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A Guitar Setup

//A Guitar Setup

A Guitar Setup

 A: Do I have a good guitar setup?  Only YOU can answer that correctly. In a good guitar setup there should be no need to alter your playing technique as you move around on your guitar if the setup is good.

In a guitar setup that is great, the guitar feels great and play is consistent all the way up the neck effortlessly. The strings feel just the right height from the fret board. There are no dead notes. It sounds superb.

It’s almost impossible to get a good guitar setup when you buy off the rack in a music store. WHY?  Two reasons. Simply because they don’t know who is going to buy it and guitar setup requirements are different for every player, so they do nothing.  OK, I get it and fully understand why.  However local stores usually don’t have a good setup tech on staff the very day you walk in. Be armed with some requests. Know what you want!  Take some ownership of knowing what you need to play well. Then pursue it vigorously.

Do I have a good  guitar setup?

A **Custom** guitar set up is what you want and is routinely done in The Haywire Custom Shop to give players maximum breadth and depth of hand freedom as well as comfort to play how they want to play when playing at their best.

A Guitar Setup-Neck

Your neck setup must feel comfortable and consistent all the way up the neck for you to get comfortable with your best playing. You absolutely need to be pleased, surprised and very comfortable with the feel, action and performance of your instrument setup.  Are you thrilled with it?  You should be.  Find out what you’re missing and go get a great setup for your guitar to match your style, playing comfort and level of expertise. 

How We Set Up a Guitar at Haywire Custom Guitars

The truss rod is the first item we look at. If it’s bowed or humped it gets straightened. Next is the string margins all the way from the head stock area to the last fret. Are margins correct on both “E” strings. Do you have the same amount of space from the strings to the edge of the fret board? If not we correct it. Is the nut cut properly? Are the strings too high at the first fret? If so, it makes for action too high and hard playing. We’ll re-cut the nut. Are the string slots in the nut cut too low allowing the strings to “buzz” at the first fret when forming open chords? We’ll fix that too.

After Checking the Neck Alignment on Your Guitar…

The next step is to add your favorite strings and set the action as low as possible. Why, because it can always go up without any buzz if it plays great “low”. If low action cannot be achieved then we’ll level the frets. That will get it super low.

However, once frets get leveled they must be crowned and then most importantly, polished. They need to be smooth for perfect glass-like string bending. At this point we can set the string heights and action. Why? Simply because in a great guitar setup, all strings must be the same distance from the top of each fret underneath and the action must be “custom fit” to the player. Next, the guitar is tuned and the intonation is checked and adjusted. Only after all of these operations have been performed in the exact and correct order can we now attempt a trial play and test for comfort, tone, overall in-tune and no buzz playing.

Guitar Setup Price

Guitar setup price varies from region to region.
Take the time to get a good set up for your guitars. Of course, it depends on where you get the guitar set up. A good one will easily be worth the guitar setup price. If your guitar is poorly setup then the difference is night and day. Are your frets buzzing? we’ll fix that. Is your neck bowed? we’ll fix that. Is your bridge too high? we’ll fix that.

How important is it to get your guitar professionally set up?

Acoustic guitars are more delicate creatures and require more care and a seasoned professional luthier. Electrics need TLC also. In truth, a guitar professional has taken years working on those skills and has the proper tools. Is your acoustics’s nut or bridge too high? We’ll fix that. Oil the fret board, level the frets, re-crown the tops, straighten the neck, lube the tuners, add new strings, check for binding in the nut. It will all get done. Most importantly, having the guitar feel good for a customer should be the first priority. Your guitar will feel infinitely better when properly set up.

Understand Your Instrument

Establishing a relationship with your tech/luthier can go a long way. It will assure you’re getting the most out of your guitars. I recommend, at least get a setup done once so you can know what a good one is. It makes the guitar setup price worth every cent. Remember, it always costs twice as much to fix a botched repair than to fix the problem right the first time. As a result, it will make you a better guitarist. As well, you will understand your instrument and what is wrong when something feels off.

By | 2024-01-22T06:13:25-05:00 September 13th, 2023|Guitar Education|0 Comments

About the Author:

Mr. Rick Mariner Owner and Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc. He is a member of The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (A.S.I.A.) as well as a guitar player. Rick holds a bachelors degree from University of Md. and a Masters degree from George Washington University. Rick developed his exclusive 8 – Point “Gig- Ready” guitar process that allows for Custom Guitars that are “GIG-READY”. With Rick’s many years of development and guitar set-up experience, Haywire Guitar shop “Builds satisfied players… one Haywire guitar at a time”.

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