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Guitar set up


Gold Supporting Member
Nob question - how do I check the tuning at the 12th fret? I need to check, but don't believe the N4 has jumbo frets, but that aside while I have a firm grip I don't believe it's too strong as I don't have this issue with other guitars I have who also actually have jumbo frets - but good idea.
Same as you do on the open strings. Just fret each one on the 12th fret and use your tuner to see if they are in tune at EADGBE. If any string is off by a cent or so, you'll need to adjust the saddles to bring them into tune. While not for a Washburn, this may help.



Setting up a guitar is cheap and easy, so you might as well learn how to do it. It's also something a lot of instruments are going to need once or twice a year as humidity and other forces slowly change it. Minor modifications to the setup will also be needed every time you change string gauges or tuning. You probably already have everything you need already, except a string action ruler.

The exception is if you need to lower the nut slots. Those tools are not cheap, and a screw-up is not reversable. You might want someone with experience to do that. Unless you need to widen the slots for bigger strings, that should be a one-time job.


Silver Supporting Member
OP, having someone set up your guitar can be so frustrating . There is no way to communicate what you want . I learned the basics first, string height , relief and then intonation. All can be relatively simple , especially with YouTube and material designed to work on your specific guitar. I am now doing fret leveling and other such work. if you can’t find anyone, i would try to learn to do it yourself.


Dare I suggest - taking it to Guitar Center to have a cursory setup done? If the guitar is way out of whack they could probably get it back closer to where it should be, at least to make it more tolerable to play, and hopefully not as long of a wait. But I don't know that they would do a great job with any fine-tuning. I guess it would come down to the talent and care of the guitar tech actually working on it.
:facepalm Don’t do it.


Having anyone set up your guitar is a total crap shoot. You really should learn to do it yourself because no one really knows what will feel and sound best to you, and setup can vary a lot in how it feels and even sounds. It;s a very personalized thing. Add to that the fact they often need adjustments several times a year or more and to take it to someone just to adjust the rod or such is expensive, time consuming and leaves you w/o your guitar for days or weeks. Once you learn a typpical setup will take you 5 pr 10 minutes if that. Not the answer u were looking for i know, but if you learn you will understand why i said this and you will be wondering what u were thinking taking it in to someone.


You'll be happy you ordered that book. I learned to set up and wire guitars from Dan Erlwines earlier book, Guitar Player Repair Guide and it was a great investment. The first time I set up my own guitar, I more than made my money back. With enough time and practice I was ready to cut my own nuts, level and dress my own frets, swap pickups and pots, clean pots, I eventually built my own bass, with oversight by an experienced builder. Since then I've done many mods and built a lap steel. When my Covid inflicted money issues are settled, I'm going to do a partscaster. I enjoy working on them as much as playing them now.

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