Well, get on with writing then! We can't wait much longer ?
I would, but people keep asking me questions.... ?
What do you think of the resources available to guitarists and luthiers in SA? I find it a bit harder (than say in the UK) to find gear, parts and stuff like that.
Local resources for luthiers? Oh, how I laughed...
Even African tonewoods have to be bought from the US and even with common and popular pickup brands for instance, there's not much of a range available locally. Luckily, it's easy these days to order what you need online, shipping isn't too expensive if you go USPS and wait the 2 to 3 weeks for delivery. With many of the online companies they will even have deals in place to ship with Fedex or UPS relatively cheaply, then it's three to six days. Customs have sorted out the delays they used to suffer and most smaller packages they don't even bother with.
Support and backup have been good. Stewmac replaced a faulty set of Sperzels, no questions asked, and when the replacements also turned out faulty, supplied Schallers and only then asked for the faulty sets back - to take it up with Sperzel (they offered to pay for the shipping back of the Sperzels too!). Luthier's Mercantile forgot some analine dyes from an order and when I told them, they Fedexed them to me at a $75 cost to them (for a $20 item), and I had it in 5 days.
As an example, I just got a parcel from Guitar Fetish with a Wilkinson Tele bridge and tuners, knobs, string ferrules, a neckplate and screws. Parts cost: US$ 80, shipping (USPS) US$20. That's R650! It was all in a small box and it came through customs without any VAT. Took two weeks to get here. I can order a Fender pearloid Pickguard from a local shop and pay R350 for it or order a clone from GFS for under 18 Dollars. Add a few parts and the total shipping cost per item comes down radically.
Also, If you are prepared to buy in bulk, you can save a fortune on strings - especially common brands like Ernie Ball or D'Addario. Most of the online string stores charge a flat fee for shipping which is quite high, but the more you order, the cheaper it becomes. Perhaps we can all join together sometime and make a huge order for everybody. R25 -R30 a set
So, let's see... cheaper, wider range, better service and backup, faster. What's not to like?
Even certain DVDs aren't that easy to find.
Amazon.co.uk - especially for the harder to find stuff. But the Hot Licks and REH DVDs are expensive wherever you get them - I have no idea why.