A Guitar Is Born – Custom Lefty Mensinger Guitar Build Part1

As many of you are probably aware, the guys over at Mensinger Guitars in Poland are currently building me my very own left handed Arcadia model.  The luthiers have very kindly agreed to take some photos of the guitar as it is being built, and I thought it would make an interesting series of articles to show the process as the guitar progresses from the initial stages all the way through to completion.

The Order

So what did I actually order?  If you have read the Mensinger articles you would have noticed that they actively encourage you to use the standard models as a starting point and then create your dream guitar from there – so I did!  My guitar will be a standard Arcadia with the following changes…

  • Left Handed (duh!)
  • Ebony Fingerboard
  • Dot inlays rather than the custom 12th fret inlay
  • White binding top and bottom
  • Transparent Red finish with matching headstock
  • All black hardware
  • Haussel Tozz B (Bridge), Haussel Vin + (Neck) pickups
  • Narrow C-shaped neck

Here’s an image I sent Mensinger which shows roughly what I was looking for.  I Photoshopped this myself so the final article might vary very slightly 😉

Mensinger Left Handed Arcadia Custom Guitar Build

I ordered the guitar through the main dealer in Germany (Public Peace) and was quoted six weeks in total for the build.  As Musik Messe is just around the corner they are very busy however so we will see if they manage to stay on target!  Adrian, the owner of Public Peace is fantastic and will reply to most emails within an hour, even late at night during the weekends!  If you would like to enquire about ordering a Mensinger guitar I absolutely recommend getting in touch with him.

A payment of 50% of the final cost was required to begin the build.  Once complete I will be sent photos of the finished guitar and the final payment will be made.

Build Photos

I recently received the first batch of photos which show the beginning stages of preparing the body wood and also preparing and shaping the headstock.  I love that everything is made by hand at the Mensinger shop – you won’t find any soul destroying CNC machines here!  Click the photos to enlarge.

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I trust that you will enjoy watching the progress of this guitar as much as I will.  Hopefully I will have some guitar shaped photos for you in the next update… 😉

In the meanwhile, if you’d like to see a little more behind the scenes at Mensinger, Public Peace have uploaded a fantastic factory tour video on their YouTube channel.

For more information:
Mensinger Guitars Website
Public Peace Website

14 replies
  1. Jason
    Jason says:

    Wow, thanks for sharing. It will be interesting to watch this being built and from the looks of things the finished guitar will look beautiful! I think every guitarist loves seeing how a guitar is made ,,, even if it's not theirs lol 😉

    Reply
    • Neal
      Neal says:

      Absolutely, I get completely hooked watching factory tours. I got a DVD that showed how to build a guitar last Xmas even though I have zero intention to build one – it's just fascinating to watch 🙂

      Reply
  2. Neal
    Neal says:

    Another case of a lefty being offered actual colors and running with it Mark haha. It was between red, blue and orange but I decided I wanted something for the heavier stuff and red seemed the most suited choice. The Mensinger guys pointed out to me that I had chosen the colours of the Polish flag so I think they were cool with my choice 😉

    Reply
    • Mark
      Mark says:

      Haa. Yeah….not often we get a choice as lefties…at the moment it seems to be the standard cherry sunburst, black cherry or simply black!
      I was interested to read your comments about your Pro friend's endoresment of these guitars.
      Look forward to hearing what you think about it. Are all the options and upgrade choices found on the site (couldn't see any) or did you have to speak to them?

      Reply
      • Neal
        Neal says:

        I just emailed Public Peace with a lot of 'if possible' requirements – luckily they were able to do all of them. Just a case of asking, and as I say Adrian is great – you'll get a reply very quickly. There's a list of colours (bottom right) and also a list of things you can play around with here http://www.public-peace.de/index.php?option=com_c… I think there's scope for other options though – Paulo just had a 7-string Arcadia made and I know they recently announced some new finishes for 2011.

        Reply
  3. Kevin
    Kevin says:

    Looks fantastic. I'd never heard of Mensinger before you brought it to my attention Neal. It is something I will definitely consider the next time I am looking to buy. I was thinking about a Carvin until they stopped selling direct to Europe, but this seems a great (and more innovative) alternative without the import duties. Please keep us informed of progress!

    Reply
    • Neal
      Neal says:

      I had considered a Carvin CT6 as well, but realistically the only way to do it would be to get my friend in the States to order it for me and then ship it over – what a hassle. And even then any warranty issues would be a nightmare. They've really alienated buyers outside of America by forcing us to pay double – no thanks Carvin!

      Paulo, a friend of mine from Spain turned me onto Mensinger. He plays professionally and has 3 Mensingers now, and I believe he's already planning his next. When you take into account that these are completely hand-made, custom guitars – the price is absolutely phenomenal. Of course, I only have Paulo's word to go on and the proof will be in the pudding! I purposely held off mentioning them on the site until my order was in, didn't want the rest of you holding my guitar up 😉

      Reply
  4. Felix
    Felix says:

    Neal, How much did you pay for the arcadia? I have been thinking about making a custom lefty Maverick ( their tele shape) but I don´t have a pocket full of money so i´m interested in how much you paid.

    Reply
    • Neal
      Neal says:

      I can’t remember exactly, but I think it was in the region of £1200 GBP after the exchange rate and shipping from Germany. I imagine the Maverick is a little cheaper though. I almost ordered a maverick myself, flame top, greenburst with white binding…mmmmmm

      Send Public Peace an email for a quote, they are very quick to reply.

      Reply

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