Paying to Have Guitar Work Done (that you could certainly handle yourself)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by blowtorch, Jul 26, 2019.

  1. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,781
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I have a guitar tech, and he's also a close friend.. It's just also a 15min drive to get to his shop.. His prices were on the high side, but he does a really good job, and one of the best authorized Fender repair guy back in the day, so the service he gives is worth every penny, but still its expensive..

    I learned how to do my own setup a few years ago.. but I cannot do frets, nuts or soldering.. I can set up my guitar to feel and sound good, but sometimes the pros have some magic touches where it can really transform your guitar into something better.. there are times when I have extra money and Im just lazy to set it up, and I bring it to him.. but now that money is a bit tight (I have a 9month old baby now), and I just cant go on a weekend, I have to do my own setups.
     
  2. unixfish

    unixfish Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,461
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
    Location:
    Northeast Ohio, USA
    Every time I've sent a guitar out for a setup or to get work done, I've never been happy with the results, and end up re-doing what I paid for. However, I don't like working on stuff like this, so now I just put it off until it becomes unbearable. Catch-22.

    Maybe I just don't ask or specify what I want clearly enough. Maybe I have not found the right tech. I have a few high frets on my Tele that need a slight shave, and I am just worried that someone will hack it up and make it worse.

    I wish I had someone that I could trust, I would gladly pay someone to do things I don't want to. Maybe the first step is to trust - not an easy thing with me.
     
  3. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,781
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia

    I had the same reasons why i put it off for so long, but when I tried to befriend my guitar tech, I learned that he did really know his stuff, and I have the confidence to ask him what he thinks on what I want to do with the guitar, like lower action, etc etc..

    so when I got my guitar back, I knew exactly that what I want was done on it, and I've never been disappointed ever since.. To lessen the costs, I do my own setups first, everything I can do except nut and frets, if it's still not playing well after a few weeks or even months, I go to him and he just charges me for a basic set up.. his fret levelling/dressing also includes set up, and changing to bone nut also includes set up, so I just ask for frets and nuts, and just charge me "mates rates" but not too far off from what he charges normal clients.. Im okay with that, he runs his business, I respect that. in the end, we're both happy.
     
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,627
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Indiana
    if you can do it yourself, awesome, good on ya

    if you lack time, have disposable cash, and know a good tech, what is the problem

    "guilt" should never enter into it, at all

    get it done and as the man says, PLAY MUSIC
     
    Random1643 likes this.
  5. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    27,026
    Joined:
    May 2, 2003
    Location:
    Wisco
    My folks were/are very frugal, and I was raised that way.
    I feel it's the best way

    That's where the guilt enters in
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  6. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,002
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2015
    Location:
    Upper Midwest
    People are making all the money, time, expertise, convenience, etc arguments that make sense to me.

    Other than changing strings on my acoustic-electric guitars & banjer, I'm happy to pay a tech or a luthier to do everything else. The tech at our local music shop is very good and often wants to do stuff for free...we usually wind up @ $10 for whatever it is. For sure, I'm a regular customer @ the shop and he's a musician buddy so they're trying to take care of me. But I'd cheerfully pay more. He did a setup for me when my Breedlove ac-el dread developed Acute Sitar Syndrome (I'll let all y'all figure out the acronym on that one) this spring. $10 and that all-ready-good guitar is the best it's ever been - action, intonation, tone, etc: The Guitar is Perfect. I gotta go to more of his gigs just so I can buy him drinks.

    My only real guilt and embarrassment comes from having him change the Heavy Elixirs on my Gretsch with the Bigsby. I hate doing it and he's better at it. But, honestly, at first my excuse was the arthritis in my knuckles; now, I got the knuckle pain under control but I'm still taking the Gretsch in. :rolleyes: After much negotiating the cost is, of course, $10.
     
  7. Art VanDelay

    Art VanDelay Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,018
    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Location:
    Arcata
    For me, its filing and shaping nuts. I would love to do it myself with a set of StewMac double edge files, but for now it's cheaper just to have it done. If I get to the point where I can have a workshop, I'd pop for the files.
     
  8. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    7,815
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    Grangeville, Idaho
    "Tech" and "Luthier" are two totally different things.

    I'm a "Tech" and definitely NOT a "Luthier".:)
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  9. UmpaHimself

    UmpaHimself TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    57
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles/Ft. Lauderdale
    I ruined a 5 way switch on my Strat the other day. Out of laziness I emailed my guy asking what it would cost to replace, thinking even if he quoted me $50 it’s worth my time. He quoted me $40 labor, $23 for the switch and re-string is $25. That’s not including the cost of the strings. Ended up doing it myself with 30 min of work and pulling a switch out of my parts box.

    When I went in a few days later he asked why I didn’t bring the guitar and I said because you quoted me $100 to replace a switch. I get that these places have their own overhead but that’s just silly.

    Moral of the story, don’t be so lazy hahaha.
     
  10. Fran1964

    Fran1964 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    10
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Location:
    cosenza, italy
    I am lucky cos I learned the basic electric guitar circuit specs.
    But I remember thinking why I should pay someone just to replace pickups for example.
    It's a long way but now I am able to make mods like pickups in series, which on my tele is great.
    :)
     
  11. bblooz

    bblooz TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    36
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2015
    Location:
    Detroit area
    I can do pickup/hardware changes, but structural/finish/fret work I leave to the pros. String changes/setups are basic stuff that everyone should know how to do, so no excuse for not doing them yourself.
     
  12. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    48
    Posts:
    1,400
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Location:
    Chattanooga
    I can finish rewrite, change pickups and bridges and crown and level. I hate with a passion to crown and level. I keep thinking I’ll pay a luthier, but I’m too lazy to find one and take it when I can do it myself.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. brashboy

    brashboy TDPRI Member

    Age:
    67
    Posts:
    44
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Location:
    Florida
    It is really easy to "kill" a marvelous guitar with a lot of tweaking. It is disheartening to level/dress frets, then lower the nut, then tweak intonation, only to have the guitar sounding lifeless compared to before the work. Damifino why, either.
     
  14. esseff

    esseff Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    722
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2014
    Location:
    East Midlands, UK
    I've so far resisted having a tech set up a Floyd Rose system but it's been a close thing. Last one I did took me an entire afternoon. Made me feel like this guy:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Mid Life Crisis

    Mid Life Crisis Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,994
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2007
    Location:
    Cambridge, England
    I like DIY generally so I do most stuff myself - setups, pickup changes, acoustic action, fret levelling and even nut filing - pretty much all I learned right here on TDPRI. As well as the money it saves I can get the job done and have the guitar back in action the same day rather than wait for the tech to find a slot for the work.

    I remember once seeing a post on here where someone was going to take his guitar to a tech to have the pickup height set. I couldn't believe people would pay good money for something so simple.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.