Need setup kit...

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

  1. Knavery

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    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.

  2. Good tools are never too expensive.

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

    Knavery Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    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


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


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    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

    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    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. Maybe so, but I've found them quite helpful. Makes setup much more quick and easy.
  9. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    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!
    ebozzz likes this.