Do you do your own work.

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6,839
Do you really live in Chicago?

Man...only twice...down in Washington D.C. I have to adjust truss rods every year twice when seasons change. Humidity for christsake.
Only twice! I'm surprised as well, especially once I really started paying attention to stuff like that. All my guitars stay in cases, my acoustics especially, and I try my best to monitor humidity. Honestly, I did one setup on my classical, which probably needed it just from neglect, and I just recently did one on my ES-135. EDIT: By saying "I did a setup," I mean I took it to someone else. ;)

Now that I think about it, I guess I've done three, but that third one included the addition of an Earvana nut, so I guess its only natural that there would be a setup involved.

My Taylor 414ce for some reason has been a trooper. I've played it outside at early morning gigs in late fall, taken it to the beach, etc, and its never needed a setup. I'm sure if someone looked at it with a keen eye or was a very picky player, they might be able to find something they don't like or prefer, but it holds its tune incredibly well aside from rapid temp changes in a room and the intonation has been spot on. It may need a refret, in which case it will also get a setup at that point as well.
 

icr

Member
Messages
2,839
I never heard of this "set up" thing until I started reading this forum about 10 years ago, perhaps the concept is a product of the internet age. I know some women go to a service station to have them see if there is air in their automobile tires or gas in the tank. Similarly, perhaps DEVO was right, and there has been de-evolution of guitarists so they can't even tune their guitars anymore.
 

4inchjones

Member
Messages
2,037
I do my own setups, replaced nuts (pre-slotted), pickup, hardware and electronics changes and even a broken neck. I haven't drummed up enough courage to try to do fret dressing or filing yet.
 

4inchjones

Member
Messages
2,037
I never heard of this "set up" thing until I started reading this forum about 10 years ago, perhaps the concept is a product of the internet age. I know some women go to a service station to have them see if there is air in their automobile tires or gas in the tank. Similarly, perhaps DEVO was right, and there has been de-evolution of guitarists so they can't even tune their guitars anymore.
You can thank Gibson for that ;)
 

GermanCDN

Member
Messages
359
I do everything except re-frets, and I'd like to learn that skill set if I had the time. Going to (hopefully) get back into building next year, so if I do, I'll force myself into building and fretting a few necks (I usually just buy them out).

Typically I do setups twice a year, once in spring and once in fall.
 

TheoDog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
19,791
I stop at nut and fret work. Acoustic saddles, I outsource.
So everything up to and including some minor fret dressing. All electronics, parts swaps, etc.
I also rely on my pro tech's ability to craft custom pick guards.
 

monty

Member
Messages
21,987
I do what I can, up until a couple of years ago I was like your friend- long time player no set up chops.
 
Messages
1,452
I'm somewhere between a yes or no response. More no than yes, though. Little teeny things like setups, or replacing a switch maybe. But I'm not handy and it's not fun for me, so I'd just as soon not **** with something that's only going to be a pain in the butt and put me in a foul mood. I have a friend who enjoys working on guitars and could use the dosh, so I take my stuff to him mostly. Win-win.
 

Wantonsong

Member
Messages
9
Let me take a stand for the guitar techs. I'm sure Jimmy Page could do his own set-up work, but he doesn't. I know what to do, but I don't do it, because I know people who are a lot better at it than I am.
 

PatrickE_FenderADV

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27,048
I am one of the guys that CAN do the work, but I don't trust myself. I had a newer Hwy1 strat that I tried to tweak on my own and really messed up the set up. I had another older Hwy1 that I did everything to and nailed it. I am pretty impatient and don't like spending hours working on a guitar, I'd rather spend hours PLAYING a guitar.
 

rummy

Member
Messages
8,572
I like to have it done once by a professional. Then I take measurements of everything, and do my own from there.
 

luv

Member
Messages
3,157
Much like everybody else here, I do most everything except fret work. I've never had a need to replace a truss rod either. All normal maintenance is pretty easy and is something that anyone that plays guitar should learn how to do.

I remember when I was first getting started playing and buying. I would see a guitar that I liked and notice that it had pickups that weren't stock. I would contact the buyer and ask if a professional had installed the pickups. More often than not, the answer was "no, I installed them myself". I passed on a few guitars because I didn't know how easy it was to install/swap pickups and I thought that it was a job for a luthier. I got a book by Dan Erlewine and started reading and learning and then started working on a MIM Strat that I had. I found that it wasn't difficult and after toying around with my Strat (including: pickup swap, treble bleed mod, adding the bridge on the rear tone pot, intonation, bridge saddle height and truss adjustment) that it played and sounded much better. I never looked back from there. I also found that every guitar I've ever bought needed some sort of adjustment. No need to give money to someone if I'm comfortable doing it myself.
 

ldizzle

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,318
I do most of it, but I have a great tech who does anything I'm uncomfortable with.
 

TheClev

As seen on TV
Messages
5,094
Is there a sometimes option? I do my own work, but when I can't quite get it exactly right, or if I feel like my best attempt isn't bringing the smoothest feel out of the instrument, I won't hesitate to pay for a setup. But I do all electronic work myself.
 

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,049
I do everything short of fret work, neck resets, and truly major repairs. I've considered fretwork, but elected to go the SS route installed by a master—so every guitar will be essentially maintenance free in that regard at some point.

I can't see that I'd develop the skills to do the level of fretwork I demand on guitars myself. I'm not going to gain the experience that lets me reach that kind of detail that the very best luthiers do. I'm sure I could learn the basics and do a respectable job, but I'm looking for A+, not A- on my frets.

I do all the basics—intonation, truss rod adjustments, nut filing, changing tuners, bridges, rewiring, etc.. Some simple woodwork, like reattaching beater acoustic bridges, oil finishes....bracing issues or cracks are beyond my skill set and tool set.
 

scolfax

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,240
Is there a sometimes option?
Classic rookie poll mistake. Always include some kind of "other"!

I have done it all except for frets. Nowadays if I can't get what I want done in 15 mins it goes to Gary Brawer.
 

Gallery

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,521
Playing for about 25 years now. When I was younger I never bothered with set-ups. I didn't really realize how much better a good set-up could be. I did notice that my guitars played like crap in the winter and miraculously got better in the summer.

Then, I was a poor college student who couldn't afford it and I was too busy playing shows, getting drunk and having fun to learn.

Then eventually I got a good job and could afford nice guitars, but still didn't have a clue about set-ups. Finally, one of my guitars went really out of wack in the winter and I got a good set-up. Wow what a difference!

Now I would love to learn, but with a one year old and my day job, I barely have time to play these days.
 

aussie_owner

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,109
Basic setup stuff I do myself. Nuts and frets I leave to the pros, although I have a Bullet Strat I got for $20 that I'm planning on learning to level and crown frets on. With 12 guitars it's too expensive to have everything done at the shop.

And besides, working on guitars is fun. I've even started working on other peoples guitars. I'm changing pickups on my buddy's Strat over the holidays.
 




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