Posted by admin on January 24th, 2015
Hello and Happy New Year! ¬†I hope everyone still has the holiday glow as you enjoy 2015 and keeping all those resolutions you promised to yourself.
One thing you may have always wanted to understand and do yourself is guitar setups on your own guitars. ¬†There is really no better way to understand what makes some guitars play better than others, how to tweak a guitar that feels a little off more to your liking, and also be able to check if a used guitar is in great shape but just plays funny because it hasn’t been set up properly.
We are the only repair shop in the area who offer this type of course because we do not mind educating our customers. ¬†You should not have to pay for a setup again after taking this 4 hour one on one course. ¬†Here is feedback from our latest student in November of 2014. ¬†He wanted to concentrate on Strats that he had, and was able to use the course immediately to work on another guitar he had. ¬†So give a ring if you are interested to set up a time: ¬†weekday evenings, or weekend mornings.
“I am very happy with the class and the results with the guitars.
¬†the fiesta red strat is the most playable – however the pick ups aren’t that great.
¬†the white custom shop strat is the most beautiful guitar – pickups have great tone -
¬†and finally . . . the black strat -
¬†I¬†have been able to adjust the truss rod a bit more and have gone back and forth with the truss rod adjustment ¬†- i believe i have it set up pretty nicely. ¬†i have also set the action pretty nicely. ¬†the intonation is a bit tricky as i am using a korg chromatic tuner (19.99) – for now i have re strung this guitar with the same size strings (10s) – this guitar has pick ups that absolutely scream.
Any how – thanks a lot for spending the time to work with my guitars, and teaching me so much – i am pretty confident in the basics of setting up fender guitars now.
it is an excellent service you provide. “
Posted by admin on August 2nd, 2014
Customer brought a banjo in recently complaining that the 5th string tuner would just not stay in tune. ¬†That string is the one which is shorter than the rest of the strings, starting at a higher fret and is usually tuned to a high G. ¬†It really throws guitar players off because it is “lowest” on the neck but tuned the highest. ¬†Does make for fun patterns when arpeggiating chords.
I don’t get too many banjos through the shop so I had visually inspect the instrument first to see what might be going on. ¬†I found that the tuners on the banjo were friction tuners. ¬†These are a cheap type of tuner used very often on banjos, and ukeleles. I do not recall seeing the on guitars. ¬†This tuner in particular would just not hold the note at the high G and so as useless.
Old friction tuner and puller tool that I used to remove it from its post.
After some quick research online I found what I was looking for, a retrofit 5th string tuner that was geared like a regular tuner. ¬†Since the other four tuners were working fine, we decided to leave those and just replace the offending unit. ¬†Here you can see the difference between the two tuners.
New gear operated tuner on the right. Notice the install post is larger than the original
So once I had the correct replacement part, I removed the old tuner. ¬† What was left was a hole in the side of the banjo which was too small to install the new tuner. ¬†I had to use a specialty reamer with the end ground off to enlarge the hole enough to fit the new tuner into. This is the trickiest part of the repair: ¬†make the new hole too large and the tuner will not stay in there. ¬†You want a very tight fit but not so much that you may split the neck wood when installing. ¬†Once I was where I needed to be, I also used some slow set wood glue in the hole to help bind the new tuner. ¬†Another important consideration is to get the proper angle of the spring post so that the string has some fall away from the fretboard, but also does not end up rubbing against the tuner body and causing a different tuning issue. ¬†
After letting the glue set for 24 hours, I strung up the banjo, checked the intonation, and tested the new tuner. Everything worked out perfectly and this budget banjo was better than when it was new. ¬†Here you can see the happy customer with her new friend. ¬†I highly recommend this upgrade for anyone who has a budget banjo and wants an inexpensive way to upgrade their playing enjoyment. ¬†Who wants to keep tuning when you can be playing.