Why so down on guitar techs?

-TJ-

Member
Messages
244
Seems to me on this forum, everyone visits their "luthier", or recommends people go see a "luthier" for basic set up and maintenance issues.

Is this the same thing as janitor = sanitation engineer or have we completely devalued the guitar tech that we need to go to an actual luthier/builder for our most basic issues. The only time I've ever gone to a luthier was for a custom build, an acoustic neck reset. and a partscaster assembly that needed more routing and lots of set up to get it how I want....

New nut, bit of fretwork, minor wiring... if I didn't do it myself, lots of local "lowly" techs could handle it just fine.

/end rant :wave
 

FattRaxx

Member
Messages
192
Well, adjustments can be done by me, but repairs go to a luthier.

Luthiers get the hate, because they have a rep for taking their sweet time with repairs (months).

However, if you need a refret or whatever, you'll need their service... simple as that.
 

tiktok

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
23,049
To me, a luthier is someone who builds guitars. They may also do repairs, which I think of as "tech work". Most of the people who've worked on my guitars are definitely spending the overwhelming amount of their work time doing tech work on guitars that were built by someone else, and they're not even trying to push their own designs, if any.

I worked with one guy who was a luthier, he made all the wood parts of the guitar in his own shop, to his own designs, but even he did a good chunk of tech and set up work, because unless you're John Monteleone or someone, it's hard to have a full-time gig making your own designs.
 

natmiss

Member
Messages
1,383
Well, adjustments can be done by me, but repairs go to a luthier.

Luthiers get the hate, because they have a rep for taking their sweet time with repairs (months).

However, if you need a refret or whatever, you'll need their service... simple as that.
I worked in the music store business for 30+ years. The reason it takes so long is there's forty guitars in front of you.
 

stevieboy

Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
37,951
The line between a luthier and tech is very blurry; people have their own definitions. Suggesting that people consult a luthier is not in any way a slam on techs.
Various dictionaries have various definitions, some reserve the word luthier for builders, others include those who work on guitars.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,803
I am convinced that not everybody --not many?-- genuinely know what a luthier is, in fact. I make this conjecture because I was one of them decades back.

Let's face it: folks like nice-sounding titles, and seeing a "luthier" sound cooler than seeing a "tech." Seriously, and not demeaning to guitar techs because there are many who are akin to guitar magicians, and not one of them are "credentialed" luthiers. I do not believe there is any real derision toward guitar techs. It's more that folks simply think "luthier" is just the better word --or guy-- to use.

Edward
 

FattRaxx

Member
Messages
192
I worked in the music store business for 30+ years. The reason it takes so long is there's forty guitars in front of you.
Yep, I worked in music retail, for aeons... I know how it works. :D

However, most luthiers really make you wait. As a rule of thumb.

Anyway, most stores don't have luthiers. They have sales staff that can do minor repairs.

Some stores will subcontract a luthier or good tech, but rarely employ one outright.
 

Jayyj

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,136
I hate the word luthier - I reluctantly use it as a hashtag on IG for my repair and build posts, but to me a luthier is someone who makes lutes, not does set ups on guitars. It just seems really pretentious. Most people I know who actually make guitars or violins just call themselves instrument makers.

My old guitar making tutor actually did make lutes, and even he wasn't a massive fan of the term.
 

Rocco Crocco

Member
Messages
1,705
Both "luthiers" i have used to get work done did not have the work completed in the promised timeframe.... both took considerably longer than what was promised. Both had the attitude that I was lucky they took on my project.

Screw both of them.

My local tech is always close to the promised timeframe.
 

tinverse

Member
Messages
203
To me it depends on a few things.

I would consider a luthier to be someone who actually builds instruments and is capable of fixing literally any issue do to that expertise. The word means someone who builds stringed instruments. I mean from scratch, not buying bodies, necks, and the other parts before assembling them. I would expect longer wait times from a luthier but a higher level of expertise.

A guitar tech I would expect to be an expert at fixing more common issues and making adjustments to make the guitar play better. I expect them to keep to a schedule and give me a reasonable estimate.

For something like a truss rod issue or a refret I would go to a luthier. For an electronics issue, a fret dressing, or a finish issue I would probably go to a guitar tech because it costs less. There is a bit of overlap where I would trust a good guitar tech to cut a new nut, but not a bad one. So I would probably go to a luthier for that.
 

natmiss

Member
Messages
1,383
Yep, I worked in music retail, for aeons... I know how it works. :D

However, most luthiers really make you wait. As a rule of thumb.

Anyway, most stores don't have luthiers. They have sales staff that can do minor repairs.

Some stores will subcontract a luthier or good tech, but rarely employ one outright.
The store I worked for ( I' m now retired) had an excellent tech full time. He's still there. Quite a luxury. He'd also work on my guitars in exchange for buying him lunch!
 

Paleolith54

Member
Messages
3,371
Seems to me on this forum, everyone visits their "luthier", or recommends people go see a "luthier" for basic set up and maintenance issues.

Is this the same thing as janitor = sanitation engineer or have we completely devalued the guitar tech that we need to go to an actual luthier/builder for our most basic issues. The only time I've ever gone to a luthier was for a custom build, an acoustic neck reset. and a partscaster assembly that needed more routing and lots of set up to get it how I want....

New nut, bit of fretwork, minor wiring... if I didn't do it myself, lots of local "lowly" techs could handle it just fine.

/end rant :wave
People use words they don't know the meaning of.
 




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