I accept commission designs for custom instruments. I do consider if I would like to have my label in one (Is it too radical even for me?). If someone wants to tell me in detail how to execute the design, I would advise them to save the money and build it themselves. At the same time I think there is a great value in collaboration; the customer may have specific ideas, but it is my job to tell them if I believe that those ideas can be executed, and to find the best way.
I cannot accept requests for someone else’s sound. I don’t build any models that are intended to be an emulation of another design. I am sure that Fleta built the best Fletas, and Hauser the best Hausers, and so on. In fact, I am pretty sure that I build Gilberts best. If someone wants me to look at an unusual physical feature of another instrument to incorporate it into one of my instruments, I am open to that, but I would look at that as a commission design. There are always new ideas, but I want to move with caution. Some are fads.
In short, I am open to new things and new ways, within reason. I havv reasons for why I build guitars the way I do and if I change, I do so for a good reason.