#1
1) What exactly are we checking for when it comes to "guitar set-up", is it just adjusting the truss rod, action, intonation, and pick up height. Or there's more than that? In other words, what are all the things a good professional guitar technician would check for when doing a guitar set-up?

2) I often hear people say "why pay lots of money to keep your guitar set-up when you can do it yourself?" and I was thinking if I could do the set-up myself, I could actually save-up the money to buy other guitar gears later on. However, I have absolutely no experience at all, which I'm afraid there's a chance I might only make it worst, but I mean, if we never learn to do something, we'll never be able to do it ourselves, and would always have to bring the guitar to the tech for a set-up.. point is, do you guys think I should just take it to the tech or try it out myself?

3) How can I tell if my truss rod, action, intonation, pick up height, and etc are good or bad? how do I know my guitar needs a set-up or not? how do I make sure I don't waste the money for a set-up and getting the same result which playability didn't get better but stays the same?

4) If you think I should try it out myself, then is there a website/video that explains very clearly and correctly on "how to do a guitar set-up" for an absolute beginner? just so I won't break my guitar or anything...

btw. it's my 1993 second-handed Fender 57' reissue maple neck Stratocaster I just bought that needs a set-up.
Last edited by Jimmy25 at Jan 18, 2012,
#2
Both of your points are 100% spot on. Yes, those are the things involved in a set up, and yes, every guitarist should know how to set up their own guitars. And it's so easy, too! Paying for a setup is like throwing money away, given up much they cost.

Also, setups are 100% personal preference. It's just dumb having someone else set up the guitar that you're going to be playing.
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#3
I agree with above. It's true though that you don't have to set the intonation and truss rod yourself, but when it comes to pick up and string height, no one can get the tone that YOU want for yourself. So you should learn how to "set up" your guitar. You'll spare some money, and there won't always be anyone around when you'll need some modification.
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#4
A complete setup would be checking: tuning, intonation, string height, pick-up height, truss rod adjustments, cleaning fretboard, cleaning frets (in some cases, replacing), wire connections, bridge height. This would all be done in a "complete" setup, A few things have been left out that would require a lot more work. A "Basic" setup would be simply the things you listed, and in most cases, this is enough. As for why people pay someone to do this is for a few reasons. Either the person just doesn't know how to, which is fine. The player is to busy, or has multiple instruments that would require to much attention. Or the person is just to lazy.

As for learning how to setup a guitar, just browse youtube on how to restring a Stratocaster, or how to set one up.
Here's some links to look at
Restring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIfP3v-bxwE
Fender specs: http://www.fender.com/support/articles/stratocaster-setup-guide
...
#5
Nothing really to add, but I had my Rg370 setup/restrung 5 times before I learnt how.
The tech in Airdrie charges 105$ cad for such services on an FR guitar. I paid more to keep it setup then its actually worth new!
#6
^Yup, a lot of people tend to over charge a lot more when it comes to a floating/double locking trem. Did it happen to be a chain store by any chance?
...
#7
Yep Music Centre Canada. The tech even took my guitar for 2 weeks once...
|
|. Yep rediculous price. Axe music in Calgary charges 50$ but I dont own a car.
\/ Same tech told my friend to be in C# standard he NEEDED 13's lololol
Last edited by StonedColdCrazy at Jan 18, 2012,
#8
Wow, FR style bridges take a little more time but its not like its rocket science lol. 105 CAd is ridiculous.
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Last edited by Concurssi at Jan 18, 2012,
#10
Quote by Jimmy25
1) What exactly are we checking for when it comes to "guitar set-up", is it just adjusting the truss rod, action, intonation, and pick up height. Or there's more than that? In other words, what are all the things a good professional guitar technician would check for when doing a guitar set-up?

2) I often hear people say "why pay lots of money to keep your guitar set-up when you can do it yourself?" and I was thinking if I could do the set-up myself, I could actually save-up the money to buy other guitar gears later on. However, I have absolutely no experience at all, which I'm afraid there's a chance I might only make it worst, but I mean, if we never learn to do something, we'll never be able to do it ourselves, and would always have to bring the guitar to the tech for a set-up.. point is, do you guys think I should just take it to the tech or try it out myself?

3) How can I tell if my truss rod, action, intonation, pick up height, and etc are good or bad? how do I know my guitar needs a set-up or not? how do I make sure I don't waste the money for a set-up and getting the same result which playability didn't get better but stays the same?

4) If you think I should try it out myself, then is there a website/video that explains very clearly and correctly on "how to do a guitar set-up" for an absolute beginner? just so I won't break my guitar or anything...

btw. it's my 1993 second-handed Fender 57' reissue maple neck Stratocaster I just bought that needs a set-up.
If you aren't sure what goes into a set-up, how do you know that you need one?

I personally don't bring my guitar into a tech unless I need fretwork done. It's easy to tell if your intonation is bad. Your guitar will sound out of tune all the time, even after you've tuned it because the scale of the string is off. The rest of the stuff is subjective. Action is a matter of preference, some people want it as low as it can possibly go, some people want it a little bit higher, I like to have a medium action. Low enough for it to be comfortable, but also high enough for me to feel a little resistance under the string when I bend, especially on the high strings, and never any buzzing. So, adjustment of neck relief and bridge height are going to be very subjective factors and there is a bit of balance and tweaking that is needed to get it right. The only clear cut time when you NEED to adjust the neck relief is when you have buzzing on open strings or low frets 1-5. Then that tells you that you need to put a little relief into the neck. Otherwise, how much is completely up to what feels comfortable to you.
#11
For a brand new guitar a set up can be a waste of money. But the last time I bought used I brought it in for a $65 (US) setup that included: complete cleaning of body and hardware; tightening of everything from tuners to pots to output jack: re-soldering of output jack wires (which in a semi-hollow isn't that easy to do at home); oiling of nut and fretboard; plus all the usual stuff, plus I had it switched from 10's to 11's. Plus new strings. So for all that I definitely feel like it's worth it.
#12
^^ that's worth it.
My local store charges 100 for a simple setup i.e. intonation,.truss rod, action.
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#13
Quote by Spud Spudly
For a brand new guitar a set up can be a waste of money. But the last time I bought used I brought it in for a $65 (US) setup that included: complete cleaning of body and hardware; tightening of everything from tuners to pots to output jack: re-soldering of output jack wires (which in a semi-hollow isn't that easy to do at home); oiling of nut and fretboard; plus all the usual stuff, plus I had it switched from 10's to 11's. Plus new strings. So for all that I definitely feel like it's worth it.

A lot of guitars need setups when bought new. Cleaning and tightening isn't really a set up in my opinion. It's more of a... tuneup I suppose. A lot of new guitars need some work done to them because factory setups are not always thorough. I've played a lot of new guitars that needed fret leveling out of the box (I'm looking at you Fender) and Gibsons like to have their nuts cut shallow from the factory so that the user can get it slotted down to taste. Although I don't really consider fretdressing part of a usual setup.
#14
I wonder how NO UG'er has ever heard of GOOGLE or YOUTUBE, but NO ONE on YouTube asking, "Does uzz liek, haz de TABZ 4 'dis?!?!" has EVER heard of Google OR UG. Seriously, GOOGLE THIS SHIT, 25% of threads in this forum are, "Action? ACtion? Action? Truss rod? TEH Br00tz?!"

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#15
-Install Strings -Fret Polish

-Neck Adjustment -Fingerboard Clean-up & Re-Hydration

-Action Adjustment -Deep Electronic Clean-up

-Intonation Adjustment -Pickup Adjustment

-Radius Adjustment -Instrument Clean & Polish

-Nut Adjustment -Tuning Machines Adjustment

-Light Fret Level -Truss Rod Maintenance
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