A bad setup?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gasp100, Feb 5, 2008.


  1. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Okay, I have a T style partscaster that I was working on and it had some issues that I could not really fix with my limited knowledge (or patience). So, I take a chance and call my local store (always wanting to help out the local biz) and the give it to a guy (who supposedly is great) and he calls me, we discusss the issues (and I provided a list of all the things I wanted worked on IF POSSIBLE. I clearly stated if he didn't think the stuff could be worked out, I would suck it up, put the original neck back on and move forward. He tells me he can "take care of it" and the local charges me $100.
    I just got it home and it's as bad (if not WORSE) than when I brought it in. The action is lower yes, but it's completely fretting out all over. The low E now is pinched and sounds like a sitar, the high E is pinched and it sounds completely dead. It seems like the issues just moved a few strings :(
    The guitar, even in this state is CLEARLY not intonated correctly just by testing a few chords. Also, he swapped pups just because I said I "might" consider using some other pickups.... So, I have new (noisier pups - don't even know what brand) AND the originals were CUT with about 1.4" of wire on them!!!
    WTF! This is shoddy workmanship plain and simple... I'm really upset, but I don't even know if it makes any sense to call them and complain. If he couldn't fix it or get it to where I needed he should have just called and told me so. Now the original pups (one was a nice GFS tele that I said I might TRY and replace are all but unuseable...
    I have to try and set this up myself... AGAIN!
    :BITCH
     
  2. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    Sounds like this is fairly common until you find a good and competent tech. I had a guitar I brought in for a setup due to major fret buzz. The tech said it would be no problem to correct. I got the guitar back and the fret buzz was even worse. I brought it back after a week hoping the neck just needed to settle and was now told that fret buzz is normal and they can't do anything about it even though they originally said they could. I've since moved on to another tech and am also slowly learning to do my own setups.
     
  3. 8Painting

    8Painting Member

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    This has happened to me a couple times.

    Just take it back, as much of a pain in the butt it is, theyll fix it.

    Sometimes youve gotta make sure they do it right the first time.

    It also could be the conditions in the shop might be different than your house, e.g. humidity, also, if the truss rod was adjusted, it might not have been dont moving by the time you got it, and moved too far.
     
  4. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I called them back. They said they would take it back and work on it some more. The high E string is pinched somehow and completely dead. The low is is buzzing like crazy when played open. And it's fretting out a ton. I just tried a few more things and can't fix it. Maybe it needs a new nut or something? I switched the strings from body through to be strung through the back of the bridge to see if that helps... nada.
    The worst part is he pretty much ruined the GFS pup. I can't resell it (or maybe even reuse it with the wire's cut that tight to the pickup itself.
    It's funny, I broke the high E string when I brought it in to them... it has six strings but I could swear that 5 of them are the originals that I brought it in with... I mean, c'mon. For $100 change the strings at least :rolleyes:
    To be honest, I'd much prefer a refund. I could stick the old neck on and get it back to playability and sell it to a friend. This is quickly becoming a money pit I cannot afford. All partscaster noob's take note.
     
  5. Ray Gianelli

    Ray Gianelli Member

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    I do as much of my own work as possible. I can do everything except fret jobs and cutting nuts, although I've considered getting the tools to do nuts as I've got a PRS that needs one.

    There are good techs out there but it's a crap shoot finding one.
     
  6. justonwo

    justonwo Supporting Member

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    Wow, that sounds really bad. What a knucklehead to cut the pickup leads like that. If it's any consolation, the pickups aren't ruined. You can splice new leads on them and wrap the splice in shrink wrap - good as new.

    This is exactly the kind of stuff that made me come to guitar forums in the first place. I learned how to do all that work myself. As a novice partsocaster builder, I would advise you to get "How to Make Your Electric Guitar Play Great," by Dan Erlewine. It'll guide you through the steps for a proper setup (not really that hard) and you won't have to deal with techs for the simple things.
     
  7. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'm actually okay with doing some of the work as I mentioned. But, I hit a rough spot and started to think someone with more experience could help. It's quite possible the replacement neck has more issues (needs a full fret job and/or a new nut) or maybe it just doesn't jive with this guitar? I was waiting for the tech to tell me all of this stuff, but he said he would take care of it... kind of sucks. I'll give him another shot, but if they can't do anything I'll just put on the original neck (which seemed to play much better) and try to cut my loses by selling it.
     
  8. SLG

    SLG Member

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    That just sucks! There's nothing I hate worse than paying someone a fair price to do a job right, have the job botched, and then having to do the job myself.

    Email me. I can walk you through the setup process one step at a time if you like, or we can do it here on the forum. You may need to buy a couple of tools, but by the time we are finished, you should be able to do your own setup.
     
  9. Rosewood

    Rosewood Member

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    A really bad setup may be in need of a better luthier before more damage is done, although in a way everyone deserves a second chance. Just don't waste too much on time and money if they can't fix it the next try.
     
  10. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    I've had similar situations. What about getting a guitar back with the back of the neck sanded down and you didn't ask for it nor di they ask me if I wanted it.
     
  11. Gasp100

    Gasp100 Supporting Member

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    SLG -- Thanks for the offer, I might take you up on it as well. I have Dan Erlewine's book and I have a pretty decent idea on what tools I might need and how to do most of this work (although fret filing and nut replacement are a little more than I wanted to get involved with right now). That is why I took it in there the first place. This is my #4 guitar, so time isn't really an issue. I'm going to give them another chance but I am definitely going to list all the stuff that isn't working right along with the bad technique on pup removal/deinstallation... that's just plain laziness as far as I'm concerned. Pull out the freaking soldering iron and do it right.
    I'm tempted to ask for a partial refund (maybe 75% or 50%) and really cut my loses and go elsewhere.
     
  12. FlyingDutchman

    FlyingDutchman Member

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    On a cheapo partscaster you should be doing the setup yourself. That is one of the great reasons to build your own guitar. You learn how to set things up and get them to play the way you like them, not how some tech likes them.
     

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