#1
Been a year since I bought my guitar, and that was the last time I had it set up (actually, not sure it even was. I bought it from Sweetwater and they said that their workers check every guitar and fix it up before shipping it up, so who knows). But anyways, since it's been a year and since I've been noticing some buzzing on the ESP, i decided to give Guitar Center a call and see how much they charged for a set up. $103!!!!! I was really thinking he was joking at first, but he went on to say that it takes some work and that he'll be checking out everything, which is why it costs so much. But holy hell, does it really cost this much everywhere you go or is this guy ripping me off? I read people getting theirs set up for $40. Is the fixed price for set ups $100+ nowadays or what? What a freaking rip off Guitar Center. It's not even a FR. No idea how these guys come up with these damn prices.
#4
Quote by Random3
Honestly it would depend on what needed doing. Never paid for a setup myself but £40-£60 seems reasonable depending on what actually needs doing.

I just asked for a setup on a non FR guitar. I told him it's still in very good condition, so nothing too much should be done. The f***er still said $103
#5
The place down the street does stellar work and charge $80. But they do all the needed fret work and all that as well and call it a "tune-up". Seems a bit steep, but worth it for a set up that'll hold for awhile yaknow? If you don't know much about what you're doing. I know I wouldn't do a job as well as they will. But find a place that people love near you. I've heard kindof "meh" things about GC set ups.
Quote by Roc8995
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Things are better now.


Quote by dannyalcatraz
Style is in the hands. Taste is in the hands. But tone? Tone is in the gear.
#6
Quote by GraceByDeath
The place down the street does stellar work and charge $80. But they do all the needed fret work and all that as well and call it a "tune-up". Seems a bit steep, but worth it for a set up that'll hold for awhile yaknow? If you don't know much about what you're doing. I know I wouldn't do a job as well as they will. But find a place that people love near you. I've heard kindof "meh" things about GC set ups.


Any other place you recommend? I live in California; not that many guitar places that are dependable other than GC.
#7
I've never been to California. Try checking local reviews? Or other guitar players in your area that you know?
Quote by Roc8995
Yes, and people still got polio and you had to crank your car up by hand and put whale oil in the lamps every night.

Things are better now.


Quote by dannyalcatraz
Style is in the hands. Taste is in the hands. But tone? Tone is in the gear.
#8
I think guitar center charges 75 for non fr guitars.
Rates should be standardized since they are a chain.
Most places charge between 65-100 though. That's about standard.
If you don't want to pay that much then just learn how to do it yourself.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#9
Yeah, where I tend to go it's £55, which is about $80, I think.

You might as well learn to do it yourself, though, unless you've got fret issues (unlikely after a year) there's really nothing in setting up a guitar that can't be done with a set of screwdrivers and a decent tuner.

It might seem intimidating, but with a TOM-style bridge as you have on there you've only got three things to worry about - truss rod, bridge height at each side, and intonation. Truss rod is my least favourite, but by rule of thumb (using a business card as your guideline for string height with the first and 12th fret held down) and incremental changes it's pretty manageable. Action I know some people like to measure, especially doing setups for other people, but on your own guitar you can and (in my view) should do it by feel since it's a matter of whether it buzzes, whether you can bend properly and how easy it is to fret and you've only got two screws to adjust so it's pretty foolproof. Intonation just takes a tuner and a little patience. Pick the open string, pick the twelfth fret, adjust saddle as necessary.

All of this comes from the position of someone with absolutely no experience in anything useful to lutherie, who's just played guitar for a couple years and gotten a pretty decent feel for what I prefer. I think if you're willing to try it a setup is well within the capabilities of anyone who's been playing for more than a couple months.
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Last edited by K33nbl4d3 at Jun 6, 2015,
#10
Quote by AcousticMirror
If you don't want to pay that much then just learn how to do it yourself.

^this
I never payed to get any of my guitars setup either, there's a ton of video's on how to do the simple stuff like changing strings,adjusting action and adjusting truss rod.
If the guitar really needs fretwork for some reason then I'ld concider letting a pro do it
#11
Quote by Granata
Any other place you recommend? I live in California; not that many guitar places that are dependable other than GC.

Do it yourself, or go to literally any other established shop. GC is not dependable in the service/setup category.

California is stuffed to the gills with quality guitar shops if you're anywhere near a major city.
#12
I really want to stress this - labour is expensive and, from what the Americans here say, GC is garbage and learning to do these things yourself is not only fairly easy but also incredibly liberating when you want to change string gauges or tunings. As a guitarist there's no point spending money on setups; you've got your own preferences and qualified techs probably have better things to do, as happy as I'm sure they, like anyone, will be to receive your money.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#13
$50 all day around here for a decent job. GC chrges $10 to change strings they are just nuts. unless your guitar requires something like and grind and polish on the frets i can't see them charging that much.
#14
take time to learn your guitar and its free. some twesking and playing at home.

if you gig weekly perhaps get it done so you dont mess up your money tool. if you sit a home and got nothing going on, it doesnt matter does it? you have all the time you want. good and youtube.

its darn near impossible to break a guitar trying to set it up unless you are forcing something or dropping it. truss rod adjudtment is important but again, you literally have to force it all teh way to really mess something up. chances are its not going to happen, especially since most guides tell you to make like a 1/8 turn adjustment at a time. you would have to sit there doing full turns or something really really stupid.

write down what you do. if you mess up like getting a buzzing action, simply reverse. tune. its not hard.

very simple mechanics, screw driver. this go up or down. tighter or looser. buzz more buzz less. hard to pay vs easy to pay. fret buzz no fret buzz.

this is really simple.

if you have a floyd or some other trem, you have about 3x more learning to do than a hard tail. particularly a floyd.
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#15
Can't imagine what setup would cost that much. Have you called Sam Ash? Just to compare.
#16
No. That is ridiculous. Unless there's actually something broken that needs to be fixed (which would obviously go beyond a "setup") there's no reason it should cost more than $40 or so, tops, including strings. Guitar center is trying to screw you. Which is not surprising. It's guitar center.
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Orange Rockerverb 50 212
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#17
Quote by Granata
Any other place you recommend? I live in California; not that many guitar places that are dependable other than GC.


Holy Crap, I'd put GC at the very bottom of any list of places in California that would be considered "dependable." I see a different "tech" every time I go into the GC in Pasadena, and there seems to be a hot-racking system most other places, or a traveling tech that visits once a week...Yuck.

WHERE in California?

If you're within shouting distance of SF, send it to Gary Brawer (15 Lafayette, SOMA in SF). He might be expensive, but it should be bang on when you get it back, and he'll have a 6-month guarantee and refresh period with it.
#18
Quote by AcousticMirror

Most places charge between 65-100 though. That's about standard.


Where are you getting those rates? Even the low end of that range is nearly double what any decent shop will charge. I've literally never even HEARD (until now) of anyone charging more than $50, and even that is nuts. Anything more than $30-$40 for a simple setup is straight up highway robbery.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#19
Quote by the_bi99man
Where are you getting those rates? Even the low end of that range is nearly double what any decent shop will charge. I've literally never even HEARD (until now) of anyone charging more than $50, and even that is nuts. Anything more than $30-$40 for a simple setup is straight up highway robbery.


that assumes simple setup. some places will do more thand that. my guy does a fair amount of work that goes beyond just checking the neck relief and setting the action.
#20
Even in Manhattan I could get a new nut AND a setup for $90 from the tech I used. Guitar Center probably jacked up the price because the company is in terrible financial shape. Unless a setup includes fret leveling it’s a ripoff at that price/
#21
Quote by monwobobbo
that assumes simple setup. some places will do more thand that. my guy does a fair amount of work that goes beyond just checking the neck relief and setting the action.


Well yeah, if you're getting fret dressing and polishing or some other more in-depth work done, then labor is labor. But that's just the point. That stuff goes well beyond a simple setup. And if a shop is just throwing out the price of the more in-depth work, when all you ask for is a simple setup, they're trying to take advantage of people who don't know better. That's bullshit business. Considering this is guitar center we're talking about, that's is exactly what they're doing. They're notorious for it. Their dickhead techs get a freaking boner when some sucker who doesn't know shit about their guitar comes in for a restringing, then they tell you that you need all this extra work done, even though you don't, charge you out the ass for it, and then usually don't even do the extra work because the sucker isn't going to know the difference. That's their business model.
Guitars
Schecter Hellraiser C-1FR, C-1 Classic, Hellraiser Hybrid Solo-II, Special Edition E-1FR-S
Orange Rockerverb 50 212
Basses
Yamaha RBX374 and Washburn MB-6
#22
Quote by the_bi99man
Well yeah, if you're getting fret dressing and polishing or some other more in-depth work done, then labor is labor. But that's just the point. That stuff goes well beyond a simple setup. And if a shop is just throwing out the price of the more in-depth work, when all you ask for is a simple setup, they're trying to take advantage of people who don't know better. That's bullshit business. Considering this is guitar center we're talking about, that's is exactly what they're doing. They're notorious for it. Their dickhead techs get a freaking boner when some sucker who doesn't know shit about their guitar comes in for a restringing, then they tell you that you need all this extra work done, even though you don't, charge you out the ass for it, and then usually don't even do the extra work because the sucker isn't going to know the difference. That's their business model.


well again that depends. the place i go tends to deal with professional musicians rather than joe average. a more serious customer base will want more than just a "simple" setup.

as for GC well they are a ripoff and a bit of a joke and do take advantage of unknowing customers. shame really.
#23
Here (READ) in Australia, we pay close to $70 AUD for a setup. This is Australia, where everyone assumes that if you're a muso, you're a millionaire . Guitar Center is ripping you off, seriously.
The above post is in terms of 'YMMV' and 'IMO', etc...

Quote by Offworld92
This debate is exhausting to read.
The guitar world is drowned in fairy dust.
We need to start at the very beginning. What is tone.
#24
Quote by the_bi99man
Where are you getting those rates? Even the low end of that range is nearly double what any decent shop will charge. I've literally never even HEARD (until now) of anyone charging more than $50, and even that is nuts. Anything more than $30-$40 for a simple setup is straight up highway robbery.


I've never seen any shop charge 50 for a full setup.
My local shop charges 75.

But I only get my guitars set up for real once a year so I'm not trying to bargain hunt. I like my guys. They just need to un fubar all the crap I do to my guitars once a year.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#25
Quote by AcousticMirror
I've never seen any shop charge 50 for a full setup.
My local shop charges 75.

But I only get my guitars set up for real once a year so I'm not trying to bargain hunt. I like my guys. They just need to un fubar all the crap I do to my guitars once a year.


It depends on where you live, what kind of guitar you have, and how screwed up the guitar is. I could take any of my hardtail guitars into a local shop and a setup would be less than $50. But if I took in a strat or a Floyd that didn’t intonate I’d be paying a lot more.
#26
Any work to my guitars I'll just do myself. It's really useful to know basic guitar maintenance.
#27
I'm on the East coast, but that still sounds a little high. My local shop (which is kind of a landmark in my city, with a loyal customer base) charges $35, plus your strings. I like pink Slinkys, so a set-up costs about $40. This includes adjustment, cleaning, tightening, etc., of course.

My advice would be to Google some independently owned shops in your area. Check their reviews and call them to get a price on a set-up. I think there's something to be said for building a relationship with a shop, if you're going to be playing the rest of your life. Most reputable, independent shops will probably do a better set-up job, than GC, anyway.
#28
I charge $50 for a TOM/vintage trem guitar, $75+ for a FR/Kahler.
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#29
For $103 that setup better come with a hot blond and a happy ending.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#30
No don't do it yourself. There's a lot involved in a real pro setup.
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#31
Quote by Ruark
No don't do it yourself. There's a lot involved in a real pro setup.

GTFO
doing a proper setup is not hard, just take your time. There are so many great tutorial video's for free it's not funny

Besides a typical setup is setting action, intonation, new strings, polishing the guitar.

After that it does become more involved, but the basics can be done with a few dollars of hand tools
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#32
Places like GC will take you for every dime they can get and they will take too long. Although guitars with floating trems are the most difficult to set up, it only requires a few tools. I've found a benefit in learning how to do it so I can experiment multiple times with what specs I like.