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Author Topic: Guitar Experts  (Read 6227 times)

tonberry_king

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« on: September 20, 2005, 01:47:15 PM »
Right, I really need my guitar sorted out, it's just not sounding very good at the moment, things like cuts in some frets and one thing I don't understand; when I play an octave from the 5th string before the 12th fret it sounds fine, but once I go higher up the fret board the sound starts wobbling, like it's out of tune =/

Anyway, I hear some of you recommending Barrie something or other in Hitchin, not too far from me, and while I can't afford it yet, I'm thinking of getting my guitar done. Thing is, I don't know what the pricing lists means. Stuff like a 'set up'. What's a set up? And for 40? Why? Do you use pixie dust? 'Stone frets, recrown, polish, set action/intonation', is stoning the frets what I'd need to fix my duff ones? Is a re-fret better? And re-wiring, what does that entail? I have my pickups fitted but they sound poop right now, so would re-wiring sort that out without having to pay the charges for fitting them?

Sorry for the bombardment of questions everyone, it just seems like an awful lot of money for some of them. I know "it's my guitar and don't I want that best for it" but like I said, it's an awful lot of money if there are multiple problems.

Thanks for any help guys, I really, really appreciate it.

-Karl

HJM

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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2005, 02:51:17 PM »
Most good techs will have a look at your guitar and recommend  what needs doing. It's difficult to figure out what your guitar needs doing blind, but I'd guess at the very least a good setup. Setups aren't hard, but neither's setting tappets on your car or changing a cam belt given the right tools and knowledge....so 40 is towards the high side, but not bad, and cheap for a great setup - often 20 shop setups just get your strings changed and intonation set!

A setup is usually new strings, set intonation (out of tune notes corrected), check truss rod, action, check nut.

Fret stone takes out any lumps in your frets from string wear, although it reduces your fret height, so if your frets are low it's time for a refret.

The luithers will step in and fill in the gaps I expect! :)
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jt

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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2005, 06:44:33 PM »
:D Trying to convince people of the importance of getting your guitar setup properly can be very difficult, Espiecially when there`s going to be alot of money involved. 40. sounds about right to me, & the tech at Machine Head has a good reputation. If you`ve noticed that the guitar sounds "odd" that the P/U`s don`t sound right & that the frets don`t feel right, it would suggest that you`ve got a reasonable set of ears !!  :)

imagine then how much better your guitar will sound once its been setup properly, you`ll enjoy your playing expierence alot more. Give the Tech at Machine Head a call

 :D  8)
God I could do with a Gin & Tonic !

Elliot

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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2005, 09:08:48 PM »
I had my strat set up by a tech and it completely changed the tone - at first I was out of my comfort zone, but then I found that the thing sounded right, the strings actually bent without choking and the action was easy.

Its worth it, even if you save up for it.
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rinse_master

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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2005, 09:42:49 PM »
I need to get my 3 most played guitars set up...

I did actually buy a load of tech equipment form a guy in the US, it is a load of files/clamps/electrical bits/books, basically liek a mini shop. I got it about a year ago and due to the size of it I had to have it shipped to my uncle in florida, who would then send it on via smaller parcels, since then they have had a serious hurricane, money/work trouble/family trouble, looking like I might be able to get my hands on it soon and get practicing though  :)
"What frequency are you getting? Is it noise or sweet, sweet music?"

tech33

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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2005, 08:22:13 AM »
As a fulltime tech, and also a life long player(well nearly) i have seen this from both sides. I can remember when i was first starting out taking my cheap and nasty guitar for a setup, and thinking what the hell has the guy done for 40.
But as i'm now the guy, i can see what needs doing. Some setups are no more than a string change and a check, nothing needs doing, easy money. But some, on the really bad ones, are a complete mornings work, from stuck adjustors to loose trussrod, faulty pots, and dont get me started on floyd's!
In short, a good tech will transform a cruddy guitar, but you have to pay for his knowledge, i started out teaching myself repairs, but then i took a qualification, 5 years of study, and i would never presume i know it all.
So in short, have a fiddle if you must, but dont tackle anything that is critical, and always know when to seel professional advice!
can you do it while i wait?

big steve

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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2005, 04:32:12 PM »
a  5 year course in how do so setups? you must be able to set intonation REALLY well...
down from the glens came the marching men...

HJM

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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2005, 05:10:35 PM »
Quote from: big steve
a  5 year course in how do so setups? you must be able to set intonation REALLY well...
:lol:
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tech33

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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2005, 07:09:56 PM »
Quote from: big steve
a  5 year course in how do so setups? you must be able to set intonation REALLY well...


erm.. funnily enough, i was taught more than just setups!!
half of the course was building guitars as well.
can you do it while i wait?

big steve

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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2005, 07:30:24 PM »
where did you do this course? sounds interesting
down from the glens came the marching men...

FELINEGUITARS

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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2005, 10:37:06 PM »
Yes - it is one of those type of situations that makes me grimace

Someone walks in with a guitar that is in trouble and lets me look it over
I am able to see what the problem is and within a very short time have rectified it
The guy is very happy and impressed until I ask him for some money

"But it only took you a few minutes " he says

I have to point out that it took 22 years and 5 minutes ...
....and that my 22 years of experience allowed me to do the other bit in 5 minutes.

It is a bit like session musicians who have practiced every day since an early age and gets paid for the 3 minutes of perfect playing that they are called in to do
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rinse_master

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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2005, 10:43:53 PM »
Quote from: FELINEGUITARS
I have to point out that it took 22 years and 5 minutes ...
....and that my 22 years of experience allowed me to do the other bit in 5 minutes.


'nuff said!

Experience is a very valuable thing.
"What frequency are you getting? Is it noise or sweet, sweet music?"

tech33

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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2005, 08:25:57 AM »
Quote from: big steve
where did you do this course? sounds interesting


 I did my course at leeds colege of music, sadly it is no longer run by them, due to financial costs spirialing out of control apparently. I have heard that manchester college of art and tech are about to start it again, taught by a friend of mine.so check it out!
can you do it while i wait?

HJM

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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2005, 09:06:58 AM »
It was staffing issues that prompted the end.......
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tech33

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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2005, 11:33:17 AM »
Quote from: HJM
It was staffing issues that prompted the end.......


would have to disagree, as i have very good friends within the course structure, i knew most of what was going on. It came down to lcm not being prepared to fund a seperate site for the course, with all the health and safety issues as well, they werent prepared to back the course, which was a great shame as ted lee was an inspiration and a great teacher. Think its a sad loss to the guitar repair world that the course folded
can you do it while i wait?