1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Great Set-up/Repair/Luthier in Brooklyn, NY

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kenstee, May 19, 2010.

  1. kenstee


    Oct 9, 2009
    Found a FANTASTIC bass and guitar, etc. set-up guy/Luthier in Brooklyn, NY.

    My search is over. After much searching and trial and error I can announce that Brooklyn does have a premier guitar.bass/stringed instruments repair establishment...Fried Guitars at 516 State Street Bet 3rd Avenue and Flatbush 718-856-2504-- about a 5 minutes walk from the many subways that cross at Atlantic Center. On-street parking is available as well. The talented and very knowledgeable owner, Gary Fried, runs a one-man operation dedicated to the highest standards of repair and customer service with fast turnaround. His rates are very reasonably - perhaps too much so, His work is of the highest caliber. There is no BS or heavy-handed sales raps here, Just Gary taking care of you and your instrument as if you were old friends. Nothing in Manhattan or the other boroughs holds a stick to this operation. I can finally settle down with just one Luthier/repair facility and I suggest you do the same as well.
  2. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
  3. kenstee


    Oct 9, 2009
    Looks good. But, really wanted someone closer to home in Brooklyn. Great work but not Manhattan prices. Also, Imai seems very oriented towards hi-end repairs, which is great. But, honestly, my needs are for a high-quality person who can turn around routine set-ups and other issues in rather short-order. And I found one. I'm sure Imai's hi-end clients like Keith Richards and Marcus Miller, etc. will be serviced before me...
  4. Megavega4


    Aug 3, 2005
    I have been using Gary since he opened his doors in 2006. In fact, I was the first person to buy one of his custom made basses and it's the only 5 string that I've used for the last few years ( I own 3 others). Gary has always been honest and fair with me. He would rather tell me the truth about the length of time a repair will take rather than deceive me by telling me he'll have it tomorrow. His prices are "Brooklyn" while is work and customer service is "Manhattan." He's worth the trip into downtown Brooklyn.
  5. Rumblefisher

    Rumblefisher Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Thanks for the heads up! I've been looking for a tech. I'm tired of Rudy's scratching my gear and charging high prices on top of that.
  6. TheBasicBassist


    Jan 8, 2009
    Richmond, VA
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    Also, check out Gil Rosado at Mandolin Brother's (the place where Paul McCartney got his Hofner's neck reset) really great service and super friendly people here on Staten Island.
  7. This is great info! I've never lived or spent much time in Brooklyn; only Manhattan and Queens, so when I come home at Christmastime I am contemplating on bringing my Jazz bass for some major surgery and I was thinking about Matt Uminov or Rudy's but that's a lot of $$$
    I don't know of many good repair guys in Tokyo and then there's the language barrier so this would be great. Does he have a website/email address that I could use to correspond?
  8. Avalon


    Feb 28, 2009
    Please let me jump on this wagon.. Anyone know good luthiers up my way? I'm up in Orange county, so anyone in Rockland, Westchester or Putnam would be fair game as well.
  9. jim777

    jim777 Tarantula Lobbyist

    Aug 7, 2006
    South Jersey
    Norio is THE MAN, end of story. :)
  10. Megavega4


    Aug 3, 2005
    LOL @ passionate people asserting their views... oh boy.. hilarious.

    There IS no END of story, despite how great he might be. No disrespect to his skills, but I'm CERTAIN that working for a high profile builder like Sadowsky helped his reputation. Gary has never steered me wrong, and I never walked out of his shop feeling like I got overcharged. And his work is impeccable, especially his fret work. I like people who shoot from the hip and keep it real with me about everything. Gary has been up front with me about why something can't or shouldn't be done when I've inquired about certain modifications or building ideas.

    All this to say.. TO EACH HIS OWN.
  11. JT Bass

    JT Bass

    Jun 2, 2009
    Since this got bumped up, I'll add my praise for Gary. I'd been looking for a decent guy for a long time to help me out with a couple delicate issues on a delicate bass (Turner Renaissance). I needed to actually sit down with someone and examine the problem. I'd contacted some of the heavy hitters (Mando Bros guy I think is not there right now) and then came across Gary's while walking around town. When I brought my bass, Gary stayed late to meet me, then worked through my problems for an hour while I sat there and BS'ed with him, came up with a very clever fix for my problem, and had a hard time taking my money. My bass was never out of my sight and I had it for a key studio session that weekend.

    I've used Rudy's and Umanov. Half the time those guys won't even look at the instrument with you while you're there (I understand they're busy)- they'll call you in a couple days with an estimate and a couple days later with a bill. It was enjoyable to be able to work with Gary as opposed just dropping it off and see you next week. I'm one of those (annoying) types that wants to crawl under the lift with my auto mechanic, so I really appreciated the time he took (after hours) to look at the problem with me. By the way he posts here (in the luthier section) as gfried84. Thanks Gary. Hope everybody else doesn't start asking you to stay late.

  12. wanted to post to give additional praise to Norio Imai in NYC.

    had him do a re-fret on a my 73 jazz when i first got it in 2005. lost my way in the meantime and used some other people and had some nightmare experiences so I started doing my own set-ups. I can get them (a variety of Fenders) in pretty good shape but I was amazed when I got three of my basses back from him about a month ago. He's really tapped into that indefinable thing that makes an instrument feel great.

    On top of his tech prowess, the service aspect is pretty amazing. I rattled off about 3 things I needed done to each guitar: set-up, keep strings on this one put new ones on this one with x gauges, fix pickup grounding on this one, replace stripped truss-rod adjustment screw on that one, etc. and it ALL was done as requested on time.

    Cannot recommend him enough.
  13. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    And here's ANOTHER endorsement for Norio Imai! He does great work.
  14. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Relocated from Brooklyn, NY to Los Angeles, CA!?!?
    Guess he's no longer convenient to the Atlantic Avenue subway stop, dammit!
  15. Snarf


    Jan 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    Ouch. Anyone have recs for Queens/Brooklyn guys? Or Manhattan at reasonable prices? I just acquired an instrument that needs a full set of work done (fret level, setup, etc).

    edit: What are Norio's prices like?
  16. LexD


    Aug 17, 2011
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: D'Ambrosio Guitars
    A few hours north, in Providence, RI you'll find Otto D'Ambrosio. Well known to (most) everyone at Mandolin Bros, as well as Carl Thompson, and many of the other esteemed luthiers in the northeast.

    We grew up in Brooklyn/Staten Island and I know for a fact he still makes trips back home regularly.
  17. norio doesn't publish his prices. I'll honor his choice and, anyway, it's job to job so it depends. he's "expensive" but expensive in the right pay-what-you-get-for kind of way.

    Evan Gluck way up on Riverside is a great and relatively inexpensive guy. Super easy going and GOOD. I've never had major work done by him (just setups) but I'm sure he'd do a good job
  18. Evan Gluck does EXCEPTIONAL work. He is in Manhattan though.
  19. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Evan is fantastic for setups and simple repairs, but he no longer does any work that involves routing, shaping, carving, or anything that generates sawdust, so I'm not sure whether he really does "major work" anymore.