Why does my new guitar need setting-up?

When you buy a guitar, even if it is brand new, it will almost certainly need a full set-up if you want to get the most out of it. When the guitar is manufactured it will (if you are lucky) recieve a token and very basic "factory" set-up, this is to ensure the instrument is playable.... but only to a minimum specification. Usually this is woefully inadequate and the little "set-up specifications" ticket that comes attatched to the headstock is nothing short of a joke.
When you buy the guitar from a shop they will probably agree to include a "full set-up" as part of the deal. No disrespect to the guy in the shop but you will NOT get a "FULL" set-up. The instrument will get what I would refer to as a "BASIC" set-up. A proper set-up takes time, several hours in fact, everything needs adjusting, everything needs tightening up, the frets will more than likely need a fret-dress/levelling... and a factory or the shop you bought it from for that matter, will not invest that amount of time into the sale.
If you buy an instrument from the internet, it will be shipped as supplied from the factory and therefore is unlikely to have recieved ANY kind of setting-up at all.

So why come to SGL GUITARS?

It is unlikely that an in-house, shop tech will be a full time professional Luthier and will be unable to perform more skilled repairs and service requests... otherwise they would be working full time at their own workshop. Although they can mostly do a reasonable job of setting-up a guitar, most will be "learning the trade" on YOUR guitar!
An exception to the rule in the Portsmouth area is Steve at PJ's Guitar Centre, Southsea. He's a really good guitar tech and a jolly nice chap too!


Check my repairs gallery and ask ANY other local "tech" or "luthier" if he can perform the advanced repairs listed there: eg.

Fingerboard replacements
Martin acoustic neck re-setting
12-string headstock manufacture/replacement
Widening of classical guitar neck!

I promise you they wont!

Having tried working from several shops myself in the past, it became clear that shop owners are not prepared to subsidise the cost of a real "FULL SET-UP" in a guitar sale (except in very, very rare cases) and the term "FULL SET-UP" is used very loosely ...like when you are promised a FULL-SERVICE as part of a deal on a second hand car (yer right!). Most of a shop technician's time is spent tweaking and re-tweaking warranty returns whilst trying to keep within the shop's tight workshop budget, I know a lot of these guys and they are great and will do the best they can... but the shops DO have to make a profit on the guitar they sold you! I've done full fret-dress/set-ups on guitars for shops simply because there was no other way to get it playing right and charged the shop as little as £20 (thats a £65 job)... and STILL been questioned on the excessive cost!! As a result, the tech's own work ethics are compromised... and as a full time pro... it just doesn't work!
A professional Luthier will want to provide a high quality service with fast turnaround at competitive prices without compromise... and make a living! To do this... he must deal with the customer personally.

At SGL Guitars, I strive to perform the ultimate set-up and personal service for every customer, it is a very involved process and must not be confused with the minor adjustments that many budding guitar techs pass off as a "Set-Up". A set-up is a very personal and individual thing and every guitarist attacks the strings in a unique and different way, therefore he/she must be prepared to return the instrument for a re-tweak if things are not exactly to their satisfaction. This is why all work I perform is subject to a no-frills no questions asked re-adjustment service for three months (often longer) after the work has been carried out.

An SGL set-up is performed to very high tolerances so in very rare cases, (usually during extreme weather or seasonal changes) a guitar that's just been setup can go squiffy before you even get it home! If this happens, DON'T re-adjust it yourself... bring it back!!

There are other guitar techs and luthiers around the country but although some are quite good, most cannot match the expertise, skills and experience on offer at SGL Guitars.

For a description of what is included in an SGL Guitars Set-UP, click on the links on the table on the HOMEPAGE.


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