Questions and Answers


What's up with all the switches?

Here's the 411 on single-coil pickup configurations:



Humbucker Configuration:



Why does MPLS Instrument Company exist?

Designs that tap into cosmic paths of visceral expression:  We want to hand you the keys for doors leading to unknown dimensions. We cannot assume any responsibility which ones you open and what may lie on the other side. 

Who plays MPLS Guitars?

A growling list of cool humans. Including peeps in Bloodnstuff - Holler House - Lutheran Heat - The Blind Shake - The Hand (Zak Sally) - and more have played and recorded with our guitars. 

  The Hand  @ The Cedar Cultural Center

The Hand @ The Cedar Cultural Center

Is this a cult?

What? No, no, no. Of course not. We are building guitars here. We're definitely not trying to open portals to perpendicular dimensions with unknown treasure and horror by harnessing the power of amplified Tone Crystal (TM) vibrations.

How can I try one of dem shits?

Contact El Diablo Amps or send a Facebook Message through our page to come check one out at our shop (by appointment only).

How much?

The base models starts at $1949 at this time. Base Model =  24", 25", 28.5", 30", or 34" scale / Richlite fretboard, low-profile bridge, choice of two JM-style or soapbar pickups. More info on colors and examples coming soon.

Optional Power-ups include:

  • Mastery Bridge (Up charge)
  • Mastery Vibrato and Bridge (Up charge)
  • Humbucker or Mini-humbucker pickups
  • Some different wood choices
  • Extra Moxie (Free, but please ask or we just put the normal amount in)

How "Custom" can this get?  Can I get it in red?  I want it made with Brazilian Rosewood.

Choice of fretboard woods, some color / finish options, some pickup options. To keep this as affordable as we can,  we have to limit options to keep cost and build time down. So yes, there are a lot of possibilities but be warned that the price goes north quickly. 

Where are they made?

At present, they are made by two handsome fellows in a spacious garage in South Minneapolis.  We're like a band that makes guitars instead of records. Though a record may happen at some point YOU JUST NEVER KNOW. Hit us up if you want to come have beers. Currently, sending us a message through Facebook is the best way to do this.

Are they really all made from scratch?

Yes, we make pretty much everything except the hardware from scratch - pickups included.

Is there a waiting list? Are these built-to-order? How long will I have to wait?

We occasionally have guitars available, but usually this is build to order. Depending on our to-do list, we try to deliver in 3-4 months. We're working on a bunch of things to make this wait significantly shorter.

Talk more about these pickups...

Except covers, the pickups are constructed entirely in-house. Standard pickup configuration is our take on a Jazzmaster-style soapbar (Bridge and Neck position). We also have P90-style and humbucker flavors. We're expanding and refining options here so please ask and we'll see what we can do.

What about tone?

Two main points here:

1. We hand-select the very best Tone Crystals (TM) to slowly, sensually rub on every build. We infuse our glue with crushed Tone Crystals (TM) to ensure ideal mojo-transfer throughout every joint. This does take time, but it's essential

2. We believe "Tone" is subjective. We agree there are certain generalities that can be true, but there are no rules. We can compare to the past but we make no effort to chase "tone". We make our own rules, "tone", values, whatever, and we expect that you do to.


Tone Crystals (TM)


Can I get it with a AAAA flame maple top?

We're generally not dealing with crazy woods. We like wood. We like exotic stuff. But it's exotic for a reason, and we're becoming more and more convinced it's unnecessary, unhelpful, unsustainable, and really not that cool. It costs us a lot more to source it and (ugh) select it. So, it's possible, but it does cost. Let us know what you're looking for.

Will you sponsor our band?

Probably not.

What about basses?

30" short scale 4-strings are now being offered. 5 strings don't interest us. 6-string 30" scale "Bass VI"-style does and we do offer that option. 34" scale bass coming early 2017. Sooner if you're ready to plunk down some cash, baby.

What about Baritones?

Yep. 28.5" and 30" scale. Or Custom scales if you really want.

What about acoustic guitars?

No. Have you heard of Charles A. Hoffman? He’s probably a better bet.

Warranty / Service / Repairs

I bought an MPLS Guitar and I need some work done to it. Now what?

We ask all buyers register their guitar with us, new or used. Once registered, if you're local, we'll generally fix minor issues to keep the guitar playing great at no cost (not including standard setups). If we feel a problem is a manufacturing issue, with few exceptions we'll fix or replace at no charge. 

But I'm not from the Norf...

If you're unfortunate enough to not be located in the beautiful Twin Cities, and you need service, start with us if you can (if you registered the guitar, see above, we'll be email buds) and we can try to step you through the issue, get you a new part, etc. if we can. If not, we'll advise to take it to a reputable guitar tech or luthier in your area, and they should be able to get the guitar up and running. Basically, we'll do what we can to help from a distance, but like any guitar, it's probably going to need to see a professional at some point. If something is truly wrong and we need to look at it after a qualified tech has gone through it with us, there's a $150 flat fee to have it sent to us, serviced and sent back to you. If it is a defect from the build, then we'll of course we'll waive all of that. Such is the realities of being a small builder, I guess. Our repair drone network is a few years out. 

Either way, I have my guy/gal that I like... 

Totally cool. You're more than welcome to bring the guitar to a different luthier at your expense. Work by MPLS Instrument Company to correct or reverse mods or damage from unpro work will be for a fee. Jus sayin. 

Work needing to be done due to user silliness, abuse or Acts of a Malevolent Universe (accidents) will be assessed and addressed on a case-by-case basis (Including, but not limited to: "I use bass strings and tune to F# above standard E and now my neck is acting up and my bridge is collapsed" / "I drunkenly threw it into the drum set and the headstock snapped off" / "TSA used it as a ramp for a luggage truck and it's in 347 pieces").

Cosmetic, non-functional issues will be assessed and addressed on a case-by-case basis.

Will you service my 1961 Fender Telecaster (or 2014 Squire)?

Not our bag. Might we suggest Twin Town / Willie's / El Diablo Amps / or our friend Benjamin Brockway at www.brockwayguitars.com?