March 03, 2013

Customer Service › Setups ›

Richard has been playing guitar since the age of 8, educated at the Guitar Institute in London and specializing in online consultation and World Wide deliveries for 21 years - Each and every one hand finished bespoke to the customers requirement.

Richards reputation for first class playing instruments and dedicated service goes before him - with customers in most Countries around the World.  In the past 3 years alone Richard has accrued over 1000 testimonials from customers all around the World.  Every single customer dealt with personally by Richard.
Richard only sells guitars he truly believes in - each brand being an Industry benchmark in their price or genre - a view built on 21 years research.
Richard is available most hours for consultation which is provided in a personal but comprehensive and professional manner via the live chat facility.

Specialist guitar advice for 21 years

I (Richard) have been providing specialist advice for 21 years. My previous business Regent Guitars ran from 1995 to 2008, starting with just 6 guitars and closed selling 8-10 guitars a day with a turnover well in excess of £1,500,000.

So why did it close?

In 2008 I closed Regent Guitars and opened Richards Guitars with a desire to get back to ONLY selling guitars I love, that I have a true passion for – which should also mean a volume that I could handle personally from beginning to end – like my previous business USED to be!  To this day the only person I have to rely on is my wife Teresa who liases with all my customers during the order process and I am more worried about letting her down than vice versa - behind every good man as they say!

Regent Guitars had left me disillusioned and “too close” to the reality of how most guitars are sold. I didn’t want to be part of the marketing “machines”. It just wasn’t me and I believe anyone who is truly passionate about guitars and in my industry will know exactly what I mean.   It seems 90% of my industry is hype - so I try and focus on the 10% I truly believe in.

My reputation now spans Locally, Nationally and Internationally with customers from Stratford Upon Avon  to Singapore.

I specialize in a select range of guitar brands—Brands which I believe represent something unique in the market be it value, quality, tonal range or shear beauty.

You may not realise you can buy all solid wood hand made acoustic guitars from as little has £500, even a superb quality electric guitar hand made in the UK from £600!  If you chat to me I will tell you how to avoid the mass produced, over hyped brands and focus your attention to stunning beauty!

Guitars sold on personal passion, not marketing hype

Heard of Eastman, Furch,  Faith, Gordon Smith or Godin?  If you haven’t then you need to have a chat with me before you spend your hard earnt cash on your next guitar.

I am aware that many people do not buy for “quality only” but for image and prestige. If you want a Fender, Ibanez, Shecter, Gibson, Jackson etc. then you are talking to the wrong man entirely (although I do specialize in used examples which will play better than new and won’t lose value on resale) – you can find these products hung on a hundred guitar shop walls around the UK but for me personally they just don't excite me and conversely represent well marketed, over hyped mediocrity.

Just remember when you are talking to the next salesman that he probably cares not for you, but for his employer. His job is to sell you what is hung on the wall – not to ensure you get the very best guitar available in the market.

Want to know about guitars with heart and soul? I am your man. From a quality starter guitar through to World Class hand made guitars.   With honesty and integrity central to my philosophy in life and business I assure you that you are in safe hands and I will guide you based on your needs and requirements. If I can’t help I will tell you and point you to “a man that can”.

Try guitars in a welcoming environment..

I try and make your stay at Richards as enjoyable as possible, which may include boring you to death about the guitars available, their history/pedigree etc. or it may just be you want to spend some time on your own trying out the guitars available. Either way you should find the shop welcoming and totally un-intimidating.

Read: Richards History - From Birth To Now!

Electric Guitar Setup Tour. Worth £55 ( Included FREE On Every Guitar Sold )

 As always it is really important to stress that I am not the technician and in writing up any kind of overview of what goes on in the workshop is dependant on my own  personal knowledge (memory) of their work and my 16 years being around the workshop looking on with interest.   In other words, don’t pick holes in my descriptions!! lol

Every single guitar will have its own individual needs and requirements depending on what comes out the box and what the player requires in terms of setup.

The following guitar happens to be a Godin XTSA which is a regular visitor to our workshop due to my specialist knowledge of Godin guitars which I send all around the World.

The illustrations are not in the order in which they are done but are representative of the various measurements, modifications and adjustments that are required to make the instrument play to its best.

Even in putting this together I noticed things that I haven't photographed!  For example adjusting the truss rod or adjusting the intonation screws - so this is literally a general overview but hopefully will be enough to demonstrate why a guitar from Richards Guitars will play to such a high standard - and remember - every setup is per the customers specification.

So here goes - starting at the end of course!!

Final tune up and of course the tuning is so much more stable now we have the string slots cut to perfection


Adjusting the tension on the trem springs to meet the customers setup requirement


Checking the relief using a feeler gauge and straight edge


The final polish. We also use a guitar style “t-cut” on guitars which have been poorly finished, enabling us to get a super high quality sheen on the most scratched of surfaces (particularly useful on second hand guitars)


Balancing the pickups is also very important – here he is checking the front pickup height.


The most common cause of tuning instability is a poorly cut nut. A well cut nut will improve tone, improve the setup of the guitar and keep the guitar in tune longer. A vital and time consuming aspect of our setup service.


Checking the intonation with a tuner at the 12th fret.


A sanding block is applied to ensure continuity to fret height, frets are then individually fettled as required


Locating “pivot points” which help pin point high frets which may require localised fret work


Taking off the sharp burs often left behind in mass production. This gives a really smooth played in feel.


Masking tape and used string containers may not look pretty but do the best job for protecting the body of the guitar during setup!


Checking the output volume per pickup and making sure the switching does what it should do.


Checking the action (string height above the frets) at the 12th fret.


Adjusting the individual string height adjusters for optimum playability


So there you go – that's an overview at a glance.  Each guitar will take the technician around 1-2 hours to complete.  I believe this level of detail is unique to my business, certainly when you combine this with my live help facility providing backup and support most hours.

If you are looking to buy a guitar that I sell, I would hate for you to consider buying it anywhere else -  The setups on the guitars I sell are at the heart of the service I offer and backed up by my own diligent approach to pre and post sale service.

I hope this pictorial tour has helped you understand a little more about the work that goes into an electric guitar pre sale, new or used.