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Pro setup ... pros and cons

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by paulraphael, May 2, 2006.

  1. A professional tech.

    25 vote(s)
  2. I do it myself.

    60 vote(s)
  3. What's a setup?

    4 vote(s)
  1. paulraphael


    Apr 13, 2006
    If you heard me play, you'd stop reading what I write.
    How many have a tech do your setup vs. doing it yourself?

    Any observations on the advantages?

    I always did it myself, and finally realized I'd been doing a crappy job--way too much relief, action too high, etc... So I just had the Guitar and Bass Boutique in NYC do it for me. Cost a bunch, but for my only setup in the last 5 years I figured it was worth a try. They did a nice job (as they do with everything). I'm wondering now if it would require any special skill on my part to duplicate the results they got in the future, like if I try different strings, etc.
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    What do YOUR setups consist of? Do you measure your relief with a ruler? Your string height with a ruler? Do you match your string saddles to the radius of the fretboard? The pro's will, and maybe that's why yours are lacking.

    Ever since I set action consistently by using a ruler, set radius of my bridge, and set string height with a ruler, it's been pretty consistent with the $45 setups I've been paying for. Only thing I won't touch are acoustic instruments.
  3. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I used to have that fear. I just replaced the bridge saddle on an acoustic and it went fine. I do my own setups mostly because I'm the one who knows best what I like. It's not difficult by any means, so I don't really see the point of shelling out $45 and having to hope that the tech's idea of a perfect setup is the same as yours.
  4. i want to learn how to do it myself sometime in the near future but as of right now i get someone at a shop to it.
  5. Kronos


    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I do it myself. I've never really trusted the guys at the local Sam A$$ or G***** Center. I've seen them butcher instruments while shopping around.
  6. Daywalker


    Apr 13, 2005
    I always have the first one done by a tech when I buy a bass, then I try my best to repeat what he/she did later on.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Personally, the only time my instruments see a "REAL" tech is when they need fretwork done.
  8. Thunder Lizard

    Thunder Lizard

    Dec 7, 2005
    Lethbridge, AB
    Canadian Distributor, Basson Sound Equipment
    I've been going to the same guy for over a decade, and he knows my pref's so well, and does such a great job, that for 50-100 bucks a year, I can't justify STOPPING going to him.
  9. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
  10. Relief, intonation, wiring, glueing down loose frets: I do myself. I had a freind help me with fret leveling, but I plan to learn to do it myself.

    The skills needed, come naturally to me. I find tweeking things, easy, and amusing.
  11. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    Exactly. My guy has been doing this for 30+ years. He's the best I've even encountered. I don't have the skill (or the patience) to do it myself.

    I'd screw something up!
  12. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I started off with one instrument, setups every few months weren't a big deal. Now, having two acoustic guitars, one ABG, one upright bass, two electric basses and an electric guitar, paying for pro setups are out of the question. Learning to do it myself was a financial necessity.

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