#1
So I bought my first guitar last month and I started playing more and more but the fret buzzing and the wrong intonations on the strings annoy me very much.
Now I am about to go to a guitar shop and ask for a guitar setup but what should I exactly ask for?I want to put new strings (the stock ones suck).But what else?
Last edited by BenzerGoldy at Mar 17, 2017,
#2
add a bone nut and answer the guitar techs questions.  pretty easy and straightforward.

You should just do some research...  setup on a guitar is simple to do, a bit harder to do it 100% accurately, but very easy to get it playable.
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#3
Don't take the guitar to a shop for a setup and instead, learn how to set the guitar up yourself.

But do buy some new strings if you haven't already.
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#4
BenzerGoldy If the guitar is new, you could start by bringing it back to the store where you bought it. They may adjust it for free as good customer service. 

Since you're a new player, it's worth mentioning that a well adjusted guitar can still give you fret buzz if you hammer on the strings. People with a heavy strum will need their action (string height) set higher.  Most players prefer low action, so are willing to accept a small amount of buzz as a trade-off. Intonation can be affected by technique.  Some new players have a tendency to pull the strings off to the side a little which can pull them sharp. It *is* possible to press too hard.  What I'm suggesting is that there is a possibility that your guitar doesn't need any work at all, but nobody can tell without examining it.  That's why you should see a tech rather than try to make any adjustments on your own. 


When you bring the guitar to the tech, just tell them exactly what you told us...that the intonation is off,  you're experiencing fret buzz, and would like new strings installed.   They'll ask you what gauge and brand you prefer.  If you don't know, ask for their recommendation. You can demonstrate to them exactly what the guitar is doing and ask what it will take to make it right. 


 
Last edited by tommymc at Mar 17, 2017,
#7
Quote by BenzerGoldy
T00DEEPBLUEHow much does a guitar setup cost?I know you can't give me an exact price but how much do they usually cost?
Ask them when you go to the store to buy new strings. Usually $50-$100, depending on what kind of bridge your guitar has and any other work that'll need to be done to the guitar to get it playing good.

If you do it yourself, you can do just as good a job with practice (if not better), and for free. You also get the peace of mind that you know you're doing a good job. It stands to reason that learning how to set up your own instruments is 100% totally worth it. Otherwise, it's a bit like knowing how to drive a car without knowing how to check the engine oil or the coolant. It's on your list of fundamental things that you need to know how to do in order to operate your guitar the way it was intended.

I only take a guitar to a tech if there was something mechanically wrong with the guitar that requires specialised tools and experience to fix. Such as neck resets or refretting. I've not taken guitar to a tech for a setup ever. I just learned myself through online research and practice. I've never had a problem since.
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#8
Before spending $50-100 on a set up, use that money to buy a few decent tools like a good set of quality small screw drivers, a set of allen wrenches and go on a site like StewMac and buy several tools like a "Fret Rocker"($25) to find high frets and a fret file ($40). All that could be had for about $100. Watch videos on YouTube showing how to do your own set ups. There are a lot of them and many are really good. Once you have this knowledge you will never go a tech for simple set ups. 
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#9
Another vote for DIY. It needs very few tools for the basic stuff - neck relief and saddle height - and it is easy if you can visualise the geometry of the neck (an arc of variable radius joined to a straight line) and string (a straight line). Nut slot height might require more specialised tools, but at least least it is easy to check whether they are too high and need attention.
#10
If you're going to go the DIY route, practice setting up your instrument with a cheaper guinea pig guitar. If you have only one guitar bring it to a guitar tech to set up. If you require an adjustment to your truss rod, you can cause irreparable damage to your instrument if you don't know what you're doing and/or if you've never adjusted your truss rod before. 
#11
Take it to a tech. You'll want to eventually learn how to do it yourself but right now you don't have the knowledge to know what a proper setup should be like.

Take it from someone who learned on their own. It took SEVERAL tries before figuring how to get it right.
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#12
I am currently a tech, and while I cannot speak for most other techs, I give people a crash course on setups as I'm working on it if they ask. Like how I measure string to fret distance and how I set the intonation, How to adjust the neck, etc., as I go along. Mechanical repairs are a different story, however. If you try to tell me how to rewire a guitar as I'm rewiring it, I charge extra. Same goes as when I'm working on a car.
#13
You should tell them what issues you're having and hopefully they'll be able to fix it. They'll probably look at the guitar in that moment and tell you what will be done to your instrument. 

Just make sure you take it to a good tech. There's all kinds of so called "TECHS" out there that don't know squat shit, i've taken one of my guitars to a local tech because of guitar buzz that wouldn't go away.and it came back with extremely high string action. They basically charged me $50 to do something I already knew how to do. Restring it, and raise the height. Honestly it was a total waste of money. 
#14
Find a small local shop and develop a relationship with a good luthier. He will be your guy from now on - whatever you need looked at or adjusted from here on out, or any new guitars you may purchase or already own. So make sure he's a knowledgeable one.
#15
Paying for a pro setup may be well worth your money, especially if the technician lets you watch over their shoulder as they work and explain what they are doing and why. I have never taken this approach but it seems reasonable (offering an added cash incentive for their  insight wouldnt hurt either). If you are unable to shadow a technician as they perform a setup, try  reverse engineering the differences in feel with your guitar before and after the setup.

I was was fortunate enough to get a complimentary setup when I purchased a Hagstrom Swede last year. I requested 9's (string gauge) with the action set low but I was not able to witness the setup process. I was very happy with the feel of the setup I received and thus  was able to feel what a proper setup should feel like. Using a string gauge ruler, I went on to use that guitar's setup and measurements as the basis to setup the other guitars in my small and humble collection.

You can buckle down and read a number of articles on performing your own setup and/or YouTube the subject to your heart's content. Whichever route you take I wish you the best of luck and hope you will enjoy playing guitar for years and decades to come. Welocome to a life long obsession with guitars!
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#16
yea the last time I took a guitar to a guitar shop it came back worse than it went in, so I ended up doing it myself, Just go to Youtube, and learn to set up a guitar yourself, the intonation is easy once you get your head around it. the more you know how to set up a guitar the better you get to know your instrument.