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Esteban guitars

posted Nov 27, 2009, 8:14 AM by Dennis Gess   [ updated Nov 27, 2009, 9:06 PM ]
Since this website is pretty orientated toward beginning guitarists, I feel I need to touch on this subject.

Stay up late one night, and watch HSN, which is the Home Shopping Network. You know, the channel where the usual items being sold are things like vases, food blenders, etc. Sooner or later, you'll either want to either go to sleep, or first kick a hole in your TV because you're watching HSN. Either way, chances are that before you have a chance to do either, you'll see a very eye-catching commercial. Or infomercial, whatever term you prefer. It shows what appears to be this guy:

...except he's selling guitars.

Yeah. That's Zorro. I don't know much about Zorro, except two things. One, he's famous. Two, he wears a mask, cape and hat. But what the hell does this dude have to do with the HSN?

Take a look at that picture. A deep, long look. And now take a look at this:

'Wait a second,' you might say, 'is that Zorro playing guitar?' Well, I don't know what to tell you. Meet Esteban, who is perhaps the greatest fraud perpetrated upon home shopping. 'Esteban', who's real name is Stephen Paul, claims to be an 'award-winning musician'. No arguments there. Esteban sure is an award-winning musician. You see, he's a musician, and he's won awards before. Both of his awards were presented to him at the 2004 Electronic Retailing Association Gala Awards. One of his awards is entitled 'Best Male Presenter for an Infomercial', while his other 'award' is called 'Best Live Shopping On-Air Guest'.

At this point, you're going to be scratching your head and asking, "Why should I care?". You should care because this fraud, Esteban, is attempting to lure you into his trap. What is his trap? Selling guitars at a 'great deal'. Assuming you haven't killed yourself after viewing the first few seconds of his infomercial, pay attention to his method of selling. His babble includes phrases such as "steal of a price". Sometimes he adds phrases like "I love playing the guitar". Another one of his favorites is "I love these guitars." I can tell you he loves not only playing the guitar and the guitars themselves, he also loves conning you out of your money and selling you a P.O.S. guitar.

You're probably thinking what could be so bad about Esteban's guitars. After all, why would he lie? He says that they're beautiful, built to last and will give you a "lifetime of enjoyment". Too bad so many people killed themselves after watching his commericial, they didn't have enough time to enjoy his guitars. Is it seriously that bad? Yes. It is very bad. It's bad to the point of where you want to know why Esteban is not in jail yet in the same cell as Bernie Maddoff. What Esteban is doing is pretty much the same thing.

Don't believe me? Click this link now and read the reviews. If you're too lazy, I'll copy and paste the best review there:

Features : 10
The body of this particular guitar is made of only the finest dried goat manure, aged balsa wood, and shellac. It features strings made of particularly brittle barbed wire and components made of the cheapest (and therefore, most cost-effective) plastic available.

One interesting new feature: Insta-Brake technology. The Insta-Brake system guarantees that each and every component of this guitar will break within the first week of owning. This is a refreshing change of pace for people who are SICK AND TIRED of guitars that actually last a lifetime... they have to sit around and wait for their guitars to become old and unusable and sometimes that never happens.

Sound : 10
The music I play is Experimental Noise. I deliberately try to create atonal and un-musical sound effects, much like John Cage when he dropped random objects on piano strings. The Esteban is perfect for me because when I strum the strings, it doesn't sound anything like music! Instead, you get a repulsive squawk, like someone smashing a ball-peen hammer on sheet metal.

Action, Fit, & Finish : 10
I firmly believe that musicians should have to WORK when they play guitar. A guitar shouldn't make the act of playing EASY... no, it should be a painful and difficult chore so that you learn discipline. Nothing is handed to you.

For my money, the Esteban is perfect in this regard. The incredibly high action is positively agonizing. My fingers were hemorrhaging blood within mere seconds. NO aspect of this guitar is comfortable, from the body shape (which could best be described as "shaped like a diseased rhinoceros") to the frets (that gouged into my hands like needles).

In other words, this guitar will make you a tougher player! Thumbs up! (assuming you have any thumbs left after using this guitar)

Reliability/Durability : 10
Personally, I'm really tired of guitars that withstand years of reliable and durable live playing. Where's the fun in that?? I mean, if you have a reliable and dependable instrument that you can count on to deliver the same quality sound every night, it can get a bit boring. Talk about predictable.

The Esteban models are guaranteed by the manufacturer to be in a different tuning each and every time you pick it up. In fact, all Esteban guitars are purposely designed to be so unreliable you never know what will happen next. In one case, my new guitar changed itself to open G tuning mid-chord. In another case, the bridge spontaneously fell off. Another night, it exploded, starting a fire and killing four people.

Yes, I gig with it! It's a blast!

Customer Support : 10
I called HSN to congratulate them on producing such a unique instrument. I was placed on hold for 3 1/2 hours, after which time, I was transferred to a Romanian brothel where I was verbally abused in an unspecified eastern European language for 30 minutes. I hung up, called back, and was lucky enough to speak to a customer service rep who actually spoke English.

Her name was Liz and although she knew nothing of guitars, she introduced me to several new swear words. She explained that whatever my opinion, I was wrong. I tried telling her that I had nothing but good things to say and she told me to cram it. She then began screaming and crying.

There is no warranty, but HSN will charge me $200 to return my guitar. This may sound like a raw deal, but I get to keep my autographed photo of Esteban! That's right, you can return the guitar and they never ask you to return the beautiful photo of Esteban's lovely face. THAT'S a policy I can agree with!

Overall Rating : 10
This guitar is simply a 10!!! The sound sets you apart as a musician and tells everyone listening that you don't NEED to be in tune to sound good. The action and playability are so painful you will become a stronger player (if you survive). Truly, it's impressive. I couldn't make a guitar like this if I tried.

Make sure to not forget this link.