Seattle guitar shops for setups - Rant

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viper jazz

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I can't recommend SouthSound guitars in Tacoma enough. (yes, I know that's not in the city proper but Jeff, the proprietor there, used to work for Mike Lull for a long while as well as Dusty Strings and made me a guitar a while back.)
 

Danny D

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If the OP thinks that driving the 10 or less miles across the 520 bridge or I-90 bridges from Seattle to Bellevue is too much of a hassle, Portland at 130 miles might as well be the moon.
Then New Orleans, since the demise of Jimmy Foster, is the barren outback in terms of quality guitar shops.

Hey NOLA dudes, tell me, who are the top shelf luthiers now? Ghosts on the north shore that don't return phone calls?

The best in south Louisiana,
Gerard Richard Melancon (1961 - 2019), is gone.
 

Danny D

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If the OP thinks that driving the 10 or less miles across the 520 bridge or I-90 bridges from Seattle to Bellevue is too much of a hassle, Portland at 130 miles might as well be the moon.
The OP might not be a DP, which if that's the case, could be a BP. An ODD could have ADD, which could lead to FTW.
 

Danny D

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While the OP may have to travel 520 or I-90, I have the sneaking suspicion that you're in the express lane of 420 right now.
Nice quip! As long as the tolls in the express lane don't put me in the depressed lane, I'll drive in a manner that keeps me alive.
 

johnnyb128

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So many replies in this thread are ridiculous. The OP wants to do business with someone who is on top of their stuff enough to be able to answer emails in the 21st century while running other aspects of their business. Nobody cares if you like to call stores, go in in person, or whatever. Additionally, nobody cares if you like to do your own setup work or whatever. The OP is at a point in their life where they want to pay for the work.

Sheesh
Yes yes, he wants, no sir, he DEMANDS his email answered, and it better be post-haste! That’s not enough though, because when it’s not answered a month later he goes on a forum to bitch and complain he didn’t get a “written estimate” (as if that means something on an $80 job), responds here and there, even posts his “email” that was never answered. Lotta effort!

He coulda just called right? But hey, you be you and demand your emails answered too...everyone else will just get on with their lives.
 

tycobb73

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What's this"take" you speak of? My guy picks up and delivers.

Can't do it myself due to blindness.

Bought a lull bass from lull's freind. Best set up ever.
 

Calebz

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1,538
I think we have the answer here. I was born in Seattle and have been in the area my whole life, but I make it a point to never enter the city limits anymore unless I absolutely have to, so I'm not familiar with the stores mentioned. If they are indeed upper-tier businesses, they're probably not going to be much interested in people price shopping for a basic setup as they already have enough high dollar work coming in to make the nickel & dime stuff more hassle than it's worth. If that is the case, no response would indeed actually be the response they intended to send.
That's what it looks like to me as well.


Side note - I grew up in Tacoma and used Guitar Maniacs for a long time. I moved to Texas, then out of the country. I was a little bit (pleasantly) surprised to recently learn Rick is still in business.
 

T92780

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Hmmmm.... I'll guess Thunder Road Guitars.

PS a poll wouldve been nice:)
 

No_Stairway

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Why not head up north $75 setup at Tommy's in Everett (can't say for the saddle) check out some classic fender amps and new Mesas
 

SteveO

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That's what it looks like to me as well.


Side note - I grew up in Tacoma and used Guitar Maniacs for a long time. I moved to Texas, then out of the country. I was a little bit (pleasantly) surprised to recently learn Rick is still in business.
My friend Evan Groom used to teach out of there.
 

Meriphew

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OP, did you contact Mike & Mike's?
No - but thx for the recommendation.
I think they're tech has been on vacation ( I communicated with them the other day) and will be back tomorrow so there might be a little back up. Let us know what you think. I'm going to take one of mine there as well. Another good shop for set ups is Emerald City. They're just harder for me to get to.
ECG is one of the shops I emailed. I've used them before, but no answer/response.

@Meriphew - 20 year local guy as well. Trying to give you some constructive feedback, not the TGP typical failed alpha male beat down attempt. First, the chorus of voices in this thread are right. You're reaching out to the top tier "Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus" level shops of the area with a terse anonymous email that clearly communicates that you're price shopping. Low bids aren't the shops that you've listed business (especially during the busy holiday season and with NAMM coming up- remember shops like Lull's is a builder as well). Their non response is actually a very clear response (in true Seattle passive aggressive fashion) that they don't want this type of business. As other have said, this one is on you, own it and grow from it. Second, since you've decided on Thunder Road, if you're going by car, the local smash and grab thieves are well aware that Thunder Road brings people into the area with gear in their cars. Be very thoughtful and aware that people in the surrounding area may be casing you and your vehicle as you load and unload (assuming you drive rather than Uber).
I've used Lull for many many years, and I've always received prompt responses, and prompt service from him - and I would def consider his shop as top tier.

And how's that working out for you? Yeah...
It worked fine - Thunder Road responded promptly and I'm taking my guitar in to them.
For what it is worth. I just saw this thread and checked a couple of our company email addresses. I did not see anything from you.

Anyhow a set up with new saddles installed $75 plus parts.

Direct to me
360.301.5586
James@seattleguitarstore.com

We are about 2 weeks backed up currently.
Thx for the info James. Your shop is one of the shops I tried to contact (via your online contact form). Perhaps there was a glitch with your site, or maybe the msg wasn't forwarded to your tech.
 

Urobouros

Double Platinum Member
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I've had setups done at Thunder Road and they're great. My usual shop is Emerald City and they do 95% of the work on my collection. I'm not surprised they didn't respond to a needless question. It's about a 7-10 day turn around on most work and I've never had any complaints. If you want to know something that isn't already answered I'm sure they'll get back to you in a couple days.

This is a hobby for me & I have a large collection so having one or two in the shop for a little bit isn't a problem. I like that Tyler & Liz are so good that they're constantly busy. I like that they're concentrating on guitars and making sure everything's right rather than worrying about emails. I honestly get the OP's perspective but, similar to tattoo artists, I pick my tech based on their work and everything else becomes less relevant the better guitars feel & sound when I get them back :D
 

Meriphew

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7,422
I have a large collection so having one or two in the shop for a little bit isn't a problem. I like that Tyler & Liz are so good that they're constantly busy. I like that they're concentrating on guitars and making sure everything's right rather than worrying about emails. I honestly get the OP's perspective but, similar to tattoo artists, I pick my tech based on their work and everything else becomes less relevant the better guitars feel & sound when I get them back :D
I've got a lot of guitars as well, so it's not a big deal for me if it takes a little bit for a tech to turn it around. I agree that a great tech is first and foremost, but there are several shops in town that have great techs.
 

70 Mach 1

Silver Supporting Member
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5,105
let me get this straight.
you want a written estimate for a set up.?
if i was the shop i wouldnt take the job

Im saying its just a common thing that goes without saying or worry

a set up includes certain basic aspects. not nut replacement, fret dressing, pot or or pup changes or anything more youll need to worry about,

if it needs anything more any shop is going to give you a call with the bad news b4 he goes any further on it.

its like taking your car in for tires, dont expect a brake job or alignment to be done automatically without them calling

besides by the time you take it across town you can be done with it yourself :)
 

JeffK

Gold Supporting Member
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3,001
I can't recommend SouthSound guitars in Tacoma enough. (yes, I know that's not in the city proper but Jeff, the proprietor there, used to work for Mike Lull for a long while as well as Dusty Strings and made me a guitar a while back.)
Tagging this for future reference. Thanks.
 
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