Guitar, Bass and other fretted instruments

All fretted instruments need a certain minimum standard of construction, setup and action to ensure playability and tonal integrity – the quality and relationship of strings, nut, bridge and saddle, fretwork, and neck alignment being clearly fundamental to this. Pitch stability is also impacted by the tuning machines’ and tailpiece’s function and condition. For electrics, additionally pickups, switching and controls, wiring and output jacks, and shielding and grounding are also vital parts of the equation.

For every instrument I work on I provide an evaluation report detailing construction and condition which thoroughly documents (eg down to each individual fret height) both existing setup and the result of any work carried out. There is no extra charge for this – it is an essential part of evaluation of the instrument and the work required and completed. It also allows a setup to be exactly duplicated if it becomes compromised at some future point, and it is also useful as a record for insurance purposes (it does not however include a valuation – as I am not a guitar dealer).

 

Typical jobs, repairs and upgrades:

  • restrings to your gauge and type of choice (I tend to use Ernie Ball for guitar, just because they do settle quickly)
  • action set up, including pickup adjustment, to your preference
  • replacement nuts carved (I’m not a fan of the generic pre-cut plastic ones)
  • neck evaluation and adjustment
  • intonation and compensation
  • truss rod repair
  • tremolo setup and optimisation
  • frets and fretboard cleaning and polishing
  • fretwork
  • tuner machines servicing and replacement
  • bridge and saddle replacement
  • pickup replacement and upgrades (including routing)
  • wiring and controls, including custom wiring schemes
  • shielding
  • general cleaning and polishing

 

Allow me to introduce ‘Maybellene’ (aka ‘the operating table’):

She is a fold-up mobile jig for working on instruments. She can hold ukuleles, banjos, tenors, baritones, jumbos, classicals, dreadnoughts, mandolins, and electrics and basses of any shape in a firm but suede-soft embrace for all kinds of work, back or front. She can even simulate string tension…