Guitar Repair FAQ


CAn you give me a repair estimate?

Yes, just bring your instrument in, and we will be able to give you a free assessment.  Our guitar repair department is now open six days a week: Monday through Saturday from 10 AM until 6 PM. All estimates/assessments are free and most can be done while you wait.

Why is my guitar so hard to play?

The distance between the strings and the fingerboard is quite often the problem.  We can address this problem by lowering the nut slots, adjusting the truss rod, and/or lowering the height of the saddle in the bridge.  Another common problem is that the gauge of strings may be too heavy and will need to be changed to a lighter string gauge.

Why is my guitar not playing in tune as I go up the neck?

This is a problem that can usually be solved by intonating the guitar. The amount that an acoustic guitar can be intonated is limited by the width of the saddle. However, electric guitars can be quite easily intonated as they have adjustable saddles.

How do you repair cracks in a guitar?

There are a few different methods which can be effective, depending on the severity of the crack.  In most cases, glue can be worked into the crack, and a cleat(s) can be added from the inside, reinforcing and stabilizing the crack.  No, this will not audibly change the sound of your guitar.

Why do my strings buzz on certain frets? 

Typically strings buzz because the frets are uneven. This is usually resolved by leveling (or dressing) the frets. After the frets are leveled, each fret is re-crowned and then polished.

Why is my string making a sitar sound when I play an open string?

Quite often an unwanted “open string buzz” or “sitar sound” is caused by a bad break angle at the point of contact of either the string in the nut slot, or the contact point of the string on the saddle. This problem can usually be corrected by adjusting the break angle of the slot in the nut, or the break angle of the contact point of the saddle surface.

What is the benefit of using bone for nuts, saddles or bridge pins? 

For a long time people have been trying to produce something equivalent to bone. There are various plastic products out there claiming to be “man-made bone or ivory”  but nothing matches the density and porousness of authentic bleached cow bone or ivory. Bone produces a much more desirable tone, enhancing sustain, replicating a fretted string sound and offering a much richer tone that has become very popular among most fretted instrument players around the world.

Why does it sound like there is something knocking around in my guitar?

There is a good chance your guitar might have a loose brace. It is not a major issue to have a loose brace in a guitar.  A loose brace may have occurred from knocking the guitar or dropping it.  It may also be a result of humidity or lack of humidity.  In some cases, there may not have been enough glue between the brace and body from the factory.  In most cases, fixing a loose brace is a very inexpensive and simple repair.  For acoustic guitars with built-in electronics, it is common for the wires on the inside of the guitar to come loose from the clips which mount them to the top, sides, or bottom of the guitar, and these wires can vibrate against the guitar when played.

What if I need my guitar refinished or paint touched up?

If you have an older (vintage) guitar made in North America like a Martin, Gibson, Fender,Taylor, or other expensive well known brands, we suggest that you do not have it touched up or refinished. You can destroy its patina, which could significantly decrease its value.  In some cases, an older looking patina with a lot of checking (lacquer checking) is a very desirable and natural appearance.

For a new instrument, if you must have it touched up, we recommend that you bring it to a luthier who has a spray booth. It will cost anywhere from $150.00 and up depending on how extensive your touch up or refinish will be.  We do not have the facilities for refinishing or painting instruments at this time.  We will however be able to recommend some places that do offer these services.

Print pageEmail page