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Can I trust luthiers?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by IamJeffBASS, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. IamJeffBASS


    Jul 22, 2012
    So this may seem like a silly question but wtv.. I have just recently aquired nordstrand nj4-se pups (the first non stock pickups ive ever owned) and I am dying to have them installed. I have never brought the bass to a shop before, and so I figured I should have it set up at the same time. I've been pretty excited. Yesterday, however I got thinking about the trustworthiness of the luthiers, considering ill probably have to leave the bass at the shop for a couple of days. I've been worrying about the chance of my nj4s being swapped on me for lower end pups while they're at the shop. Honestly, having never heard the pickups, and not being too familiar with them, I might nit realise if this were to happen. Now, my question is: am I just being paranoid?!? Also do any of you know of reliable shops, or shops were they will do the job in front of me, instead of keeping my bass days on end? I live in the Montreal area. Any help would do a lot to soothe my worries.
  2. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    You can do it yourself in the time it takes to travel to the shop, and learn a little something in the process.
  3. bluestarbass


    Jul 31, 2007
    I agree. As long as your not trying to steam a neck or something crazy, pickups are easy to install. You really cant do much permanent damage. If you do drop it off make sure you get a receipt with the serial number. Take a picture beforehand.
  4. IamJeffBASS


    Jul 22, 2012
    I would need a soldering gun right? That's what's putting me off of doing it myself. Not sure how difficult they are to use or how badly I could **** up.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Put yourself in the situation and try to figure what exactly the shop would have to win in such crooking. It doesn't make much sense, really.
  6. Yes you need a soldering iron. Check youtube vids and see if you are comfortable swapping them out. It is fairly simple imo. Soldering irons can be found at radio shack home depot lowes walmart etc.
  7. aquateen


    Apr 14, 2005
    if you're unsure about your ability to do this, bring it in and let somebody with experience take care of it. it shouldn't be too hard to find a reputable shop to do the work. ask your friends for recommendations
  8. Put your worries aside until you get the bass back. And if you are dissatisfied with the sound afterwards, do research on other repairers in your area. Use da Google thang. Take it to them and ask them to lift one of the pups to make sure they are Nordys. Don't tell them why because they may take offense that you are concerned about another shop switching them and consider you a problem child, then not want your business.

    Most repairers are NOT the type to switch stuff like that.

    I suggested taking it somewhere instead of trying it yourself because not everybody has the ability or even needs to learn how to do that stuff.
  9. hsech

    hsech I'm not old, I'm just seasoned. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    I think you are being overly paranoid. If you take your bass to a shop that has been in business for a while, I don't think you have anything to worry about.
  10. No - luthiers are a known class of criminals.

    Seriously, though - it sounds like you just don't trust people.

    And, how do you KNOW that your nordstrand nj4-se pups are not counterfeit! Hmmmm?????

  11. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    A better question is: Can luthiers trust clients?
  12. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    Nope. That's why they hold onto your instrument until they're done ringing up your work.
  13. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Can you trust a local luthier to do a good setup? Not necessarily. However I doubt they would thieve the pickups out of your bass.
  14. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You have never soldered anything before, you will most likely do a bad job, and possibly spend more to have it fixed after you botch the job. Just take the bass to a shop and have them installed. Set you irrational fears about being ripped off aside and take it to a tech.
  15. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses

  16. IamJeffBASS


    Jul 22, 2012
    Awesome! All this smack talk is exactly what I was hoping for. With all of you ridiculing my fears I feel a lot more comfortable leaving my bass at the shop hahaha. Thanks dudes
  17. IamJeffBASS


    Jul 22, 2012
    Out of curiosity, though, how long does it actually take to setup and an instrument and swap the pups? Is keeping the instrument for 3-4 days really justifiable?
  18. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Keeping it for 3-4 days is probably a precautionary measure against all the threads on here that go "waaaaa, I got my bass set up this morning by my tech and it started buzzing as soon as I got home".

    The 3-4 days will be, hopefully, a measure to make sure the truss rod and neck has settled down and is stable.
  19. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Smack talk? Think about this: Many of the folks that post the answers on this forum are pros. It might be more prudent to think about the effect of one's words before posting an inflammatory question.
  20. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    If a shop is busy they might keep your bass for weeks and require you to call a few times to hurry them along.

    The actual work, once they get around to it, won't take an hour. Probably not half an hour.

    For what it's worth, I learned to solder on J pickups and have done dozens. I'm not sure I've ever soldered anything else. Unless there's an active preamp's circuit board you're soldering to, which is highly unusual, you'd have to be extremely dumb AND careless to mess it up. Just undo the old and put in the new.

    The gas cost or bus fare to the shop will probably be more than the cost of a rudimentary soldering iron and some solder, if you don't already have one. A rudimentary iron is all you need, as the lugs and back of the pots you'll solder to are big targets.

    Setups aren't tough either, again if you're careful and patient, for which there are many step-by-step tutorials online, and presuming nothing extenuating such as having left an already bunk instrument in the trunk of your car parked outside the past month.

    Bonus, in the future when you need to do this work when a shop/tech is not open or available, you can do it. I've saved the day a few times on tour because of what I learned, and even have had to correct "professional" tech's jobs a few times, who apparently didn't have a clue how to do something as simple as installing J pickups in series or wiring them to a typical toggle switch.