Repairs

I work repairs on acoustic, electric, solidbody, archtop, guitar, bass, banjo, ukulele, etc, any instrument with strings.

Setups, fret grind and polishing, refrets, nut installations, electronics work, etc are handled on a daily basis. I also do more complex work such as neck resets, major repairs, etc. My approach to repair is making my customer happy. I try to do it by sticking to true to original as much as possible, but also welcoming modern refinements where appropriate.

My repair work is normally handled on a case-by-case basis, where I meet you in person and discuss the details of your instrument, what you would like to see fixed/improved and I give you a realistic analysis and price quote.

Rates
I have had various comments on my lack of a price list on this website and that being intimidating. But in all honesty, it depends on each individual case. For example, the amount of time and work involved in setting up a new well built guitar vs. an old delicate instrument is different. It’s the same with new cars vs. old cars.

As most of my work is becoming more specialized on old, rare and valuable instruments, it does not make much sense to have a “book” rate on repairs. What may seem like a minor repair, may actually need serious work, or vice versa. This is why I handle repairs on a case-by-case basis.

My fees aren’t cheap but if you’re serious about your instrument, worth it. Repairs are a very time consuming task and I got to pay the rent in Manhattan and put food on the table! But it also means you can actually bring your instrument and discuss the details in person and not on the phone. This is why I don’t do email, it just takes up too much time. Think of me as a doctor for your guitars.

Appointments
Please phone for an appointment, or we can talk about your instrument and I can give you a rough estimate on the phone. Ultimately, I will need to see the instrument to give you an exact quote. Contact details are here.

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Repair Work Outline
Here’s an outline on the most requested type of work.

Setups:
A setup includes setting neck action, string height, string intonation, nut adjustment and cleaning electronics, if any. Get your instrument in shape.

Nuts:
Very important to get the action just where you want it and to sound good. We have a selection of nuts using bone, slip-stone, ivory, micarta and other goodies. Additional fee applies for nuts that have binding on sides.

Fret Work:
Fret “grind and polish” (G&P) work are good for instruments that show wear on the frets but still have life in them. If you feel your instrument is starting to feel different, it may be time for a G&P.

If a G&P won’t cut it, it’s time for a refret. I do various refrets, I can refret the whole neck, or partial refrets, which are preferred by some people.

Fret selection is a very personal choice, so it should not be dealt with lightly.

I have a varied selection of 18% nickel-silver fretwire true to Martin, Gibson and Fender specs that can be chosen from samples. You can also specify other frets. However, I do not work with stainless steel frets.

Electronics:
For electronics work, such as replacing pickups, switches, pots etc, please consult. I also do preamp installations, etc.

Parts and Supplies:
Since I am not a “guitar shop”, please feel free to bring in your own parts and strings. It’s your sound, and that must be honoured. You can get most parts through me also if you want an easy solution. If you would like to dig further into fine tuning your sound, I can also help you choose the right parts and have good relationships with all the manufacturers and vendors.

Everything Else:
For information on other types of repair, from simple to complex, such as bridge resets, neck resets, refinishes, parts guitar building, etc, please consult on a case by case basis.

Unless specified otherwise, I use D’dario strings for it’s ease of use and neutral sound, but feel free to bring your own.