Skip to content
Guitar set-up by a ...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Guitar set-up by a pro...

25 Posts
13 Users
0 Likes
2,562 Views
Clau20
(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
Topic starter  

Hi!

Yesturday, I took my electric guitar to the music shop to get it set-up. There was a buzzing sound around the 12-17th fret and it was getting worse everyday.

The guy at the music shop check my guitar, tried it and tell me he saw just a LITTLE problem and that buzzing sound was normal on an electric guitar "when you play hard"...

I wasn't sure anymore about the set-up... Should I pay for it or not?

I talked a bit with the guy and decided to go for the set-up and a string change by the way.

That'll cost me between 40 to 60$, depending on what they'll have to do... Does it worth the price? Do they clean the neck and the fret when they do a set-up?

My main question should be: What do they do when you ask for a set-up? :wink:

* 24 hours later, I miss my electric guitar... Can't wait to get it back home!

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
Quote
yashicamat
(@yashicamat)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 271
 

You will get some buzzing from an electric guitar if the action is set low. If the action is set too low, the buzzing becomes a problem because it will actually get amplified, but the only way to test that is with the amp!

I'm sure others will add/correct me on what a setup should cover, but I think it should cover:

- intonation
- string action (including matching the radius of the fretboard if the adjustment allows)
- truss rod / neck relief
- possibly pickup heights?

They might check things like the fretwire thickness, if it's really worn it could cause problems. They might also dress the fretboard with lemon oil as well (which also cleans the wood).

Incidentally, if I could get a proper setup done for that sort of money over here I wouldn't hesitate! Seems to be a minimum of $100 equiv. over here so I take matters into my own hands for better or worse. :mrgreen:

Hope this helps. :)

Rob

If something's not worth doing it's worth forgetting about.
Epiphone Les Paul Std - Yamaha Pacifica 112XJ - Takamine EG340SC - Taylor Baby - Grainger Hammerhead 50 - Grainger Valve Five
http://www.youtube.com/yashicamatonline


   
ReplyQuote
Clau20
(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
Topic starter  

Yeah thank you

The fact is that, when I bought my guitar, the action was very low and I like it like that. There was no buzzing sound when I bought it...

And it seemed that the action was higher than when I first played on it and told the guy I wanted the action lower. But he told I couldn't get it lower than it was actually :roll:

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
ReplyQuote
MrJonesey
(@mrjonesey)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 470
 

I strongly urge you to learn how to set it up yourself. There are a few really good articles online that walk you through the process. It's not really that difficult and well worth the little effort it takes.

I especially recommend setting your own pickup hieghts. The manufacturer should have recommended heights, but it's really up to personal preference for the exact settings. One of the articles I read said that "having a guitar tech adjust your pickup height is like having an auto mechanic adjust your car seats."

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


   
ReplyQuote
JoeyFiveThumbs
(@joeyfivethumbs)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 27
 

I paid $53 for setup at a local guitar shop last week. They gave me an invoice the listed everything, I will see if I still have it. I got one of those cheap starcaster's for Christmas, you see at best buy and costco. It sounds a lot better after getting it setup. I was wondering if my novice ears would be able to tell the difference, but I certainly could. I am glad I had it done.


   
ReplyQuote
The Dali
(@the-dali)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1409
 

Yes - learn how to setup your own guitar. It will save you money in the long run, and you will become more comfortable tweaking your guitar to get the action you prefer. There are a bunch of places on the web, but here is a good start:

http://users.powernet.co.uk/guitars/setuptut.htm

A key point is setting up the intonation. Beginning players don't worry about it much, but as they begin to play up the board more they will notice that notes can become flat or sharp starting at the 8th fret... intonation is easy to check and (usually) easy to fix and get in-line.

-=- Steve

"If the moon were made of ribs, would you eat it?"


   
ReplyQuote
rparker
(@rparker)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5480
 

+1 for setting it up yourself. I've said that before though. Here's a thought. Try it yourself before you bring it in. If you can't, then just bring it in like you were gonna anyhow. Not out any more money and at worse, you've made the tech earn his fee. :wink:

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


   
ReplyQuote
Clau20
(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
Topic starter  

Oh, I made small adjustments myself before :wink:

I know how the truss rod works, and know how to ajust the action.

But the buzzing sound was getting worse and I tried many times to adjust the neck. It works a few days, but the buzzing sound came out again.

I was affraid of you know, turn the truss rod on a side, turn on another side, and maybe cause damage to my guitar that costs me a lot on a university student :wink:

I wish I could have a cheap guitar to practice the adjustments on it before :wink: I'll check the website, thanks
I especially recommend setting your own pickup hieghts. The manufacturer should have recommended heights, but it's really up to personal preference for the exact settings. One of the articles I read said that "having a guitar tech adjust your pickup height is like having an auto mechanic adjust your car seats."

I didn't know about pick-up heights... You can have different sounds from different pick-up height? What about humbucker?

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
ReplyQuote
Wes Inman
(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

I can understand someone being afraid of setting up their own guitar, but the only way to learn is to do it. :D

Here is a good site with details on setting up guitar, I especially like the links at the bottom of the page.

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/tutorial1.htm

The main thing is just to take your time and not force anything. Also, always mark the original postion before you make any adjustment so you can return to the original position if necessary.

Nobody will set your guitar up as well as you do once you learn. Plus, it will save you lots of money.

Wes

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
ReplyQuote
MrJonesey
(@mrjonesey)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 470
 

I especially recommend setting your own pickup hieghts. The manufacturer should have recommended heights, but it's really up to personal preference for the exact settings. One of the articles I read said that "having a guitar tech adjust your pickup height is like having an auto mechanic adjust your car seats."

I didn't know about pick-up heights... You can have different sounds from different pick-up height? What about humbucker?

The p/u height will effect the tone. The closer the p/u's are to the strings, you get a warmer, woodier, heavier tone... farther away and it gets brigher (too much and it can get a bit thin and tinny). But if you get too close, you get a lot of string noise and buzzing. I think it can also cause a bit of fret buzz as you play up on the higher strings because the magnets pull the strings down.

Height also effects the volume. You want to even the volume out between the back and front p/u's as well as between the top and bottom strings.

These are adjustments that you can make on the fly if you are playing and happen to notice it needs a bit of a tweak. There are suggested standard height adjustments, but you really want to be able to dial in the settings to fit most comfortable with your style, tone and preference.

"There won't be any money. But when you die, on your death bed, you will receive total conciousness. So, I got that going for me. Which is nice." - Bill Murray, Caddyshack ~~ Michigan Music Dojo - http://michiganmusicdojo.com ~~


   
ReplyQuote
Clau20
(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
Topic starter  

I paid $53 for setup at a local guitar shop last week. They gave me an invoice the listed everything, I will see if I still have it. I got one of those cheap starcaster's for Christmas, you see at best buy and costco. It sounds a lot better after getting it setup. I was wondering if my novice ears would be able to tell the difference, but I certainly could. I am glad I had it done.

And why did you get a set-up on your guitar? Did you have any problem with it?

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
ReplyQuote
JoeyFiveThumbs
(@joeyfivethumbs)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 27
 

And why did you get a set-up on your guitar? Did you have any problem with it?

Well it just didn't sound "right". I am totally new to the guitar, but when I played chords, they just didn't sound right. The tuner that came with the guitar is pretty poor too. I tried manually tuning it also. The high E string was especially "twangy". Being afraid to do further damage, I took it to a local shop. I have seen other threads recommending taking a new guitar to a shop, may have been on other sites. One thing is for sure, it sounds much better! May have just been a proper tuning or the strings, I don't know. I don't plan on doing it again, but I am glad I did this time.


   
ReplyQuote
boxboy
(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1221
 

I can understand someone being afraid of setting up their own guitar, but the only way to learn is to do it. :D

Here is a good site with details on setting up guitar, I especially like the links at the bottom of the page.

http://www.projectguitar.com/tut/tutorial1.htm

The main thing is just to take your time and not force anything. Also, always mark the original postion before you make any adjustment so you can return to the original position if necessary.

Nobody will set your guitar up as well as you do once you learn. Plus, it will save you lots of money.

Wes

I couldn't agree more. I think basic setups, on electrics anyway, are easier than changing strings.
I continue to mangle string changes but will happily tackle action, intonation and pickup height adjustments.
Like Wes said, go slow. I jot the incremental changes on a notepad, ie, '1/2 turn CW to the low E saddle screw, 1/4 turn CW to the A', etc.
One additional thing I'd suggest: don't go mucking with the truss rod until you've tried everything else. I've had a number of playability issues with my guitars and none has ever required a truss rod adjustment.
All the best!
:)

Don


   
ReplyQuote
corbind
(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

+1 because ordinary tuners just don't have the accuracy for a fine intonation.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
ReplyQuote
Clau20
(@clau20)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 351
Topic starter  

What is intonation exactly?

" First time I heard the music
I thought it was my own
I could feel it in my heartbeat
I could feel it in my bones
... Blame it on the love of Rock'n'Roll! "


   
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 2