If you have a question you think ought to be covered here, please email me!
ABOUT IMAGINE GUITARS
Q. Who are you?
You can find out more information about Imagine Guitars here
Q. Can I custom-order my Breedlove guitar or mandolin through Imagine Guitars?
Imagine Guitars carries both brand new and used Breedlove guitars and mandolins, as well as 'Tried and True' factory-certified used Breedloves. As you will see from my gallery of previously sold instruments, I've had many, many great Breedlove guitars and mandolins in my possession. It would be my pleasure to put this experience to work for you by helping you configure the custom Breedlove guitar or mandolin of your dreams. Call or write at your convenience to discuss.
Q. Do you carry the Breedlove Atlas product line?
A. At this time, I do not stock or ship Breedlove Atlas instruments. I think that Atlas guitars are very good instruments and represent an excellent value, but for now I am choosing to focus exclusively on Breedlove's custom shop offerings, which are all hand-made in the U.S.A. at their facility in Tumalo, Oregon.
IMAGES & PHOTOGRAPHY
Q. Are all the pictures used in your listings of the actual instrument?
Yes. As of this writing, I individually shoot and prepare custom listings for every instrument I sell. Usually, this even includes shots of the case, open and closed, although I have reused some case shots here and there when old shots are representative. At Imagine Guitars, what you see is what you're getting.
Q. Your images look really nice. Do you do any digital manipulation of any kind to make the instruments look better than they really are?
I do some post-production work on my images. I limit this to color correction (adjustment of image attributes in aggregate with the goal of achieving the best possible match to the actual color/wood tone of instrument), cropping (selection of portions of an image) and optimization (manipulation of image quality settings in order to balance the competing goals of photographic detail and file size.) I also occasionally use digital tools to remove background artifacts from the shot. For instance, while I try to maintain a clean set when shooting, a hair (species: canine, breed: border collie) or a piece of lint will invariably make its way into the shot on occasion. That can be really distracting, as it draws your attention to the background rather than the instrument. So I might "clone" that contaminant out of the background. But I never (ever, ever) touch the instrument itself. In fact, if there are cosmetic issues, I usually go out of my way to highlight them with close-ups and other techniques.
Q. What photography equipment and techniques do you use?
I get this question a lot. I've offered advice to people in the past on how to improve their own photographic results. But I've since decided to treat this information as a business asset, and therefore a trade secret. Please accept my apologies, but I cannot divulge specifics regarding my equipment or techniques.
Q. Do you slacken strings before shipment?
I've read, heard and participated in a lot of passionate debates about this issue. A quick search on usenet ought to provide you with an afternoon of reading, and there are a lot of different opinions, so I won't repeat much of that here. But here's what I think: that it's best to ship most guitars with the strings at their intended performance tension. The modern guitar neck is a balanced system - you have the tension of the strings pulling in opposition to the force exerted by the truss rod. Adjustment of truss rod tension causes a change in the balance of these considerable forces, allowing the amount of neck relief to be adjusted. If you slacken the strings completely, you're basically releasing the force on one side of this balanced system, and the truss rod is now exerting an unopposed force on the neck. I don't view that as desirable. If you were slackening the strings for shipment, why wouldn't you also go ahead and back the truss rod adjustment nut all the way off? Well, because it would take considerable adjustment to get the neck back in optimal position, of course. But I'd rather ship a guitar with the two forces in balance, rather than with one force pulling unopposed. Breedlove ships all of their instruments with the strings at full tension, as do a number of other reputable manufacturers. My standard procedure is to ship this way as well. If you wish to have your instrument sent with the strings tuned down partially or completely, please request so in writing.
Q. Do you ship internationally?
Yes - I will ship anywhere in the world. However, there are some countries that seem to harbor an inordinately large number of scam artists. I was not born yesterday, and if you're one of these people, let me save you a few minutes. No, I don't accept direct credit cards that seem to be owned by a third party who is not privy to the transaction you are attempting to complete. And no, I won't ship C.O.D. to your brother in Jakarta in return for you paying me double my asking price. Because in the end, two times nothing is still nothing. Of course, these people don't read FAQs. So to everyone else, I am an equal opportunity retailer, and I welcome enquiries and purchases from musicians around the world.
Q. How much will it cost to ship to -----------, --?
Needless to say, shipping costs will depend on what's being sent, where it's being sent to, and how quickly you want it. I ship UPS ground unless you request otherwise. Air delivery via Fedex or UPS is no problem, although I can't ship Fedex ground easily. Internationally, I can ship via UPS or the US Post Office. It usually costs around US$350 (including insurance) to ship a guitar to just about anywhere in Europe via UPS, but the Post Office is cheaper - often less than $200 for air shipment. There are sometimes dimensional restrictions that prevent acoustic guitars from being sent via postal service. For instance, EMS (Express Mail Service) often has a maximum allowable length of 46" - too short for boxed full size acoustic guitars. Regardless of what's being sent and how, I will always quote you shipping charges that include insurance for the full value of the item being sent.
Q. Do you charge a fee for handling or packaging?
Usually not. Unless otherwise stated, the cost of a shipping carton or box and packaging materials is included in the purchase price of an instrument, and you'll only pay charges for actual shipping and insurance. If there were ever an exception to that, it would be something that truly required special handling or packaging, like a heavy guitar amp.
ORDERING, PAYMENT & OTHER POLICIES
Q. How can I tell what's in stock/available?
If you see an instrument listed on the inventory pages, that actual instrument should be in stock. Check the "last updated" date at the top of each inventory page to get an idea of the age of the page, and always hit CTRL-F5 to refresh, to make sure you are seeing the latest version. But I usually am on top of things. Some dealers leave instruments up on their site that in reality were sold months ago, in the hopes of pulling people in. "Oh, that JUST sold yesterday - but I can order you another one!", is the cry that follows. I think that sucks, so I don't do it.
Please note that instruments in the Gallery section are either already sold (the majority) or are part of the Imagine Guitars Collection. If you see a Breedlove you like on the Gallery pages, though, might be worth dropping me a line so that I can keep my eye out for similar instruments.
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept credit cards directly from customers in the U.S. (Visa, Mastercard and Discover). We also accept Paypal, Cashier's Checks, and Money Orders (Postal preferred, although bank-issued are also fine.) I can also accept Wire Transfers if none of these other options are acceptable. I do not accept any form of payment that requires the involvement of Western Union.
Q. Do you charge taxes, duty, etc.?
The only individuals to whom I must charge taxes are residents of the State of Florida, U.S.A. As a Florida company, Imagine Guitars must add a 7% sales tax to all purchases made by customers living in the state of Florida. I do not collect any tax or duty from persons residing elsewhere.