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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

Dave here. It's been a while since I've posted but still feel like you guys are my extended family. I hope you've all been well!

My friends were recently bragging about a guy they know that has ultra guitar tech skills. A guy who loves Jems! I thought wow. My 7vwh is in a miserable state. I need to see this guy. Turns out, he happens to be a member of this here community. His name is Steve. Aka Steve_U1S

I'll keep this as short and sweet.

This guitar was out of commission. The neck and bridge pickup were dead, the frets ends were sharp and cut into my hand, so much so I was dreading playing it. The baby E string was constantly fretting out and getting trapped under the edge of the frets or under the pickup. I play jems - it was more than usual. A host of other problems too.

I gave that guitar to Steve and let him do his magic. Within an hour he was texting me about the progress. Told me exactly what needed to be fixed. Worked closely with me. And boy did he deliver.

A couple days later, he gave me back a guitar that has never looked or played better. The pickups scream again. The frets feel wonderful and smooth. And the neck isperfectly realigned. No more fret outs. The guitar felt balanced. The bridge shines like knew and boy does she stay in tune.

I really couldn't have asked for more. He's a bright, humble, knowledgable guy, who I know I'll be using again. In fact I asked him if I can call him my personal guitar tech. He said yes. (Hell yeah)!

Steve didn't ask for the plug. He deserves it and this is why I'm telling y'all about my experience.

If you live in Toronto and you need some work done by a real pro, Steve's your man. I can tell you one thing: you won't be disappointed.

Thanks my friends, be well!
 

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Dave is very generous with his comments - I'm grateful for that, to be sure.

The story of us meeting up is so interesting, as well; I was recommended to Dave by a mutual friend/group of friends. We would meet up in the near future.

Upon meeting, we realize that we had been standing at the counter of the local music retailer talking some shop the week before, without knowing who one-another was.

AND now, it gets better; I remember some conversation here on Jemsite with Dave going back a number of years, and I pulled up the MP3 file I kept from (I believe) 2002 or 2003, of Dave's absolutely stunning cover of Touching Tongues.
I went back to that file after seeing that Dave had posted this (thereby pointing out his user name to me - I hadn't thought to ask before) and checked, and confirmed that it was his cover.
Just jaw-droppingly amazing playing.
Add to that that, at the retailer that evening, I had noted the semi-rare occasion that a truly monster player was in the store, quietly testing out some amps with some stellar playing which spanned from Vai to Bettencourt.

Funny coincidences throughout on this =]

Thanks for this Dave; you're too kind. And it was my great pleasure to get your lovely VWH baby back on its 'feet.'
It's a lovely specimen with a fascinating amount of ambering of the finish - has a very vintage vibe to its colour...

Cheers
 

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Way to go Steve!!

It's not often that we get to hear about quality people doing truly professional work here on Jemsite. The typical "review" is quite the opposite. It's somewhat refreshing to hear about another Jemsiter with a passion for these guitars and the ability to repair/restore them.

Keep your files sharp and your calipers handy Steve. After this review I'm sure your going to need them.

Davester- Thanks for posting your honest review. I'm really glad your VWH is back to being the beautiful monster is was always intended to be.
 

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Thank-you =]

And isn't that the truth? Not enough good news around, too much of 'no news is good enough news' it seems.
I was very flattered to find that Dave wanted to make this type of post.

His lovely VWH needed a bit of resurrection =]
First up was the fact that its two humbuckers had gone silent; Dave had tried to get to the bottom of it, but hadn't had any luck in terms of tinkering or getting advice.
But his description of the exact symptoms (plus some pointed questions) allowed me to assure him that I was about 99% on it being just wiring issues.
That's how I came to be messaging him soon after I got it on my work table; I immediately went in and confirmed that; a short while of re-wiring later, and boom.

Beyond that, it was fret end touch-ups from a little touch of fret-sprout (which was grabbing his high-e string away.
Plus the neck had appeared to always be a bit misaligned, bringing the high-e too close to the fretboard edge... corrected.
The LoPro needed to be stripped down to components and cleaned to free up the moving parts a bit, and just generally bring back the shine.
Fretboard conditioned for a bit of dryness (ebony - it's an earlier model)
General 'over-haul' type things all around (tightening everything up, etc etc)

(I'm certain I'm forgetting some of the details, which is where the 'Devil' is in the whole process, but I'm sure you get the gist.)

Came out great; really nice example of early 2000s Jem7VWH, and Dave was quite happy to finally have it back in service again.
 

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There just aren't enough good techs you can trust, and too many horror stories of ones you can't. When players find a good one they're loyal for life, because unless you can do everything yourself, the world will always need good ones! It's much nicer reading a "good" story instead of the all too common opposite ;)
 

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There just aren't enough good techs you can trust, and too many horror stories of ones you can't. When players find a good one they're loyal for life, because unless you can do everything yourself, the world will always need good ones! It's much nicer reading a "good" story instead of the all too common opposite ;)
I totally agree. People will drive hours out of their way to get to a good tech. I have one in Orlando that is excellent. And people come from all over Florida to use his shop.
 

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There just aren't enough good techs you can trust, and too many horror stories of ones you can't. When players find a good one they're loyal for life, because unless you can do everything yourself, the world will always need good ones! It's much nicer reading a "good" story instead of the all too common opposite ;)
Also agreed - I've been doing this stuff for a couple of my guys for right around 27 years... or more now... I've lost a bit of track.

The irony; I'm not a shop whatsoever - this is work I do on the side after-hour style, from home.
There was a long-ago time when I was actually the in-house part-time guitar tech at a local retailer. I was surprisingly young for that (19 or 20 as I recall), but they seemed to have faith in what I could do.
It was a matter of not making enough money there to justify the hours I spent being there on-site. So I reluctantly left, on good terms.
Some of the contacts I made there stayed with me; in fact, Dave finding his way to me is just a couple of degrees of separation from this original scenario I've described, from back in the later half of the 80s.
One guy came to get some warranty work done; stayed and chatted, and we got a great dialogue going.
He wanted to spread the word, with my permission.
His best friend and then business partner was one of those next ones along; he's still coming to me continuously to this day.
He was just here earlier this evening, having picked up his JS100 after I over-hauled, installed new pickups, and moved his gauge to where I think it'll stay at 9.5-44 (D'Addario EXL120+)
... anyway; this JS owner has a side project he recently started, and Dave came in on that (I'm not sure how they met; I'll have to ask that one).
Boom; there's Dave =]

Wild histories and coincidences - turned out that Dave lives just about 7 minutes' drive away from me, too. I don't know how we didn't meet up before (aside from the fact that we were in a chat at the local retailer the previous Friday to our first meet-up, without knowing we'd be seeing each other again a few days later).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I just checked back on this thread and enjoyed reading all the comments!

It really is a small world. I really lucked out here to have such a talented guy like Steve living down the street, who understands MY guitar intimately. Sky's the limit.

Steve, the guitar is looking and sounding great. It's been gigged with and I'll tell you, its never played better! At every show, I think there are girls and guys that want to take her home with them :)

Here's an additional plot twist:

That JS Steve was referring to above...unbeknownst to him, she became mine for a half set this past weekend with his old contacts. I was told I HAD to try her, she was something special. And I wasn't disappointed.

It had a lot of work done and it played brilliantly. The pickups were swapped and tone was full and beautiful. Movement across the neck was easy as pie. Bending strings was easy. It just cut through the mix so nicely. Her owner felt the same. With a few amp tweaks, I suspect the JS has earned a starting spot in the band.

Anyway I was fortunate to meet this entire crew of guys.
I met Steve's friends at a gig they played nearby number of months ago. I was enjoying their set, and they let me join in for Sweet Child o Mine. We quickly become friends. Before we knew it, we were doing a side project together and we were suddenly great friends. The situation is simple. Good people, good guitars, good music. Does it get better? Anyway I'll never forget their enthusiasm about Steve : "we know this guy Steve, you gotta take your axes to him, he's amazing, trust us". They were spot on! Everyone loves their guitars, and Steve is responsible for all of them!

And Steve thank you so much for the nice words on the Touching Tongues cover. I know you're a pretty insane guitarist yourself so those words mean a lot to me! I can't believe we actually talked about that back in the day. I gotta tell you, you made this jemsiter's day! :)
 

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So, mystery solved on the meeting-up of Dave and my other long-time buds.
Wild stuff.
That's great; I know that Angelo is really enjoying this new side-project a LOT.

And the JS - that's great! Nice to hear back on that; it was a big deal getting it done up with a set of DiMarzios and a little nicer wiring scheme.
I've now heard more feedback on the results of that work from you, Dave, than I have from Angelo LOL
I've been nursing that JS along for a bunch of years; some of his other instruments 'stole the spotlight' from it, and he wanted to come back around to it and get it more 'up to snuff' for his liking.
I think that pickup change was a major step in that direction, so I suspect you're right; I think it'll become a major player in his lineup again.

Thanks for the kind words on all this; you're far too kind.

My playing; I get by... but I don't have the skills to recreate Vai material with the surgical precision you've demonstrated; that Touching Tongues cover (did I mention; one of my absolute all-time faves of Steve's to date) was and is mind-blowingly exact and beautiful.

I'd probably describe myself as a little 'reckless' sounding, if you take my meaning?
Like something's just about to fly apart somewhere in there =]

What a wild history and group of coincidences all unfolding from this...
Awesome.
 
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