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8 Point Tune Up

/8 Point Tune Up
8 Point Tune Up 2024-01-22T09:52:45-05:00
Mr. Rick Mariner
Mr. Rick MarinerOwner, Founder and CEO of Haywire Custom Guitars Inc.
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Haywire Custom Shop

8 Point Tune Up For Your Guitar

Has your guitar become a little difficult to play sometimes?  Strings too tight? Strings high off the fret board in the middle? Does it sound, “out of tune”?  Are the strings too high off the neck everywhere?  Is the neck warped, humped or bowed?  Are the tuning gears difficult to turn due to rusty moving parts?  Are the frets scratchy and rough when you try and bend notes?  Are the fret ends sharp?  Maybe, your guitar needs an 8-Point tune up!

A hard to play guitar could be a roadblock to your success as a musician, so if you want your guitar to play better and faster, let Haywire prep your guitar with our ” 8 Point Gig Ready Process”.

It’s like getting it ready for the best gig you’ve ever played!  You want to look good and play well.  Your guitar is your tool to get your musical point across. You want it sharp! Tune the whole guitar up!  We’re musicians working for musicians-Let us tune it up for you!  This is the same process that we perform on all of our new instruments, and it will put your “baby” back in shape and allow you to play fast, smoothly, comfortably, effortlessly and in tune up and down the fret board like never before!

Bring your guitar back from the dead with a well-deserved “8 Point tune up” from Haywire Custom Guitars! This includes cleaning the electronics, the fret board, tightening any loose hardware, adding the proper washers to the input jack and tightening it to make sure it stays tight, re-stringing, adjusting the truss rod, cleaning, adjusting and lubricating nut slots and other friction points, setting string height, action and intonation! Adjusting and setting up your pickups properly.  See our whole process below.  Please feel free to inquire about how we can help you be a better player!

When is it necessary to “set up” a guitar?

When a guitar is set up properly you’ll notice: The guitar will feel and sound its best all the strings will sound with exactly the notes they are supposed to. All notes will sound correct when played at each fret up and down the neck. The guitar will be easy to play. Strings will break less frequently. If a guitar plays easily and sounds its best then it’s easy for the player to feel the music and play well.

What difference does a guitar set up make? 
When a guitar is not set up properly you’ll notice: The guitar may not feel or sound quite right. Some notes may sound correct while some others may sound sharp or flat. The guitar may be difficult to play. Strings will break more often.

How is a set up accomplished?                                     

Adjusting action at the bridge: for easier play makes a difference.  The bridge saddles should be lowered if the string action is too high, that is, the strings are too far up off the fret board. In some cases it may be desirable to raise the saddles for a higher string action. Adjusting the neck, string margins, lube friction points, lower string action, take out the neck bow, add new strings, test, play and re-check.

Lower the saddles too much and the strings might rattle against certain frets (this may or may not be inconsequential on an electric guitar; listen through an amplifier). In more extreme cases, pressing a string against one fret might actually fret the string against a different fret, usually the one under the intended one. In both cases, filing the frets might alleviate the problem if the saddle really should be that low. Otherwise, simply raising the saddle a small amount on the side with the problem should be fine.

Filing frets
Filing frets should only be done by a qualified repair person and only to correct problems with frets buzzing or strings being pressed at the wrong fret (see “adjusting action at the bridge” above).

Filing the nut
Filing the nut should only be done by a qualified repair person and is used to reduce pressure at the nut to allow a heavier gauge of strings to be used.

Neck/truss rod adjustment
This particular adjustment has been known to ruin guitars when performed incorrectly, so here referral to a professional repair person is highly recommended. A guitar will need a truss rod adjustment if the neck is not straight. One way to check the straightness of the neck is to play 12th and 19th harmonics on the low and high strings. After sounding each harmonic, fret the note there and play it again: it should be exactly the same pitch. If it is not, the neck may be in need of adjustment. However, this may be indicative of an intonation problem as well, give the guitar to a repair person.

Adjusting intonation
You may notice each string on the bridge sits in a “saddle”. Depending on your setup, you might notice the saddles may be in different positions: some might be pushed forward and others might be pushed back, sometimes slightly. The positioning of the saddle effectively changes the length of the vibrating string. Tune the guitar to concert pitch with the aid of an electronic tuner, making sure the open strings are perfectly in tune. Play the 9th and 12th fret harmonics, then play the fretted notes. If the fretted notes are sharp, the string is too short and the saddle needs to be pushed back toward the base of the bridge. If the note is flat, the string is too long and the saddle needs to be pushed up toward the nut. Repeat this procedure for each string. Adjusting the intonation should be done every few months or at least twice a year.

image result for Haywire Custom Guitars guitar truss rod action setups

Haywire Custom Guitars guitar truss rod action setups

There are about eight areas to concentrate on when we set up a guitar. Each point is listed below:

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 four axis: right, left, back and forward – then perfectly centered. This step ensures proper action and allows for more accurate and easier guitar playing with less fret buzz. 

Point 2: Inspect and Lube the Tuning Gears

Before installing your guitar tuning gears, each one is tightened and checked thoroughly. Every 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. All other friction points are lubricated as well.

Point 3: Potting the Guitar Pickups

If not completed already, we dip the pickups in hot wax to reduce squeal therefore, as a result, no unwanted guitar feedback. Then radius all adjustable pole pieces to the same string and neck radius for best sound.

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 and pots working properly.  In addition to quality sound, 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. If extreme low action is required, we start here.

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. That way each string is the same distance from the top of each fret allowing for perfect intonation of each fretted note.

Point 7: Adjusting Overall Guitar String Height, Action, Nut and Bridge

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. We can achieve any action you require-from high to extremely low. During this check we’ll adjust the nut and bridge if needed.

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. Now you have an instrument in perfect tune anywhere. It’s comfortable, plays how you want it and is Gig-Ready! Your perfect guitar.

Cost: $85

image of Yellow Haywire Custom Guitar after tune up
8 Point Tune Up-Complete! This guitar is now set up to perfection.

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