First, Guitar setups: Acoustic and Electric guitars and basses are immeasurably improved when set up correctly. An acoustic guitar setup has specific differences as compared to an electric guitar setup. For example, even a very slight change can have a significant impact on the play-ability. Online forums are filled with unskilled people offering faulty advice that can lead to more harm than good. Be aware.
New Electric or Acoustic Guitar?
But my new guitar is just completely unplayable!
Well….It’s not unusual. It happens all the time. Why? Simply because guitars like “fast food” are mass produced to make money. They are not produced to make guitarists happy. That is where a great guitar tech or local Custom Guitar Shop comes in handy. That’s our job.
We’ll make you happy! We work for musicians. We set up your guitar perfectly, so that playing and tuning is a pleasure. A very professional setup requires specialized tools, knowledge, experience and a good understanding of the parts of a guitar.
Ultimately, a NEW acoustic guitar can look beautiful on the wall in the store it may need lots of work to get it where a player needs it to be. An acoustic guitar should play with ease and sound great. As a player, you shouldn’t need to think about the difficulty of playing but rather about entertaining and/or getting your musical point across.
All guitars need to be setup. About 95% of new guitars direct from the factory floor and/or purchased in a music store are not set up. Why? Too time consuming for them. Music stores don’t make money setting up “your” guitar. So, they skip it.
There are many parts which require proper installation and maintenance. Without exception, setups, nuts and saddles are inexorably connected. Truss rod settings need seasonal adjustment to keep the neck straight. Constant pull of the strings and tremolo systems keep pressure on it and increases the tendency of the neck to “bow”.
What is a Guitar Setup?
A good guitar setup includes a series of adjustments that leave the guitar playing and sounding it’s best.
Over time, with temperature, humidity and use a guitar will regress. It should be checked regularly.
In the Haywire Custom Shop, we’ll check the usual spots that need adjustment.
First the truss rod to make sure the neck is true and straight, then the action or string height, the intonation is adjusted for pitch of each note. The pickup height is adjusted for balance. The saddles are checked to be sure they move properly. They need to be properly set for pitch.
Oil is used to keep the threaded parts from rusting. Volume controls, tone and switches are checked. Open any string nut slots pinching strings. Check to be sure guitar strings are free to move.
If the strings need to be changed, we’ll do that as well. All of these checks will help the guitar play better and help you perform better.
Our Haywire Guitar setup and tune-up.
Gig-Ready Process ensures that each guitar is set to original or better specs:
Point 1: 4-Axis Alignment of The Guitar Neck
First of all, each guitar neck is checked and adjusted to be sure it is true and straight to ensure proper alignment on all axes. This step ensures proper action and allows for more accurate and easier guitar tuning, playing and set-up in the following steps.
Point 2: Inspect and Lube the Guitar Tuning Gears
Before installing the guitar tuning gears, each one is checked thoroughly. Each tuning gear is adjusted so that there is no play in the mechanism. They are then lubricated to insure smooth and even movement to make your guitar tune accurately.
Point 3: Potting The Guitar Pickups
We dip the pickups in hot wax to reduce squeal therefore, as a result, no unwanted guitar feedback.
Point 4: Prep The Guitar Body
Upon installing the guitar electronic components, while great care is taken to ensure that all wires are properly routed, spaced, and grounded. In addition, you’ll have many years of trouble-free service with your guitar.
Point 5: Level and Polish the Frets
Most noteworthy, this ensures that all of the guitar frets are level, eliminating any possibility of fret buzz due to unevenness.
Point 6: Radius the Guitar Strings
Since, most guitar necks have a contour over the top of the neck called the radius. We adjust the strings to make sure the height of each string follows the contour of the guitar neck radius.
Point 7: Adjusting The Overall Guitar String Height and The Action
Once we set the contour and radius of the guitar strings, it’s time to adjust the overall height of the strings from the top of the frets to the bottom of the guitar strings.
Point 8: Set the Guitar Intonation
This step is done twice. The intonation is set two times with a 24 hour “seat-in” period in between to allow the guitar to properly re-seat to the new adjustments.
NUTS– Make, cut, re-slot, and size nuts for any neck width. We’ll re-cut your existing one if necessary.
It needs to be correct for proper and comfortable action.
Any materials you’d like: Bone, Tusq, graphite, Graphtec, Earvana and more.
Guitar Setups require specific areas of attention
SADDLES– We ‘ll set adjust or repair your saddles and set intonation properly for all acoustics, electrics and basses,
ACTION: Any way you need it to be! What we do best is what you NEED.
We’ll upgrade electric guitar saddles to any low friction surface.
They’re available for vintage, modern trems, hard tail bridges, tune-o-matics and basses. We service and overhaul Floyd Rose type locking saddles and tremolos.
As a result of our service, you may expect:
A Faster playing neck
Improved access and hand comfort
Smoother note bending
Easier play with less stress on fingering hand
Cleaner, sharper notes
Improved, responsive hand-tapping
Effortless sweep arpeggios
Excellent for trills and hammer-ons
In spite of the value of your guitar, it needs a professional setup to play great. A good setup will help you to get the most from your guitar and best results when playing.
It will be easier to play, and because the intonation is accurate, you’ll be able to play “in tune” with others. A new guitar with high string action is not likely to have fret buzz thus generating fewer buyer complaints.
However, you know how difficult it is to play when strings are very high. We fix that for you. Get the most out of your guitar. Get a professional setup. No guitar player ever said they regretted getting a professional setup. Bring out the real potential of your guitar playing skills.