Frequently Asked Questions
We always welcome your questions and comments! However, before contacting us with a question, please see the FAQs below as your question may have already been answered therein.
Yes, it’s true that the first generation of the Conti Guitar was an all solid woods instrument, competitively priced at under $2,000. And yes, we continue to offer the Solid Wood version of the Conti Guitar with the Heirloom model, at an attractive price.
The worldwide economic conditions during the last seven years placed the Solid Wood model out of reach for some aspiring jazz guitarists. The laminate models are not a change, but rather a response to the strong demand for an entry and mid level model, that had the same great looks, same “plays like butter” neck, beautiful neck and head stock appointments – at an extremely affordable pricing structure that is commensurate with the lesser cost of raw materials.
Due to our shipping volume, FedEx provides us with preferential shipping rates. In our experience, Fedex is also the most reliable, and most importantly, “damage free” shipping service worldwide. We extend those highly discounted rates to our international patrons at great savings. For a custom deeply discounted FedEx shipping quote, please click here. EMS shipping is also available for some countries. We will provide you with the best shipping option for your location.
Conti Guitars are not made in any single factory location.
In 2008, after the superb results of a one year evaluation of the first generation Conti Archtop, Robert commissioned Peerless Guitars (a super high quality OEM), to manufacture the first generation of Conti Guitars to his specs. Those guitars entered into global circulation in the late spring of 2009. As clearly evidenced by the numerous user photos and written commentaries, the Conti Equity Edition was well received by the jazz guitar community. In an effort to bring the Conti Equity Model to the consumer, at a price under $2,000.00, Robert committed to a large production volume of instruments, to offset the continually rising cost of raw materials. The last guitars of the first generation instruments were all gone by the mid part of 2015.
In late 2015, Robert was again faced with the task of addressing many requests for design additions and other specifications. In his effort to offer high quality guitars to consumers at affordable prices, it is necessary to continuously stay abreast of continuous changes in the manufacturing sector. After finalizing the new model designs, Robert entered into seemingly endless negotiations, as the manufacturing environment had changed substantially since 2007-08, prior to the production of the first generation Conti Guitars. More specifically, during that period of time, many major brands either bought the best foreign factories, or in lieu of purchasing a factory, they simply bought the entire annual production capacity of a factory.
As a result, moving forward, several high quality peripheral components are now produced by a variety of quality craftsmen and artisans for final assembly. The Solid Spruce Tops, Bodies and necks are still made to Robert’s specs by Peerless Guitars, considered by several major brands as absolutely the highest quality OEM in South Korea. The desirable high quality Ebony components sourced from India are custom fabricated by another group of skilled artisans. Additional quality components include the Tone Pros Bridge, Grover Imperial Tuners and Switchcraft Output Jacks and Kent Armstrong Pickups.
For the second generation models, in an effort to keep the cost to the player as affordable as possible, there is extensive negotiation involved in an extremely complex manufacturing process. This process includes parts production from the highest quality artisans from Eastern Europe, the UK and Asia, prior to final assembly by Robert’s selected group of exclusive OEM-only luthiers.
During past years, in response to requests, we readily provided the names of our OEM luthiers. However, after several unsolicited requests from individuals to build guitars, we were asked to refrain from providing that information. As our builder luthiers are strictly OEM, they do not accept individual orders from the public, in favor of their uninterrupted steady employment from an established brand. Consequently, we are not authorized to disclose any proprietary information, with regard to our luthiers and other component suppliers. However, as you can verify on the ContiGuitars.com website, and the new Conti Guitars Facebook page, our owners are more than satisfied with the superb high quality of the instruments they purchased. Likewise, you are also well assured of quality, as the Conti brand name is on the headstock.
From its inception, our mission was to provide a high quality archtop to worldwide patrons of our learning resources at a price that most everyone could afford. When you purchase directly from the manufacturer, you “cut out the middlemen” and save hundreds and hundreds of dollars in unnecessary markup. If our guitars were offered through the typical distributor/dealer network, final pricing to the consumer would be at least three times higher.
No distributors, no dealers – direct from us to you.
Additionally, we are able to maintain pre-shipping quality control on every guitar. Final inspection and set-up is completed in the USA by seasoned luthiers – and you can rest assured of quality, as the Conti brand name is on the head stock, and no guitar is shipped until Robert signs off on the instrument.
Although the vast majority of owners prefer a gig bag for comfort and ease of handling, we did offer a TKL brand hard shell case option for a period of time. However, due to the substantially higher cost of shipping and limited warehouse space, we no longer offer the hard shell case option. The bottom line? We put the value into our guitars because you cannot play a case. We do provide a high quality Access® brand gig bag valued at $79.99 with every Conti Guitar. Additionally, a hard shell case is a personal preference. You always have the option to purchase a hard shell case in your locale, if you decide you need the extra protection for your instrument.
All Conti Guitars are set up with Conti Preferred Gauge Strings which are round wound strings in the gauges 11-14-20 (wound)-28-38-48.
Not so much related to the guitar itself, but still a frequently asked question. No matter the playing situation, Robert always uses the Dunlop .38mm Nylon Pick. For an in depth explanation for the reasons why, see The Precision Technique in the Source Code DVD Series.
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