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willg

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
3
Hi Folks, new on the forum here.

After much research for a high end strat, I'm pretty certain what I will be settling on is a Cutlass (either a '16 model, or an RS, I don't mind). I've seen enough people saying it's as good as or better than a Suhr, D'Pergo etc, and it just has a look of absolute quality. It also sounds like a classic strat should sound.

I say this without actually having tried one, which wouldn't put me off buying, however the issue I can currently see is the stock levels of this guitar in Ireland/UK seem to be very low - at a guess I'd say there may be only a handful of these actually available to buy over here currently. Personally I would have to have a maple neck model, preferably black if one of the original series, which narrows the choice down further. The other issue I have is there seems to be a considerable price disparity, making them considerably more expensive this side of the pond. I'm sure they are still worth every cent - but part of the appeal of the Cutlass seems to be it can be had for a very good price.

I'm left therefore thinking that buying one directly from the USA is potentially the way to go. I'd appreciate any input from anyone living on my side of the pond who has gone down this route with EBMM guitars.

Also, what, if any, big retailers in the USA that sell the Cutlass would offer international shipping?

Cheers
 

DrKev

Moderator
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Jul 8, 2006
Messages
6,240
Location
Somewhere between Paris and Buffalo
Hi and welcome to the forum!

Let’s answer in reverse order...

Dealers in the US are not allowed ship new instruments overseas. That said, “new old stock” is often not a problem so a new 2016 Cutlass might be doable.

Also buying used is an excellent idea. The prices are low and you won’t have difficulty finding one online in great condition on eBay or reverb.com or musicians friend etc.

Shipping via UPS or Fedex can be very expensive but is pretty safe and if you declare the full value you can rest easy that if there is an accident in handling you’ll not not lose money.

You may have to pay import duty and VAT which will calculated on the value of the guitar plus the cost of the shipping. So budget for 25% extra, just to be safe, and cross your fingers.

Bear in mind that you have no warranty in Ireland if you buy from a seller outside the EU. any return for faults or defects to the US will be at your own risk/expense.

Finally, being the official company forum hosting our conversation I’m obliged to point out that buying and importing from the US is circumventing the European distribution network, which is what allows an Ernie Ball Music Man presence in our countries at all. Yes, the prices in the US are relatively low but that’s because the factory can supply US stores directly (so no distributor cost), there is no import/export and international freight costs within the US, and there is no sales tax included on the US prices. The high prices in the rest of the world are normal when you take all that into account.

The great advantage of buying from an EU seller is that you have a statutory minimum warranty period of two years that the store that sold to you must respect at no charge to yourself. No US dealer can offer that and the warranty period for new instruments is only 90 days.

So, there ya are, weigh up your pros and cons. Any other questions? Fire away!
 
Last edited:

Astrofreq

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Sep 5, 2006
Messages
3,965
Location
Santa Fe, NM
I can’t speak specifically to which retailers, but Reverb.com will let you order internationally if that seller allows it.
 

V_S

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2007
Messages
260
Don't forget the hassle with CITES, just in case you decide on a rosewood fretboard.
 

willg

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
3
Thanks for the helpful answers, so in terms of ordering one - if I look at this particular model for example

Cutlass | Guitars | Ernie Ball Music Man

And select black, I get 'Build Code 805-01-10-06'. Can I approach a European EBMM dealer and give them that build code?
 

DrKev

Moderator
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
6,240
Location
Somewhere between Paris and Buffalo
No, I’m pretty sure the 2017 models are not available to order. You might find one that is existing stock already in a store or else look on the 2nd hand market.

Of course the 2019 models will be announced at the end of January. :)
 

willg

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
3
That's a very good point - probably best to wait and see what the 2019 offering is.
 
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