Anyone else refuse to let anyone work on your axe

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Forky, Sep 2, 2021.

  1. Dirtville

    Dirtville Strat-Talker Gold Supporting Member

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    I find that a bit odd in that you don't care who plays it, but won't let a proven luthier touch it.
    I do all of my adjustments, intonation, truss rod, string height etc., but when it comes to repairs, I don't mind doling out some cash. Had a great local luthier change out a 5-way rotary switch on my Core Series PRS Custom 24 for a 3-way toggle and some pickups on a couple Strats. I'd be more concerned with who might screw up my guitars playing them!
     
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  2. revtime

    revtime Strat-Talker

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    What was that line in Con air....
    There are only 2 people I trust in this world. One of em is me, the other aint you.
     
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  3. chicago slim

    chicago slim Senior Stratmaster

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    I really enjoy working on my Strat's. They are really pretty easy to work on. Other guitars, not so much.

    I once had a band mate, who upgraded a Squier Thinline Tele. He did the work, himself. When he bought a USGA neck, he took it to a luthier for fret work. The luthier charged him $350 for fret work. At that point I decided to sell guitars, before the frets are worn out and do the rest of the work, myself.
     
  4. Doc538

    Doc538 Strat-Talker

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    Nobody touches my axe ! Only I know the correct angle of the blade edge for the proper falling of timber. I doubt anybody else would spend the hours needed to sharpen the blade with a wet rock as I do.

    Now my guitars, that's a wee bit different. Mostly I do what's needed as I am also a mechanic\ tinkerer who will work on anything but on rare occasions I have turned to experienced luthiers, roofers (afraid of heights) and tree men (after dropping a 90 footer onto the deck my wife kinda insists) A good luthier can save you a ton of time and cash and you can always tweak the work afterwards.
     
  5. Salamar

    Salamar Strat-Talk Member

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    Not me. I’m the exact opposite of most of you; I detest DiY stuff and the less I have to fool with it the better. :D I suppose it doesn't hurt that I suck at playing too, haha.
     
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  6. Joe R

    Joe R Strat-Talk Member

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    This is not possible for every contingency. It also depends on the repair or mod skill level of the player. Most people PLAY their instruments, they are not adept at rebuilding them. Can you repair a truss rod, do a complete re-fret, re-route your pickup cavity from single-coil to humbucker? Can you repair a broken Les Paul headstock, or patch-up a cracked archtop? It also depends on the instrument. Changing the wiring harness on a Gibson ES-335 is beyond most players. Fender instruments are more workable because after you remove the loaded pickguards, all electronics are visible. Now I can do all those repairs or mods I mentioned, but there are still things I'm not comfortable doing. I believe the rule should be that you should only attempt those repairs that you are certain of successfully completing. Unless, of course, you intend to use your precious instruments as a learning platform and are prepared to live with the consequences.
     
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  7. rake6978

    rake6978 Strat-Talker

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    Rule 1 is DO NO HARM! Yes there is a whole lot of stuff a luthier does on a daily basis that many players can do or learn to do themselves. What about when the truss rod snaps way down in the neck? Are you prepared to remove a fretboard to fix this? do you have the tools? Do you know the order of operation needed to facilitate such a repair successfully? Luthiery is a learned set of skills.
     
  8. johnted

    johnted Strat-Talk Member

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    I have studied, read, inquired, and practiced until I trust myself to work on my own guitars... I have also been lucky enough to have two friends who are able guitar techs. But only some people are drawn to do-it-yourself projects. I won't refuse to give my rig to a luthier, but so far I haven't needed to.
     
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  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    No one has touched any of my guitars or basses in many years. I can do pretty much any work that they require, including refrets and refinishing. However, that's not to say that I wouldn't trust anyone else to work on them. There are a couple of shops here in Phoenix that I would allow the tech to work on them. No need so far, but I'm getting old and impatient.
     
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  10. Joe R

    Joe R Strat-Talk Member

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    Excellent! I like that rule, same as doctors are supposed to say, DO NO HARM! If a players is unsure about the outcome, he/she shouldn't be attempting the repair or mod. It's great to be able to do basic things, like adjust truss rods, oil fingerboards, even change pickups. But there are MANY levels of repair, and skill levels go up and up as needed. I put in a new sound post, tailpiece, and cut a new bridge for my violin. But if I had to take the top off and shave it down, that's another story. I visited a violin shop here in Vermont where they make the entire instrument. Zowie, that was an eye opener. It really is a lifelong skill to learn. To build a guitar or violin from scratch is something I aspire to do someday.
     
  11. Andrew Wasson

    Andrew Wasson Senior Stratmaster

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    I think an acoustic guitar is more forgiving but a violin seems to be a very difficult instrument to get right. A friend of my dad’s plays violin and has made several attempts over the last 10 - 15 years to build violins. To date, he has yet to complete one that he’s happy with. They look great but he has yet to be satisfied with the tone they produce. It must take a long time to figure out how to get a tone that works with a bow vs. picking and strumming.
     
  12. ripgtr

    ripgtr Most Honored Senior Member

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    Big fat no.

    Most stuff I can do myself, the electronics is easy, adjusting is just part of the gig.
    But frets (and nuts)? No way. I might need new frets what, every 10 year. I'd rather have a guy who does fret work, all day, every day, so my frets. Some jobs, it is "hire a pro".

    I'm fortunate that though I left behind one of the best fret guys I've ever seen when I left Austin, turns out one of the original owners of Valley Arts lives pretty close by.