The Recommended Workshops Thread - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-18-2010, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 955
The Recommended Workshops Thread

After having a wonderful experience with a great guitar tech, I've came up with a thread idea.

Name a workshop/luthier type person or place you've had good experiences with, tell us who they are, where they're based and what sort of area you think they serve, or should serve.

I'll start.

Name: J. White Guitar Workshops
Location: Aldershot, Hampshire, UK
Catchment area: As far as you're prepared to travel - the best man in the South East/Hants/Surrey/Berks area for sure. If you pay for carriage I think you can send it to him as well.
Notable clientele: Neil Brocklebank, Lisbee Stainton
Example of services/prices: I paid for two pickups to be installed on my S320 (£20 per p/up) and a full setup (£80). The full setup checklist:
Check fingerboard - under tension
Check truss rod - under tension
Adjust truss rod
Oil truss rod
Check fingerboard/truss rod - No tension
Stone frets
Crown frets
Clean fingerboard
Polish frets
Oil fingerboard
Adjust truss rod for relief (fingerboard)
Fit new strings
Fret Relief (with details of amount of relief given)
Oil machine heads and moving parts
Check nut
Check saddles/bridge
Adjust saddles/bridge
Adjust pickups
Check intonation
Check electrics
Clean Pots
Clean switches
Test & Play
Final adjustments
Clean guitar
Action at 12th Fret (specific to you and your playing style)

The re-cut of the frets is based on your playing style as he observes it, and is also respective to the vibration of the strings. So he does it properly. Precise measurements right down to nanometer sorta thing.

You get an invoice and a service card saying when it's next due for a setup again. That's a really good thing to have in case you flog your guitar cos you can prove you've had it serviced.

I'm so happy with the way my guitar's turned out, it's like it's a brand new guitar. Suddenly I wonder if I should ever bother buying an expensive guitar with guys like that around!
NeglectedField is offline  
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 2,282
Reviews: 3
Re: The Recommended Workshops Thread

This is a good thread idea. I think most people don't appreciate the value of a really good luthier.

Name: Rauen Guitars
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Catchment area: (you goofy UK people and your lingo, haha). Never approached the idea of shipping, although when I move away in a couple months I might. He's an old fashioned business man, prefers to deal face-face.
Notable Clientele: Buddy Guy, Keith Richards, Leo Kottke, Mel Ford, Willy Porter, Bruce Springsteen, Jay Ratkowski, etc. Also, in the 80's he was the lead designer for Dean Guitars.
Example of services/prices:The midwest is commonly more affordable than the east/west coast, so his prices are somewhat reflective of that. He's also one of the better luthiers in the country, so take that into account. Last project I brought him was a nice bass that had terrible frets and a fretboard that was badly beat up (lots of chips from an attempted refret job by the previous owner). He replaced the frets, fixed all the damage, did a full set-up/intonation. Cost right around $400.

You can get a comprehensive setup job for $100-150 I believe. He does a great job asking questions about your playing style and will keep detailed notes so next time he knows what you want.

He's capable of performing miracles in the repair department. Look at the Examples" tab on his website to see.

I'd trust him with anything from a $500 used-bin find to my DNA and anything else I ever own, without hesitation.
jay ratkowski is offline  

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