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Is the setup on your guitar holding back your progress?

Is it me, or my guitar? An age old question for which there are many answers. If you're like many of our first time client's, you may not have known that your guitar can be setup in a number of ways to make it easier to play. This includes simple things like adjusting the height the strings are from the frets (the action), or more complicated tasks such as adjusting the neck angle. In either case, a good setup from our master luthier can make your guitar a lot easier to play.

To help understand the point about how the action can hinder your playing, consider the following analogy of your shoe's sole height. If you are walking on stilts, it is quite hard to do so with any speed or control. Whereas with running shoes, or no shoes at all, you have a much easier time walking and running.

Now of course, reducing the action to zero (so that it's touching the frets) would be fantastic for ease of playing, but absolutely shocking in terms of tone! So a compromise has to be made, and that's where our master luthier comes in, with literally thousands of setups under his belt. He can adjust your guitar in a whole host of ways, the most common of which include:

  • dressing the frets

  • leveling the frets

  • resetting the neck angle

  • adjusting the truss rod

  • adjusting the bridge saddle

  • adjusting the nut

Please keep in mind that a guitar maker (luthier) will approach setting up a guitar in an entirely different manner than someone behind the counter at a music shop. A luthier will look at the geometry of the guitar and use that as the starting point for adjustments to get the absolute best out of that particular guitar.

We will have a detailed article on how each of these changes affects play-ability and tone in the near future, so please keep an eye out for that.

In the meantime, why don't you consider getting your guitar setup and serviced by our master luthier?


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