Need setup kit...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Knavery, Nov 7, 2012.


  1. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hey all,
    What would you say is the best setup kit for 60 dollars or less? I've looked at Stew-Mac, but too expensive. This is going to be a Christmas idea and I want to start my own setups.

    Thanks!
  2. fkh006

    fkh006

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Apache Junction Az
    Good tools are never too expensive.

    Google search and look for some cheap stuff.
  3. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Yeah I've done that. However, having never done this before, I don't want to end up buying crap. I did see a CruzTools set that seems to get ok reviews. However, that can't be the only one besides Stewmac.
  4. ChuckTrucks

    ChuckTrucks

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Get a set of allens and a good ratcheting screwdriver and a nice multi tool.
  5. fkh006

    fkh006

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    Apache Junction Az
    I recommend you first learn what is required to do a setup.
    Then you will know what tools you need.

    The Cruz kit contains the basic workshop tools required to do a setup.
    Not setup tools.
    You need both.
  6. JLS

    JLS Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Emeryville, Ca
    Disclosures:
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Like I'm fond of saying: "When was the last time you kicked yourself for buying a good tool?"

    Those "understring radius gauges", are another solution looking for a problem, IMO. You can either measure string height with whatever--and their string action gauge does a *fine* jobs, I'm an owner/operator--or eyeball it.
  7. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Sorry I don't understand your response. You say the Cruz kit contains the basic workshop tools required to do a setup and then you say "Not setup tools. You need both."

    I actually talked to one of the guys at CruzTools. He was a really nice guy and helped me out a bit. So, they definitely got my business.

    I'll go from there and see what other tools I need once after I've learned a little more.

    Thanks for your responses.
  8. Batmensch

    Batmensch Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Location:
    Chester, Pa.,USA
    Maybe so, but I've found them quite helpful. Makes setup much more quick and easy.
    YYMV.
  9. lethargytartare

    lethargytartare

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    So my take is this:

    First and foremost, if you're going to use tools for a variety of tasks, use them often, and use them on things that you want to take very good care of -- quality tools will NEVER disappoint you. And crappy tools WILL upset you -- slip off and gouge your bass here, strip a screw there (or strip ITSELF and become useless garbage)...

    That said, for setups, I end up using whatever tools I have on hand (I have a lot) because I'm not using a lot of force on anything on my basses/guitars so I find cheap tools work fine. YMMV

    The prepackaged tool kits I've seen are wastes of money. You get stuff you don't need, you pay a LOT for a lot of cheap tools, and you don't get the most beneficial things -- and you SHOULD for how much you pay.

    Setups can cover a lot of specialty work, so let me qualify this as being my suggestion for a kit for common, routine setup tweaks. This does not include adjusting the nut, filing badass bridge saddles, dressing frets, etc. Fretwork and nut work -- quality tools will make your life LOADS easier, even if they're not, technically, essential.

    Anyway, here's my suggestion for a basic setup kit, and cheapie prices you could get at a place like Harbor Freight:

    A set of metric and sae allen wrenches (minimum: make sure you have wrenches that work with your bridge) ($5)
    6-piece of jewelers screw drivers (minimum: make sure you get ones that work with your truss rod cover, and bridge) ($4)
    A multi-screwdriver ($2)
    Wire cutters (6-piece set, $7)
    String winder (<$1)
    flannel cloth or microfiber (free)
    0000 steel wool (polishing frets, cleaning rosewood fretboard) ($4)
    >>> $25 up to here

    Things you might already have:

    Guitar/bass tuner ($10)
    Short patch cable (for tuner)
    capo -- a strong one that will hold the strings down well at the first fret -- not essential, but it can make the job easier when you're first learning

    Splurge item:
    Stewmac String Action Gauge ($20)

    Genuinely a worthwhile investment when you're starting out, and it's incredibly practical beyond...

    So if you had to buy everything new, you could spend $60 and get a TON more in value for your money than the Cruz set, let alone the StewMac set that doesn't really equip you to do setups at all...

    I have my stuff in a little zippered bag. I also have some sandpaper for shimming necks in there, but I wouldn't call that essential or basic.

    Good luck!
    ltt

Share This Page