Intonation, I’ll do that. I only just soldered something for the first time, so I will change solid body pickups going forward. I just started putting together a partscaster Strat, but couldn’t simply get the bridge alignment right, so I stopped and will take it to a luthier.
Not going to mess with a truss rod. I have never been able to see what’s going on with relief. Forget about fret leveling or nut stuff. Never had room for a real workbench or those tools.
Basically, my feeling is this: I’ve had good setups, medium setups, and one bad one. Which tells me that even people who do it for a living range in quality of skills. I don’t trust that I would be able to do a better job, and even if I did try, knowing that it was me who did it… I don’t have enough self esteem to believe I was doing it well.
I used to do all my own setups but having 2 little ones has made it extremely difficult to get any decent playing in. So I’ve been getting my baby’s setup from a awesome luthier for the last 2ish years with the odd time me doing a really quick setup if I break a string in the heat of the moment.
In time i would like to learn, but for now i a wonderful guitar tech, a perfectionist, with many decades experience.
i would struggle to replace him, a total straight shooter.
every guitar i buy i drop there for inspection, full set up. He knows exactly how I like it, or have become accustomed too. As said in time i would like to learn and maser the basics, but the convenience of dropping half my guitars, they get some TLC, and fetch and rotate.
For now it just makes me life a whole easier, as i don't have the spare time, and the guitars to expensive mostly for me to be remotely confident to learn this on.
I've done nearly everything except a refret. Crown and level, electronics, make new nuts, shim, replace/repair parts, regular set up, etc. Yes. However, much like @dougb415 my hands and eyes have gotten really old and I'm starting to limit what I'll do. I'll continue straight set ups as long as I play. No one can set up a guitar for my touch like I can.
Back in the day, I had to do my own setups. I wanted "shred" action and local shops didn't do that during the late 90's and early 00's. I sent a Fender Stu Hamm bass to the shop because I couldn't get lower action without annoying fret buzz. I thought maybe they could figure something out that I was missing. Instead of lowering the action, the guy raised the action and lectured me on how bassists shouldn't play like that.
There are now 3-4 really good setup guys and a real luthier in my area. One guy really knows my action preferences and does it better than I can. His prices are good and having 2 ADHD boys means I don't have @#%@^ for free time.
I am not rich but I am extremely picky so I do it all. It's enjoyable largely and I do set ups for my students as well which helps them much more than they realize.
I played and gigged for years with a train wreck of a guitar. It would have been a huge benefit to know about set ups when I was trying to learn to play....difficult stuff, played on well set up guitars. Talk about uphill battles.
I do my own setups except for fret and nut work. Basic nut filing and leveling will be the next thing I get into. The nut on my Tele is cut so the strings are a little too high and I've been dragging my feet about tackling it.
Ive always re done wiring, replace electrical components, installed pick ups. Reinstalled various hardware. Only just now am i figuring out how a set up is actually preformed. I plan on doing the process on one of my entry level guitars that needs attention when i have a full day to focus on it. For now, my more expensive guitar will be left in a tech's hands until I'm confident i know entirely what I'm doing, and got all the "oh crap"s out of the way on the cheaper stuff.