Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
Chris, thanks for the update. Please could you be more specific with guitar shipments? How many guitars have been shipped and what is the going rate on future shipments? Please have in mind that the original. expected, shipment date was March/April 2013, and I think all remaining backers would appreciate a more detailed update on the expected delivery times. Thanks.
It's epic!! Well worth the wait (and the customs) - grey job guys!!
Just going to collect mine, got stung with customs :-(
Hey Chris and team.
Target still to have all guitars out by end of April? New updates look great! Waiting with baited breath for my email or phone call confirming my address. Any Chace for a an update with list numbers. Thanks all. Keep rocking.
I sure hope there will be more updates coming as promised in the past. It seems like it went as scheduled and simply fell off. It would really help if we, as backers, could get a proper estimate of when we will likely have our backing fulfilled or some indication to the progress. How many guitars have shipped to date?
Any updates for January?
Sorry for not posting earlier. I'm number 45 on the list, and I got my guitar on the 7th. (My wife has been having some health issues, so I was distracted and didn't think to post.) I agree with the other reviews—sound is a little thinner than I had hoped, but not at all bad for what it is. The guitar is solid and seems like it would happily survive whatever I throw at it (within reason, obviously).
Thanks @MarkPorth for the video. Great to see one of these in the wild and compared to other carbon fiber guitars! Excited for mine. An update would be much appreciated :)
Can we please have some updates?
I don't know what queue number I am. Really hope to get an email from Chris to confirm my address and deliver soon by April 2015 like he said. ..
When can I get mine? BTW, how can I change my shipping address?
Got mine today. For those of you keeping track, I'm number 41 on Kickstarter which makes my guitar the 27th one out the door. I got a shipping notice from Alpaca 3 days ago asking to confirm my address.
It's great to see them finally starting to get them out the door.
I posted a quick video comparing the sound to a couple other carbon fiber guitars I have. https://www.youtube.com/watch…
In general the sound is thinner that the larger guitars but its got a lot of volume for its size, the neck feels great and it is very playable.
I received my Alpaca today (in the first 25). To be fair, Chris sent it almost a month ago, but there were UPS delivery issues. Anyway, after much waiting, I'm pretty impressed with the product that I received.
The carbon fiber overall looks great. There are a few small, non-structural defects where the neck connects to the fret board, and while I did not opt for B stock, I'm satisfied.
It took me a few minutes to understand the tuners, but after reading the instruction sheet (included with picks, allen wrenches, and other goodies) and tightening a few loose set screws, I was in business (just remember counterclockwise!).
Volume is pretty impressive, give the size. Tone was about what I expected: thin but acceptable. The sound hole location certainly offers creative options to the sound depending on where you strike the strings, and the different body panel sizes work wonders for percussion.
I'll put a full review and some pictures together if I get some time in the next few weeks, but overall know that the work these guys have put in to refine the process of making something unique has paid off. Great job Alpaca!
I still haven't received my guitar - I am 47th on the list that Chris sent out a while back... Not sure how many guitars have already been shipped out, but it would be nice to get an estimate!
I noticed the comments died down after a couple of guitars were recently released but I don't recall seeing an official number of guitars that were shipped after all these updates. There was a list of backer identity and the corresponding number on the list, but there has never been an actual update with " X guitars shipped this week, and Y going out next week = leaving us with Z left to fulfill " . Can we have something to that tune in the next update?
When can I get my guitar? It's been more than 18 months. :)
Chris, It's been a month since the last update. Can we please get an update on number of guitars shipped to Kickstarters to date and a realistic estimate on how many you think you can ship per month going forward. -thx
So since you guys have been updating your shop and production, any chance we could get an update with some rough production timeline estimates, or at least what backer # you're on? It's somewhat difficult to make a judgment call on potentially asking for a B-grade guitar without a rough idea of how production is progressing quantitatively.
Hey Randall, I love mine. I just stuff it in my large backpack and just take it on a ride. It's almost an EDC. I rarely have to tune it. The kids in class think the color is sorta funny, but they seem to love it. By the way, I'm a righty.
Spoke too soon! Just got UPS notification that it was shipped on 9/26 and will be delivered tomorrow!
Mark, I got an email last Friday (9/26) saying that the guitar was ready to ship and asking to confirm my address, but have not received a tracking number yet.
Thanks for the update Randall!It's great to hear that some are starting to get out. Hopefully the floodgates will open soon and shipping will speed up.
Anyone else get an email or guitar?
I received my guitar and thought you'd like to hear some feedback. The guitar is very well made and I am impressed with how it stays in tune. A lot of travel guitars simply (even annoyingly) fall out of tune the moment you pick them up. I was a little disappointed that the finish was rough, but Chris had pointed out that it would increase the waiting time by 2 weeks per guitar, so I was okay with it. It's not like the guitar looks ugly or anything...but you can feel some rough spots on sections and in others it is smooth. The guitar plays nicely and it sounds good for a travel guitar.
Unfortunately for me, is that I'm a lefty and the guitar came right handed but strung for a left-hander. I am positive that those of you who are right handed will truly enjoy your guitars (I could only reach 12 frets out of the 22). I will keep checking back to hear all your reviews.
All the best...
It's been over three weeks since the last update. How long is the "mandatory holding period" on completed guitars?
I don't get your math Matt. 10 a month for 45 months implies you are # 450 in line. But the list has 141 people on it. So, if you are last in line, then 14 months at 10 per month...
There are 189 backers, so even if they all get a guitar (which they don't), you'd be at 19 months...?
At the current rate ( 10 per month ) I should receive my guitar in about 45 months.. so a little less then 4 years. Doubling the rate, 2 more years from now. =/
Holy moley!! I just received the grail of emails...my guitar is ready for shipment!! I will definitely let everyone know my thoughts once I have it in hand. :)
Well, I am number 2 on the list and have yet to receive any emails regarding the shipping of my guitar...so that should answer your question. :(
Chris probably means "leery" of the new design (not Leary of the 60s).
The comment on 10 guitars was "this month" meaning August as he goes on to say 20 in September. You can't extrapolate a pattern from two values (is it adding 10 every month, doubling every month, settling at 20 per month)... so you cannot determine when yours might arrive. The "what number am I in line?" question is somewhat resolved by the list published in May - on which I found Mark Farmer as number 185, but in position 115.
BTW 2 per week ending Aug 26... sort of a weird day for an update...is, pro rata, just short of the "10 this month" goal.
If we're "shooting for 10 guitars this month" to get delivered, and I'm #180 out of 141 (???), then should I expect my guitar that was promised 16 months ago some time in 2016?
This may be an absurd estimation. I'm not sure what number we're at now. We may be at #179.
Does anyone know what number we're currently at in our delivery list?
I'd be curious to know how many of these have shipped and at what rate?
here's a DIY carbon fiber guitar build story. This is probably similar to how the first prototype Alpacas were made. http://makezine.com/projects/carbon-fiber-acoustic-guitar/
I'm also a Lefty but initially pledged for a righty... I don't mind if I'm moved to the back of the list for a lefty edition. How are things coming along at Alpaca HQ?
I haven't yet seen a "lefty" mold for those of us who play "goofy"... any info about that would be welcomed. I love the look of that tweed model!!
Chris - it's been almost 3 weeks since we've had any form of update. What's your progress???
You also still have not contacted me about a B stock - are you out of B stock now too??
While the Tweed guitar does look very nice - Was this part of the scope of this project backing? Please let us know how things are coming along with deliverables on your next update and when you foresee fulfilling all levels of your backings (estimated time line etc).
here's another one that's slightly off topic but it does have a carbon fiber truss rod. It's some video's from Premier Guitar on how McPherson guitars are built. I've played a few and they are a little too heavy for my taste but they're amazing instruments. I thought some on here might be interested to see their build process. http://www.premierguitar.com/articles/20858-factory-tour-and-luthier-interview-mcpherson-guitars
Who knew such a conversation raged. Once i realized the tech for each new manufacturing step had to be learned, i realized the timeframe estimate for the projects completion was moot. It was easiest for me to put the whole thing out of mind and just wait. I figured it would either happen or not. Clearly, whether it did or didn't, it's been an obvious amount of fantastic perseverance. For that alone I'm impressed. Seeing my name on the list was a good moment too.
From the update:
"Below is the master list of shipping order. The number represents the Kickstarter backer #."
Here's my take:
The Kickstarter backer #, the one beside each name, is the the count that Kickstarter assigns each backer in chronological order of backing regardless of reward level. There are gaps between the numbers, as not everyone pledged for a guitar and many people back out before a campaign ends.
Anyway, I'm happy with the latest update and that things seem to be progressing. I'd rather wait for the process to be perfected than get some junk that started out as a good idea. I do hope that Alpaca learns what is acceptable and expected from a customer service standpoint though. There's no faster way to kill a business than with poor communication and by treating customers poorly, even the ones that you don't agree with.
@Devon - Fantastic post! Thanks for sticking up for me too.
@Mark - I also dropped the list into Excel to try and make clearer sense of it all and cannot for the life of me work out why we are having to try to 'infer' anything? Surely a conclusive and numerically sorted list shouldn't be too hard to come up with.
@Chris Duncan - I will also like to you to email me a picture of the specific B-stock guitar I would be receiving along with every blemish on it; if the blemishes are similar to the picture attached in update #37, I will reply to your email confirming that I am okay with that guitar and approve the shipment in place of an A-stock guitar in hope that we can conclude dealings earlier than the current list might suggest.
@Devon, first, thanks for sticking up for me.
The macnichol thread was an interesting read too. That store and their forum community really is the best around for carbon fiber guitars. I used to watch that site pretty close a couple years ago when I first got my CA Cargo.
If I understand the list, you may have been the 183rd person to invest but you're not 183 in the queue. Not everyone invested to the level where they get guitars..
I dropped Chris's list into Excel and it looks like you are number 113 out of a remaining 129.
Based on the list I think we can infer that 12 of 141 have shipped to date.
I really like this latest update. It came out about a week after the last one and it had some actual information. I don't mind the "no guitars shipped" part as long as things are still progressing at Alpaca and we are hearing about it.
Looking forward to more updates and a solve to the mold patterning issue soon.
25 backers @ $390
25 backers @ $425 (1)
45 backers @ $425 (2)
30 backers @ $425 (3)
2 backers @ $450
8 backers @ $700
6 backers @ $800
This gives you a grand total of 141 kickstarter backers due a guitar. I would love an explanation as to how I am number 183 in queue. With that being said, thank you for finally posting an ordered shipping list.
In regards to update #37:
-I don't believe Kane Harding and Mark Porth were at all trying to coerce or intimidate you into shipping their guitars faster or ahead of others in queue, and I think you may be alone in thinking such. I think they wanted what I believe every other backer wants when it has been over a year since the original estimated delivery date: regular, respectful, honest communication. Nobody expected this to be an easy undertaking for you. Which is why, if you look back through these kickstarter comments, the first comments starting to question the project, or as you may say, "fictionalized drama", did not appear until fall of 2013. Which, if I recall correctly, is right about the time you stopped answering any phone calls during business hours and stopped responding to any voicemail or email. Coincidence? I think not.
-I'm honestly shocked you singled Mark and Kane out; in an update sent to all backers nonetheless. Why? Why not send personal emails or simply reply in the comments here, as you have done before? Was it an attempt at causing them embarrassment and preventing any future comments of the same nature? Or was it an attempt to save your reputation? My money's on a mix of both. Clearly at least some of the reasoning is an attempt to discredit them and prevent any of this type of questioning again. "You two are both grown, professional adults. Be respectful to yourself and act like it. Further Mark, since this is your FIRST Kickstarter backing, you might not be aware that blackmail threats don't work." Seriously?? First of all, there is not one threat by Mark Porth on this page, let alone a blackmail threat. Maybe he made one privately (which I doubt since you haven't answered an email, voicemail, or phone call since the fall), but even if he did, that certainly would call for a private response instead of an email sent to all backers regarding the issue, would it not? Secondly, is this not YOUR FIRST Kickstarter project? What possible grounds do you have to stand on to call Mark out for it being his first kickstarter backing?? Maybe since this is YOUR FIRST kickstarter project you are not aware that:
A.) "Kickstarter's Term's of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) This information can serve as a basis for legal recourse if a creator doesn't fulfill their promises. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill"
and B.) there are at least two precedents for lawsuits over kicksarter campaigns. (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140504/07153727119/washington-state-files-first-consumer-protection-lawsuit-against-kickstarter-project-that-failed-to-deliver.shtml, http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/22/why-this-jilted-kickstarter-backer-decided-to-sue-why-he-was-right/)
Maybe you should worry less about their unproffessionalism, and worry more about yours?
-As far as trying to save your reputation; if anything, all that update did was make you look more unprofessional. You should also probably check out this forum if you feel like Kane and Mark are the only ones who are unsatisfied with the lack of communication. You know what? I've got some extra time. I know you're busy, I'll even quote it for you.
"I paid for an Alpaca guitar in July of 2013 50% deposit. I have yet to receive it. After no communication or template general emails, they wrote me 1 month ago that they were shipping it to me after I paid the other 50%. I paid it, still have not received it and apparently the post office hasn't either. There is no phone number associated with Alpaca guitars, they do not respond to emails. I purchased it in good faith, would have put up with delays. I would like them to succeed, but they have lost my trust. Be very wary of dealing with this company. It appears that their best success is a web site----kind of like a nursing home with a nice chandelier in the foyer!"
(This was on a forum that was otherwise praising your idea and design... and on the front page of google when searching for "Alpaca guitar". Oops.)
How much longer without adequate communication will it take for any of the other myriad forums on the world wide web about your project to receive the same types of posts? Where will your reputation be then?
This is not a conspiracy against you Chris, and nobody here is out to get you. We knew when we backed this project that it would not be easy for you. That is why we collectively funded you with close to $70,000, instead of taking on this project ourselves. All anyone here is asking for is some decent and honest communication. We all understand you've got a life outside of Alpaca, just as we all do. The only difference there is, this is YOUR company, YOUR reputation on the line, and it is funded with OUR money. You may say your're self-employed and have no boss. Do you know what I say? You have 189 bosses right now (not including the retail customers you've also taken on). When I worked in retail for a multibillion dollar corporation, my store manager considered each and everyone of our customers the boss (After all, how do you think they became a multibillion dollar corporation?). Do you think it would be acceptable for any of us to take on a project from our boss, not finish it, and then not communicate with them for a month at a time? NO. If I did that, I would be out of a job. You've had personal issues come up and have had to take some days off or haven't been able to devote as much time as you should to your project. Fine. I understand that, and I assume the rest of these backers do as well. What would you do with a regular job in that situation? ...You would communicate that with your boss (ie. your customers) and the vast majority would say, "okay, take the time off you need and keep me posted."
Point being, keep your backers informed, actually respond to their attempts at communication, and you might not have any more "squeaky wheels".
Oh yeah and by the way, thanks for finally getting out an example picture of a B-stock blemish for us 6 months after I requested one.
Okay, my rant's over. Email me a picture of the specific B-stock guitar I would be receiving and every blemish on it; if the blemishes are similar to the picture attached in update #37, I will reply to your email confirming that I am okay with that guitar and approve the shipment in place of an A-stock guitar.
So you've had your own company before, eh?
Was it construction? Did you ever take on a job for an addition in a house and tear out a wall then not talk to the owners of the house or do any more work for a month?
Or maybe you had a computer repair business. Ever take in a customer's laptop and not give it back to them or communicate with them for a month?
No, it wasn't computer repair. You owned an investment firm right? How often did you take investors' money, and not give them any inclination as to what was happening with their money?
See my point yet? If not, let me know and I'd be more than happy to give you some more examples. There is no crucification going on here. These are simply investors that want timely and honest updates. Is that really so much to ask?
I have had my own business before. To be more precise, I was self-employed for about 7 years. It was not easy but probably was much, much easier than designing and manufacturing carbon fiber guitars from scratch! Frankly, what Chris has accomplished so far is impressive. I'm opting to get mine with some cosmetic blemishes. I expect it to get beat up eventually when I take it everywhere with me. So, some minor blemishes are not a problem to me. By the way, I bought a carbon fiber cello from Germany for a lot more money. I can tell you that the two cellos that the company sent me had cosmetic flaws but they played beautifully.
I thought I might very quickly chime in. I am a platinum supporter... Not sure what number, but relatively early. I have received my Alpaca Guitar and LOVE IT! I have promised Chris to get him a picture of it but have been traveling a lot recently and have just not had the time. I will get it to Chris hopefully after the May long weekend... Going to Saturna Island (near Vancouver, BC, Canada) with my Alpaca Guitar... Now I just wish I could play the guitar better. :-)
Chris is the real deal! And so are his guitars.
Ray Bradbury said
"Sometimes you just have to jump out the window and grow wings on the way down."
That well describes what it is to be both a product designer and manufacturer.
I know of what I speak. In my current endeavor I had to first buy and learn to use a CNC router. Then learn to use the design software. Then I had to figure out how to do what was in my minds eye within my budget..and with the tools and people I had access to.
I am 2 years and multiple iterations down the road...and still have not sold a single thing.
Satisfied? Not yet.
Weather or not this Alpaca company actually grows its wings and flies doesn't matter much to me. My dream is just to have a combination guitar & bucket.
A company making guitars?...not so much.
Musicians are just too picky and emotional for me to want a lifelong relationship with hundreds of them. I shudder to think of it.
However...I am confident that come hell or high water this guy will do what it takes, perhaps at great personal sacrifice, to get me some sort of guitar.
Call me a fool...but that is how I prefer to think, and live.
I have not very often lost when I bet on the man willing to take a leap like this guy did...(forgive me not remembering the name of the man I am backing).
Mostly I suppose because he is betting far more than I...and his sweat equity is my insurance.
But part of my confidence comes from just wanting to bet on the jumping man getting his wings. That is the team I want to root for.
At the dice table...I find it depressing to bet against the roller.
Just how I am built I guess.
I honor and support the dreamers in the world...and am proud to call myself one.
As far as things going slower than expected...as an inventor (yes I have invented and sold things in my life) I have learned to anticipate problems and delays.
The devil is in the details...and so is god.
At this point, when we get a guitar, it will have much more gold in it than the amount of money we paid. The amount of man hours and the value/cost of those hours has long ago outstripped the price we paid. But that is the deal we accept when we are making something totally new. Birth is expensive for the father.
We smile, eat lunch, and go back to work...because we can see things coming together off in the distance. Lines are converging. Plans are coming to fruition. Tests are teaching us things.
Wings are growing.
I will close with the statement that "Success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan." Each of us who backed this idea
and bought the guitar did so because we liked the idea and decided we wanted to be a part of this success..
Good luck Alpaca. I am rooting for you.
@carl zerbo - Hi Carl, did you finally receive you alpaca guitar as mentioned? It would be great to hear your initial thoughts on it if you get a spare minute too. Cheers, Kane
My apologies Chris if I am the squeaky wheel in your otherwise smooth running chain. Best remedy for a squeaky wheel? Lubrication… in the form of 'facts and figures', as I have always made quite clear. At this increasingly late stage in the game, it is something that should be an absolute given for your backers in waiting. Short, sweet, simple weekly updates containing facts and figures, nothing more, nothing less, a list that could be produced and posted by one of your many staff. I have always supported this project and will continue to do so but in the meantime, (and well over a year past the original due date) please do forgive me if my squeak persists a little through lack of ‘said’ lubrication. I will now look forward to the impending arrival of next weeks ‘order of delivery list’. Kind regards, Kane
The latest update just left me speechless. Chris, I can understand the frustration but addressing Kane and Mark in an update is definitely uncalled for. I think myself and many other backers can agree on one point, that you have a keen eye for detail and are not comfortable letting out guitars that you do not deem worthy.
This could have all been avoided by answering one simple question that everyone wanted to know: How many guitars were shipped to date that you deemed worthy? It is only natural that all backers want to know where they stand inline since everyone is excited to get this. It's the only product of its kind out there. According to the page, there are 141 backers that should be getting guitars and the big question was how many of the total have been shipped.
The discussions on this comment page are hardly as ridiculous as some of the other successfully funded projects out there. This is the nature of crowd funding. All backers will hold project creators to the highest standards simply because that is what they signed up for. It certainly isn't unreasonable for anyone to request updates or have their questions answered.
I believe that this is an example of someone who has a dream, and lacks the ability to execute it properly. There have been people introduced as part of the company roster, which no longer appear associated with the project...which makes me believe that there is trouble in "paradise".
Unlike other Kickstarter projects that intentionally defraud investers (there have been a few...) I believe Chris is trying to fulfill his dream (and ours). I'm not happy about the wait, but I'd prefer a guitar over a refund...so I will wait.