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Halloween is past but we have some slightly scary news for those who are thinking of sending a musical-themed gift for the holidays. You've all heard of the supply-chain problems in our post-Covid economy, and we're sorry to say that the music industry, including little ol’ Gryphon, has been affected as well. The short summary is that lots of parts and accessories, including new instruments, will be in short supply. Also worth noting is that shipping costs are higher and delivery times are longer. If you are ordering a gift to be sent to someone before the Christmas holiday, please allow much longer for it to arrive than you would have in 2019. And while speedy delivery at higher cost is an option, shippers like UPS no longer guarantee that their 3-day service, for example, means the package will arrive in 3 days. Worse yet, you'll receive no compensation for the extra fees you've paid if it does not.
Most of the builders we represent have given us their projections for what will be available in the future, so we thought we should share that news with you. Both Collings and Santa Cruz are sold out for 2022, but Gryphon does have some "build slots" reserved, so depending on what model you want we might be able to get it for you before 2023. Special orders for Taylor and Martin guitars are a bit harder to predict, may not take a year to get, but they will be longer than they have been in the past. Standard models from Martin and Taylor should be available more readily as the orders we placed months ago start to arrive. (We just got a nice batch of Martins, including D-18s, D-35s, OM-28s and 00-28s, that we have been waiting for for about a year.)
It might seem that domestic guitar companies wouldn't have the same supply issues as those companies who have their instruments made overseas, but you would be wrong. Tonewoods like Indian Rosewood rosewood and mahogany are getting scarcer and we expect the prices of new guitars made from these to start going up before too long. We also predict more builders are going to start expanding their offering of instruments made from domestic hardwoods like walnut, maple, cherry and ash. We also might see builders experimenting with domestic tonewoods that were popular a century ago like oak and birch.
Unfortunately, virtually every instrument we sell has parts not made in the US and we're not just talking about tonewoods. For instance, whether it's a Martin, Collings, or Santa Cruz those lovely faux tortoiseshell celluloid pickguards aren't made in the US, and haven't been for decades. The same is true of the ivory-grained celluloid binding (commonly called Ivoroid). Many of the tuners found on these guitars are made in Japan, and many of the components in electric models made here in the US come from overseas sources as well. So when you see photos of huge ships in US harbors waiting to be unloaded, some parts needed for your next guitar may be riding those waves.
So, things are going to be interesting in the coming months. Thanks for your understanding, we'll continue to do the best we can to meet your needs as promptly as possible.