#1
What do you guys think about setting up your own guitar's ?
Adjusting your truss rod and intonate your guitar after doing that is something most of us can do.

but what about all the rest, i tried setting up one of my guitar's a few times after reading Dan Erlewine's book, but i'm not getting anywhere close as my luthier can making my guitar's play and sound heavenly..

i was planning on buying a decent kit from stewmac and get deeper into setting up guitar's but on the other hand, apart from adjusting the truss rod and intonating i find it all quite overwhelming.
#2
Well that's their job right? They have tons of experience so it should be better, but like most skills to learn, they take time to do them well. And they are excellent skills to learn.
#3
Quote by esky15
Well that's their job right? They have tons of experience so it should be better, but like most skills to learn, they take time to do them well. And they are excellent skills to learn.

ofcourse it is. but then again i think to get anywhere as good as a real luthier you'd actually have to learn from one, i dont think you can become that good from reading a book, no matter how good the explanation is.

Still i wonder if most guitarist setup their own guitar or have it done by a luthier.
#4
Well you don't necessarily have to be trained to do good work, but courses would help right.

I have always done my own work, it's not ever been your easier stuff though. The only time I ever took it to a shop was when the fretboard was separating from the neck right at the nut and that was like 2009.
#5
I tried to learn by myself and it was OK but I knew I needed some more training. I was extremely fortunate to find a local luthier (very well know) who took on apprentices and for a very reasonable fee allowed you to bring your guitars and projects to his workshop and work on them with him and get real "hands on" training. I did this for a year (once a month with 8 hour sessions) and it was a great experience that books or videos just can't cover. Each guitar is unique in it's own way with it's own specific issues. Books and videos are a great start but will be somewhat generic because they usually are not covering any specific guitar.

If you know of a good local luthier you may ask if he would be willing to take on an unpaid assistant when you have time and are available. You'll spend time doing the grunt work like taping up necks, filling and crowning frets, doing lots of sanding jobs but you'll also learn a great deal of inside information because each guitar arrives with it's own distinct issues. You'll get that hands on experience that is hard to understand by just reading a book or watching a video. After all this training I feel very confident working on my own guitars. I can't say I have the complete confidence to do anyone else's guitar's at this point but I know I can do what I need done on my own guitars.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Oct 19, 2015,
#6
Quote by musicians1
What do you guys think about setting up your own guitar's ?
Adjusting your truss rod and intonate your guitar after doing that is something most of us can do.

but what about all the rest, i tried setting up one of my guitar's a few times after reading Dan Erlewine's book, but i'm not getting anywhere close as my luthier can making my guitar's play and sound heavenly..

i was planning on buying a decent kit from stewmac and get deeper into setting up guitar's but on the other hand, apart from adjusting the truss rod and intonating i find it all quite overwhelming.


if you have any mechanical aptitude you can certainly learn how to do this and more difficult work. maybe slow down and take things one step at a time?
#7
Quote by musicians1
ofcourse it is. but then again i think to get anywhere as good as a real luthier you'd actually have to learn from one, i dont think you can become that good from reading a book, no matter how good the explanation is.


i don't agree. i think this is self-defeating and probably one of your hang ups.

learning from any one luthier is a hit or miss thing. you could do great or you could pick up 30 years worth of bad habits from a cranky bastard. apex builders usually don't have time to take on trainees because they are working. luthiery does not pay much unless you are at the very top and honestly not always in electric guitars either.

if you think this is the only way to go, you might want to think about taking a course somewhere. roberto venn or mit perhaps. don't know where you are at.
#8
Quote by ad_works
i don't agree. i think this is self-defeating and probably one of your hang ups.

learning from any one luthier is a hit or miss thing. you could do great or you could pick up 30 years worth of bad habits from a cranky bastard. apex builders usually don't have time to take on trainees because they are working. luthiery does not pay much unless you are at the very top and honestly not always in electric guitars either.

if you think this is the only way to go, you might want to think about taking a course somewhere. roberto venn or mit perhaps. don't know where you are at.


You do have a point there...
i also talked to my luthier today, he told me practice on cheap broken guitar's, take them apart etc. ,and like you said, take it step by step.
#10
I'm fine with anything from minor saddle height adjustments to disassembling a guitar and replacing the bridge, tunering pegs and pickups. Truss rods still scare me though, probably because there's more chance of me breaking something (i.e. the neck).
Guitars & Gear:
Parker Nitefly M
Sumer Metal Driver
Ibanez RGD2120Z
AMT SS-11B
Two Notes Torpedo CAB
#11
Quote by Emperor's Child
Truss rods still scare me though, probably because there's more chance of me breaking something (i.e. the neck).

You'd have to be a complete mong to adjust a truss rod to the point of damaging something. Any shred of common sense will ensure that you'll be fine with adjusting it.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#12
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You'd have to be a complete mong to adjust a truss rod to the point of damaging something. Any shred of common sense will ensure that you'll be fine with adjusting it.


First time I "adjusted" a truss rod, I broke it.
<Raises hand> I was a complete mong.
#13
I've mostly done my own minor setups, but I will admit to handing guitars that are new to me to Gary Brawer to have a Good Initial Setup done. It comes back with the frets superglued and PLEK'd and with the action right down where I like it. After that it's up to me to keep it that way for as long as I can.
#14
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
You'd have to be a complete mong to adjust a truss rod to the point of damaging something. Any shred of common sense will ensure that you'll be fine with adjusting it.


do truss rods come high up the list of common sense things?
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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#16
Quote by Dave_Mc
do truss rods come high up the list of common sense things?

When it comes to setting guitars up? Yes.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#17
I set up all of my friends guitars. I think I can make them play better and they think I do, too. I've been doing it for over ten years, which probably means I'm decent at it, but my only basic rule is judge by looks then adjust for sound. I do not think anyone can do it, however, because I think it takes some intuition, but that can be learned of course, so anyone can do it eventually.
#18
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
When it comes to setting guitars up? Yes.


but it's not common sense if it's a specialised area
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
I agree about starting with a cheap used guitar. While I have always done minor set ups (truss adjustments, intonations etc.), I had never done any extensive fret work. I started with a cheap Fender Bullet Strat that my daughter never learned to play and I leveled the neck. filed frets, recrowned, and cleaned it up and it plays 100% better (which isn't saying much). After that I bought a Chibson Les Paul fake for $200 and redid almost everything on it from tuners to new frets, Artec pickups, CTS pots, all new wires, everything got changed whether it needed it or not. With a little investment (less than $300) that $200 Chibson plays beautifully and the experience was really valuable to me. Like I mentioned earlier I had some guidance from a good luthier but it was all worth it.
I have since refretted two of my older guitars (an Ibanez 1976 LP copy and a 1956 Gibson ES275) and I am very pleased with the results. One thing that was necessary was spending a little money on some specific luthier tools like fret files, radius sanding blocks, nut files, a good straight edge for checking the neck and a few additional tools. The cost was well worth it as I am now able to do most of my own work. Mostly I am just enjoying doing it.
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Oct 21, 2015,
#20
Quote by Dave_Mc
but it's not common sense if it's a specialised area

I think its common sense in a way that if anybody has held a spanner, they'll know that its important that whatever they're tightening needs to be held straight with the nut/bolt that needs to be tightened/loosened and to be careful not to overtighten. Adjusting a truss rod is very much the same.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#21
not everyone has done a lot of diy, though. i certainly hadn't, and i'm still iffy about most guitar stuff. i can't speak for anyone else but i learnt guitar to learn guitar, not to put a whole pile of time into guitar setup, soldering etc.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#22
Quote by Dave_Mc
not everyone has done a lot of diy, though. i certainly hadn't, and i'm still iffy about most guitar stuff. i can't speak for anyone else but i learnt guitar to learn guitar, not to put a whole pile of time into guitar setup, soldering etc.

Ah. I've had a very different upbringing. My parents have had to do a lot of DIY to afford what they have, so naturally I learned how to tighten and loosen nuts, bolts and screws in a way that doesn't risk wrecking them.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend
#23
my dad tried to stop the front door handle from squeaking one time when i was wee. admittedly he probably technically succeeded in that stated aim; however the front door no longer closed when he'd finished.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?