The guitar was set up perfectly to my specifications and arrived safe and sound. Very happy and will be looking at Richards for any guitars I need to purchase in the fututr
My 8 year old is learning classical acoustic and so as part of my mid life crisis I've agreed to do so too. As a learner nowadays it's easy to pick up good advice about making sure your first guitar is a good one but less easy to identify "the one".
The shop is small; packed and pretty much a one man band. Richard was taking calls and greeting callers for an hour after we arrived, and we even had an appointment! It didn't make much difference. I found the Neptune Trembesi whilst the 8 year old set about finding the most expensive 3/4 in the shop!!! By the time Richard finally had time to spend time with us his time was limited but it's also fair to say he was spot on. The Trembesi is a fantastic thing.
I should say that the above comment re: time is not a criticism. You're getting a personal service from someone who gives a damn. That comes with quirks so you need to decide if you can live with that. This is not a large shop with equally larger egos but miniscule knowledge. Thank goodness for that. I have to say some of the negative comments seem ludicrously OTT in the context of what Richard offers.
I've resisted writing this for the best part of 2 months so I could be absolutely sure but this is a guitar that makes you want to pick it up every day. It's easy to lose heart as a learner. I've had it happen to me many years ago. 2 months down the line I play for a minimum of 30 minutes every day and (ahem) my fingers are doing things I didn't think they were capable of. The Neptune Naked is also superb but this beats it comfortably on sound although we could argue about looks.
It's also worth adding that the small time we spent with Richard was invaluable. The guitar was tweaked on the first three strings and I think that was probably right. The shop display was not the one he'd set up for me in advance and I took some convincing the latter was better. Again though he was correct.
His advice re: practice and technique for both me and an 8 year old was invaluable. The latter has taken it to heart and, having not had a lesson in recent weeks, has set about learning carols from notation taking Richards wise words that no-one ever got worse from practise.
Suffice to say Father Christmas has sorted a Faith Mercury Parlour plus a Hiscox case for an 8 year old from Richard and if It ever gets to the point either of us go up a level and want something better then, yes, I would travel several hundred miles once again.
There was a slight delay from the manufacturer but during this time I spoke on the phone, in email and live chat with Richard and he was always helpful and honest. He obviously works far too many hours to ensure his customers get the best they can hope for
I needed a second acoustic with a mahogany back and so chose the Neptune after watching one of Richards very informative YouTube vids.
The ordering and update process was great, kept informed at all stages of the ordering, setup and testing.
The guitar arrived this morning, well packed, still in tune and set up absolutely perfectly to my specification and it sounds beautiful.
These guys really know what they are doing and Richards assertion that he only wants you to get the best guitar possible (even though it may not be the one you initially thought you should have) certainly comes across as genuine. I have never in all the years playing guitar had this level of service from any retailer. My next guitar, when I need one, will be purchased from Richards, why would I risk buying one from anyone else?