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New Year's Resolution: Learn How to Setup Your Guitars


soundog
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If you already know how to setup your guitars and/or basses, great! If you don't, it's not hard and its not expensive. The basic tools are very affordable (and will pay for themselves in time). There are tons of great, free tutorials on youtube by experienced luthiers. Start with a least-cherished guitar, and work your way up from there. In time you'll learn how to tweak all your guitars to get their action and intonation right where you want them. Happy New Year!

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On 1/4/2023 at 4:39 PM, theElevators said:

And learn how to solder 

This is mine.  I have a duncan distortion sitting on my desk waiting for me to learn how to put it in my ibanez.

 

Also, just to add to the OP, I would also recommend everyone learn how to do their own setups.  The one caution being when you get to the truss rod only do one 1/4 turn per day until you feel comfortable that you understand what that is doing.  Of all the things you can adjust doing a setup I think the truss rod is the only one that can potentially ruin the guitar.

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One of the guitar "mysteries" fro me was always truss rod adjustment. It's actually one of the easiest things to do. It's also one of the first things you need to do when you setup your guitar. String height and intonation can't be done well until the truss rod is adjusted properly. Now that I've learned how to adjust the truss rod, I find I do it a lot more, especially during extreme weather/temp differences. If you don't know how to do it and think it's like rocket science, that's how I thought until I learned how. It's actually really easy. This is what I use.

 

https://www.musicnomadcare.com/Products/Guitar-Setup-Tools/Truss-Rod-Gauge/#prettyPhoto

 

This company is great for getting relatively cheap guitar tools. In this case though, as you can seed from the website, if you have a capo or even a large pick and a set of car gap feeler gauges, you don't need to buy this. If anyone wants instructions on how to do this, I can post them.

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Ditto on the importance of truss rod adjustments. Be certain your truss rod tool (usually a long allen wrench, included with most new guitars) is the right size, and that the wrench is firmly seated in the truss rod before adjusting. You don't want to accidentally round out the socket! Watch videos to understand how the truss rod and neck bow works, the difference between upbow and backbow, etc. And go slow until you get a feel for what you're doing. After you've done it a time or two, it becomes second nature.

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Ditto on being careful with the truss rod. As was mentioned before, 1/4 turn on the truss rod at a time at the most before checking. It didn't seem like it when I first learned how to adjust a truss rod but I quickly learned different. It doesn't take much. And as easy as it is to do, it's the one setup adjustment that could really screw up your guitar.

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