Luthier Damaged My Guitars =(

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by DADGAD, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Tele-Meister

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    Moral of the story people, learn to do your own guitar/bass setups. Go slow at first, watch a lot of youtube videos, and read a lot.

    If I could go back in time and give myself early advice it would be strum more and shred less, and learn to do your own set up. I do my own set up now and I'm really good at it, I can do nut replacements, truss rod adjustments, intonation, action, swap pickups whenever I want. I'm good at soldering and I understand electronics so I can actually custom wire my guitars. Go one step at a time. Intonation and action first, that's easy to master. Then truss rod, get the gauges!

    Once you learn to setup your guitar, it will play like butter all the time, and it will be the best setup for you because you did it.

    Even with my modest knowledge about guitar setups and my experience with replacing nuts, I know that one must score the nut with an exacto knife, and depending on the thickness of the finish sometimes one must spend time and go deep. Then all you have to do is take a wooden block with a small Jewelers hammer and lightly tap it in the direction of the headstock. This is for LP style nuts by the way.

    GDR
     
  2. Strato50

    Strato50 Tele-Afflicted

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    That nut could have been fixed with a fine piece of sandpaper in 10 seconds. I just fixed an Epi that had the same issue.
     
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  3. john_t

    john_t Tele-Meister

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    That's what I'm confused about. And if he filed the G groove too much, he could have built it back up with some baking soda & CA. Was he trying to do unnecessary work to charge more? Either way, he is getting away with a lot given the OP's generosity. Maybe at least a negative Yelp/Google review to warn others?
     
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  4. logans_tele

    logans_tele Tele-Meister

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    A few years back I had a Gibson Les Paul in the shop. The tech accidentally dropped the guitar on his workbench and took out a pea sized chunk of wood on the back of the headstock. Lesson learned: Titles like "professional", "tech", and "luthier" get tossed around these days and don't mean jack. I have since found a local shop with guys that have been doing this for decades. But @GreatDaneRock nailed it... learn to do this stuff yourself and save some heartache.
     
  5. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    This shocked me. I don't pop in to TDPRI often now but one this shocked me. This kind of work is unprofessional.

    Both myself and my mate B offer set up services. I myself can only do the work on a part time ad hoc basis (essentially by personal recommendation or invitation) but B builds and customises guitars as a small business. Neither one of us can afford to do shoddy work like this - word gets around and you have no customers. If one is offering professional guitar technical services then it has to be to the highest standard.
     
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  6. photousa

    photousa TDPRI Member

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    Oh man, complete nightmare. If you play long enough you're bound to have some mess up one of your instruments. Don't take the guitars back to the same person, he or she is unqualified, find an expert to repair your instruments, it can be done so that you'll never know they've been repaired. Problem is that now that the tech has messed up your instruments, it's going to cost quite a bit to restore them properly. Search out, "Mark Arnquist" on Facebook, send him some photos and ask if he'll help you. He's a master instrument technician in the Seattle area.
     
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  7. mikecorey

    mikecorey TDPRI Member

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    Looks like he did a lousy job on the nut, too. I'm feelin' for ya'.
     
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  8. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 TDPRI Member

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    This guy deserves to be sayin’ “want fries with that?”
     
  9. cyclonetone

    cyclonetone NEW MEMBER!

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    I have to say...(and lot will disagree) fraudulent "repair" guys are all over...they read books and watch youtube to "learn" how to repair...remember, nothing can substitute experience...Always take your stuff to a reputable shop and ask the "repair" person where they apprenticed or got their formal training. People that do this kind of work should be identified so no one else has to go through the dilemma you are in.
     
  10. Paulie Walnuts

    Paulie Walnuts Tele-Meister

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    No offense but that is the work quality of someone working on a guitar nut for the first time. That is some of the most horrific work I've ever seen returned to customers hands. Any guitar shop in business for even a week total should know Gibson nuts are lacquered over and need to be cut around with a razor before touching anything. My condolences seriously but like mentioned easily fixed by a qualified luthier. If you feel the need to smash something it should be their front windows not your guitar. I might suggest if you are going to hold the shop fully responsible as you should, then I would definitely consider sending the les paul to Gibson Repair and Restoration division for the work. If it's important to your family then that's the best thing you can do to keep the provenance of the guitar as correct as possible having it worked on by Gibson. Plus that estimate from them will definitely get the bad shops attention and teach them an expensive lesson
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. user34603

    user34603 Tele-Meister

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    'smash it to splinters' ? you learn slowly and let the same guy make a mess of 2 guitars. wise up and hire a pro restorer
     
  12. dumbsheep

    dumbsheep NEW MEMBER!

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    John Wescott does fine work on electric guitars in Toluca Lake (LA). I took a tele to him a few years back after reading his name in a top-ten LA luthiers list and was very happy. Best of luck to you.
     
  13. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    As somebody who has 18 years of experience repairing guitars professionally under his belt, that made me want to puke.

    That guy has no right calling himself "Luthier"
     
  14. macduff

    macduff TDPRI Member

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    Several years ago I took my #1 Stratocaster (a 1976) to Pontiac Music and Sound for a refret. Dave Bose, who is a maestro with tube amps sent me there, since he didn’t do fret work.

    I dropped it off, and a couple of weeks later i returned to pick it up. I was in a hurry so I just paid and ran. A day or two later I opened the case to play a little. When I looked at I almost cried. The frets has been yanked out and took lots of splinters with them. The edges of the neck had gouges and huge splinters removed. The nut was sitting on some kind of spacer to elevate it, and it stuck out way past the neck. And to top it all off, it had been resprayed with heavy clear laquer, and had several runs, and Orange peel.

    I was so pissed I grabbed it and drove down to PMS. The repair guy was gone for the day. This happened several times, and the manager was always out or gone. The cashier/secretary of course, knew nothing.

    I had to replace the neck because it was a disaster to play or look at. The Luthier in Ann Arbor who replaced the neck did a good job. He asked if he could keep the old neck so he could hang it in his shop as an example of ineptness. I kept it just because.

    I despise Pontiac Music and Sound for doing this to a customer. I would not have a toothpick repaired by these ass clowns. I know exactly how you feel. I still get depressed looking at the original neck.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  15. stratcatt

    stratcatt TDPRI Member

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  16. stratcatt

    stratcatt TDPRI Member

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    Wow, what a bummer brother! Your repair tech. seams to know about as much as the last guy I had work on one of my axes. I share your pain. Luckily, your in So. Cal. I lived there most of my life and I'm legally "Old". Southern California, particularly the Los Angeles area is loaded with outstanding guitar techs./luthiers. DONT SEND YOU LES PAUL BACK TO GIBSON!!! This would be a huge waste of time and money. Ask around and do a little research on the net, get an estimate and let the Bozo that hacked up your guitars pay for the damage. If he doesn't comply, put out the word that this unqualified hack butchers instruments and won't own up to his party foul. If he won't make good simply take him to small claims court and have the judge make him. I had almost the exact same thing happen to me. Better luck next time. Shop around and remember that word of mouth is the best way to find your go to guitar guy. Ask your friends that are players! Good luck my friend.
     
  17. mPacT

    mPacT Tele-Holic

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    I'm in Burbank, if you bring it over, I can fix it but I'm about to go into the hospital so it might take a bit.

    There is absolutely no reason to let this person off. At least do a Yelp review and include pictures.
     
  18. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    I beg to differ: it's painfully obvious in the pictures! omg what the hell?
    You took the right first step. plaster that guys work everywhere until he begs you to hide it. That is the kind of work that puts folks out of business. You will be doing other guitar players a service!

    You don't f up someones guitar and then fix it w/o their consent? I'm not one for litigation but this would seem like an easy one.

    So sorry, but note that almost anyone could do a better job than that. Don't do anything you'll regret later. it can all be fixed (and at his expense)

    First step: paper trail. Mail him certified letter with 3 estimates as soon as possible to prove you aren't satisfied and that HE did the screwup. Hopefully you kept your receipt. No other correspondence w him other than written/email - something you can prove.

    wishing "all better" your way.
     
  19. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    How is it possible this guy is a "popular luthier"?

    Isn't a luthier somebody who makes guitars?

    No way that guy could make an actual guitar that anybody would want to buy.

    I feel for you...this is heartbreaking yet sounds like they can be properly repaired at least.

    I have a lot of respect for you for not immediately posting the guys name, but I ask you to reconsider so us fellow socal members don't take our beloved instruments there.

    I also do my own setup work but am thinking about getting my Les Paul refretted since that's above my ability. Sure hate to think I could end leaving my R8, or any guitar for that matter in the hands of that guy.
     
  20. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm sorry you got hosed. Speak to the owner of the business, and if it's a one-person shop, speak to the guy who did the work. I didn't notice in the post if you paid for it; you should not have done so, but if you did, and can stop payment (credit card, check) I would do that ASAP. You should not pay for work that was not completed in even the most basic manner. You are owed whatever the cost is of getting the damage repaired to a professional standard. Personally, I would demand both -- money back; damages -- though it may be impossible/not worth it to pursue the latter. I hope you get some actual shop names for So. Cal.; I don't know any excellent repair people down there, but Truetone, Norman's, Westwood, or any of the many excellent guitar shops there can get you a referral, I'll bet. Finally: You should be really outraged by the treatment of your instruments. I have been working on my own and others since I was a kid, and the hack job done to yours falls far below my worst, most infantile efforts, and, to be honest, looks more like the neighbor's kid did it, not anyone with any knowledge of guitars. It couldn't have been a real luthier or qualified tech who did that work. Seriously. Nobody's that bad.
     
    ladave likes this.
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