poor ACTION upon delivery was
unavoidable. Lucky me, I took out my Peterson VSII Strobe Tuner (LOVE THAT THING
- WORTH IT'S WEIGHT IN GOLD) and spent the weekend getting the guitar in playing
condition again. I started by getting the neck straight (with slight up arch)
since it was bent badly like a backwards "C" (just not so extreme). Once I got
the neck straight (slight arch in the right direction) I set about changing the
strings and getting the string height nice (the way I like) ... That was the
easy part. Now came INTONATION on a BUZZ FEITEN guitar. That sucked and took me
hours and hours (literally). I had to go to the U.S. Patent web site to get the
offsets and then (you know the deal) I had to go back-and-forth loosening the
strings and adjusting the bridge saddle to get the intonation absolutely
perfect. PHEW !!! What a <blank> that was. The bottom line is that I got it
PERFECT and the offsets from the U.S. Patent Website for BUZZ FEITEN (supposedly
trademarked) worked absolutely perfect on the Peterson VSII tuner. Could not
have done the above if it weren't for my OUTSTANDING Peterson Tuner (GET ONE
EVERYBODY !!) So anyway, the action is "now" perfect and the fit & finish were
(as always) just wonderful. RICK GLEDURA - If you ever read this, "YOU ARE A
MASTER CRAFTSMAN" ... You're guitar is WONDERFUL and BEAUTIFUL. It plays like a
dream. There's a part of me that doesn't want to play it because it's just so
beautiful. I just want to put it in a glass case and keep forever. But that
wouldn't do it any justice, because it captures my sound and expresses my soul
like a gospel singer drunk on God. I'm so in LOVE with it that I feel like a
child in a candy store, e.g. giddy when I open it up and see it in the case.
The guitar is absolutely solidly built (like a tank). I
would definitely play it live, but would NEVER leave it alone for a minute since
it's too tempting for someone to steal if given any opportunity (it's that
beautiful and breathtaking to look at). And that might be my reasoning for not
playing it live ... I'd be too afraid that it might get stolen. The hardware is
robust and I'm confident I'll be able to give the guitar to my grandchildren
someday. The lacquered finish is thick and tough, I've bumped it slightly here
and there with no apparent markings or scratches to be seen. The guitar is VERY
WELL MADE (no denying) ... It's 100% handmade by a single craftsman and it shows
in every regard. RICK GLEDURA is the BEST (in my opinion) and is in a very small
crowd (Jeff Terwilliger, Gary Jacobs and Steve Helgeson) of master
craftsman when it comes to making guitars !!!
Aaaah ... I've been waiting to get
here. I want to write something about Ed Roman. The man is many things. Ed Roman
is NOT your friend. Ed Roman is a BUSINESSMAN. He will sell you anything
(probably his kitchen sink if the price were right). Ed Roman is NOT a thief or
robber, but you should treat him with a degree of caution. Ed Roman is FAIR and
will not deliberately screw you. If you buy a guitar from Ed Roman ... Be
up-front and direct in your conversations. Be absolutely CLEAR and CONCISE in
your specifications. YOU WILL NEVER GET YOUR MONEY BACK -or- receive support
once the guitar has been purchased and left the shop. In other words, it's a
done deal. So be damn sure you get exactly what you're asking for ... Let me
just say it again, Ed Roman is a MASTER businessman. He's been selling guitars
for more years than most any other. He knows exactly what he's talking about and
his website is a GREAT place for information. Ed Roman has some of the BEST
guitars on the planet. PLEASE TAKE A LOOK IN THE WORLD'S GREATEST GUITAR
SECTION. These are the Best-Of-The-Best Guitars in the world (I firmly believe
there are none finer). So the bottom line is that if you want a 100% handmade
guitar from a master craftsman (Rick Gledura, Jeff Terwilliger, Gary Jacobs and Steve Helgeson), then in the end you will have to go through Ed Roman.
BUYER BEWARE ... Ed Roman is the MAN (no doubt) when it comes to buying a
quality handmade guitar, but he can BITE and you can LOOSE just as much as you
can WIN. Just remember, it all BUSINESS (do the deal 100% by the book) no
handshake deals here. Ed Roman Guitars is a lot like Microsoft
... Just like Bill Gates, he has surrounded himself with a
quality staff of knowledgeable people. BRIAN IN SHIPPING IS AWESOME !!!
Do not talk with ED to put your mind and heart at ease if something goes wrong
(shipping delays, etc.) speak to his staff. Ed Roman's wife is WAY COOL !! But
her words don't mean anything if Ed says something different. Like I said, BUYER
BEWARE ... Once you leave the shop and make the purchase, it's over and done.
Note: I can only base this on conversations I've had with Ed Roman where he
clearly stated exactly what I've written. Would I buy
another guitar from Ed Roman Guitars ?? YES ... Although I will never
ship via USPS ... I'll visit Las Vegas (always wanted to and the wife will love
me for it) and I'll buy direct from DA MON (as they say down in Jamaica). ED
ROMAN you're O.K. (despite my harsh words). It's all BUSINESS. And the review is
FAIR, REALISTIC and ACCURATE.
I've been playing guitar for over 20
years. I have owned many guitars. I think Fender Stratocasters suck (cheaply
made, mass-produced guitars). Vintage, Customshop, and custom made Stratocasters
might be the exception. I think Washburn guitars are EXCELLENT !!! My first
guitar was a Washburn A-20V and I still play it (20 years later). I do own a
Fender Stratocaster (gave it to my 12 year old son) ... 'cause I didn't want to
see it anymore. Just didn't feel good in my hands. I own a Marshall JCM 25/50
Watt 2550 Amplifier with a JCM 800 Lead - 1982 four speaker cabinet. I use a
Rocktron (Voodoo Valve - Online) and/or a Roland GP8 multi-effects processor. My
Rick Gledura "Pegasus" model  with Korina body and neck is just my DREAM
COME TRUE insofar as a guitar. I would consider buying another, but will
probably (someday) buy another guitar (just for variance) from either Jeff
Terwilliger, Gary Jacobs and Steve Helgeson. If my Rick Gledura
"Pegasus" were stolen I would cash in the insurance (yes, it is insured) and buy
another. I would be deeply hurt though, because it's truly a one-of-a-kind
guitar. There are no two alike ... I love the fine specimen woods that were used
throughout, e.g. Korina. I love the amazing (Quilted Maple AAAAA) top. In
closing, if you are considering spending several thousand dollars on a guitar:
DO NOT purchase a mass-produced, machine made PRS or Les Paul ... Take a look at
Ed Roman's - World's Best Guitars - Web Pages and inform yourself before
purchasing. You won't be sorry. You may never spend money on PRS, Les Paul,
Fender, etc. again ... Go CUSTOM and therein, you can do no wrong if you
purchase from one of these people: (Rick Gledura, Jeff Terwilliger, Gary Jacobs and Steve Helgeson) They won't be around forever, and they might give
in to large-scale production demand someday, but for now - they're doing it all
by hand (one-at-a-time) and you can't find that anywhere these days. I
personally liked what Rick Gledura said about building guitars: Per Rick Gledura
-- "In my opinion the most important part of the guitar is the neck. The neck is
the part that translates your ability and soul into the music, sounds and tones
that are pleasing to your ears." And therein, I purchased Rick Gledura because I
agree and the neck of this guitar is exquisite in every detail. And the body is
equally right-on-the-money as being out of this world !!!
Ed Roman's Comments on this
This guy is a very prolific writer, I actually took the
time to read this letter twice !!!!!
I suspect that this may be one of the fairest reviews I
have ever seen on me !!!!
This man tells it pretty much like it is (based
on the facts he has).
The mitigating issue here is that this customer opted for
delivery by none other than the US Postal Service and the guitar took about two
months to arrive to him.
He was extremely worried if the guitar was insured properly
and when he got me on the phone I had absolutely no knowledge of how the guitar
I was simply not able to tell him what he wanted to hear so
therefore that made me akin to Bill Gates. Ouch !!!
When he finally got through to the right people they put
his mind at ease. I am quite sorry it wasn't me.
I will also say that I have refunded many people many
thousands of dollars when they were unhappy with things. It has cost me dearly
over the years to give refunds but it is a necessary evil on my side of the
fence that I deal with daily. I will also say that I am usually friendly and
easy to do business with. There are exceptions of course.
My basic motto is "When you make a commitment to me I make
a commitment to you"
"If you make a commitment to me to buy a guitar, I will
make a commitment to do my best to try and keep you happy"
"If you break your commitment after I have started work on
your guitar then please don't get upset if I break my commitment to keep you
Peace, Love, Dove
I Hope I Never get a letter like the One
Below This Guitar
Read this letter
This Gibson Byrdland was well over 5,000.00 and I
waited for almost 2 years to get it. When It finally
arrived the pickguard was falling off and the top had cracked
directly in the center of the F Hole. The fingerboard had
delaminated at the top frets and there was actually rust on the
tailpiece. I called the dealer who apologized to me and gave me a
number to call at Gibson. It took me a total of 4 hours of phone
calls before I was able to reach a human it was an exercise in
futility to finally get someone who had the power to give me a
return authorization code.
I sent them the guitar because the tard
told me they would replace it with a new guitar. I waited
about 5 months and the same guitar came back to me this time it was
worse. They had repaired the crack and it was still visible, some
churl had polished the tailpiece and you could still see the area
where the rust had been because the plating was a tad corroded. The
fingerboard had been sloppily repaired because there were apparent
glue stains on the binding by the top frets. This time there was an
indentation on the fret board where some bozo had obviously clamped
the finger board down while the glue dried.
To make matters worse, much worse there were
little red stains that looked like crayon markings on the top of the
guitar. These markings appeared to be under the finish. If you
look closely at the picture you will see one of them by the back
tone pot. There were about 9 more of them if you look carefully you
can see them directly above the tailpiece. One of the marks
measured about 6" long it stretches from above the tailpiece to
almost the bottom of the F hole. There are some small blotchy ones
down by the input jack extending up to where the tailpiece is joined
to the butt of the guitar.
The Flarb who inspected this guitar had to be
blind in one eye and couldn't see out of the other.
But wait it gets even worse! The binding on the
lower F hole came off within 24 hours of getting it back, The
intonation sounded like it had been done by a monkey, not just any
monkey, I figure it had to be a retarded monkey.
I contacted my dealer who apologized again, He
also told me that he had been having similar nightmares with other
Gibson guitars. He told me that he was going to drop the line and
look for another brand to represent.
Again I called Gibson, Surprise Surprise I
got the same merry go round of moronic voicemail messages. Al
Capone would have been proud of me, if he had heard some of the
death threats I left on their telephne voice mail. Needless to
say no one called me back.
The picture you see here is after I had the
entire body polished and all the repairs done at a cost to me of
over 600 dollars. This is the same picture I used to put this
piece of crap on EBAY, the guitar sold to a dealer in New York for
3300 dollars. I thank Christ that I will never have to see it
So now I'm in the market for another Jazz guitar,
You sold my friend Victor Harris a Triggs R5, I have played it and
it's easily twice as nice as "the Turdland "
I am still licking my wounds but as soon as I
recover I will be calling you for either a Triggs, or an Eastman
guitar. I sure hope you print this it will give me a little
This episode cost me a 1700 dollar direct loss on
the instrument, 600 plus loss on the repair, plus the freight
to Gibson was over 150 because like a jerk I shipped it overnight.
Oh yeah. then Egay banged me another 55.00
dollars in the ass
I solemnly vow that as long as I live I will
NEVER EVER purchase any Gibson product, new or used, not even a set
I LOVE YOUR RANTS Keep em' comin'
Overland Park, KS
I am sorry to hear your story, yes I will
print it. In fact, I am going to start printing many
more of these letters good or bad!
This syndrome is growing at an alarming rate, In
my opinion large corporations have no place in the art world.
I mean would you buy a painting at a Wal-Mart? Believe it or
not, they actually do sell them!
Regarding your solemn vow
not to purchase any Gibson products, Just in case you aren't aware I
wanted to list some of them. I wish I could make that
same vow but I can't fight a brainwashed public.
Anyway here are a few of the names of brands that
Gibson owns or distributes !!
Epiphone Guitars, Steinberger Guitars, Kramer
Guitars, Dobro Resonators, Wurlitzer Jukeboxes, Baldwin Pianos,
Maestro Effects, Tobias Guitars, Valley Arts Guitars, Truetone,
Music Yo, Yo Gear, Avante Guitars, Shadow Pickups, Oberheim
Electronics & I am sure there are more that I don't know about.
Remember Gibson USA did not create or start 90%
of these companies, they simply acquired them. They decided to use
the name Gibson as their Flagship name. So I urge you not to be
afraid of an old Epiphone or Steinberger Guitar. The original real
Oberheim synthesizers from the early 80's before midi are awesome.
Again I am sorry to hear your story and I will do
my best to make sure that you never have an experience like that
with any purchase you make from me.
This I Solemnly Vow !!!
I put this picture here for no reason at all
I just needed something cool to bring up my spirits after
posting this page !!!
This is the Tom Holmes
Guitar Check em' out
Ed Roman Exclusive
USA Dealership For Tom Holmes Guitars