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Old 07-31-2014, 04:52 AM   #1
mr.ashgopi
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how much should a guitar set up cost?

ive got a new guitar. Ive been told to get it set up. Any idea of the cost of this?
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Old 07-31-2014, 07:43 AM   #2
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what's the guitar and what country are you in?
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:37 PM   #3
mr.ashgopi
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ibanez grg170dx in black night, and uk
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Old 07-31-2014, 05:51 PM   #4
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how much should a guitar set up cost?

Outside of the cost of new strings, it should cost nothing.

With how many tutorials out there on the internet on how to set up pretty much any guitar, it makes no sense to pay somebody to do it for you when you can do it yourself for free. It's easy to do and you'll only need very rudimentary tools that all households should have.

I'd only pay someone money to do something if the guitar has a mechanical problem that requires special tools to fix, that I just don't have.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mr.ashgopi
ibanez grg170dx in black night, and uk


it sort of depends on where you are. I got a setup maybe 10 years ago (maybe a little less) for 25, but I think that was a fair bit cheaper than the usual going rate in england.

i wouldn't want to pay much more than 50, especially if they're not doing anything serious (i.e. literally just restringing it and making it play well and in tune/intonated etc.).
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Old 08-07-2014, 12:18 PM   #6
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they mentioned something about the truss rod, which means nothing to me....im fairly new to guitars lol
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mr.ashgopi
they mentioned something about the truss rod, which means nothing to me....im fairly new to guitars lol

Look up a bunch of YouTube videos on the topic of setting up electric guitars. Then you'll know what it is, and how to adjust it if it needs to be adjusted. Same applies for the rest of the guitar. There's no reason to pay someone for a rudimentary setup of a guitar when there are so many good sources of information online, and when all guitars work off the exact same principles as one another.
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Old 08-07-2014, 02:55 PM   #8
Dave_Mc
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^^ a truss rod adjustment should be part of any basic setup... it's good to see they're doing it, but it's not an excuse to charge $$$ either.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave_Mc
it sort of depends on where you are. I got a setup maybe 10 years ago (maybe a little less) for 25, but I think that was a fair bit cheaper than the usual going rate in england.

i wouldn't want to pay much more than 50, especially if they're not doing anything serious (i.e. literally just restringing it and making it play well and in tune/intonated etc.).

Being a lazy f*cker, I've had a guitar set up done fairly recently(ie within the past year). Cost me 30(plus new strings, which I would have been buying anyway), in Glasgow.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:14 PM   #10
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Yeah I think mine included the strings too.

and yeah don't worry about it, i'm lazy too
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:26 PM   #11
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Shouldn't cost more than $50. I got my guitar setup plus all my pickups rewired for $100. (The previous guy who installed my pickups did a shoddy job.)
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:15 PM   #12
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Whats the going rate in the US? I usually just do it myself but the "Fender Vibrato" bridge on my new Mustang is pretty intimidating so I may pay to have it done, it definitely needs it.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:24 AM   #13
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thnx to everyone...hes charging 40 quid for the set up and 5 for the strings...i really dont wanna screw it up soing it myself and then have to pay more to fix it back !
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:25 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by lucky1978
Whats the going rate in the US? I usually just do it myself but the "Fender Vibrato" bridge on my new Mustang is pretty intimidating so I may pay to have it done, it definitely needs it.


I mostly do my own maintenance-type Standard setups, but with guitars that are new to me, I'll usually have a Really Good Initial Setup done.

A Standard setup might run $30-50, sometimes more, depending on who's doing it, and will usually include restringing (you bring the strings), a check for fret level, action adjustment (including truss rod tweaking, bridge setting, minor nut tweaking and a run-through of the electronics to make sure no pots are crackling, output jack is tightened, etc. A good tech will ask about your playing style and action preference, and may even have you sit down and strum a bit, etc., both when you drop off the guitar and when you pick it up, to make sure it's set where you like it. DO take that time to go through the guitar top to bottom and check all the frets. Most *good* techs are non-judgmental about how you play (rank beginners are what they are), and you really need to know everything's okay before you leave.

A Really Good Initial setup will often include a run on the PLEK machine. The tech that does mine also superglues the frets (if they're not already glued from the factory), polishes the frets with a piece of thick leather, etc., and the guitar plays like silk. He offers a one-year warranty that includes a setup "refresh" any time you think you need one during the year to bring it back to exactly where it was when it left the building. Mine has even put the guitar BACK on the PLEK for an analysis to see how/if the neck has moved since I was last in. These usually run in the area of $200.

I do a Really Good Iniitlal Setup on almost any guitar new to me, but there have been two exceptions: the Variax JTV-89F I picked up last September was in great rig (and still is), and Carvins fresh from the factory. Guitars under $1000 almost always need some work, and Gibsons almost always need some work (at any price level).

I bought a used Agile ($200) from some guy on Craigslist, and it was all over the place, but a fret superglue and a run on the PLEK (and, as a precaution, I pulled the Floyd and replaced it with a Schaller-built OFR) turned it into a spectacular player. I spent more on the setup and Floyd swap than on the guitar itself, but it was SO worth it.
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Old 08-10-2014, 12:51 PM   #15
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Full setup in my area was $85 (I changed the gauge from regular to ligh top heavy bottom so truss rod was adjusted, action, etc...). I thought it was a bit pricey. But to be fair the guitar is a joy to play now... later I bought a used MIM strat and I did it myself. I didn't touch the truss rod though. I guess soon I'll look into it. If you've played guitar for a while I think doing it yourself is not that hard but for someone who's new like ashgopi it's probably better to take it to someone...

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Old 08-10-2014, 02:13 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mr.ashgopi
thnx to everyone...hes charging 40 quid for the set up and 5 for the strings...i really dont wanna screw it up soing it myself and then have to pay more to fix it back !


That sounds dearish... but then it depends on who's doing it. It's dearish (IMO) if it's just some random tech-ish dude in a guitar shop. If it's a well-regarded luthier, that's a fine price.
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I had a Blackstar. I felt like I was lied to by Chappers, that fat ****.


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Blackstar can blow me; dodgey ****ers.


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Old 08-10-2014, 08:13 PM   #17
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The luthier at the shop I work at (who's the real deal, went to luthiery school, has built several guitars, has certifications to perform warranty work from Fender, Schecter, and Taylor) charges US$30 for a basic setup job, which is just a restring, cleaning, inspection, and intonation/action adjustment, assuming of course that nothing is broken, and it can be set up without replacing parts. Goes up to $45 for a Floyd Rose or other similar double-locking trem system. Obviously, prices start going up from there pretty quick if other work is needed, such as fret leveling and/or polishing, fret replacement, neck resetting, etc.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:28 PM   #18
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$50 for a non FR/Bigsby guitar, $75+ for a FR/Bigsby equipped guitar
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:37 PM   #19
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Ha, I really overpay for a set-up job. Guitar Center around here does them for $60, which is actually quite tame compared to the $35 it charges for a restring. The strange thing is, they've restrung it for me before for free (once when I realised the way I was doing it might have been wrong. I've since been doing it by myself. Set-ups are a bit more complicated (cue loads of people telling me that's actually very simple), though, and experience has taught me that I should never trust myself doing DIY. I often find myself becoming frustrated and/or breaking something.
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