An artist and guitarist since the 1970's, Virgil Mandanici set out to make guitars that would be exceptional in tone & playability first and foremost. After 35 years of playing guitar, he decided it was time to make guitars that would feel, play and look better than anything he had ever played before. Virgil says:
Virgil Guitars are all handcrafted. "one-off" guitars, which means there will never be 2 guitars alike. The quality of these instruments goes beyond what most players are used to finding in their local music store. Big guitar companies will make quality instruments, but also have an eye on profit margins and the speed they figure out to mass-produce guitars. They are "cookie-cutter" guitars that are all cut out on CNC (Computer Numeric Control) machines and every guitar is EXACTLY like the last one. I am not here to insult the large manufacturer. I spent well over 30 years owning, playing Gibsons, Fenders, PRS and other manufacturer's guitars and must say I have enjoyed playing them all. I actually still have all of those guitars in my collection and each one has it's own special place and use. The BIG difference between me and the "big guys" is each one of my guitars is its own creation. They all get special treatment all the way from the initial design process (I come from a professional design background), all the way to the final set up of each guitar. All of the woods are hand-selected, personally for each specific build and it is not an overnight matter. I go to great lengths in ensuring the highest-quality woods available and use state-of-the-art woodworking machinery to get each task done perfectly. I am the perfectionist in every square millimeter of these builds and that in itself takes way more time than the "Big guys" can afford. After a couple of years of building guitars, I started noticing all of the flaws on the guitars I had purchased through the years and often wondered how these companies can let things out of their factories in that condition. I then started making trips to the local music stores to look at all of these guitars coming off of production lines, finding "string buzz" on nearly all of them, improper alignment of parts, etc. and started becoming amazed at the sloppiness of their work. The funny thing was though, I had never noticed these things when I was just a "player". Yes, I am absolutely biased when it comes to my guitars, compared to the large manufactures, but they have 2 really big things that they always trump me with: Their name and their price. I will never have a name that big (nor do I have the intention to do) and I am unable to purchase bulk parts in the thousands that they requisition on a daily basis so my costs are much higher. I say this all to you because most people suffer from "sticker shock" when they visit here and I totally understand. What most people don't understand though, is the cost of goods I need to pay for the "top-of-the-line" parts, supplies, equipment, instrumentation, etc. for these builds as well as the incredible amount of man hours required to create gems like these. Let's take my first guitar I built for an example, the "Dueling Dragons". This guitar sold for $17,000. Right now in your mind, you are probably thinking a few things - first off, you would never pay that much money for a guitar! But let's look at the reality... this guitar cost me in parts, supplies and tools an approximate $4000, so now we are down to $13,000, right? Pretty good money eh? Actually, the money I made puts me in the "Poverty" bracket of income because I spent a year building this guitar. This is the reason for my recent shift of actually raising the prices of my guitars in 2017. I don't think it's too much to ask to make $40k per year for what I do and on the average, I build 4 to 5 guitars per year, so therefore, the minimum price of my guitars will end up in the $10k range, which coincidentally, is the average price of a custom guitar from one of the previously mentioned "Big guys". So if it's simply the "Name" you are looking for, know this: My guitars will more than likely exceed the quality of any guitar you will probably find in a music store, you get to watch the entire birth of your guitar on social media. And your guitar will wind up with its own tone that you will have the rest of your life to enjoy. We drop all sorts of money on guitars, amps, etc. but have we ever contemplated a "Dream guitar" that will finally have you get to the point where you won't be interested in other guitars? That's what I always strive for in each one of these builds - as if it were the last guitar I was planning on making. You don't need a "collection", you probably will end that madness when you get a Virgil - I say this because I am echoing what my customers have said. Read the testimonials - these are real people who happened to stumble upon what I do over the years and you will know this level of satisfaction they have. Thanks for visiting Virgil Guitars!