Are you nervous leaving your guitar with a tech?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by haggardfan1, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree, unless of course the time factor is stated up front. Then you have a choice to leave the guitar or not.

    My tech does all work by appointment. If it's basic stuff - setups, fret dresses, nuts, electronics - he does it all while you wait, right in front of you, on a makeshift workbench that looks like it's seen decades of service. He has a 2000 sq ft shop in the back, where's he got some nice old cast iron woodworking machinery, buffing station, spray booth, etc.

    He explained that it can be isolating working alone all the time, and he enjoys the personal interaction. Also, many people drive over an hour to see him, and he'd rather not force them to make two trips.

    When he took weeks to do the frets on my 335, I knew that in advance. For that job, that guitar, I was much more interested in perfection than speed.
     
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  2. cwinn

    cwinn TDPRI Member

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    Thank you for your insight.
     
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  3. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I really don't understand why people want to wait for their stuff as long as sometimes mentioned in here...
    Moose , I hear what you are saying about preferring quality over speed , but why should he take longer to do a good job than an average one , seriously ?
    I know it can be on-of , but more than a day extra??
    Would you accept this with your car ?
    I usually work on my cars myself , but I have a habit these days of having a new car every few years , and can't do any service or repairs for the first two years.
    I get an appointment , show up , and the car is ready on the dot. Sure , there can be complicated work , and you might have to bring the car around an extra time or two. Even when I was a mechanic in the eighties , we never had any vehicles just standing there for days , weeks or months.....I don't get it , and would never accept it myself...
     
  4. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    cwinn , you are welcome
    Edit : I probably should behave. Sorry for calling anyone anything , but please explain why you think anyone should have your gear at their place for work that takes a few hours at most...... for days , weeks or even months ??
    Edit 2 : I watched a YouTube video a couple of days ago , one of the guitar techs with many followers , had to wait till the next day because he didn't have any strings..... come on , these guys can't have the most common sizes in stock , apart from some weird stuff that a few customers demand. ??
    I have seen the same person delay work because he had to " order parts "
    I can certainly understand that they cant have saddles or tailpieces for every obscure guitar out there , but would it kill the guy to have a 3 way/5way switch and a few 250/500k pots in stock ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  5. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the quality of the work justifies it, I see no issue and no reason to look down on people who see the value in another person's talents/abilities/craft.

    Bill does work I couldn't do myself at a level of quality that far surpasses what I believe anybody else around here could provide. And, I trust him. Those three things together add up to: I don't mind waiting.

    Does that help clarify?
     
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  6. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    Allright , Ill go and take my nap now !
    Carry on !
     
  7. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Why does it take longer to do a tricky job, with guaranteed perfect results, with one aspect being something you've never done before; than to do a simple, familiar job to normal tolerances? Really?
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Well now I'm curious about Denmark!
    Are there guitar repair shops every few blocks with techs sitting idle just waiting for a guitar to fix?
    And is every tech a reliable and trustworthy well trained luthier, thus none get more business than others because none have bad reps for screwing up guitars?

    I can certainly imagine that some countries and cultures have a different craftsperson ethic, like the fabled "European cabinetmaker" who apprenticed from the age of 10 and got certified at 30.

    Maybe we have lower standards in America?
    Or maybe we have a different ethic about crafts and hand skills, where a man is expected to be able to fix stuff, and would be shamed for being unhandy?
    We certainly presume that women cannot do construction work or soldiering, yet that is slowly changing.

    Whatever the reasons, it's certain that guitars get butchered and botched regularly, by both hobby modders and "techs" alike.
    Maybe there are just too damn many guitars in the US for the techs to keep up with.
    Just the sheer number of barely playable guitars that get sold at GCs around the country would require a good size army of techs to keep up with.
    Especially since the Squier fans claim that they are great after a level and crown.

    Shame on Fender and GC for selling barely playable guitars.
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I totally agree and can verify that doing fretwork (or any work) on a cheap guitar is faster than on an expensive guitar, because more provisions are required to protect the valuable instrument, rather than simply counting on not slipping with a tool.
     
  10. cwinn

    cwinn TDPRI Member

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    A car is made of metal. Guitars are (predominantly) wood. Wood shifts & flexes when tension or pressure is applied to it. Sometimes wood "shifts" or "settles in" after tension has been applied. Those changes need to be addressed before returning the instrument to the customer. Sometimes, that takes time.

    I agree that weeks/months can be a bit long to wait for an instrument. However, if it is worth waiting for, then it is not an issue.

    There is a triangle in business. GOOD/FAST/CHEAP. Pick two.
     
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  11. swany

    swany Tele-Meister

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    Drum City Guitarland, their tech's name is Ross. They used to be an authorized Fender dealer, I don't think they are anymore. He suffers from a little arthritis so now he sends his fret work out to another shop, but I'm sure if he sends it there they do great work. He still does the electronic stuff, 4 way switches, pickups etc. and setups. The pricing is very fair, ($25 for a 4 way switch). The whole staff is friendly and professional.
     
  12. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'm not worried about the tech as much as I am worried about their lax security although I did send an amp out for a filter cap replacement once and it came back with a blown speaker and all I got was "oh well, it must have been ready to go anyway". There does seem to be a lack of accountability if something does get stolen or damaged while in the shop and that's what worries me the most.
     
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  13. tele_pathic

    tele_pathic Friend of Leo's

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    If I was apprehensive about dropping my guitar off at a guitar tech, I wouldn't drop it off at that tech.
     
  14. Hey_you

    Hey_you TDPRI Member

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    Got my Nashville Deluxe back couple days ago.Had tuners/7-way switch ug's. I had to take everything that was done apart and piece it together properly.Hadn't got a call back from the "Lutheir". I can forgive that, BUT ... I just noticed my 1st ding in the body. That can never go away.See it everytime I look down. :( :cry:
     
  15. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Meister

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    nah, they know I'd come after them charles bronson style if they damaged it.
     
  16. chet again

    chet again Tele-Holic

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    If things get to that point...no.
     
  17. Blue

    Blue Tele-Holic

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    I've seen one or two "guitar techs" on you tube that should never be working on guitars.
     
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  18. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's

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    No, I've only left guitars (and amps for that matter) at techs who have a very good reputation.
     
  19. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Thanks to guidance on TDPRI, I now do my own setups, assemblies, fret levels, etc., so I haven't used the luthier a block away for a few years now. But when he was doing setups & fret leveling for me, the only anxiety was the week-long wait, as he is always busy and you have to get in line. He's one of the best there is and I know he won't do anything crazy.

    Last time I went in with my PRS for a fresh setup, he examined it for about ten seconds and said "This doesn't need a setup" and sent me on my way. He was right; his last setup essentially hadn't changed (in three years!—I credit PRS), I was just imagining things and didn't know better.

    A less scrupulous/less skilled "tech" might have taken the guitar overnight, turned the truss rod a little and turned it back again, maybe checked the intonation, and charged $60.
     
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  20. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was lazy about 8 years ago and paid a guy to do a setup on a new strat i'd put together. It was a waste of money as the WD neck I had used was thicker at the heel which I hadn't picked up on when assembling. I wanted a very low action and he couldn't achieve that, told me he would need to do a fret level for another $200 bucks.
    When I got it home I checked everything over myself and reaslised the neck was out of spec so I pulled it off, ordered a new Allparts neck and got it playing great myself.

    While he had it for a couple days I did worry about what would happen if his small shop in the dodgy part of town got broken into.
     
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