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Would you be annoyed about this?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Octaves, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012

    Recently, i took an expensive custom jazz bass to a technician to have it set-up. All i asked for was a set-up, nothing else.

    This particular bass has screw holes in the body where the neck and bridge pick-up covers were once attached. You know the deal, it's fairly common on jazz basses. When i bought the bass, i removed the covers.

    Last time i checked, the screw-holes were tight, eg, you put the screws in and they would screw in tightly.

    When i got my bass back, there were two screws placed in the holes at the neck pick-up. I am pretty sure that i didn't do that.

    When i remove the screws (because i want to put the neck pick-up cover back on), i notice that the holes are loose and that the screws don't sit as tightly as they used to. There was even saw-dust coming out of one.

    I suspect that the technician put the screws in with an electric screwdriver, which means that they were inserted with more force, which has made them bigger and less tight.

    The point is, i did not ask for anything else to be done to my bass other than a 'set up'. How dare they touch my bass like this? I am annoyed. But, there is nothing i can do, as i did not get a receipt and to tell you the truth, i am tired of holding people accountable for things that they do wrong. It's almost easier to walk away and not go back to them.

    Technically, the rest of the bass is NOT in the same condition as it was when i took it there...

    What this means is that i now have to find some putty and have it applied professionally, as the holes will only get bigger with time and eventually will become so worn that the screws won't sit there properly and the pick-up cover could become loose. I really don't get some people's mentality with being rough with other people's property.

    What would you do?
  2. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    Simple... I'd take it back, and politely explain the situation to the person who did the work.
  3. +1
  4. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Learn to do my own set ups, like I did.
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes, explain the situation to the tech. However...

    Wipe the word "putty" from your vocabulary. If the screw holes are indeed enlarged, are you looking for some type of repair? If everything looks okay as is, I would not mess with it for fear of making things worse. When the time comes to re-attach the covers, I'd go the ol' glue & toothpick route. The repair will be secure and virtually invisible if you decide to remove the covers at a later time.

  6. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agreed 100% on all of the above... I wouldn't be overly agressive when talking to the tech, though - odds are they were trying to do you a favor - and there really isn't any major harm done - as stated above, it's very easy to fix - and can be virtually undetectable afterwards...

    - georgestrings
  7. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Nominated for the, "Mountain out of a Molehill", award...
  8. This is true, but it's not the end of the story.

    You will not recommend this technician. Indeed, you may even wrinkle your nose and shake your head at the mention of his name.

    And, having this experience under your belt, you may attempt to forge a healthy, respectful relationship with a more gentle tech who is both skilled and a good listener. They are rare, but they are out there, you just have to keep looking.

    In addition, and I mean no disrespect, but you might even try your hand at some basic set-up procedures yourself. Short of fret work or advanced nut work, most things involved in a set up require basic knowledge, basic tools, and are completely reversible (if you don't twist things too far).

    Live and learn my friend. Especially in my early playing days, I've had techs just snatch the instrument from my hands and, without any conversation or interest in my needs at all, tell me they'll call me when it's done. The results were almost always disappointing.
  9. sharp8874


    Jan 10, 2011
    personally i would just stick a toothpick or some other peice of scarp wood that takes up some space it the hole. problem solved! the screws should sit nice and tight and it cost ya nothin but a few toothpicks. but that would be annoying to get back though. next time you get a setup i would explain to the guy exactly what you want done.
  10. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Is the set up good?
  11. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    The only people I know that
    I would trust with one of my
    instruments don't do setups
    and repairs. They are like me.
    They don't trust them either.

    When push comes to shove,
    they can shove you out the
    door and there's nothing you
    can do about it.

    I don't know why people keep
    recommending that folks take
    their stuff to a "professional".

    I made the mistake of trusting
    them, more than a few times.
    I've been doing my own stuff
    for 20 years until I took my
    first bass in to have the active
    electronics checked out.

    They kept my bass for 2 months
    and did nothing except charge
    me $50 just so I could take it

    Never, I mean NEVER AGAIN!

  12. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    + 10,000

    Until you learn how to set up your own basses, you will never know just how good they are capable of playing & sounding.
    As an added bonus, you will save many hundreds of dollars over the years, and you will be able to handle any setup issues that may arise on the road, where "professionals" can be few & far between.
  13. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I guess... Paying for a setup and having ANYTHING ****ed up is worth getting pissed about.
  14. skychief


    Apr 27, 2011
    South Bay
    yah, bottom line is "if you want something done right, do it yourself."

    Im sure the tech was trying to help by filling the vacant holes with screws, but if he actually used an electric screwdriver...well,,,..:scowl:

    And like above posts said, the glue & toothpick remedy should be the e-z fix.
  15. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    I don't have any doubt that the tech was just trying to be helpful. If you found it less than helpful, I would certainly let him know and ask him to put it right. If there is any hint of resistance walk away with your bass. Any resistance at all is an indicator that he feels you are unjustified in what you ask. You are not. And if he feels you are just being a pain, he is more likely to do a quick and dirty fix which may be worse than your current situation.

    If I were the one you brought the bass to, I would be apologizing profusely and providing a proper fix even if I thought that I hadn't caused the problem. After all, the fix is easy and fast, even when done properly. And a good relationship with a customer is worth a lot!
  16. Octaves


    Jun 22, 2012
    Thanks everyone. I was a little perturbed last night. It has certainly motivated me to learn to do my own set-ups (and this was a consideration even before this happened).
  17. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Good call...besides saving money, it's therapeutic. Get the right tools, read the stickies / do the research, and you're results will rival that of the best techs.

  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I'd put a toothpick in the screw hole and tighten the screw.
  19. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    Just use toothpicks and glue.

    Set your own bass up and you will never have this problem again.
  20. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Toothpicks: +1. Putty is for filling holes to hide them, not hold screws, ever.

    I am also going to guess that the screws in there are slightly smaller than the original screws were in the first place, and that it's common to put the screws back when the covers are removed.

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