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Old 08-20-2010, 12:18 PM
32Ford 32Ford is offline
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Default Learning to do a set-up

What would be the easiest (if possible) way for me to learn to set up an acoustic guitar?
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Old 08-21-2010, 02:16 AM
martinedwards martinedwards is offline
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EASIEST way is to get a pro and watch his every move for about 6 months.....

REALISTIC........ go to and read EVERYTHING!!
Originally Posted by Rick Turner
Pay attention to what Martin said
I LOVE that guy!!!!!!
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:51 AM
Misty44 Misty44 is offline
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As you know, properly setting the nut action, neck relief, and saddle action makes a world of difference in playability.

And, yes, the best way to learn is to observe a skilled tech or builder perform one. I did this years ago and have subsequently set up all of my guitars (and routinely check them). The luthier I went to also taught me how to slot and ream the bridge, another technique I've since used. But you can also learn set-up's from good sources like the ones listed below. It is a valuable skill to have.

The Frank Ford site is a rich and deep mine of what-for's and how-to's about guitar set ups, maintenance, repair, and building, with links to his repair blogs and luthiers' forum. One could spend days engrossed in his teachings, and we are fortunate for his sharing his knowledge with us.

Here specifically is the vein on set-up's: Scroll down to the section on Instrument Setup.

Another good source is from builder/modifier extraordinaire Bryan Kimsey:
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:42 AM
arie arie is offline
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I'd probably watch more then one set up tech at work. Just looking at one person for six months might lead you to pick up someone's bad habits.

Buy a piece of junk guitar from a yard sale, pawn shop, thrift store etc.. and practice on it. And don't forget this guy:,_p...air_Guide.html
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:54 PM
geordie geordie is offline
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yeah the gut's advice above is good, there's lodsa info out there, try it out on cheaper "beaters" till ya' get a feel for it, it can be finicky and takes time not overly difficult and well worth learning, you gain friends to,
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:00 AM
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Compurocker Compurocker is offline
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Read everything you can get your hands on and practice! Frets .com is a great resource as are various Luthier Forums and this forum! It is not Rocket Science. Start out on some junked Acoustic Guitars if possible. You do not have to have Stew Mac Tools you can go to someone like Harbor Freight and save a bundle. Here: Get some Nut and Saddle Blanks in various materials-Corian, Plastic, Tusq, Bone etc. Even one throwaway Acoustic will accommodate you for lot's of practice. Good Luck! I think every Guitarist should be able to do their own basic maintenance. Tools pay for themselves. If you get good at it who could set up your Guitar for you better than you! Often times a nice Guitar will come setup spot on but less expensive Guitars less often.

It's the Music That Really Matters!
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