Way back in 2017, I wrote about some virtual guitar-building websites I’d discovered. I did this on my Scarebear.org website. Times change and so do virtual guitar-building websites. It’s time to update the list … here.
Since 2017, several of the virtual guitar-building websites that I’d known and loved have fallen by the wayside. But never fear! There are now more new opportunities for all of us guitar lovers to play with. Let me start with who has remained.
Previously known virtual guitar-building websites
The ESP Configurator is still around and lets you choose from their existing model range in a way that begins with the model type/shape that you’re interested in and from there allows you to customise features including wood type, hardware, pickups, paint finish, and orientation.
It’s a basic virtual guitar builder, but it allows for some awesome creations. Creations like this.
Schecter Guitars’ virtual guitar builder is also called a Configurator. It must sound cooler than a Builder. Yeah, it does.
Just like the ESP offering, you start with an existing base model and then configure your options until you end up with something that is perfect for you. I did find this configurator to be a little trickier than the ESP offering. I kept clicking the hardware colour option with no changes appearing to happen. When I changed the bridge type, the colour options became apparent and guitar perfection was found.
Well, if you like black or white guitars as much as I do.
The virtual guitar builder by Halo Guitars remains one of the most impressive online guitar-building offerings. The opportunities here are nearly endless. As with Schecter and ESP, you start with a base model shape, but from there, the customisation options are much greater.
There are options to change features in the body, neck, headstock, and components sections of the guitar. These are on top of the general and special options sections. Hours of fun are to be had on this site. Be warned, you may end up creating a near-perfect guitar for your own needs that you’re very tempted to then purchase.
Newly discovered virtual guitar-building websites
It’s taken me too long to update this list, but ages ago, Mark P (in the comments below) informed me that Kiesel Guitars also had a virtual guitar builder. Conveniently labeled as Builder on the Kiesel website, their offering is seriously impressive.
This virtual guitar-builder knows so much about the models and their variations that it lets you know when you can’t do things like to remove a scratchplate, use a dark logo on the headstock, or apply paint finishes that don’t make sense.
The finish options are plentiful on this site as well. There are so many neck, body and fretboard options to choose from. When you add to that the options for finishing these woods, you really start to see the reason that the Kiesel Guitars brand is as strong as it is in the guitar-loving community.
If I were ever allowed to buy another guitar, I would seriously consider this build of the Aries model. That’s one sexy guitar. Maybe one day when the Australian dollar and US dollar are once again closer to parity.
Changed virtual guitar builders
Okay, this one isn’t technically new. It was in my previous article on Scarebear.org. What’s new however is that their offering isn’t available on their website anymore. Now, you can download their iOS or Android app and do your customising there. That’s pretty cool.
You can find the links to the apps on the Ruokangas website.
The Warmoth virtual guitar builder doesn’t seem to have changed. You can build a custom body and you can build a custom neck. If you know what you’re looking for, this is a great place. If you need to see the pieces together on one screen, the Warmoth custom builder may not be the best solution for you.
Newly discovered virtual guitar builders
Since I first started looking back in 2017, more options have presented themselves in the virtual guitar-building market. Yay! So, although not new, these are new discoveries for me. There’s more fun to be had below.
The Balaguer Guitars virtual guitar builder is very similar to the Halo Guitars system. I’d say it’s near-identical. That’s a good thing. There’s now another option to highly customise a seriously impressive guitar right in your own bedroom. Or study. I don’t know where you keep your computer.
Here’s the kind of guitar I created online.
Yay! An Australian option! The Ormsby Guitars virtual guitar builder is a seriously impressive online system. By now you’ve probably worked out how all of these systems work. Pick a model, change some woods, change some finishes, tweak some hardware, and create your own, unique masterpiece.
Where the Ormsby solution stands out is the view options you have once you’ve finished crafting your own custom guitar. You can get a true 3D view of your guitar from all angles. That’s very cool.
You’re probably working out the pattern I have when creating my own custom designs. Here’s the Ormsby Guitars creation I chose.
Yes, Fender Guitars also has a virtual guitar builder. You can create your own custom Mod Shop Fender. This is something I’d seriously love to do. I love the Fender Stratocaster but have always wanted one that had a couple of basic modifications—a hardtail bridge and a humbucker pickup in the bridge position.
Add to that the ability to also have a reversed Fender Stratocaster headstock and you’ll see that even something as iconic as the Stratocaster can have some cool customisation added to it.
There you have it. Six virtual guitar-building websites to enjoy. Eight if you count Warmoth and Ruokangas Guitars. Hours of enjoyment to be had. Thousands of dollars to potentially spend. Now to just find thousands of dollars!