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People expecting a guitar to arrive perfectly setup

JDthaddeus

There are no answers, only better questions
Messages
726
People order guitars through the mail and most of the time they complain about the setup.

The problem is that setup was done halfway around the world or at least in a completely different climate. The odds of your guitar showing up perfectly set up for your climate are very very VERY VERY slim. It's practically an impossible expectation except by sheer luck.

Heck, I can walk out of my air conditioned house into my garage and have to adjust my truss rod. The guitar only moved like 40 ft and needed a new setup. So I don't know what makes people think they can order a guitar in the mail and it's going to show up in a box with perfect setup.

I just felt the need to get that off my chest. Thank you for listening.
 

JDthaddeus

There are no answers, only better questions
Messages
726
PS- have you ever thought about the fact that if a store actually set up a guitar with perfect action, there would literally be a 50/50 chance that you're going to get fret buzz when it shows up?

The action is going to change up or down with a climate change so there's a 50-50 chance you're going to end up with a bunch of buzzing frets if they set the action low. Therefore it behooves a store to set up guitars with high action so at least nobody calls and yells at them about the bad fret job.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
11,202
Every PRS I bought online from Sweetwater and elsewhere arrived set up perfectly. I didn't need to adjust a single thing. :huh

I know what you mean, though. A good setup is not a cursory step; one should never expect that the retailer of the guitar will feel obligated to send it to you with a beautiful setup.
 

diogoguitar

Member
Messages
455
Isn't there a happy middle on this?

Like, a basic setup so it's 60%-70% done then the owner only does minor adjustments?

Let me elaborate.. It's fine that temperature changes can make wood move to require a truss rod adjustment. But bridge action doesn't change that much. For example, my Les Paul came with a 16" radius on the fretboard, but the bridge came at 12". Any reasonable tech would have set it up for 16" at the bridge.
 

Capstan Philips

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,500
Every PRS I bought online from Sweetwater and elsewhere arrived set up perfectly. I didn't need to adjust a single thing. :huh
Only guitar I've received in recent times that I felt didn't require even moderate adjustment was a PRS Core model.

Personal preference is a factor I suppose, but I'm always bemused to take delivery of a traditional-style Gibson guitar whose strings have been slammed to within 1mm of the top of the 12th fret...
 
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sgguitarzz

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,415
I have gotten some guitars setup well and others not so well. Almost regardless I bring any guitar I get to the tech I use. To me it is worth every penny to have a guitar I just invested good money into setup and playing the way I like.
 

diogoguitar

Member
Messages
455
Only guitar I've received in recent times that I felt didn't require even moderate adjustment was a PRS Core model.

Personal preference is a factor I suppose, but I'm always bemused to take delivery of a traditional-style Gibson guitar whose strings have been slammed to within 1mm of the top of the 12th fret...
^^ what he said

also, when I got my Suhr, it was playable just like that. I tuned the strings, and the guitar was gig ready. Same thing for my ibanez MIJ
 

seward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,388
I consider myself to be very lucky when a guitar arrives and it's already dialed in. I don't really expect much more from retailers than a confirmation that there are no significant cosmetic issues. I got a few lower-end Gibsons recently that were quite playable when they arrived, and I consider that to be akin to winning the lottery - an anomalous event that I'll be talking about years from now.

Man, I just wish I was better at doing my own setups. I enjoy the process, and the things that you learn that you can only learn if you do it yourself, but...well I'm still learning.
 

JDthaddeus

There are no answers, only better questions
Messages
726
Thank you TGP for allowing me to rant about a silly topic like that, with like-minded people. I was almost expecting to get made fun of. But you guys get it.


Man, I just wish I was better at doing my own setups. I enjoy the process, and the things that you learn that you can only learn if you do it yourself, but...well I'm still learning.
I can agree with that. I think do a pretty darn good setup down to every little detail. But the reality is I'm not a tech and I'm not luthier And I'm not going to pretend like I can do as good a job as a professional. I'm on the list to get a professional setup for my PRS S2 that I use on stage. But the tech is backlogged through March. I guess that's the problem with finding a good luthier, He's booked for months in advance lol.
 

mike-t

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
279
I don't mind bad setups but I do get annoyed by sharp frets.

I sold a guitar once in February that travelled from Wisconsin to Hawaii and the guy complained about the strings buzzing. I explained that it would have been impossible to send him a guitar from here to there that played properly upon arrival.
 

brobar

Member
Messages
560
When I started acquiring more guitars I took it upon myself to learn how to do my own setups. Every new guitar I would purchase I would take to my local luthier (he actually wasn't local... more like 45 minutes away... but he set them up for me perfectly every time). But then I was buying guitars quite often and that 45 minute drive (each way) plus the cost of a setup was quickly becoming a waste of time and money. So I took the time to watch some videos, read some articles, log what (to me) is a perfect setup, and practice setting up my own to those specs. Now when a new or used guitar comes in, even if it feels "pretty good" I go through my process to get it perfect every time. I know not everyone wants to do their own setups so they just barter and/or pay someone else to do it. But I feel like it was the right thing for me to learn how to do. So every guitar that enters the house, no matter if it comes from 2 miles away or 2,000 miles away, gets a proper setup by me. I've had some arrive dang close, but not close enough. A few quick tweaks can make it perfect.
 




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