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Old 03-26-2013, 02:26 AM   #1
MESAexplorer
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Bad experience with guitar store, advice appreciated

Hey guys, I'm gonna try and keep this as short as possible...but being as long winded as I am (or thorough as I like to think of it )...skip to the bottom for the overall summary if you don't want to read through my life story

So basically my Carvin DC-747's (w/floyd) action has been slightly adjusted every time I change strings because of different gauges or changes in the neck over time and up until about 6 months ago that guitar had one of the best playing necks on any guitar I've laid hands on, and many others have said the same. And basically I've been adjusting to reduce the fret buzz on two very specific locations, 3rd fret e and D string and 9th fret G string when bending up half a step or more. And it's not your typical fret buzz, it's the sustain killing kind that is 100% noticeable when playing through an amp.

The first guitar store which I have always liked because of their quality work outright refused to do any "significant guitar repairs" and only does string changes because they have too much business. The second store has always rubbed me the wrong way because the owner who is strictly a classical guitarist has all of these philosophies on how guitars should be made and played. Anyways, after a decent conversation with him about how I must either have the action high with no buzz or low with too much buzz (no inbetween anymore) he accepts the job. I'm just happy to have my baby worked on at this point.

Additionally, I brought my Schecter Custom Shop Avenger in to get a pup swap (EMGs to passives), and we were discussing parts I would need to order through him. Pickup rings, new set of locking nuts for floyd, and new volume and tone pots (25k to 500k). He insisted that 25k would work just fine with 500k pots.

I got both of my guitars back today and a $175 bill for the following:
$85 pickup change (which I was cool with)
$30 intonation and neck adjustment (also cool with)
$15 floyd rose setup and string change (did not ask for or want)
$45 in various parts (which I don't see how 2 pickup rings and nuts could cost that much)

I realize I should have examined the guitars in the shop but at this point I just got off of a 14 hour shift at work with only a 30 minute lunch break and I just wanted my guitars and to head home so I didn't question the price.

First thing I do when I got home is check out the schecter because this is the first time I've played it in about 2 years. It has strings on it and the floyd is preset to standard. All I asked for was a pickup change and now I have to replace these new strings, block the tremolo, and tune it down a step. I had a Suhr Aldrich neck and JB bridge installed. And I start playing through the Vetta and it sounds good, but it sounds somewhat flubby and lacks sustain.

Then I open up the Carvin case and the action is ridiculously high. To the point where I was like "no sh1t it doesn't have fret buzz anymore, I can't even fret the thing." And besides, I have 3 guitars with a perfect action through truss rod and bridge adjustments and I do it all the time, but I have no experience or tools for fret leveling and adjustments, which is why I brought it to the shop in the first place.


So basically...

Do you think the flubby and slightly weak signal is due to the 25k EMG pots being used instead of 500K pots?

Is the JB a dark and rather aggressive pickup? I'm going for an Adam Jones thing with 1 piece solid mahogany body and a JB in the bridge and his tone is dark but not flubby.

I guess if I want something right I need to do it myself so I'm going to be buying tools to work on the action of my Carvin some more.

What do I need to inspect the frets and action properly? And how should I go about troubleshooting the insane fret buzz when the action is at a reasonable level?


I apologize for the 10 minutes of your life you will never get back after reading all of this, but at this point I'm pretty bummed out about all of this. There are 101 things I could have spent my money made from a $9 an hour job, and this was clearly a mistake. Any help, advice, or whatever at this point is greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by MESAexplorer : 03-26-2013 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:34 AM   #2
dark Mass
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1.25Kohm pots will give you flubby tone when used with passive humbuckers. Swap them out for 500k pots to fix the flubbiness.

2.The JB isn't what you call a warm pickup by all means. In fact it's pretty shrill clean and when overdriven.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:49 AM   #3
MESAexplorer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dark Mass
1.25Kohm pots will give you flubby tone when used with passive humbuckers. Swap them out for 500k pots to fix the flubbiness.

2.The JB isn't what you call a warm pickup by all means. In fact it's pretty shrill clean and when overdriven.



1. I figured with 250k typically being unsuitable for humbuckers then 25k seemed much further away. Thanks!


2. I wonder if the 25k toning the JB down is actually helping clean it up. I was disappointed in the gain and sustain but pleasantly surprised at how warm it sounded.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:34 AM   #4
Kevin Saale
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Ok, so the only thing done to the carvin was the action was adjusted? Did he not understand the issue was a bad fret? Id definitely want my money back on that one. Same with the setup on the other guitar if you didn't ask for it. Problem is you already left, which takes a bit of the negotiating power out if your hands at this point. Honestly. It sounds like this guy is a tool. He might just tell you to get stuffed.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Saale
Ok, so thhe only thing done to the carvin was the action was adjusted? Did he not understand the issue was a bad free? Id definitely want my money back on that one. Same with the setup on the other guitar if you didn't ask for it. Problem is you already left, which takes a bit of the negotiating power out if your hands at this point. Honestly. It sounds like this guy is a tool. He might just tell you to get stuffed.



That's about what I figured. Obviously I won't be going back there for anything other than my $30 back for the lack of work on the Carvin.

But yeah, I thoroughly explained to him that for about 3 years the strings would practically lay on the frets without ANY buzz. After that it started to have a bit of zing to it, slowly getting worse and raising the action. And all of this because of 2 very specific locations.

I take the guitar out of the case and I didn't even have to play it to see that the action was ridiculous.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:33 AM   #6
Kevin Saale
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Also agree on the pots. From your description though, you might prefer 250k or 300k pots over 500k pots. Worth a try since pots are cheap, just learn to solder yourself.

Also, 85 for a pickup swap is insanely high in my book. That means hes charging you a 85$ dollars an hour for bench time, which is outrageous.

And the 45 in extra parts just sounds like hes pissing in your face without the courtesy of even calling it rain.

All in all it sounds like you got ripped off pretty good.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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This guy's shop got a Yelp page or something? If it does, go there and complain AND take photos of the action on your Carvin. People primarly know Yelp for its restaurant reviews but it does reviews for tons of things and people are pretty honest. The luthier I go to was highly recommended except for the occasional mediocre/bad review but the shop like 2 miles closer (which I was planning on going to simply because it was closer but decided to check out the reviews first) had tons of bad reviews of the luthiers being inconsistant with the quality of their work and being kinda nasty guys.
You know no matter how good a mechanic was, if he was a jackass I wouldn't want him touching my car and the same idea should apply to luthiers. Most of us who have played for a decent amount of time invest in these instruments the way others invest in cars or a set of furniture for a house. Because of that it drives me nuts when people act arrogant while you're supposed to entrust them with something that you've worked hard to own and maintain. Hope all works out for you bud; again if they got a Yelp, blast them on it.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:09 PM   #8
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If you are not planning on going there again except to get your money back for the Carvin then I would not hesitate to take both guitars in and explain why you are upset. This man runs a business and as such should make it his priority to do right by his customers, at least if he wants to stay in business. Word of mouth travels quickly in a positive and negative way. You never know, maybe if this guys realizes the mistake and wants your business he will do right by you. If not, then don't be afraid to voice your disgust in a professional and thought out way. It's not like you are taking him beginner guitars and asking for help. He should know that if he earns your business it is likely you'll return. That's just my thoughts. I like what randywolf244 said about his business. I am fairly competent with my guitars however I enjoy going to my local guitar shop because the guys who works on the guitars knows his stuff and stands backs his work.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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I agree with the above posts, you got hosed by the owner. I typically change pickups for $20 and it takes all of 15-30 min depending on the guitar. Hell I normally charge $100 to do a complete set-up (intonation/action/releif), Install pickups and new electronics. The parts are of corse are extra on top of the price and it only takes me 1-2 hours (about 2 hours for a FR trem)
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:27 AM   #10
MESAexplorer
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Sorry if it's a bit late for pictures but here they are.









The pics aren't the best quality, the only camera I have is my phone (I was actually saving up for a Canon Rebel but this set me back a good bit). I don't know if you can tell but I measured the action today and at the 12th fret it was a bit more than 3/32nds on a guitar that used to be close to 3/64ths, if not a bit lower. And like I said, the adjustments they made were very elementary. Anyone with minor knowledge of a guitar can add relief to the neck and raise the bridge.

I don't know if I forgot to mention this yet or not but when I first played my Carvin, after receiving it from the shop I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Plugged it up to the tuner and it was...and I'm not joking...BDDAGBe.

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Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio

Last edited by MESAexplorer : 03-28-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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