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Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by RedRockRoy, Feb 5, 2005.
I've had pretty decent luck with Becks Guitars.
930 W Broadway Road Suite 3 Tempe, AZ 85282
Sorry to say, I haven't! And I'll just leave it at that!
Instead, I would highly recommend Thad Robosson at Precision Guitar, on 7th Ave. south of Camelback:
It it makes a difference, he is also an authorized Fender service center, I believe the only one in the Phoenix area.
Thanks for the replies so far. What I'm looking for is someone I could trust to do a refret on a vintage LesPaul.
You and thousands of others. I believe there are several "self help" groups in the valley set up to help with that.
I could easily turn this into a Richard Beck bashing thread, but I won't. Suffice to say that unless you're what he considers a "pro", good luck in getting any service out of him.
I have had good luck with the guys at the Guitar Service Center in the back of the Music Store in Mesa right on the Tempe border. Al and Ron are friendly, knowledgeable and respectful. Two of my friends have had guitars made by Al, and both of the guitars are really nice.
Make the trip to Tucson and have Brian Dunn and the other guys at Rainbow Guitars do it. Yeah, it's a journey, but worth it. While you're there, wave cash around and convince them to let you into the secret room with all the GOOD stuff.
I must second the vote for Thad at Precision. He does very good work if you let him take his time. For general repairs and such, I go to Ye Auld Repair Shop on Indian School and 8th St. I will never go to Beck again--his skill is A+, his attitude is a solid F, and won't deal with a cocky S.O.B. like that ever again.
Hey guys, I wanted to give an update here. Turns out that Ron has left The GSC in Mesa, and he took all the talent with him. Beware.
I'll leave it at that.
Lot's of Beck bashing!
Sure, he's a pain but he does do great fret work. I just had him refret a 67 SG Special, and it is really nice. He saved most of the binding as well.
Another couple of guys in addition to the ones already mentioned:
7th Street Guitars
480 560 5487
602 252 4409
He put a new nut on my JV Strat. Cool guy. Teaches at Roberto-Venn Luthiery School, so he must know what he is doing. I can't vouch personally on a complex job, since what I had him do was pretty simple.
B & D Guitar
in the Guitar Electronics store in North Phoenix
(a pretty cool little shop if you haven't been there yet)
602-861-3056 ext 2
He set up my '83 Tokai LS80 when I first got it, and I also had him retrofit the GraphTech saddles that I put in.
He tried to tell me how I should have my action set, but otherwise he was OK and did satisfactory work.
My only experience with Beck was that I paid $125 for a fret job 10 years ago, it took 6 weeks, and I had to take it to Thad at precision after I picked it up, to have a real fret job done on it.
Billy's pretty good.
I'd attempt the work myself before I'd take anything back to Beck's.
Darin Mahoney at Buchanan Music 714 E. Brown, Mesa
480-461-9161 has done quite a bit of work for me. Including setting up a guitar (beautifully I might add) which Beck apparently wasn't capable of, but still charged me for, of course.
Darin does quality work, doesn't take forever to get it done and is a nice guy to deal with. He hasn't done any refrets for me but probably will before long. I've got one I need to take in.
Precision Guitars is great. Great customer service, quality work and reasonable turnaround times.
BTW A friend had his Gibson fixed at Rainbow, just a rewiring job-loose solder joint, and within a week the pot was loose and the connection had broke. It cost him $45 at Rainbow and the work was shoddy. He's my brothers friend so I fixed it for him. I fix most their equipment for them now.
I've also never had any positive experiences with Beck's. The guy was a pain and the work was average. However he fixed my bro's amp, and it's still tickin. Depends on who you like I guess.
Guitar Work: Thad at Precision Guitars
Amp Work: Field Services
Both in Phoenix.
Guitar work: Thad at precision guitars
Amp work: Ye Auld Repair Shop on Indian School & 8th St.
I moved from NY to PHX and I needed a someone great to work on my guitars which are my pride and joy. After asking many professionals in the area, Mr. Beck's name came up frequently. I was told he could be a bit intense but that he was the best or the "only guitar repairman" that some of the folks I talked to would use. He refretted my Gibson and did the action work on my Fender. My guitars have never played better. I would recommend him whole heartedly to any serious musician.
Well, I had problems with both Beck and Precision when I lived in Phoenix. Beck was just a jerk when I went in to ask him about some work, so I never went back. Precision screwed up a conversion on a Strat from a locking nut to a regular one, the work was so amateurish I could have done better myself. It seems that with some of these guys if you are a well known player the head guy does the work, if you are a nobody off the street they hand it off to a trainee, which is what happened at Precision. It got so that I didn't know who to trust if I needed guitar work, so I learned to do most of it myself! I had good luck with Dennis (can't remember his last name) who used to work at Glendale Music, then he worked for Paul who had the little Bizarre Guitar Store (now closed, Paul has a shop in Cave Creek), and the last I heard he was at Guitar Electronics. Dennis did some warrantee work on a couple of Fenders for me, and both were good jobs. Good Luck!
Guitar Players beware of Rich Beck! Put your equipment and your sanity in the craftsman hands of Richard Beck at Becks guitar specialty services at your own peril!
Its been nearly a month since I first contacted Rich Beck for a bridge replacement and set up for my LH Washburn acoustic/electric. I supplied him with the new replacement bridge and strings. Though his estimate of time to complete and $$$ was nearly twice that of others I had received, I wanted him to do the work because I had read that he was da man in Phoenix for guitar repair. Unfortunately, I learned that he is da man for excuses, double-talk, and broken commitments.
He originally quoted two weeks for the repair stating that he was an artist and that he had many other more expensive guitars ahead of mine. Still, this didnt stop him from requiring a $ deposit AND the guitar to begin work in order to improve his cash flow. Our 3rd conversation, (the 1st since I had given him my guitar), came 9 days into the repair when I asked him how things were coming along. At that point he had yet to even begin work saying that he was out for 3 Full days because of food poisoning. Because of this, we would have to push the original completion day commitment back. I asked him if he would have it finished the following weekend and he said it should be done by then. 5 days later, I called for our 4th conversation (the 2nd since the repair began) and he still acted like he couldnt remember my name or which guitar was mine. When he finally did recall, he said that there was a problem with the pick-up because someone with little fu*kin Japanese hands had installed it originally (translation: he broke it) and he didnt have time to go shopping for another one. I asked him to complete the work to the best of his ability and we agreed that I would pick up the guitar the following Monday.
On Monday, I called late in the afternoon and left him a message to let him know we were on our way. When we showed up at the house he works out of in Tempe, it took him 5 minutes to answer the door because he was napping on the couch. He then hands me a RH Martin saying, heres your guitar. Dont get me wrong, Id love to have a Martin (if it was a lefty), but Im guessing the owner of that guitar might have had an issue with the switch. When he showed me my guitar, I would say we both lost our cool - if he ever had any to begin with. As it turns out, in roughly 3 weeks he had managed to glue the new bridge on, break the pick-up, remove the nut (it was taped on to the guitar), and lose the bridge pins. When I asked him for a return of my deposit, he said Fu*k you with the corresponding finger work and take me to court. In his defense, I was pretty hot at this point, but, in my experience with Rich Beck, I really cant say that this kind of poor attitude and extreme lack of customer service is outside of the norm for him.
The essence of my experience was this: Aside from being just plain unpleasant to work with, Rich Beck of Becks guitar specialty services is a waste of time, money and patience. If you have more of any of these resources than you know what to do with, then I would recommend him to you. If you dont
move on. His artistic craftsmanship and professionalism have proven to be a distant second to his fragile, propped-up Ego.
I may not currently have the money or relative fame I once had (or will have), but the music I make on my instrument is a critical outlet for me to work through the stress and embrace the joy in my life. If Rich Beck ever understood musicians, personal integrity, and the world outside of himself he would have remembered this. Sadly, he appears now only to look to himself without actually seeing the same.
Well, you were warned by several people in previous posts, I know that is no consolation but that guy is just not to be trusted IMO. I don't know how he stays in business, and he's been around for a LONG time. I'm very sorry for your experience, I've had similar experiences in the past with other "recommended" guitar techs in Phoenix and L.A., it seems if you are a known musician they do the work quickly and expertly, if you are a "nobody" many of them hand the work off to another person at the shop who may or may not know what they are doing. I've had this happen more than once, and it pissed me off. I care about my guitars as much as a bigshot guitarist, and I expect the same level of service that they get. This is the main reason I have learned to do a lot of the work myself, as many times I could have done a better job myself, and saved a lot of money. It's a sad fact of life, but I don't know what can be done about it. In each case I made my feelings known about the quality of the work they did, in one case they did the work over, but it still wasn't as good as it should have been.
You might want to consider suing the guy, he really should be called on this stuff.
There is a good guitar tech in Phoenix, his name is Dennis (I don't remember his last name). He used to work at Arizona Music in the old days, later he worked with Paul when he had the smaller Bizarre Guitars, and again at Paul's new store "Cave Creek Guitar" and other shops around Phoenix. Maybe someone here can tell you his last name, and where he is working now. He has done work for me and my brother also several times, and it always has been top-notch. Call Cave Creek Guitars and ask for Paul, see if Dennis still works at his shop or if he can tell you where Dennis is now, or if he has someone else he recommends. Paul is a standup guy, and has a great small shop that only carries first-rate guitars and many unique ones. Really nice too. Hopefully you can get your guitar fixed correctly. You can tell Paul that Alan Thompson referred you to him, he should remember me or my brother Jon. I have bought two or three guitars from him, and Jon has bought SEVERAL. He might remember Jon more than me, as it's been a few years since I lived in Phoenix. Both of us have hung out at his shop talking guitars and drinking beer.
Hope you get it fixed up, I know it is a real drag to have your guitar mangled by an incompetent tech.
I have had guitars messed up by three named folks in this thread. I know of all the folks mentioned in this thread. I recommend Chuck Cellino at Guitar Gallery, (Scottsdale and Shea). I brought him my Brothers D-28 & D-18 and he made it sound and play spectacular. Friends of mine were super pleased with his work. Also John Reuter of Roberto Venns.