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Which of the online music stores has the best setup/QC?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Balog, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    My wife is a good ukulele player, and wants to branch out into acoustic guitar. I’m thinking of getting her one for Christmas. I’d prefer to get it in good shape and well setup out of the box instead of needing to get it setup and adjusted etc.

    Is there a significant difference between the online stores in terms of how well they inspect and setup the instruments before they ship, or should I just go with the best price and plan to have it setup before I give it to her?

    On another note, what would you recommend for a solid beginner acoustic for someone that’s already a decent musician?
  2. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Sweetwater is very strong on all of those points. to my knowledge acoustic guitars don't have a lot of room for set up. All of the ones I have ever played had no neck or bridge adjustments available.

    I don't think we can recommend something for your wife - take her shopping if at all possible and let her find what she likes. Just like basses, guitars need to pick their player too.

    You can still go and order what she likes if online is about the price (but guitar center will price match).
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    A well set up guitar out of the box is an unreasonable expectation. The strings will probably be in tune and near where they should but that’s just what the manufacturer does after the install strings. But that’s not a set up.
  4. I agree that a good set up out of the box is asking a little too much.

    I never had any of my basses set up until a year ago, but when the instrument was ready, the tech asked me to try it out to see if I wanted anything adjusted.

    I tried each one out in the store, and each felt fine. Then, about two weeks after the set up, my Jack Casady bass began buzzing only at the second fret on the D string. I didn't feel like bringing it back to have it adjusted, although it would have been free.

    I'm not a master mechanic, but I'm handy. So, I slowly raised the D string saddle, and the buzz went away.

    On my Ibanez Musician, a different problem: it felt good in the store, but when I got it home, I noticed the G string was hitting the neck pickup when you fretted either the 21st or 22nd fret. I had no idea to look for this.

    Again, not wanting to schlep it back to Sam Ash, I lowered the pickup slightly, and the problem was solved.

    I'm guessing you want a good set up right out of the box because you don't live near a good shop?

    I would also think that even if you got a good set up, having an acoustic instrument shipped in the winter might throw the set up off with the instrument being in a warm building, then a cold truck for days, then warming up again.

    I wish I could be of more help.

    Good luck. :thumbsup:

  5. zero online retailers are going to do a proper setup on it
    I don't even do a setup on acoustics, which is the main reason I don't own one.

    That & NEEDing to run a humidifier all Winter if you own one.
  6. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    What’s your price point? She a finger picker or a strummer? Nylon or steel strings?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  7. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Sweetwater, but nobody does setups on acoustic guitars at the intro level. I'd get it and play it first. If it needs a setup, find a competent local luthier.
    As to brands, I recommend the Yahama FG730S
    I couldn't find it on Sweetwater's site, but here are the details.
    I have one I bought about 10 years ago and it is a very nice guitar.
  8. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    Thanks everyone. I've never had much to do with acoustic stuff so I'm not as knowledgeable. Perhaps "set up" was the wrong word, I just wanted it to be somewhat playable out of the box.

    Price probably $250 +/-. She doesn't use a pick with her uke, but I'm not sure how that would translate to a guitar. I was thinking steel string.
  9. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015
    Godin's acoustic brands Seagull and Art and Lutherie are much higher quality than their price points would imply. I'd check them out.

    Also, online I'd only buy an instrument from sweetwater. One of the few places where you get to pick the actual instrument and see real photos of it. And their customer service is outstanding.
    Thick McRunfast and Balog like this.
  10. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    I’d second the Art and Lutherie recommendation. They make a parlor guitar in their Roadhouse line, a little out of your price range, that’s really sweet sounding and seems well reviewed.

    I have all the guitars I need but I almost bought one of these Recording King Dirty 30s. Pretty sure they’re in your range and favorably reviewed too

    Balog likes this.

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