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  #31  
Old 06-20-2019, 10:30 AM
Ed66 Ed66 is offline
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A lot of truth here ^^^^^

But to each his/her own. If you're not interested in trying or feel that you may only have 1 or 2 guitars that you might purchase in the future then by all means it makes sense to take it to a tech for setup. If you are interested and have the slightest technical proficiency with tools it's just not all that difficult.

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  #32  
Old 06-20-2019, 11:36 AM
619TF 619TF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninma View Post
You can never gain any technical ability in anything if you're afraid to try.

Tesla is a super ridiculous analogy cause no one is talking about $5000 worth of tools here, the tools are cheap and don't have any associated maintenance costs and take less space than a shoe box to store.

And there is nothing proprietary or secret about a guitar setup, unlike a Tesla. Tesla won't give you a manual, won't sell you parts, and will fight you tooth and nail if you try to have anyone but them touch your car. And a Tesla probably has 10,000x the # of parts a guitar has, and has many items that if not assembled correctly can kill you. Nothing you do to a guitar is life or death. (Meanwhile probably more of us *should* go ahead and learn to do some basic car maintenance.)

But the main point is if you're afraid to try you can't learn, and if you're in that boat you might want to be careful telling everyone else it's too hard to learn. This kind of attitude in general is why no one is handy at fixing anything anymore. Everyone thinks you have to be a professional with years of training to do anything and everyone should stay in their lane and only do whatever they went to school for.

Good thing the people who actually invented guitars and all the associated gear didn't have this attitude back in the day.

Stuff like angling the nut slot is no more difficult than holding a knife at the correct angle on a stone while you sharpen it. It's just not that hard to learn.

Also so many of us here have had bad experiences with techs. They don't warranty their work. 99% of them are not factory authorized to work on the guitar. They give you no guarantee of their work. 2 out of the 3 setups I paid for they never even bothered to touch the nut. A lot of places act like they're afraid to touch your guitar and try to talk you out of having them do anything. Mostly cause most of us can't tell them in plain language what they want and they're afraid they're going to change the setup and then we don't like it. And there aren't that many of them and a lot of us would have to drive a long way or ship guitars to have stuff done!
Well sure the Tesla analogy was a bit of a stretch. But so is saying someone should go out and buy a few hundred dollars worth of tools because their guitar is worth exponentially more than the tools cost. One is completely irrelevant to another and I used the Tesla as it was the first expensive car with technical equipment many couldn't mess with on their own that I could think of. Personally, I'm actually quite handy and do lots of stuff on my tech, guitars, cars and motorcycles. What I thought was an irrational statement was making a decision to buy tools based upon the value of the equipment they wish to fix. Also, considering a setup is about $75 to $100 and the time it'd take to learn how to do things right it's simply not worth it to get it done by anyone but a pro IMHO. All the pro guitar techs I know absolutely guarantee their work AND if they mess any part of the guitar up they'll replace it at THEIR expense. Sure people have had problems with pros too but if you look around and choose a good and reliable one and talk to them about what you expect and how likely it is that it'll be like that when they're done you can easily eliminate 99.9% of the problems and only benefit from their expertise. Maybe a better analogy for you would be that I'd do an oil change any day of the week but programming an ECU would cost time and money that simply wouldn't be worth it for me to get the results I'd want. There are simply certain things that are best left to a pro. I can pull my own rotted tooth but I'd never attempt a root canal either. YMMV.
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  #33  
Old 06-20-2019, 11:42 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninma View Post
But the main point is if you're afraid to try you can't learn, and if you're in that boat you might want to be careful telling everyone else it's too hard to learn.
That's a good point.

Quote:
Also so many of us here have had bad experiences with techs. They don't warranty their work.
Interesting. Except in extenuating circumstances, why would anyone have someone perform work that the person performing the work won't guarantee? Whether it is guitar repair, repairing the roof on your house or changing the oil in your car, why would you choose such a person to perform the work?

Part of that is on you/us for commissioning someone to do work that they won't stand behind. Part of that is on them for poor business practice. Reality is that there are people who offer good business practice and those that don't. You can chose to whom you send the work, one of the criteria of which should be the quality of their quarantee.

Quote:
99% of them are not factory authorized to work on the guitar.
I've been making and repairing guitars for 40 years. I am, purposely, not "factory authorized" by any manufacturer. It is a decision I made to not seek "certification" or "authorization" by any individual manufacturer. Having that certification doesn't guarantee anything in particular in terms of the quality of the work: some certified people do great work, some don't.


Quote:
2 out of the 3 setups I paid for they never even bothered to touch the nut....Mostly cause most of us can't tell them in plain language what they want and they're afraid they're going to change the setup and then we don't like it.
Well, that is a shared blame. Many guitar players know nothing about their instruments or what is involved in repairing them. They don't have to, but it is wise to be an educated consumer - and general information on guitar setup is readily available. A guitar setup involves, at minimum, inspecting/adjusting the neck relief, inspecting/adjusting the saddle and its height and inspecting and adjusting string height at the nut. It is easy to ask any perspective repair person what work they include in a "setup". If it doesn't include at least those things, go somewhere else. Now that we all know that, we should have eliminated that problem.

Any good repair person, ideally, will determine from discussion and/or watching someone play what setup parameters suit that player. It can be helpful if the player already knows what values he or she likes. This can be bringing in an instrument who's setup the player likes or can be providing specific measurements for specific parameters. Any reputable repair person will adjust the instrument after the player has tried it and found additional adjustment is needed.

Ideally, one should be an educated consumer. That doesn't necessarily mean that one learns to do the work oneself because one doesn't know how to tell who is capable of performing the work and who is not.
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  #34  
Old 06-20-2019, 11:43 AM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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I have a friend that is a luthier.
He is also a certified Martin repair tech.
I thought I knew how to set up a guitar.
My knowledge is a thimble full in an ocean.

Ive handed him guitars that were great to me.
Hes handed them back way better.

For me, have a pro do the first one.
If he or she is amenable...have them teach you.
But the first time...have a pro do it.
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  #35  
Old 06-20-2019, 01:28 PM
beninma beninma is offline
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I wasn't trying to throw anyone under the bus.

There are just plenty of people who have bad experiences trying to get guitar work done, it is a pretty PITA thing to go through.

Out on the internet there are always people with great experiences but in the real world in your local area it seems there are a lot fewer great techs/luthiers, they're all busy, and around here it feels like they treat you like you have to earn the right to get your guitar worked on with care.

It's just always hard to tell where different perspectives come from:

- Hobbyist who doesn't know how to do something, and says no one should try to learn it. It's hard and mysterious.

- Hobbyist who learned, and says to be careful

- Hobbyist who learned, and says go for it

- Professional who says here's how to go about learning

- Professional who says don't bother, leave it to us, it's hard and mysterious.

Not really a guitar thing, this is a general thing out on the internet across many areas, but it does feel like a lot of people want guitar setup to seem hard and mysterious.

You could have the same discussion about changing the oil in a vehicle. You'll have plenty of people who've never done an oil change and don't know you tell you it's really hard when it's really really easy. Do it wrong and you do a lot more damage than screwing up a guitar. But that still doesn't make it actually hard, especially when you have instructions.
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  #36  
Old 06-23-2019, 10:49 AM
Krash58 Krash58 is offline
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Default The first step !

Step 1 is knowing how an acoustic guitar works. Step 2 is taking measurements,(need to know where and why). Step 3 is research into the procedures to make the adjustments necessary, (in the correct order). Take your time and if you are not sure do not proceed until you are sure. Finally, if you arent comfortable doing this, take it to a qualified luthier.

Last edited by Krash58; 06-23-2019 at 11:32 AM.
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  #37  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:22 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Here's the Catch 22.

Most guitar players play instruments that are poorly setup and most of those players don't know the difference. Many players decide they want to learn to do their own setups, but don't know what a really good setup is as they have never had one. So, they do their own setups producing an "okay" setup, rather than a really good one. Once they have done a few, they start doing them for other people, most of whom also have no experience with a really good setup. Some go on to get a job doing setups at a local store, Guitar Center or otherwise. And, the circle is complete. A lot of the advice given on this forum regarding setup and adjustment is by such folks. (No, just 'cause you can, doesn't mean you should adjust the truss rod as a first line of defence against any playing malady.)

If one has the desire to do so, and is willing to acquire the tools and experience to do so, I'm all for people doing their own setups. However, as Dirty Harry said, "A man has got to know his limitations".
Im glad this was posted.
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  #38  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:35 AM
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TBman TBman is offline
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I bought a set of nut files and a fret rocker. I took it slow, practiced on a couple of beaters first, then did my better guitars. The only guitar I didn't have to touch was my Avalon as John at Shoreline had it set up for finger style for me before he shipped the guitar.
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  #39  
Old 06-23-2019, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
Here's the Catch 22.

Most guitar players play instruments that are poorly setup and most of those players don't know the difference. Many players decide they want to learn to do their own setups, but don't know what a really good setup is as they have never had one. So, they do their own setups producing an "okay" setup, rather than a really good one. Once they have done a few, they start doing them for other people, most of whom also have no experience with a really good setup. Some go on to get a job doing setups at a local store, Guitar Center or otherwise. And, the circle is complete. A lot of the advice given on this forum regarding setup and adjustment is by such folks. (No, just 'cause you can, doesn't mean you should adjust the truss rod as a first line of defence against any playing malady.)

If one has the desire to do so, and is willing to acquire the tools and experience to do so, I'm all for people doing their own setups. However, as Dirty Harry said, "A man has got to know his limitations".
Perfecto....
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  #40  
Old 06-23-2019, 01:39 PM
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noledog noledog is offline
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As a working musician I sorta had to learn on my own how to work on my guitars >>>$$$ ...So early on I did some Frankenstein style work on some early cheap guitars that helped in learning to set up guitars to my liking... I still do it and fellow working musician friends who don't know how like me to work on their guitars. I enjoy it and do it for free.
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  #41  
Old 06-23-2019, 02:02 PM
AcousticWoody AcousticWoody is offline
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I had my first one done years ago by a professional that let me watch. In my opinion, it isn't that hard and has saved me a lot of money learning to do it myself.

To be transparent, I have extensive education and experience in detailed technical work.
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