local shop instrument maintenence fees.over priced?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by motorteipidpa, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. hi,i am converting one of my cheap low end basses that i hardly ever play to a piccolo bass, but i dont know anything about bass maintenence so i dont want to do it myself and risk messing my bass up, so i am bringing my bass to a local luthier to get the job done. i just have to bring my bass and the set of piccolo strings in and he will do it for me.i want to know if you think his services are a bit over priced because i think they are. the new nut to properly fit the thinner strings is going to be
    3 to 5 dollars.his labor fee is $48-55.then for the maintence it self,(adjusting the truss rod, action and intonation) it will cost me $20-30.so all together, the most it will cost me is $90,maybe a few dollars less, for him to cut the nut,put it on,cut the new slits for the smaller strings,and then do a complete set up on the truss rod and other stuff.is this overpriced?
    want to get some input before i make him do the job.
  2. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Last nut I had installed cost $25, nut an labor. You should learn how to do the rest, it really is pretty easy.
  3. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    If he's slotting the nut himself as opposed to just installing a pre-cut nut (which I assume, since its piccolo), then I'd say the price is reasonable for a high quality luthier.
  4. We've all got to keep in mind that the luthier in question has actually SEEN the bass and the work involved. This is supposed to be a conversion and I would expect there to be plenty of adjustment to make this work.

    Nothing in his quote is out of line. His hourly rate is reasonable though I don't understand the $7 difference in rates. His parts are in line with others I've seen locally and regionally. The other thing that seems to get missed is that, although the luthier may charge 3x what you make at your job, he has insurances, utilities, and other overhead that MUST be paid for before he can work on anything. His rate is most certainly based on these expenses as compared to the amount of work he expects to get and finish.
  5. yes he is also slotting the nut for the piccolo strings and also putting the strings on for me.

    yes,he is also slotting the blank nut for the thin gauge strings,putting them on,and doing all the set up work to make sure it plays correctly with the new gauge strings,and can withstand the greater amount of tension.
  6. Ziggy


    May 9, 2001
    Orange County, CA
    I'd have to concur with most replies; the "maintenance" charge - basically a 'set-up', stringing and tuning is well within the ballpark. Those costs typically range from $25 - $40. Installation of the new nut might be a bit high, but if you're taking it there per reference form trusting and reliable sources, then squabbling over three, four... ten dollars may not be worth the time and effort.

    michael s.