General weirdness at my local shop

Killing Floor

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Every player should know how to make a few basic adjustments.

Also guitar store employees are no different than anyone else. If you’re not happy with the level of service go to a better shop.

Of course I’m speaking from a place teeming with great music stores and skilled luthiers and techs. So if you don’t have options learn to do some of the simple things yourself.
 

Killing Floor

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Yeah I’m hesitant to mess something up, which is why I haven’t attempted yet, but this may just be the impetus that gets me learning.
I’m not so comfortable with finer tool work. I’m glad to pay someone to cut a nut or more advanced fret work.

But the good news is you can’t mess up anything on your bridge or even your truss unless you go nuts. But half or quarter turns fix most issues. Height and intonation adjustments are all reversible. Don’t be afraid to try. Everyone starts out there.
 

MickM

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If you have your strings playing the same note open and at the 12th fret your guitar will still not play in tune until the nut slots are the correct depth. Too deep and you'll have a buzz box. Too shallow and your notes/bar chords and cowboy chords will likely be sharp.
Drove me nuts 'till I figured this out. Gotta' check notes and chords at different positions on the neck.
 

8bit

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Honestly service across the board across most industries seems to have taken a distinct nosedive since covid. I don't know if people just got lazy and stopped giving a crap or what. But I'm constantly shocked at how unprofessional so many businesses/employees I encounter these past few years are.
 

BFcaster

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@DavidP lol, I started doing my fretwork just because I'm 'crafty' and figured what the heck? I've done 5 re-frets, and multiple fret-fixes (high frets and fret-sprout). Done maybe 10 nuts. I am due for some dental surgery in December and plan on de-fretting my (first real guitar) 1990 Squier II with very wide jumbos for something more vintage...for playability and for something to do, lol(!).
I even did a neck reset on my Les Paul a few years ago. It wasn't at the correct angle...it is now, and plays like a dream! THAT was a project, but I figured "it's mine, I own it, and actually I made it, so what have I got to really lose??". I'll stand that Les Paul beside any factory Gibson. I'll die on that hill.
Built 2008, de-necked 10-12-2019- (color is a bit off)
neck_removed10-12-2019_4.jpg

This past fall of 2022-
IMG_0727.jpg

My favorite refret was a 1969 CBS-era Strat.
 
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burtonfan

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1. Everything is weird, its 2022.
2. Find a new shop, their service or lack thereof is unacceptable, or...
3. Learn to do your own set ups.

I've had the same experience over the years. I went so far as to enroll in formal instrument repair training for a year. I've been doing all my own work for the last 28 years and couldn't be happier!
 

RhythmFender

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Well they both seem to be mostly ok. Tenor sounds good though maybe not perfect.

Tele sounds good but now has some fret buzz on the low E when fretting high.

Couple of questions if anyone has time to answer:

1. If I raise that low e string action some myself to get rid of that buzz will it mess up the intonation on that and/or other strings?

2. Can a setup be done with a clip-on tuner or does it need to be a nice fancy chromatic pedal tuner?
 

sax4blues

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The best turnarounds and work I've had on setups were from people I know personally.

D.H.
I’ve been on the wrong end of this when I don’t know anyone, new to town and hobby player. So the people with relationships move to front of the line. I understand it, but it’s not pleasing.
 

SRHmusic

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Well they both seem to be mostly ok. Tenor sounds good though maybe not perfect.

Tele sounds good but now has some fret buzz on the low E when fretting high.

Couple of questions if anyone has time to answer:

1. If I raise that low e string action some myself to get rid of that buzz will it mess up the intonation on that and/or other strings?

2. Can a setup be done with a clip-on tuner or does it need to be a nice fancy chromatic pedal tuner?
A quick setup will go fine with any reasonably accurate tuner assuming you are going for standard tuning.

Remember to slacken the string tension before making saddle adjustments (height or intonation, can be 1 string at a time) or truss rod adjustments (all strings). Then retune to the correct pitch before releasing. Also be sure you have quality tools (Allen/hex keys, screwdrivers) of the correct size. It's easy to strip or round off the slots or holes in bridge screws, and you really don't want to cause issues with the truss rod.
 

kuch

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Well they both seem to be mostly ok. Tenor sounds good though maybe not perfect.

Tele sounds good but now has some fret buzz on the low E when fretting high.

Couple of questions if anyone has time to answer:

1. If I raise that low e string action some myself to get rid of that buzz will it mess up the intonation on that and/or other strings?

2. Can a setup be done with a clip-on tuner or does it need to be a nice fancy chromatic pedal tuner?
anytime you raise a saddle, you need to intonate that string again
a clip on tuner should work well enough for intonation
 

KokoTele

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Back to your original questions:

Including a setup in the purchase of a guitar is standard-ish, emphasis on the ish. Few stores have a really good setup person. And the only proprietors that are regularly flakier and more dishonest than music store owners are bar owners. So getting what was agreed to and what you want can be a challenge. (Just like bars, there are great establishments with great owners who follow through. But they are not the norm.)

So, whether you actually get a good setup done in a reasonable time when you buy a guitar is kind of a crap shoot. It's not worth investing any emotional energy over it.

If it's a new guitar with high or low frets, it's really a manufacturing defect or warranty issue. A shop may want to treat it that way instead of just giving you a fret job for free. It's not unreasonable of them, though they *should* be open about it. But see the 1st paragraph.

Intonation is an entirely different bag of worms, and is far more complex than simply making the 12th fret note be exactly one octave above the open string. Most techs (and internet pundits) get that wrong. There's a reason why pro piano tuners don't use electronic devices to help and why the octave notes are not exactly an octave apart. Hopefully, the setup will include intonation to the point that chords up and down the neck sound equally out of tune :)
 

kookaburra

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There is a book from Stew Mac, Hot to Make your Guitar Play Great. By Dan Eatlwine. Read it, live it.
This. I picked up this book because I was moving to a place where I had no idea who, if anyone, was doing guitar tech work closer than a major city that was an hour or more distant, depending on mode of transport.

I ended up learning to do everything short of fretwork via the Erlewine book. That means I haven’t had to go to a shop for a tech’s services in years. I also do my own pickup swaps. Along the way I’ve found that I enjoy doing all this…bonus!

Now, fretwork is beyond me, but that’s something that isn’t needed on a regular basis like a setup is.

Get the book!
 

Swirling Snow

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A good shop will have a luthier on the staff. Everyone that works the floor will be able to straighten a neck, adjust action, and set the intonation. All guitars received will have their strings changed, be inspected, issues fixed and billed to the guitar company, and the case tagged for that specific guitar. While hanging the store, the guitars will be inspected weekly, strings changed and necks tweaked as needed.

This was the store I worked at. When you wanted to buy a guitar, it was already set up, but it would be adjusted to your preferences before you bought it. 30 day check up and a humidifier were part of the package. And the case. All our guitars came with cases. We might buy it back if you showed you had a better one, but we cared about guitars, and really didn't want one going out the door in a cardboard box. ;)

Sadly, Guitar Center, Internet, etc, etc, and we all just got tired and retired. :cry:
 

fjblair

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I don't see the problem. Relax. Pick up your guitar when it's ready. I have a really good guy and he is usually two weeks out.
 
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