"What's involved in a setup?"
“I want a setup for my guitar.” “What’s involved in a setup?” It’s a request that I’ve gotten almost every single day, for the entire fifty-five years I’ve been doing guitar repair and restoration for the public. And you know what? It’s a question that no truly professional repair person can answer without seeing the instrument in the shop, eyes and hands right on it. In point of fact, there’s really no such thing as “a setup”; there’s only what a particular instrument might need and what it will take to bring it up to its best. Simply adjusting a truss rod or turning a few intonation screws will not necessarily, and rarely will, bring an instrument to top playability. There may be tiny (or not so tiny) situations of many kinds; sometimes nut notches that have gotten to uneven depths, perhaps small grooves being worn in some of the frets, maybe parts that have had some “unauthorized entry”, and a host of other possibilities that may want attention. Unlike in a car, where parts will eventually wear down or get out of adjustment from usage, guitars rarely do that. Occasionally, age or adverse conditions will cause some aspects to get a bit out of kilter but it’s just not true that like a tune-up for a car, rigorous periodic adjustments are required. I’ll always ask, "Just what about the instrument seems not right for you?" If you can tell me, great, but whether you can or you can’t I’ll be happy to look it over for you, describe for you what can use improvement, and we’ll take it from there. And while a good portion of our work here is in doing major restorations on vintage guitars, bringing your favorite instrument, electric or acoustic, to its best, is also a big part of what we do, and we enjoy it, every day. And there’s never a charge for looking, assessing the situation, and coming up with a plan and a price for you. Shop hours are Mon-Fri from Noon to 5PM so please email me to let me know what kind of instrument you’d like us to bring to top playability for you and what the problems seem to be, and a day and time you’d like to come by, and I’ll get right back to you to confirm.