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.
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Richards Guitars, 5 Tiddington Road, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 7AE
01789 26 33 33
Richards Guitars, 5 Tiddington Road, Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 7AE. Tel: 01789 263333
We welcome players from all over the World to consult with Richard directly via live help, allowing Richard to help you find the right guitar and ensure it is set up to your personal playing specification.
For FREE we provide...
fanatical quality control
personalised setup service by our highly experienced guitar tech who has worked with Richard for over 15 years
Richard play tests your guitar pre delivery to ensure it meets the specification
6 and 12 month check/reset
Online support most hours via chat (provided by Richard who has specialised in guitar consultancy for 21 years)
Click here for more details
To ensure anyone can benefit from this highly personalized service we subsidize the delivery costs from our pocket - not yours, resulting in the following delivery charges*
Any delivery to Western Europe £15.
Eastern Europe £25
Every guitar is packed personally by Richard. We purchase especially strengthened outer cartons and pack each guitar in a way that guarantees the guitar will come out the box as it went in - perfect.
If you bought your guitar from an alternate source it would cost you at least £50 to have it play to the standard that we set our guitars AS standard.
Why would you want to buy from a faceless online store if you can buy from someone who values every customer and their personal needs?
I do hope we can help you further as we provide the service you wish you could find locally!